Saturday, July 07, 2007


Tory County Council kicks Tower Arts Centre in the Teeth

Well the decision has been made. Conservative County Cllr Margaret Snaith has agreed to hand the management of our local Tower Arts Centre over to Kings School. You can read the HCC press release here.

Now the school will no doubt get some good use out of the Centre, but the SaveTowerArts blog makes some very important points:

  1. The proposal is to transfer the management of the Arts Centre from the current Artistic Director to the Kings School management team.
  2. The centre will move from the Recreation and Heritage Department of the County Council to the Children and Families Department. All the other Arts Centres in Hampshire are run within the Recreation and Heritage Department.
  3. The Tower would no longer stage the evening performances that most normal Art Centres stage and for which the Tower is renowned.
  4. None of us would even know that a decision on the future of the Tower Arts Centre was under discussion this week if it was not for the leak and the subsequent press coverage.
I think this is a bad decision, made without adequate (or indeed any) consultation. Kudos to Oliver's Battery resident Lynda Banister who led a deputation to the county in support of the Centre's current management; and commiserations to my Liberal Democrat colleagues on the County Council who worked hard to oppose the decision made by a county councillor from Gosport.

Winchester will be poorer as a result.
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