London Arts Funding

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — The Arts – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th June 1991.

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Photo of Mark Fisher Mark Fisher , Stoke-on-Trent Central 12:00 am, 10th June 1991

I welcome the fact that, after six months of developing crisis, the Minister is at long last prepared to say that he will meet his colleagues, and meet the bodies that my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) suggested. That is a constructive move, but it has taken a long time. When the Minister meets those concerned, will he at last take it from them that there is a crisis in the arts in London, and that it is a crisis caused by his Government's poll tax, which is taking more than £3 million away from community arts in London? The Minister may not reckon that community arts are very important, but I hope that he will listen to those concerned and understand that they are indeed important. Unless the Minister addresses that problem and keeps an open mind about it, the fact that he has sat there doing nothing for six months will be to his discredit.