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 Mr Chris Smith Mr Chris Smith , Islington South and Finsbury 12:00 am, 10th June 1991

The Minister speaks as though there are no problems with the arts in London. He must know, in his heart of hearts, that that is far from the truth. He must know that the sheer deficiencies of the London boroughs grants scheme, as a scheme, have led to substantial cuts in the arts in London in recent months. He must know that the Arts Council has given only 2·5 per cent. —way below inflation—in increased funding to Greater London Arts this year. He must know that a number of arts institutions—including, for example, the Almeida and King's Head theatres in my constituency—are in serious peril as a result of the problems that we face. It is time that the Minister put his money where his mouth is and devoted extra funds to supporting the arts in London, rather than continuing—however many talks he may have—to wash his hands of the problem.