Thursday, 23 April 2015

The General Election: Arts and Culture

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you probably know there's an election looming and the battle for Number 10 is ON. People say this is the most unpredictable election of our times, with another coalition almost certain.

There's been TV debates, interviews and social media campaigns covering the usual 'big' issues: the NHS, the economy and the deficit, immigration, unemployment, the housing crisis. All these have been discussed at length and I think it's pretty clear where each party stands on each issue.

However, I don't think funding for arts and culture has been brought up at all. For people in the arts and culture sector or the creative industries, or even people who enjoy going to the theatre and having access to a free library - where the parties stand on the arts may be the deciding factor when May 7th rolls around.

It's been a dismal few years for the arts in the UK, with companies losing funding, theatres closing and the level of competition for jobs in the industry soaring. Everyone is hoping that this can be reversed in the next government, especially as the current one keep going on about much money they have saved and how the economy is booming thanks to them. (Raised eyebrow).

So the Arts Council have helped us out here, by scanning all the major parties' manifestos and pulling out the important bits when it comes to commitments and spending for arts and culture. Looks like the Greens are the only party willing to increase arts funding, and they also want to give local authorities powers to support local performances. Ed Miliband has also pledged to put the arts "at the heart" of a Labour government, by setting up a special committee which he will chair himself. Read up on all the political parties and their summaries here. 

So who will you be voting for? J x