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Comment: Unfortunate soft target of the cuts
TIMES are tough, especially for local authorities. That means very difficult decisions, and cuts which have to be made across the board are bound to affect almost all areas of life.
The arts are particularly vulnerable because, to be brutally frank, people’s health and even their lives will not be put in jeopardy by reductions in expenditure.
But that shouldn’t automatically make them soft targets.
There is also a strong argument that large sections of ‘the arts’ should be able to operate on a business basis without financial support from the taxpayer.
However, not all theatrical and musical ventures are in a position to make profits.
Music-making, especially at the level of an orchestra like Lancashire Sinfonietta, also has a strong educational and inspirational role. It gives budding musicians something to aspire to that is far more practically achievable than one of the handful of national orchestras.
At the same time, the Sinfonietta gets into truly local venues where ordinary people can enjoy it.
The 50 per cent budget cut it now faces from Lancashire County Council does seem particularly severe.