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Lib Dems call for new arts and culture plan for Gloucester

June 15, 2020 1:00 PM

Sebastian Field at the Carmel Webb memorial gardenThe Liberal Democrats are calling on the city council to develop an "innovative, imaginative, and safe" programme of arts and cultural events in Gloucester - warning that the creative industries are in danger of collapse.

Arts and culture have been badly hit in the city in recent months as popular local events, such as Art in the City, Gloucester Goes Retro, and the Gloucester Music Festival, have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the city moves out of lockdown and local residents get used to the 'new normal', the Liberal Democrats want the Conservative-run city council to help the recovery of arts, events and culture.

Councillor Sebastian Field has written to Councillor Steve Morgan, the cabinet member for culture and leisure, warning the performing and creative arts industry is "teetering on the edge".

In the letter, Councillor Field acknowledged the council has considered future festivals and events in the Council Plan but said it was vital the council does not go back to a "business as usual" approach.

The Podsmead councillor, who is the Liberal Democrat spokesman for culture and leisure, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has hit the creative industries particularly hard.

"Performances and festivals have rightly been cancelled, due to the risk of infection, and many in the industry are wondering when events can resume.

"The classical music industry and the performing arts in general are currently teetering on the edge.

"The support offered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not go far enough for some, and many others have fallen through the cracks.

"It is vital the city council does not go back to a 'business as usual' approach and future events or festivals will need to be innovative, imaginative, and safe."

Recently, Gloucester Liberal Democrats launched a six-point plan to aid the recovery of the city.

The six-point plan covers economic recovery, housing, supporting communities, the environment, culture and rebuilding council services.

Among the key pledges is to set up a housing company to provide affordable homes and properties for rent in the city.