Regional Arts Facilities

Lord Wigley Excerpts
Wednesday 27th March 2024

(1 month, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
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Many of these things are the responsibility of local authorities. That is right—they are accountable to local people for the way that they deliver them, but they have statutory obligations, including in children’s services and education. The Department for Education works closely with local authorities as they discharge that duty and the Government provide help—my department allocated £33 million only this week for library services and museums around the country, helping people with their education outside school settings.

Lord Wigley Portrait Lord Wigley (PC)
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My Lords, does the Minister accept that, when local authorities cut back and have an impact on the arts in their own area, it impacts not only on the audiences, performing companies and organisations there but also on the touring arts companies? I think particularly of the Welsh National Opera, which circulates considerably in England. In looking at this Question, will he take a strategic attitude and have regard to the knock-on effect that that can have?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
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I talked with the Welsh National Opera only last week about the importance and benefits of touring, as it does, between England and Wales. I am sure the noble Lord would share my despair that the Labour Government in Wales are cutting arts funding by 10% and considering reintroducing fees for museums. I hope that he sees the positive contrast with the increased budget that the Government provided to Arts Council England at the last funding round.