We would like to bring your attention to Vote Arts 2010, the NCA’s online home for arts advocacy and campaigning. With Polling Day only weeks away on 6 May, we have compiled some vital resources to help you raise the profile of the arts and culture during the election campaign.
This week the political parties published the manifestos which they hope will convince the electorate of their suitability to run the country and form the next government.
On 9 March, the NCA held an Arts Hustings at Tate Britain during which arts and culture portfolio holders Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP, Ed Vaizey MP, and Don Foster MP were grilled by members of the sector on their parties’ arts policies. Chaired by Joan Bakewell, the event was both informative and entertaining, shedding light on numerous issues that the sector faces.
In early March, the NCA wrote to MPs urging them to support the Live Music Bill and find time to allow its full passage before the General Election.
The Digital Economy Bill has now passed through the House of Commons at super broadband speed as part of the ‘wash up’ process of Bills being passed before Parliament is dissolved. The debates at the Bill’s Second Reading in the Commons on Tuesday, 6 April and in Committee Stage on Wednesday, 7 April, indicated that although the Bill received cross party support for its principles, there was still much to object to in the detail.
The most hotly debated clauses were those that outlined the powers to take action on unlawful downloading of content and file sharing and the powers reserved to the Secretary of State to invoke sanctions when infringements took place.
Now that the election campaign has begun in earnest, it is time to remind ourselves of some of the arguments for and against arts funding via the public purse. A full transcript of the NCA debate that took place at Kings Place on 1 March is now available for all those who were unable to attend or who would like to be able to flick through what was said rather than listen to the recordings.
This is your opportunity to make your concerns and issues heard by Prospective Parliamentary Candidates. The NCA toolkit provides some useful information on how to contact your PPCs and outlines some key messages about the arts.
With the General Election on the horizon – presenting a potential change of Government and with the economic situation posing a very real threat to arts and dance funding – Dance UK has launched DanceVote 2010, the national advocacy campaign to put dance on the agenda of local political candidates.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its third partial review of the shortage occupation lists, making recommendations for the United Kingdom and for Scotland. These lists, which are used alongside Tier 2 of the points-based system for managing immigration, comprise skilled occupations where there are shortages that can sensibly be filled by enabling employers to recruit immigrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
On Wednesday 24th March the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announced his 2010 Budget, the last one before the General Election. This budget confirmed the Government’s commitment to making £11 billion of savings a year by 2012-13 from efficiency and streamlining the centre of Government.
After a great deal of delay and grumbling from the sector, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has finally published its review into libraries, following its consultation Empower, Inform, Enrich – the modernisation review of public libraries.
A number of national organisations, including the NCA, met this week to launch Cultural Capital: A Manifesto for the Future. Affirming that “culture is the catalyst for change”, the manifesto argues that a reduction of public investment would make poor economic sense given the multiplier effect of investment in the arts. Furthermore, the cultural sector can make a real contribution to social and economic recovery through offering work, learning, training and social engagement.
The Cultural Learning Alliance has launched its website, the first manifestation of its campaign to bring attention to the importance of cultural learning and participation. The Cultural Learning Alliance is for everyone who believes that children and young people should have an entitlement to quality cultural experiences.
Further raising the profile of the arts in political debates in the run up to the General Election, the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) hosted a debate on the future for the arts, giving another opportunity for front-bench spokespeople to outline their parties’ policies regarding the sector.
The NCA has now submitted its reponse to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) latest consultation on the Licensing Act, which proposes to exempt live music events for audiences of not more than 100 people from the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003. The proposals are intended to make it easier for both licensed premises such as clubs and pubs, and unlicensed premises such as cafes, restaurants, scout huts, record shops, etc. to stage small, live music events. Furthermore, musicians will benefit, since the greater availability of venues will offer them a platform to perform and to be heard.
The response can be read here.
An audio recording of the arts funding debate held on 1 March at Kings Place is now available to listen to online for those who were unable to attend the event.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has today published Sarah Thane’s report into Child Performance regulations. The report makes a number of recommendations on how the licensing system for child performers can be overhauled and re-balanced.
During the third day of the House of Lords report stage into the Digital Economy Bill, Lord Clement-Jones once again drew attention to the Save Our Sound UK campaign, explaining that the programme-making and special events (PMSE) sector was unhappy with the way in which the Government had not made their intentions clear regarding compensation for the loss of spectrum and radio microphones.
The NCA is seeking members’ comments on its draft response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) latest consultation on the Licensing Act, which proposes to exempt live music events for audiences of not more than 100 people from the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003. DCMS envisage that the proposals will make it easier for both licensed premises such as clubs and pubs, and unlicensed premises such as cafes, restaurants, scout huts, record shops, etc. to stage small, live music events. Furthermore, musicians will benefit, since the greater availability of venues will offer them a platform to perform and to be heard.
Hot on the tail of last week’s NCA arts funding debate at Kings Place, the NCA Arts Hustings was held at Tate Britain this week, during which arts and culture portfolio holders Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP, Ed Vaizey MP, and Don Foster MP were grilled by members of the sector on their parties’ arts policies. Chaired again by NCA Chairman Joan Bakewell, the event was both informative and entertaining, shedding light on numerous issues that the sector faces.