In a week filled with events, the NCA also held a seminar to examine the potential political landscape after the election, what implications these outcomes might have for the arts sector and what the sector can do to argue its case in the run up to, during and beyond the election campaign. Andrew Hawkins, CEO of political pollsters ComRes and analyst Daniel Hamilton presented an analysis looking at the likely outcome of the forthcoming election, considering why the outcome is so difficult to predict with any certainty, where the key battleground seats are, and what the implications are likely to be for policy making in the initial months of the new government.
A reminder to members that Arts Council England (ACE) launched Achieving great art for everyone – a consultation on future priorities for the arts, the results of which will inform a ten-year strategic framework and ACE’s future investment decisions. The consultation represents the first time the Arts Council has brought together all arts forms and development areas into one set of long-term priorities. The consultation is a very important one, to which the NCA will be responding. We invite members to submit comments and evidence to the NCA for inclusion before 2 April. These can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An eager and challenging audience arrived at Kings Place on Monday, 1 March to debate the motion that “This country can no longer afford to subsidise the arts”, curated by the NCA and chaired by Joan Bakewell.
The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) has published A Platform for Success: A Five Year Vision for Orchestras. The ABO’s vision sets out the following aspirations:Maintain our programme of great performances at home and abroad, challenging audiences with a wide repertoire and diverse approach. Place orchestras within the national celebrations towards the London 2012 Olympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Nurture home grown talent and attract the world’s best composers, performers and conductors to the UK. All these artists have at their disposal a hugely talented and highly skilled pool of musicians, with a rich orchestral heritage. Ensure every orchestra in the ABO commits to an environmental ‘touring charter’ by 2015.
The Conservative party has published its vision for the arts under a Tory government, setting out plans to “provide coherent and sustained support for the arts.” The document outlines approaches to matters of funding, structure, access, and education should a Conservative government be successful in the General Election. The introduction strongly sets out the party’s aims to “build on the success of the arts”, which focus on the following principles:
Culture minister Margaret Hodge has announced the final four cities in the running to become the UK’s first City of Culture, 2013. The cities are Birmingham, Derry/Londonderry, Norwich and Sheffield. This group has been shortlisted from the original 14 bids, after recommendations from an independent judging panel were given to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw. The same panel will give the final recommendation on the winning bid.
The General Election must take place before Thursday 3rd June, 2010. Candidates’ policy priorities will be based on the concerns and opinions expressed by their local constituents. The NCA urges members to use the Arts Manifesto as an advocacy tool to promote the importance of art in your constituency. Contacting local politicians can make a real difference, especially during election time, so please put pen to paper for the sake of the arts.
The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has released a new set of fees for immigration and nationality applications for 2010/11. UKBA has proposed to limit its increase for Tier 5 applications to 2.5% “in recognition of the importance of the Arts and Entertainment industry to the UK economy.” Regarding Points-Based System (PBS) visas, the charge for a Tier 5 application has increased from £125 to £128, and the respective charge for a Tier 2 application has increased from £265 to £270. These figures still remain below the estimated cost for UKBA to process the application. For non-PBS visas, the short term visitor visa is set to increase by £1, from £67 to £68. This 1.5% rise represents an increase lower than the general level of increase levied on other routes.
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones' Live Music Bill has now passed the House of Lords stages after having its 3rd reading this week. The 3rd reading follows both the Committee and report stages, which were passed without amendment or opposition. The Bill aims to amend the Licensing Act to make it easier for musicians to perform in small venues. Measures include making schools, hospitals, colleges and venues up to a capacity of 200 exempt from the need to obtain a licence, and the re-instating of the “two-in-a-bar” rule, whereby venues presenting one or two musicians playing unamplified, or minimally amplified music would not require a licence.
Liberal Democrat shadow Culture Secretary, Don Foster, has published new proposals for the arts and creative industries in a manifesto entitled The Power of Creativity. The document calls for creativity and culture to be celebrated, and to be seen as important in their own right, as powerful drivers of our national identity, global standing and affluence. The Liberal Democrats believe the status of the arts and creativity should be raised across society and government. The policy proposals set out Foster’s vision of how to support the arts and culture and celebrate creativity in this country.
Following major coverage of the Save Our Sound UK campaign in the media, NCA Director Louise de Winter met Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards last Wednesday to discuss the issues affecting users of radio microphones. In terms of campaign representation, the meeting was also attended by Duncan Bell from the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG) and Alun Rees from Ranelagh International (Public Affairs).
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones’ Private Members Bill has received its second reading in the House of Lords. Clement-Jones outlined the history of the Licensing Act, which had been introduced to help live music flourish, but which actually had a diminishing effect. Clement-Jones referred to a British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) survey in 2007 which concluded that there had been a five per cent decrease in the provision of live music in secondary live music venues since 2004. In restaurants and cafes the figures showed a drop of 12 per cent, and in church halls and community centres a drop of 24 per cent. He continued to criticise the Government’s minor variations procedure, labelling it “extraordinarily bureaucratic “ as well as attacking the “absurdities and inconsistencies of the Licensing Act.”
Welcome, over the Christmas break the NCA has been busily preparing for the launch of this site; our new improved home on the web.
Unusually so close after Christmas, Parliament is focussed on no fewer than four pieces of legislation which are of interest to the arts sector.
The National Museum Directors Conference has this week published Museums Deliver, demonstrating the wide-ranging social and economic importance of museums in the UK.
The Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Clement-Jones asked the House of Lords on Tuesday “what assessment the Government has made of the cases cited by the NCA and the Manifesto Club” in regards to non-European Union visiting artists and academics being denied entry to the country through the points-based system.
The Digital Economy Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords, scrutinising proposed legislation and measures, some of which could, if accepted, have a great deal of impact on the sector.
Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has unveiled a range of proposals to amend the Licensing Act 2003. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have published a consultation, whichoutlines three simplification measures, estimated in the Impact Assessment to save the organisations and businesses involved between £9.2m and £24.1m a year.
NCA has responded to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Consultation on Charging for Immigration and Visa Applications, which outlines a number of proposals about the methods for charging immigration and visa applicants, with a focus on setting fees more flexibly. The following points summarise NCA’s response to the consultation:
On 24 November the NCA led a delegation of arts executives to the Minister for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas MP, to discuss progress made on visa and immigration rules and to flag emerging issues since the last meeting in March.