Speech Marks: Things they said about the Arts Council in 1993

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'The Arts Council is over-bureaucratic, over-staffed and spends too much time and money preparing irrelevant documents about politically correct causes, according to a report issued by the Government . . .' Sunday Times, 30 May.

'The review, by Price Waterhouse, criticises the council for wasting resources on 'extensive consultation' and under-using support staff . . . At least 10 per cent of the annual budget goes on administration instead of filtering through to the theatres and individual artists it supports.' Financial Times, 1 June.

'It is a very foolish policy for the Arts Council to withdraw money in the hope of improving things . . . regional theatres have traditionally been suppliers of new works and should be supported. It will strangulate new writing.' Alan Ayckbourn, Daily Telegraph, 20 September.

'We did not handle the theatrical situation as well as we should have done . . . I take responsibility . . . I do not claim that we are an institution without its deficiencies.' Lord Palumbo, Arts Council Chairman, The Times 16 November.

'Peter Brooke last night announced a cut of pounds 3.2 million on this year's spending for the Arts Council.' The Independent, 1 December.

'A black day for the arts, and a national disgrace.' Lord Palumbo, 1 December.

'Axe the Arts Council.' Timothy Renton, former Arts Minister, Evening Standard, 9 December.

'The Arts Council crowned a five month farce - its review of the fate of London's orchestras - yesterday by announcing plans to do virtually nothing.' Daily Telegraph, 16 December.