Letter: Cuts would plunge arts into crisis

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Sir: I was interested to read in David Lister's article that the Department of National Heritage spent pounds 60,000 on the Price Waterhouse review of the Arts Council. As a representative of one of the organisations interviewed, I had the strong impression that many decisions had already been made.

If the costs of this review had been divided equally between three different small-scale theatre companies, there would have been enough money to support the following:

1. A children's theatre show which could tour nationally throughout the school year and perform to a total audience of more than 30,000 children.

2. A new touring show for adults employing four actors, two stage managers, writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer.

3. A season's work in a small venue.

Yet the Price Waterhouse review questions the value of such projects as 'high cost and low benefit'.

The Independent Theatre Council would like to question the value for money of the following: the reorganisation of the Regional Arts Boards (cost pounds 1.5m); the National Arts and Media Strategy (cost pounds 300,000 - published in January 1993, conclusions already forgotten); and finally the Price Waterhouse review itself.

The Government obviously enjoys itself enormously with all its reviews and restructures, but at this cost can its own private entertainment be justified? Are we really getting value for money?

Yours sincerely,



Independent Theatre Council

London, SE1

15 June