Letter: New council, old names

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Sir: The arts world waits for Chris Smith to announce the names of the "new" Arts Council. I fear the list is likely to exacerbate the divide between the arts community and the Council.

For all the talk of a brand new body, one hears of many people being invited to apply including members of the old council, one of whom has already served 11 consecutive years.

My fear now is that some art forms will continue to be represented on Council by the people who have been chairing them for years and who have formulated their policies, and others will have no voice at all.

Dance, touring, drama, combined arts and the visual arts may all find themselves lacking a seat on Council and thus seriously disadvantaged in the competition for funds. All previous art-form chairs should be invited to sit - or none.

STEPHEN PHILLIPS

Hailsham,

East Sussex

The writer is Arts Council Chair of Touring

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