Bristol culture cuts go ahead
Bristol City Council is to go ahead with a 40% cut to its culture budget, with £190,000 to be cut in 2018/19 and a further £190,000 cut in 2019/20, affecting support for arts organisations and museums.
The cuts are part of a £33m package which the council says its needs to balance its budget. Council tax charges will also increase by 4.99%. Councillors blame savage reductions in government grants for the shortfall. A proposed reduction of nearly £500,000 from the council’s total arts budget of about £1 million was reduced to £380,000 in two stages following a public consultation.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said that the council faced a tough road ahead but they were getting a grip on the finances and were determined to protect services as far as possible.
There were protests in the council chamber as the cuts were announced, with one protestor playing opera music as councillors made their decisions.
The Bristol move follows a 100% cut in grants to arts groups announced by neighbouring authority, Bath and North East Somerset, last week.