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Cllr Sean Beynon Statement to Cabinet regarding Show of Strength

"The Mayor will be aware of the incredible success of Show of Strength in BS3, across Bristol, and nationally, over many years. Removing this funding will put all of this at risk, and I ask the Mayor to reconsider.

I understand that he has not been involved in the process to date, but now is an opportunity to step in and show his support for a group that has demonstrably widened participation in the arts and provided a significant and positive impact on the local economy.

The arts budget should, in my view, be used primarily to support those groups who can show that they are providing opportunities to involve those who wouldn’t otherwise get involved with the arts. Show of Strength does this – whether through street theatre or any of the other innovative projects they have tried over many successful years.

The recommendations of officers are in front of Cabinet, but it is now for the Mayor to decide whether they are reasonable. In my view they are not. The budget should provide essential funding for community based projects, rather than supporting very large organisations who can, or should, be seeking a greater balance towards ticket sales and away from subsidy. Please amend these recommendations. I understand that there is no ‘new’ money, but there must be a way to properly support a hugely important organisation in South Bristol."

Sean Beynon
Labour Councillor for Southville

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