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To: Cllr Richard Rout, Deputy Leader of Suffolk County Council

Stop Suffolk Council’s 100% Arts & Culture Funding Cuts

We demand that you stop your extreme move to delete the entire core funding arts and museums budget for Suffolk Council. These deeply damaging cuts will disproportionately impact theatre companies and other organisations that deliver community focussed work, performances and workshops for children and adults with special education needs, families, and local residents.

Every person in Suffolk deserves to access to arts and culture, and for a tiny fraction of your annual budget, you can make this happen.

We demand you stop your planned 100% cuts to arts and culture funding in Suffolk now.

Why is this important?

THERE IS NO U-TURN! Suffolk Council's u-turn announcement is nothing of the sort. Long-term stable funding for the 9 arts organisations currently supported by the Council is still facing a 100% cut.

The Council's new announcement is for a one off pot of funding open to anyone, forcing arts organisations to compete against each other, for a smaller cake cut into many slices and causing uncertainty.

The Council has confirmed that once this one-off pot has run out, they will still not fund any arts budget.

Equity members, local residents, arts and cultural organisations across East Anglia have raised serious concerns following a proposed £528,000 cut to arts and culture funding by Suffolk County Council.

The nine organisations affected cover the whole county and include: Suffolk Artlink, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, the Food Museum in Stowmarket and The Long Shop Museum in Leiston, New Wolsey Theatre, DanceEast and Eastern Angles in Ipswich, Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury and FirstLight Festival in Lowestoft.

While these cuts represent a tiny fraction of the council's need to save £64.7 million, they will have a disproportionate impact on Suffolk residents who rely on the arts and culture for employment and the wider community engaged with the vital support provided by these organisations across the county.

Companies like Eastern Angles and New Wolsey Theatre tour schools and special educational needs settings providing performances and workshops for children. Suffolk Artlink delivers services to diverse communities including children at risk and vulnerable adults, contributing to Suffolk County Council's strategic priorities. The Food Museum in Stowmarket, which has a national reputation for its community work, but now faces a 13% cut to its core funding.

Together these organisations provide hundreds of jobs, support the local economy and provide thousands of hours of engagement for children and adults who need it in Suffolk. They do not deserve to lose access to culture.

Sign our petition to oppose these 100% cuts now.

How it will be delivered

By hand, to the Leader of the Council

Endeavour House, 8 Russell Rd, Ipswich IP1 2BX, UK

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2024-01-28 15:53:44 +0000

Since the supposed U-turn by Suffolk Council many of you have asked if the planned demo on Tuesday is still going ahead. YES! Is the answer. We are pleased to see movement from SCC, but the proposed arrangement is no replacement for core funding. It simply provides a smaller cake cut into many slices! Join us in Ipswich Tuesday 1-2pm

2024-01-25 16:28:21 +0000

Join Equity's demo and photocall against the cuts outside Suffolk Council Offices, 1-2pm on Tuesday 30 January. RSVP below:

2024-01-24 13:33:32 +0000

Below are the council’s own words, excerpts from their Equality Impact Assessment:
“People with disabilities could be disproportionately impacted through the loss of programmes specifically targeted to this group. These could include projects, such as:
• Museum clubs and art sessions for people with learning difficulties
• Reminiscence and artist-led sensory programmes for people with dementia
• Dance session for people with neurological condition
• Theatre shows aimed at engaging with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Museum and arts organisations are exemplar enablers of integrated access for disabled visitors. (They) may have less capacity to sustain and develop this integrated access if funding is lost
Art and Museum sector organisations bring in significant financial and economic gain to the County, supported by SCC core funding. This benefits those in socio-economic disadvantage..”

The council's own words!

2024-01-24 13:31:03 +0000

Thank you for your support! We’ve been inundated with offers of support and pleas for help from other cultural organisations across Suffolk. Please continue to sign and share this petition. These proposed cuts will have a major impact on children. the elderly and disabled across the County.

The future of our museums, theatres, and community based arts and cultural projects is at stake.

Please share the petition and attend the demonstration outside SCC offices on January 30th 1-2pm and ask your councillor for support

2024-01-23 07:03:57 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2024-01-19 21:35:21 +0000

500 signatures reached

2024-01-16 13:36:43 +0000

100 signatures reached

2024-01-15 12:33:11 +0000

50 signatures reached

2024-01-14 12:58:04 +0000

25 signatures reached

2024-01-12 17:56:45 +0000

10 signatures reached