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UK petitions & campaigns - offer more support to the arts

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38 Degrees' petitions are certainly genuine, although they do have an annoying habit of asking you to fund the appeal you've just signed up to.

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Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere:
 

You recently signed the petition “Offer more support to the arts (particularly Theatres and Music) amidst COVID-19”:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/320711

The Petitions Committee, which is the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system, has agreed to schedule a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on Thursday 25 June on petitions calling for support for UK industries in response to Covid-19.

The debate is being held in response to the huge number of petitions, including the one you signed, that call for the Government to provide support for UK industries in response to Covid-19.

The start time of the debate will depend on other parliamentary business, but you can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter @HoCpetitions, where we will post updates on when we expect the debate to start.

You will be able to watch the debate live here: 

 

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a7b6db44-6101-42c7-b2a0-32abd08b80ef

 

A transcript will be published the following day here: https://hansard.parliament.uk

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Somewhat concerned that the arts are being considered along with other industries when the inability to perform and have an audience presents very unique challenges.

 

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Whilst it is difficult to understand how the effects upon the wider economy have not been understood, it is to be hoped that the lack of positive action on the part of government does, indeed, stem from ignorance and/or failure to grasp these statistics since the alternative is that these effects have been wilfully ignored and if this is the case the debate will be no more than a box ticking exercise and the outcome, sadly, a foregone conclusion. 

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8 hours ago, JohnS said:

Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere:
 

You recently signed the petition “Offer more support to the arts (particularly Theatres and Music) amidst COVID-19”:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/320711

The Petitions Committee, which is the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system, has agreed to schedule a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on Thursday 25 June on petitions calling for support for UK industries in response to Covid-19.

The debate is being held in response to the huge number of petitions, including the one you signed, that call for the Government to provide support for UK industries in response to Covid-19.

The start time of the debate will depend on other parliamentary business, but you can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter @HoCpetitions, where we will post updates on when we expect the debate to start.

You will be able to watch the debate live here: 

 

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a7b6db44-6101-42c7-b2a0-32abd08b80ef

 

A transcript will be published the following day here: https://hansard.parliament.uk

 

Well, I'm glad someone received this, because I haven't, so wouldn't have known about it in time.  I think a push to MPs is very much needed.

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I've just read an article in the Financial Times that states that the most likely assistance that the Treasury may offer, but not soon, is a loans package. Two arts representatives have been pushing for a loan scheme of £1billion but if a package is agreed it is likely to be 'on a significantly smaller scale'. Loans would increase pressure on theatres in the future, since they would have to be repaid, in a period that theatres would be struggling financially. A few days ago I read an article suggesting that a scheme similar to Student Loans would be helpful for theatres, as repayment would depend on them reaching a certain level of income.

 

The article also says that the new 1 metre relaxation would still only permit 40% of the auditorium could be seated (I think it was focusing on London theatres, it might vary according to the size and design of the theatre).

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Thinking about the loan idea: while not ideal, I can see how it might might work for theatres and venues but I don’t see how it could for companies, with their much larger permanent payroll. I can only hope that loans are only part of the overall plan.

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The debate is due this afternoon in the Commons but it appears to be a debate on Government aid to industries in general rather than just the arts - 

 

From the e-Petitions Committee website:

 

Offer more support to the arts (particularly Theatres and Music) amidst COVID-19
The Committee agreed to tag this petition to the debate on Thursday 25 June, on support for UK industries in response to Covid-19. 

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Italy 350 million Euros to the arts. This country zero.

Hundreds of millions to failed COVID projects though without competitive tendering. These companies run by relatives of ministers though. Don’t hold your breath over arts support

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Excellent-sounding response from my (Labour) MP, who appears to be on the matter, and pushing it and will continue to push it.

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Posted (edited)

I had an "out of office" type reply from my MP 😖

I tried to have the debate on my PC while getting on with other work but, in the segment I heard, there were no references to the performing arts.

Today's papers (25th June) seem to be reporting that "Ministers are considering a bailout", but ...!!!!

Apparently the economy has been divided into 3 groups:

1) retail, construction and manufacturing, where mitigation of social distancing rules was thought to be relatively easy;

2) areas where there is "the potential to mitigate but wide variations between settings" - this group includes hotels, restaurants and cinemas;

3) a category where "further work may be required to mitigate risk" - i.e. theatres, nightclubs and hostels

The report suggested that, if theatres re-opened, they would need to have a screen between the stage and the audience and introduce strict rules on entry and exit.

 

 

 

Edited by capybara
typo

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6 minutes ago, capybara said:

I had an "out of office" type reply from my MP 😖

I tried to have the debate on my PC while getting on with other work but, in the segment I heard, there were no references to the performing arts.

Today's paper (25th June) seem to be reporting that "Ministers are considering a bailout", but ...!!!!

Apparently the economy has been divided into 3 groups:

1) retail, construction and manufacturing, where mitigation of social distancing rules was thought to be relatively easy;

2) areas where there is "the potential to mitigate but wide variations between settings" - this group includes hotels, restaurants and cinemas;

3) a category where "further work may be required to mitigate risk" - i.e. theatres, nightclubs and hostels

The report suggested that, if theatres re-opened, they would need to have a screen between the stage and the audience and introduce strict rules on entry and exit.

 

 

As I am on holiday (at home) this week, I thought  I would try and catch a bit of the debate. Well, I say 'debate' a series of speeches isn't really a debate! I can't say I was very impressed at all - np mention of the arts and if the MPs I saw (on either side of the aisle) are the best this country can come up with then we're stuffed!

 

Noting what Capybara has said I do wonder whether the people coming up with these rules have ever been further than the door of their office? Presumably they are the same people who thought that it would be possible for children to go back to school en masse and social distance at the same time?

 

 

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I didn't see all of the debate but thought there'd been no mention of the performing arts until the last person I saw speak, I think the MP for Richmond, who commented that she had discussed theatre and the arts at some length in an earlier speech she had made in the debate. Most of the speeches I listened to focused on problems in their constituency.

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11 hours ago, SheilaC said:

 Most of the speeches I listened to focused on problems in their constituency.


Fair enough, in a way , but a real debate would involve the use of constituency issues to illustrate the various arguments. This was a disconnected series of speeches which did not necessarily address the topic. Unimpressive as an example of our system of government.

 

 

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The Public Campaign for the Arts has also been set up:

 

https://www.campaignforthearts.org/

 

It is - among other things - running a Twitter campaign to tweet the Culture Secretary to demand action, but I'm not on Twitter, so can't access it.

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In some ways it was encouraging that in PMQs there were 4 MPs who raised the problems facing theatres, arts centres and creative arts (3 Conservative, 1 Labour). But disappointingly the PM, although stressing his support for the arts, and saying he was against laying people off, offered no financial support as it was necessary to "strike a balance" and just wait for the coronavirus to end.

 

My own MP has promised to keep talking to ministers about supporting the creative arts as, no doubt, other MPs have

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wouldn't be holding my breath - if you ask anyone in the cabinet what they'd like to see in the theatre, they'd probably say luxury flats...

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14 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

There's a letter to Rishi Sunak that the Public Campaign for the Arts is asking people to sign:

 

https://www.campaignforthearts.org/letter/

 

Glad to have signed. We have to try every means at our disposal. Please share.............

Edited by capybara
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