Nick with Catherine McKinnell speaking to Equity Union members at the Live Theatre
Dan Jarvis, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Culture, has come to Newcastle to see for himself the impact of central Government public expenditure cuts on local arts and libraries provision.
Overshadowing Newcastle’s present difficulties is the unfair distribution of the cuts burden by the Government. Newcastle is facing funding cuts of £218 per head. The national average cut is £134 and Tory Councils like Wokingham lose just £27. The difference is striking. The much higher demand in Newcastle for services such as adult social care and looked after children puts the Council budget under even greater pressure. The Government ignores this fact.
As the City’s MPs, we are committed to speaking up for Newcastle in Parliament and to continuing to make the case to the Government for a fairer deal for our City. If the Government’s cuts were distributed fairly across the country the Council would not be forced to cut local services so drastically.
None of us want to see essential services being lost and our city’s cultural reputation damaged. We want to work with all residents to make sure the Council’s budget consultation is meaningful and that everyone who feels strongly about this has the chance to make their views heard.
By engaging constructively with the Council on the details of the proposals we must all work together to find a way through for arts venues and libraries, as well as for other essential public services, so that Newcastle remains the vibrant, attractive city that it is. Our challenge is to do this in the face of the unfair cuts imposed by the Government, and we pledge to work together to this end.
Nick Brown MP, Newcastle upon Tyne East
Chi Onwurah MP, Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Catherine McKinnell MP, Newcastle upon Tyne North