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This page is available for advertising. nalgao can also mail-out direct promotion flyers with the newsletter. Advertising rates are very reasonable, starting from as little as £65 for a quarter page. If you are interested in reaching over 650 local authorities and arts organisations in a targeted mail-out, please contact the nalgao administrator on Tel/Fax 0116 267 1441 or email at The next copy deadline will be 6th January 2006. If you would like to contribute copy to our next edition, write to us with:

Making A Case For The Arts

• Any good practice case studies • Issues or problems that other members may assist wit • Send us information on arts projects in your area • Send us letters for a letters page If you would like information about nalgao, please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator, 36 Gwendolin Ave, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4HD or Fax/Tel: 0116 267 1441. You can also e-mail us at Any opinions or statements expressed in this newsletter are those of the individual and not necessarily those of nalgao.

Designed and produced by Northbound. Studio A207, LCB Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1RE Tel. 0116 253 3437

Next issue: Out Spring 2006 How an elephant brought culture to a Shropshire market town ... and other features.

Working for local government arts and creative industries The nalgao Magazine Issue 16 November 2005

More than one third of public expenditure on the arts in England comes from Local Authorities. In a recent nalgao survey nearly three quarters of English Local Authorities said that in 2006-07 their arts budgets would fall in real terms.

nalgao news ARTS AT THE HEART nalgao Magazine November 2005

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nalgao meets the Minister In October nalgao took its concerns about the future of local authority arts services to Whitehall. I spent over half an hour with David Lammy MP, Minister for Culture, accompanied by DCMS officers and Pete Bryan, our administrator. We told him about nalgao and our research into trends in local authority arts spending. 85% of our members are forecasting budget cuts or at best standstill for 2006/2007. This is on top of the 74% who reported similar cuts for 2005/2006 and the previous two years. Both urban and rural authorities are losing services while our members are clearly delivering on the government’s key priorities, with 100% of you working with children and young people and even 16% managing to deliver on the transport agenda. He told us about his willingness to learn from local experience, his recognition of the importance of the Culture Block within the Comprehensive Performance Assessment and his work in raising the profile of culture with other government departments such as the ODPM and DfES. The previous month we took a similar message to the LGA Inquiry into Cultural Services. Again our message was received with concern with recognition being given to the importance of nalgao’s role in providing all levels of government with clear practical evidence of the contribution of the arts to improving quality of life. With your support I will continue to ensure our voice goes on being heard at the top table and wherever it counts.

Sue Isherwood Chair of nalgao

Welcome to the new look ‘Arts At The Heart’! What is now a glossy magazine started out in 1998 as a two page photocopied newsletter. I hope you agree we’ve come some way since then.We’ve listened to members’ comments about previous issues and made some changes. I hope you find the new format even more informative and readable than before.Thanks to our designer Ama Bharaj from Northbound for translating our ideas into a crisp new format.And thanks to my colleagues on the nalgao’s Communications SubCommittee and Pete Bryan our administrator, for all their ideas and input.The new magazine seeks to keep you informed on key policy issues, without duplicating other publications, bring you examples of good practice in action, and to help raise the profile of the contribution that Local Authorities make to the nation’s arts ecology. The magazine will get better the more input we have.The next issue isn’t far away, so, please, start writing now! Paul Kelly Editor and Chair, nalgao Communications Sub-Committee

nalgao strides forward Since early 2004, writes Paul Kelly, nalgao has had a 2-day a week salaried Strategic Lead officer, thanks to a £30,000 organisational development grant from the Arts Council. Sue Isherwood, also nalgao Chair, has been hard at work raising nalgao’s profile, and establishing key relationships to assist nalgao’s development. Much of Sue’s work is invisible to nalgao members on a daily basis, yet it is helping the organisation make considerable strides forward. Sue’s achievements include: • Establishing a good working relationship with the Department of Culture Media and Sport - Sue now has regular briefing meetings with them. • Meeting with the new Minister of Culture, David Lammy to discuss the threat to Local Authority Arts budgets. • Becoming an active member of the new National Cultural Forum (see story in news pages) and establishing new partnerships here. • Developing relationships with the Welsh Arts Council which led to significant financial support for nalgao’s Cardiff Conference

• Overseeing the establishment of a regular and successful nalgao seminar series. • Attending regional nalgao meetings and seeking to strengthen the links between local needs and national issues. In addition, Sue has spent a considerable amount of time working and campaigning on the key issues of Local Authority Cuts to the arts and the Culture Block, reported elsewhere in this issue.

Executive awayday plans for the future At its annual Awayday, nalgao’s Executive considered development priorities for the year ahead, facilitated by Diana Johnson. Working groups reviewed the needs of member services, communications, professional standards, advocacy and training. Each group reported back with a number of action points. These were distilled into a new Business Plan at a meeting on 21 October and the proposals will be reported in nalgao’s Ezine. Several key issues emerging from the awayday were the need to generate more income in order to sustain the Strategic Lead function and

Cover. About our front cover photo: Our May conference was titled 'A Case For The Arts'. During the conference working groups were asked to discuss how to make a case for the arts. One of the delegates, John Cocker (from the Borough of Telford & Wrekin), took this literally and gathered a team who begged and borrowed materials from the streets and market stalls close by St David's Hall to create a case for the arts. The installation included a balloon, a bottle, a Welsh leek (naturally) a banana, a feather, a poem, a cartoon, a set of learning outcomes and Doctor's prescription - for the arts of course! Delegates thought the 'case' was a delightful contrast to the list of well-meaning bullet points coming from other groups. And this exercise reinforces the old saying that an image can be worth a thousand words and shows, once again, the quick witted initiative and imagination that the arts and arts officers can bring to the most routine of situations.

C/o 36 Gwendolin Avenue Birstall, Leicester LE4 4HD Tel: & Fax: 0116 267 1441 Email:

Contents nalgao news


nalgao reports Making a case for the Arts Art in the public realm Keeping Music Live & Local We Just Want To Be Together

5 7 9 11

features Local authority arts budgets and spending settlements Culture and the CPA

12 14

case studies Around the world In 60 minutes... Surrey plans digital makeover Quarrying creativity Lancashire PAYPs up for young people Dual in the crown

17 19 20 21 23

nalgao inWales partnership news Campaigning for the arts – the NCA working with Local Government Art Spider – a new type of web The Big Art Project: a nationwide competition Good exhibition practice explained Licensing: pleased as Punch?




nalgao Executive Membership 2005/06


25 26 27 27 28


nalgao Magazine November 2005

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Ezine success! nalgao members have praised the organisation’s new ‘Ezine’ which consolidates the many email communications into a clear weekly bulletin. Communications SubCommittee Chair Paul Kelly said “the Ezine is the first in a number of steps we are taking to improve communications and I am delighted it has been well received.” The Ezine format was designed by Plymouth culture and media company Motiongrafik.

nalgao seminars strengthen skills

joined as a founder member, writes Sue Isherwood.The forum comprises representatives of professional national associations representing a wide range of cultural interests from Archaeology to Tourism and includes the Institute of Leisure and Arts Management, the Chief Leisure Officers’ Association, the Society of Chief Librarians, the National Society of Archivists, the Museums Association and bodies representing Sports and Tourism. Forum meetings are hosted and attended by the Department for Culture Media and Sport and is a providing a single and concerted voice for advising, lobbying and negotiating around cultural matters of common concern. Membership of the Forum is costing nalgao just £500 a year and is a very cost effective way of both networking with our peer group and ensuring that the issues and concerns of Local Government Arts officers are represented at national level.

nalgao joins Culture Forum

All arts officers are aware of the necessity to demonstrate the value of their services to senior officers and members. Frequently when two or three are gathered together the topic of conversation turns to the fervent wish that arts were a statutory service. If only ‘the management’ knew they had to deliver the arts, the special pleading that each

The establishment of a Strategic Lead for nalgao coincided with the formation of a new National Culture Forum which nalgao has

CPA and PIs - latest news

of us feels called upon to deliver in each annual budget round might be less urgent. A recent nalgao survey of local government expenditure on arts revealed that all arts officers believe that they deliver well across government’s key priorities. But we still feel and are vulnerable, always placed in the ‘nice to do’ rather than ‘need to do’ category. The new Culture Block of the CPA could just make a real difference to this perception. In Counties and Unitaries Culture is up there with Housing and Social Care. No authority can be Excellent unless they score at least 2 for Culture. So how is this done? At the moment the Performance Indicators are largely based on pre-existing Library Standards and some leisure measures. The only Arts specific PI comes from the ODPM triennial community satisfaction survey that measures residents’ satisfaction with theatres and concert halls. So there are Culture measures – good, but only one inadequate arts measure – bad. The national nalgao/ILAM seminar held in Sheffield in late October, aimed to look at how we can plug this gap. We were helped in this by a presentation from Martyn Allison of the new IdeA Culture Unit who made it clear what was at stake and what our task was – to examine critically 8 PIs which the Arts Council and nalgao officers had tested out for robustness and collectability. By the end of the day the following measures were considered worth pursuing further. Standard of service for arts provision (Draft PI1) performance scored against a checklist of good practice.

Clearly there is work to be done over the next few months on establishing the checklist components, but this may be collectable from 2007. Representativeness of users of arts facilities and services compared to local population profile (Draft PI3). This would be established by a user survey carried out with two representative facilities or activities each year, as a proxy measure for equity. BVPI 119. % of residents satisfied with theatres and concert halls. (Draft PI4) No one wanted to ditch the one arts specific measure already accepted, but there were strong arguments for negotiating a more inclusive measure from 2007. Delegates preferred a measure of satisfaction of users with arts services provided or supported by the local authority (Draft PI5). Here a user survey could be carried out at the same time as the equity survey above. Beyond these there was less consensus with most splits over suggested Draft PI2, % of pupils who have access to high standard arts activity in their school as defined by an Arts Mark accreditation. Some felt that this didn’t measure what an arts service does, while others thought that this might work for 2006 as national data exists, it is easily collectable and addresses the importance of arts for children and young people. Several suggested this should be linked to the new youth arts awards. The idea of assessing £ leverage of local authority funding to external funding (Draft PI6) seemed initially attractive, but was generally discounted as too variable to demonstrate improvement year on year.

Nor was there any agreement reached on alternative efficiency measures – cost per attendance/ subsidy per attendance or utilisation of arts activities and venues (Draft PI7). Although a financial efficiency measure was recognised as important, all these were considered too weak on their own. The final measure relates to quality of life – the % of residents who think that over the last three years local cultural facilities and opportunities have got better (Draft PI8). Although an existing mechanism for data collection was suggested, delegates did not give this strong endorsement. During the day delegates also learned about embedding arts targets in the Local Area Agreement and the work of Cultural Pathfinder authorities from two powerful presentations form Lorna Brown (West Sussex CC) and Claire McManus (Eventus). Most importantly the Arts Council has been given a strong steer on the PIs it can present to the Audit Commission within the next six weeks and a clear message that District CPAs also need to contain a distinctive Culture Block. Here we can all make a difference by responding to the Audit Commission’s consultation. The closing date is 30 November. For those of you who had to miss this stimulating day, full information on the PIs and all the presentations, go to Sue Isherwood.

nalgao news

You know the syndrome… the job title looks very grand, but the reality is somewhat different.To external organisations, desperate for help and advice you are an essential resource, commanding influence and funding. But within your own organisation, you are possibly several tiers down from where the key decisions are made, possibly a sole worker with inadequate support and something of an anomaly within your own organisation. nalgao’s Executive has been aware for some time of the difficulties faced by Arts Officers, especially in smaller Authorities and has been discussing this with the Arts Council. As a result of these discussions it has secured £37,000 for a pilot mentoring scheme to run in the North West.The mentoring scheme will provide 1:1 support for Local Authority Arts Officers over a two-year period. It is hoped it will lead to a national mentoring scheme within three years.

nalgao and the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) have agreed to work more closely together in future, writes Andy O’Hanlon. The NCA has already provided very helpful support in raising concerns about Local Government cuts at Ministerial level. Now the two organisations, which have mutual reciprocal corporate membership, have agreed to co-operate more closely. The NCA is keen to attract more Local Authority members and much recent work has been around issues directly relevant to nalgao members including arts in education and the Licensing Act. – see the NCA story in this magazine.

nalgao’s three seminars have received positive feedback from those attending and have strengthened member skills and knowledge and contributed to wider debates, reports nalgao Administrator Pete Bryan. 51 people attended the seminar in October on Partnerships. The Public Art Seminar in Cambridge attracted 97 people. The most recent seminar on the CPA and the Culture Block (see story on news pages) attracted around 100 delegates and was a coproduction with ILAM. This seminar played an important role in consulting on and identifying measurable performance indicators for the arts in time for an Audit Commission November deadline. Doff Pollard co-Chair of nalgao’s Training SubCommittee said “nalgao’s members are a vital resource in delivering and supporting arts at a local level. These seminars are an important way of helping members to improve their knowledge and skills. I am really pleased the take up and the quality of debate they have generated has been so good. My colleagues and I are now planning the next phase of seminars which will be rolled out in 2006”.


nalgao news

Momentum on mentoring

Acting in concert

nalgao Magazine November 2005

the need to change the organisation’s structure to enable income generation. Proposals will be put to the members early in the New Year but are likely to involve applying, in the first instance, for charitable status. In addition the Executive agreed to recommend the splitting of the role of Chair and Strategic Lead at some point in 2006.

03 04

Value through language We were able to attract a range of

different keynote speakers, panellists and workshop presenters to Cardiff. John Holden and Professor Robert Hewison of Demos gave a lively and invigorating opening address on the need to re-think the value of arts through the language we use to describe them. “No one,”’ they pointed out, “talks about ‘the subsidised Armed Forces’ or ‘the subsidised police’ force. So why do they insist on talking about the ‘subsidised arts’?” Points like these got the conference off to a very good start. Their “double act” was not only informative but also amusing and imaginative, and set the theme for the rest of the day. John’s paper on Capturing Cultural Value is on the nalgao website (information sheets) for those of you who would like more information. Perhaps most memorable keynote presentation was Irene Lucas’s description of the impact that arts and creative industries were making in South Tyneside - a pathfinder authority for cultural services. Irene is Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council and ably demonstrated the role and value of arts in regional and national regeneration. Many people commented that it was inspiring to find a Chief Executive speaking glowingly about the power of the arts to contribute to social change.

Wizard In residence Delegates were able to choose from a variety of case study breakout sessions on the first and second day of the programme, and we also organised four study tours allowing delegates to experience at first hand arts development and cultural regeneration in South Wales. We also engaged five artist residencies to work with us over the three days. These included: a cartoonist (Gerard Whyman), two photographers (Toril Brancher and Kate Astbury), a writer in residence (Sue Richardson) and a Wizard in Residence (Martin Leith), who as well as facilitating the main Open Forum Session, also offering facilitated some Merlin-esque development sessions and impromptu open space forums. As in previous conferences, that first day started with the nalgao AGM, with members of the Executive standing down and a new Executive Committee being elected. Our thanks go out to all retiring members for their hard work over the last year; the newly elected Executive has a hard act to follow! Sadly, we still have a vacant position for a representative for the NE region, and any members who may be interested in occupying this position should contact

nalgao’s Administrator, Pete Bryan, for more information. nalgao is a developing organisation and delegates were presented with a range of new developments for the Association: the development of our Strategic Lead Officer (funded by a Regional Arts Lottery Grant from Arts Council England), the development of a new tier of national seminar programmes on key issues, and further communication development, including much improved magazine and the development of a new weekly e-zine for members. We are also developing a CPD strategy for our members and intend to introduce a Mentoring Pilot programme in the NW region shortly. nalgao’s finances are healthy too, but our Treasurer warned that we must not be complacent in our approach to resource infrastructure and development, as we have finite resources and needed to hold a working reserve to protect the interest of the organisation.

London conference for 2006 The final day of the conference was devoted to an Open Space Forum, allowing delegates to develop their own agenda and to discuss a range of different issues. Again, a full report

on the different debates and plenary sessions is included on the nalgao website. The Open Forum session allowed delegates to consider the future development of conference programmes. This will be a major factor in shaping future events and nalgao’s Executive and Conference planning group are already hard at work turning the many positive ideas into actions. The 2006 Conference is heading for London, and we are pleased to report that the London Borough of Southwark will be our hosts. At present, the dates for the conference will be 17th – 19th May, but this may vary subject to venue availability. We anticipate that the 2006 conference will be substantially different to previous events, whilst retaining the more popular elements of previous events, such as study tours and the Open Space Forum, which this year will be a key focus for the rest of the programme. The Conference Committee is being developed to shape the event for 2006, and if you would like to become involved, please contact Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator on 0116 2671441. Pete Bryan, Administrator –

nalgao Magazine November 2005

The 2005 nalgao conference took place in Cardiff in May, the first time nalgao had organised a major event in Wales. The event took place from 3rd – 5th May, and attracted 204 delegates, a little down on the previous year’s event at Brighton, which gathered 230 attendees. St David’s Hall offered an opportunity to put all the conference activities under one roof. As well as the main conference programme and breakout sessions, we also attracted 30 exhibition stands from a variety of different arts and cultural organisations, including many reflecting the varied arts and creative industry development ongoing in Wales. In a change to previous reports, rather that printing the report as part of the nalgao magazine, we are including a full conference report on our website at, where you will be able to download the report and accompanying image files. The report gives you a range of personal reports from a variety of reporters who attended the event on the various elements of the three days. Our thanks go out to those of you who volunteered to give a personal prospective of the different parts of the programme.

nalgao reports

nalgao 2005 Conference report, Cardiff 2005


nalgao reports ARTS AT THE HEART nalgao Magazine November 2005

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The seminar included presentations from a range of speakers, including: Doff Pollard

(Teignbridge District Council), John Brady (Somerset County Council), Debra McGee (Canterbury City Council), Andy O’Hanlon (South Cambridgeshire Council), Ray Smith (Somerset-based Artist), Janet Hodgson (Whitefriars Artist in Residence), David Wright (Commissions East), Sue Isherwood (Somerset County Council), Maggie Bolt (Public Arts South West) and Emma Larkinson (ixia - formerly Public Art Forum). Some useful exchanges and ideas came from the seminar with some key areas emerging for future discussion, thought and action.

implementation, section 106 agreements, public relations maintenance and decommissioning. There can be practical guidelines and tool kits for taking this forward. 4 Good practice and sharing of experiences, particularly for officers coming to this area of work for the first time. This to be achieved through a range of training, exchange of information mentoring and discussion in a variety of fora. 5 nalgao to take a key role to play in raising debate, understanding, knowledge of and implementation with other relevant agencies through a task group.

As a result of the seminar, nalgao has now developed a Public Art Task Group to develop some of the strands that were put forward. The group has since met in Birmingham, with another meeting scheduled for November. Information and future recommendations arising from the Task Group will be included in the nalgao e-zine and on the nalgao website. If you would like to be part of the Task Group, please contact Pete Bryan on 0116 2671441 or email Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator

The seminar asked for: 1 A clear lead on public art principles and standards of implementation coming jointly from Local Government and the Local Government Association, Commision for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Office of the Deputy Priome Minister and the Arts Council. Possibly in the form of a national framework and guidelines. 2 A higher profile. If the work is to be taken seriously then it needs to be more visible in the Local Authority – Regional and National thinking needed here. 3 Greater understanding of the role that Arts Officers play in policy,

KEEPING MUSIC LIVE & LOCAL The Live Music Forum forum was established by the DCMS in response to the issues raised by the new licensing act; therefore licensing is a key matter for the forum. It also has a wider brief of around increasing provision for live music. The forum is primarily interested in contemporary, non-classical music (rock, pop, folk, jazz, world etc) and this is reflected in the make up of the forum. nalgao’s presence at the last meeting (29 July) provided an opportunity to feed in to the forum’s consultation on live music.


There was an acknowledgement that applications were coming in late, but as expected there is not going to be any alteration of the deadlines for applications (and the first one has now passed). We raised some of the particular problems being faced by local authorities, notably that of open spaces and were directed to recent guidance for circuses, which is suggesting that local authorities should take out licenses on open

nalgao reports

The day included various areas for discussion, including: • How to develop a policy and strategy

from both a county and district/unitary perspective • How to develop a public art project and the role of the artist • How to commission and project manage, including: • Contract issues and development • Public Liability issues • Engaging with local communities • Planning gain • Maintenance programmes and how to approach project decommissioning

nalgao Magazine November 2005

nalgao’s second National Seminar on key issues and topics, “Public Art: Art in the Public Realm”, took place at The Junction, Cambridge in April 2005, hosted by South Cambridgeshire District Council. The event attracted a total of 97 delegates and speakers and the main focus of the day considered the tools and experience required by arts officers and Local Authority planners to deliver Public Art.



nalgao Magazine November 2005

nalgao reports

A report of nalgao’s National Seminar on Public Art

Jane Wilson, nalgao Eastern Executive Representative and the Arts Development Manager for Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire (ADEC) attended the last Live Music Forum, coordinated by the DCMS. There is her report on proceedings:

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The third key area was that of small live music venues, those historically provided through the pub sector. There are indications that the sector is under threat through a combination of city centre development and regeneration projects and the growth in the high volume, vertical drinking culture (the drink until you can’t stand sector). Essentially, the return breweries can get for pubs with live music is lower than they can get for a pure drinking venue. Small venues in city centres are closing and the sector, which is very fluid and driven largely by younger people and mavericks often operating outside the mainstream economy, is moving out, where it can, into less central locations. This shift means they become more goal orientated venues, which

Need for community music spaces In addition, we suggested that in some locations, the sheer pressure on property values would mean that the need for infrastructure should be not be left to the commercial sector. There is clear precedent for the public funding of arts infrastructure but historically the live music sector, particularly at the grass roots level, has missed out. The suggestion was to look at funding the creation of the physical spaces, held in trust, or owned by the local community where live music could take place. We were queried about

the perceived level of risk involved in funding this sector, could it be a sufficient guardian of public resources? This was addressed by a discussion of the vibrancy of the sector, despite the current adverse environment, and we were rewarded with the opportunity to put two pilot projects forward to the Forum. Finally we highlighted to the forum some of the broader threats and opportunities to local authority cultural activity coming from central government guidance to local authorities. We pointed out that Local Strategic Partnerships in some authorities more or less ignore the whole area of culture and that is a clear threat to the ability of local authorities to take a role in supporting any cultural development activities. We were asked to feed back on the guidance, which has been circulated to local authorities regarding the development of Local Strategic Partnerships, and with a view to finding out how it was so easy to ignore any cultural dimension. In the same vein we raised the Audit Commission and the new culture block, alerting the Forum to the potential power of the block. Jane Wilson For more information on this issue – email

nalgao reports

Vertical drinking culture threatens live music

makes it harder to attract audiences, and reduces their function as central meeting points for the local live music scene. Currently pub venues have no specific planning designation: they are simply pubs, which means that it is very easy for breweries to change use and convert long-term music venues into bars. We suggested to the Forum that one option would be to encourage breweries to accept a specific planning designation in return for some form of tax break, thus compensating the brewery for the lower potential for bar income. This suggestion was accepted and will be taken forward.

nalgao Magazine November 2005

spaces in their name, and then enable events to take place on their license. The overall position is that although the process is time consuming it is a one off and once it has happened it will be much easier than the old system. This is the same message as has been coming out from government. However, there was a positive response and a willingness to look for solutions to problems, so if anyone is facing a specific licensing issue in relation to live music, both indoor and out, it will be worth feeding it through to the Forum.

Feedback from members indicated a number of shared themes, which we took as the basis for the broader discussion. Firstly, local authorities are already working with contemporary music across the country: there a real understanding that it is an excellent way to engage young people, with most projects focussing on participation, (rather than talent spotting), supporting playing and performance skills and working through music to develop self esteem and confidence in young people. We discussed the need for funders (and councillors) to routinely recognise the merits of this kind of work, and suggested

stretched if they try to take in the creative industries, and but that economic development activity often doesn’t recognise the creative industry sector. We suggested that again this is an area where the Forum should be taking a lead on raising awareness and shaping government policy, including the guidance to local authorities.


nalgao reports nalgao Magazine November 2005 ARTS AT THE HEART

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Shared Themes

that this is an area where the Forum should be taking action. It also became clear in the course of the preparation for the meeting that we (nalgao) should be looking at how we share the knowledge and expertise that nalgao members are gaining in this area. The next key area is the contrast between the work being carried out by local authorities (and others), and the music industry itself. The music industry, including commercial festivals, venues, record companies and so on, does not see the need to work with local authority arts projects, and in some cases this applies both ways! As well as a lack of understanding between the two sectors, there are historic and current funding barriers, as the mechanisms for funding arts activities are generally aimed at the non-for profit sector. The economic role (and significant value) of the sector was raised, which enabled us to point out that cultural development is not usually associated with economic development within local authorities. Funding for arts based activities tends to come under the community and cultural heading, rather than economic development, which means that small budgets get even more

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nalgao Magazine November 2005

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David Gaffney, the Arts Council’s Lead Officer for Local Authorities reflects on ACE’s Partnership Agreements with Local Authorities. The marriage of Arts Council England and local authorities was a simple ceremony no exclusive rights for Hello magazine, no bubble machine or chocolate fountain. Nevertheless, that was nearly two years ago, and the couple are still together and going strong. It’s probably some kind of anniversary – wooden? Electrical appliance? I don’t know. Anyway, earlier this year Arts Council decided to review the relationship and assess its future. Yew Consulting were employed and a full report will be made to ACE this month. Here is a first look at some of the main findings.

Wearing the trousers or under the thumb? Partnership agreements have made a real difference in many areas, and in some districts the partnership agreement was the only source of funding for the arts. However, it was felt that many of the partnership agreements examined could have been stronger strategically. Clear objectives for the partnership agreement were not always established, which made it difficult to measure success, and there had been insufficient evaluation of the partnership agreements so far. However, it was recognised that many of the partnership agreements were very young. Perhaps owing to a weakness in strategic planning, many of the projects encapsulated within the agreement were more operational rather than strategic, and could possibly have been supported using other sources of funding.

Not all partnership agreements adhered to the framework established by the Arts Council for partnership agreements, nor to the vision document developed by Francois Matteraso for the LGA and ACE. It was felt that the four priorities which some agreements relied on as a template had now had their day and that the future lay somewhere between sticking to the shared priorities of local and central government, or the more detailed objectives of a local area agreement.

Spice things up The relationship between Arts Council and each local authority is not always as deep as it could be. In the best examples, the Arts Council has a relationship with arts and culture, regeneration, planning, economic development, LEA, social services, and others, and the LA feels it has a meaningful strategic relationship with many members of staff and departments within the Arts Council ranging from the development teams to various art form officers. But in some cases, the relationship is shallow and manifests itself only as a partnership between the ACE partnership officer and the arts officer at the council. More consistency and commitment to the partnership agreements within both organisations is required here.

Monogamy or polygamy? In some regions Arts Council England has formed individuals agreements with each Authority whereas in others, group partnership agreements have been drawn up involving several councils.Yew consulting did not identify a need to move to a one size fits all scenario and most LAs consulted expressed a wish to continue with the status quo, regardless of which model they were working with.

How about a threesome? Most local authorities said they did not wish at this stage to extend the

You don’t bring me flowers ‘Local authorities are,’ the vision for partnership begins, ‘the Arts Council’s most important strategic partner.’ If this is the case, then partnership agreements in the future need to be stronger, engage more deeply, take a more strategic approach, be better focussed, robustly evaluated, and better reflect the needs of the communities they serve if they are to deliver improved arts services. David Gaffney: Arts Council of England: North West

In February and March 2005, nalgao undertook a local authority survey into arts spending. The information collated from 89 authorities that returned responses indicates that local authority arts spend is in a critical situation, with over 74% of authorities either on a

standstill or experiencing budget cuts. During 2004/5, at least 9 authorities had either completely cut their arts service or made their arts officer redundant, and 24% of other authorities have experienced a decline in funding of between 1% and 50%.

In September 2005, nalgao undertook a secondary short questionnaire to give more information in key areas as a mid-year report. 29 authorities returned the survey. The trends are shown in the accompanying panel.


Are you listening to me?

Local authority arts budgets and spending settlements


On the financial side, the consultants praised both partners for the way they had preserved the former subscriptions monies as arts funding over the first partnership period. However, as far as the geographical distribution of funding goes, it was felt that Arts Council in did not adopt as strategic an approach to this as it could have. In most cases, existing resource allocation was used as the starting point, and often adhered to. Both partners need to consider whether funding should be allocated based on relative need rather than on an ‘everyone gets something’ basis.

partnership agreements to involve other partners such as PCTs or Connexions. They had enough on to build a strong partnership between two complex bureaucracies.

nalgao Magazine November 2005


nalgao reports

The foot spa and the fondue set

The two studies an estimated further £18.15m worse, with 41% projecting confirmed that: loss in leverage funding that cuts and 38% projecting • Over the last 2 years those services would have standstill without inflation. 14 authorities have either brought in supporting local • Many authority arts services completely cut their arts arts delivery. are in vulnerable condition or services or no longer employ • In June an initial survey are possibly on the brink of an arts officer and in the last comprising of almost 25% of collapse as a result of year-on3-4 years 18 arts services all authorities with arts year budget reductions. have been lost in England services reported a projected • Arts services are also (almost 5% of services across cut (28%) or standstill threatened by GovernmentEngland and Wales have without inflation (46%). A imposed Gershon efficiency been lost). secondary survey completed savings which could amount • This equates to approximately in September now indicates to cuts of a further 2.5% £5.5m of direct services and that the projection is even a year. Authorities were requested to indicate whether arts services contribute specifically to the seven shared priorities supporting crosscutting themes. Responses are included below:

Children & Young People Older People Economic Vitality Education Safer Communities Transport Partnership in Action

Authorities Average % contributing of Arts budget 100% 34% 65% 20% 76% 18% 62% 15% 86% 15% 20% 5% 65% 34%

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nalgao Magazine November 2005

A bluffer’s guide We are living through a subtle but substantial sea change in the way Local Authority cultural services are looked at, writes Paul Kelly. At the core lies something called the ‘CPA’. Apologies to those arts officers who already live, eat and breathe the CPA But the full implications may not have reached all nalgao members and we here at ‘Arts at the Heart’ thought it needed some simple, and hopefully clear explanation.

What is the CPA?


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Culture and the CPA

100% of local authorities surveyed are contributing to the children and young people agenda

CPA stands for ‘Comprehensive Performance Assessment’. It is a system for helping local councils in England to improve local services for their communities. The CPA was introduced in 2002 following the Government White Paper 'Strong Local Government Quality Public Services'. The CPA is overseen by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) which says, “…the

CPA [has] brought together, for the first time, a rounded picture of performance as the basis for central and local government to work together to achieve improvements in local services.” Local Authorities are categorised as excellent, good, fair, weak or poor and results are updated on an annual basis. Since the CPA was introduced, central government has reduced the number of inspections that local authorities face by onethird and pro-active engagement has helped poor performing councils to put in place the building blocks for significant improvement. There are now only 16 weak and poor single tier and county councils compared to 35 in 2002.

The Harder Test The CPA is managed by the Audit Commission which undertakes annual inspections

of Local Authorities to assess their CPA rating. The CPA review also looks at the way a Council uses its resources and at periodic corporate self-assessment. The CPA considers the Local Authority’s ability to improve its services and CPA rating. The CPA review covers both service inspections – for example education, social services or benefit services – and corporate management issues. The Audit Commission has recently reviewed the inspection mechanism. From 2006 it will be introducing a new more challenging CPA framework – “The Harder Test”to ‘respond to the changing environment in which local government is operating.’ Proposals include placing greater emphasis on councils' important role as community leaders. As part of the corporate assessment, councils will be judged on their

performance against the previously agreed shared priorities between central and local government. The shared central and Local Government priorities: • Sustainable communities and transport • Safer and stronger communities, • Healthier communities • Older people, and • Children and young people. Source: ODPM website The new CPA framework will also give greater recognition to the way in which councils are increasingly using partnership working to deliver local services. Underpinning these different aspects of the new framework will be a measurement of councils' ability to fulfil their responsibilities in a way that is the most cost-effective. (source: ODPM) The key to the CPA is


the increase was for a single event, which would not be retained in subsequent years • 10% stated that increases were as a result of negotiations with ACE over uplift funding for regularly funded organisations (RFOs) to match partnership allocations • 10% stated that increases were as a result of additional external partnership funding to fixed term posts • 10% stated that arts increases were for core services and were as a result of negative CPA inspections


Those authorities who had expressed an increase or uplift in expenditure in the current year were asked to respond on how those increases had come about. • 45% of authorities stated that the uplift was a result of grant increases to regular funded clients, and that increases in service had not gone into core activities and services • 14% stated that it was for a specific event or activity (i.e. a Festival of regional or national significance), with two of those stating that

Authorities). nalgao has shown a leverage factor for Local Authority arts expenditure of £1 : £4.50. On this basis this £261 million levered in an additional £1.1 billion in partnership funding to support local arts delivery and development. Pete Bryan: nalgao Administrator

nalgao Magazine November 2005

additional £35,770 per authority, whilst outside funding accounted for an average of £171,135 per authority. In 2002-03, the last year for which full figures are available, Local Authorities in England directly spent £261 million on the arts (Arts Council survey of Local


Many local authority arts services rely on support from sources beyond their own budget heads, with 63% relying on additional funding provided from other corporate budgets within the authority and 83% relying on external funding. The contribution from other sectors within the local authority averaged an

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What is the CPA Culture What’s the impact of this Block? on Local Authority arts The CPA is now entering its and cultural services? second phase and within this, Well, up to now, it’s been all and nothing really. The arts as we know are a non-statutory service. That means that Local Authorities are able to directly and indirectly provide cultural services (through part VII, section 145 of the 1972 Local Government Act), but are not obliged to do so. This lack of obligation has meant that there is no consistent standard for providing or measuring arts services. So every authority does it differently. In contrast Libraries are a local authority statutory service and they have a fulsome body of measurement indicators to support this. Cultural services were not part of the original CPA and so in one sense it has had no impact. On the other hand, as Local Authorities have faced increasing pressures to improve measurable services (within the CPA), so services that sit outside of it are likely to be squeezed. There seems absolutely no doubt that

the Audit Commission is introducing a ‘culture block’. This is a basket of performance indicators covering libraries (which already have them), arts museums and heritage and sport, play and recreation. This important step recognises culture as a key component of Local Authority service delivery and it should help stop the trend of budget cuts. But this will only happen if the performance indicators underpinning the culture block are appropriate, consistent and reliable and herein lies a tale. The tale is too lengthy and convoluted to go into save in the sketchiest detail. Suffice it to say that there have been several very worthy attempts to produce performance indicators for the arts and none, to date has been successful. In some cases the proposals have had just too many indicators (up to 40 in one case). In other instances, the indicators have been there but have not been

nationally promoted or adopted and few have known about them or used them. All that is about to change.

So why is this a burning issue now? The CPA Culture Block will be introduced in 2006. It will be your way of measuring and justifying your arts service and your arts budget in the face of competition from elsewhere within your authority. It may also, in time, measure your section’s performance against that of other comparable Authorities. However all this will only work if the Culture Block contains performance indicators that are consistent, reliable, meaningful and robust. The Audit Commission Culture Block proposals for 2005 released earlier this year contains 49 proposed performance measures. Of these 26 relate to Libraries, 17 relate to sport and museums and arts have two each. The PIs for the arts are: • Resident satisfaction of theatres and concert halls • Arts Council commentaries on service quality and delivery nalgao believes these PIs are far from adequate in representing the richness and diversity of Local Authority arts

services. We have been working hard with potential partners to come up with meaningful performance indicators for the 2006 Culture Block. There has been a danger that without robust indicators, the Audit Commission would drop the Culture Block altogether which could be disastrous for the arts. In addition the playing field has been anything but level. We have had reports that Sport England has spent up to £10 million on developing robust indicators for sport and we sense that this is starting to pay dividends in producing an evidence base of the impact of sports spending on health and community cohesion. The arts would benefit from a similar approach. And remember Local Authorities contribute around one third of all public money spent on the arts in England. Our partners in all of this the Arts Council, the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM) the Local Government Association, the Audit Commission and IdEA – have been warming to the task, but perhaps a little too slowly. The deadline for producing new cultural indicators for the 2006 CPA is early November. The indicators need to be able to be consistently applied across all Local Authorities, need to be meaningful and need to be

collectable. To achieve this and establish four such indicators – yes, that’s all it needs for now - nalgao staged the seminar in Sheffield on 27th October reported elsewhere in this issue.

That’s what you need to know. Now what do you need to do? Performance Indicators for the arts will have the most strength and meaning if all Local Authorities collect them regardless of the CPA. We hope there will be just four to deal with (though you can add more local indicators if you wish!). You need to ensure that you collect the data – or someone collects it for you – and that these indicators are part of your corporate performance management system. There is no point in just collecting them once and forgetting about them. They need to be updated annually at least. And finally, the CPA is about service improvement, so we all need to think about what the data means and how it can be used to trigger improvements. Paul Kelly, joint Vice-Chair, nalgao and Principal Arts Officer, Plymouth City Council nalgao will be featuring an update on this matter in future issues.

CPA and the arts - real life impact This is a true story – but names have been removed to protect the innocent. The Arts Officer of a large Local Authority recently attended a meeting of cultural managers with their Cabinet Member for Culture. The meeting was to look at the forthcoming budget and also the Council’s CPA score. The Council is rated ‘good’ by the Audit Commission. Not unnaturally the Councillors want to make that final step from a ‘good’ Authority to an ‘excellent’ one. The performance indicator measures are the key measure of judgement. In this particular Authority – and remember there are currently no performance indicators for the arts – the Library Service had achieved targets on all but two indicators. The failure to meet these two indicators were holding the service back from being ‘excellent’ and contributing to the Council’s overall rating of merely ‘good’. After some discussion, the Cabinet Member finally asked the Head of Service, ‘So, what would it cost, to meet target on those two Library indicators?’ Officers scratched their heads for a short while before the Head of Libraries replied, ‘About £150,000’. History does not relate how the indicators were finally achieved or where the money came from. But from this little tale, possibly repeated in Authorities all over England, it doesn’t take much to see that non-statutory services with no effective PIs could be very vulnerable in this comparatively new landscape of justification by measurement.


The impact of the CPA on Local Authorities has been substantial in two ways. Firstly the publication of annual CPA scores has been a form of ‘name and shame’ of underperforming authorities. Secondly, we think it has substantially changed the jobs of Local Authority Chief Executives, Council Leaders and Cabinet Members. The key task of the Council Leaders and Chief Executives is to get their Authority’s CPA score up and keep it at the highest level, for this both guarantees government finance and also frees their hand to manage their affairs. The government has said that excellent authorities will have greater

there is a link between the introduction of the CPA and our other main story on cuts to Local Authority Arts funding. (see also panel on the CPA in real life).

nalgao Magazine November 2005

nalgao Magazine November 2005


What is its impact on Local Authorities?

management flexibility. In contrast, Authorities that continually underperform are likely to have the ignominy of Whitehall-led ‘task teams’ coming in and taking over their management.


performance management underpinned by performance indicators (PIs). Indeed the Audit Commission has said that they will be reducing the level of inspection and putting more emphasis on PIs. It is also important to note that to date the burden of the CPA has fallen on County Councils and Unitary Authorities. However the Audit Commission has just published proposals (September 2005) for developing the CPA in District Councils from 2006.

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The regular music sessions have been much more than just performances – residents are encouraged to help form ‘the band’ as musician Andrew Knights terms it. With a wealth of instruments from around the globe to play and classic songs that everyone knows the sessions have been lively and loud! One visitor who enjoyed the music was Min Partner, a Local Area Coordinator for Eastleigh Borough, who said of the project: ‘I was overwhelmed at how excellent it was. The impact on residents, staff and guests alike was quite astonishing. Many congratulations to all involved’. The musicians who have led the project are respected in their work with elderly residents in health and care settings: Andrew Knights has worked in care homes around the South East for Hampshire County Council, and teaches at Trinity College, London; while duo Besame Mucho include Maggie O’Connor who is known nationally for her work with Healing Arts on the Isle Of Wight.

A truly collaborative experience Sustainability has of course been a key focus for the project, with money budgeted to provide instruments and training for all homes involved. The training sessions for care home staff let them share experiences and ideas of how to get the most out of music for their residents. The result has been a truly collaborative experience, with care staff working closely alongside musicians to support the project. Music In Care Homes has also gone into local schools and led initial workshops with pupils, showing young musicians how music can be therapeutic and not just a performance skill. The pupils have benefited from shadowing sessions, and some even performed solo to elderly residents. Music In Care Homes has proved such a success that Eastleigh Borough Council are already planning work with more care homes in the future. Care staff are also being encouraged to lead their own music sessions through a signposting document based on what has been learnt through this project. This way even more people can benefit from the positive health effects for elderly residents in care homes, as witnessed by care staff in Eastleigh: ‘The effect music has had on some of our not so well residents, those who cannot see and others who were a little muddled was extraordinary – even if they were not physically able to use the instruments their arms waved to the music’. Gjenya Cambray, Eastleigh Borough Council For more information about this or similar projects please contact Gjenya Cambray, Media & Music Officer for Point Out (Eastleigh Borough Council Arts Team) on 02380 627805

case studies

Lively and loud!

Thanks to the experience and expertise of the artists we entered the project with the knowledge that music would have many beneficial health effects for those in care homes. In feedback from care staff, who saw the most radical changes in their residents, we found specifically that music can trigger memories that are associated with particular pieces of music, provide a universal language for those suffering severe dementia, and even encourage movement and dance in elderly participants. As one care worker commented, ‘There is no doubt that music makes a difference in the residents’ lives’.

nalgao Magazine November 2005

That’s just what residents of Eastleigh Borough’s Care Homes have been doing through music. Picture a room full of elderly residents and dementia patients playing world percussion instruments while professional musicians lead them in singing songs from around the globe, and you’re somewhere near experiencing Music In Care Homes. In the light of the recently published ACE paper ‘Arts, Creativity & Health in the South East’, the importance of arts in promoting healthy living amongst the ever growing elderly population is clearly a vital focus for community arts practitioners. Music In Care Homes, a 6 month project run by Eastleigh Borough Council with support from Arts Council South East, has addressed both issues and shown a clear desire from the health sector for more work of its kind. Working with 12 homes and day centres in the Eastleigh area, the project has run for 6 months and involved over 250 participants, ranging from school children to residents in their 90s. The project has received interest from both arts and health professionals due to its unusual approach – a local authority running a borough wide scheme in both private and county homes is thought to be unique in this field of work.


case studies ARTS AT THE HEART nalgao Magazine November 2005

Around the world In 60 minutes...

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Last May, in a live artwork instigated by Lee Simmons on behalf of Surrey County Arts, Oxted Quarry became the site of an art event based on time and space. The quarry is a site of historic and artistic interest. When researching a community artwork, themed on existence, Lee Simmons visited quarries across the County as possible sites for art projects. At Oxted she discovered artefacts such as stretchers, tools and a logbook, left from prisoners of war who used to live and work at the quarry. She also discovered rock formations dating back over 50 million years – formed by a reaction between water and iron oxide to create a type of fool’s gold. The late Robert Smithson, a famous land artist, had previously used the quarry. His work about time and space is relevant to the situation of the quarry today – adjacent to the buzzing M25 that circles London city. Ian Sinclair, a renowned writer has also worked on the theme of time and space, focusing on the M25 in many of his works.

Water pistols The artists who spread the dyes are (Un)Limited, a special needs group based in Lockwood Day Centre, Guildford. They met at Oxted with Jo Cowdery and Mary Branson, where Roy Sharrad, the Quarry Manager, gave them a tour of the site. They then responded to the quarry each spreading a primary colour to match the outfit they were wearing to form a multitude of colours as their dyes mixed and blended in, and on the chalk face. The colours will continue to spread and change over time before fading away altogether.

The performance, which used water pistols and water bombs to spread the colours, was viewed, videoed and photographed from a high platform generated by landfill waste. The quarry is currently owned by Tarmac and is up for sale, and so the future of the space is unknown. The work served to draw attention to, and document the space. The documentation of the quarry and the event will be exhibited in the locality as well as in London. It will provide recognition for the artists involved and the quarry. (Un)Limited are talented art and crafts people whom are available to exhibit and sell work as well as to teach textiles. This was a pilot work that will be developed on in stage two of the project to recognise and underline people and places in Surrey County, by creating a new perspective. The idea is to create a look twice effect that can be built on in future works to prompt questions about the way we exist particularly in relation to time and place. There will be a landmark artwork created on this theme over the next year. Lee Simmons, previously the temporary Visual Arts Officer for Surrey County Arts will continue to work on the project and to bring in other artists whom can help develop and define the way that Surrey is viewed in terms of art and environment. Alison Clarke, Surrey County Council This project was sponsored by Surrey County Arts and supported by Tarmac. For more information email: or call Lockwood Day Centre on 01483 532502

case studies

Ulrike Stevens a London based artist and architect, will be travelling to three different towns in a garden shed offering consultation sessions and free gardening advice. She will be installed in the shed with gardening manuals and a laptop for a week at a time. A digital art project is taking place across Surrey County The outcome of the journey will form the basis of over the next two years. This is the first project of its kind her exhibition at Polesden Lacy. Bruce Williams will be and was instigated by Alison Clarke, Visual Arts Officer, collecting stories from elderly residents in Staines about Surrey County Arts. love. These stories will inform designs that will be laser The digital art project is to raise the profile of the arts cut into steel to form a parasol to be exhibited in in Surrey, as contemporary and innovative alongside the Polesden Lacy. recognised traditional works that Surrey County Arts Planet People, a local artists group will be making continue to support. There is great potential for new sound pieces to install in the garden. There will also likely media work in this leafy county that contrasts with the be digital hanging baskets, whispering herbaceous borders, ideas that people might have of Surrey. a digital fountain, a solar pot talk and many more exiting Alison Clarke designed the project so that it would and unusual works to be viewed in this garden context bring in artists from outside of Surrey County, for fresh as well as around the county. ideas and perspectives alongside responses and People are very excited about the prospect of this involvement of local artists and artists groups in a exhibition that will break into new ground in terms of how travelling sound and digital imagery project. art is perceived in Surrey. University students will become She recruited an experienced lead artist, Lulu Quinn, to involved with the exhibition that will draw visitors from develop the idea – whereby the work became a digital across the country and will gain international recognition. garden in which varied artworks, including digital prints, With this project, the development of Woking Galleries, sound, moving image, text and 3D computer generated the continued Open Studios and innovative public art objects would be exhibited in a garden context; in a high projects springing up, the diversity of art in the county profile group show that questions and challenges the continues to grow. viewer as it explores and reinterprets the English The digital art garden is managed by Surrey County preoccupation with the garden space. Arts with a steering group. The exhibition will be held at Polesden Lacy - a wellThe lead artist was brought in early in the project and ordered, extremely traditional garden, excelling in beauty, is responsible for much of the creative development. The with formal arrangements and rolling views. Workshops project has received backing from the Arts Council as leading up to the fabrication of artworks provide well as district and borough councils. Alison Clarke, educational opportunities for community members as Surrey County Council. well as the chance to put their own ideas into the For more information contact Surrey County Arts exhibition pieces. Email:; t. 01483 757 258

nalgao Magazine November 2005

nalgao Magazine November 2005

case studies

A travelling garden shed

Quarrying creativity


Photo - Polesden Lacy

Surrey plans digital makeover

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Enjoyable and happy The achievement of these aims and the learning points are fully outlined in the project report however from the feedback received from the young people 92% of their responses were positive. They stated that they had learnt new skills, been involved in a new creative process; they described their experiences as enjoyable, happy, keeping them out of trouble. They also described and noted pride in their work and feeling good about themselves when engaged in the arts activity. A high level of attendance was noted with over 50% of the young people having 100% attendance. It is very hard to prove a causal link between young peoples’ participation in the arts activities

For a link to the report please go to www. Or contact Celine Wyatt directly on 01772 533584 or

case studies

in well planned and well-resourced arts programmes. A budget of £30,400 was achieved. This was funded by Lancashire County Council, Arts Council of England North West joint Strategic Arts Fund, Lancashire Youth and Community Service PAYP Programme and nine district authorities. The project set out to fulfil a number of strategic aims which are as follows; to demonstrate the value and impact of the arts within PAYP, to use the project as an advocacy tool to draw down future funding, to strengthen arts officers partnerships with the youth and community service and to develop a collective approach to good practice in youth arts projects. One of the key PAYP aims is to provide positive activities to reduce criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

Lead Delivery Agency for PAYP is Connexions and not Lancashire Youth and Community Service so the project has been focussed on building a partnership between the local arts officers and the Connexions team leaders whilst still keeping the district youth and community service involved. The Lancashire arts officers have proved to be flexible and creative in their approach always showing a commitment to the young people whilst trying to navigate a challenging and changing political climate. Celine Wyatt, Arts Officer, Lancashire County Council

nalgao Magazine November 2005

In the summer of 2004 Lancashire Arts Officers came together to explore joint working. A key priority that was raised was around youth arts and the need for a more coordinated and structured approach in partnership working with the youth and community service generally and specifically around Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP). In Lancashire as in other parts of the country activity has tended to focus on sport and it was felt that there was an opportunity to give young people access to high quality participatory arts programmes. Lancashire Arts Unit responded to this need by setting up a small project steering group made up of the youth and community service and local arts officers. A countywide project was developed for October half term and February half term working with five arts organisations; Action Factory, Prescap, South Lancashire Arts Partnership, West Lancashire Community Arts Organisation and Burnley Youth Theatre. The aim was to deliver a number of 30-hour arts programme across the county during the holiday periods to targeted young people who were referred by agencies to the Youth and Community Service. In 9 districts 130 young people, 1017 years, worked with 20 professional artists taking part

over one or two holiday periods and the reduction in anti social behaviour. However at the very least the programme provided a diversion for the young people and whilst taking part in the arts projects they were clearly not involved in criminal or anti social behaviour. Tracking the impact of the art on behaviour outside of the programme needs further resources and proved to be outside the scope of this project. The recommendations for good practice are fully outlined in the report around funding, planning, recruitment, communication and evaluation. More detailed impact on the young people is also outlined in two case studies. A Lancashire PAYP arts programme is running for 2005/06 working in 9 districts again. This time the



nalgao Magazine November 2005

case studies

e r i h s r a c o f n a L Ps up ple Y o A e P ung p yo

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nalgao Magazine November 2005

case studies

Dual-use typically means that certain facilities, equipment and resources used for the school curriculum and community education classes are also available for the benefit of the community. It is a familiar term in the lexicon of sports development, where swimming pools, fitness suites, playing fields and other facilities are managed for community use out of school hours.

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• Fundraising & Advice • Networking • Skills training programmes • Professional arts residencies • Facility hire • Equipment Bank • Marketing & Communications • Volunteer development • Youth arts texting service • Film on Your Doorstep • Research • Advocacy

What’s in it for the secondary schools?

An Arts Development Manager raises the status of the school within the community. In South Cambridgeshire dual use arts has made the arts more relevant to the work of the colleges and the communities they serve. An impact study by Rick Bond (of The Complete Works) in August 2004 considered the work of the first two Dual use arts ADMs, providing recommendations for the future In 2001 South Cambridgeshire District Council - largely in direction and development of the scheme. It found that response to demands from its 102 growing villages and within a relatively short time it had resulted in new arts plans for further housing, including a new town activities being promoted, reaching a wider section of the adapted the dual–use approach for the arts. After copious community including vulnerable and isolated groups. In research and consultation with the heads of the nine the first year over £70,000 had been raised for local arts village colleges (secondary schools) that serve the activities and an intergenerational arts project had district, a framework strategy was produced. The resulted in a complete reduction of complaints to the Council’s Cabinet and the school heads supported this police about young people’s behaviour. and funding was allocated. Unlike the sports model, dual use arts is not based on capital facilities. It is specifically What’s the future for dual use arts? designed to raise levels of community participation The dual use arts approach is still in its infancy yet it is throughout villages served by the Village College. has already proven its viability in difficult circumstances. This involves building audiences, support networks Dual use arts is politically very attractive. Councillors like and forums and identifying new sources of income the idea of Village Colleges as hubs for a spectrum of for arts activity, both amateur and professional. community-based arts activities in their villages and can see and point to direct benefits for residents. How is this achieved? Meanwhile, council tax capping has led to draconian cuts Participating schools appoint a local Arts Development in the District’s arts budget. The recommendation of senior Manager (ADM) for the area served by the school. The officers is to delete the Arts Project Officer post and make post is funded by the District Council on a tapering basis huge cuts in grants to professional arts organisations. In over three years and in time becomes established within contrast the dual use arts plan is being actively encouraged the college. and all the signs are that, through partnership, it is likely to Crucially, the main purpose of the ADM is that of a grow. As far as I can tell, for South Cambridgeshire’s Arts resource provider. The role is to enhance the quality service, dual use arts is the future. and quantity of existing arts provision through actively Andy O’Hanlon, Arts Officer, South Cambridgeshire District encouraging greater public participation in the promotion Council

“As a DUAS Arts Development Manager the possibilities seem endless, the post has been very exciting and one of my highlights has to have been bringing the local (disused!) cinema back to life and starting the first local film festival in the area. It seems that, with this post, the limits are only those of your own imagination…however it has its challenges too. Trying to find the funding for projects is always a challenge. Also it has been very challenging to convince parishes of the worth and value of my work, and indeed the schools taking part in DUAS themselves. However when you get it right the rewards are numerable and they are your greatest allies.” Cheryl Bennett (Bassingbourn and Melbourn Village Colleges) appointed June 2005 “One of the highlights of my role has been discovering just how much arts activity goes on in the villages already and how passionately people feel about it. Now I can help facilitate the use of the college’s facilities including a recording studio and purpose built dance and drama studios, which are all on their doorstep! The biggest challenge so far? Meeting the entire community - local business people, Primary School Heads and arts groups - it’s a long process!” Gillian Hunter (Swavesey Village College) appointed September 2005 “My greatest ongoing challenge is encouraging the coming together of arts disciplines both in school and community. I believe that sharing ideas and resources across disciplines is beneficial across the board, though this seems not always a view shared by all! My most tangible achievement has been the launch of a community arts newsletter.”

Delegates at nalgao’s conference in Cardiff this year made a study trip to Llanover Hall Arts Centre, where lots of hands-on arts activities are offered to the people of all ages and abilities. The making and displaying of art are activities which work closely together at the centre, the heart of which is an adapted Victorian family house, later used as a school. The venue still features some original fireplaces, a grand mahogany staircase and impressive tiled foyer. There are three exhibition spaces – the main Gallery, the Café and the Meeting Room – with their displays changing halftermly. The Gallery, directed by leading

Welsh artist Tony Goble, offers a truly kaleidoscopic source of inspiration as it promotes, even-handedly, everything from in-house to international work across all media; the old and the new, 2D and 3D, whether produced by professional artists, hobbyists, children, students or emergent talents. Llanover Hall is currently tying in with Cardiff Contemporary, a month-long initiative of the Visual Arts Forum in Cardiff, which celebrates the city’s centenary and 50th anniversary as capital of Wales. The annual exhibitions programme is now promoted in a leaflet which can be downloaded from: Adrian Ross, Community Arts Manager, Cardiff Council

We would welcome more articles from our Welsh members highlighting good practice and different experiences arising from cultural practice in the Principality. - The Editor

case studies

Some history

and delivery of arts activity. This means that principal activities involve:

Won over by Llanover

nalgao Magazine November 2005

Andy O’Hanlon outlines the benefits of dual-use facilities at a time of budget difficulties. Something happened in South Cambridgeshire a couple of years ago that is making the recent bad news of a 60% cut in the arts budget just a little bit easier to bear. It is called dual use arts.

Dan Schumann (Sawston and Linton Village Colleges) appointed September 2003

nalgao in Wales


Dual in the crown

The three local Arts Development Managers describe the highlights and the challenges that have faced them since they took up their posts:

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Victoria Todd, Director of the NCA steadily increasing, government is constantly looking for ways to reduce its expenditure. The arts are traditionally an easy target for spending cuts. nalgao’s recent research into the arts budgets of local authorities reveals that local arts services are currently facing an extremely difficult period in which budgets are at best at a standstill and at worst being drastically cut. Over the last two years 11 arts services have been completely

disbanded and for others the future looks bleak.

A united voice So, in the face of these cuts, and yet with evidence within communities of the multifaceted benefits of arts activity, how can we sustain investment in the sector and safeguard its future development? On a simple level the answer clear, by uniting all who make the case for the arts under a

nalgao members in the form of access to all NCA publications, position papers, monthly/weekly briefings, seminars and conferences. On a national level the NCA has also used its position to be a strong advocate for local authorities across government departments, often directly to Ministers, on their behalf. For example, in 2003, the NCA mounted a campaign to fight the Association of London Government (ALG) on cuts to 31 arts organisations which resulted in a drastic rethink by the ALG. More recently the NCA has spearheaded a national campaign against Local Authority cuts to arts budgets taking the case directly to the Secretary of State, Minister for Culture, Treasury and Arts Council England (ACE). It has further advocated for nalgao representation on several government committees, addressing issues such as the Licensing Act.

So how can the NCA help you? To continue to act as a strong advocate for local authorities and to make a stronger case for the arts to central and local government the NCA needs your support. As a membership organisation the NCA is only as strong as those which it represents and we firmly believe that it is only by standing united that the sector can make a strong case to government. For the last 20 years the NCA has been championing the arts on this level, working with organisations such as nalgao

who represent the interests of specific groups, and bringing them together to present the bigger picture case to those who hold the public purse strings. The NCA is recognised, within both the arts sector and government, as a powerful and effective advocate for the arts, able to lobby the people who matter. With your support we will continue to lobby government, at both a central and local level, to safeguard, promote and develop the arts; to campaign against cuts in local authority spending on the arts; to build on the success of our highly acclaimed Arts Manifesto and hold government to account on the promises it made to the arts in the run up to the general election; to advocate for the sector in the lead up to the 2007 spending review to ensure that the arts get the best possible deal from Treasury; to continue to monitor government legislation and speak out for the arts; and to provide information to those also fighting the campaign to make our case stronger. To ensure that your voice is heard and that your interests are represented we urge you to join our campaign and together fight with us to keep the arts at the heart of our communities. Victoria Todd, Director, National Campaign For The Arts For further information on how your local authority can become a member of the NCA please contact the NCA on 020 7333 0375 or

Art Spider – a new type of web Mencap are very proud to announce the exciting new learning disability arts website, Art Spider. Art Spider was launched at In the Frame, Mencap’s learning disability arts conference hosted by Tate Modern on 20 June. Art Spider is a great place for people with a learning disability to: • • • •

Share ideas and information Try something new Show their work See the work of other learning disabled artists There are 5 main sections: • What’s On let’s you find out about events in your area • Gallery is where you can see and hear art, films and music • Give It A Go is your change to make and print your own art • Have Your Say lets you have your say! This is where you can tell us what you think of Art Spider or the arts generally. • Art Links gives links to websites of other learning disability art groups. Art Spider can be found at

partnership news

representative body which can advocate to government, in a language which it understands, on behalf of the entire sector. Since 1985 the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) has provided a voice for the arts world in all its diversity. With a growing UK-wide membership - comprising arts organisations, arts practitioners and supporters of the arts – the NCA is driven by the needs of the sector itself. It is best placed to lobby government, as it is entirely independent from it in terms of funding. In order to maintain its independence, the NCA does not receive subsidy from the Arts Council or from any governmental or political body. It is the UK’s only independent lobbying organisation representing all the arts. It strongly believes that only by speaking with a united voice can the arts truly be heard. We recognise that Local Authority Arts Officers have an informed voice to add to this debate but that their need to be heard is often on two levels – within their own organisations as well as to government. It is a sad reality of the current climate that arts officers must pitch their case for investment in the arts against that of their colleagues for investment in other areas of public service. On this level the NCA acknowledges the valuable the role that nalgao has to play in supporting its members and since 1999 the NCA has actively worked with nalgao to support its work. For example, it has extended its own membership benefits to

nalgao Magazine November 2005

As the UK’s only independent lobbying organisation for all the arts, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) actively lobbies government – at both a central and local level – to safeguard, promote and develop the arts across the UK. Though much of our activity focuses on the corridors of Whitehall - pressing Ministers and their civil servants to keep the arts on the political agenda – we do not underestimate the significant role that local government plays in sustaining and developing the arts across the UK. Local Authorities invest around one third of all public monies spent on the arts in England and in doing so they place the arts at the heart of local communities. Such investment recognises the importance of the arts not only for their intrinsic worth but also for the valuable contribution that they make to social agendas – education, urban regeneration, rural renaissance and health to name but a few. Recent research, carried out by nalgao in 2005 shows that for every £1 invested in the arts there is a £4.50 return. The arts are clearly value for money. Why then, with such a clear case for continued and increased investment in the sector, do local authorities, and particularly local authority arts officers, need the NCA? As anyone working in or with local government is aware, despite such strong leverage for arts investment with government spending under ever closer scrutiny and the demand on the public purse


partnership news ARTS AT THE HEART nalgao Magazine November 2005

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Campaigning for the arts – the NCA working with Local Government

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“Its not about parachuting in.” says Louise Wardle “We want to use the exposure TV can offer and make a lasting contribution to the way that public art is viewed in the UK.” Exciting plans are afoot to offer communities a unique online toolkit to get involved. More details will be announced at the time of the launch. “What’s exciting,” says Mike Smith “is that even those communities who are not chosen will get engaged and


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Good exhibition practice explained a-n’s Code of Practice for the Visual Arts encourages artists and arts organisers to “contribute confidently” when embarking on professional arrangements. And whilst much has already been gained from wide distribution of the Code

there has until now been no specific guidance on good practice between artists and exhibition venues. As a-n’s survey at nalgao’s 2005 conference revealed that having more information on good practice was high on the

exhibition agreement, the publication set out a mechanism for a collaborative negotiation, through which artist and gallery share their respective aspirations and intentions, and negotiate in

order to arrive at a ‘win-win’ situation. Good exhibition practice is free to a-n subscribers, distributed alongside the September issue of a-n Magazine.

New subscriber offer to nalgao members: Claim a copy of Good exhibition practice along with Good practice in paying artists and the Code of Practice for the Visual Arts when you sign up for a twelve-month a-n subscription, costing £53 (Quote nalgao offer 09/05). You’ll also get a monthly supply of a-n Magazine, and automatically receive all publications in the Future forecast and a-n Collections series as they come out, plus password access to all the research resources on

Licensing: pleased as Punch? Glyn Edwards assesses the impact of the Licensing Act on Punch and Judy Shows. With paperwork piling up for Public Liability insurance, CRB checks, PAT testing and Risk Assessments, it is starting to look as if every Punch and Judy booth in England will need an office extension on the back to house a clerical assistant. But the latest red tape winding Mr. Punch’s way - courtesy of the Licensing Act - will do more than add to his responsibilities it will also serve to confirm his rights. As a result, last year Britain’s ‘Professors’ (as Punch and Judy puppeteers are known) decided that the red stripe in their traditional red and white striped booths should be formally designated a public symbol of the red tape increasingly wrapping itself around their tradition. Arts professionals may be forgiven for not knowing Mr. Punch’s history (it’s a British cultural footnote at best) but outline knowledge comes in handy because his family

tree has tangled roots, which regularly trip up the unwary. George Speaight, author of The History of English Puppet Theatre, summarises it thus: “in its staging it preserves a technique of puppet production that was well known to mediaeval minstrels; its chief character preserves one of the Italian masks of the Commedia dell’ Arte; and in its elements of robust humour and primitive farce it preserves the ingredients of a theatre more ancient than the Greeks”.

Street-corner folk drama Many authorities welcome Mr. Punch at civic events, ranging from Summer parks programmes to Town Centre Christmas festivities, and a number of seaside authorities regularly hold Punch and Judy Festivals – some even assisted by Arts Council funding - as part of their tourism strategies. A few authorities, however, find themselves pilloried in the national media having

accidentally triggered that perennial silly season story “Council ‘bans’ Punch and Judy”. Closer inspection usually reveals this to have arisen through the unthinking actions of someone unfamiliar with Punch’s history and it is here where the provisions of the Licensing Act will now shed a little helpful light. It confirms the definition of Punch’s portable theatre as ‘premises’ and of the Punch and Judy Show as ‘a play’. This age old street-corner folk drama can therefore lay equal claim under the law to the respectful treatment customarily accorded to grander theatres mounting more exalted works. Room still remains for legitimate criticism, for just as a particular production of a play may be mounted inappropriately so may a performance of Punch and Judy. However, objecting to a production of Othello which features a white actor in black greasepaint is very different from objecting to the play

itself on the grounds that it encourages abuse by jealous partners and this is the kind of distinction which Punch puppeteers expect arts professionals to make in their own case. In turn it confers an obligation upon the ‘Professors’ to present a production appropriate for their intended audience. Thus with a degree of mutual understanding from both parties, the media could soon find itself short of a silly season story and as Mr. Punch might say, “That’s the way to do it!” Glyn is a world travelled ‘Professor’ who has written the modern handbook teaching the skills of performing Punch and Judy. He maintains the informative website of The Punch and Judy College of Professors at and acts as their media contact. Glyn Edwards

partnership news

Engaging all communities

get ideas about how to do it themselves.” So, how does a local area go about securing a major piece of public art and the accompanying profile of a Channel 4 documentary? “Contact us to get a click through link to our website. Encourage your community to apply. Keep in contact with your regional coordinator and us. Let your colleagues in other departments know about us.” Louise is emphatic. “We want submissions that have the strongest community support, so keep supporting your community.” Channel 4 has made The Big Art Project their most ambitious arts programme yet, aiming to make a contribution to the culture of Britain that goes far beyond the TV screen. Filmed over a two-year period, the Big Art Project will be socially enterprising TV which can help regenerate areas and communities and put places on the map. For more information contact

exhibitions, ranging from Craftspace Touring’s commissions that include expenses to attend an exhibition launch so that artists can benefit from the ‘networking’, to Film and Video Umbrella’s practice of paying artists a combined commission and exhibition fee that represents 10% of the overall project budget. Alongside an invaluable checklist for forging an

nalgao Magazine November 2005

Louise Wardle, series producer, conceived the project with Mike Smith and Mike Christie of Carbon Media. Isabel Vasseur of Art Office is administering the art, which is produced out of a separate office from the TV, to free up the curators and communities of the six sites selected to create groundbreaking new art.

nalgao Magazine November 2005

partnership news

On October 24th, Channel 4 went public with its most ambitious ever arts project. Filmed over two years, The Big Art Project represents the most substantial commitment to arts programming in the channel’s history. The Big Art Project has two equal objectives, to commission world-class art and to depict the highest quality of community engagement. It all starts this autumn when Channel 4 will begin soliciting for possible sites. Anyone can apply: individuals, groups such as schools, tenants associations, arts clubs and so on. Big Art is also encouraging specially formed groups, public bodies or art professionals to apply too.

agenda, we’re taking this opportunity to give nalgao members first news of Good exhibition practice. The guide includes an introduction from former Arts Council England Officer Paul Glinkowski, and a summary of Exhibition Payment Right. Case studies include Craftspace Touring, the Chinese Arts Centre and Film and Video Umbrella. These explore different approaches to valuing artists’ contribution to public


The Big Art Project: a nationwide competition

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Artists & Public Space

“My Culture, Your Culture, Our Culture”

Black Dog Publishing ISBN 1 904772 20X

PRICE £19.95

The Essex Intercultural Art Project By Michele Tallack, with Ronessa Knock, Adrian Stokes and Laura Davison DVD from Essex County Council. PRICE £9.00

This book provides an extensive overview of projects where artists have engaged new thinking and practices for the built environment and public spaces. The book addresses the subject of public art from an artist’s perspective and emphasises process as well as product. It is well illustrated throughout and explores practice beyond the studio, addressing the importance of research time, the relationship between the artist and the audience/community, collaborations between artists and other design professionals and the contribution that artists can make to the future of our towns, cities and rural areas. The book is edited by Artspoint, a visual arts commissioning agency, and using selected case studies brings together a wealth of experience and ideas. It should be an essential reference for anyone interested in public art.

This publication is available as two formats: a DVD and a soft cover booklet, and gives a very useful case study on the development of Essex County Council’s Intercultural Arts Project involving 6 primary schools. It involved 14 artist residencies, working with teachers as part of their CPD programme as well as with schoolbased residencies.

For more information, contact ArtPoint on 01865 248822 or email:, or website:

For further information, contact Ronessa Knock on 01245 436151 or email:

below for your information. If you wish to contact your regional representatives, their contact details are as below:


Officer position




Sue Isherwood

Chair of nalgao and salaried Strategic Lead

Somerset County Council nalgao

01278 451201 01749 871110

Paul Kelly

Vice Chair: nalgao (job-share)

City of Plymouth

01752 307016

Andy O'Hanlon

Vice Chair: nalgao (job-share)

South Cambs.DC

01954 713343

Mark Homer

Treasurer: nalgao

Lincolnshire County Council

01522 553300

Lorna Brown

Secretary: nalgao

West Sussex CC

01243 756770

Lorna Brown

Counties Representative

West Sussex CC

01243 756770

Susan Goodwin

Counties Representative

Shropshire County Council

01743 255078

Jane Wilson

Eastern Region Representative: nalgao

Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire (ADEC)

01353 669022

Sara Bullimore

EM Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Lincoln City Council

01522 873844

Sharon Scaniglia

EM Regional Representative: nalgao

Nottingham City Council

0115 9158604

Lloyd Gee

London Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

London Borough of Barnet

0208 359 7760

Catherine Miller

London Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

LB of Barking & Dagenham

020 8270 4816

Katherine West

North West Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Vale Royal Borough Council

01606 867522

Andrea Bushell

North West Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Tameside MBC

0161 342 2412


North East Regional Representative: nalgao

Michael Johnson

Southern Region Representative

Test Valley Borough Council

01264 368844

Debra McGee

South East Region Representative

Canterbury City Council

01227 862085

Nickola Moore

South West Region Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Borough of Poole

01202 633973

Doff Pollard

South West Region Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Teignbridge District Council

01626 215607

Jonathan Cochrane

West Midlands Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Redditch Borough Council

01527 464004

Jean Escott

West Midlands Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Telford & Wrekin Council

01952 202532

Jon Price

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Leeds City Council

0113 2243624

Lizzy Alageswaran

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Rotherham MBC

01709 823636

Kate Strudwick

South Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Caerphilly CBC

01495 228948


Carys Wynne

South Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Caerphilly CBC

01495 224425


Margaret Evans

North Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Flintshire County Council

01352 704105

Chris Willison

West Wales Regional Representative (job-share)

Pembrokeshire CC

01437 775246

Pete Bryan



0116 2671441

We particularly welcome new officers onto the Executive, and would like to remind members that there is an opportunity at the AGM on May 3rd to either stand for regional representatives or for officer positions on the Executive Committee. As you will see from the above list of present Executive members, we particularly welcome job-shares as an effective way of sharing the responsibility that Executive membership brings. Nomination forms will be

sent to you and will also be available from the nalgao website at We would particularly welcome declarations of interest from officers in the North East and if anyone wishes to find out more about becoming an Executive member, please contact Pete Bryan, the nalgao Administrator on 0116 2671441 or email

nalgao Magazine November 2005

The National Executive Committee for 2004/5, elected at the AGM in Brighton and comprising Regional and County Representatives is included


reviews ARTS AT THE HEART nalgao Magazine November 2005

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nalgao Executive Membership 2005/06

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Next issue: Out Spring 2006 How an elephant brought culture to a Shropshire market town ... and other features. Working for local government...


Next issue: Out Spring 2006 How an elephant brought culture to a Shropshire market town ... and other features. Working for local government...