Kettle Partnership has co-ordinated a response from the Brixton Live Partners.
Lambeth Council has been consulting about their proposals for the future of Cultural Services in the Borough
Consutation Response – relating to the headings in the Consultation Booklet
- We welcome the proposal for more spaces for arts organisations and creatives based in Lambeth.
- It is important that a clear and transparent process is developed by Lambeth Council for any tender/invitation to use these spaces. There are excellent examples of arts groups taking the initiative and working with the council to develop spaces. But not all these initiatives have involved a widely publicised open tendering process – which means that not all arts organisations have been given the same opportunities.
- New plans should ensure a structure for opportunities to be advertised and an open tendering process to ensure a transparent approach to letting out the spaces.
- The Southbank cultural quarter is a significant part of Lambeth’s cultural offer, but it doesn’t represent the breadth of the sector in Lambeth.
- There are many long standing smaller local organisations across the Borough that are working with hard to reach groups producing innovative work that has been nationally recognized.
- It is important that the new plans take into account that there needs to be advocacy within the Authority to ensure that the local arts organisations are recognized as being able to deliver tangible benefits for residents on cross cutting agendas in adult learning, social care, schools, health & wellbeing etc…
The Bigger Picture
- We welcome the recognition of film as an important cultural and economic force for the borough.
- But we are concerned that the concentration on film could be to the detriment of other sector areas.
- Future plans should ensure that all art forms benefit from support, not just the film community.
- We support the idea of networks to develop the creative sector in Lambeth
- We recognize it is key to have a point of contact within the Authority that can connect arts groups to relevant services – schools, health, adult learning etc…As well as advocating to commissioners on the value and reputation of local arts providers.
- A creative network(s) needs to represent and support the whole of the sector, not just the areas mentioned in the consultation report (theatre/film)
- We hope that the equalities assessment report is taken into account when considering plans for any network development – ‘the proposals set out within The Future of Cultural Services in Lambeth will be felt across all equalities groups, but particularly older people, women, disabled people and residents from Black and Minority ethnic communities.’
Libraries & Archives
- Lambeth Libraries & Archives are vital, supportive partners to the creative sector in Lambeth. Together they have increased audiences/visitors to both the library service and arts organisations.
- The libraries are the only ‘neutral’ community space that is accessible, open to all, with free wifi and supportive staff.
- We welcome the opportunity to work with libraries and the archives in the future, but this work will be severely compromised, if we have to pay full market rates on meeting rooms in the development of new pilots and programmes. We hope that the exchange of skills and time that takes place between arts organisations and libraries is recognized as being as valuable as paying for a meeting room.
- Libraries need to have an equitable spread across the borough – this underlines their role as a vital community hub. Older people need ready access in terms of distance and young people need to have a local base where they feel safe and secure. Cutting the amount of libraries will have an impact beyond the figures of book lending and footfall.