|Arts Council Rejects Appeal Over Funding Cut|
Leaving Watermans to challenge decision in court
The Arts Council has rejected Watermans’ appeal over the proposal to cut its funding completely at the end of March.
Watermans and its lawyers have always believed that it had a very strong case. as the main objection from the Arts Council was that they were not convinced of Hounslow Council’s long-term commitment to Watermans.
In a very strong letter to the Arts Council, Peter Thompson, leader of the Council, made the borough’s commitment to Watermans very clear while at the same time protesting about the nature of the Arts Council’s decision making. Hounslow Council had not been consulted by the Arts Council or been asked directly about these judgements before they were made. It still seems amazing that the Arts council can continue to justify these judgements in the face of universal evidence to the contrary.
Watermans has decided that it will appeal against this decision.
The Arts Council’s decision is a blow to Hounslow and the whole of West London. Watermans is the only organisation to provide such a range of services across a number of London boroughs including Hounslow, Ealing, Hillingdon and Brent and undermines the boroughs’ resources to contribute to the West London 2012 Offer.
Director Jan Lennox said, “We have been inspired by the level and range of support that has been given over the last six weeks. The appeal was supported by the local community with a petition of over 3,000 signatures. Hounslow Council and all our local councillors and MPs were vigorous in helping with our appeal. We also received support from the surrounding boroughs that we work with and the institutions with which we have long-term relationships like TVU and the West London Mental Health Trust.
This decision means that we cannot yet get back to doing what we do best – providing arts and cultural opportunities and experiences for the local community”
February 1, 2008