Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Article:Make Croydon Council restore the Warehouse Theatre grant

The Warehouse Theatre has been a jewel in the crown of Croydon's cultural scene for almost thirty years. For many, including yours truly, it has been our first taste of professional theatre, and has brought new talent to the fore and quality drama and comedy to Croydon.

So it's a surprise to see that Croydon Council has cut their grant from 2007. In fact it was a surprise to the Theatre, who only heard the news when a journalist from the Croydon Advertiser called them. No consultation. No formal letter before the press release. No informal tip-off with an explanation from the cabinet member or leader of the Council. Nope, just a press release to cover the politicians' backs.

In fact, the whole thing seems to be political. Make cuts year 1 of the new council, blame the government and the last lot, then keep taxes down ahead of the elections in 2010 and hope everyone's forgotten what they've lost. The pattern hasn't changed since the 1950s, but maybe it's time. And getting rid of the Theatre is on their agenda in particular, so that they can pursue the white elephant of an arena to bring stadium rock and ice hockey to Croydon without actually telling people they have to lose their theatre with a proven audience to get this unwanted soulless corporate ghost town. They're upset that the alternative scheme, which includes a new theatre, seems to be on the up, even getting planning retribution.

So they attempt to bring our theatre to its knees for their political games.

Restore the Grant is a campaign website to get the Council to restore the Theatre's grant. Go there to lobby your MP, tell the Leader of the Council what you think, sign the petition and make sure everybody knows.



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