Meeting called to protest against ‘cuts to cultural assets’

Organisers are urging the public to turn up and support Cardiff’s arts and history

CAMPAIGNING groups including Cardiff People’s Assembly, Civic Society and Save the National Concert Hall of Wales have organised a public meeting to protest against cuts to the city’s cultural assets.

The event is in response to Cardiff council’s plans to fill a £23.5m hole in its budget by imposing cuts at several key cultural institutions.

The meeting was intended to take place in St David’s Hall but it was moved to Cardiff University’s John Percival Building on Monday, February 6 when it became clear the council was unwilling to host it.

The council’s proposals include leasing St David’s Hall to AMG, moving the Museum of Cardiff out of its permanent home in the Old Library, and reducing paid staff and opening hours at libraries across the city.

Online petitions have been launched against the plans for St David’s and the museum – the former is set for a Senedd debate on February 6 after collecting over 21,000 signatures.

Adam Johannes, a member of Cardiff People’s Assembly, hopes this public meeting will increase this momentum.

“People can – and have – expressed disagreement online, but it’s quite dispersed. You need momentum for these kind of campaigns,” he said.

“The hope is that we can use meetings like this to organise and give the movement some focus.

“There is a common thread of groups – many involved with arts and culture – that are facing some sort of reduction in funding. We should be opposing all of these cuts.

“In Wales, we have what I like to call a transmission belt of austerity, in which budget cuts are passed down from the UK Government, though the Senedd, eventually ending up with councils.

“We need to make it as difficult as possible for councils to implement these. The harder it is for them, the more pressure there is to fight the Government and push the cuts back up the chain.

“It’s important to show that we care about these institutions. In today’s society, cuts have been normalised, and arts and culture are now treated like luxuries.

“We should not have to choose between our history, our culture, our education and our social care. By resisting these proposals, we are sending a message that we expect it all.”

  • The meeting will start at 6pm, February 6 in room 0.31 of the John Percival Building.