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Cuts won’t hurt arts service, says centre boss
2:00pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Banbury
USERS of Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre will see no difference in service when a £90,000 funding cut kicks in, a centre leader has pledged.
Mill management committee chairman Nicholas Turner spoke as staff are consulted about the savings by Oxfordshire County Council.
The authority put in £199,000 to the budget for 2012-13 but that will be reduced by £90,000 for the next financial year from April, as part of widespread spending reductions.
It said savings would be achieved by a “new staffing structure” but has not given further details.
The Mill management committee would also take all decisions, which at present have to be ratified by the county.
Mr Turner – a Tory county councillor – said: “I don’t believe it will cause any reduction in service at all.”
Cherwell District Council contributed £38,000 this financial year, but has yet to decide its contribution for 2013-14 for the Spiceball Park Road centre.
But Mr Turner said up to £650,000 of the centre’s £800,000 running costs come from ticket sales, putting it on a strong footing for the future.
However the budget cuts have been criticised by Mill regular John Christie, who was the county council’s assistant chief education officer from 1989 to 1997.
Mr Christie said: “There is no guarantee that the services provided at present will be continued by such a body, which is unelected undemocratic, unsupervised and unaccountable.”
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