Here on the Gurn we published a couple of posts earlier this week about some of the potential impacts from the outcome of the Highland Council’s austerity budget survey consultation. These impacts will be massive. Previous Gurn posts on potential car parking charges in Nairn here and what might happen to public toilets here plus cuts to flower beds etc, here. It has also emerged that there is a major threat to funding of our Community and Arts Centre coming down the tracks and this became very clear last night at the regular meeting of River Community Council in the URC hall.
Highland Councillor Liz MacDonald was present and commented on part of her organisation’s budget cuts consultation survey. She said: “On question 4 it’s about reducing funding to Highlife Highland to some of the larger grants and one of them that falls within that is our Nairn Arts and Community Centre..”
Liz was interrupted by Stephanie Whittaker who interjected with: “and the Library and the Swimming Pool?”
Liz resumed, “Well, that’s on a different question but question 4 is particularly relevant for Nairn Community Centre. It’s one of the larger outside bodies that receives grants. And I think the proposal is to reduce it by 10% over the next two years and then have a 50% cut in the budget overall. I think there is 714,000 in that budget. The intention is to cut it by 50% over the next few years. So I think if you are making a representation maybe just put in a word for the Community Centre and study that question 4 because it’s got a massive impact for our Community Centre and how it is funded in the future.”
Here is item four from the survey:
“4. Reprioritising grants for arts, sports and culture: £714,000
The Council provides around £1.5 million of funding to a range of organisations including independent museums, cultural organisations, sports groups, independent sports and leisure facilities, village halls and youth groups. The funding provided ranges from £500 per year to £150,000 per year. We propose to change how we fund these organisations, reducing the total budget by 50%, £714,000, and requiring all organisations to bid for funding. Bids will be assessed against new criteria which reflect the Council’s priorities. As an initial step towards this, all grants will be reduced by 10% over the first 2 years.”
You can access the Highland Council Survey here.