§ 30. Mr. Tony Lloyd
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if Her Majesty's Government are satisfied that adequate provision will be made for the arts in Greater Manchester if present proposals to abolish the Greater Manchester council are implemented.
§ Mr. Lloyd
Is the Minister aware that the North-West Arts Association does not share his view? The association has written to hon. Members representing north-western constituencies, pointing out that it fears that there will be a shortfall in spending after the abolition of the Greater Manchester council and that over £750,000 of arts subsidy that is currently paid will not be guaranteed. Does the Minister accept that he is relying on the hope that Labour authorities such as Manchester will bail out Conservative authorities such as Trafford, which have no record of spending money on the arts, and no intention of doing so?
§ Mr. Waldegrave
I hope that both Conservative and Labour metropolitan districts will undertake their responsibilities. I pay tribute to the work done by the Greater Manchester council, some of which has been most useful. The arts budget will have considerable additional funds to help to meet the shortfall, and I am sure that if the districts play their proper role there should be no long-term difficulty.