HC Deb 02 February 1967 vol 740 cc153-4W
65. Sir J. Eden

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consultations he had with the local authorities concerned about the decision that they should be called upon to finance any salary increases for regional symphony orchestra members on a 50:50 basis with the Arts Council; what steps he is taking to ensure that a proper balance is kept between the needs of London and the regions; and if he will make a statement about the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards regional orchestras.

Miss Jennie Lee

Five major regional orchestras are receiving subsidies from the Arts Council for 1966–67 of over £370,000 compared with £230,000 for the four London Orchestras. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra alone is getting £83,000.

It is for the Arts Council to negotiate as necessary with the regional orchestras or with the local authorities who support them. While no agreement has been reached about a fifty-fifty basis, I consider it reasonable that increased costs should be shared.

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