Report shows council plans to shut down theatres is partially based on race grounds

The Charles Cryer Theatre will be closed if the plans are given the go-ahead

The Charles Cryer Theatre will be closed if the plans are given the go-ahead

First published in London News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Council documents outlining plans to shut Sutton’s theatres, have suggested one of the reasons the venues should be closed is that they are predominantly used by middle-aged affluent white people.

In the ‘Proposals for the future of culture services in Sutton’ report, to be put to council tonight, the author states the council wants to provide services that are fair.

They go on to say that the theatres are not used by all areas of the Sutton community, with 91 per cent of theatre-goers being white.

The report also states two-thirds of users are aged between 35 and 64, 84 per cent are owner occupiers, and non-users are most likely to be 16 to 24, living in rented accommodation, and of a black and minority ethnic background.

Deputy leader of the Conservative opposition Tony Shields said: "It is despicable, and it is disgusting to base closures of council services on race grounds.

"It just goes to show how desperate the council is. They are prepared to find any justification to close these theatres.

"What if there was another cultural service mainly used by one of the minority ethnicities, would they close that down?"

A council spokesman said: "Surveys show our theatres and halls are used by only 22 per cent of residents and cost the public £5.65 to subsidise every visit. 

"That is the equivalent of over half a million pounds in subsidy every year.

"Given that we have to save £40m from our annual budget of £152m, we are proposing an extensive consultation on the future of services. 

"Sutton’s Future is about encouraging people to get involved in decisions that shape their borough.

"In order to do that, it is important that we provide background information including a breakdown of service users.

"We also have an obligation to use this information to make an assessment of the impact of any decision we take on users. 

"To take an extract of this breakdown and say that we are proposing the closure of theatres because not enough ethnic minorities use them is simply wrong."

Comments (35)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:08pm Thu 4 Sep 14

whysaythat says...

And there was us thinking it was about the money?

This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton.

Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion.

Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose.

I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them.
And there was us thinking it was about the money? This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton. Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion. Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose. I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them. whysaythat
  • Score: 28

1:21pm Thu 4 Sep 14

LiberalsOut says...

If you voted Lib Dem you have absolutely no grounds to whinge about these closures or any other cuts
History shows they cannot be trusted with our money and year on year they waste it in ever increasing amounts
If they were prudent there would not need to be cuts
Instead of making a decision themsleves they engage consultants to do the work for them at a great cost to the tax payer
Do the right thing next year and put your cross in any box but Lib Dem
If you voted Lib Dem you have absolutely no grounds to whinge about these closures or any other cuts History shows they cannot be trusted with our money and year on year they waste it in ever increasing amounts If they were prudent there would not need to be cuts Instead of making a decision themsleves they engage consultants to do the work for them at a great cost to the tax payer Do the right thing next year and put your cross in any box but Lib Dem LiberalsOut
  • Score: 12

1:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Niki R says...

Shouldn't they have been concentrating on startegies for opening up the theatres to non-white homeowners over a certain age instead of shutting them and selling them off for a tidy sum? Typical short-sighted ham-fisted Lib Dem thinking...
Shouldn't they have been concentrating on startegies for opening up the theatres to non-white homeowners over a certain age instead of shutting them and selling them off for a tidy sum? Typical short-sighted ham-fisted Lib Dem thinking... Niki R
  • Score: 17

1:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PeterM says...

Now that Sutton Council have realised the public feeling about the closures, they've decided to play the race card.

Well at least this means that the Public Hall in Wallington is safe, as it's a very popular venue for Asian wedding celebrations, due to its size and large car park to the rear.
Now that Sutton Council have realised the public feeling about the closures, they've decided to play the race card. Well at least this means that the Public Hall in Wallington is safe, as it's a very popular venue for Asian wedding celebrations, due to its size and large car park to the rear. PeterM
  • Score: 30

2:05pm Thu 4 Sep 14

al the taxi says...

so the answer is to put on Bollywood shows and extend the pantos for the younger ones job done,gets the age and race sorted.survey was probaly taken at the wallington beer fest! or one of the old time musical shows!get a grip Sutton council,stop discriminating against certain groups!
so the answer is to put on Bollywood shows and extend the pantos for the younger ones job done,gets the age and race sorted.survey was probaly taken at the wallington beer fest! or one of the old time musical shows!get a grip Sutton council,stop discriminating against certain groups! al the taxi
  • Score: 19

2:53pm Thu 4 Sep 14

South Sutton Resident says...

Three points here:

1) What is the percentage of non-white residents within Sutton anyway as I would say that it is predominantly white.

2) It's hardly a shock that most non-users are aged 16-24 living in rented accommodation; most of those age group can't afford to buy and under 25's typically don't attend the theatre that much.

3) Is the council saying that non-whites don't go to the theatre much so penalise the whites that do?

Shocking smokescreen or true Liberal Democrat agenda, who can tell?
Three points here: 1) What is the percentage of non-white residents within Sutton anyway as I would say that it is predominantly white. 2) It's hardly a shock that most non-users are aged 16-24 living in rented accommodation; most of those age group can't afford to buy and under 25's typically don't attend the theatre that much. 3) Is the council saying that non-whites don't go to the theatre much so penalise the whites that do? Shocking smokescreen or true Liberal Democrat agenda, who can tell? South Sutton Resident
  • Score: 32

3:30pm Thu 4 Sep 14

BecTay90 says...

How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions. BecTay90
  • Score: -21

3:41pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PeterM says...

BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works.

If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works. If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero. PeterM
  • Score: 21

3:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PeterM says...

That should have read "Council Tax would drop to £Zero".
That should have read "Council Tax would drop to £Zero". PeterM
  • Score: 3

4:25pm Thu 4 Sep 14

theavengers says...

This act in itself is racism against white people. How dare English white people who work have any entertainment??!!!??
? Face it, no matter how hard the government try to turn white English areas into ghettos, England is still predominantly white and English (for the time being until the liberal pc brigade take our identity and destroy every piece of it). No need to punish white English. If it were used mainly by any other group no one would even think of touching it.
This act in itself is racism against white people. How dare English white people who work have any entertainment??!!!?? ? Face it, no matter how hard the government try to turn white English areas into ghettos, England is still predominantly white and English (for the time being until the liberal pc brigade take our identity and destroy every piece of it). No need to punish white English. If it were used mainly by any other group no one would even think of touching it. theavengers
  • Score: 13

5:19pm Thu 4 Sep 14

David7 says...

whysaythat wrote:
And there was us thinking it was about the money?

This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton.

Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion.

Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose.

I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them.
All the detail mentioned in the story above was in the original council document, which you can read here:

http://sutton.modern
gov.co.uk/documents/
s33147/09%20-%20Thea
tres%20and%20Halls%2
0-%20signed.pdf

The report author is stated as Stephanie Crossley, who is Executive Head of Leisure & Libraries (probably on £100k+ per year – hope there’ll be a pro-rata pay cut if the theatres are closed).
[quote][p][bold]whysaythat[/bold] wrote: And there was us thinking it was about the money? This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton. Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion. Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose. I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them.[/p][/quote]All the detail mentioned in the story above was in the original council document, which you can read here: http://sutton.modern gov.co.uk/documents/ s33147/09%20-%20Thea tres%20and%20Halls%2 0-%20signed.pdf The report author is stated as Stephanie Crossley, who is Executive Head of Leisure & Libraries (probably on £100k+ per year – hope there’ll be a pro-rata pay cut if the theatres are closed). David7
  • Score: 13

5:34pm Thu 4 Sep 14

David7 says...

Sutton is between 79% to 82% ‘white’ British or Irish/Commonwealth (89.2% in 2001), depending on your interpretation – so the council’s carefully-plucked usage figures are nothing vastly different to what would be expected.

(Source: 2001 & 2011 census data.)

Not that this is totally relevant – I’ve seen plenty of those the council would label as ‘ethnic’ using the theatre facilities. I’ve never been asked my ethnicity when I’ve bought tickets, so I don’t know where they get their usage figures from.

So there is no race issue here. The council is creating a fog to justify its unwanted actions.

Fight the bu**ers with facts and demolish their justifications for these ill-considered closures.
Sutton is between 79% to 82% ‘white’ British or Irish/Commonwealth (89.2% in 2001), depending on your interpretation – so the council’s carefully-plucked usage figures are nothing vastly different to what would be expected. (Source: 2001 & 2011 census data.) Not that this is totally relevant – I’ve seen plenty of those the council would label as ‘ethnic’ using the theatre facilities. I’ve never been asked my ethnicity when I’ve bought tickets, so I don’t know where they get their usage figures from. So there is no race issue here. The council is creating a fog to justify its unwanted actions. Fight the bu**ers with facts and demolish their justifications for these ill-considered closures. David7
  • Score: 22

5:41pm Thu 4 Sep 14

BecTay90 says...

PeterM wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works.

If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.
I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use.

It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.
[quote][p][bold]PeterM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works. If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.[/p][/quote]I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use. It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly. BecTay90
  • Score: -11

7:43pm Thu 4 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

BecTay90 wrote:
PeterM wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works.

If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.
I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use.

It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.
Everyone in the borough is not "subsidising" this anyway. Some poorer residents pay reduced council tax or none at all. Conversely, the better off generally pay the highest council tax.
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works. If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.[/p][/quote]I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use. It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.[/p][/quote]Everyone in the borough is not "subsidising" this anyway. Some poorer residents pay reduced council tax or none at all. Conversely, the better off generally pay the highest council tax. ResidentTony
  • Score: 16

8:22pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PeterM says...

BecTay90 wrote:
PeterM wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works.

If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.
I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use.

It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.
Where did I say that we should cut benefits or the NHS? The vast majority use the NHS, so using your rules of cutting all minority funding, then that would be untouched.

Libraries are used by less than 50% of the residents of the Borough, so under 'your rules' they should close. Same with Westcroft and the Phoenix Centre. You're the one saying that they should close, not me.
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works. If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.[/p][/quote]I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use. It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.[/p][/quote]Where did I say that we should cut benefits or the NHS? The vast majority use the NHS, so using your rules of cutting all minority funding, then that would be untouched. Libraries are used by less than 50% of the residents of the Borough, so under 'your rules' they should close. Same with Westcroft and the Phoenix Centre. You're the one saying that they should close, not me. PeterM
  • Score: 6

10:33pm Thu 4 Sep 14

BevHalstead says...

I honestly don't know how a town the size of Sutton can actually justify having 2 theatres. They are not used every day. They cost us money as they run at a loss which the council - ie us tax payers, bail out every year.

It would be better if they had one theatre that was actually used more regularly. Actually put events on that would attract an audience. The local theatres cannot compete with the nearby Wimbledon Theatre or Fairfield Halls because of their size - they cannot attract large touring companies.

I didn't even know that Wallington Hall is run by the council. It is an eyesore.

£40 million savings needed because the Westminster coalition will not allow Council Tax rises yet has cut the local grants they used to give to the councils.

If anyone is playing the race card here it is Tony Shields - not the council. He has been with the council long enough to know that all reports and proposals have to have equality impact statements and every service and survey carries out diversity monitoring.

Next the tories will be up in arms about the loss of the garden waste collections. Where were the tories and the lib dems when the government cut the council grants to the bare bone?
I honestly don't know how a town the size of Sutton can actually justify having 2 theatres. They are not used every day. They cost us money as they run at a loss which the council - ie us tax payers, bail out every year. It would be better if they had one theatre that was actually used more regularly. Actually put events on that would attract an audience. The local theatres cannot compete with the nearby Wimbledon Theatre or Fairfield Halls because of their size - they cannot attract large touring companies. I didn't even know that Wallington Hall is run by the council. It is an eyesore. £40 million savings needed because the Westminster coalition will not allow Council Tax rises yet has cut the local grants they used to give to the councils. If anyone is playing the race card here it is Tony Shields - not the council. He has been with the council long enough to know that all reports and proposals have to have equality impact statements and every service and survey carries out diversity monitoring. Next the tories will be up in arms about the loss of the garden waste collections. Where were the tories and the lib dems when the government cut the council grants to the bare bone? BevHalstead
  • Score: -20

11:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

@BevHalstead -

on a small but important point of detail, the theatres are not both in Sutton - one is in Carshalton. The latter one (Charles Cryer) is relatively small, but the Sutton one (Secombe) is quite large and does often attract touring companies. Its auditorium can accommodate 396 patrons, or 343 when the orchestra pit is being used.

The two have complemented each other well since the Charles Cryer's opening in the early 1990s, and would, if given a chance, continue to do so.
@BevHalstead - on a small but important point of detail, the theatres are not both in Sutton - one is in Carshalton. The latter one (Charles Cryer) is relatively small, but the Sutton one (Secombe) is quite large and does often attract touring companies. Its auditorium can accommodate 396 patrons, or 343 when the orchestra pit is being used. The two have complemented each other well since the Charles Cryer's opening in the early 1990s, and would, if given a chance, continue to do so. ResidentTony
  • Score: 18

11:49pm Thu 4 Sep 14

David7 says...

BevHalstead wrote:
I honestly don't know how a town the size of Sutton can actually justify having 2 theatres. They are not used every day. They cost us money as they run at a loss which the council - ie us tax payers, bail out every year.

It would be better if they had one theatre that was actually used more regularly. Actually put events on that would attract an audience. The local theatres cannot compete with the nearby Wimbledon Theatre or Fairfield Halls because of their size - they cannot attract large touring companies.

I didn't even know that Wallington Hall is run by the council. It is an eyesore.

£40 million savings needed because the Westminster coalition will not allow Council Tax rises yet has cut the local grants they used to give to the councils.

If anyone is playing the race card here it is Tony Shields - not the council. He has been with the council long enough to know that all reports and proposals have to have equality impact statements and every service and survey carries out diversity monitoring.

Next the tories will be up in arms about the loss of the garden waste collections. Where were the tories and the lib dems when the government cut the council grants to the bare bone?
Bev, you make some interesting points but some of your comments are a bit disingenuous and (deliberately or not) give succour to an undeserving council.

Yes, the council is obliged to look at diversity and equality issues.

But what it is not obliged to do is to twist those figures to justify a closure when diversity and equality are provably NOT relevant factors. The theatre’s usage closely reflects the local demography, very clearly. 22% is actually a very HIGH usage ratio. It’s a provable fact that the council has introduced these data as justification for closure when, if anything, they’re reasons to keep the theatres open. Just read the report and councillors’ comments in press releases.

You cannot ever defend such doublespeak. Unless, of course, your life is a cultural desert (or you’re a slavish LibDem).

Moreover, Wimbledon and Fairfield Halls are also NOT used every day. They too are subsidised, like nearly all local theatres across the UK.

Yes, it’s ironic to have Tories crying foul when their policies could be blamed as the root of this problem – but don’t forget that the LibDems are also the party of government. You don’t need to ask where they were – the answer is Whitehall. They only have themselves to blame, though they will try to blame others.

In the meantime, the budget-draining Life Centre ploughs on regardless. Its subsidy per head is more than three times that of the theatres. Justify that!

For info, Merton has two theatres, as does Croydon, while Kingston has two if you include the Cotterell. Carshalton is a studio theatre – it has never pretended to be anything else.

Also, Wallington Hall is heavily used: the reason it is so dilapidated is because the council has allowed it to become so. Want to close it? Run it down. The council is no longer interested in ‘community’ as a concept. Pretty soon the only place you’ll meet your fellow residents will be in a supermarket.

By the way, Sutton Council has over £20m in reserves tucked up its sleeve. Your money. My money. Probably saving that to spend just in time for the next council elections.
[quote][p][bold]BevHalstead[/bold] wrote: I honestly don't know how a town the size of Sutton can actually justify having 2 theatres. They are not used every day. They cost us money as they run at a loss which the council - ie us tax payers, bail out every year. It would be better if they had one theatre that was actually used more regularly. Actually put events on that would attract an audience. The local theatres cannot compete with the nearby Wimbledon Theatre or Fairfield Halls because of their size - they cannot attract large touring companies. I didn't even know that Wallington Hall is run by the council. It is an eyesore. £40 million savings needed because the Westminster coalition will not allow Council Tax rises yet has cut the local grants they used to give to the councils. If anyone is playing the race card here it is Tony Shields - not the council. He has been with the council long enough to know that all reports and proposals have to have equality impact statements and every service and survey carries out diversity monitoring. Next the tories will be up in arms about the loss of the garden waste collections. Where were the tories and the lib dems when the government cut the council grants to the bare bone?[/p][/quote]Bev, you make some interesting points but some of your comments are a bit disingenuous and (deliberately or not) give succour to an undeserving council. Yes, the council is obliged to look at diversity and equality issues. But what it is not obliged to do is to twist those figures to justify a closure when diversity and equality are provably NOT relevant factors. The theatre’s usage closely reflects the local demography, very clearly. 22% is actually a very HIGH usage ratio. It’s a provable fact that the council has introduced these data as justification for closure when, if anything, they’re reasons to keep the theatres open. Just read the report and councillors’ comments in press releases. You cannot ever defend such doublespeak. Unless, of course, your life is a cultural desert (or you’re a slavish LibDem). Moreover, Wimbledon and Fairfield Halls are also NOT used every day. They too are subsidised, like nearly all local theatres across the UK. Yes, it’s ironic to have Tories crying foul when their policies could be blamed as the root of this problem – but don’t forget that the LibDems are also the party of government. You don’t need to ask where they were – the answer is Whitehall. They only have themselves to blame, though they will try to blame others. In the meantime, the budget-draining Life Centre ploughs on regardless. Its subsidy per head is more than three times that of the theatres. Justify that! For info, Merton has two theatres, as does Croydon, while Kingston has two if you include the Cotterell. Carshalton is a studio theatre – it has never pretended to be anything else. Also, Wallington Hall is heavily used: the reason it is so dilapidated is because the council has allowed it to become so. Want to close it? Run it down. The council is no longer interested in ‘community’ as a concept. Pretty soon the only place you’ll meet your fellow residents will be in a supermarket. By the way, Sutton Council has over £20m in reserves tucked up its sleeve. Your money. My money. Probably saving that to spend just in time for the next council elections. David7
  • Score: 19

11:52pm Thu 4 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

BevHalstead says: "Wallington Hall is an eyesore"

Seriously? I'd say its art deco type architecture has character, and that it is an important part of Wallington's heritage.
BevHalstead says: "Wallington Hall is an eyesore" Seriously? I'd say its art deco type architecture has character, and that it is an important part of Wallington's heritage. ResidentTony
  • Score: 16

11:52pm Thu 4 Sep 14

David7 says...

ResidentTony wrote:
@BevHalstead -

on a small but important point of detail, the theatres are not both in Sutton - one is in Carshalton. The latter one (Charles Cryer) is relatively small, but the Sutton one (Secombe) is quite large and does often attract touring companies. Its auditorium can accommodate 396 patrons, or 343 when the orchestra pit is being used.

The two have complemented each other well since the Charles Cryer's opening in the early 1990s, and would, if given a chance, continue to do so.
Spot on, Tony. Always good to deal in facts.
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: @BevHalstead - on a small but important point of detail, the theatres are not both in Sutton - one is in Carshalton. The latter one (Charles Cryer) is relatively small, but the Sutton one (Secombe) is quite large and does often attract touring companies. Its auditorium can accommodate 396 patrons, or 343 when the orchestra pit is being used. The two have complemented each other well since the Charles Cryer's opening in the early 1990s, and would, if given a chance, continue to do so.[/p][/quote]Spot on, Tony. Always good to deal in facts. David7
  • Score: 11

8:03am Fri 5 Sep 14

Crease2000 says...

Why not just turn them into Polish Community Centres? That way at least it will only upset the majority who are easily ignored.
Why not just turn them into Polish Community Centres? That way at least it will only upset the majority who are easily ignored. Crease2000
  • Score: -2

11:35am Fri 5 Sep 14

whysaythat says...

David7 wrote:
whysaythat wrote:
And there was us thinking it was about the money?

This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton.

Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion.

Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose.

I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them.
All the detail mentioned in the story above was in the original council document, which you can read here:

http://sutton.modern

gov.co.uk/documents/

s33147/09%20-%20Thea

tres%20and%20Halls%2

0-%20signed.pdf

The report author is stated as Stephanie Crossley, who is Executive Head of Leisure & Libraries (probably on £100k+ per year – hope there’ll be a pro-rata pay cut if the theatres are closed).
I would like to think there would be David. But I fear that after this she may well be a an author for another report and so on.

Interestingly the Exec Head Post for Leisure and Libraries was vacated by the previous
Head as a 'money saver'.

It appears that this was also a smoke screen if this is a replacement for that post. Thanks for the info, very interesting read.
[quote][p][bold]David7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whysaythat[/bold] wrote: And there was us thinking it was about the money? This really is a very poor smokescreen from LB Sutton. Everyone has the choice as to whether to go to the theatre or not. To even include ethnicity in this report is wrong in my opinion. Realistically the report author is likely to be a consultant or a post graduate who couldn't care less about what residents keep or lose. I am very disappointed but I strongly believe that decisions are made then reports are drafted to reflect them.[/p][/quote]All the detail mentioned in the story above was in the original council document, which you can read here: http://sutton.modern gov.co.uk/documents/ s33147/09%20-%20Thea tres%20and%20Halls%2 0-%20signed.pdf The report author is stated as Stephanie Crossley, who is Executive Head of Leisure & Libraries (probably on £100k+ per year – hope there’ll be a pro-rata pay cut if the theatres are closed).[/p][/quote]I would like to think there would be David. But I fear that after this she may well be a an author for another report and so on. Interestingly the Exec Head Post for Leisure and Libraries was vacated by the previous Head as a 'money saver'. It appears that this was also a smoke screen if this is a replacement for that post. Thanks for the info, very interesting read. whysaythat
  • Score: 2

1:18pm Fri 5 Sep 14

LiberalsOut says...

BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
What is the point of having Councillors then if we "commission reports to help them make the right decision"
There are many people working at the Council on vast salaries, heads of departments plus we pay the Councillors these days - is it not too much to expect that between them they make the decisions????
Consultations are smoke screen to make those who are fooled by them into thinking they are part of the decision making process.
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]What is the point of having Councillors then if we "commission reports to help them make the right decision" There are many people working at the Council on vast salaries, heads of departments plus we pay the Councillors these days - is it not too much to expect that between them they make the decisions???? Consultations are smoke screen to make those who are fooled by them into thinking they are part of the decision making process. LiberalsOut
  • Score: 3

2:22pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Niki R says...

BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral?
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral? Niki R
  • Score: 11

2:42pm Fri 5 Sep 14

David7 says...

Niki R wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral?
Ouch...
[quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral?[/p][/quote]Ouch... David7
  • Score: 6

2:45pm Fri 5 Sep 14

BevHalstead says...

I was at a council meeting a couple of years ago when one of the Executives said that if the cuts to council funds continued the council would be reduced to a man, a desk and a phone in a field.

The council has to continue to support the elderly, sick needy children and other statatory services. And they have been handed greater bills with having to take on Public Health.

Something has to give. I would rather see a theatre sold to an events company rather than one library close.
I was at a council meeting a couple of years ago when one of the Executives said that if the cuts to council funds continued the council would be reduced to a man, a desk and a phone in a field. The council has to continue to support the elderly, sick needy children and other statatory services. And they have been handed greater bills with having to take on Public Health. Something has to give. I would rather see a theatre sold to an events company rather than one library close. BevHalstead
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Fri 5 Sep 14

PeterM says...

BevHalstead wrote:
I was at a council meeting a couple of years ago when one of the Executives said that if the cuts to council funds continued the council would be reduced to a man, a desk and a phone in a field.

The council has to continue to support the elderly, sick needy children and other statatory services. And they have been handed greater bills with having to take on Public Health.

Something has to give. I would rather see a theatre sold to an events company rather than one library close.
But we have several libraries dotted over the Borough as well as the mobile library, yet we only effectively have one theatre. I can't remember the last time I went into the library, yet I've been to both the Secombe and Charles Cryer several times in the past year.

You've obviously got access to a computer, as do most people nowadays, and information and books can be viewed online or downloaded. Live theatre has to be seen in the flesh. I would prefer a library to close rather than a theatre.
[quote][p][bold]BevHalstead[/bold] wrote: I was at a council meeting a couple of years ago when one of the Executives said that if the cuts to council funds continued the council would be reduced to a man, a desk and a phone in a field. The council has to continue to support the elderly, sick needy children and other statatory services. And they have been handed greater bills with having to take on Public Health. Something has to give. I would rather see a theatre sold to an events company rather than one library close.[/p][/quote]But we have several libraries dotted over the Borough as well as the mobile library, yet we only effectively have one theatre. I can't remember the last time I went into the library, yet I've been to both the Secombe and Charles Cryer several times in the past year. You've obviously got access to a computer, as do most people nowadays, and information and books can be viewed online or downloaded. Live theatre has to be seen in the flesh. I would prefer a library to close rather than a theatre. PeterM
  • Score: 2

3:03pm Fri 5 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
There is one (and only one) sentence in this that I agree with:

"Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that."

If something is vital it means just that - it is essential and has to be maintained. Why even propose closing it then?
[quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]There is one (and only one) sentence in this that I agree with: "Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that." If something is vital it means just that - it is essential and has to be maintained. Why even propose closing it then? ResidentTony
  • Score: 4

3:54pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Niki R says...

David7 wrote:
Niki R wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral?
Ouch...
Slight amendment- it transpires that Becca Taylor no longer works at the Guardian but did until she decided she was so proud of our Borough she got a job on the Guildford paper. She is still however the partner of a new and so far invisible Lib Dem Councillor in my home ward.
[quote][p][bold]David7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]Of course, the fact that your partner is a Councillor who kept these proposals under wraps when running for election doesn't influence your position one bit... and aren't Guardian staff supposed to remain neutral?[/p][/quote]Ouch...[/p][/quote]Slight amendment- it transpires that Becca Taylor no longer works at the Guardian but did until she decided she was so proud of our Borough she got a job on the Guildford paper. She is still however the partner of a new and so far invisible Lib Dem Councillor in my home ward. Niki R
  • Score: 5

8:33pm Fri 5 Sep 14

imasumak says...

"Council have suggested one of the reasons the venues should be closed is that they are predominantly used by middle-aged affluent white people. " SO ARE CHURCHES! I am Black and sane! and so totally fed up with the use of race as an excuse for so many outrageously destructive governmental decisions destroying Britain, that I have no choice but to believe that, having sold out the country to EU imposed mass immigration this is all part and parcel of adapting Britain to make that horrendous policy work. That is the only logical conclusion. The result can only be the fomenting of genuine racism where none previously existed. The idea of shutting any cultural institution for the stated reason is "Genuine Insanity." I sincerely hope the community will rally to stop the council in it's tracks. This is a "Major" threat. If allowed to happen, more will most assuredly follow.
"Council have suggested one of the reasons the venues should be closed is that they are predominantly used by middle-aged affluent white people. " SO ARE CHURCHES! I am Black and sane! and so totally fed up with the use of race as an excuse for so many outrageously destructive governmental decisions destroying Britain, that I have no choice but to believe that, having sold out the country to EU imposed mass immigration this is all part and parcel of adapting Britain to make that horrendous policy work. That is the only logical conclusion. The result can only be the fomenting of genuine racism where none previously existed. The idea of shutting any cultural institution for the stated reason is "Genuine Insanity." I sincerely hope the community will rally to stop the council in it's tracks. This is a "Major" threat. If allowed to happen, more will most assuredly follow. imasumak
  • Score: 7

9:17pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Sandy46 says...

Am I to assume that all the mosques that are in the local area are to close down seeing as only one section of the community use them!
Am I to assume that all the mosques that are in the local area are to close down seeing as only one section of the community use them! Sandy46
  • Score: 5

10:42pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Always someone worse off than yourself says...

If we continue with this logic then we can look forward to the following becoming acceptable....

Close scout/girl guide halls because they are only used by children and teens.

Close all public car parks as they are only used by car owners.

Close skateboard parks as they are only used by a minority that can stand on one without falling off.

Close the leisure centres because the majority of people don't use them.

Close the local library because the only people that use it are the ever decreasing section of the population who cannot surf the web for information.
If we continue with this logic then we can look forward to the following becoming acceptable.... Close scout/girl guide halls because they are only used by children and teens. Close all public car parks as they are only used by car owners. Close skateboard parks as they are only used by a minority that can stand on one without falling off. Close the leisure centres because the majority of people don't use them. Close the local library because the only people that use it are the ever decreasing section of the population who cannot surf the web for information. Always someone worse off than yourself
  • Score: 4

2:02am Sat 6 Sep 14

imasumak says...

ResidentTony wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
PeterM wrote:
BecTay90 wrote:
How about actually looking at this with some perspective?

The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible.

Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out.

It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not.

Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.
So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works.

If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.
I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use.

It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.
Everyone in the borough is not "subsidising" this anyway. Some poorer residents pay reduced council tax or none at all. Conversely, the better off generally pay the highest council tax.
I'm afraid your statement of the situation does not square with the following July 2014 BBC report.
"Sutton Council creates own housing company"
Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. "That" is what the council is "Doing". Are the resulting profits going to be used to finance community needs or just as the article says "using profits from rent and sales to keep the council's housing company going!" What's wrong with that picture!!!
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BecTay90[/bold] wrote: How about actually looking at this with some perspective? The council has to find £40million in savings over the next few years because we've enjoyed all our frontline services at frozen council tax rates for a while now, and there's no money left in the pot. Unlike other councils, where elected officials would put themselves into an executive and allow 10 people to take control of a budget, Sutton Council is actively consulting the public on where and how it makes necessary cuts to ensure it's done in the best way possible. Theatres and culture are a vital part of our communities, there can be no doubt about that. However, it is nonsensical for families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidise the theatre tickets of the well-off month in and month out when they pay their council tax. 100% of Sutton taxpayers are helping less than a quarter have a good night out. It is completely right and fair that Sutton Council put a stop to this. Colour of skin is irrelevant, but the financial situation of the beneficiaries is not. Also, please bear in mind that the report is a council document and this is not the same as a councillor or the council's opinion. These documents are commissioned in order to help them make the right decisions.[/p][/quote]So what you're actually saying is that the majority should not subsidise the minority. That's not how society works. If we adopted that philosophy then how much else could we save? Our Council would drop to £Zero.[/p][/quote]I'm saying in a time when massive savings have to be made it is nonsensical for everyone in the borough to be subsidising a non-essential service that many people don't use. It's slightly different to what you want to imply I'm saying - that we cut benefits or the NHS. Don't be silly.[/p][/quote]Everyone in the borough is not "subsidising" this anyway. Some poorer residents pay reduced council tax or none at all. Conversely, the better off generally pay the highest council tax.[/p][/quote]I'm afraid your statement of the situation does not square with the following July 2014 BBC report. "Sutton Council creates own housing company" Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. "That" is what the council is "Doing". Are the resulting profits going to be used to finance community needs or just as the article says "using profits from rent and sales to keep the council's housing company going!" What's wrong with that picture!!! imasumak
  • Score: -1

2:16am Sat 6 Sep 14

imasumak says...

"How about actually looking at this with some perspective? "
July 2014 BBC Report:
SUTTON COUNCIL CREATES OWN HOUSING COMPANY
Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. Shouldn't those profits be spent on the borough's financial needs. Does the council exist to serve the borough or is it meant to be using it's position to set up it's own profit making business on the side?
"How about actually looking at this with some perspective? " July 2014 BBC Report: SUTTON COUNCIL CREATES OWN HOUSING COMPANY Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. Shouldn't those profits be spent on the borough's financial needs. Does the council exist to serve the borough or is it meant to be using it's position to set up it's own profit making business on the side? imasumak
  • Score: 0

10:55pm Sun 7 Sep 14

David7 says...

imasumak wrote:
"How about actually looking at this with some perspective? "
July 2014 BBC Report:
SUTTON COUNCIL CREATES OWN HOUSING COMPANY
Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. Shouldn't those profits be spent on the borough's financial needs. Does the council exist to serve the borough or is it meant to be using it's position to set up it's own profit making business on the side?
As far as I know (which admittedly isn’t much), I don’t think councils are allowed to take risks like this. Launching a business is a risk at any time, but even more risky when you can’t even run a council properly.
[quote][p][bold]imasumak[/bold] wrote: "How about actually looking at this with some perspective? " July 2014 BBC Report: SUTTON COUNCIL CREATES OWN HOUSING COMPANY Sutton Council plans to build new family homes in the area and, working with a partner, take on other developments which have stalled.The company, which is yet to be named, will be run by the council and both sell and rent private and council properties.There are currently 1,249 people on Sutton's housing waiting list. A further 350 applications are pending."It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts," she added.The Lib Dem council said it would be making use of funding and loan schemes to establish the company before using profits from rent and sales of properties to keep it running. Shouldn't those profits be spent on the borough's financial needs. Does the council exist to serve the borough or is it meant to be using it's position to set up it's own profit making business on the side?[/p][/quote]As far as I know (which admittedly isn’t much), I don’t think councils are allowed to take risks like this. Launching a business is a risk at any time, but even more risky when you can’t even run a council properly. David7
  • Score: 2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree