The Labour Party’s policy review is set to be the latest addition to the increasingly fevered debate regarding the future of the UK’s creative and cultural sectors, writes David Davies.
With Arts Council England announcing a slew of cuts to UK creative organisations, and continued delays affecting the implementation of the much-vaunted Digital Economy Act (see PSNE’s story here), it is arguably the most uncertain period for the country’s cultural sectors in recent memory.
Having criticised the extent of Coalition Government measures to reduce arts/culture spending, the Labour Party has now launched a policy review on the future of Britain’s creative industries. The party maintains that the UK is at risk of losing its ‘competitive advantage’ and could be squeezed by emerging countries and continental Europe. The best way of halting any possible decline, suggests Labour, is ‘concerted action’ through a partnership between Government and business.
Launching the policy review on 6 April, shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis MP (pictured) insisted that any future return to office for Labour “will depend on whether we can persuade people we have positive ideas and a compelling vision for the future of our country. We must rebuild our economic credibility but also prove we are the party which can best support ambition and social mobility in a rapidly changing world.
“Challenging the Conservative-led Government when they are wrong is the duty of a responsible Opposition. But charting a credible and optimistic alternative for the future is essential if we are to regain the trust of the mainstream majority.
“We must be ambitious for our creative industries, not managing decline but ensuring Britain can play to our strengths in this new global digital age. Making an explicit commitment to nurture the creative talent of young people from all backgrounds and communities, not just the privileged few.”