Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dragon's Eye

There's no choice. No way can the Assembly Government allow the Wales Millenium Centre to go bust. In fact, I'm sorry to see this sort of story appearing on Dragon's Eye at all. It raises an air of negitivity about what is Wales top cultural centre. So I'm afraid that Rhodri Glyn Thomas is going to have to make some painful cuts elsewhere in his budget. There is no way that Finance Minister, Andrew Davies will add the required monies to the Culture budget.

If I'm totally honest, I am not surprised by the news that there is a revenue deficit in the WMC's finances. I was Tory Culture Spokesman at the time it was built, and I knew that Russell Goodway was warning that the figures didn't stand up. But I didn't have the evidence to challenge the Minister. Jenny Randerson, the Lab/Lib Dem Coalition Government Minister at the time was firm in her assurances that the budget stacked up - and it would have been difficult to resist it. Alun Cairns made the good point that it does look as if this nugget of bad news has been known to the Government for a long time - and would have been better made public by public statement than a TV programme.

Great to see Angela Burns looking the part on Dragon's Eye tonight. And it was fun to see Labour AMs queuing up to rubbish the Lab/Plaid Coalition document on the programme. I had been fairly sure that the Coalition would last the full four years - but I'm becoming less sure by the day. One of these days there may well be a scoop on Dragon's Eye that Rhodri Morgan and Mike German's successors are seen dining together at a Chinese in some secret location.


Anonymous said...

agree with need for the WMC to stay open it would be humiliating in the extreme for Wales if it were to close.

it just goes to show how far Welsh Labour will go to bury bad news and the lack of importance they place on the arts and culture, maybe its a good thing there is Plaid Cymru minister in charge of this.

penlan said...

I just hope that if there are to be cuts elsewhere to make up the shortfall in the culture budget to keep the WMC open,those cuts are initially from other projects in Cardiff.The rest of us see little enough from it to begin with.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I agree that it cannot be allowed to close. I also agree that a Plaid Minister being responsible for the culture brief is a good thing. But I cannot see the Finance Minister, Andrew Davies agreeing to meet the shortfall from outside of the culture budget. And its a real pity that this is being interpreted as poor management on the part of the WMC - because there is no evidence for that.

penlan - there is a real issue of Cardiff domination in respect of Assembly investment - and its not just the arts.

anon 10.45am said...

sdagree with you comments on the managementof the centre Glyn,

all i would say is never underestimate the Welsh Labour Party's ability to absolve itself of any blame for this self made crisis or anything else that goes wrong in Wales, and also the insipid welsh press who continually allow them to get away with it.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of the fuss everytime we have something that underlines us as a country -of course we should support the Milenium Centre
The deficit is there as it wasnt underpinned as it should be
Fist of all we couldnt have an opera house ,then the Botanical Gardens were hounded, for heavens sake pity helpus if we ever have a modern art gallery
or a major concert hall

Glyn Davies said...

Valley's Mam - I agree with you. Once we decided to go ahead with the project, we are commited to it. And when we, as a nation put so much money and prestige into something that so defines Wales, we cannot allow it to fail.

A said...

How can you claim that that Tat Palace represents Welsh identity? Pull it down and build an Opera House instead - revisit some of those marvellous designs for buildings that you rejected in the 90s.

Glyn Davies said...

I didn't reject the opera house. It was populist opinion which favoured the Millenium Stadium which did for Zaha Hadid's design. I ratherr liked it and was sorry that it was rejected. But it is not realistic to talk about pulling it down - or of anything except keeping it going.