Peterborough arts chiefs put service fears to city council bosses

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

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An emergency meeting has taken place between Peterborough City Council officials and leisure service bosses following a scathing attack on spending cuts.

The clear-the-air gathering was called after bosses of Vivacity, which runs arts and leisure services in the city on behalf of the council, lashed out at cuts they fear will rip the heart out of the city.

But both sides were remaining tight-lipped about what was said at the meeting.

Instead both parties confined their comments to urging residents to ensure they have their say on the council’s budget proposals.

The council plans to cut £1.45 million from arts and leisure spending over the next three years - read more about the planned cuts.

The funding hit comes as the council looks to save £25.3 million to balance its budget following a £44 million cut to its government grant.

It prompted Kevin Tighe, chief executive of Vivacity, to tell the Peterborough Telegraph last week: “There is no doubt that the impact of these cuts will be significant and far reaching.

“However well a business is managed you can’t reduce funding by £1.45 million and expect there to be no change to frontline services and frontline staff.”

He confirmed jobs losses at Peterborough’s libraries and indicated the city’s arts and heritage festivals could stop running.

After a meeting with council officials early this week, he said: “We have always appreciated the difficult position the council is in with tough decisions to be made.

“We strongly believe that libraries, heritage, the arts and sport are at the heart of what brings a city to life.

“Our aim continues to be to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and have their say.”

A city council spokeswoman said: “A meeting between the council and Vivacity has taken place to discuss the concerns raised last week.

“Vivacity has agreed to work with us to encourage people to take part in the consultation so that we can understand their views on the phase two budget proposals relating to Vivacity before any decisions are made.”

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