27 April 2017
We are massively supportive of having plentiful and varied arts, culture and entertainment offerings in the Borough. The Bedworth Civic Hall is an important asset but also an expensive one. The Civic Hall costs the council around £750,000 each year (including over £200,000 of capital costs).
The Green Party is generally against privatising council services but the operation of the bar and bistro does need to be done on a more commercial basis. The bar and bistro should be run as a separate business without much of the administrative overheads of the council.
We are also concerned about some of the arrangements at the Civic Hall. Back in 2012 we found that councillors were then offered free tickets for the pantomime. This no longer happens.We know that Labour party events have been held at the Civic Hall and social events for Labour councillors. We also know that close family members of the Civic Hall manager have worked for and invoiced for services to the council. This has all been properly recorded though the councils accounting systems. There is nothing wrong with these things if the council is charging its standard rates and the family members are the best candidates for the role. The additional transparency we would like is a public record of these related parties transactions. We would like more information published how many free tickets are given away, why and to whom. We understand that free tickets are needed for competition prizes and for the press previews. Sometimes it may also be desirable to give free tickets to schools and disadvantaged groups in the Borough but it must be done in a transparent and fair manner
Also we would like auditions for the annual pantomime to be better publicized and always held locally so that there is a better chance of more local people getting a leading part. The Civic Hall should benefit the whole borough and not just those with better connections.
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