Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Fishmarket - don't let it be another loss for Northampton

I remember really disliking the fishmarket as a child. I just couldn't work out why somewhere indoors was so cold. When it closed in 2006 it offered the opportunity to showcase cultural and artistic spirit. This offered opportunities for local artists to have their work exhibited alongside national figures. Certainly it has florished to an incredibly short space of time. All the more concerning now that it appears that the Borough Council want to snaffle back the building and throw out the cultural baby with the bath water.

The lack of strategy in relation to the Borough's relationship with the voluntary and community sector is astounding. I remember sitting in meetings with the previous Borough Chief Exec where she denounced the Borough for not having proper service level agreements with the organisations that they gave grants to. Strangely enough there actually were contracts in place then and there aren't now. In addition there seems to be very little understanding of what investment into the voluntary sector there is. So when the Borough Council consultation document on the budget suggests that support to the voluntary sector should be frozen, then maybe it is about the temperature in the Fish market and the relationship with the Northampton Arts Collective rather suggesting that support to the sector should remain at a standstill. Maybe the current administration liked it better when it was cold.

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