The South Street Arts Centre is under threat because Reading Borough Council needs to save money. Reading residents can call council debates if they obtain more that 1500 signatures to a petition.
“We haven’t worked out the options yet, so there’s nothing for councillors to decide”, said Councillor Paul Gittings, lead councillor for culture, sport and consumer services, in response to a public question about how the centre’s programme of eclectic events could be relocated.
“There’s been no predetermination by councillors on the future of South Street,” he later added. “We have to wait for options to be presented at the policy committee, probably at the end of November. Until that time I am unable to say much more.”
“It comes as no surprise how many people have signed the petition. I think that this underlines the importance of South Street as an arts venue. It is a major regional, local and national arts centre,” he said. “Our bid to the Arts Council is in, but there’s no guarantee it will succeed. By the end of this year or early next year we will have the result of that bid.”
A webcast of the council meeting can be viewed online. Item 7 covers the South Street Arts Centre petition. At Item 5 the council takes questions from members of the public, including questions on the future of South Street; starting with question 5 (at about 21:45 minutes in).
- South Street Arts Centre Petition
- Council 20 October 2015 Agenda and Papers
- Council Constitution (page 265 specifically deals with petitions).
- South Street Arts Centre: council backs £500,000 grant bid (Get Reading, 21 October 2015)