Spend more on art

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I’m sure Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director of Arts Council England, is correct to say that Sheffield is unfortunate to be in Yorkshire as far as they are concerned.

It’s a pity he didn’t say this up front, then Sheffield need not have spent good money applying for funding they had no chance of getting.

York was an obvious candidate with its national museums so if it was a straight choice between Leeds and Sheffield, who would have put money on Sheffield to get funds?

As for the Arts Council’s aim of spreading the available money geographically; the whole area from Leeds to Birmingham, has essentially been snubbed while two organisations in North and West Yorkshire, just 25 miles apart have been given funding.

There is not one representative from South Yorkshire on the Yorkshire Council of the Arts Council. When you see the figures (£20.62 per head for Leeds, £4.62 for Sheffield), then you have to wonder at the bare-faced cheek of these people.

The Arts Council says its key priority is ‘achieving great art for everyone.

Sadly that appears to be everyone except the half million in Sheffield.

John Scholey, Clifford Rd, S11

during the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Roosevelt’s New Deal programme included funding, for the Works Project Administration, which included artists being paid to design and paint murals and easel-based artworks to decorate libraries, schools, colleges, bus terminals and similar. This was intended to raise morale by cultural pursuits.

The projects came to an end with World War II, when American industry was revived, and jobs became plentiful. In times of recession, cultural activities become even more important, which is why Pete McKee’s recent Pub Scrawl was so well received – congratulations to him.

I can only wish a speedy end to the Arts & Museums department’s difficulties and their splendid services are restores soon.

Steve Davis, S17