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Sticker campaign planned over council funding for Lichfield Garrick

Campaigners are planning to distribute thousands of stickers in a protest about funding given to the Lichfield Garrick.

Printing firm Sabcat say they are making the move in protest at the theatre “swallowing millions of pounds” of Lichfield District Council money.

The Lichfield Garrick

The Lichfield Garrick

The Garrick has been at the centre of a storm following the local authority’s Fit for the Future review, which is aiming to find £1.7million of cuts.

Community services is one of the departments at risk, while leisure and play facilities are also facing the chop.

“The leader of Lichfield District Council has assured residents that all options will be considered before cuts are made,” said a Sabcat spokesperson.

“The Garrick theatre, shortly after this assurance put out drivel saying that the Garrick is ‘essential’ to local business, bringing £7million to the local economy.

“They base this assertion on a financial impact study they have never carried out. The figure is arrived at using a formula developed for the Arts Council to calculate the value of the entire UK theatre industry.

“Being commissioned and paid for by the Arts Council, the objective value of the formula is questionable for it’s stated purpose.

“Lichfield District Council are going to cut services used by the most vulnerable in the district and to hell with the consequences to the people affected, while the Garrick will retain its £500,000 subsidy.”

The company is now planning to distribute free stickers to local residents with the slogan: “Have a nice night out at the Garrick. Paid for by the elderly and vulnerable of Lichfield District.”

And Sabcat say their move has been sparked by what it claims are long-term failings in the local theatre.

“For many years Tory-led Lichfield District Council have provided subsidy to the Garrick, a venture that they have assured the people of the district since before it was built will make a profit.

“It has never made a profit, it has in fact swallowed millions of pounds of Lichfield District Council’s money and continues to do so at the rate of £500,000 a year.”

No-one from Lichfield District Council was available for comment.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

82 Comments

  1. johnthemon

    8th July, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I would have thought our MP Michael Fabricant should be a little more than interested in this misuse of public funds. Well done Sabcat for bringing this to the forefront and telling us what we already knew how councillors keep sweeping things under the carpet hoping they will go away.

    Councillors what do you have to say about this topic?

  2. Susan Woodward

    8th July, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Where do we get the stickers please?

  3. johnthemon

    8th July, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Better still when is someone from the council going to stand up and say Sabcat are talking a load of hogwash, and back it with true facts, otherwise yes, where do we get these “stickers please”.

  4. Mr Lichfield

    8th July, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Its not a councillor issue. The director of Lichfield council’s finance is the one that should be held accountable. councillors follow the advice of Officers. Unless officers are being asked to do something wrong by councillors??

  5. OldMan

    8th July, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    “councillors follow the advice of Officers”
    In that case if they can not think for them selves what is the point of having councillors?

  6. Cllr Steve Norman

    8th July, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    May I give a last minute plug for the e-petition on the Community Cuts? http://tiny.cc/6rdxzw
    Still time to sign before the Council Meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 9th.
    It will help us to make our case on the night.
    Cllr Steve Norman

  7. John

    9th July, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Sabcat: Please get the facts right, and please just stop being a business who obviously doesn’t do business with the garrick because either a) you don’t do what they require or b) you’re too expensive. Or should the garrick pay more because you’re local – and then you moan they are spending too much money.

    After this I know if i ran the Garrick you would never be on my businesses to deal with.

  8. Mr Lichfield

    9th July, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    John – Sabcat has got it right, but its not in your interest to agree this.

    Oldman – members take the advice of officers, officers must have recommended these proposal’s cllrs wouldn’t know on a day to day basis what is being done/spent. Therefore the recommendations being put forward must be those of the officers, accountants or in this case the new chief executive.

  9. OldMan

    9th July, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    “Mr Lichfield”
    I do understand they listen to advice – we all have to listen to all sides before we make a big decision in life/business – there is a big difference between obtaining info/data and asking how high when someone says jump.

  10. Sabcat

    9th July, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    The direction and the priorities of the council are determined by the councilors of the controlling party. The officers administer the running of the council in accordance with those priorities. Unless someone can point to some negligence on the part of officers then this mess is entirely political. The cuts that are coming are falling whey they are because of the decisions made by Tory councilors.

    Services such as Jigsaw are going to be cut while the Garrick continues benefit from more than £500,000 a year of council money because councilors have made that decision. The responsibility for the incompetence and outright lies surrounding the Garrick is entirely on the shoulders of the Conservative councilors of Lichfield District. Trying to drag officers into this is as offensive as it is misguided.

    I will put this in the simplest terms possible – The people behind these cuts, the people who will see the vulnerable suffer while a theatre is lavished with as much money as it can waste are miserable excuses for human beings. There is nothing good to be said about you. I’m certain you are not ashamed of yourselves because feelings such as shame and empathy are beyond you but know that you should be. Know that these stickers are no stunt, they are an expression of the utter contempt we feel for you. As someone once said, Tories are lower than vermin as true today as it was 65 years ago. We won’t forget you.

  11. Mr Lichfield

    9th July, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    ooh sabcat you started off so well :-/ If you only knew what officers of LDC are putting forward so to give members of the council the choices as you say.

  12. MV_Overchurch

    10th July, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Alternative headline for this post: “Local businessmen demand privatisation of council leisure services”.

    Pure Thatcherism from Sabcat here. This is the best thing about politics in Lichfield; whether left-wing, right-wing, or just a wee bit confused, it’s invariably hilarious.

  13. Lich_Ranger

    11th July, 2013 at 12:21 am

    The irony is not lost on me either MV_Overchurch! But why just single out the Garrick to this kind of scrutiny? All of LDC’s services should be made to wash their financial faces surely? Everything could be left to the rigours of the free market, meaning that we could actually then abolish the council and its astronomical council tax once and for all. I am sure paying the market rate to empty their bins, make a planning application, go for a swim etc. would be a small price to pay for the citizens of Lichfield, would it not?

  14. John

    12th July, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    MV Overchurch you are wrong – sabcat only wants to privatise the theatre. The other leisure services ie the leisure centres can waste money as much as they like because they are a good waste of money.But I agree I think a lot of the leisure services can be privatised – The Garrick itself has now become part privatised and in a few years watch this space it will not need council subsidy. Some people just tend to ignore the facts.

  15. MV_Overchurch

    14th July, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    @john I just think they’re faintly comical – a hard-left group advocating Thatcherite policies. And approvingly quoting Aneurin Bevan at the same time as they attack one of the 1945 settlement’s greatest achievements: the Arts Council, and its founding principle that the arts should be publicly funded and affordable to all.

    They seem a bit confused – but then, class hatred has never made for clear thinking.

  16. johnthemon

    14th July, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    “Lichfield District Council are going to cut services used by the most vulnerable in the district and to hell with the consequences to the people affected, while the Garrick will retain its £500,000 subsidy.”

    Whatever your political leanings,LDC are having a rethink on their cuts policy, thanks to Sabcat and others particularly Labour for their involvement. For me I would like the Garrick to do well and stand on its own two feet and not to be subsidised by those who can ill afford to use the place.

    It is time for us to be responsible tax payers and think of others that are not so well off as us.

  17. John

    15th July, 2013 at 2:19 am

    so make the Garrick more expensive so the vulnerable can’t afford to go hizzare we have a reason. I for one would not like a Birmingham hippodrome in Lichfield £30-£90 a ticket? I think not. And even then the Hippodrome only survives thanks to it extremely rich patrons donating soo much per year. I’m all for making all leisure services less reliant on local funding BUT for a theatre to engage with its community it needs subsidy -not to pay to stage productions but for the other things it does too.

  18. Sabcat

    15th July, 2013 at 10:59 am

    We have Thatcherism in action in the form of the Garrick, aptly described by John in a previous comment – privitised (potential) profit and socialised risk. Not that the Garrick is really part privitised as such, it’s a charity.

    No one has advocated the privitisation of the Garrick as far as I am aware, let alone us. What we’re calling for is the Garrick to be top of the list of cuts. That is it should not receive anything until other services for the poor and vulnerable are secured and redundancies for workers providing council services or working in regeneration have been avoided.

    The Garrick has failed. It has not achieved a single financial goal set for it since it’s conception despite successive predictions and assertions from the council. It generates through it’s own business around £3.1 million pounds. If they can’t increase the revenue by £500k, around 16% then they should cut expenditure by £500k and run the theatre that Lichfield can afford, not the one that Conservative councilors would like there to be. The sacrifices that need to be made to maintain the Garrick in it’s present form will not be made by councilors, they will be made the most vulnerable in our community. If you think opposition to that is Thatcherism, you’re confuse.

  19. John

    15th July, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    as you have put the garrick should be first in line with the cuts. You don’t anything else cut so lets cut the full 500k from the garrick. Ok now the garrick needs to cut 500k. Let’s start. One major sacrifice we can;t afford to find is the lichfield festival. Waste of space…doesn’t sell enough tickets, and no doubt the garrick subsides the cost. Ok bye bye one lump sum saved there. Where to next….Ok another cut lets cut the christmas show by 30%. Brilliant audiences move elsewhere to get a better show…brilliant! we’ve saved all that money but oh god look at the audience figures, look at the Lichfield festival that has now lost a local public space. What to do what to do. Oh and a final cut the garrick youth theatre, choir and other clubs the garrick hosts for young people – they’re unneeded.

    Sabcat you seem to love the past so much. oh woe is me the garrick has made a loss, what company hasn’t? i for one would love to see your finances. Now please do read my other lengthy comment in the other article about the garrick, because you may then take the blinkers you have off and notice that something is being done.

    I find it hilarious to read the sabcat printing twitter page, why any person would use buisness from what you portray as a really angry person is beyond me. You have a clear hate for the party in charge in lichfield and so you will argue beyond believe that you are right, and because of that I can;t debate with you any more because you don’t have a level headed mind and you don’t want a discussion you want your views heard and no one else’s. This is not about the Garrick this is about your hatred to the political party in charge.

    Now this may talk about an individual…but the individual is who this article is written about and so I think it’s relevant.

  20. Some Bloke

    15th July, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    The Lichfield Festival isn’t part of the Garrick. Totally separate entity. It was around before the Garrick, and will be (I hope) around after.
    Also £500,000 saved if the Garrick closes? Nope. Contract inplace would mean it would take a long while and money before LDC was free of obligations.

    Also, LDC saving “just” £500K wouldn’t get it out the forest.It needs to save £1,700,000 for next year’s budget (they have to set a legal budget for the year 14/15), and a lot more in the following years. The recession, low interest rates and ruinous Coaltion Government policy have all combined to hit LDC.

    Although LDC has made savings and reduced it’s budget over the last few years, this really now becomes a debate about what kind of Council we want to have. Whatever we want, it will be much smaller and less able to do the things it does at the moment. The Garrick stuff is a bit of a red herring really. It could be the subsidy for the Garrick going one year, then maintaining Beacon Park the next, or flogging Burntwood Leisure Centre to Virgin or that Scottish bloke of Dragon’s Den…

    I think Sabcat’s views are valid and well made. I am glad we all have the opportunity to make a contribution.

    But what do I know… I’m just some bloke.

    PS Did you know that the average Council Tax contribution from a Band D house in Lichfield District is a little over £150 a year. Not bad value I reckon. Look at all the things it does that we have been arguing about! :)

  21. Cynic

    15th July, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    “Band D house in Lichfield District is a little over £150 a year.”

    I can recall when it was that amount but it is a bit more today.
    The project they nicknamed “poll tax” was a better idea for today – currently very few (too few) pay council tax – less than a third?
    Too many taking – too few paying!

  22. Some Bloke

    15th July, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    I might be a bit out of date on exactly the amount, Cynic. I could look it up, but well…

    More people (households really) are paying CT than before, changes came in this year, I think. I’d never have described the Poll Tax as a better idea :)

  23. Some Bloke

    15th July, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I was wrong about the Council Tax, Mr Cynic, so I looked it up

    From LDC website

    “Your total council tax payment for the year, without discounts, will be £1472.04, of this £146.37 goes to Lichfield District Council and £51.61 goes to Lichfield City Council.”

  24. Lich_Ranger

    15th July, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Some Bloke is more or less correct, although it is in fact less than £150 – Band D: £1472.04, of this £146.37 goes to Lichfield District Council and £51.61 goes to Lichfield City Council. A lot of people do not realise that LDC only keeps around 10% of the total council tax raised, with the rest going to the county council, police and fire. In this context, it has always amazed me how much relative scrutiny LDC is subjected to by council tax payers, whereas in this context, perhaps more attention should be devoted to scrutinising the much bigger spending recipients of local taxation?

  25. Cynic

    15th July, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    My mistake I was thinking of the total amount (put it down to late night).

    But I do disagree on poll tax – why is it not better for all who use services to pay – rather than only a small percent of the population?
    I do realise those that have never paid will not like the idea.

  26. Cynic

    16th July, 2013 at 12:03 am

    “perhaps more attention should be devoted to scrutinising the much bigger spending recipients of local taxation?”
    We could start by having just one dept – as it is when you ask any of them a question it is always – not us its the other lot

  27. Some Bloke

    16th July, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I don’t know about the Poll Tax being a good idea. It cost more to collect from some sections of the community than it raised.
    I was a kid at the time working for a charity on pretty low pay. I shared a rented house with 2 mates, and we paid rent. Included in the rent were the rates, which was incumbent on the private landlord to pay. One day the rates were abolished and replaced by Poll Tax. Was our rent reduced accordingly? No. Three working chaps, suddenly paying three times as much as the bloke next door. There was lots of unfairness about it.

    Doesn’t mean I’m a fan of Council Tax exactly, how about a local sales tax, or income tax, but I bet both of these would create anomalies too.

    I agree with Lich Ranger. A lot of money is wasted by larger organisations, pay is higher, and they are more distant from the tax payer. District Councils are reasonably efficient. I mean, imagine getting your bins collected for a mere £150 a year. It’s not bad. Plus, we all get to really have a first class moan about them, for free, and there is nothing they can do about it!!!

  28. Cynic

    16th July, 2013 at 12:45 am

    “or income tax” That is what debate is all about – a national tax is much fairer but they prefer to have as many diff tax’s so we have a problem knowing how much we actually pay. The poll tax did have details to sort out – I would have taxed everyone NOT paying council tax by a very small amount – the next year those “new” people would have had to pay more while the “old” payers had theirs frozen. Just an idea. Local tax would not work – most of us do not buy in Lichfield.

  29. Asellus aquaticus

    16th July, 2013 at 8:16 am

    A differential tax that changes from person to person from year to year? Yes I can see how that would simplify matters, and not be an administrative nightmare at all.

  30. Cynic

    16th July, 2013 at 11:27 am

    “Asellus aquaticus” If you know anything about our tax structures you will know my suggestion is one of the simpler ones to enable.

    Putting a high tax on those that had probably never paid tax was too much too soon. A lower starting tax with the old/house holder still hooked would have been one way of getting more people willing to pay – IMO. But that is what debate is about – finding the best/simplest way to get more people paying tax and/or less people taking out.

    What is not just my opinion is we have too many takers and not enough paying in. If all the adults in Lichfield paid council tax instead of expecting things for free – we would not have to make such hard decisions over cuts.

  31. Cynic

    16th July, 2013 at 11:38 am

    “Some Bloke” “Three working chaps, suddenly paying three times as much as the bloke next door.”

    I don’t your circumstances at the time – but a common situation might be – A big house ONE council tax paid by ONE person – his overheads were paid by his customers (they did not pay a penny in tax) – then they had to pay poll tax which came as a surprise .Previously three men did not pay tax and then they were asked to pay towards the councils overhead – they ,collectively, did not like it. The man next door had been “carrying” lots of free loaders but then had his tax reduced.

  32. Council Employee

    16th July, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Interesting debate, myths , rumours and opinions. You actually have the opportunity to look at the accounts before they are formalised and published and also have your right to say/speak/comment/protest

    Here is the link,
    http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/downloads/file/5347/audit_of_accounts_20_june_2013

    once you have done this come back to the debating table and lets see if peoples views are different.

    Maybe the issue is not whether to fund the Garrick or not, nor whether we should provide leisure facilities for the people of Lichfield. Maybe we should be concentrating on how much is lost due to benefit and social fraud, The amount of Council tax and Non domestic rates people try to avoid or cheat from paying.

    The amount the council has to pay to repair damage made by residents and visitors to our parks, green spaces because people show no respect to our infrastructure.

    Businesses that feel they just need to sit back and demand the council does everything for them without having to make an effort themselves. A lot of the empty shops is not about the economics it’s about bad businesses unable to meet the needs of customers. Having a sound financial business plan, Thats what council’s are legally obliged to do, have externally audited and approved by central government.

    Council tax in Lichfield is low, the real amounts on your council tax bills goes to Staffordshire County Council, Fire service and Police authority or should I say police commissioner! over 75% of your bill is directly charged by these organisations. Are you actually challenging them if you feel your bill is to high, because its not Lichfield Council’s fault, get our bill out read and see where the money is split. You would be lucky to get a private refuse collector to collect your rubbish weekly cheaper than Lichfield Council does.

    All council’s are having to relook at what they do and why. And yes this is exactly what is required and Local Government will rise to the challenge and provide best value to its residents.

    The debate you are all having should be about what you want from a local authority and why. What is important in your community. Investing in our young people to make the communities of Lichfield better and how this can be done. Its your Lichfield so why don’t you contribute to the council and feedback directly or ensure your elected councillors know your views. Website forums are good but direct contact can make a real difference, make people stop and think, because it does happen when people feedback directly or via community groups.

  33. Cynic

    16th July, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    ” direct contact can make a real difference” – Perhaps a few people who have tried to get help and succeeded could give us examples.

    Me I tried to get improved parking – and failed – their reply – problem what problem!

  34. Council Employee

    16th July, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Cynic – please expand, what was your suggestion for improved car parking?

  35. Sabcat

    16th July, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve not a clue where you’re coming from, Council Employee. In one paragraph you tell us we should be concerned with a council audit in the next you’re concerned with benefit and social fraud then you tell us that not all of our council tax goes to LDC and in the final paragraph you tell us we should be talking about what we want from our local authority and why. Which, as you appear to have missed it, is what this is about.

    You should get yourself out of the sun mate, you’re all over the shop.

  36. Some Bloke

    16th July, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    er, Mr Cynic, how about working it out the other way. A chap owns a house he wishes to rent out. He calculated his overheads, the ones he was liable for, an contingency, and a profit that was enough to make it worth while, but not to much as to be uncompetetive. At this point he is liable, for say, £100 a month rates (I haven’t a clue how much people paid in rates in those days, I was only a 18 year old kid).

    So, he settles on a monthly rental of £500 a month. He finds three young working chaps, and agrees the tenancy. Happy day all round. Then, rates are abolished, he’s £100 a month to the good, and the young chaps suddenly have to pay £85 a month each. No wonder the chaps weren’t happy! They has been previously paying the tax, through their rent, and being able to read and write, (spelling mistakes here excepted), the Poll Tax didn’t come as a surprise.

  37. Council Employee

    16th July, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Sabcat , Just like yourself chap , I didn’t think you would understand.

    Happy printing !

  38. Lich_Ranger

    16th July, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Cynic look at the Darnford Park situation – tree planting work ceased whilst the council reexamines the project in the light of the mobilisation of strong local opposition. It can be done – it just takes a bit of effort to harness like minded opinion & ensure the council is aware of the depth of feeling. It’s the people who elect councillors so they’d be mad to not listen if a good number of electors make the same points or offer the same suggestions. Much more effective than writing endless negative posts on a web forum.

  39. Darryl

    16th July, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I think the over-riding opinion coming from those for or against this plan is that council’s are poor are garnering opinion, instead choosing to implement what they think the majority want, rather than what the actual majority want.

    Engagement is, perhaps, the order of the day.

  40. Cynic

    17th July, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Some Bloke ” Then, rates are abolished, he’s £100 a month to the good, and the young chaps suddenly have to pay £85 a month each”

    I do understand how you felt (most felt like that which was why it was stopped) but you were not paying tax – he was entitled to increase his rent – I agree too many took advantage to increase rents (by leaving them the same!) As I have said before IF the tax to those that had not paid CT was lower i think it could have worked but now we will never know as the group we asked to join the great TAX Club declined to do so! We are now all experiencing the knock on problem of too few paying and too many taking – circa four out of five homes taking – can not continue.

  41. Rodders

    17th July, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I heard about these stickers on my way to work on radio WM.The bloke doing them was on the breakfast show this morning.

  42. John

    17th July, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I listened to this earlier as someone told me someone was on there about the garrick. My first thoughts were why am I paying to have a bias view put on a bbc radio station. But then listened to it. It seems the presenter was very much…ok i really don;t know what to say to this 48 people wow. Shall we compare this to the old and vulnerable who use the garrick? yeah a bit more than 48 I think. It holds near on 600 a night! I suggest the printers stand outside the garrick and see how many believe the same…while also seeing how many are old and vulnerable. For those who actually use this community facility will know a lot more than he think.

  43. Council Employee

    17th July, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    John, it is always going to be an argument on funding. At this stage the subsidy to the garrick continues. A recent Fit for Future report by our New Chief Executive raises the question to relook at funding streams in relation to the Garrick. Of course what people may not realise is that the subsidy to the Garrick provides a Return on Investment back into the city. Item 12 on this link provides more background on the future

    http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/site/scripts/meetings_info.php?meetingID=888

  44. johnthemon

    17th July, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I had BBC WM on this morning and listened to this interview, found it again for those who are interested and want to listen. Pretty good I thought, I will certainly ask shopkeepers and the like if they would kindly display a sticker or two in their window why not, that is if I can get hold of them myself, keep us informed.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01c7p4s

    1: 53. 16 into the program

  45. John

    17th July, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you very much for the facts on the ground council employee. For those who can’t be bothered to read in relation to the garrick it is as follows.* Subsidy reduction correspondence sent to Garrick Theatre Chief Executive on 28th February* and then the budgeted amount is £165,000 NOT £500,000. So it is pretty much as I suggested it would be. The council would reduce the budget and look at other revenue streams and rightly so. As I have said from the start of this debate the Garrick will not be exempt from a cut and sabcat wrongly went on the radio today to say it was ring fenced. which is factually incorrect. I really wish people who wish to debate could look at the facts. Thanks again council employee for the insight.

  46. Sabcat

    17th July, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Dear me John. What you’ve read says a reduction of £165k but not for 2 years, you’ll notice that for this year and next the figure for the Garrick is zero.

  47. John

    18th July, 2013 at 12:16 am

    As I’m sure you’re aware being a very successful businessman that finding extra resources or even redundancy money does not come over night or out of thin air. the two tax years will give the Garrick some time to find the money elsewhere to make future bids to the arts council or elsewhere. Now I hope you have given your details to the council so they can fine you for any removal of these stickers in a public place as with any money spent removing them could have funded transport for the elderly or your beloved leisure centres.

    p.s hope you enjoyed your 2 minutes of fame on the radio.

  48. Lich_Ranger

    18th July, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I listened to Sabcat’s ‘2 minutes of fame’ and leaving the narrowness of the argument aside for a moment (i.e. why just focus on 1 element of spend, the Garrick?), what Sabcat cannot deny is that the Garrick will be having an economic impact. He might argue that the impact figure of 1.5 is arbitrary, but without commissioning a huge piece of research which would in itself cost the council many thousands of pounds, these standard multipliers are reasonable proxies, are quite common in this kind of industry and are based on proper research. The New Economics Foundation has done a lot of work on measuring the economic impact of spend in the local economy (called Local Multiplier 3) and this has been used by a number of local authorities, social enterprises etc to measure the impact of their spend on the local economy. For instance in one study, Northumberland Council used the Local Multiplier 3 to establish that every pound spent with a local supplier is worth £1.76 to the local economy. I would therefore say, given that the Garrick is likely to spend a lot with local suppliers, employs local people who then spend locally etc, that the figure of 1.5 is probably not far away from reality. Get refurbing that garden shed eh Sabcat? :-)

  49. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 1:41 am

    I’m not certain we can call the research that this multiplier is based on ‘proper’ and certainly not comprehensive. The only actual data collected from sources other than theatres themselves was a survey of 700 theatre goers in Nottingham and Gloucester. Can we really extrapolate that to the whole of the UK and apply it specifically to Lichfield? I think not. In fact neither do Lichfield District Council, they question it themselves in the link posted by Council Employee.

  50. Cynic

    18th July, 2013 at 11:32 am

    John “the two tax years will give the Garrick some time”

    We have been pouring in money for a quarter century yet you seem to be agreeing that if the WILL was there it could have survived without all our £Ms.

  51. John

    18th July, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    no, what i am suggesting is the Garrick is now in a better state than it ever was. It is not an old civic hall, its not a theatre run by the council. It is now a theatre that is subsided by the council. For those who actually research properly would understand all mean very very different things. I understand people just think of a theatre and think its just there. Sorry to disappoint but there are many types of theatres in this country. Why was the Garrick not given arts council finding a couple of years ago? I shall tell you, because it was then council owned. It now can operate like a proper theatre,it couldn’t in the past.So if it was given trust status years ago (or shall we say around 6 years ago after the controversy of the ex artistic director) then by now I firmly believe the Garrick would be successful. Maybe you’re right the council has very much held the Garrick back. It has not been able to do such thinks as Michael Fabricant wanted back in 2005 – for example produce a lot more and tour work around because of the people of lichfield. Such a venture is risky, and it would soon have people on it’s back if it lost millions of pounds in ONE year because of a risk that might have made money. It seems hard to talk when people don;t accept that change has happened and is continuing to happen when people are constantly dwelling on the past.

  52. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    The money has run out John, LDC have to save £1.7 million. They’re not going to cut the Garrick funding though, you needn’t worry. The theatre is safe, too much Tory pride has gone into it let alone money for anyone to admit an error now. As long as it’s open we’ll be giving these stickers away. We’re all for accurate advertising. The Garrick will remain open, services like Jigsaw won’t.

    As you said, only 47 as of yesterday at 7:50am had asked for them, but that’s almost 500 stickers out in the wild. No idea where they will end up, that’s up to the people who have them. We’re not asking them what they’re doing with them, we’re not even keeping a record of their names, addresses or emails.

  53. Adie

    18th July, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Let’s just hope these stickers are not just slapped around like graffiti & litter Lichfield but used properly

  54. John

    18th July, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    sabat I shall tell you one final time…the lichfield garrick is no longer part of lichfield district council… they can subsidise not fund it all they like. It will be the merit of the Lichfield Garrick itself that is celebrated. the council can be proud of it as much as it likes it doesn’t have a blind bit of difference. People really shouldn’t make accusations and start pressure groups or campaign while saying these flancy words that mean nothing at all. These stickers will just be as popular as the other campaign printing you do…I have to say I’ve seen no one wear them.

    500 stickers? if you put one sticker in each other Garrick’s seats you wouldn’t even fill it. Council employee is right there will always be debates about public subsidy for the arts and rightly so…but until people know the facts they can;t debate it.

    serious questions out of all who have commented about why it needs to be cut once and for all who has visited it and if not why not? because of your morals? expensiveness? visiting other theatres? or you just don’t give any time of day to any arts organisation?

  55. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I think the Garrick’s a little sterile to be referred to as an “arts organisation”. Entertainment venue would be a better description. And LDC under all current plans will retain ownership of the building. Laughably the idea is that they lease it to the trust but as they’re throwing money at the trust that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  56. John

    18th July, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    laughable you may say but i say laugable at you becuase it means the subsidy is nowhere near the estimates even the council suggest they are meaning the tax payer is once again better off. Entertainment venue? please do go on and try and explain that decision. I agree to make the council happy bunnies they have had to receive alot of productions to bring in revenue but being a trust will now a lot them to make their own productions a lot more other than the 2 or 3 a year it currently does. I also think the garrick itself would argue full throttle is in not an entertainment venue but an arts venue. Those of you who visit will see the array of local art and free local music it showcases.

  57. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I suppose it’s improved since they don’t have Jim Davidson there anymore although that wasn’t really an “artistic” decision.

  58. John

    18th July, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    and why was he there in the first place? just like why is tony stockwell is there in october….to pull in people becuase people watch it! you moan the garrick doesn’t make enough money then you moan at the things they do to make money? there really is no winning. I dread to think what the Garrick would be if it was put in your hands :S

  59. Cynic

    18th July, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    “then by now I firmly believe the Garrick would be successful.”

    Be careful john you are beginning to sound like some of us – logic would indicate that it is not “successful” at the moment.

  60. johnthemon

    18th July, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Stickers today but I could see this escalating to something a little more, if LDC start handing out redundancies to their employees and cutting back services to the needy. Public opinion soon changes when they are faced with the reality of being made redundant or someone in their family is going to be affected, OK now letting the few take the lead but as history has shown, people taking to the streets had to start at some point.

  61. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Tribute acts, washed up racist comedians from the 80’s (whether they’re on bail for sex offences or not) and mediums are not art John and they’re not more important than services for local people.

  62. John

    18th July, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Cynic I was simply saying that it hasn’t happened in the past it now has, if the Garrick was made a trust when the new artistic director was appointed then yes I firmly believe by now it would be at least self sufficient. But it wasn’t. Now it is. Which is why I was deadly for the Garrick being turned into a trust. which is not funded by the council but rather subsidised there is a massive difference, especially when it comes to receiving outsider investment.

    and johnthemon I’m sure employee’s of the Garrick who are made redundant would feel the same about leisure centres employees. It works both ways.

  63. Foxy

    18th July, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    The way the council should look at the new lower funding is..
    “We’ve got this much money, we have to prioritise on essentials that affect peoples well being.”
    Not..
    “Ok, we’ve got less money but the Garrick gets first dibs and no cuts, Jim Davidson needs the money. We’ll tell the people there’s tough times ahead and we’re gonna close facilities, shorten opening hours and cut services.”

    they’re in a pickle – they’ve squandered all the money.

  64. John

    18th July, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    foxxy i think everything you said was soooo wrong. The garrick is getting cuts more that is lead to belive. Even for the next two years do you think 500k is the same as running a company? I think not.

    and two the council should be looking at everything they shouldn’t be cutting frontline they should be looking at back of office. Hmm these two play centres are close by lets merge these two…not oh the friary leisure centre looks like it needs a refurbishment, lets refurbishment that. Staffs CC has had alot more cut from its budget and runs alot more services yet has found ways to keep front line services and even giving some nice on the sides ie £1 transport for under 21s. Maybe cutting whole services is not the answer. And it’s not the fact of paying jim davinson or companies like that (if you read previous comments or have seen what the garrick has to offer the past couple of years jim davinson is nowhere near the bill). They pay them to come to the venue they get a sell out night they make a profit. What the garrick needs t do and is doing is funding ways to attract outsider investment and create income from such things such as business and cooperate deals.

    but I’m sure the 50,000 the garrick gives to the lichfield festival would be a decent amount to help balance the books don’t you think?

  65. Cynic

    18th July, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    John “which is not funded by the council but rather subsidised” You are playing with semantics – we have no money no matter what you like to call it!
    A fun palace should not be top of the prioritised list – if you were not so biased thinking of your self you would understand what is a growing tide of resentment. The council have NO mandate to pick and chose what THEY want – new jag car – fun palace etc – they should decide what is best for the general public – its not their money it is ours!!

  66. johnthemon

    18th July, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    “and johnthemon I’m sure employee’s of the Garrick who are made redundant would feel the same about leisure centres employees. It works both ways.”

    It is sad for anyone to be made redundant I have to say but if the Garrick was managed correctly some time before the government imposed these demands on councils perhaps these people wouldn’t have been employed in the first place. The goose that has been laying the golden egg for the Garrick has gone home to roost I hope, and not before time.

  67. Council Employee

    18th July, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Flyposting is and will be dealt with , along with any evidence sourced from broadcasts. Sabcat printing is Lime lane pelsall and not what I would say is a true lichfield business. The radio conversation is noted…

  68. John

    18th July, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    cynic correct what people want – i think the growing audience numbers at the garrick show what the community think about the garrick.

    Not gong to pretend I do snigger you think I look after myself infact if you knew me do quite the opposite. Never mind.

    as for playing semantics..no I think not. there is money, there has to be cuts yes. But that doesn’t mean it has to cut services. There are alot more inventive ways to balance the books- any person with a creative attitude can see that. You cut the garrick with immediate effects within a couple of years it will go bankrupt.. you’ve seen it with many theatres across the country. loss of 26 jobs (which is extremely small for a theatre of its size) a loss of a community venue, a loss of a tourist attraction and income into the city. Have some people never heard if investment? Seems not. Older people will still get out, people will still have places ago and there will still be free toilets to use in the city whether you want to believe it or not. If you think they are so great why not rally around businesses and charities and see if you can get the amount to find them. They are underused as it is, if they wern’t [people wouldn’t loose them. I also have two grandparents a I have disabled relations so I know how these people live rather than labour supporters who think they know best but rather have no experience.

    The Garrick is managed as well as all other subsidised venues. Others who do not take the time and care to look at what a subsidised and commercial theatre is. To put it in plain terms… a subsidised theatre is a theatre than gets money from local authority to fund goings at a community theatre. Garrick rep school of acting, garrick rep youth theatre, garrick rep summer school, garrick rep choir and a couple more. These are not profit making things. If they were the young people of lichfield would be paying thousands of pounds for them (similar to what they pay to join a gym) and gives them a hell of a lot more people and communication skills. Something these comments show lichfield unfortunately is portrayed to lack. A commercial theatre is one that basically constantly puts on musicals something similar to the birmingham hippodrome which is created for shareholders. Now if you want the garrick to become that sort of venue then by all means suggest it. But i’m sure the old and vulnerable would not like the £60 a ticket shows every month.

  69. John

    18th July, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    why is council employee getting thumbs down when all they are doing is speaking the truth? some people stick their fingers in their ears and go lalala i’m not listening.

  70. Sabcat

    18th July, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    “the radio conversation is noted” What exactly does that mean? Noted by who? You Council Employee?

    This is more entertaining than the Garrick ever has been :)

  71. Asellus aquaticus

    18th July, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    It does just occur to me… Cynic, can you confirm that you would rather that the money being spent on the Garrick was used to support community initiatives such as Community Transport and the North Lichfield Initiative?

  72. Foxy

    18th July, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I think people are missing the point.

    2,500,000 ?

    500,000 + 500,000 + 1,500,000 ?
    Over next two years!

    Im not against the arts – but the Garrick is not the be all and end all of the arts.

    Two and a half million?

    Have a word with yourselves.

  73. Cynic

    19th July, 2013 at 12:02 am

    “Cynic, can you confirm that you would rather” I thought I had made my opinion quite clear – I keep being told off for repeating I am against the Garrick getting subsidy/grants/funds or what ever code is the in word today.
    I think theatres/drama/opera/ballet are wonderful places but they are not the top of a prioritised list I would compile IF I was looking after the general public .
    The council tax should be used -health and safety (bins) – for the old/needy/sick/ – I would bow to others who deal with/know these areas to decide a prioritised list which should be compiled and then debated so the list met with what the general public feels is fair .
    None of the cuts that I have seen will affect my way of life.
    Sabcat seems to know what is needed – gets my vote with regards to items towards the top of the list

    John “inventive ways to balance the books”/” creative attitude ” You say you can read accounts – Are those sort of comments used in accountancy today? -“I have disabled relations so I know how these people live rather than labour supporters who think they know best but rather have no experience. ”
    I have TRIED to read your last big reply – I can not understand some of it – you did say you read English at uni? Try compiling a reply and then looking at it some time later before you send it.
    If your disabled relations come to Lichfield – where do they visit/eat?
    I do not understand the Labour comment if its aimed at me – I am to the right of Genghis Khan.LOL

  74. John

    19th July, 2013 at 12:24 am

    2.5 million?! please explain that figure i would love to know where on earth you got that one foxxy :S

    as for sabcat getting your vote… a person speaking on behalf of businesses in lichfield whose business is nowhere near lichfield is a bit worrying but never mind if that’s who you trust. Maybe you can help him campaign against the cuts throughout the country that his t shirts are against too.

    I have never said I read english at uni at all…i said my course includes certain literature modules to clear up on that.

    and no I did not accuse you of being a labour supporter. But some people who have commented on here are simply spinning certain labour councillors words.

    where do my relations visit and eat..well alot of places within lichfield,its a pretty accessible place and yes they visit the garrick. In fact have said it is the best theatre they have been to accessibility wise.

    In essence what i was saying is that cuts don’t have to be made in the way of cutting big services. Far more creative things can be achieved, linking up with local councils, sharing resources, amongst alot of other ideas.

    I was also saying about how it’s common sense the money given to the garrick is an investment rather than just throwing it at nothing. How can I proove that? well if even half the people who attend a night pay £5 for food or even petrol that then gives money into the local community and economy.

    and I was concluding with the buisness model of the garrick and how it is no different to the majority of theatres around the country. How it needs to be subsidised to fund the youth theatre, the school of acting, the summer schools, the youth choir etc etc. You may say a child has to pay to attend..but this is a heavily subsidised cost. You could cut this and the Garrick would at least break even. But what will you tell the majority of children who use it as a way to learn communication skills, debating and discussions skills as well as the very important skill of faith in yourself and self confidence? tell them to pay to join a gym that is still subsidised by the council?

    stoke on Trent council tried to do a similar thing with the new vic theatre and had to give in because of huge local support.

    we have heard from a Lichfield company that believes in the garrick yet people question him over a business that doesn’t even contribute to the cities economy..wow.

  75. Some Bloke

    19th July, 2013 at 12:36 am

    John, you are eating yourself now. Read over what you are saying before posting. I’m being respectful because of you keen interest and willingness to debate.

    Sabcat has every right to make comment and contribute, earned, over a long time. He has all the credentials to be engaged and involved.

    Apart from the voting bit, that made me chuckle….

  76. Cynic

    19th July, 2013 at 1:17 am

    John – “where do my relations visit and eat..well alot of places ” Sorry to be pedantic but can you give me a couple of places they eat?

    “attend a night pay £5 for food ” Lets be generous it is late – £5 times 500 seats times 365 days equals? I guess todays calculator might arrive at near your £7M but my brain puts it under a Million and we all know you do not get 500 every day of the year!

  77. Some Bloke

    19th July, 2013 at 1:30 am

    £912,500

  78. Cynic

    19th July, 2013 at 1:32 am

    “Apart from the voting bit, that made me chuckle….”
    Glad I made you laugh – I did qualify it!
    When wearing a council “hat” they should look for what is best for the community and put their right/left wing differences to one side.

  79. Cynic

    19th July, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Does no one sleep in Lichfield – Good Night all.

  80. Sabcat

    19th July, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    To be fair to the Garrick the economic impact is more than additional money spent by people who go to see things. It will have an economic impact but as the Lichfield District Council themselves say in the link posted by Council Employee

    “Investigate if the added value of the Garrick Theatre to the community and economy is as currently thought as there may be other services that actually add more value. Should consider reduction of financial support in future years.”

    Which as we’ve said all along means the council really don’t know what the impact of the Garrick is because they’ve never bothered to find out. Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence in the council, does it?

    Still, the Garrick management are happy to throw around the £7million figure and the council aren’t publicly going to challenge them, how could they? They’ve presided over this debacle. They really do think the people are thick.

  81. Foxy

    19th July, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    John – my figures are its usual 400k upwards subsidies per year plus the additional 1.5 million to bolster its funds to become a charitable trust.
    I rounded the figures up before adding them.

    Due to the 7 million economic impact fantasy, I thought I would exagerate my figures a touch.

    But face facts John, theres no way the Garricks bringing close to 20k per day to the town.
    that’s how the figures are justified.
    The arts don’t need millions to run a few drama groups.

  82. Sabcat

    19th July, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    A quick update for John and Council Employee, more than 70 people have asked for stickers now. A fairly even split between Lichfield and Burntwood with a couple in Handsacre and Shenstone. I do hope they sticker responsibly.