Lambeth arts project lambasts council’s funding policies


The council has pledged to make processes more transparent.

By Sarah Aston

Lambeth Council’s pledge to make funding processes more transparent has met criticism from local arts project Urban Art.

Currently facing a road closure charge of £1,100 for its fourth annual two day arts fair in July, Urban Art believes that they are being unfairly targeted by the council’s inconsistent approach to funding and charges.

Founded in 2002 by Timothy Sutton, 53, Urban Art seeks to showcase local artists and is worried that the council’s decision could cripple the project.

Mr Sutton says: “I think it demonstrates, especially in the art world, that they are not equipped to deal with the arts community.

“They are going to kill us if they don’t watch out with this uneven playing field.”

With a local reputation for playing a large part in the Lambeth community, Urban Art was set up as a direct response to the lack of arts support in the early 2000’s.

The annual festival is entirely dedicated to providing a platform for local artists to exhibit and sell their works. Mr Sutton says that as a direct result of the council’s decision to charge a road closure fee, Urban Art are having to charge artists £10 for a space at the festival – something Mr Sutton is very upset about.

Publically addressing council leader Lib Peck on the way in which the council decides which projects to support and which to charge at a Q&A meeting last month, Mr Sutton told Councillor Peck he finds it strange there is no validation process in place.

Councillor Peck responded: “I don’t think we are as transparent as we should be on those processes.”

However, Mr Sutton says that after the meeting there is still no further clarity on what these processes are.

“Personally I was very unsatisfied with Lib Peck’s answers. She has had over a month since we submitted our question, yet nothing concrete was actually offered, just vague words of support,” he said.

Mr Sutton says that he is determined to continue to ask for clarification on council funding.

To find out more about the annual art festival and the Urban Art project visit:

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