The Greens & The Arts

Here’s another splurge from the Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party to muse over:-

“The arts can express profound ideas, the arts can make social criticism, the arts can perplex or infuriate but above all the arts should enhance our enjoyment of life or there is little point in them.

The Green Party is very much in favour of life being enjoyable and so we see the arts as being one of the central pivots in policies for a more humane and reflective world.

In a multi-cultural society, such as Waltham Forest, the arts have an important role in helping people to assert their own cultural identity and to understand the cultural identity of others.

Waltham Forest Council have spent millions of pounds of council tax money on an attempt to create a retail centre in Walthamstow Town Centre. Not only does this encourage mindless consumerism, but also it will not be successful in the face of competition from established retail centres, such as Ilford, or more ambitious proposed retail centres, such as Stratford City.

The arts potentially present far more of a niche market to benefit Waltham Forest than creating another “clone-town” in Walthamstow.

The council have failed to recognise the potential offered by the number of musicians, filmmakers and artists resident in the borough, together with the excellent public transport links to Walthamstow.

The Green Party support proposals for an arts centre in Walthamstow, as part of a strategy to make Waltham Forest the centre for the arts and culture in northeast and east London.

We need a centre to exhibit the visual arts and to present the performance arts. Despite a number of talented and adventurous amateur theatrical companies in the borough, the only theatre we have is the dilapidated theatre in Lloyd Park.

The British film industry started in Walthamstow in the early 20th century; Alfred Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone – and yet Waltham Forest is the only borough in London without a cinema!

We would like to see the council entering into a partnership with the national lottery and the film industry to establish a cinema museum, which would also show films on circuit, in order to recognise the role of this borough in the development of the cinema.

We advocate support of Vestry House Museum and the William Morris Gallery through adequate funds and full staffing. We also support other initiatives, such as the Pump House Museum, and the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone.

We want to see continued and increased support for local festivals, such as the Leytonstone Festival and Walthamstow Festival, which help to reflect the many cultures that make our borough such an exciting place to live.

We are pleased to see the growth in the number of pubs presenting live music in the borough and concerts being presented in places of worship and other locations around the borough.

Walthamstow Assembly Hall has some of the finest acoustics in the country; national orchestras have rehearsed and recorded there.

Our own local orchestra, the Forest Philharmonic, present an annual series of high quality concerts at the Assembly Hall. It is outrageous to even contemplate the selling off of assets, such as Walthamstow Assembly Hall and Chingford Assembly Hall. Life in Waltham Forest should be stimulating and fun.

The arts, in their various forms, contribute to this. The Green Party will support the arts in all their forms across the borough”.

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