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Live Webchat with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (Monday 31 January, 1.15-2.15pm)

(235 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 27-Jan-11 11:49:30

We're delighted to announce that Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, will be joining us for a webchat this Monday lunchtime.

Ed's responsibilities range from libraries and art galleries to broadband access, internet shock and film.

Ed says said that, ever since he was appointed last May, it has been a priority for him to keep in direct contact with people who want to ask questions, raise issues or make comments and suggestions.

So, do feel free to ask away - either on the day or, if you can't join us then, by posting your question in advance here.

jonicomelately Thu 27-Jan-11 13:50:50

You are abolishing the Film Council. The Oscar nominated film 'The King's Speech' was backed by the Film Council. The success of this film and others like it adds to the fiscal and cultural well-being of our nation.

Where precisely are film makers going to get their funding from in future Ed? I'd like specific answers please smile

AlistairSim Thu 27-Jan-11 15:33:11

Do you have any comment to make about the library closures, Mr Vaizey?

I believe half of all the libraries in Oxfordshire, your own constituency, are due to close?

arentfanny Thu 27-Jan-11 16:12:57

Wnat your thoughts on library closures, Dorset is proposing to close 20 out of it's 34 libraries, but about to sepnd a few million on a new flagship one.

sethstarkaddersmackerel Thu 27-Jan-11 16:18:54

Thank you for coming Ed. I would like to ask you whether you've given up smoking yet (am occasional Wright Stuff viewer....) but more importantly:

Don't you realise that allowing all these libraries to be closed is going to lose a hell of a lot of Conservative votes? There are a lot of people - including older people like my parents, and many young families who use libraries, who will never forgive your party for allowing this to happen.

gerbiltamer Thu 27-Jan-11 16:20:48

I'd like to echo the previous posters' views about library closures. These aren't just merely buildings they're hubs of the community and provide a centre of learning for all, not to mention internet access for people who don't have it at home. Also, I'm interested how this will affect the nation's literacy levels.

Good work on bringing broadband to all though, the Government has some very robust policies in place.

midnightexpress Thu 27-Jan-11 17:30:35

I definitely want to know about the libraries. It's an absolute disgrace that they are being considered for closure. They are such important hubs of the local community. Even for people who can afford books like you Mr Vaizey...

taczilla Thu 27-Jan-11 17:38:07

Ed I use the library chiefly to keep my 6 year old in books the kind that you read once whilst learning to read.

I would not buy these kinds of books as the cost would be extortionate so thank goodness for the library. As a child I read constantly and it was something my working class parents could indulge as a trip to the library is free.

I guarantee I am not alone in this.

midnightexpress Thu 27-Jan-11 18:33:43

Absolutely taczilla - I spent every Saturday morning in the library as a child and my love of reading comes in great part from that. It would be a dreadful loss to see that opportunity lost for our children.

arentfanny Thu 27-Jan-11 18:37:25

I work in the main library in our county, upstairs inputting books, it is always busy as is our very little one which is open 7 hours a week. My bedside table has a huge pile of books as does the DC's, I can't afford to buy them new books and they like to change them a lot. I also agree with the poster who says that voters will not stand for this.

sieglinde Thu 27-Jan-11 20:04:20

Mr Vaizey, I remember the biographer Michael Holroyd always wrote Education: Maidenhead Public Library'. Won't library closures kneecap our culture industry?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 27-Jan-11 20:37:44

David Cameron said he wanted Britain to make more films like Harry Potter.

JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter 1 on benefits and Harry Potter 2 on a £8k grant from the Scottish Arts Council. I don't know off the top of my head how much the Harry Potter franchise has brought in investment to the UK - but it is measured in billions, I imagine, rather than millions. And it continues to build - with a Harry Potter theme park soon being built in Leavesden.

Would you agree that investment in arts and creative industries is not something worthy and nice-to-do but integral to our economy and necessary for growth. We are never going to compete on manufacturing with emerging economies but maintaining a vibrant creative sector and media is essential? What is the coalition going to do to safeguard investment?

LilyBolero Thu 27-Jan-11 21:09:27

The performing arts contribute immeasurably to revenue brought in by tourists. It is estimated at something like 3.7% of GDP. We have the largest performing arts economy as a proportion of GDP in the WORLD. It is not a big outgoing budget, but essential for both institutions and events. And yet funding to world class institutions like the Royal College of Music is being slashed by 100%. Added to this, visa entry requirements are preventing world class musicians from travelling to this country to engage in masterclasses/recitals etc Example here

How is this a good idea? To cut funding from a sector that we are world leaders in, resulting in a much greater loss of revenue, and a further drop in GDP?

razors Thu 27-Jan-11 21:16:00

More about the libraries from me too! You must stop local councils from closing them down. There are many other ways to save money rather than removing this valuable resource from the heart of or communities. I grew up in Brent and was heartbroken to hear that Kensal Rise library is being earmarked for closure but BC are opening a new £100 million pound library in Wembley - surely at a time like this a new library is excessive when we have such beautiful and well used libraries already? Mark Twain opened KR library. Andrew Carnigie gave the library £3000 to expand. Surely a library with such an illustrious history deserves some respect? For pity's sake leave us something with Uni fees rising EMA scrapped - our libraries are more important then ever now?

BookwormSW11 Thu 27-Jan-11 22:48:17

York Gardens Library in Wandsworth is in the most deprived ward in that borough. 59% of children who use it say that using the library helps them do better at school. These are children who live in high rises, often have few books at home and do not have computers at home. The library is a safe haven for kids and adults alike.

How does your department feel about the fact that many councils are choosing to make cuts to the library services?

How do you feel about the impact on communities and culture that the closure of libraries is going to have?

What measurement will your department be doing to understand the impact?

And what will you be doing to mitigate against the impact of these closures?

Thank you.

MarinaResurgens Thu 27-Jan-11 22:57:11

I would like to ask you if you have any personal, extended experience of coordinating volunteer workers, as this is what your Government is advocating as a viable alternative to paying professional and paraprofessional library staff to provide a service.
What are your views on Philip Pullman's brilliant summary of this unworkable suggestion?

Philip Pullman

MarinaResurgens Thu 27-Jan-11 23:00:59

And I would also like to ask you whether you really feel that cutting the entire HEFCE teaching grant to the conservatoires in the UK, thereby almost certainly forcing them to raise annual fees to 9k, is competitive in a European marketplace where many other outstanding institutions in e.g. Salzburg, Helsinki, Paris and Amsterdam, will be charging a fraction of those fees. Do you want to drive young musicians out of the UK altogether?

arentfanny Thu 27-Jan-11 23:23:02

Can I also say Good Luck

I live in what I believe is the biggest village in England. Our library serves an area of over 10,000 people. When it closes this year getting to the main library will cost me £3 in either parking or bus fare. Please tell me Mr Vaizey how am I supposed to afford for my children to read. Also where else will I be able to walk to with my young children except the co-op? Can't sit down and read a book there.

My husband who works for the library will also be out of a job so I will have to return from maternity leave full time & barely see my children. Just telling you like it is for the people you are so keen to keep in contact with. Devasting really, for me, for my Dh, for my children & for my community.

ponygirl131 Fri 28-Jan-11 11:14:00

Public libraries have been providing free access to knowledge and books for almost 300 years. They've changed and adapted to the times, and recently they have made a massive contribution to bridging the digital divide, through projects like the People's Network.

My twins are 18 months old and already have a real passion for books thanks to our local library, which is under threat of closure.

So I would like to ask Ed: once the library closes, where else can I take my children to use free books, with trained staff on hand to help them on the start of their 'reading journey'?

ladyt178 Sat 29-Jan-11 08:40:26

i have used public libraries all of my life it seems, and both of my children had their own tickets at 6 weeks old, i and many other people like me are trying our very best to raise well educated children, and i firmly believe that without access to books that would never happen, we can't all afford private education like you probably had, and we can't all afford to buy the sort of books you can borrow from the library, so why are you closing them, stop wasting money on stupid stuff and spend it where it will do the most good!

WonderingStar Sat 29-Jan-11 17:12:18

I was going to post the same as BookwormSW11 - see post of Thu 27-Jan-11 22:48:17 .

Just to add, telling children from a deprived and often dangerous-after-dark estate that they can visit another library, over 1/2 a mile away, which would entail them walking under railway bridges and across busy roads, to do their homework, access books, librarian resources and the internet is not a solution.

Nor is providing "children's outreach services," whatever they may be, in lieu.

gaelicsheep Sun 30-Jan-11 01:27:00

I am pleased to see my question about cutting funding to specialist music colleges has already been asked.

Instead therefore I'm going to ask a question about broadband access. How does the Government plan to help people get access not just to broadband but affordable broadband? We have satellite broadband through the Scottish Broadband Reach project and we pay £35 a month for a distinctly flaky connection that cannot deliver streamed video at all. 2MB would cost well over £40 a month. <Hold on Mr Vazey, don't bat it back saying that's a Scottish problem - there will be rural communities in England with the same issue.> It's all very well getting everyone access to broadband - how are you going to make it affordable for all and address the huge divide between cheap superfast in the towns and expensive barely a crawl in areas like mine? The market is not going to deliver improved landline broadband, certainly not for small and ancient rural exchanges like mine.

gaelicsheep Sun 30-Jan-11 01:28:21

oops - Vaizey

Avocadoes Sun 30-Jan-11 11:43:22

Mr Vaizey,

I have read that you plan to scrap the idea of net neutrality (for those that do not know, this means that websites will have to pay Internet Service Providers for delivering their content. A big business with lots of cash will be able to afford to pay top whack and will therefore have its pages loaded faster onto your screen than a smaller, poorer rival).

Potentially this means that there will be a two tier internet. With big business being able to provide easy access to its content and small business/charities/individuals only being able to offer slow loading pages. The consumer will soon get irritated by the slow access to some information so will start avoiding the pages of smaller companies thus disadvantaging them ever more.

Even the US Government thinks net neutrality is of supreme importance so that all information is equal. That is the magic of the internet. Can you please explain why you are willing to undermine equality on the internet in favor of big business? Please don't use technical gooblidook in your answer in the hope of boring people to death so they continue to ignore this really important issue.

Avocadoes

Currently our main town library is closed for renovations for 12 months (?) and now we have heard that three of the other libraries in town are closing, how can we encourage children to read if we are striping away all the facilities which assist them to do so.

Seafront services including the life-saving beach patrol will lose nearly £125,000 and staff numbers are being cut, as Blackpool is once again attracting families in large numbers.

The events programme, which pulls in millions of visitors to Blackpool each year, is facing a £232,000 budget cut.

Also includes a £2.4m tourism and culture cut and £5.8m from Blackpool Services which includes parks and leisure

Why do I get the feeling that the current goverment would like to go back to the "good old days" when the poor were expected to be poor and uneducated with poor living conditions and poor health care and the rich
had access to the opportunities. The current goverment is doing a fantastic job of this by stripping away the facilities the poor access to better their lifes.

Oh sorry I forgot, I am a single mother so your goverment hates me anyhow.

Betelguese Sun 30-Jan-11 14:15:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zebedeee Sun 30-Jan-11 15:22:09

As a former 'Librarian' yourself (Vice President librarian of the Oxford Union) isn't it ironic that you are condoning the decimation of the library service? Or is it a case that books should only be the preserve of those that can afford to pay for private libraries?

What memories of using the public libraries do you have as a child/ in your youth? For many people libraries have been formative to their future careers.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 30-Jan-11 16:25:19

I did not know that Avocadoes about net neutrality. That is shocking.

LilyBolero Sun 30-Jan-11 16:47:26

One further question; I do hope that David Cameron's insane "Search for a Star" 'x-factor style competition for schools' plan to revolutionise music teaching in schools has been scrapped. As a professional musician, I can't imagine anything worse - X-factor is the worst example of the commercial world of pop music, and the idea of introducing it to schools as 'education' is madness. It is reducing something which is part of our cultural history to the triviality which pervades competitions such as the x-factor, in which it is widely acknowledged that the only winner is Simon Cowell.

Please can you confirm that this will not be happening?

Mr Vaizey,

Do you think that Rupert Murdoch is a fit and proper person to be given even more power over the British media?

Go on, be brave and answer... off the record, you understand (no one is listening in, honestly).

Crumblemum Mon 31-Jan-11 09:05:52

What are you doing (as a Minister) that makes you proud?

thewook Mon 31-Jan-11 09:26:22

How is my child going to learn to read with no local library? How are any children going to learn to read with no local library?

Eleison Mon 31-Jan-11 09:48:03

At least one pro-libraries campaigning group is acting to subject your department to judicial review for failing in your legal duty under the 1964 Museums and Public Libraries Act to "superintend, and promote the improvement of, the public library service provided my local authorities."

My question is this: if a significant number of libraries are transferred to the control of voluntary organisations (assuming that such organisations are forthcoming) how will any accountability remain -- not just the accountability of individual organisations for their library's service, but accountability to our community as a whole for national provision?

Both the National Audit Office and the Information Commissioner have warned that such fracturing of provision, presented as heightened control by communities, is actuallly eroding public accountability. Gus O'Donnell has ordered an inquiry into localism/big society reforms that risk eroding principles of transparency and ministerial accountability.

What do you say to the worry that, not only are we losing libraries, we are losing mechanisms for collective control over the quality of provision?

LindsayWagner Mon 31-Jan-11 09:48:31

Hello Ed

Very pleased to see that you're pushing for ISPs to adopt network filters as a default, so that only those who want porn will get it. I think we've barely begun to consider what the impact on children, and thence society, of this tide of increasingly-misogynist porn will be.

Clearly the ISPs don't welcome this move - so can you explain in detail how you're going to ensure that they don't wriggle out of it by retaining the 'opt-out' system, whereby users have to actively choose to turn porn off.

Most organisations involved in child protection seem to agree that a filter which isn't a default filter is no filter at all.

On the same subject, how do you propose to convince those conspiracy theorists who tout the 'thin end of wedge' argument wrt broader censorship?

LindsayWagner Mon 31-Jan-11 09:53:18

Gah dammit there's more:

You seemed to hint that if the industry didn't adopt a default filter voluntarily, you would legislate in the next communications bill, which I think is due in a couple of years time. Can you confirm that this is the case and give a time-frame for action by the industry?

Thanks very much.

policywonk Mon 31-Jan-11 09:54:02

Hello Mr Vaizey. Can you tell us exactly what you're asking the big ISPs to do around the issue of children's access to adult material on the internet? An off-the-record briefing a few weeks back had you telling ISPs that you were considering legislation on the issue, but your public stance always seem to be that you'd prefer a voluntary code of conduct. It would be great if you could clarify which of these two options you're leaning towards.

policywonk Mon 31-Jan-11 09:54:57

Ah, cross-post with Lindsay!

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 10:47:35

As questions about the destruction of the library system have been asked and Lily Bolero's already made the point about arts funding, I'd like to amplify bitzermaloney's question (as I won't be able to make it for the webchat):

How are we supposed to believe that the government's decision about the BSkyB bid and NewsCorp's phone-tapping scandal are being handled properly when:

1. Rupert Murdoch was David Cameron's first visitor to No 10

2. Jeremy Hunt has had at least one meeting with James Murdoch before he was moved on to handling the bid.

3. David Cameron met Rebecca Brooks and James Murdoch for lunch over Christmas.

(Was the BSkyB bid discussed at this Christmas lunch? And if you don't know whether it was or not, don't you think as Minister for CCCI, you should?)

And, Avocadoes, I didn't know that about ISPs. That's appalling.

But thanks for coming on at least, Mr Vaizey. Just hope you'll take on board the comments made on this thread hmm

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 11:02:03

Can I please be very cheeky and add another question - it's one I would ask to any member of the government, and is a more general question .

When an election returns a result of no party having a majority, what mandate does this give the eventual government, and do you think this gives them the right to introduce sweeping reforms that featured in nobody's manifesto, as is happening right now? And please don't answer with 'we lost the election, we couldn't deliver our manifesto' as that is SUCH a patronising answer that I have heard from both Tory and LibDems - surely there is NO mandate to introduce legislation and massive reform that no-one has heard before the election (eg NHS reforms and forest sell-offs, not to mention the downright u-turns - VAT, Child benefit etc).

elkiedee Mon 31-Jan-11 11:37:36

I have a question about your government advocating keeping libraries open by the use of volunteers. How are volunteers meant to keep a roof over their head and feed themselves and their children without paid work? And of course. And if they have children, who looks after the kids - we're not going to be able to afford pay to volunteer (childcare, travel).

Madsometimes Mon 31-Jan-11 11:38:49

Hi Mr Vaizey

I would like to ask about charging policies in National Museums.

Jeremy Hunt has asked museums to think of new ways to raise revenue as their budgets have been cut. He has not given them permission to introduce entrance charges to their permanent collections, but they are allowed to charge for special exhibitions, as has been the case since 2001. His stance was set out in this letter.

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has decided to introduce a £10 fee to access the Royal Observatory's Flamsteed House, and the Meridian Line. Flamsteed House contains the the Harrison Clocks, which are an important part of the permanent collection of the National Maritime Museum. These clocks saved countless lives at sea, by enabling mariners to determine longitude precisely.

Taken from the website of the DCMS:

Free entry for everyone to England's national museums is a central part of our cultural policy.

In London, visits to museums that used to charge were up by over 135%, including
National Maritime Museum up 197%.

Will the DCMS do anything to prevent the NMM from charging visitors access to this important part of their permanent collection? I understand that the NMM will still have free entry for most of the museum, but if they charge for access to this important piece of our Maritime History, it goes against the guidelines set out by your department.

Querelous Mon 31-Jan-11 12:14:42

Mr Vaizey,

What do you think of the cuts made to the World Service?

Do you think there is enough in-depth
coverage of International news in the UK at the moment?

Is the UK in danger of sleep walking further into a myopic, dumbed-down, celebrity-obsessed world view?

The World Service is respected internationally as unbiased, accurate and fair, a large part of this is due to it's local language coverage in an increasingly polarised and unstable regions of the world. Many of these regions are reliant on radio. What are the security implications for the UK and British nationals / companies engaging in of cutting for overseas trade of cutting for example the Somali, Swahili or Russian language coverage?

Will cuts to this vital bastion of democracy not ultimately lead to an increase in the threat of terrorism om our shores?

The UK now has a multi-racial population, how will their needs for international news be served?

Querelous

gloriadepieromp Mon 31-Jan-11 12:26:00

Hi Ed,

It's Gloria De Piero MP, shadow culture minister. Heard you were taking questions today so wanted to submit a few of my own. Am sure some fellow mumsnetters will be interested in your answers too.

As you know hundreds of libraries are under threat of closure. Have you looked into how or whether children's reading groups might be affected?

Many of the mums I know say their young ones can't get through picture books fast enough at toddling age. They say their local library is really helpful in the early years. Have you picked this up at all?

There's a growing issue with employers only advertising online - when people are out of work and don't have a computer at home, they are advised to go to the local library to look for vacancies. Given 1 in 4 don't have access don't have a computer at home, libraries are more important than ever aren't they?

As the minister for libraries what kind of powers do you have to stop a library closing?

Querelous Mon 31-Jan-11 12:29:36

If you can answer only 2 of my questions please make it the one on security implications and the one on terrorism.

OhBuggerandArse Mon 31-Jan-11 12:35:26

Mr Vaizey,

Given that the culture, communications and creative industries are overwhelmingly staffed by arts and humanities graduates, how do you expect them to survive in a future in which funding to teach these subjects has been removed from the universities?

falsemessageoflethargy Mon 31-Jan-11 12:35:48

Hello Mr Vaizey - can I just ask - how are we supposed to form he Big Society and be 'all in it together' when the only places that all types of people mix - ie the library and surestart centres are being closed?

In my borough - there is a great socioeconomic mix and schools, hospitals, even supermarkets are divided on socioeconomic lines - literally the only places you might meet someone different to you are the surestart centres and the libraries where you can find community in the old and very real sense.

How does the removal of these sorts of places encourage a Big Society?

GastonTheLadybird Mon 31-Jan-11 12:45:36

Ed, welcome to Mumsnet, perhaps you could tell me why you are single handedly destroying arts in the UK?

With cuts in funding to the Arts Council, abolition of Film Council (which made more money for the UK than is cost - crazy) and budget cuts at local authorities, where do you expect organisations to get the money from?

The cuts are hitting many individuals hard, especially with inflation rises meaning that most people are having real term salary cuts do you genuinely think that this will make up for the short fall?

Not going to be much left for you to be minister of at this rate.

Biblioqueen Mon 31-Jan-11 12:47:36

I've been a professional librarian for 30 years, Mr Vaizey, and I want to ask you how you can square your conscience with the part you've played in bringing about the devastation of a key public resource which has, since 1850, offered such vital access to information and educational resources for people who are otherwise denied these through no fault of their own.

Your government insults both our profession and library users deeply in suggesting that volunteers, however keen, can replace the knowledge and expertise that librarians offer their communities.This ill-conceived idea is completely unworkable.

jugglingjo Mon 31-Jan-11 12:58:10

What percentage of libraries are likely to close under the proposed plans ?

From my experience as both an early years teacher and mother what impact do you think these closures will have on children's development, including their emerging love of learning ?

It has been said that for every pound spent on good quality early years provision £8 is saved to society in later years, through higher levels of economic activity and less expenditure on both benefits and crime.

In view of this how wise is it to close both sure start centres and libraries ?

(As a family we will also miss the opportunity to stand on the meridian line at Greenwich ! How much will it now be for children to experience this ? We love the new observatory experience at Greenwich, and have visited many times in recent years)

Madsometimes Mon 31-Jan-11 13:11:20

jugglingjo, it will be free for your children to stand on the Meridian, but you will need to pay £10 to supervise them.

Unless you have teenagers, I doubt that you will want your children running around Greenwich on their own!

JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Mon 31-Jan-11 13:14:48

Ok so Ed is here and ready to type (all his own work so be kind).

Over to you Ed.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 13:16:38

Message withdrawn

jugglingjo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:16:40

Sounds like there could be lots of teenagers and unsupervised children standing on that line - a nightmare for the Observatory staff ?!

If children are required to be supervised by an adult then you can't really say it's free for them either !

Welcome Ed

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:18:24

jonicomelately

You are abolishing the Film Council. The Oscar nominated film 'The King's Speech' was backed by the Film Council. The success of this film and others like it adds to the fiscal and cultural well-being of our nation.

Where precisely are film makers going to get their funding from in future Ed? I'd like specific answers please smile

Thanks for this. It is great to be in the Mumsnet office. I will be typing my own replies so please forgive typos.
The funding for British film will be handled by the British Film Institute from this April. We are aiming for a seamless transition, and filmmakers tell us that there has been no disruption in their applications.
We have increased Lottery funding for film which will rise from £27m to £40m; Film4 is also increasing support from £10m to £15m; and today a film finance company announced a deal with a US distributor to make 3 British films a year. So I think the investment climate for British film is looking good. I should also add that the BFI is increasing the film production fund by £3m next year.
The abolition of the UK Film Council was a tough decision to make - but in a tough economic climate we felt we had to make the savings where we could, and by saving on overhead we can secure investment in film.

newsmum Mon 31-Jan-11 13:18:48

What has the response been from ISPs to being made responsible for blocking pornography? Is this realistic? Why is it so important?

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:21:22

AlistairSim

Do you have any comment to make about the library closures, Mr Vaizey?

I believe half of all the libraries in Oxfordshire, your own constituency, are due to close?

Clearly I am concerned by library closures. It's important to emphasise that I cannot intervene until a council has made a firm decision. At the moment the closures are all proposals and things change all the time. I think Somerset and Glos. have already made changes. Even after a decision has been made, I have to take advice from the Museums Libraries and Archives Council before deciding to intervene.
I am a great supporter of libraries - they are important spaces for the community, not just for books, but for internet access, education, advice, or simply as a neutral space. There are loads of library authorities who are pioneering changes which make libraries more relevant than ever.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 13:21:36

The film finance company that is investing in Brit films is Murdoch's Fox http://link.ft.com/r/G8OTZZ/NS5Q7T/2B7C5/M9M1FN/6V NYXX/W1/h?a1=2011&a2=1&a3=31 for everyone's info.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:22:29

arentfanny

Wnat your thoughts on library closures, Dorset is proposing to close 20 out of it's 34 libraries, but about to sepnd a few million on a new flagship one.

I cant comment on the specifics here - but it is worth making a general point that sometimes headline closures can mask a decision by a council to invest in a different strategy eg investing in key libraries while closing others.

jugglingjo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:22:46

Hi Ed,

My son shares your name smile

Can you do anything to reassure the many MN posters regarding the future provision of library services in this country ?

So that he will be able to grow up literate and able to pursue as interesting a job as you have ?

See also my slightly earlier comment about the value of early years provision to society.

So what can and will you do when the libraries do announce their changes?

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:23:51

sethstarkaddersmackerel

Thank you for coming Ed. I would like to ask you whether you've given up smoking yet (am occasional Wright Stuff viewer....) but more importantly:

Don't you realise that allowing all these libraries to be closed is going to lose a hell of a lot of Conservative votes? There are a lot of people - including older people like my parents, and many young families who use libraries, who will never forgive your party for allowing this to happen.

I hear what you say - what I would say is that libraries are a local service, delivered by local councils, who are democratically elected. So they can listen to their voters and take decisions in the light of what their voters are telling them.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:24:28

TondelayoSchwarzkopf

The film finance company that is investing in Brit films is Murdoch's Fox http://link.ft.com/r/G8OTZZ/NS5Q7T/2B7C5/M9M1FN/6V NYXX/W1/h?a1=2011&a2=1&a3=31 for everyone's info.

Yes the same company that distributed Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours

CMOTdibbler Mon 31-Jan-11 13:25:23

The proposed cuts to library services will affect rural communities disproportionatly - in our small town, the library is a real hub - a warm place for the elderly to sit, a easyily accesible childrens service (we have lots of travellers and seasonal workers who find it hard to access others), PC access for all etc, as well as a base for mobile libraries for the villages.

Cuts in the service means not accessing these things at all - its a long and costly bus ride to the next libary, and leaves nowhere free to go thats warm

We've also has fabulous outreach music and arts programmes to the villages where if you don't have a car you can't go to anything as the buses stop at 7, and I guess these will go too.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 13:25:27
nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 13:26:00

Message withdrawn

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:26:38

Bumperrlicious

So what can and will you do when the libraries do announce their changes?

As I say when a decision is made bya council, I will seek advice from the MLA on whether they believe it breaches the Public Libraries Act. If they think it does then I can order an inquiry. If the inquiry concludes against the council, the council is required to fix the breach. Another important point to make here is that the MLA is already on the ground working with a number of councils advising them on better ways forward. I also set up the future libraries programme last year to encourage councils to work together to create more effective library services. 36 councils are part of the programme.

'So they can listen to their voters and take decisions in the light of what their voters are telling them.'

They aren't listening though. Today our local authority announced an extra £500k to our library services - great, but they are giving it to the ones that are staying open rather than trying to save the ones that have closed, despite our community making the biggest protest.

compo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:28:24

The MLA has been scrapped hasn't it?

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 13:28:54

Not before Roy Clare stuck his oar in though compo hmm

Sorry, that's the ones that are to close, not have closed.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:29:25

TondelayoSchwarzkopf

David Cameron said he wanted Britain to make more films like Harry Potter.

JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter 1 on benefits and Harry Potter 2 on a £8k grant from the Scottish Arts Council. I don't know off the top of my head how much the Harry Potter franchise has brought in investment to the UK - but it is measured in billions, I imagine, rather than millions. And it continues to build - with a Harry Potter theme park soon being built in Leavesden.

Would you agree that investment in arts and creative industries is not something worthy and nice-to-do but integral to our economy and necessary for growth. We are never going to compete on manufacturing with emerging economies but maintaining a vibrant creative sector and media is essential? What is the coalition going to do to safeguard investment?

Yes I would. I think we have secured a good settlement for the arts and our national and regional museums. I made a speech last week about technology and the arts - technology gives arts organisations a great opportunity to show off their content to much larger audiences, but also to be seen as a key part of the creative industries. Technology means that people no longer have a stranglehold on distribution, and arts organisations can pioneer new ways of engaging either by telecasting into cinemas, or with apps and things like that

freshmint Mon 31-Jan-11 13:29:37

Hi Ed. As one of your consituents, do you find it difficult to reconcile your ministerial role with your constituency role? libraries is an obvious example.

CMOTdibbler Mon 31-Jan-11 13:29:40

Yes, makes no difference here if the libraries in nearercity are lovely and relevant - you just can't use them.

And what about rural broadband strategies ? Again, we have no choice - it's BT or BT as there isn't the population density for any competition

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:31:36

LilyBolero

The performing arts contribute immeasurably to revenue brought in by tourists. It is estimated at something like 3.7% of GDP. We have the largest performing arts economy as a proportion of GDP in the WORLD. It is not a big outgoing budget, but essential for both institutions and events. And yet funding to world class institutions like the Royal College of Music is being slashed by 100%. Added to this, visa entry requirements are preventing world class musicians from travelling to this country to engage in masterclasses/recitals etc Example here

How is this a good idea? To cut funding from a sector that we are world leaders in, resulting in a much greater loss of revenue, and a further drop in GDP?

Well as I say I think we kept the cuts to a minimum. No political party has denied the need to reduce public spending but we fought hard for a good settlement for the arts. I hear what you say about conservatoires, they are world class and I am pursuing this issue with the HEFCE. Visas can often cause problems, and we must make sure we resolve this.

falsemessageoflethargy Mon 31-Jan-11 13:31:45

The Schools Library Service cuts across the country are another example of where funding should have been ringfenced. We lost ours last year - massive implications for schools.

elkiedee Mon 31-Jan-11 13:33:22

While I'm quite critical of local councils too, do you really think that my opinion and that of everyone else in my borough counts for more at the moment than your government's decision to slash so much funding for councils that they are cutting non-statutory services to protect funding for statutory ones?

And is it deliberate government policy to punish voters who vote Labour in local elections?

Querelous Mon 31-Jan-11 13:34:03

Mr Vaizey,

The World Service is respected internationally as unbiased, accurate and fair, a large part of this is due to it's local language coverage in an increasingly polarised and unstable regions of the world. Many of these regions are reliant on radio. What are the security / cultural implications for the UK and British nationals / companies engaging in of cutting for overseas trade of cutting for example the Somali, Swahili or Russian language coverage?

Will cuts to this vital bastion of democracy not ultimately lead to an increase in the threat of terrorism om our shores?

Querelous

thewook Mon 31-Jan-11 13:34:13

" There are loads of library authorities who are pioneering changes which make libraries more relevant than ever. "

I really hope you don't mean the sort of bookshelf in a pub 'big society' rubbish that has been showon in news reports.
But I suspect that is what you mean.

What do you mean by relevant??? How can a library be more relevant than 'people need access to books and computers, therefore we will have libraries'???! What is a 'relevant library'???

Weasel words.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:34:44

MarinaResurgens

I would like to ask you if you have any personal, extended experience of coordinating volunteer workers, as this is what your Government is advocating as a viable alternative to paying professional and paraprofessional library staff to provide a service.
What are your views on Philip Pullman's brilliant summary of this unworkable suggestion?

Philip Pullman

Well I thought Philip Pullman made a very powerful speech. But as a local MP I am constantly amazed by how many people do volunteer - working in Citizens Advice Bureau, running after school clubs for music and sport, caring for the elderly. Society wouldnt function without volunteers. So I am not sure we should stand in the way if people want to volunteer to work in or run their local library. We have never said volunteers should take over from professional librarians, but they can support their work either by keeping a library open or keeping it open for longer.

freshmint Mon 31-Jan-11 13:35:31

To what extent do you have a say in the decision about whether the news corp purchase of the remainder of sky should be referred to the competition commission? Surely cross-media ownership and plurality should be part of your remit, not merely the business secretary's? Are you a Cablite on this issue?!

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 13:36:02

Thank youfor answering my question, I was arentfanny, by closing my local library I will now have to travel a 15 mile round trip to get to my next nearest. The flag ship one is a 35 mile round trip and with the proce of diesel at the moment It gets expensive. Our library is used regularly by the older generation who can walk there, we don't have a bus service here. Quite honestly I don't give a stuff about councils being democratically elected, but I for one will probably not vote for your lot next time.

LindsayWagner Mon 31-Jan-11 13:36:30

I think one of the models that the Future Libraries Programme is trialling a library in a pub. Which is super for children. And Muslims.

compo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:36:44

Are you doing anything for save our libraries day on Saturday?
save our libraries day

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 13:36:58

it's just been announced that nearly 11,000 public sector jobs will be cut in the south west, including in every local authority massive impact on the arts and culture provision (libraries, theatres, museums etc).

given that the arts and culture represents 3.7% of GDP in the UK and is an important growth market, don't you think that cuts to grants, local authority funding, university education, staffing and department mergers and closures are going to negatively rather than positively affect this important industry?

The government claim to want to purse growth, but by axing the opportunities for growth, instead of investing in it, the actual result is unemployment, and a loss of value and impact, which will be visible not only UK wide, but internationally as well.

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 13:37:31

<HATE all this condem volunteer chat, it's palpable bullshit>

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 13:37:57

Message withdrawn

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:38:08

gaelicsheep

I am pleased to see my question about cutting funding to specialist music colleges has already been asked.

Instead therefore I'm going to ask a question about broadband access. How does the Government plan to help people get access not just to broadband but affordable broadband? We have satellite broadband through the Scottish Broadband Reach project and we pay £35 a month for a distinctly flaky connection that cannot deliver streamed video at all. 2MB would cost well over £40 a month. <Hold on Mr Vazey, don't bat it back saying that's a Scottish problem - there will be rural communities in England with the same issue.> It's all very well getting everyone access to broadband - how are you going to make it affordable for all and address the huge divide between cheap superfast in the towns and expensive barely a crawl in areas like mine? The market is not going to deliver improved landline broadband, certainly not for small and ancient rural exchanges like mine.

Thanks - we set out a detailed broadband strategy for broadband roll out in December - which covers the whole of the United Kingdom. It includes £530m of investment to help get broadband to rural areas. We're looking for local councils to come forward with bids, working with private providers or community broadband groups. While staellite is expensive it may get cheaper with the launch of new satellites. But there may be other solutions for you apart from satellite. As a whole, we have some of the cheapest broadband in the world because we have a competitive market place.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 13:38:27

"Technology means that people no longer have a stranglehold on distribution, and arts organisations can pioneer new ways of engaging either by telecasting into cinemas, or with apps and things like that"

I am rather worried that the man in charge of libraries and creative technology is the same man that wrote that sentence! It does not make sense on any level.

Do you mean that there is greater access to distribution because of new technology? In that case do you actually know the costs of telecasting into cinemas or developing apps?

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 13:39:30

Thank you for that Ed.
I work as a librarian and volunteer for various things at my local church and school. Trust me when I say that volunteers are a lovely extra and not to be relied on when responsible for providing a service.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:40:14

Thank you for your reply, please do urgently review the funding to specialist music colleges, and sort out the visa problems.

freshmint Mon 31-Jan-11 13:40:17

Was that the strategy which you got completely and utterly confused about net neutrality and said that you and tim berners lee were "as one" on the oily and he said "uh, no we aren't?"

freshmint Mon 31-Jan-11 13:40:59

on the issue, sorry not oily (where did that come from?!)

compo Mon 31-Jan-11 13:41:34

I also work in my local library and volunteers are happy to come in for a couple of hours and run Reading groups
they're not so happy to be trained in financial procedures, health and safety , first aid, working unsocialable hours all unpaid

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 13:42:46

Message withdrawn

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:43:21

Avocadoes

Mr Vaizey,

I have read that you plan to scrap the idea of net neutrality (for those that do not know, this means that websites will have to pay Internet Service Providers for delivering their content. A big business with lots of cash will be able to afford to pay top whack and will therefore have its pages loaded faster onto your screen than a smaller, poorer rival).

Potentially this means that there will be a two tier internet. With big business being able to provide easy access to its content and small business/charities/individuals only being able to offer slow loading pages. The consumer will soon get irritated by the slow access to some information so will start avoiding the pages of smaller companies thus disadvantaging them ever more.

Even the US Government thinks net neutrality is of supreme importance so that all information is equal. That is the magic of the internet. Can you please explain why you are willing to undermine equality on the internet in favor of big business? Please don't use technical gooblidook in your answer in the hope of boring people to death so they continue to ignore this really important issue.

Avocadoes

Hi Avocadoes. I gave a speech on this issue last year. It was called the open internet. Basically I said that people should have the right to get all legal content they want on the internet. I also pointed out that a lightly regulated internet had enabled all the massive innovation we have seen eg Mumsnet and I wanted to preserve that. At the moment internet providers manage their traffic, they have to, but I have said that they will need to be more transparent so that big services which take up a lot of bandwidth will know if they are being slowed down. I also said that no traffic management should happen that is done on the basis of discriminating against competitors. Finally I pointed out the difference between us and the US - the US has two main providers so the potential for discrimination is huge which is why there is a big debate. Here we have 4 big providers at least plus dozens of others, so customers can switch easily. So I concluded we did not need to legislate at the moment but we will keep the situation under review.

Apparently in one of the volunteer libraries it takes about 80 volunteers to keep the library open. I guess my husband can do it for free once he loses his paid job there, only, will he be allowed to take the children as I will have to go back to work full time?

elkiedee Mon 31-Jan-11 13:43:52

It's nice to see you praising volunteers in CABs and at after school clubs, but many of these voluntary organisations are being squeezed for lack of funding (premises rent is a huge issue) and a lot of those are closing too. Can you quote evidence of voluntary organisations that aren't suffering from the cuts imposed by the national government on local councils?

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:46:48

Betelguese

Mr Vaizey

Music and Art in Schools is part of a humanistic culture.

Support for fine art, drawing, design, and music in schools needs to be addressed now after so many years of cuts and decline. Children have the right to be educated in music and arts from an early age. Music and Arts is a most essential part of our society, life and education, is a means to socialisation and a unifying thing. They ought to be considered compulsory subjects but they were not so during the previous administration.

What is you vision for the education in arts and music in schools? How do you see music and art funded and promoted in schools curriculum?

Some free primary schools are been established as art schools but we need more done.

Can you promise a dialogue with the families on this arts and music issue?

Hi Betelguese, I completely agree. We'll shortly be publishing a report by Darren Henley, the MD of Classic FM, into music education in schools. I think it will be very well received as it emphasises the huge importance of ensuring all children get access to a good music education and the chance to learn a musical instrument. I'm also confident we'll be able to respond positively to the review when it comes out. Working with Darren has been great and we're going to ask him to take forward what he's done to cultural education. There is a lot of good stuff going on but again it needs a bit of joining up and coherence.

elkiedee Mon 31-Jan-11 13:46:57

Bumperrlicious, I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job, and I think your question addresses the crucial point here very well!

Thanks elkidee

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:48:17

LilyBolero

One further question; I do hope that David Cameron's insane "Search for a Star" 'x-factor style competition for schools' plan to revolutionise music teaching in schools has been scrapped. As a professional musician, I can't imagine anything worse - X-factor is the worst example of the commercial world of pop music, and the idea of introducing it to schools as 'education' is madness. It is reducing something which is part of our cultural history to the triviality which pervades competitions such as the x-factor, in which it is widely acknowledged that the only winner is Simon Cowell.

Please can you confirm that this will not be happening?

Hi lilybolero. I am very impressed that you remembered! It wil lbe going ahead and I am sure it will be great. The music industry is very excited by it.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:48:49

Oh no! That is NOT the answer I was hoping for. sad

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:52:01

Why on earth are you wasting money on such a thing when really good worthwhile things are being cut left, right and centre? Disastrous decision.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 13:53:23

That last reply is beyond satire.

Oh well Lily, you've still got Darren from Classic FM to deliver the really rigorous part of the Music Curriculum.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:53:26

bitzermaloney

Mr Vaizey,

Do you think that Rupert Murdoch is a fit and proper person to be given even more power over the British media?

Go on, be brave and answer... off the record, you understand (no one is listening in, honestly).

The question is whether a takeover would damage media plurality in Britain. There are clear procedures in place for assessing the issue, and Jeremy Hunt is following them to the letter.

falsemessageoflethargy Mon 31-Jan-11 13:53:39

Lily - music apparently cannot be enriching in and of itself - it is only important when it enriches the music industry (who of course are very excited about it).

Oh yes, because the music industry is exactly who we should be thinking of when we consider our children's education hmm

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:54:57

I agree.And by its very nature, this will benefit one child/group out of the whole country in what is supposed to be an education.

I wonder how much it is costing, when, as mentioned below, 100% of the funding to all the music conservatoires has been cut. sad

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:55:23

Tondelayo - well hurrah for Darren. hmm

'Jeremy Hunt is following them to the letter.'

Aren't you glad you are typing that and not having to say it? grin

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 13:57:14

Following *bitzermaloney's question re: News International, would Mr Vaizey like to comment on Charlotte Higgins' article in the Guardian regarding the company's proposed partnership with Arts Council England that was announced and then withdrawn:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehiggins blog

"A strange thing happened yesterday. @crayon posted a link at the bottom of my last post to news of a media partnership between Arts Council England and News International, which had been published on ACE's website.

The note appeared to be a call-out to arts organisations, announcing "partnership" with the media group in a scheme that was "offering arts organisations the opportunity to gain profile across their titles".

It said: "The partnership will include editorial content to help readers gain more of an understanding about a variety of artforms, as well as exclusive offers and promotions. We are now looking for arts organisations who would like to take advantage of this opportunity.""

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:57:40

Crumblemum

What are you doing (as a Minister) that makes you proud?

Well I am very pleased to be doing this job. I asked David Cameron if I could be his culture spokesman, and I am pleased that I am now the Minister. I am pleased that we got a good settlement for the arts, and that we have a clear strategy for the arts going forward. I'm pleased there's more money for British film. I'm pleased we've got a great broadband strategy, and I am pleased we have got an initial deal on mobile spectrum. The most difficult issue so far has been libraries, of course, but I am pleased I got the future libraries programme up and running in the summer to help.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 13:57:50

(Lily - hope my irony came over in the text - I meant Ed's reply was beyond satire.)

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 13:57:54

which letter is that? [james naughtie icon]

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 13:58:47

yy Tondelayo, his reply was a joke (sorry Ed, but it is a REALLY bad idea).

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 13:58:59

LilyBolero

I agree.And by its very nature, this will benefit one child/group out of the whole country in what is supposed to be an education.

I wonder how much it is costing, when, as mentioned below, 100% of the funding to all the music conservatoires has been cut. sad

Well the music industry is funding most of it - and they will run it. It will be a nationwide competition and I think will involve hundreds of thousands of young people, And of course all types of music will be welcome

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 14:00:40

And will be soul destroying for vulnerable children who really think they have a chance and are shot down in flames.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:01:45

Message withdrawn

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:02:26

LilyBolero

Tondelayo - well hurrah for Darren. hmm

Is "hurrah for darren" meant to be sarcastic? It's not clear but I am very happy to defend Darren. He is a wonderful man who does a lot to promote classical music and learning in schools (he's very involved with the In Harmony project for example). His knowledge of this world is encyclopaedic, but he doesnt come from any one part so he does not come with a specific agenda. He has received and read more than a thousand submissions and produced a report which is well worth a look if you are interested in the subject.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:03:39

nottirednow

strange - or not - that Ed hasn't answered any questions about his family library use or what he will be doing on Saturday. What volunteer work do you do, Ed? I think that should be the new mumsnet "biscuit question"

we use a local library and of course I used a local library when I was a child. You can see all the voluntary organisations I'm involved in on my website www.vaizey.com

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:04:33

I think our concerns regarding Classic FM and the Music Industry are that music teaching now appears to be in the hands of the private sector rather than teaching specialists. There is clearly a commercial interest here. How are the music industry going to recoup their investment from the 'search for a star' - it won't be from record sales of the star.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:04:35

fivegomadindorset

And will be soul destroying for vulnerable children who really think they have a chance and are shot down in flames.

Er, I don't think it's in anyone's plan to shoot anyone down in flames. But with that attitude no one would ever give anything a go, would they?

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:05:27

TondelayoSchwarzkopf

I think our concerns regarding Classic FM and the Music Industry are that music teaching now appears to be in the hands of the private sector rather than teaching specialists. There is clearly a commercial interest here. How are the music industry going to recoup their investment from the 'search for a star' - it won't be from record sales of the star.

No, there is no commercial interest for Darren - he is doing this in his spare time. You've all been going on about volunteering and then when someone volunteers you shoot him down in flames!

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 14:05:34

Ed, I will reserve judgement until I read the report. I don't mean to hog this at all. The hmm is because music is continually under pressure to 'dumb down', and Classic FM in its output is a good example of this - 'Smooth Classic's - or I even heard one presenter say 'Sit Back - Relax - Switch off your Brain - it's Smooth Classics at 7', and the playlist reflects this. That's fine, it's their USP, it ticks a different box than Radio 3.

Music education in schools though, should encompass far more than the very limited output that Classic FM provides, and if Darren is as good as you say, then hopefully his report will reflect that.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 14:07:10

As far as the 'School star' thing goes, and the 'shooting down in flames', the alignment with X Factor worries me, as a main element of that particular evil show is humiliation of vulnerable people. I'm surprised that the Government would think this a good model for education.

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 14:07:21

I am speechless at that reply.

I hope that when Glos county finish their consultation on the 11th feb & confirm their changes that you will be investigating whether or not they meet the legal requirements. As I said it is going to cost me £3 to visit the library in future not really free at the point of use.

OhBuggerandArse Mon 31-Jan-11 14:07:32

Hm. Would like to restate my question about how the industries you are responsible for are going to survive the withdrawal of funding for teaching in the arts and humanities, please. Or is working in the area going to become the preserve of the privileged, like so much else?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:08:19

Why mention his brand if it's on a voluntary basis then?

And what's this with the 'you all' and 'you shoot him down in flames' - where has he been shot down in flames?

CaptainNancy Mon 31-Jan-11 14:10:07

How are children supposed to reach a high enough level in Music to enable them to enter this trashy sounding competition? Music Services across the country are being closed down and/or privatised due to cuts.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:10:10

policywonk

Hello Mr Vaizey. Can you tell us exactly what you're asking the big ISPs to do around the issue of children's access to adult material on the internet? An off-the-record briefing a few weeks back had you telling ISPs that you were considering legislation on the issue, but your public stance always seem to be that you'd prefer a voluntary code of conduct. It would be great if you could clarify which of these two options you're leaning towards.

Talk Talk have come up with a voluntary opt-in system so that you can sign up for internet access that is already filtered rather than put the filters in yourself. I want to see what more ISPs can do together to help parents who want to ensure that their kids don't see inappropriate content. Before everyone weighs in, I am well aware of the huge technical issues and difficulties this involves. However we already have the UK Council for Child Internet Safety which looks at these issues, and they are very concerning to parents and I want to explore whether more could be done.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:10:23

Message withdrawn

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:10:40

CaptainNancy

How are children supposed to reach a high enough level in Music to enable them to enter this trashy sounding competition? Music Services across the country are being closed down and/or privatised due to cuts.

I think the Henley review will address this.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:11:26

fivegomadindorset

I am speechless at that reply.

Which one?

falsemessageoflethargy Mon 31-Jan-11 14:12:02

Mr Vaizey - you must realise that people are goign to be suspicious of big businesses links with schemes such as this - there arent any free lunches after all and if the cost is another cultural shift towards the Industry of Culture in this country then people are going to be sceptical.

We want our children to enjoy music for its own sake and pass that down to their children rather than it be just something that is bought and consumed and thrown away.

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:12:08

so why not mention his qualifications rather than the business he works for? after all, you'd have to be a bit of a boor to expect the name 'Classic FM' to bring comfort to people concerned about real classical musical studies.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:13:13

freshmint

Was that the strategy which you got completely and utterly confused about net neutrality and said that you and tim berners lee were "as one" on the oily and he said "uh, no we aren't?"

That'll be the one

Madsometimes Mon 31-Jan-11 14:14:14

Any comments on National Museum entrance charges for permanent collections?

Querelous Mon 31-Jan-11 14:14:22

Does the World Service not come under culture and communications for the UK?

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 14:14:33

I too asked Ed what his personal experience of volunteering on a rostered basis (as opposed to turning up to a mate's charity auction).

It is extremely difficult to ensure a consistent and reliable service week in, week out, with a volunteer workforce. It triples the workload of the manager - training, communication, personal development, compliance with Equal Opps and Health and Safety at work, extra CRB checks...

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 14:14:49

The one that accused me of having a bad attitude.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 14:14:51

If you want to get kids involved in music, get singing going in schools again. Keep SingUp's funding going. Provide opportunities for massed singing for kids. You don't need to play an instrument, everyone can have a go, and you can perform in amazing venues, with loads of other people, and perform some really WORTHWHILE music.

I hate competitive music - marking people out as successes and failures. For kids, the great thing is to DO music, not to be in a competition with some dream of performing with Gary Barlow, which the vast majority of them won't.

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 14:15:49

Just come on and seen Mr V's response about the X-factor. And I feel as though I've wandered into a scene from the Thick of It.

You honestly, honestly can't think that that's a fit and proper way to raise achievement, can you? Is that really the best this government can do?

And, come on, what did James say to David at Christmas...

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 14:16:19

Hear hear Lily

For most musicians their life's work is NOT about winning a competition to be a "star". It is about collaborative music making in group settings, or teaching.

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 14:16:19

Thank you Lily, you phrased it better than me.

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:16:46

exactly lily

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:16:56

freshmint

Hi Ed. As one of your consituents, do you find it difficult to reconcile your ministerial role with your constituency role? libraries is an obvious example.

Most MPs try not to be "political" in their constituency, in the sense that if a constituent has a problem with a Govt department, you have to represent them, and I have no trouble doing that. Obviously I am defending Government policy more than I used to when I was in Opposition!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:17:02

The press release announcing the Henley Review mentions Classic FM twice and has a brief 'shout-out' to the station in the notes. The letter from Michael Gove to Darren Henley is sent to his business address so I am guessing the 'voluntary' nature of the work is nicely synergistic with his business activities.

All can be found here

jonicomelately Mon 31-Jan-11 14:17:12

Please preserve our libraries. They are invaluable to children from less well-off backgrounds. And please do everything in your power to make them look and feel like libraries and give them the confidence to call themselves a 'library' not 'learning centres' or other rubbish names.

LindsayWagner Mon 31-Jan-11 14:17:17

The TalkTalk filter is an opt-in filter which demands a level of understanding and awareness which many parents just don't have.

It isn't, actually, particularly difficult to filter, using a combination of blacklists, image software and keyword software. That's how we filter for child abuse sites. You sound very much as though you're stepping back on this one Ed.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:18:08

LilyBolero

If you want to get kids involved in music, get singing going in schools again. Keep SingUp's funding going. Provide opportunities for massed singing for kids. You don't need to play an instrument, everyone can have a go, and you can perform in amazing venues, with loads of other people, and perform some really WORTHWHILE music.

I hate competitive music - marking people out as successes and failures. For kids, the great thing is to DO music, not to be in a competition with some dream of performing with Gary Barlow, which the vast majority of them won't.

It's one scheme among many. Presumably if you dont like School Stars, we should also ban Young Musician of the Year?

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 14:18:09

And while we're on it, can you please let us know what day to day volunteering you and the Cabinet do?

I mean, in practical, hands-on terms.

(Or is working with the Lib-Dems what counts in the Tory party as 'charitable work'?)

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:18:32

oh yes, tondy.

norty mr vaizey, getting all cross there when clearly Classic FM will be loving this brand positioning.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:19:25

Querelous

Does the World Service not come under culture and communications for the UK?

No, it's a foreign office responsibility

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 14:19:35

agreed Lily.

It's recognised that learning music provides all manner of other skills and has benefits to other subject competencies and areas, including maths...

the cuts are obscene and unecessary.

in addition, touting Classic FM as the key advisors on music policy, when there's already BBC Young Musician of the Year, Sing UP, Youth Music and Arts Council providing highly skilled and experienced professionals who could do this work is ludicrous.

why bring in external, private companies when we have the skills in the public sector already, and they have no bias towards profit making enterprises...

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 14:19:50

You mentioned you were taking up the issue of the UK conservatoire sector losing its entire HEFCE funding for teaching, with HEFCE.
I hope you do, because a lot of students will quit the UK sector, or not come here in the first place, in order to study at fine European conservatoires at a fraction of the £9k we will probably have to charge annually

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 14:20:33

Couldn't agree with Crystylline more.

OhBuggerandArse Mon 31-Jan-11 14:21:27

Mr Vaizey, what do you make of the fact that not one poster here has come on to say 'good work chaps, that's the way we'd like to see things going?' What would it take to make you reconsider your direction?

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:21:54

Message withdrawn

CMOTdibbler Mon 31-Jan-11 14:22:01

Collective music making is the way forward to involve more children, from wider backgrounds in music. Not singling out children who are already acheiving. There are some amazing projects from other countries which show that you don't have to dumb down to make music inclusive

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 14:22:42

"It's one scheme among many. Presumably if you dont like School Stars, we should also ban Young Musician of the Year?"

That's quite a facile reply if you don't mind me saying. I'm not keen on any competitions, but otoh, YMotY by its nature is only for the 'elite' classical young musicians. I hate the new format of it, trying to make it more 'user-friendly', rather than focussing on the music, but as yet, nobody has compared it to the 'X-factor', trying to jump on the Simon Cowell bandwagon, which is a fairly significant difference. It is also not funded (to my knowledge) by the 'music industry'.

There is SO much good music in this country, and so much more that could be done, please don't resort to banal triviality. Like I said, singing is a fantastic, all-inclusive thing, and yet this is dying a death in many schools.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:23:33

gloriadepieromp

Hi Ed,

It's Gloria De Piero MP, shadow culture minister. Heard you were taking questions today so wanted to submit a few of my own. Am sure some fellow mumsnetters will be interested in your answers too.

As you know hundreds of libraries are under threat of closure. Have you looked into how or whether children's reading groups might be affected?

Many of the mums I know say their young ones can't get through picture books fast enough at toddling age. They say their local library is really helpful in the early years. Have you picked this up at all?

There's a growing issue with employers only advertising online - when people are out of work and don't have a computer at home, they are advised to go to the local library to look for vacancies. Given 1 in 4 don't have access don't have a computer at home, libraries are more important than ever aren't they?

As the minister for libraries what kind of powers do you have to stop a library closing?

Hi Gloria, sorry you got lost in the thousands of posts that have gone up. Local libraries are fantastic for early years - speak to Havering who are pioneering signing up all babies at birth - they have quadrupled parent/toddler sessions in their libraries. And also, of course, for internet access. You do understand the powers that we have to intervene. Good to see you on here and thanks for your very positive comments.

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 14:23:34

also, Darren may be volunteering his time, but Mr Vaizey isn't.

We're paying him to have meetings with a private company to determine UK Music Policy/talent competitions. Not great value for money really.

It's no good increasing parent & toddler sessions when we have no library to go to!

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:26:06

'thousands'? 165 and counting. <worries about condem grasp of numbers yet again> wink

Querelous Mon 31-Jan-11 14:26:42

Oh really, forgive my ignorance but I thought that it had lost part of it's funding and was now to be funded as part of the BBC? So why did Jeremy Hunt have a say in the process then?

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:26:53

Message withdrawn

'You do understand the powers that we have to intervene.'

Gloria might but we don't.

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 14:27:14

lol, Aitch. was thinking the same thing.

EdVaizey Mon 31-Jan-11 14:27:53

OhBuggerandArse

Mr Vaizey, what do you make of the fact that not one poster here has come on to say 'good work chaps, that's the way we'd like to see things going?' What would it take to make you reconsider your direction?

OhBuggerandArse, great to have the opportunity to reply to you. I think people don't come on a site like this to cheerlead or simply say how great things are - they come on to express their worries and concerns.
I'm slightly dismayed that Darren Henley and School Stars have been dismissed out of hand - I hope there will be a forum on the Henley Review.
I do think it's important that people raise their concerns about library closures, of course I share them and we are doing all we can to work with local authorities.
I have had a great time on here. It's amazing how quickly the time goes, and it does feel odd coming here and then being made to type for an hour and a half!

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 14:27:57

Quite, OhbuggerandArse. But I think he simply thinks we're dyed-in-the-wool lefties (which I'm not). Or he wouldn't trot out such facile, supercilious answers.

And I really would have liked to say that they were doing something positive with CCCI. But there's not even a straw to clutch is there? And all done with no mandate, no consultation and no real regard for other viewpoints. (Unless you're a private company with a vested interest.hmm)

My confidence in the coalition has just rocketed after this...

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:29:33

"Mr Vaizey, what do you make of the fact that not one poster here has come on to say 'good work chaps, that's the way we'd like to see things going?'"

Yes, that is a bit odd OhBugger when there are so many passionate Maggie fans on that other thread. Why aren't they here applauding 'small government' and 'letting the market decide' - poor Ed needs all the help he can muster.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 14:29:48

Thank you for coming on, please take some 'market research' data back to Tory HQ and think again about some of your plans.

Why not try talking to some parents and/or music professionals/teachers. I am in every category, and would be very happy to be consulted, I'm sure many others would be too. You'd be more likely to find some good ideas then.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:29:53

Message withdrawn

JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Mon 31-Jan-11 14:30:18

That's all folks. Thank you Ed for your efforts and to all for their honest input.

compo Mon 31-Jan-11 14:30:34

I too liked you on the wright stuff! If you still see matthew can you tell him not all of us on here hate him and his show grin

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:31:13

not sure what the point of these chats are, then, if the participants are basically to be dismissed as moaners.

Thanks for coming on.

Madsometimes Mon 31-Jan-11 14:32:47

I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool leftie either, but I am a bit disappointed that he did not answer my question.

He could palm off a lot of concern about libraries on local councils, but my question about museums refers to something which is directly funded by his department.

If museums get away with having free entrance, but charging for the best bits, then free entrance will have died sad.

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 14:32:56

"I think people don't come on a site like this to cheerlead or simply say how great things are - they come on to express their worries and concerns."

Actually, I came on here because I am passionate about the industries that you have responsibility to manage and lead effectively and to try and understand why you are systematically destroying one of the most important industries and sectors in the uk.

But nevermind Mr Vaizey, when universities and schools don't have the funding to teach Arts and Humanities, and all the talented workers have gone overseas and the libraries and museums have closed and there's no one with the skills to write about or document the Condem decay of culture and nowhere to store it for future generations, then perhaps we will all understand that learning in the now has no benefit for the future, so we may as well all be bankers.

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 14:33:04

Or indeed on arts and humanities education, nottirednow, and its imminent demise as a funded sector
I cannot be the only Mner who is busy making plans to send her dcs to university in mainland Europe if they want to study languages, classics, philosophy or music.
It's good that Ed came here but I too am dismayed at the facile nature of his responses given that there were several respondents here with sector knowledge and experience who were very willing to share their views with a member of the Government.

CaptainNancy Mon 31-Jan-11 14:33:21

The 'Henley Review' isn't going to come with millions of pounds funding for Music Services across the country is it? hmm

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 14:36:34

No Captain, but it will mean your child can do lovely duets on Classic FM with Hayley Westenra and/or Alfie Boe
hmm

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 14:43:08

Thank you for coming on Mr Vaizey. I mean it. But, as Lily says, please do some proper consultation with people who actually know something about these issues.

And thank you LilyBolero, Aitch and TondelayoSchwarzkopf. I wish you were running Newsnight.

MNHQ, thank you for letting Mr Vaizey air his carefully considered views on culture and the arts here. Marina must be well-chuffed...

<crosses St Paul's off prospective schools list for DS>
Bet they'll be taking up 'Search for a Star' there. Not.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 14:43:46

Message withdrawn

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:48:31

While you're waiting for The Henley Report why not try reading his other publications?

Hayley Westenra biog

G4 Official Book

And what quals does he have to investigate music teaching?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 31-Jan-11 14:50:03

Thank you Madam - The Thick of It is about right. Can't wait to see Tom Hollander play him.

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:51:04

all true, nottirednow, all true. thing is, i have seen him on telly before and was hoping for a bit of straight-talking... i bet he thinks he was firing on all cylinders because he gave us a bit of backchat but to my mind all he did was expose the fact that he had been talking to the wrong people and come up with some embarrassingly bad ideas.

straight talk would have been 'ah, right enough, 'search for a superstar schoolkid sponsored by Classic FM' is a bit cack, maybe we should think about getting choirs back on the go?'. if he needs to peg this country's cultural life to a television show he might as well opt for Glee rather than X-Factor. wink

Aitch Mon 31-Jan-11 14:54:12

tondy, that is HILARIOUS. shock

i am actually reeling at that.

CaptainNancy Mon 31-Jan-11 14:57:23

shock MarinaResurgens- are you Marina? [thunk] <<curses crappy comp education with lack of latin>>

Hello! smile

Biblioqueen Mon 31-Jan-11 14:57:35

Absolutely couldn't agree more,Crystylline. Ed Vaizey's views on music in schools are truly, truly shocking and depressing.The memory of the recent X Factor finale, which redefined tackiness, is only too raw.Classic FM's dumbing-down is not what music education should be about.

And how telling that Mr Vaizey could summon no supporters whatsoever today from the parent population of the country whose cultural interests he is supposed to represent.Quelle surprise.

nottirednow Mon 31-Jan-11 15:06:35

Message withdrawn

Madsometimes Mon 31-Jan-11 15:10:59

I do not have a problem with Classic FM. I know that it is too fluffy for serious musicians, but it does improve access to classical music for people accustomed to 3 minute pop songs. I think that many people do not want to listen to a 45 minute symphony, and as long as R3 still exists, then there is a forum for those that do. There is a place for both R3 and Classic FM.

However, I do agree that the X-Factor style competition for children sounds horrific. I would not want my children going anywhere near such a contest. If the music industry are excited by this competition, then I am very wary.

thewook Mon 31-Jan-11 15:52:28

I couln't quite believe 'with that attitude no one would give anything a go'
shock
as a response to a valid point about the ludicrousness of an x factor for kids, as opposed to community music schemes for all.

With that attitude, no one will believe these ConDem ministers are anything but arrogant knobs
angry

MarinaResurgens Mon 31-Jan-11 16:20:34

Yes Nancy, it is I smile hello there!

Ed will need to keep an eye on what goes on in local authorities as he has a statutory right to ensure that they provide an appropriate and free-at-point-of-delivery library service under the terms of the 1964 Public Libraries Act

and the MLA can't advise him on what to do for much longer as they are being wound up

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 18:07:04

Something I wish I'd picked up, is that it is utterly disingenuous to say it is 'of course all styles of music are welcome'.

The prize is to record a track with Gary Barlow. I don't think any of my Grade 8 pianists are going to be entering with their Rachmaninov, somehow...

WonderingStar Mon 31-Jan-11 18:09:01

Couldn't join for the webchat and I see my & SW11Bookworm's questions weren't answered directly (re Wandsworth consulting on closing one library, in the most deprived part of the borough).

However someone asked what Ed V will do when libraries close, his answer:

" I say when a decision is made by a council, I will seek advice from the MLA on whether they believe it breaches the Public Libraries Act. If they think it does then I can order an inquiry. If the inquiry concludes against the council, the council is required to fix the breach. "

So, our council spends £ on a consultation. local groups get together, massive protests, council will probably have to have a rethink (though they may not. may just plough on regardless) and so we have £ spent on a second consultation. then Ed and colleagues in his Dept go through the above procedure - more ££ being spent. Then the council will go ahead with closing a different library no doubt. What is the point of this charade? The net saving from the proposed closure of the one library in Wandsworth will be £75,000 pa. hmm This is just silly. And I am far far from being some dyed in the wool leftie. But I can see when good money is being thrown after bad, erm ... in the name of saving money.

fivegomadindorset Mon 31-Jan-11 18:24:46

Hi Gloria, sorry you got lost in the thousands of posts that have gone up. Local libraries are fantastic for early years - speak to Havering who are pioneering signing up all babies at birth - they have quadrupled parent/toddler sessions in their libraries. And also, of course, for internet access. You do understand the powers that we have to intervene. Good to see you on here and thanks for your very positive comments.

This was a response to the Shdaow Minster for Culture,, now ai can read this in two ways, either he is patronising us all by saying that Gloria undertands but we don't, or he has the powers to intervene on the closures, if so then why can't he.

I did feel insulted by his reply. He sounded quite upset that we didn't like his x factor idea.

austenreader Mon 31-Jan-11 18:40:24

Well I missed the live chat but I've just read through his replies and I'm just appalled.
The swipe about Young Musician of the Year being anything like this dumbed-down X-Factor thingy is what has really got my goat.
To enter YM a student has to have already achieved grade 8 with distinction. They have already done the slog, performed many times before examiners and audiences and have become accustomed to criticism.
That is NOT the same as exposing some young hopeful to the horrors of X-Factor style judging.
I would also add that the students who work so hard to achieve that level of mastery in instrumental playing are mostly going to apply to the conservatoires from which govt.funding is being withdrawn.
Then of course there are the localised cuts to music services round the country and the threat to Music Centres where children rehearse and perform on a weekly basis.

I'm so angry! This man's flip answers didn't come close to addressing my concerns.

LilyBolero Mon 31-Jan-11 19:25:21

THe other thing about Young Musician is that it is not promoted as 'part of the school education' - Cameron said he wanted his crap competition to become 'like the school nativity play or sports day'. Young Musician is something a very few people are able to take part in. It's not 'part of the school's music education'.

Blu Mon 31-Jan-11 19:57:53

It is laughable that the performing arts - our USP to tourists, the heart and soul of communities, live art that brings real people together, something Britain really is great at - should be delivered as an 'app'.

And no, Mr Vaizey, you did not, as you parrot throughout your webchat, get a 'good deal' for the arts. The government spends a minute, really minute, proportion of it's money on the arts, to huge effect (by hard working innovative world class arts organisations, big and small), and you have slashed it by more than 30%. And in instructing ACE via the DCMS to protect the big institutions you have further undermined the seedbed of arts talent, the smaller and local organisations.

And how, please, please come back and explain this, how are those smaller local organisations, which work with a more inclusive demographic than the Royal Opera House, supposed to fnd private sector patrons when even the ROH cannot find enough support amingst it's corporate donors and old money trusts and foundations to prevent it being having to sell tickets whuch are still the most highly subsidised, in terms of cash subsidy per ticket, than any other?

Big Society? Big Myth.

Crystylline Mon 31-Jan-11 20:01:02

well said Blu He didn't answer my Qs about funding, or about the very dubious announcement/retracted announcement that News International was now going to be sponsoring an Arts Council England programme... Competitions Commission anyone? Privatisation anyone?

Anyone else feel like we are entering the dark ages?

AlistairSim Mon 31-Jan-11 20:08:44

I cannot tell you how proud I am to have Mr Vaizey as my MP.

hmm

bocoid Mon 31-Jan-11 20:09:05

I'm also baffled by the 'good deal for the arts'. Good how?
I work for an arts organisation which is having it's council funding slashed, and arts council grant completely removed as apparently they are no longer able to fund 'participatory' arts. We work with hard to reach young people, older people and people with disabilities - our arts projects are all at risk and most will not continue. Where is the 'good deal' in that?

thewook Mon 31-Jan-11 20:14:03

bumperlicious
So true, the new dark ages

austenreader Mon 31-Jan-11 20:47:32

So our children no longer have Music and other Arts recognised as achievements. I speak as one whose DC gained 11 A grades at GCSE and 5 As at A level with a few *s in that mix - and yet she wouldn't have got one of those poxy Ebaccs! She actually wouldn't!
(She also reached the last five in her instrument at BBC Young Musician last year.)
Now her chosen career is being buggered about with all the upheaval in the NHS. The business we have which is supposed to pay for her to go to university is going down the pan thanks to 20% VAT, the cost of fuel and everyone's general fright then,just to cap it all, the countryside we live in is being sold off.

But I'm not surprised. We've seen it all before. It was predictable.

ReadingTeaLeaves Mon 31-Jan-11 21:35:19

What a pillock.

Here's one I love particularly:
"...libraries are a local service, delivered by local councils, who are democratically elected. So they can listen to their voters and take decisions in the light of what their voters are telling them."

Errr. Well in my borough the local council have chosen to close the ONE library in the ONE and ONLY Labour ward in a Tory controlled council. So, voters in the area who are impacted by the library are labour voters, who's vote against the Tories won't register at all since that's how they vote anyway. The people who keep the Tories as Council majority get to keep their shiny libraries, because the council have been precisely that cynical in deciding which library to close.

Let's hear it for Wandsworth Borough Council. Yay.

Since I can't register my dismay in my local council election I shall simply have to do so in the national elections instead. Thanks for pointing that out to me Ed. Appreciated.

WonderingStar Mon 31-Jan-11 21:49:20

ReadingTeaLeaves - it's ironic isn't it - because if the people in that ward had been tactical and cynical enough to vote in a Conservative councillor, they would have had a voice at the meeting which met to discuss which option to take. Of course every other ward has a councillor there to fight for their ward's library. I suspect the council think that this is democracy hmm ... rather than looking at it from a whole-borough point of view (which btw many of us in those other wards do, most people who give this any thought don't agree with what is being proposed).

OhBuggerandArse Mon 31-Jan-11 22:17:59

Annoyingly, I haven't found any mention of this webchat elsewhere in the media, except for Guido Fawkes picking up on Gloria de Piero turning up. Would have been nice to see people publicising what a twit he made of himself - but I guess he's just not that important or interesting to the newsrooms.

gaelicsheep Mon 31-Jan-11 23:30:46

OMG, I have just whizzed through the webchat bit - not the rest of the thread yet. What a boorish twat! His response to LilyBolero about "Search for a Star" just beggars belief. And I thought the last lot were phillistines!

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 23:42:20

<Disclaimer: completely off topic>

I just wanted to say OhBuggerandArse, you have my favourite MN nickname.

And the thought that Ed Vaguely read it again and replied to it today cheered me up a <little> bit today. I have hidden shallows, me.

madamimadam Mon 31-Jan-11 23:44:00

<back on topic>
I have to say, as no fan of the Labour Government, I was really hoping that he'd come on here with some really cogent arguments for what the Coalition is doing to the arts, with concrete proposals to support culture and the arts in the long-term. Unlikely, I know, but still.

What really concerns me about this lot is their obvious arrogance, contempt and disdain for anyone who suggests that their plans might not have been terribly well thought through. (I mean, News International and the Arts Council? Where do you even start with that one?)

We've seen it here with EV but does anyone here know if there is a single Coalition proposal that has seen proper consultation, transparent process, and appears properly considered to people who are experts in the subject? I know he might dismiss us as 'Mumsnet vipers' but even Gus O'Donnell is ignored when he 'suggests' the Coalition should have a plan B for the recovery.

If we ever see you on here again, Mr V, how come Post-war Britain could afford to keep libraries and the arts going and we can't?

austenreader Tue 01-Feb-11 00:31:29

Lilybolero
You make a good point about YM not being part of the school education. (You made many good points today.)
Of course it isn't. Music should be part of the school experience but it should not be competitive. The scheme that Vaizey was promoting today is horrifying.
Children who compete in music festivals etc., or in any form of competition for that matter, need careful guidance. It is not for all. But it is by no means rare for children to reach a very high level in their chosen field without competing. I have seen dozens of my DD's music friends who could/would do very well in the YM competition but choose not to. They play their music for sheer pleasure.

thewook Tue 01-Feb-11 08:24:46

Ohbuggerandarse I know: re the media. Compare the silence to the Gordon Brown biscuit furore. Talk about an agenda!!

Not even the guardian? Maybe Justine needs to poke Dh grin. Imagine the conversation:

JustineMN: darling did you see the webchat on MN today?
MrJustineMN: the webchat?
JMN: yes with Ed.
Mr JMN: Ed...Ba...Mill...
JMN: Ed Vaizey!
Mr MN: Yes, Ed Vaizey, that's what I was going to say. Yes, he was rather good wasn't he?
JMN: no he wasn't! Do you even read my site? The work I've built up over 10 years to become a political force? Do you?
Mr JMN: yes I do when I can. Don't you know I'm trying to run a big important newspaper, do you ever read that?
JMN: Yes. When I've finished Take A Break. By the way, let me have that tie dear, there's a tip in there for removing houmus using brown paper and an ice cube.

Bramshott Tue 01-Feb-11 11:55:39

Can't believe I missed this sad. The overwhelming feeling is that they're not DOING anything. They're just passing the buck, and hoping someone else is going to do it for them.

Rural broadband is a case in point - their "broadband strategy" wants local councils and private providers to take the lead. And if local councils (in rural areas mostly parish councils, who are mainly volunteers) can't / don't see the point; or private providers don't think it's worth investing, then it probably won't happen. This is the big society at work isn't it sad.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 01-Feb-11 12:41:32

I am going to send link to the Music & Musicians bit in Private Eye later but in the meantime to underline Ed talking a load of guff about Big Society.

Media Groups have said NO to government big society plans to donate ad free ad space to...the govt.

And about Apps "and things like that" hmm
Apple wants profit share of all 3rd party developed apps sold outside apple store

Yes very accessible to cash-strapped arts organisations - when costs of development are so high as well.

Blu Tue 01-Feb-11 14:08:57

The app thing is so ridiculous. There are increasng numbers of artists from all disciplines making digital and multi-platform work and that's great, but to suggest that apps is a way forward to economise and that increasing your audience by making screened events is a substitute for a live experience is nonsense. If Ed Vaizey doesn't think so perhaps he should ponder the difference between calling a phone sex chatline and the real thing, or perhaps put himself in front of a football crowd and explain that as footie is now available on TV the government will be closing down 30% of stadiums, to get feedback on the importance of the live event.

It's all so crass and glib.

The screenings of opera etc have been great, as an additional extension of that piece of work. It doesn't replace a local small theatre which attracts keen local audiences, and young people in particpatory classes and workshops.

ReadingTeaLeaves - interesting point about how 'democratically electing' your council won't necessarily result in policy decision you'd be happy with. Your example from Wandsworth is of a library in the one Labour ward being closed down by the Tory-run council. sadangry

Where I live, the position is interestingly reversed. I live in rural South Oxforshire (which, as has been widely reported, is losing 20 of its 43 libraries) and we are losing both of our local well-attended and bustling small village libraries. angry Oxfordshire CC is tory-controlled but the Tory councillors come from the shires - the inner city councillors from Oxford are all (I think) non-Tory. While the city is also losing several libraries in the poorest areas (Blackbird Lees, for example, which is a long way out from the centre) most loses will come from the small rural communities in the Tory shires. And I do wonder whether there will be an unexpected grassroots rebellion from the deep-dyed blue voters who are about to lose their facilities.

Would be nice if it happened!

gaelicsheep Tue 01-Feb-11 16:45:28

Some really good points here.

Firstly regarding music and competition. I totally agree this is not suitable for all children. I reached a very high standard in my instruments and was strongly "encouraged" to enter music festivals etc. I found it very very stressful and hated every minute, even though I was often quite successful. This led to burn out when I was about to start music college. I'd had enough, I dropped out to something totally different and I do not play any more, even for pleasure.

Secondly, rural broadband. I haven't read the strategy Ed referred to (I will at some point but expect a lot of hot air), but all the solutions mentioned so far will only help certain parts of any community. In our area those who live close to the exchange can get 6MB and don't see a problem (well why would they). Others of us live in the outlying hamlets miles from the exchange and can't get landline broadband at all. Is the community council going to help with this for the sake of a hundred or so households? I don't think so. And yes, new satellites are being launched as EV said. But from what I've heard this will mean more reliability for the same money, NOT cheaper packages.

austenreader Tue 01-Feb-11 18:34:35

gaelicsheep
I'm sorry to hear that you dropped out of music. I can't play a note but I bang on about it because my DD, an only child, gained so much from the social experience of playing in orchestras. DH and I have been to countless youth concerts over the last few years and greatly admire the work of the people who run music centres, and the peripatetic music teachers who bring on the players to a standard where they can join.

Not everyone is a soloist. Many of these wonderful young players are more than happy to be almost invisible as part of a section in an orchestra. I can think of a few who would rather die than play solo let alone compete.

That's why I'm so horrified at the cuts to a service which is such a valuable part of so many children's lives. In my DD's case, every Friday night for 11 years.

This proposal Vaisey was lauding is an insult.

austenreader Tue 01-Feb-11 18:47:59

If the above sounds elitist, it wasn't meant to be. For 'orchestra' I could equally well have written windband/folk group/brass band/ jazz band. All these are included in our local music centre.
Hundreds of kids benefit and not just the wealthy.
No X-factor style competition is going to adequately replace this structure.

gaelicsheep Tue 01-Feb-11 20:08:47

It is a total disgrace. I am incredulous at the sheer arrogance of that man and this Govt.

gaelicsheep Tue 01-Feb-11 20:10:18

I hope My Vaizey or his office are still reading this thread. I doubt it.

LilyBolero Tue 01-Feb-11 21:25:52

yy, send it to Private Eye.

Blu Tue 01-Feb-11 21:31:19

gaelicsheep, I agree.

I am not sure whether it was arrogance, not thinking the Minister for Culture is of enough importance or that MN is full of nitwits that led to Ed Vaizey clearly having answered the questions without the help of some wonk from Cockspur St to help mould the answers to the questions into something slightly credible.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 01-Feb-11 21:52:55
austenreader Tue 01-Feb-11 23:59:25

I should cut back the hours I spend on parish council business then!

MarinaResurgens Wed 02-Feb-11 09:43:58

Me too Austenreader, and jack in leading Sunday School, and give up teaching Latin in a local primary twice a week.
Goodness knows how I fit in a full-time paid job in arts education and keeping tabs on two children hmm

austenreader Wed 02-Feb-11 10:45:26

I heard this week that N. Clegg has told his staff not to give him memos after a certain time in the afternoon so he can concentrate on his home life. Oh to have that choice!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 16-Feb-11 15:12:06

Anyone read Private Eye this week? grin

While I'm pleased and flattered they covered it and had a go at Ed and his Search for a Star / Classic FM sponsored ideas, I don't really like their focus on the webchat rather than the actual issue of music education under Con-Dem coalition or indeed an overview of the Haynes review.

That said, at least it will get it under the noses of some influential and interested parties.

everythingchangeseverything Mon 28-Feb-11 11:13:59

Nice one Tondelayo I think it needed to focus on the webchat to be different, and as you say, will hopefully highlight to people who can make change.

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