Rose Theatre

According to Wikipedia:

The construction was undertaken with £5m (of the £11m construction cost) support from the local council, involvement from Kingston University, Peter Hall, and the Friends of Kingston Theatre. The shell of the building was provided to the Trust for free by St George plc as one of the concessions for the construction of Charter Quay, a development on the bank of the Thames.

Why did the Council not consult the Community about their 100 year financial commitment to the Rose Theatre that should be seeking funding from the Lottery, London Arts Council or the Performing Arts Fund? We had a perfectly good theatre once it was called The Assembly Rooms, the Council sold it, as per usual. (125 year lease at a yearly rent of £150,000)

The argument the Council puts forward for the Rose was that local schools benefit from day time workshops the theatre offers. Well done the Rose Management for thinking up that one, utilising an empty theatre during the day and charging the Council to use it.

All other theatres in the Area: the Playhouse Epsom, Wimbledon & Richmond Theatres are self sufficient or funded by Lottery, London Arts Council or the Performing Arts Fund. Not by their respective Local Authority.

That money could be better spent on more worthwhile community projects like Riding for the Disabled, Day Care Centre for the Elderly, a new Nursery School, or a Youth Centre.

No, the RBK Council, Lib Dems & Tories just love to squander our hard earned cash on pet projects.

If elected we would seek to scrap their promissory funding of for the next 100 years or reduce that funding by at least 80%.

We are not against having a Theatre in the Town but it should be funded by private enterprise NOT by the hard pressed Council Tax payers.

Background Reading / Sources:
Rose Theatre, Wikipedia
Theatre opens 2008, costing tax-payers £5m
December 2008, Council approve £600,000 annual subsidy over three years (£1.8m)
Disgraced Lib Dem Derek Osbourne, replying about funding, Feb 2010
Surrey Comet, Rose asks for more cash, Dec 2010
This Is Local London, cuts to libraries, etc. but Rose asking for cash, Jan 2011
Chief Exec Resigns, Nov 2011
Rose Subsidy reduced to £500,000 per annum.
Ticket Sales drop. 7th Feb 2012
Theatre still loss making.
Derek Osboure admits making and distributing child porn. 1st October, 2013

Council Watch

We’re continually dismayed by the amount of tax payer money that seems to be frittered away by the Royal Borough of Kingston council, here’s some links to various news items that have recently come to light…

£8,000 for a set of yellow lines, for a week.

£2,000,000 to convert the Guildhall court rooms to offices, with £300,000 on a feasibility study!

£275,000 to revamp their website. – by comparison we had lots of change out of the £50 of our not YOUR money it cost to setup this site.

£128,000 ‘golden goodbye’ given to head of ‘failing’ child protection department

No doubt there’ll be more to come on this story in future…