18 July 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Cork City Council needs to do more to support the arts & music, in light of COVID19 – says Cllr. Oliver Moran
The Green Party in Cork has said that Cork City Council needs to do more to support musicians and cultural groups affected by budget cuts and the cancellation of festivals due to COVID19.
At Monday’s meeting of Cork City Council, Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, proposed a relaxation of rules around each councillor’s €11,000 discretionary budget. Cllr Moran proposed allowing individual councillors to return a portion of this budget to supplement the city-wide budget for the arts, sports and place-making in light of COVID19.
However, other councillors fiercely opposed the proposal, forcing the Cllr Moran to withdraw the motion. A related proposal from independent councillor, Thomas Maloney, to return 30% of this budget to the city-wide budget affected by COVID19 was defeated 24 to 5.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Moran said he was disappointed but would continue to use his funds to support community groups in the arts and on place-making projects:
“Musicians and the arts are facing real pressures because of COVID19. During lockdown, we learned the importance of the arts on Netflix, but our local artists are being forgotten about. Now they are facing a real threat because of restrictions on hosting events.
“Likewise our community spaces have taken on a new importance that we also need to support. Funding for both of these are looking at a 30% cut because of the shortfall in city council revenue due to COVID19.
“There may still be opportunity for groups of councillors to come together to support more substantial projects in a single ward, but this will have to be organised at ward level. I hope that might be possible and that we can think outside of the box in supporting the arts, sports and place-making through the crisis.”