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Letter: Orchestra’s Demise Has Been Caused By Conservative Cuts

Published on: 24 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 24 Mar, 2013

GPO Farewell Letfrom Tony Phillips

Borough Councillor (Lib Dem, Onslow)

I, together with everyone who attended the final Guildford Philharmonic concert in Holy Trinity Church last night, could not fail to be moved and exhilarated by their performance.  It will remain in the memory for years to come.

Sadly we have come to the end of an era as, after 68 years, direct funding and management of classical music by Guildford Borough Council has ceased.  This has come about as the Conservatives who are running GBC [Guildford Borough Council] decided to axe the orchestra to save money.

Nicola and Clare have done a tremendous job arranging the concerts over the years, particularly recently with uncertainty over their jobs, and I wish to thank them personally for their unstinting professionalism.

When I was Mayor, over ten years ago, as was usual the Mayors from all over Surrey came to the Civic concert to hear the Guildford Phil’ perform.  I was told by many of them that Guildford had the reputation of providing first class music and they eagerly attended all the musical engagements I invited them to knowing they would have an enjoyable evening.

It is the breadth and total amount of Arts provision across the borough that adds to Guildford’s rich heritage which is enjoyed by residents, businesses and tourists alike and we lose this provision at our peril.

We now await the announcement of the successful bidder who will take forward the provision of classical music in the borough with a grant, for up to four years, from the Council.

They have a hard act to follow.

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Responses to Letter: Orchestra’s Demise Has Been Caused By Conservative Cuts

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    These are the same people that having taken Conservative support to get elected went against Tory policy on the Council Tax increase.

    It was Conservative councillors in the past that actually set up the GPO and nurtured it for nearly seventy years.

    It was these same Conservatives that were instrumental in building a purpose made Civic Hall to house it under the conductor Crossly Clitheroe.

    But also if there government cuts caused the demise of the GPO it is well to remember that government decisions are taken by a coalition government in which the Liberal Democrats play an important part in making policy.

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