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BBC Wales's Jon Gower
"The assembly says it wants to send in a task force to reform the present Arts Council"
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Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 13:27 GMT
Assembly's review of the arts

The Arts Council of Wales is facing major changes in the way its run.

The Welsh Assembly wants to take over effective control of the body which has faced heavy criticism.

It is the key recommendation of a report by the Assembly's Post Sixteen Education Committee.

Among the other major changes recommended in the review are a task force to reform the Council and an agency for the arts.

The Minister for Culture Jenny Randerson welcomed the report and said she was absolutely committed to moving policy forward in the direction mapped out in the report.

Jenny Randerson AM
Jenny Randerson AM: Committed to moving policy forward

The committee also wants to investigate the way in which to abolish the Council's Royal Charter, which currently stops the council being directly accountable to the assembly.

In future it will be the Assembly that determines policy in the arts.

Among the other recommendations are the setting up a National Youth Arts Fund, enhancing cultural diversity and recognising the importance of community and grassroots arts activity in Wales.

Mrs Randerson said the review had cross party support, which gave the report "authority, status and credibility."

The recommendations are aimed at creating a country where, by the year 2010 at the very latest, culture and arts are valued and creativity is commonplace.

In September the Arts Council of Wales appointed an acting chief executive Frances Medley.

She replaced Joanna Weston who resigned after criticisms of her running of ACW.

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