‘Shotgun wedding’ of Mull creative groups
Sir, Residents on Mull were rightly angry at the insensitive redundancy notices issued to two of the islands most talented and internationally famous artists, Gordon Maclean and Alasdair McCrone, both of whom had many years’ service behind them.
Your excellent article headlined ‘Sack the board and give us back our culture’ about the public meeting to protest against the dismissals reflected the mood exactly.
Two very interesting points came out at the meeting.
First it was revealed that Creative Scotland had forced the ‘ shotgun wedding’ of Mull Little Theatre and arts group, An Tobar, into the new group Comar, by threatening to withdraw all funding if they did not merge.
Second, Creative Scotland asked Comar to draw up a business plan, which Creative Scotland accepted, then reduced Comar’s funding by one third. So Comar was stuck with a business plan and only two thirds of the budget to pay for it and it was this that led to the redundancy notices being issued.
In the light of this, it seems to me that Creative Scotland should be renamed Destructive Scotland, having destroyed two excellent organisations and replaced them with something dysfunctional.
However, the meeting left the board of Comar and its funding bodies, in no doubt about the mistakes that had been made and they all appeared to take on board that some major corrections were needed.
Let us hope they do so speedily.
David Pollard, Salen, Isle of Mull.