Now reduced to a paid director and volunteer helpers, Villages in Action identifies performers from far and wide and contracts them to tour villages like ours, and many smaller ones, across Devon. With a mix of funding from Arts Council England, Devon County Council and five district councils including our own, they subsidise appearances by the chosen artistes to the tune of 60% or more of what we would expect to pay if we booked them direct.
It goes without saying that, faced with mounting pressure to cut back on their expenditure, local authorities must sooner or later ask themselves if it’s time to stop supporting Villages in Action. We ratepayers, who will lose something of great community value, owe it to ourselves to let our representatives know how keenly we will feel the loss; for, make no mistake, Big Society or no, Lympstone Entertainments will be hard put to it to maintain the standards we have set if Villages in Action is no longer protecting us from the rigours of the market place. If you feel moved to make known your feelings on this issue, please write to any or all of the following:
The Chief Executive, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL
Councillor David Atkins, Potters Farm, Exmouth Road, Lympstone, EX8 5AF
Councillor Ben Ingham, Ferndale, The Strand, Lympstone, Devon EX8 5JS