Ministry has not engaged on cultural policy despite promise

 

Dear Editor,

A few weeks ago, the Minister of Culture committed, in Parliament, to undertake a more expansive, consultative and cooperative approach in managing the cultural policy aspect of his portfolio. Despite two e-mails to his Permanent Secretary, Alfred King, outlining a programme of engagement, there has been no response from either the Minister or any proxy of his with regard to moving forward on this issue. Neither have I seen any notice being placed in the public domain either on policy as a whole, or in part. For example, there has been no invitation for applications to access the Sports and Arts Development Fund, despite Minister Anthony’s assurance to the Speaker in particular that this would be done, just before the collective opposition approved his entire budget untouched.

I understand that the Minister might be overwhelmed with the numerous press events he is compelled to attend, and in dealing with sexual abuse allegations scandal coming out of the New Opportunity Corps, but Culture at a policy level remains a critical aspect of his portfolio. As I communicated to Mr. King, meeting with the Minister himself is not necessary – a representative, including Dr. James Rose, his Director of Culture, would suffice. This is the same offer I have extended numerous times over the past years, and several this year alone. This e-mail has been carbon-copied to both King and Rose.

 

Yours faithfully,
Ruel Johnson

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