The recent angst about the comments of the chair of Arts Council, John Edmund, on seeking other means of funding rather than depending on government grants is entirely predictable.
Northern Ireland is too dependent on government grants.
Indeed Harold Wilson, prime minister in the sixties, said as much and provoked considerable anger.
Perhaps we should take a good hard look at ourselves, and ask some simple questions.
How many people are engaged in filling out grant application forms? How many people are occupied assessing these, approving or rejecting them, how many people are engaged in “auditing” them?
And how many people actually deliver product?
How much time and money is wasted due to grant processes? Grants can be good, but is best use being made of them?
There is a major source of money within our own grasp, if we have the determination to reach for it. I refer to the waste of time, resource, and money which we continue to accept.
The biggest recent examples of this waste expenditure include not delivering infrastructure projects such as roads A5 and A6, the York Street/Westlink junction, the non delivery of the health care improvements, the very slow payment to small businesses by quangos who claim they are waiting for promised grant money.
Our ‘Non Executive’ is responsible for this continuing malaise. It needs to “get a grip”, make the hard decisions and stop grand standing around issues that don’t affect most of us.
Tom Ekin, Belfast