News just in from the culture department where many of its 55 public bodies are to be abolished, merged or streamlined.
The most eye-catching is the abolition of the UK Film Council, which invests government grants and Lottery money in film development. (Although Jeremy Hunt, culture secretary, insists that ‘government and Lottery support for film will continue’).
The body has helped to fund 900 films since it was set up in 2000, although it’s not exactly clear from its website which ones they were. (The BBC tells us that they include Bend it Like Beckham and the Last King of Scotland – pictured).
Also to be abolished is the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Ditto the Advisory Council on Libraries and the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel. And the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.
There will be a merger of UK Sport and Sport England. Plus a review of the government’s heritage functions including English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
The Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships will be declassified and its functions transferred elsewhere.
Cabe, the architecture quango, is now under review. DCMS is discussing with the Church of England the merits of declassifying the Churches Conservation Trust.
It’s considering whether to change the status, role and functions of Visit England and Visit Britain. Plus it plans to merge the National Lottery Commission with the Gambling Commission.