York Green Party

Green Party Cllr Dave Taylor goes on "Art Strike" over gallery charges

28 July 2015

Dave Taylor art gallery protestGreen Party Councillor Dave Taylor has rejected a free tour of York Art Gallery in protest at the proposals to introduce a £7.50 charge for residents to see the city's art collection from 1st August. Councillors are due to have a free preview tour of the upgraded gallery, with its new wing exhibiting studio ceramics, on Tuesday, but Cllr Taylor, who chairs the Learning & Culture Scrutiny Committee, has decided to refuse to attend if residents are going to have free access to the art gallery taken away from them.

York Museums Trust has asked the City of York Council to remove a clause in its management contract that ensures that citizens would have free access to the city's art treasures. The decision will be taken by Executive Member, Councillor Nigel Ayre, in a Decision Session on Wednesday at 6.30pm. Before that, the issue will be discussed by the Learning & Culture Scrutiny and Policy Committee which meets at 5.30pm and will advise Cllr Ayre on the options before him.

Cllr Taylor says: "I've looked forward to the opening of the Centre of Ceramic Art for months, but I'm not willing to go on a free tour if the Council and York Museums Trust renege on an agreement to keep free access for residents to York Art Gallery. Art should be for everyone, not just for the elite, and the city needs to take a step back from this decision and work out how to increase public access rather than reduce visitor numbers to a handful of wealthy tourists and the well-off in society. Lots of people have said that charges would put them off visiting and taking their friends and family who come to see them in York. I shall join them in an 'Art Strike' until we can sort this out. People are welcome to register to speak at the meetings at West Offices on Wednesday evening - please come and make your views known."

York Art Gallery is due to re-open to the public on 1st August but protestors have promised to organise a York Free Art Gallery from 11am in Exhibition Square where people will be able to express their own creativity, develop art work on Saturday, and add it to the open exhibition. Organisers of the event claim they want to "develop an active community around the Art Gallery linking the city's collections with all the public of York as creators of York's art, culture, history and heritage."

Sign the petition against charges for entry to the gallery here.

Update (7th Aug): Read Dave Taylor's statement about his art strike on the York Green Party blog.

RSS Feed York Green Party RSS Feed

What have your Green councillors ever done for you?
Donate to your local party
Turn York Green Party Green

Sign up here to receive our monthly updates

We'll mail you about once a month with Green Party news and updates for your area. We'll always keep your details safe, private and secure.

members' site