Chair’s first function sets stage for year of promoting culture

This story was published 21 May 2019

A night at the theatre raised the curtain on newly elected County Council chair Cllr Jim Clark’s year in office – and enabled him to launch one of his themes for the year.

Cllr Jim Clark joins cast members of Harrogate Dramatic Society’s Let Us Entertain You on stage at Spofforth Long Memorial Hall

Cllr Clark, along with fellow County Councillor Geoff Webber, allocated funds from his locality budget to support Harrogate Dramatic Society’s touring production of Let Us Entertain You. The contributions from the two councillors helped to meet the costs of venue hire, play performance licence fees, props and equipment.

The tour of village halls and community venues was designed to enable more people to enjoy live theatre on their doorsteps. On Friday (17 May), Cllr Clark attended a performance of the production at Spofforth Long Memorial Hall.

“It was wonderful to see theatre being taken out to smaller venues like this,” said Cllr Clark, who is a dedicated thespian and has served as chairman of Harrogate Theatre for 10 years. “We have a rich cultural life in North Yorkshire, as well as some great theatres. I am determined to support and promote the county’s culture during my time in office.”

Cllr Clark, who was elected chair on 15 May, also intends to support health-related initiatives during his year in office and has set out an ambition to attend an event at each of the council’s 68 divisions. 

Locality budgets allow county councillors to respond to local needs and requests by recommending funding of up to £5,000 to support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent.