During the full council meeting on January 9 (item 8b), in her first statement Cllr Helen Mallory said: “It is only right to inform you that during the past 20 years we have paid subsidies to the operators of the Futurist theatre in the region of £1.6m.
This figure does not include maintenance costs which we have also paid. So if members are minded to vote against this recommendation before them I think that I should clarify what the implications are, from a financial point of view, to this council.”
I wrote to her and queried this statement. I received this reply: “Thank you for your email. To be clear, the £1,600,000 did not include maintenance. I do not have the total figures spent on maintenance.”
So the statement to the full council meeting was incorrect.
The maintenance was included in the figure of £1.6m.
This made the small amount of money spent on the Futurist over this period look larger than it was, yet members were asked to take this cost to the council into consideration when making their decision.
I say small amount as it is relatively small in comparison to the £3.8m the council has given to the Stephen Joseph Theatre over the same period and which continues.
In her position as Cabinet Member for Finance, Legal and Procurement, members will look to her for factual statements concerning figures relevant to any debate which in turn should enable them to make an informed decision.
I therefore feel that the outcome of the vote should be reviewed.