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This report is taken from PN Review 143, Volume 28 Number 3, January - February 2002.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

More than a year has passed since Joanna Weston who, though an inside appointment, had announced herself as a new broom with a fresh strategy for the arts, resigned from the post of chief executive of the Arts Council for Wales. Before her departure, and since, consultants and advisers to ACW and the Assembly have had a field day surveying the scene, collecting the views of practitioners and the public, writing reports and making recommendations. Not many of the suggestions to emerge have had the appeal even of common sense and some appeared positively pernicious, threatening to increase bureaucracy while undermining the few more or less successful institutions that crossed regional boundaries. Ms Weston's successor, Peter Tyndall, took over in October. What he will do with the reams of conflicting advice is anyone's guess, but he has arrived with a demeanour hopeful rather than resigned: to everyone's surprise, for the time being at least, the Assembly seems inclined to let the Council work out its own salvation rather than impose upon it new structures and methodology.

Tyndall does not come from a background in the arts or arts administration. His previous job was with the Welsh Local Government Organisation, which he served as head of education, training and cultural affairs. It was a role that brought him into contact with the ACW, so he has some knowledge of its personnel and perennial problems. That will help, but possibly not as much as will his familiarity with the ...


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