The leader of Kingston Conservatives has called for a detailed list of all services provided by the Rose Theatre in return for Kingston Council’s annual £500,000 funding.
Howard Jones made the request in response to the High Street venue posting a £204,000 loss in its latest accounts for 2012/13.
The theatre receives half a million pounds of taxpayer money each year, plus an additional £380,000 from Kingston University.
Coun Jones said he had now asked Kingston Council officers to provide a breakdown of each payment made to the theatre by the council annually, in order to see what exactly residents are getting for their money.
He said: “I have asked officers to prepare me a list of payments the council makes to the theatre.
“We can see the overall lot but there should be a list of what we are getting for our money.
“If we have a service level agreement we should be able to see if we’re getting value for money in terms of what we get for our half a million quid.”
A five year agreement between the council and the Rose will see the theatre continue to receive £500,000 a year until 2016.
Asked whether that agreement would be renewed if the Conservatives were in power by then, Coun Jones said: “Depending on where we were at that particular time, if it came to the crunch and the council didn’t have any money then we wouldn’t be able to give any.
“I think the council needs to work out its priorities and personally I think there are more important priorities than the theatre.
“But that’s not to say that we shouldn’t sit down with them and figure out how it can survive.”
What do you think? Leave your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org