Thursday, 28 August 2008

On Parks, Museums and Other Things

A few days ago I visited Parc Glynllifon, which is on the other side of Caenarfon from Bangor. It was essentially a feudal manor and grounds that was eventually sold to the local council in the late 1940’s and now, in addition to grounds which people can walk in, it houses an FE College.
The point I wish to muse upon was the entrance fee. It cost £4 each to enter the park! Given there are plenty of other places I’ve visited before that are similar to this that have been free (only charging for something like going inside a manor on the grounds or a petting zoo or for parking a car) such charging seems a little daft. Surely we’d want to be encouraging people to go walking in places like this or for family days out etc.
Which brings me onto the rest of my thoughts. In Gwynedd at the moment there seems to be a scheme of the council cutting funding for things for people to do. For example, the threats to pull funding to Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery in Bangor. A few years ago the local cinema was closed and demolished to make for yet another privately owned block of student accommodation. It is very easy to get bored here when your possibilities for entertainment are so limited.
Obviously as Socialists we are opposed to cuts of public services, but we should be for the expansion of cultural facilities and public ownership of historic monuments (off all kinds) and parks so they can be opened up to everyone’s enjoyment. Alongside this these facilities should be made as cheap as possible to use (or free if possible) to promote accesibility. As Trotsky concludes his ‘testament’, “Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression, and violence and enjoy it to the full.”

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