A significant challenge will be the deepening crisis in local government. Last year, councils invested more than £2 billion in culture and library services in England alone – that’s more than twice as much as Arts Council England. But because of austerity and inflation, it’s 40% less per person than in 2010. As pressures mount on the services councils have legal duties to provide – especially social care – there are growing risks to everything else. Some councils, such as Birmingham and Nottingham, have effectively declared bankruptcy. Now, more than ever, we need to speak up for councils’ vital role in local cultural access and funding.