Culture Shock!

May 5 2017 | By More

Culture convenor loses seat

Richard Lewis, the City of Edinburgh Council’s convenor of its Culture and Sport Committee, has lost his seat in the council elections to Labour, today, Friday 5 May 2017.

Lewis, who has a background in the arts as a conductor and composer, came second in terms of first preference votes in the Colinton/Fairmilehead ward, with 20.7% – one tenth of a percentage point ahead of Labour’s Scott Arthur, and a similar increase on his own support in 2012, when he had 20.59% of the first preference votes.

Pic by Peter Dibdin

Richard Lewis on the stage of the Edinburgh King’s theatre. Pic Peter Dibdin

However, with sitting Conservative councillor Jason Rust going through in the first round, Arthur was elected at Stage Four and a second Conservative, Phil Doggart, boosted his 16.5% first preference share to get in on the sixth round.

Lewis has been a strong supporter of theatre in Edinburgh, helping push through the £25m refurbishment project for the Edinburgh King’s and a vocal supporter of the Council’s £45K performing arts fund. As a member of the arts community, he has had a strong understanding of the importance of culture to Edinburgh and has always had good understanding of his brief in his contact with the media.

As convenor of the culture committee, Lewis has had directorships and positions of influence in several of Edinburgh’s key theatre institutions, which will now pass to his successor. He was a director of the Edinburgh International Festival Council, Festival City Theatres Trust which runs the Festival, King’s and Studio theatres, a non-executive director at the Lyceum and an observer on the board of the Traverse.

The next meeting of the Culture and Sport Committee will be on Tuesday 27 June 2017.



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