CASH being cut from a North Finchley theatre by Barnet Council is “a small amount” according to the councillor leading the plans.

Cash subsidies given to the artsdepot in North Finchley, Church farmhouse Museum in Hendon and Barnet Museum in High Barnet are set to be scrapped as the council looks to save £54m over three years.

Campaigners fear the complete retraction of funding will see the three venues facing closure.

Opposition councillors tabled motions and questions at Tuesday night's council meeting urging Councillor Robert Rams, who is in charge of community involvement, to change his mind.

In one question a Labour councillor branded the council “philistines” for threatening the budgets, whilst others asked what future the museums had.

An idea put forward by Labour Councillor Ansuya Sodha was to cut the amount spent on consultants next year by the same amount as the cancelled subsidy.

When asked about the future of the artsdepot Cllr Rams said: “Our proposal is only to cut eleven per cent of the total funding of the artsdepot, a small amount in the scheme of things.

“We're committed to funding the excellent work it does for people with special needs. I hope artsdepot will survive and I look forward to them coming forward with ideas for funding.”

When asked about the future of the museums he admitted the Church Farmhouse building, the oldest house in the borough, could be sold for a commercial use.

He added: “I hope the museums stay where they are. I believe they will come forward with business plans to take on the lease of the properties. If that's not the case we have a number of suggestions of locations they could be put in.”

The motions did not have tome to be debated, but Cllr Rams' amended motion got unanimous support from the Tories and was voted through.

At the same meeting council leader Lynne Hillan admitted the e-recruitment project, which was due to save around £160,000 for the council this year, would not go live until March.

She said the savings figures would be “amended” in future projections, but denied they put in jeopardy the numbers for the One Barnet project forecast.