The Arts Council of England will appoint regional officers to replace the ten regional arts boards. Chairman Gerry Robinsons efforts to replace the regional boards have met with sheer opposition from the supposedly autonomous quangoids. Local authorities are to have a stronger say in the new regional councils that replace the boards. These will determine the allocation of funds within their areas. There will also be a knock-on effect at headquarters, involving a staff contraction of 210 down to 130 members. The regional boards actually have some 420 staff themselves, of whom a significant proportion will likewise go. Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, commends this excellent blueprint, which offers through the economies a further 8 million to go on the direct funding of arts. 252 million of funding (2001/2) will rise to 337 million (2003/4) from the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport against strong competition.