A retired teacher from Harrogate has joined the fight to save Herne Bay Museum. Linda O’Carroll has set up a special page on the web encyclopedia Wikipedia and has approached the National Lottery for how to get a grant. She said:
“Although I live in Harrogate I grew up in Herne Bay in the 1950s and 60s and regard it as my museum. I was shocked to read that the city council wants to close it. It is a slap in the face for all Herne Bay people.”
The council wants to close the William Street building to the general public to save costs and has plans to open up the ground floor to take school parties by appointment. But Linda said:
“Lottery staff have told me the Museum is an extremely likely case and that if successful would get full funding for its needs over the next five years. That the application would cost the council nothing. The Sheriff of Canterbury (Cllr Gabrielle Davis) is researching this but the application must be submitted as soon as possible.”
She has also uploaded edited highlights of the council Executive debate to Youtube. She said: “It is an eye-opener.” It includes leader Cllr John Gilbey saying:
“You just wonder if they have got any interest in the issues other than the big ticket ones that get them in the paper. It’s really disgraceful. It’s absolutely disgraceful that they can’t see what this council is doing. But we will fight that. We will fight it tooth and nail to show them what we are doing. No question. After what we have seen this evening you wonder if they have any interest in the big issue other than getting into the newspaper.”
Cllr Gilbey said later he had not meant to cause offence or single out any one group of campaigners. The Tory leader said:
“What I said was not about Herne Bay. It was about all of the protestors, all the people in there. The moment it was over they got up and walked out and didn’t stay for the capital budget which is all about the building projects and other work we are doing. All the good news was in the capital budget. Of course we get frustrated – we just wonder if they have any interest in anything beyond their own little campaign and any understanding about everything else we have to do.”
Gilbey wants to fight… What? Blindness? Any protestor?
Hmmm… I do get the impression that Cllr Gilbey would prefer some version of democracy that involved much less interference from the general public, who selfishly focus on what affects them. Hopefully he’s pleased about the YouTube coverage giving us all an opportunity to see some of what the Council does. I agree whole-heartedly that it is “absolutely disgraceful that [we] can’t see what [our] council is doing”. The vast majority of votes are carried on a show of hands, with no record whatsoever of how each councillor has voted. I think that’s disgraceful, but easily fixed: a simple electronic voting system would let us see very clearly what our councillors are doing.
The resolute defenders of the Museum have set up their own little Museum-o-Vision channel on YouTube here.