After the flurry of activity and consultation that the City Council indulged in during the latter part of the Summer we still await the results of their cogitation. At the last consultation meeting we enquired when we might see the results of this process, probably late September came the optimistic reply. By this time we had hoped to get a glimpse of the Council’s plans concerning the future of the whole Museum Service and Herne Bay in particular.
I have had an interim answer to the question, the ‘what is happening and what is going to happen’ question. This comes from Peter Davies. Peter is museum trained and an ex-colleague of mine, now working in the Dept of Culture at Military Road. I quote from his letter:
“The Council are currently working on their Star Chamber deliveries over the coming weeks, and as such all communication of budgetry type stuff is embargoed because of the obvious political nature of the information.What I will say is that we have been working hard – and I do mean this with sincerity – on a presumption not to close for all museums.This will mean that other options will need to be considered and these will have a sharp focus on the ‘worth’ of the museums to visitors from outside of the district.
We feel confident we can mitigate the harsher savings climate of last year with a much more levelled and community-responsive set of recommendations for meeting last years and future savings targets.”
So there you have it, I think this still means that the museum will stay open, but not as we know it. The future shape we can only guess at and in all probability that guess would be wrong. Whatever change is proposed, I am sure it’s going to mean a greater level of community involvement, which is why we need to concentrate on increasing the membership and building a solid support organisation.
David Cross, secretary