Kevin makes a good point : what about the Independent Museums ?
From: kpflude <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Re: FREE ADMISSION TO NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES -Reply
> This, seems to me to be the key to the improvement for local museums i.e.
> making provision for museums statutory. Not in taking even more power
> from the local level and placing it on central government.
> However, there is one problem with statutory provision which is which
> museums in an area should the Local Authority be responsible?
> Sometimes there are many museums of local importance in an area as well as
> museums run directly by the local authority. I'm never clear why a
> should have a statutory responsibility for some and totally ignores the
I suspect this depends a lot on what area of the country you are in. My LA
spends a lot of time helping out our local independent museums, putting
together funding packages, giving (free) curitorial advice, and working on
joint projects. We even (in one case) own their buildings and collection...
and in return they specialise in promoting specialist collections at a local
(town ?) level. But in other Regions there is little cross-working, which is
a real loss. My sympathy if your museums have such problems.
[puts on his on Devil's Advocate Hat...]
However , an Independent does trade lack of local tax funding for something
: Independence. You don't have to work so hard on justifying your existence
to politicians, or waste ... err, spend time preparing endless paperwork for
the Best Value process.You can implement new ideas and procedures quickly,
without discussing it with every other department on the planet. You're not
tainted with the "Rubbish Local Council" brush (how many people have respect
for LA Services any more ?), and businesses tend to be keener to work with
you, as you tend to be business minded.
The grass ain't necessarily greener in the LA museum world...
And turn your problem on it's head for a minute. If your independent museums
received LA funding, how would you feel at losing your independence ? Would
you be able to resist the "well, our council-tax payers now fund this
museum, so the Authority better take it over ourselves" mentality ?
> I don't think the museum world has thought this through - just as the
> world did not think through the museum designation scheme and created
> something full of intellectual holes.
Can't agree more. I've always been against Designation, as it only causes
division between museums.
For those not familiar with this _wonderful_ Government scheme...
Designation is an award from the Government recognising that a Museum has "a
leading collection of regional importance" within an area. Of course, some
museums immediately grabbed the opportunity to get a part of their
designated, as it brings with it financial rewards and a marketing
opportunity. The problem is that Designation is done on a case-by-case
basis, not on a countrywide scale, and ends up in "our collection is more
important than yours" bickering. Worse, the minority of museums have
bothered to get their collections designated, so funding is flowing
disproportionally into some museums rather than other, as worthy, museums.
[The above is my personal opinion and not the opinion or policy statement of