Agenda and minutes

Eastleigh Museum Joint Management Committee - Wednesday, 9 October 2013 11:30 am

Venue: Committee Room, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh

Contact: Julia Roy, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8133; Email: 

No. Item


Prior to the meeting, the following presentations were provided for members of both Eastleigh Museum and Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committees:


Schools’ Service for both sites – Janet Wildman, Community Engagement and Learning Officer for SE Hampshire


Museums Accreditation 2013 - Jo Bailey, Collections Team Manager


The Big Theme 2014 (focusing on the centenary of the First World War) – Tom de Witt, Area Curator


Agenda items 5 and 6 were then considered first, in conjunction with Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committee.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 30 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 May 2013 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the second sentence of Item 8, paragraph 2 being amended to read “good” practice.


Curator's Report pdf icon PDF 417 KB


The Area Curator introduced a report detailing activities and events at the Museum since the last meeting of the Committee.


One Community had worked with Open Sight, a charity for people with visual impairment, to produce Visions of the Past, an exhibition which told the story of blind and partially sighted people in Hampshire since 1920 through people’s own stories.


Local community groups and volunteers had made a huge contribution to the Meet the Victorians exhibition, with the whole town taking part in the opening event, The Victorians are in Town.  This hands-on, multi-sensory exhibition had been targeted at families with young children and schools (especially KS2).  The exhibition team had produced a core element, replicated across six venues, while Community Engagement and Learning (CEL) teams worked with local groups and individuals to add local displays and activities. 


Visitor figures for the year to August showed a consistent improvement on the previous year’s performance every month.


The Collections Team had been heavily involved in managing the 2013 Accreditation submission to the Arts Council during the past year.  The Accreditation Assessor had undertaken a preliminary review of the Eastleigh Museum return and had taken the museum to the 19 September panel meeting.  It was reported that the Museum had subsequently been awarded accreditation.


Research and conservation was underway on the 14 cases of taxidermy from the Thomas Atkinson Cotton Collection at Chilcomb House that were to be put on display at the Museum from 16 November.  This collection of British birds had been created by Thomas Cotton (1856/7 – 1925), who lived at the Mount in Bishopstoke.  He collected the birds, his wife Charlotte painted the backgrounds and his brother Charles did the taxidermy.  He built a museum at the Mount filled with over 1000 specimens and described as one of the finest natural history museums and aviaries in the county.  The exhibition would also explore the history of the Mount itself, especially in the Cotton era, and Museum staff were working closely with the Bishopstoke Local History Society. 


Over the five month period April to August 2013, the CEL team had worked with 7 school groups in the Museum and 2 as outreach, a total of 252 pupils.  This made a total of 542 for the academic year, an increase on last year’s 504. 


A diverse programme of activities and events had also been offered to, families and the local community  over this five month period, in which 422 people had taken part. These included Game On!, a board game-making workshop, and a number of activities linked to the Meet The Victorians exhibition.  All feedback received had been very positive.


Additionally, CEL officers had been working with local history groups, One Community Museum Volunteers and local historians to produce local elements of the Meet the Victorians exhibition. 


Regular publicity and promotion, both in hard copy and online, continued to be undertaken, together with the visitor postcode profiling.


During the discussion of the report, it was queried whether local companies worked with the Museum on projects as part of their corporate social responsibility.  The Area Curator reported that a number of local companies worked with one Community at the Museum.  Currently there were two groups decorating and one group making improvements to the kitchen.  If Members knew of any other companies wishing to support the Museum, they should contact the Area Curator.


It was AGREED -


That the report be noted.


Budget Update pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The Strategic Manager, Visitor Services introduced a report which provided an update on the budget for the Museum to 31 August 2013.


The budget was on track, although maintenance costs tended to be variable.


It was AGREED -


That the report be noted.


Eastleigh Museum/Bursledon Windmill Draft Joint Management Agreement pdf icon PDF 226 KB


This item was considered in conjunction with Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committee.


The Strategic Manager, Visitor Services advised that the Joint Management Agreement for Eastleigh Museum (the Principal Agreement) had expired on 31 March 2011. The Joint Management Agreement for the Windmill, which was supplemental to the Principal Agreement, would also terminate on the expiry of the principal Agreement, although the County Council’s lease of the Windmill from Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust would expire on 31 March 2015.


It was suggested that in future the two Agreements should be contained in one document and the draft was now brought to this meeting for Members’ consideration.


Reference was made to the recent decision by Hampshire County Council to form a new Hampshire Solent Cultural Trust with Winchester City Council, to which the services and funding for the County Council Arts and Museums Service would be transferred. Winchester City Council was to make a decision on the proposal in November 2013. Members were concerned that the Agreement may not be adhered to under such a Trust and considered that more detail was required on the proposed Trust before a decision on the new Agreement could be made.


The Strategic Manager, Visitor Services advised that the issue of the Agreement would be discussed during the process to set up the new Trust. Legal advice would also be taken on the issue. In the meantime, the process for the signing of the new Agreement needed to be pursued, and involvement sought from all parties concerned, including the relevant Local Area Committees.


In addition, it was brought to the Committees’ attention that the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust (HBPT) had purchased the Windmill in 1981 and restored the building over the next ten years. In 1990, Hampshire County Council had taken over management of the Windmill, under a lease which ran until 2015. Under the supplement to the old Agreement, the Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committee should comprise two members appointed by the HBPT, who were entitled to attend and vote in respect of matters relating to the Windmill at the Committee. Two members had subsequently been attending meetings and had provided an input to proceedings. However, the draft Agreement now before the Committees made no reference to HBPT, although it was noted that Bursledon Parish Council was now included as a party in the draft Agreement.


The Committee agreed that HBPT’s input had been, and was still, valuable to the Committee and that the two representatives should be included on the Windmill Committee in the new Agreement to be drawn up.


It was AGREED -


(1)  That consultation on the draft Agreement proceed with all interested parties; and


(2)  That the draft Agreement be considered again at the next meetings of the Committees.


Hampshire Solent Cultural Trust


This item was considered in conjunction with Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committee.


The Strategic Manager, Visitor Services advised that the Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside had made the decision on 25 September 2013 to establish the Hampshire Solent Cultural Trust in partnership with Winchester City Council, which was to make the decision on the Trust in November 2013.


Committee members requested that the link to the documents relating to this decision be sent to them for information.


It was AGREED -


That the report be noted.


Date and Venue of Next Meeting


It was advised that the next meeting would be arranged for late January/early February 2014, in order for the draft Joint Management Agreement to be discussed and also for the Head of Museums to consult the Committee on the setting up of the new Trust.