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The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2011 were deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee, as the meeting was inquorate and therefore informal, and no decisions could be made.
The new Curator for the South East Area, Tom de Witt, advised the Committee that he had taken up his post on 1 July 2011, when the new Museums Service management structure had come into effect. He had worked for the Museums Service for a number of years and had previously been based at Westbury Manor in Fareham.
The two main operational priorities for the Curator on taking up his post had been to ensure that the Windmill could operate and open to the public safely, and to provide the framework to support discussion and development of the service into the future.
Since 1 July, the Windmill had been working to the new management structure, which had involved the appointment of a new member of staff, James Brigden, with the dual role of Visitor Services Assistant (VSA) and Volunteer Co-ordinator (VC). The latter role was funded by Renaissance until the end of March 2012 and would enable the establishment of a team of volunteers able to engage with the Windmill in a number of ways, such as landscaping, nature conservation and industrial archaeology.
In his role as VSA, James supervised both the operation of the Windmill and the Museum Assistant and Miller. In his role as VC, he was putting in place manuals, documentation, organisational framework and a training programme for volunteers. James had also developed the welcome to visitors and their interaction with the Windmill. Notably, he had established Facebook and Twitter profiles, which had led to links with other groups and individuals with common interests and the beginning of an online community using the Windmill flour for cooking.
Visitor figures for April to August 2011 were down on the previous year, but it was acknowledged that the site was very weather dependent, and the good weather in April and May was reflected in the figures.
Work had been carried out to maintain and improve the condition of the Windmill. The Museum Service’s Collections Officer and Conservator had led on the overhaul of the mill sack hoist and new steps had been made for the reefing stage of the mill and the granary.
The repairs required to the windshaft were complex, as timber of the correct type and size was difficult to locate. However, the results of a survey were expected soon, which would include repair options, hopefully to cure the cause of the problem.
There had been three school sessions at the Windmill between the last report and 1 July, when the new Learning and Community Engagement Officers for the South East Hampshire area took up their posts. During July and September, an additional Science Links in Museum Education Minibeasts session had taken place, for 27 Key Stage 1 children, and one outreach event at Hamble Primary School for 68 pre-school children.
There was now an offer for a number of subjects involved in all Key Stages, and a cross-curricular workshop on Buildings for Key Stage 1, which was being trialled by 80 children from Hamble Primary School on a partnership ay with Bursledon Brickworks. The suggestion was made that, if successful, Netley and Bursledon schools should also be approached with this offer.
A diverse programme of activities and events had been offered over the summer, including a Victorian Day (48 participants) and Mill Summer Murders (104 participants). A further event, The Mill by Torchlight, was planned for the evening of 11 November.
With regard to publicity and promotion, 20,000 copies of Enjoy Hampshire’s Museums and Archives and 25,000 copies of What’s On In Hampshire Museums and Archives had been printed in March 2011 for distribution ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
The Head of Arts and Museums advised that the Executive Member for Culture and Recreation had approved the initial draft of the Strategic Plan to go out to consultation on 8 July 2011. Consultation was currently taking place on the second draft version, which contained further detail on target budget savings and fitness for purpose.
The focus with regard to the Windmill was to continue to develop the changes contained in Phase One of the Plan. Staffing comprised a Visitor Services Assistant and a Museum Assistant, for opening one day per week, on Sunday. Groups could book visits on Monday to Friday by appointment.
It was proposed that the Learning and Community Engagement Team would continue to provide sessions at the Windmill and that the role of volunteers would continue to be evolved, to expand provision at the Windmill, particularly within the local context.
Draft 2012/13 Budget Proposals
The Assistant Service Manager, Arts and Museums introduced a draft budget for the Windmill, and for Eastleigh Museum, for 2012/13. The proposals showed Quarter 1 of 2011/12, before the implementation of Phase 1 of the new structure, quarters 2 – 4, once Phase 1 had been implemented and 2012/13, when Phase 2 would have been implemented.
It was queried how the projection of £6,200 income had been worked out, and it was agreed that a breakdown of figures would be provided.
The Chairman reiterated that no decision could be made on the budget, as no Borough members from Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Local Area Committee, the funding body, were present. He acknowledged that both Councils were currently looking at budgets, prioritising investment and looking for reductions, and proposed that a further meeting be held later in the year, and by the second week in December at the latest.