Agenda and minutes

Bursledon Windmill Joint Management Committee - Wednesday, 16 May 2012 10:00 am

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Julia Roy, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8133; Email:  julia.roy@eastleigh.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That Councillor Cross be appointed Chairman of the Committee for the year 2012-13.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That County Councillor Broadhurst be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the year 2012-13.

 

County Councillor Broadhurst chaired the meeting on this occasion.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2011 were agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

Curator's Report pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Minutes:

The Curator introduced a report which provided an update on activities and events at the Windmill since the beginning of 2012.

 

Phase 1 of the Arts and Museums Review had been implemented in July 2011.  New staff and volunteers had been introduced at the Windmill and a Community Partnership had been launched to engage the local community more widely in the future operational working of the site.  The Area Curator thanked the Visitor Services Assistant and his team for their hard work and enthusiasm and for their work with the Learning and Community Engagement (LCE) Team.

 

The Windmill had continued to open on Sundays, with opening for other events and booked groups by appointment throughout the year.  New interpretation had been introduced during March 2012, including a new introductory audio visual display and a 360 virtual degree tour of the Windmill, researched by the Collections Team, to enable all visitors, including those with limited mobility, to see the inner workings of the mill.  The film would also be used as a training tool for familiarisation with the working of the Windmill.

 

Towards the end of 2011, it had been established that the windshaft required replacement and consequently the staff could not continue to mill until the work had been undertaken.  This had resulted in some restricted access to the Windmill, but the ongoing development of the volunteer programme had helped to offset the limited operational working.  Attendance figures had dropped slightly when the Windmill had stopped operating but provided a stable base on which to build following the replacement of the windshaft.

 

The first stage of the replacement had commenced in March with the removal of the sails.  This had removed any risks and enabled a more detailed assessment of the remainder of the work.  The opportunity would also be taken to explore and interpret the technical aspects of the Windmill as a machine and also to carry out any exterior redecoration and repair work required.  It was anticipated that, subject to funding being secured, the repairs would be completed in time for the Windmill’s 200th anniversary in 2014.

 

In the nine months since the new Learning and Community Engagement Team had taken up their posts, they had worked with 135 children in five school groups and developed new sessions reflecting changes to the National Curriculum.  Excellent feedback had been received to these sessions, and also to the programme of activities and events offered over the period January to March 2012.  A total of 213 adults and children had taken part in these events.

 

The LCE Team had facilitated 20 events since July 2011, the most innovative of which had been The Mill by Torchlight, attended by 124 people, and the Pilands Mini Museum Project.

 

Promotional booklets for Museums and Archives continued to be distributed and over 30,000 subscribers now received the monthly e-newsletter, Showcase. 

 

On 27 March 2012 the Windmill had been the subject of a five minute slot on Meridian Tonight, which featured the sails being removed by crane and a live interview with the Area Curator. Local newspapers had also given considerable coverage of the first stage of the restoration work.  It was also reported that an article had been included in Bursledon Parish Council’s newsletter.

 

In response to a query, it was confirmed that joint working and collaboration was taking place with both Bursledon Brickworks and Manor Farm.

 

On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman thanked the Area Curator for a very informative report.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That the report be noted.

5.

Bursledon Windmill Outline Conservation Statement pdf icon PDF 824 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Giles Pritchard, Specialist Conservation Architect, from Hampshire County Council Property Services.

 

Giles firstly reported that a survey of the windshaft had been carried out and a detailed record of the findings made, which was illustrated in a number of photographs shown to the Committee.  Decay approximately 600m square had been found in the projecting end section of the windshaft.  Moisture had entered wood through the natural shakes found in oak, and decay had set in from the middle of the section. The iron brackets on the shaft had also trapped moisture.  A safety plan had been put in place and the sails had been craned off the Windmill at the end of March.  This had stabilised the condition of the Windmill and significantly reduced risk until the eventual removal and replacement of the windshaft. 

 

Giles then introduced a draft Outline Conservation Statement for Bursledon Windmill, prepared by the Historic Buildings Group in Hampshire County Council Property Services on behalf of the County Council’s Arts and Museum Service.

 

The Statement focused on understanding the significance of the Windmill and considering how best to approach the on-going conservation, use and management of the site with a view to submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding to replace the windshaft and undertake other restoration work, set within an operational framework.

 

The Statement set out the heritage, history, management arrangements and historic significance of the Windmill.  The vision for the Windmill drawn up by the recently formed Community Partnership and the social and community value of the site was also provided, including the results of the Bursledon Parish Plan survey.  This had asked a number of questions of local residents regarding their view of the importance of the Windmill.

 

A risk assessment, conservation and management aims, an action plan and funding proposals were also included in the Statement.  The estimated total project cost stood at £190,000.  Some funding had been confirmed and, once the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund had been submitted, other potential funding sources would be explored. 

 

During the consideration of the Statement, a number of issues were raised, including:

 

·  Tree works to the adjacent woodland, which had grown and was blocking clear wind to the Windmill  it was confirmed that the woodland was in private ownership, but managed by the Borough Council.  The woods were seen as part of the site and had been identified as a SINC.  Work to the trees had been undertaken but the effectiveness would not be known until the restoration work had been completed and the Windmill recommenced milling, when a review would be undertaken.  It was queried whether signage could be provided pointing visitors towards the magnificent view to be seen from the woods, which was currently difficult to find. The area Co-ordinator agreed to investigate this issue. 

 

·  The possibility of the windshaft being the only wooden one in the country – this would be investigated by County Council officers.

 

·  Public transport to the Windmill – it was pointed out that no bus service ran to the Windmill from either the railway station in Bursledon, or from Bitterne.  The Area Co-ordinator agreed to raise this with the Borough’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Streetscene, and also to investigate the possibility of providing posters advertising the Windmill at Bursledon Station.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That the Bursledon Windmill Outline Conservation Statement be noted.

6.

Arts and Museums Strategic Plan

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager for Community Engagement and Learning provided a verbal report on the Arts and Museums Service’s Strategic Plan.

 

Phase Two of the Arts and Museums Strategic Review had been implemented with effect from 4 May 2012.

 

For the Windmill, more significant changes had been implemented under Phase One of the Review and reported at previous meetings.  The Volunteer Co-ordinator role had continued through Renaissance transition funding for 2012/13, although it should be noted that this post had been reviewed to embrace an area role, with responsibility for the post holder for volunteer co-ordination at Westbury Manor Museum and Aldershot Military Museum, as well as the Windmill.

 

Both the Visitor Service Assistant role and the Museum Assistant role had continued, but with a slight increase in hours for each, from .16fte to .2 fte.

 

An updated Arts and Museums staff structure would be circulated to Borough Council officers in early June.

 

The option for a Fully Integrated Merger proposal between Southampton, Winchester and Hampshire was being looked at in detail over the next six months, but no decision would be made until late 2012.  A business case specialist had been appointed to work with partners to test the proposals with representatives from the public and key external stakeholders.  Staff were engaged in this process through a number of workshops and workstreams, such as visitor services, exhibitions and community engagement and learning.  Unions would be engaged as appropriate.  Funding partners would be engaged through County Council officer conversations during the summer.  A report would be provided at the next meeting of this Committee.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the verbal report be noted.

7.

Service Plan 2012/2013 pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

The Area Curator introduced the Service Plan 2012-2013 for the Windmill.  The plan supported both the County and Borough Councils’ corporate priorities and the Arts and Museum Service’s objectives. 

 

The Plan comprised the following key areas:

 

·  Providing a welcoming and well maintained Windmill and site

·  Hosting special temporary exhibitions and related events

·  Caring for collections and providing specialist knowledge and advice

·  Inspiring learning and community engagement

·  Marketing and management.

 

The Committee noted that Key Activity 1.2 (Develop public access to the Windmill through the development of a new sustainable community partnership model) was of particular importance, reflecting the work undertaken to set up the partnership and the need to realise the vision for the future of the site.  The partnership had expressed interest in developing a local temporary exhibition space for community groups at its meeting in November 2011 and this need was also contained within the Plan as Key Activity 2.1.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That the Service Plan 2012-2013 be noted.

8.

Date and Venue of Next Meeting

Minutes:

It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 17 October 2012 at 11.30 am at the Civic Offices.