The Museums Resources Manager presented a report which outlined progress with the current year’s budget and made proposals regarding the forward estimate for 2011-12.
The cash limit of £66,800 for 2010/11 had been agreed at the Joint Management Committee meeting on 13 October 2009 and current budget monitoring indicated that it would be possible to manage within this limit.
The report took account of the Phase 1 strategic organisational changes outlined in the County Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Recreation report of 17 November 2010 in response to changes in Renaissance funding with effect from 1 April 2011.
Renaissance funding of over £1M per year had, since 2002, increasingly supported core museum activities and enabled the Joint Management Agreement with the Borough Council to benefit significantly from enhanced educational and marketing activities, temporary exhibitions and collections management, all of which had widened audience participation. These benefits had not been specifically identified to partners, nor represented in budgets, although they supported work across the County.
The current Renaissance funding programme was to be terminated from 2011/12 onwards and replaced by a different model of funding and support. Details regarding the new model were to be issued during 2011, but it was likely that museums would need to apply competitively and demonstrate ability to reach a range of criteria. These would probably emphasise areas of significant population and the regional and national excellence of collections. It was proposed that a core Hampshire and Solent group bid involving Hampshire County Council, its District and Borough partners, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, Winchester City Council and other partners including the Mary Rose Trust, Isle of Wight Council and the National Motor Museum Beaulieu would have the greatest chance of success and work had commenced to secure such a consortia approach.
Transition funding from Renaissance had been successfully negotiated for the 2011/12 financial year to support the Museum Service’s exit strategy from the current arrangements, allowing current staffing and organisational arrangements to remain until 30 June 2011. A strategic review of the Service had been undertaken and Phase 1 of the review approved by the Executive Member for Culture and Communities on 17 November 2010. The staffing and operational changes incorporated in Phase 1 would be implemented from 1 July 2011.
In order to deliver the draft Service Plan for 2011/12, for consideration as the next item on this agenda, it was not envisaged that any further changes to budget or service provision at the Windmill would be required, other than those already approved under Phase 1 Reorganisation.
The budgets presented to the Committee in previous years had not incorporated the full costs of providing marketing, learning, temporary exhibition support and collections management for the Windmill. These activities would need to be funded from County and Borough contributions following the changes to Renaissance funding from 2011/12 and the draft budget for 2011/12 would show the full costs of this support. This would allow both partners to make informed decisions regarding the management of any budget reductions required as an outcome of the October 2010 Spending Review process.
The Committee considered the draft budget proposals for 2011/12 in conjunction with the draft Service Plan 2011-2012 (Item 4b on the agenda). This was presented by the Community Museums Team Manager and supported both authorities’ corporate priorities. The proposed budget figure was provided for each key activity. Work was still taking place on the Plan and any comments could be included. Once updated, the Plan would be circulated to the Committee.
A revised budget was distributed at the meeting, which showed that the figures of 33% of the Area Community Curator and 12.5% of the Community Museums Manager posts were for Bursledon Windmill and Eastleigh Museum combined, with one third of this time charged to the Windmill.
During the discussion of the two reports, the following issues were raised:
· Volunteers: Following an article in the Borough News, a number of people had shown interest in volunteering at the Windmill. A Community Partnership and Volunteer Co-ordinator was to be appointed to develop a volunteer team to support and enhance public access during 2011/12. Use would be made of the site’s open space and available natural history for school sessions, which would be more flexibly arranged according to when schools were able to visit. A charge would be made for these sessions, enabling the Learning and Community Engagement Team also to provide support.
· The potential for commercial milling: It was hoped that commercial milling could be exploited, but Parish Councillor Misselbrook, speaking in his professional capacity, advised that the Windmill would never be able to produce flour on a commercial basis. He suggested that sponsorship be sought, that the Windmill be branded and a logo created with, for example, an advertisement for the sponsor on the Windmill’s webpage. The Committee agreed that sponsorship was the way forward, whilst still maintaining the Windmill’s key functions.
· Shared costs: It was advised that the Borough’s costs of servicing, accommodating and supporting the Windmill needed to be taken into account in the 2011/12 budget. In addition, the rationale behind the 1/3rd and 2/3rd staffing split between the Windmill and Museum needed clarifying. The Area Co-ordinator and Head of Museums agreed to liaise with a view to providing more detail of these costs to the next meeting of the Committee.
It was AGREED -
(1) That the proposed budget for Quarter 1 (April – June 2011) of 2011/12 be approved and the constituent authorities notified of their required contributions; and
(2) That, for budgeting purposes, Quarters 2 – 4 (July 2011 – March 2012) be approved provisionally and the constituent authorities notified of their required contributions, and that final approval be given when further information on both authorities’ costs is provided at a meeting of the Committee to be arranged during Quarter 1.