A tale of two petitions

The Friends of the Cromwell Museum have today launched a new petition in their efforts to prevent the closure of the Cromwell Museum.

The petition, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CromwellMuseum, takes just moments to complete.  It simply requires you to input your name, email address and postcode.  We have asked for your postcode so we can demonstrate that people both in Cambridgeshire and around the country oppose the Museum’s closure. Please do spare the time to add your name.

The Friends are in the process of setting up a second petition, on the Cambridgeshire County Council e-petition site.  We are unsure when this will be launched – the matter is now beyond our control – but we hope it will be soon.  Once live, this petition will be open to Cambridgeshire residents only.  If it should reach 3,000 signatures, there is an opportunity for the issue to be debated at a meeting of full Council.  We will let you know as soon as this petition is open.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Council committee listens to the Friends of the Museum

The Friends of the Cromwell Museum took the opportunity yesterday, Thursday 19th December, to make the case for the Museum to the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel of the County Council.

In the three minutes allowed the significance of the Museum was stressed and a proposal made that a working party of the Council be set up to examine all options for alternative funding. Assurances were sought that funding from the County Council should continue until an alternative solution is firmly in place.

There was verbal support for the Museum, and agreement to the working party, but no discussion of the key issue of whether funding should remain in place.

Waking up to Cromwell

Listeners to BBC Cambridgeshire’s breakfast show this morning heard an impassioned plea from the vice-chairman of Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society, Richard Meredith, that the Museum should be maintained.

Mr Meredith pointed out the significance both of Oliver Cromwell himself and the Museum to Huntingdon. 

Thank you for the support  – it really is vital that as many people as possible help to get the message across. Please visit the ‘What you can do’ page to see how you can get involved.

Save the Cromwell Museum!

The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon is under threat of closure. The Museum, which was set up in 1962, is earmarked for closure from the end of 2014. The Friends of the Cromwell Museum are determined to prevent this if at all possible. Please support the campaign.

The Museum is run and funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, which like all local authorities, has to make significant budget reductions. The County’s Business Plan for 2014-19 contains a reference to the planned closure of the Museum from 2015-16 to achieve a saving of £20,000. The County Council’s case for the complete withdrawal of support is based on the need to make savings and the fact that the provision of the Museum is not a statutory requirement.

The Friends of the Museum are opposed to the closure on the grounds that it would be a significant loss, locally, regionally and nationally, and that the level of savings proposed is miniscule compared to the authority’s budget as a whole. The County does many things which are equally non-statutory, from the provision of ‘real-time’ bus information on bus stops, to a Mediatheque at Cambridge Central Library. Many other local authorities provide museum services to a far greater extent than Cambridgeshire because they recognise their cultural and economic value. The Friends believe that the Cromwell Museum contributes to the County Council’s wider objectives, and should continue to receive support.

The budget proposals also refer to the option of transferring the Museum to another operator. The Friends support an initiative to investigate this option further, but are not optimistic that an alternative will be found. The Friends urge the County Council to guarantee support for the Museum, at no less than the current level, for five years, unless and until, another viable means of operating the Museum is in place.

If the Museum is to be saved for the future it is critical that concerns are raised now. Join the campaign to save the Cromwell Museum.