Tag Archives: Museum

Save the Cromwell Museum: a campaign update

After the whirl of activity that led to the presentation of the petition to Cambridgeshire County Council, the campaign has been on hold.  Here is an update to let you know how things stand at present – and what the next steps are.

As you will be aware, the fact that the petition reached nearly 4,000 signatures meant that the sought after debate at the full meeting of the Council was achieved.

This meeting took place on the 18 February.  The spokesperson for the Friends, Bob Pugh, was invited to speak, to represent the case against the proposed budgetary cut in 2015/16 that would inevitably have led to the closure of the Museum.

In a very effective, short speech, Bob stressed to Councillors the historical importance of the Museum and its collection, as well as the benefits it brings to Huntingdon and the wider local economy.

The issue was then debated. The chairman of the Museum’s management committee, Peter Downes, declared that it would be unthinkable for the Museum to close and argued for more time for solutions to be sought. In response, the Cabinet member with responsibility for the Museum, David Harty, acknowledged the weight of opinion against the proposed funding cut.

In the subsequent budget debate, an amendment that funding be extended for a further twelve months until 2016-17 was proposed and carried by 57 votes to 4.

Forcing the debate and making the Council reconsider its decision represents a huge achievement by the campaign.  We would like to thank all of you again for your support.     However, the Museum’s future is still far from certain.

A consultant, paid for by an external grant, is currently reviewing options for alternative governance (i.e. seeking another body to run the Museum other than the Council).  The consultant will report in April. It is undoubtedly going to be extremely challenging to find a viable solution for sustainable funding, but the additional year will make a huge difference in trying to secure the Museum’s future.

We will let you all know what the consultant has proposed, and how things progress from there, as soon as possible.




Huntingdon townspeople show their support for the Museum

Lindsay Cassedy and Bob Pugh collecting signatures in Huntingdon on Saturday 18 January.

Lindsay Cassedy and Bob Pugh collecting signatures. Photo courtesy of Helen Drake, Hunts Post.

On Saturday (18 January) the Friends of the Cromwell Museum gathered in Huntingdon town centre with hard copies of the Cambridgeshire County Council petition and spoke to people about the threat to the Museum.  The response was fantastic, with over 350 signatures received in two hours.

The Friends will be gathering signatures again on Saturday 25 January.  Currently the ePetition stands at 915 signatures; with the addition of signatures received in hard copy, we are approaching the 1,500 mark.  We need a really big push between now and the closing date of 5 February to get to the 3,000 signatures needed to force a debate of full Council.

If you live/own a business/work/attend a school or college in Cambridgeshire….

…then please sign the CCC ePetition here:
…and the SurveyMonkey petition here:

If you do not live/own a business/work/attend a school or college in Cambridgeshire but do want to express your concern about the proposed closure of the Museum…

…please add your name here:

At the last count, the SurveyMonkey petition stood at over 2,300 signatures which is a fantastic achievement.  It will really demonstrate to the Council that the Museum is valued by people within and beyond the county, and even the country.

Thank you to Helen Drake at the Hunts Post for her permission to reproduce the photograph above.