In the 2010 Emergency Budget agreed by Cabinet and Full Council, the Archive and Cornish Studies Service were allocated an £80,000 saving. This will be delivered by reducing staff hours and a corresponding reduction in opening hours on both sites.
Two options were proposed for managing the savings from the Record Office team and members of the public had a six week period to comment on these proposals. Members and key stakeholders were also contacted to advise them of the changes.
- Closed for the first full week of every calendar month.
- For the rest of the month, open four days a week from 9.00am-4.30pm Tuesday to Friday.
- The closed week would be used for collection cataloguing and preservation work so that we can make more collections available to the public and online.
- There would be an overall reduction in opening hours of 23%.
- This system is already used successfully by Warwickshire County Record Office and Bath Record Office.
- Open three days a week with one late night opening. Wednesday 9.00am-7.00pm, Thursday 9.00am-4.30pm, Friday 9.00am-4.30pm.
- The additional closed day would be used work with volunteers and some limited collection cataloguing.
- There would be an overall reduction in opening hours of 16%
We are also proposing to trial opening one Saturday a month.
There were no written responses from Members and no queries were raised via the three drop-in sessions that were held. Redruth Town Council attended one of the sessions. Five written responses protesting about the proposals for both sites, and cuts to the Historic Environment Service, were received.
Cornwall Record Office
An online and paper survey on the proposals generated 118 responses, 47 paper and 71 online. The results of the consultation do not reveal a clear preference for users:
|No option given||3||2.5|
Where postcodes were provided 57% of respondents gave a local postcode, 38% were from the UK and 5% from overseas. Although there were slight variations in preferences, neither option emerged as being favoured by a particular group of users.
Given the lack of a clear preference the decision has been take to proceed with the original recommendation (Option A) for a trial period of one year, starting in January 2012. This will include opening one Saturday a month.
This will offer a balance between enabling access to archives and increasing the available information about archives through cataloguing, digitisation and on-site access. An awareness raising campaign with users groups and partners wil be held during the winter and when the new pattern commences, we propose to closely monitor its impact on users by recording requested bookings for and walk-ins during the closed week.
Information about the work undertaken during the closed week will also be published online so that the public can monitor progress.