Author Topic: Broadfield House to Close  (Read 96662 times)

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Offline simon bruntnell

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #160 on: January 29, 2009, 01:10:40 PM »
Dudley Council said they have a 90 year lease on the cone, but who ever buys Stuart will end up with it. I would not be surprised if the Far East move in on this (the glass designs etc that is). And the building is listed and Dudley would control any planing application's. But another sad comment I did pick up that the staff at BHM where told that they would be redeployed (one would be layed off)and not into museum services, that was 'set in stone' was the words used. The General view around here is that Dudley are going to weather the storm on this, as people are finding with the round robin letters, and try just, to ignore people . But as I said before I don't think they expected a load of glass lovers to cause such a stink. I really think stink is going to have to get bigger, there's been nothing on the local tv except the £60 million pound shoe box gallery in West Bromwich. 
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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #161 on: January 29, 2009, 10:57:32 PM »
Latest Article From Express and Star:

This article seriously mis-quotes visitor numbers and running costs; BH has had 12,000 visitors in the first three quarters of this financial year i.e 15,000 pa. However, the council keep missing the point; they are counting bus loads of school kids; who will be happy with mannequin dolls dressed as glass blowers.

The Oxford Circus McDonalds has a larger footfull then the V&A museum. What they haven't realised is that they have a real piece of culture.

Plan to plough sale cash into expansion
This article posted on January 29, 2009 at 11:27 am.

"Hundreds of thousands of pounds generated from the sale of an internationally-renowned glass museum in the Black Country would be ploughed into funding an expansion of another historic site, it emerged today.

Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford could close under Dudley Council cost-cutting plans. But councillors say if the sale of the building in Compton Drive goes ahead the plan is to pump some of the proceeds into the Red House Glass Cone in Wordsley.

However they are also keen to stress the proposals for the sale are not set in stone.

Council chiefs revealed last week they are considering closing Broadfield House as part of plans to shave £120,000 off next year’s museums bill. But they have moved to allay the fears of collectors and visitors collections will be placed in storage or squeezed into existing rooms at the cone in High Street.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environment and culture, said: “We are not shutting the glass museum and attempting to either put the collections in the existing space at Red House Cone or into storage, which appears to be a major worry for many people who have contacted me.

“The location of Broadfield House is not ideal from the point of view of a visitor attraction. It is not easily accessible to many people who visit the Red House Cone, which is shown by the number of visitors to each museum. There are in excess of 20,000 more visitors to the Cone each year, which is one of the reasons why I would like to look at the option of relocating the entire collection to a single site. Clearly, this would have to entail an expansion of the existing Red House site.”

If the Broadfield House sale goes ahead, the council hopes to release cash to create an improved visitor attraction with all the borough’s collections centred around the Stourbridge Glass Quarter.

Broadfield House costs £250,000 a year to run, attracting around 8,500 visitors. More than 27,000 people flock to the cone each year."


Offline aa

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #162 on: January 29, 2009, 11:24:23 PM »
 
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environment and culture, said: “We are not shutting the glass museum and attempting to either put the collections in the existing space at Red House Cone or into storage, which appears to be a major worry for many people who have contacted me

I have permission from Councillor Dave Tyler to post the email below, please note the final paragraph that I have highlighted in red. I will leave it to readers to make their own judgment, in respect of the quote above

Councillor Tyler, in a separate email explained:

Perhaps my family history makes me more in tune with the glass industry. I have a long line of ancestors in the industry including my great grandfather William Breese who was apprenticed to Henry Gething Richardson in 1885.
I have even transcribed his apprentice papers for inclusion in the Broadfield archive.
His father Thomas Breese also worked for Richardsons. And it goes on and on and on !!

From:   cllr.dave.tyler@dudley.gov.uk
Subject: Broadfield House closure
Date: 25 January 2009 22:01:54 GMT
To:   adam@aaronsonnoon.com
Hello Adam,
I am the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Dudley Council and you may already know that I am totally opposed to the closure of Broadfield House.

If it is to close at some stage in the future it should only be AFTER all interested parties have had a chance to explore ALL alternatives and funding with a view to creating a far better facility. Such a building should include Museum space, training, research, storage and lecture theatre facilities.

If we are to retain and improve our glass heritage them we must all get around a table first before any action is taken.

There is no point in announcing a closure first then expecting everything to fall into place.
If this decision had been made by a business it would fail dramatically and shareholders would call the executives to account.

To announce the closure as part of next years Budget proposals with a possibility of a feisibility study thrown in after the decision has, I am convinced, been made just to placate people.

I understand your feelings about siting a petition at Broadfield House and I would personally have no objection but I don't run the Council.

If you need an example of petitions against closure being completed within closure threatened buildings look no further than the recent closure of primary schools throughoput Dudley and a local swimming baths at Brierley Hill.

As far as I understand there were petition forms in all those Council owned premises ready for parents, friends, family and users to sign and I see no reason why Broadfield House could not do the same.

As far as employees are concerned there may well be some possible threat of discipliniary action which hangs over any officer openly criticising a Council policy as their employer.

One further point and this is purely political.
Whatever any Conservative Councillor says between now and 2nd March when the final Budget setting meeting takes place at Dudley Council House all Conservative Councillors will vote "In Favour" of their own Budget and therefore "In Favour" of the closure of Broadfield House from 1st April 2010. Their Cabinet of 9 Councillors have already agreed this course and their Lead Member for Finance will present the report on 2nd March for ratification.

Hope this helps
Regards
Dave 

 
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Offline Anne

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #163 on: January 29, 2009, 11:52:32 PM »
A new thought. Surely it is possible to get the accounts for the last three years on the running costs of the Broadfield House Museum using the Public Information Act?
Councils have to be more and more accountable and open!

Seeing as no-one else has picked up on this, I thought I'd add a reply. The relevant legislation is the Freedom of Information Act 2000, under which anyone may request access many public records, but it should be noted that many  documents are already available without having to request them formally under the FOIA.

The Council's accounts are freely viewable in the Archives - see LINK

Quote
Access to council minutes, accounts and non-current electoral rolls which are held, is provided free of charge in the searchroom, whether listed or not, in accordance with the Local Government Act (1972).

If an item isn't in the Archives or available under the council's Publication Scheme, then an FOIA request may be made, but there is normally a fee payable for this. Freedom of information requests must be in writing, give the name and a return email or postal address of the person requesting the information, and describe the information that is being requested.



Offline Anne

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #164 on: January 30, 2009, 12:36:30 AM »
Quote
The permanent and temporary exhibitions at Broadfield House attract visitors from all over the country, while the majority of people visiting the web site are from the USA. The glass collection contains approximately 15,000 individual pieces (including long term loans) ranging from 17th century glass to present day work, with the main focus on glass produced in the local Stourbridge area. The collection of Stourbridge glass is the finest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum is supported by an outstanding glass library and archive collection, and is a major centre for research into 19th and 20th century glass. Enquiries are received from all round the world.

The Red House Glass Cone was restored and opened as a visitor attraction in 2000. It is one of only four remaining glass cones in the country and is the most complete, retaining its associated workshop buildings and canal side location. The Red House Glass Works, of which the Cone forms part, was the home of Stuart Crystal from 1881 and the Council today operates the site in partnership with its current owners Waterford Wedgwood.

Source: ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ A Cultural Strategy For Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council 2006/07 to 2008/09, published by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, 1 Nov 2006.

Offline Frank

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #165 on: January 30, 2009, 01:14:18 AM »
It might be an idea to edit the first post with a summary of main links as it has got rather too long to keep up with and some visitors might miss the major links.
Frank A.
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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #166 on: January 30, 2009, 10:43:12 AM »
Dear All,

Please see my attached email of 27th January and the response from Cllr. Les Jones, who has given me his permission to share his response with you; thank you Les.

-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Cooley
Sent: 27 January 2009 19:29
To: John Polychronakis; John Millar (DUE); Duncan Lowndes; Sally Orton;
Cllr. Dave Tyler; Cllr. David Blood; david@dudleysouthconservatives.com;
Cllr. Karen Shakespeare; Cllr. Les Jones
Cc: Adam Aaronson; nigelbenson@20thcentury-glass.com; Brian Clarke
Subject: RE: Broadfield House Glass Museum

Dear All,

A resident of Dudley who's family have been involved in property
development in Dudley has just stated on 'glass messages' that "a
developer is lined up to purchase the Broadfield building already."

This is in the public domain and I therefore draw your attention to it.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that this is not the case.

Graham



Dear Mr Cooley,

Although I don't have the authority to speak on behalf of the Council, I
would like to say in the clearest terms what I believe to be the case
today, and what I will strive for as an elected member supported by many
colleagues. I offer my views without prejudice but in good faith.

I can say with reasonable certainty that there is no buyer "lined up"
for Broadfield House. It may well be that since this issue has entered
the public domain some developers have started to take an interest in
the building, but I can assure you that it is not the motivation behind
the feasibility study and will not be a factor in terms of timescale or
outcome. There is, and will continue to be, much speculation about what
is going on and this is unavoidable in the circumstances. It doesn't
mean there is any truth in the speculation and I am determined that the
public should be kept fully appraised of the ongoing feasibility study
to keep misunderstanding to a minimum. I can further assure you that
from discussions with colleagues, there is no political will to do
anything but the right thing with regard to this most important glass
collection.

Since I am married to the Cabinet Member responsible for this issue, I
will be working closely with her and the Council officers tasked with
undertaking the study. Neither she nor I will be a party to any decision
which would lead to the loss or even the downgrading of the glass
exhibition currently housed at Broadfield House. In fact, as outlined in
Karen's letter, it is hoped that even more of our stored collections can
be put on display.

The worst case scenario, after all that has gone on over the last couple
of weeks, is that the study will lead to the conclusion that there is no
viable alternative and Broadfield House will remain as a museum. If that
is the worst that can happen, then I don't think we have much to fear.

I hope this provides some reassurance with regard to your concerns and I
hope we can work closely together to ensure that the next steps are the
right ones.

Best wishes,

Les

Cllr. Les Jones
Pedmore & Stourbridge East
01562 720499 Mobile 07973 504376


Offline David E

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #167 on: January 30, 2009, 01:19:39 PM »
Let us not be too comforted by this response.

Firstly, why the sudden action to close Broadfield House.

Cllr. Jones states,
Quote
The worst case scenario, after all that has gone on over the last couple
of weeks, is that the study will lead to the conclusion that there is no
viable alternative and Broadfield House will remain as a museum. If that
is the worst that can happen, then I don't think we have much to fear.

Really? So what is the best case scenario???

Think about it - if the council's "best case" is to shuffle the collections to the Red House Glass Cone (as has already been implied), then an "interim measure" could be to house a portion of the collection in a smaller gallery, with the intention to expand this "at a later date."

So, when we are all twiddling our thumbs in a year or so, wondering when this is ever going to happen, perhaps we then get contradicatory messages like: "we haven't got the staff; we haven't got the budget; this is earmarked for 2012; etc. etc."

I urge everyone to be very careful about responses from our democratically elected officials, who are looking at this "problem" from a totally different angle, namely to save money (as stated). Also, with it being a Conservative-led council, and with the current weak state of the nation, is such an issue like Broadfield likely to get them re-elected in the future, or not? A rhetorical question, of course.

Until we got firm commitments and promises for a PURPOSE-BUILT site to house the museum, with adequate floor spacing that matches, or exceeds that of Broadfield House (the building), then I will not be comforted by ANY such political rhetoric. Either the glass collections stay at Broadfield House, or it is rehoused PROPERLY.

Keep the pressure up, guys and gals, we are starting to make a difference :)

www.friendsofbroadfieldhouse.co.uk
David
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Offline simon bruntnell

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #168 on: January 30, 2009, 01:49:19 PM »
I spoke to Central TV and left some details they called me today and I put them onto Charles Hajdamach and the friends of Broadfield they are following it up. The reporter seem very interested.
Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)

Offline nigel benson

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #169 on: January 30, 2009, 03:18:11 PM »
                       HELP SAVE BROADFIELD HOUSE GLASS MUSEUM
                                          YOUR VOICE COUNTS


It seems that we are witnessing some rather obvious manipulation of the truth by council sources. To date, the visitor figures quoted have been 15,000 for Broadfield House for the last year with Karen Shakespeare saying that there were 20,000 to the Red House Cone.

Interestingly, the numbers quoted to the local paper, The Express and Star, are:

Quote
Broadfield House costs £250,000 a year to run, attracting around 8,500 visitors. More than 27,000 people flock to the cone each year."

These are also figures from Karen Shakespeare, who gave the quote.


At a meeting last night it was announced that visitor figures to BOTH sites average at:

                         10 people per hour.


This might be a more accurate figure to use since each site has a different number of opening hours:

Red House Cone:  7 days per week, totalling 42 hours

                         NOTE:
                         ANY visitor is included, meaning that RHC gets an average
                         of 10k more per yer than BH (see below for detail)

Broadfield House:  6 days per week, totalling 24 hours
                         

Visitor figures at the Red House Cone site include:

                       
                         Any conference that is held at Red House Cone - whatever
                         the subject matter

                         All the people who visit the site to go to Connexions - a
                         goverment job agency

                         The people who work in studios and offices

                         People who only visit the tea rooms
 
                         Anyone who visits the Stuarts Crystal shop


A fair comparison - I think NOT


This financial year visitors to Broadfield House have been 12k in first three quarters of the year -  IMPORTANTLY, EACH VISITOR IS COUNTED



Do I detect politian spin????? :o


Nigel


 

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