Posted on behalf of Nigel Benson who is unable to access this site at present:
Letter sent to Cllr David Caunt today.
Like Dr Cooley I am amazed at the totally uninformed opinion expressed by Cllr Anne Millward, which disturbingly, appears to reflect the councils’ own summation of Broadfield House Glass Museum, and exhibits no civic pride in its own heritage.
The Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum are a locally based group that helps and supports the museum (including helping, through donation, to buy exhibits and archive material) and the idea that it is a “pet project” clearly demonstrates that one of the most important members of the local council has a complete lack of understanding of the situation.
A modicum of research on the Dudley.gov.uk website would have shown her just this. Furthermore, a visit to the museum by her guided by a member of the museum’s staff (and indeed any other member of the council who hasn’t seen or understood what they are voting upon) should be a prerequisite to gain a concept of the national and international status that the museum commands.
These collections and archives are not, and should not be regarded as a quick one hour jaunt that can be ignored by the uninitiated. Without the glass heritage it is conceivable that much of the borough would not now exist.
It is deeply patronising to the locally based association (the Friends) and local objectors to the proposed move to the Red House Cone site, who she has dismissed through a total lack of knowledge. At the same time it is disingenuous to both national and international interests that wish to save the museum, its contents and archive material from being boxed up and hidden in storage.
Where on earth does Cllr Millward think tourists come from?
In the council’s own document, Agenda Item 8 - SELECT COMMITTEE ON REGENERATION, CULTURE AND ADULT EDUCATION - 14th JANUARY 2009 - REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT - REPORT ON THE VISITOR ECONOMY , it is stated quite clearly, under point 22 –
“encourage existing day visitors to become overnight visitors, therefore encouraging greater spend in the local economy.”
The document also discuses the value to the economy of tourism, and also states, under section 49:
“….attracting top collectors and enthusiasts from around the world.”
And under section 50:
“……in the region of 10,000 visitors – from all over the UK and the world.”
Both points are being made within the report written by John D Millar, Director of Urban Environment, who is being realistic about tourism and how local income can be achieved. However, if the council insists in limiting itself to a parochial attitude aiming to gain visitors to the museum from its own locality then, by definition, they will go home at night and not spend!
Cllr Millward should not only retract her statements, but also apologise for her inept and uninformed comments.