Author Topic: Broadfield House to Close  (Read 89863 times)

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Offline Anne

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #220 on: February 05, 2009, 06:31:04 PM »
Isn't that what I said above Nathan?!   :kissy:


Offline Ettiene

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #221 on: February 05, 2009, 07:32:18 PM »
Hi Y'all,

Barbara Beadman has asked me to post a quick note to say that her letter was written as at 1:50pm today, which is why she dated and time-stamped it. It was based on a conversation with Duncan Lowndes and since then further information has come to light. It was not her intention to give the impression that everything was fine but to let everyone know that progress had been made and that based on the information she received prior to 1:50pm things were looking positive.

Indications are that requests confirming in writing what was discussed may not been forthcoming and so a second letter will be issued tomorrow to clarify issues that inexplicably remain outstanding.

It is disappointing but it was thought genuine progress had been made.


Will post information on the Friends web site tomorrow.



All the best



Ettiene








Offline aa

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #222 on: February 05, 2009, 09:04:06 PM »
I've also had a chat with Barbara this evening and it certainly does sound as if there is a breakdown of communication between the various Council members and executives, which is not surprising in the circumstances. I've formed the impression that the right hand is not talking to the left hand and there certainly seems to be more than one agenda. It appears that whatever Duncan Lowndes may have said earlier today, and this may well have been in good faith, the budget cuts remain and the Cabinet are going to vote the budget in, and presumably BHGM out, unless we press on with the campaign.

As stated above in Ian Pearson's letter:

"I think as an immediate first step the Council should assure the current staff at Broadfield House that their jobs are secure.  Following that they should, in examining the feasibility of options to enhance and improve the current offer, work closely with the Friends, The Glass Association and the Glass Circle."

The silence is deafening.


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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #223 on: February 05, 2009, 09:31:23 PM »
Hi,

Adam's post seems to be correct; the council are in a complete mess; there's no leadership; no formal statement and a pending budgetary decision without any high level strategic thinking.

It's time they were asked some direct questions about who the decision makers are. We should re-double our efforts to get to the bottom of this. I suggest polite emails asking what's going on.

Graham
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Offline aa

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #224 on: February 05, 2009, 10:32:04 PM »
Last week I sent an email to Councillor Karen Shakespeare:
see post 188 above for the text which refers to the complex feasibility study proposed.

I certainly think that this is a very constructive reply but as with all these things I shall be reading it carefully a few times before responding.  :)

I have now replied as follows:

"Dear Karen,

Thank you for your letter of 2nd February.

Your proposed feasibility study seems very thorough and well planned and I note that you will be commissioning a professional in the field.  I shall be interested in learning who you plan to appoint, in due course.

From the enquiries that I have made, I am given to understand that a feasibility study of this nature is likely to cost the Council somewhere in the region of £25,000.

I am slightly confused as to how you will be sourcing this funding. I had been under the impression that the proposed closure of Broadfield House Glass Museum was related to the need to reduce expenditure not increase it.

Perhaps you would be kind enough to elucidate.

Thank  you,

Kind regards

Adam Aaronson FRSA"

Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #225 on: February 06, 2009, 02:00:36 PM »
Sent today:

Dear David Caunt

Karen Shakespeare has kindly pointed out that you, as leader of the council, are probably the most appropriate recipient of our communications. She has also pointed out that she does not have the time and resources to deal with the large number of enquiries related to Broadfield House and that you (with greater resources at your disposal) will be able to respond in a shorter timescale.

My apologies, we meant not personal/professional offence. I will communicate to my colleagues this mistake on our part.

There are many letters directed to yourself, Karen, John Millar and Duncan Lowndes that have not been responded to and I would be grateful if you could clear the backlog.

I did not receive a response to my last communication to Karen and therefore attach it here for your earliest consideration.

Best Regards

Graham Cooley

“ Dear Karen

Thank you for your email, which is very helpful. I did ask you some other question in my email on 28th Jan which was in response to your letter stating:
 
"I see this very much as an opportunity to enhance and improve the services provided to visitors and glass enthusiasts, set in the context of how the traditional glass was produced and I want to be certain that this can be achieved before any decisions are taken."

•   Does this mean that the budgetary decision regarding Broadfield house has not been made already?
•   When your committee discusses the funding of Broadfield House is it a seperate item on the agenda?
•   Are all the councillors fully aware of the implications of their decision?

The key here is that:
•   The date for the closure of Broadfield house is removed from the documents
•   The budget supports the museum (or an improved museum) on an ongoing basis

Please could you confirm that this is the case.
 
Best Regards
 
Graham
 
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Offline aa

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #226 on: February 06, 2009, 03:12:24 PM »
As Graham points out, the only person with the authority to over-ride the decision to close Broadfield House is Councillor David Caunt, the Leader of the Council. From the enquiries I have made, I understand he is a highly cultured and most reasonable individual who is particularly interested in preserving Stourbridge's long and rich glass heritage of who is taking a personal interest in the future of Broadfield House Glass Museum.

Therefore it is recommended that anybody who has written any letters to other councillors, MP's etc should forward a copy to

cllr.david.cauntat signdudley.gov.uk

and all future letters should be addressed to and/or copied to him.
Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
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Offline David E

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #227 on: February 06, 2009, 05:59:00 PM »
Sent today to Cllr Caunt:

Quote
Dear David,
 
As a researcher, writer and publisher, I think you can appreciate my concern over the proposed closure of Broadfield House! I have attached a letter that I wrote this week to three MPs:
 
Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham, MP
Secretary of State to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Barbara Follett, MP
Minister for Culture, Creative Industries & Tourism
Lynda Waltho, MP
Stourbridge
 
Here I explain the situation and the impact this will have on Stourbridge - not just the immediate future, but the long-lasting effect to the International Festival of Glass Biennale, which will inevitably be deprecated, and the long-lasting future to the area.
 
I have, for some time, used the facilities available to the public, namely the archives at Himley Hall, the various glass stored at Himley and Broadfield House, and the expertise of the thoroughly welcoming staff - what a delight to meet such people, who prove so helpful and informed!
 
I have also assisted with the archiving work and was glad that my input proved useful. I will be happy to offer my services again in the future, if they are required.
 
While my feelings may be at odds with some people, I know that as a museum Broadfield House can always be improved upon. For example, disabled access is hardly welcoming to the majority of the collection.
 
However, just because the Red House Glass Cone may appear to have "adequate space" (as claimed by a member of staff at Red House), the actual floor area truly required is far in excess to what is available (assuming it is the rooms in the upper floor?) - after all, what is displayed at Broadfield House is just part of that which is actually in storage.
 
I therefore suggest that it might be worth considering the old Stuart Glass site opposite the Red House - I understand the developers have halted work and the area required is quite small in relation to the rest of the site. In fact, buildings already exist that could possibly be deployed, thereby reducing the expenditure further.
 
Think how this could plan out over the years - two totally independent sites, just yards apart, offering a totally diverse and educational look at how the glass was made, and the spectacular end-results!
 
I agree that this land either needs purchasing, or securing on a long lease, at a time when the council is trying to save money. But I also believe strongly in looking ahead to the future and not simply looking at "available solutions", which will simply prove inadequate over time, and threaten the international status that Broadfield has built up over the 30 years of its existence.
 
In any event, the immediate need is to secure the future of the Broadfield House glass collections and I therefore totally oppose the move. Stourbridge's main asset is its glass heritage. I urge the council not to take hasty action which jeopardises this.
 
I look forward to any comments you may have.

My letter to the MPs, will feature on The Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum web site
David
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Offline Anne

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #228 on: February 06, 2009, 06:35:28 PM »
The BBC seem to have caught up with the campaign (at last!) with an updated story and loads and loads of comments from people about the closure plans:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blackcountry/content/articles/2009/01/15/broadfield_house_feature.shtml


Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #229 on: February 06, 2009, 07:37:01 PM »
Hi Anne,

Thank you for pointing out the updates on the BBC site, some excellent comments including this one from the former Glass & Ceramics Curator of the V&A, Jennifer Opie.

Jennifer Opie

I am extremely sorry to hear of the proposed closure of Broadfield House and the very serious uncertainty of its collections receving anything like adequate, let alone improved display facilities at the Red House Cone. Broadfield House is the only UK museum specialising in glass and sited as it is in the centre of the historic glass making area, it makes a unique and vital point about Britain's heritage as well as offering visitors the opportunity to see British glass in context with production from factories and makers internationally. The collections have been assembled using public money and the public have a continuing right to access them. In addition, the staff there are the first point of contact for scholars worldwide studying British glassmaking history. Proper and full consultation is not only wise in such circumstances but is morally essential.

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