Agenda and minutes

Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museums Committee - Tuesday 24th January 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Room G3, Rowan House, Sheepen Road, Colchester

Contact: Linda Slowgrove  01473 432511

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016.




that the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016 be signed as a true record.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


JMS/16/05 Performance Update pdf icon PDF 122 KB

The Committee is asked to note the Performance Update report.


15.1.     Mr Seaman (Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service Manager) reported that 2,800 visitors had attended the Christmas at the Castle event, in comparison to 2,100 visitors the previous year, and highlighted that retail income had been boosted by the sale of Fenwick Treasure jewellery items.

15.2.     Councillor Jones requested that attendance figures be provided for activity events held at Museum venues as this could help to identify opportunities for replicating events at the other authority’s venues.
Action: Attendance figures for activity events were to be included in future performance reports.

15.3.     Councillor Smart commented on the reason for the increase in retail income at Colchester Castle despite a drop in visitor income.  Mr Hodgson (Colchester Museums Manager) reported that schoolchildren often spent about £5 in the shop and highlighted the importance of the product range on offer.  Additionally, staff had been trained to promote the sale of guide books and activity sheets on entry to the Castle, which was a pay-to-enter Museum.

15.4.     Councillor Jones asked whether the Natural History Museum exhibits were taken out to other locations, such as schools and play groups.  Mr Seaman commented that the cost and benefit of doing so would need to be considered and whether this would increase the number of visitors to the Museum rather than be a substitute for a visit.  Ms Breadman (Head of Community Services, Colchester) commented that a bid was being submitted to the Arts Council for funding to expand the audience of the Museum Service.

15.5.     Councillor Young highlighted that the school visitor figures for Ipswich Museum and Gallery were below target, but the corresponding income figure was well above target.  Mr Seaman reported that there had been an error in the number of schools, plus the income target was based on the assumption of £1 per head spend; these targets would be adjusted going forward.  Mr Fairclough (Head of Culture and Environment Services, Ipswich) added that all targets would be reviewed as part of the Business Plan process.

15.6.     Councillor Jones requested that performance figures for Ipswich Museum and Ipswich Art School Gallery be provided separately in future reports as they provided quite different offers.
Action: Performance figures for Ipswich Museum and Ipswich Art School Gallery were to be separated out in future performance reports.

15.7.     Councillor Jones reported that the Museums Working Group (Ipswich) would be meeting to consider how the budget previously earmarked for the Ipswich Arts and Museum Project could be utilised to improve the Museum Service in Ipswich, e.g. gallery improvements. 

15.8.     Mr Seaman added that the Working Group would also look at how to increase visitor numbers for Christchurch Mansion, especially after the recent building works that had impacted on visitor numbers and hiring. Councillor Smart commented that the performance targets for Christchurch Mansion should have been adjusted to reflect the potential impact of the building works.

15.9.     Councillor Smart asked whether online retailing had been considered for some of more expensive retail items, e.g. books, jewellery.  Ms Hedges (Chief Operating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


JMS/16/06 2017/18 Budget for Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service pdf icon PDF 75 KB

This report provides a brief update on the current financial position for Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museum Service for 2016/17.  


The report also summarises the current indicative position in relation to setting the 2017/18 budget for Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museum Service, and recommended financial contributions from Colchester Borough Council and Ipswich Borough Council, to be agreed through each Councils budget setting process.


16.1.     Mr Seaman outlined the budget position for 2017/18 as detailed in the report.

16.2.     Councillor Smart questioned why the move of the Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) collections from Colchester to Constantine Road in Ipswich would incur an ongoing annual cost of £55k.  Mr Seaman reported that this represented the cost of the storage rather than the cost of moving the collections, and confirmed that this was an internal charge as IBC owned the premises.



(i)           that the total Colchester Borough Council and Ipswich Borough Council contribution to the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service for 2017/18 be agreed as £1,881,900;

(ii)          that the budget contribution for 2017/18 in relation to Colchester Borough Council be agreed at £1,078,100;

(iii)         that the budget contribution for 2017/18 in relation to Ipswich Borough Council be agreed at £803,800;

(iv)        that the total figure and the respective partner contributions be recommended to the Cabinet of Colchester Borough Council and the Executive of Ipswich Borough Council for adoption.


Dates of Future Meetings

To confirm the dates of the meetings for 2017/18 as follows:

·                     Tuesday 27 June 2017, 2pm – Colchester

·                     Tuesday 23 January 2018, 2pm – Ipswich


Additionally, a further meeting needs to be convened in March 2017 to consider the Business Plan for the Colchester and Ipswich Joint Museum Service, and this meeting will be held in Ipswich.


17.1.     An additional meeting of the Committee had been requested to take place in March 2017 in order to consider the Business Plan for the Colchester and Ipswich Joint Museum Service.  It was agreed that this meeting should take place on Monday 13 March 2017 at 3pm in Ipswich.




(i)           that an additional meeting be convened on Monday 13 March 2017 at 3pm in Ipswich;

(ii)          that the dates of meetings for 2017/18 be confirmed as:


·           Tuesday 27 June 2017, 2pm (Colchester)

·           Tuesday 23 January 2018, 2pm (Ipswich)