Agenda and minutes

Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museums Committee - Tuesday 23rd January 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Linda Slowgrove  01473 432511

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor P Smart.


Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 June 2017.


13.1.    Minute 2: Mr Seaman (Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service Manager) highlighted that the minute should read: “…. Councillor Young was appointed Vice-Chair …”.




that, subject to the correction above, the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2017 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/17/07 Business Plan 2018-2022 for Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service pdf icon PDF 52 KB

The Committee is recommended to note and approve the Business Plan 2018-22 for the Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service and its appendices.


Additional documents:


16.1.    Mr Seaman highlighted that the Action Plan and objectives for 2018/19 were embedded in the Business Plan for 2018-2022, which also included NPO elements of the Service that will be funded by the Arts Council England (ACE).

16.2.    ACE have provided comments on the draft Business Plan, and in response the following have been added: a new Appendix detailing the Colchester Borough Council 2018/19 Budget position; information relating to cashflow and CBC reserves; a new staff chart.

16.3.    The Committee thanked Mr Seaman and his team for all their work in producing the Business Plan.

16.4.    Councillor Oxford asked whether consideration had been given to putting on plays in museum venues in future years or whether this was too complex due to the involvement of other organisations.  Councillor Young commented that the problems experienced in Colchester, where events had been scheduled and then had to be cancelled at short notice as the performers were not able to attend, were an issue for the Events Team to follow up, rather than the Museum Service.

16.5.    Councillor Jones requested that a direct reference to marketing be included under item 1 (Audiences) within Section 13.

16.6.    In reference to Aim 1.1 under the Objectives for 2018/19, Councillor Jones requested that the measure of a “5% increase in the number of people on each towns’ e-newsletter list” should be increased and asked Officers to review this target.



that, subject to the proposed revisions, the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service Business Plan for 2018-22 and its appendices be approved.


JMS/17/05 Performance Update pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The Committee is asked to note the performance of the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service for the period April to November 2017.


17.1.    Mr Seaman introduced the report highlighting key areas of performance; the Volunteer Matters event at Christchurch Mansion had been successful in attracting a different audience demographic. This change was also reflected in the age profile of the Museum Service’s volunteer team.

17.2.    Mr Seaman added that the Training Museum programme would be finishing at the end of March 2018; this had been very successful and the Joint Museum Service was now seen as a high quality training provider.  The award of £570,000 from the Skills for the Future Stage 2 funding would enable further traineeships to be delivered.

17.3.    Mr Seaman commented that there was opportunity for future growth in hirings income at Christchurch Mansion following the renovations and this income target has been reviewed for 2018/19.

17.4.    Councillor Young questioned the low percentage of activity income for Hollytrees Museum. Mr Hodgson (Colchester Museums Manager) reported that two events at Hollytrees had been cancelled at short notice and money refunded. Colchester Castle provided more scope for income through activities and events had been planned for the February half-term week. Councillor Young commended the flying of the rainbow flag from the Castle as part of the Pride event.

17.5.    Councillor Jones commented on the monthly Mini-Mammoths play sessions being fully booked and asked whether there was capacity for more frequent sessions.  Mr Steward (Ipswich Museums Manager) reported that this activity was targeted at a young age group; whilst there might be the market for additional sessions, care should be taken to manage resources and not saturate the programme to the detriment of other age groups.

17.6.    Councillor Oxford asked whether it was possible to offer any savings on bus travel for large events in Colchester Castle to deter people from bringing cars into the town centre.
Action: Mr Hodgson to investigate this proposal.



that the Performance Report be noted.


JMS/17/06 2018/19 Budget for Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service pdf icon PDF 74 KB

This report provides a brief update on the current financial position for Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museum Service for 2017/18.


The report also summarises the current indicative position in relation to setting the 2018/19 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.


18.1.    Mr Seaman outlined the budget position for 2018/19 as detailed in the report and highlighted that the Colchester Borough Council contribution now included a number of corporate savings and additional income expectations.



(i)           that the total Colchester Borough Council and Ipswich Borough Council contribution to the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service for 2018/19 be agreed as £1,853,300;

(ii)         that the budget contribution for 2018/19 in relation to Colchester Borough Council be agreed at £1,025,400;

(iii)        that the budget contribution for 2018/19 in relation to Ipswich Borough Council be agreed at £827,900;

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


Proposed Dates of Meetings for 2018/19

To confirm the dates of the meetings for 2018/19:


·       Tuesday 26 June 2018, 2pm – Colchester

·       Tuesday 22 January 2019, 2pm – Ipswich


Please note: It has been requested that the first date be revised to Tuesday 19 June 2018, 2pm in light of availability issues.


19.1.    It was proposed that the first meeting for 2018/19 take place on Tuesday 19 June 2018 and this was agreed.

19.2.    Due to other commitments, Councillor Jones proposed an earlier start of 12.30pm for both meetings in 2018/19 and this was agreed.



that the dates of meetings for 2018/19 be confirmed as:


·                Tuesday 19 June 2018, 12.30pm – Colchester

·                Tuesday 22 January 2019, 12.30pm – Ipswich


JMS/17/08 Fundraising from Trusts and Foundations pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The Committee is asked to note the Joint Museum Service Approach to Fundraising from Trusts and Foundations.


20.1.    Ms Macfarlane, Projects Development Officer, gave a presentation on fundraising by the Joint Museum Service, with the following key points:

·           Secured funding obtained in 2017/18: NPO Programme 2018-2022, £797,000 (ACE); Transforming People to Transform Museums 2018-2022, £570,000 (HLF)

·           Application made to John Ellerman: Regional Museums and Galleries Fund for Natural History Curator post, £86,000 – shortlisted for next stage (outcome to be announced in May 2018)

·           Application to be made to HLF: Our Heritage for Collections Management system to enable collections to be displayed online, £95,000

·           Fundraising approach document produced, setting out principles and processes for applying to trusts and foundations

·           Aside from trusts and foundations, the biggest opportunity for funding was developing ‘relationship fundraising’, from initial awareness and donations through to legacy giving; this would require dedicated resource and mechanisms to reach larger donors

20.2.    Councillor Young questioned the financial limits set within the decision-making process.  Ms Macfarlane reported that the £500,000 limit was taken from Colchester’s constitution as the threshold for requiring a decision from Cabinet. Ms Breadman (Assistant Director for Communities, Colchester) commented that the £120,000 limit was arbitrary, but added that most of the smaller funding bids fell within this limit and often came with shorter deadlines, so the sign-off process needed to be more streamlined.

20.3.    Councillor Young requested that the Portfolio Holders with responsibility for Museums from both authorities should be included in the sign off for applications between £120,000 and £500,000, in case of any issues of political sensitivity.

20.4.    Ms Breadman commented that a template had been created for project brief submissions.
Action: Project brief template to be circulated to Joint Committee members for information.

20.5.    Ms Hedges (Chief Operating Officer, Colchester) commented that better coordination was required between local authorities and local arts organisations to ensure that several organisations within the same area were not competing for the same funding.

20.6.    Councillor Jones asked whether applications over £500,000 should be reported to the Executive of Ipswich Borough Council.  Mr Fairclough (Head of Culture and Environment, Ipswich) reported that information of project briefs would be shared with Ipswich.

20.7.    With regards to raising awareness of the need for Museums to attract donations, Ms Hedges commented that this would need to be handled diplomatically and within context, e.g. funding to enable extra activities to be offered. Mr Fairclough commented that some organisations had taken a very aggressive approach with fundraising posters placed everywhere, which could be counterproductive.

20.8.    Ms Hedges commented that a fairly aggressive approach could be considered as long as there was a particular project or clear outcome for the funding.

20.9.    Mr Seaman commented on the need to draw a distinction between providing funding to a Museum Service and to a local authority.

20.10. Councillor Jones proposed that a meeting be set up with officers to consider the best approach for the Museum Service to attract future donors and other potential income streams.

20.11. The Committee thanked Ms Macfarlane for all her work on the Training Museum programme.

Resolved:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.