Coun­cil agrees mu­seum move to char­i­ta­ble trust

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

THE FUNDING of Camp­bel­town Mu­seum came un­der the spot­light last week af­ter it was an­nounced its man­age­ment will be passed to a new char­i­ta­ble com­mu­nity trust.

Housed in an Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil build­ing on Camp­bel­town’s es­planade, the mu­seum will be­come part of the au­thor­ity-wide new li­braries and leisure char­i­ta­ble trust Live Ar­gyll.

Veteran coun­cil­lor Ellen Mor­ton grilled coun­cil of­fi­cers as well as the leader of the au­thor­ity, her daugh­ter Coun­cil­lor Aileen Mor­ton, about the pay­ment to man­age the mu­seum as she be­lieved the lo­cal au­thor­ity was ‘al­ready pay­ing for all its ser­vices to be man­aged’ by Live Ar­gyll.

Coun­cil­lor Aileen Mor­ton ex­plained: ‘By hand­ing Camp­bel­town Mu­seum to an­other third party we would have had to pay the deficit. We could not ex­pect Live Ar­gyll to take it on and not pay them to run it. It is still our prop­erty. We still have a duty to the mu­seum.’

Coun­cil­lor Gary Mul­vaney, de­pute coun­cil leader, said: ‘We cur­rently pay £37,000 a year to main­tain Camp­bel­town Mu­seum.

‘We could not pass the mu­seum to the com­mu­nity trust and not give them the money it takes to run the fa­cil­ity.’

Don­ald MacVicar, head of com­mu­nity and cul­ture at the lo­cal au­thor­ity, added: ‘The cost for run­ning that mu­seum would need to be given to who­ever is run­ning it. If the coun­cil didn’t man­age it, it would con­tinue to be run at a loss and re­lated costs would have to be met by the coun­cil.’

Cle­land Sned­don, coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive, ex­plained to Coun­cil­lor Ellen Mor­ton that the lo­cal au­thor­ity had con­sid­ered dis­pos­ing of the mu­seum al­to­gether but as there were many arte­facts that were of un­known ori­gin or gifted to the coun­cil it would be very dif­fi­cult to close it.

He also ex­plained that as part of a com­mu­nity trust the mu­seum would be able to get ex­ter­nal funding support that was cur­rently not avail­able to the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

Un­happy with the re­ply, Coun­cil­lor Ellen Mor­ton said: ‘Maybe I am be­ing thick here, but we are pay­ing the com­mu­nity trust to look af­ter our

as­sets and we are pay­ing them even more money to run Camp­bel­town Mu­seum. It doesn’t make any sense to me.’

Later in the meet­ing of the pol­icy and re­sources com­mit­tee on Au­gust 17 the com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing Coun­cil­lor Ellen Mor­ton, agreed the cur­rent bud­get to run Camp­bel­town Mu­seum, in­clud­ing cu­ra­tory ser­vices pro­vided by Kil­martin Mu­seum, would re­main in place and be part of the trans­fer to Live Ar­gyll, while the repair and main­te­nance of the Camp­bel­town Mu­seum build­ing would con­tinue to be un­der­taken by the coun­cil.

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