Brighton History Centre saved from closure
At a meeting of the Cabinet of Brighton and Hove City Council this afternoon, the Leader, Councillor Mary Mears, announced that the decision to close the Brighton History Centre and move resources to the Jubilee Library had been reversed.
Here at My Brighton and Hove we would like to thank everyone who wrote letters, sent emails, kept up the pressure on the council, and the matter highlighted in the press and on the internet. A well loved, very valuable and unique resource has been saved.
The press release on the council website states:
Leading councillors have rejected proposals to move the Brighton History Centre and reduce opening hours at the city’s natural history museum. The moves were included among £660,000 of savings for next year from the council’s culture department. About £100,000 would have been saved by the changes.
However council leader Mary Mears has now ordered that money is diverted from any discretionary spending, such as advertising budgets, to keep the facilities operating as they are. Under the original proposals, main resources at the History Centre, in the museum building in Church Street, would have moved to Jubilee Library. They would then shift to Falmer when a new historical resources centre called The Keep opens there.
Councillor Mears said: “Since this was proposed the level of affection for these services has become very obvious, so I’ve taken the decision to redirect some of our discretionary spending towards keeping these centres open. We are faced with a tough financial situation so we’ve got to ensure that we are using public money wisely. I envisage keeping the History Centre where it is until The Keep opens.”
Before the successful campaign
When my husband Spooks, who is a member of the MyBH editorial team, our Chief Photographer Tony Mould and I, visited the Brighton History Centre recently, it was to meet with Paul Jordan, the Senior History Centre Officer, to talk about doing a website feature on the BHC. Little did we know at the time what a devastating blow regarding this wonderful resource was about to be delivered.
Tim Carder offers financial support
As most of you will know by now, Brighton and Hove City Council has put forward proposals to shut Brighton History Centre as part of a bid to save almost £8 million from its overall budget in the next year. Unsurprisingly there has been a ground swell of protests from all quarters. Tim Carder, the author of ‘The Encyclopaedia of Brighton’, known to all My Brighton and Hove folks as the first point of reference for all things Brightonian, has led the protests in the press. He has even offered to donate his royalties from the New Encyclopaedia of Brighton which is published next year, to a fund to keep the BHC open.
Register your support
Since the news about the proposed closure was made public, My Brighton and Hove folks have been emailing and messaging about what should be done to make the council aware of the depth of feeling regarding the situation. If you look on the Message Board, you can follow the discussion (you may need to check back on previous pages). In the meantime you can email Councillor David Smith who is the council Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and let him know your feelings. For those of you not familiar with the Brighton History Centre, the wonderful resources it contains and the services offered look here.
Sign the epetition
An epetition to keep the Brighton History Centre has been set up on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. You will need to register as a user of the site and then will be allowed to digitally ‘sign’ the petition. Please take the time to do this, and please also circulate this link to anyone you think might also be interested in supporting the campaign to keep the Brighton History Centre open. We really need a big response to this epetition so that the BHCC are left in no doubt as to public opinion. You can sign the epetition here.