Monday, 13 July 2009

Update on National Archives cuts

Following my post on July 1st concerning the recent cuts proposals from the National Archives at Kew (see Major Changes Proposed at the National Archives of Kew), the Federation of Family History Societies' Archives Liaison officer Roger Lewry has sent me an e-mail with further details obtained from the first public consultation meeting at TNA, held on July 2nd:

Closing the reading rooms on Mondays and the introduction of car parking charges are just two of the changes being proposed by the TNA. These are necessary if the current level of funding remains unchanged in cash terms for the foreseeable future, as has been the case for the past three years. On the other hand, expenses are increasing eg salaries and energy costs to name but two. Unless action is taken it will soon reach the stage where the funding is not sufficient to meet operating costs. More information can be found at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/changes.

The Monday closing is expected to save £0.5M out of the £900k that is to come from the public services part of TNA. The remainder of the £4.2M saving is to come from other areas.

There are currently about 30 vacancies and these will not be filled. In addition, a further 35 jobs are expected to go. We were told that a flatter staffing structure would be introduced.

There was strong feeling aroused at the first open meeting which I attended on 2 July when these proposals were explained for the first time. Since then letters of protest have appeared in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. The Independent has also publicised this.

Nick Barratt is heading a campaign against the proposals and we will keep you informed of progress.



Nick is of course a well known historian who worked on the Who Do You Think You Are series. More information as it comes.

Chris

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