Friday, 3 December 2010

More on ScotlandsPeople price rises

Following on from the announcement yesterday of price rises with both the ScotlandsPeople Centre (www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk) and the website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), some additional information was presented in the follow up comments which some may have overlooked, and I've also been asked to further clarify a couple of points by the GROS - so here's a quick update on the updates and the comments on the comments...!

1) The facility for weekend and bank holiday opening is in fact likely to be trialled first before becoming a regular feature - it will only become a regular feature if the centre can pay for itself. The higher rates for those days are primarily due to staff overtime costs. What is actually happening just now is that the legislative provision is being put into place to allow the centre the flexibility to decide to open if it chooses. (ScotlandsPeople is slightly different to other genealogy providers in that everything it and its partners do has to be agreed by statue, being essentially run by the civil service in government buildings). So expect trials first, before anything is put into place on a permanent basis.

2) Also, evening visits for groups will continue to cost £200 for up to 20 people and £250 for 20-40 people. The new legislative provision will again allow for the possibility of customers to book evening visits directly with the centre for a charge of £10. Again this will be trialled first to ascertain demand.

So, bottom line - £15 day pass access from April (up from £10, but still cheaper than £17 two years ago), and website price rise to increase to £7, from £6, for 30 credits (and access to credits to extend to a year from 3 months - though to be honest, 30 credits usually last me about half an hour!). Beyond that, everything else is a possibility being provided for legislatively - once legislation is enacted, the idea of extending access to weekends and bank holidays can then be trialled, and perhaps developed further if the case can be made that such opening would be cost effective.

Comment - Personally speaking, I do think Saturday opening at least should be seriously thought about, simply because many people cannot get to the centre on Mondays to Fridays because of their work. This leads to the odd situation where some people can go in and access everything for the day pass, whilst their neighbours may be forced to shell out considerably more using a pay per view site to access the same records.

Some records can be accessed at weekends in local libraries or the Edinburgh based Scottish Genealogy Society, but not the civil records. The more access can be extended, the greater the benefit will be for everyone in the country. There is something fundamentally powerful about the phrase and concept of "ScotlandsPeople" - a resource for the people of Scotland, not just the people of Edinburgh, those who can physically get there, or those people who can go on Monday to Fridays! Plans to extend access to other centres across Scotland, such as the Mitchell Library, will soon greatly extend that access to the general public across the country, and also help to create employment by making it easier for genealogists to be based across the nation, rather than confining it to those who can only get to Edinburgh. But again, Saturday access would also greatly help at the local level.

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I note that the Saturday and Sunday prices are to be the same. Currently overtime on Saturday is time and a half and on Sunday double time so something doesn't quite add up??