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Agenda item

Bushey Museum and Art Gallery Maintenance, Utilities and Fire Alarm

The Executive is asked to approve the extension of the interim arrangements for maintenance and utilities at Bushey Museum and Art Gallery for a further 2-year period to November 2021, delegate to the Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management in consultation with the Portfolio Holders for Finance and Property and Leisure, Culture and Health to determine any further extensions and that the costs of the replacement fire alarm is split between the Council and Bushey Museum.

 

 

Minutes:

Decision that:

 

1.    The extension of the interim arrangements for maintenance and utilities at Bushey Museum and Art Gallery be approved, as set out in Appendix A of the report, for a further 2-year period to November 2021;

 

2.    Determination of any further extensions of the interim arrangements for maintenance and utilities at Bushey Museum and Art Gallery be delegated to the Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management in consultation with the Portfolio Holders for Finance and Property and Leisure, Culture and Health; and,

 

3.    The costs of the replacement fire alarm as set out in paragraph 5.8 of the report be split between the Council and Bushey Museum.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Taking this decision enables discussions to progress with the Trustees regarding the Museum and Art Gallery site and provides them with some short term certainty regarding the costs of running the Museum.  The report had set out that the ongoing financial viability of the Museum and Art Gallery could have been put at risk if the maintenance and utility costs had been transferred to the Trust in the short term before longer term solutions are identified for the Museum’s viability.

 

This decision will also enable ongoing discussions to progress regarding the Bushey Fire Station lease and the possibility of the development of a cultural hub at the Bushey Country Club site. 

 

Sharing the costs of the replacement fire alarm with Bushey Museum takes into account that the current fire alarm needs to be replaced so the Museum can continue to open to the public and does not invalidate the Council’s building insurance. 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Council could have decided not to extend the interim arrangements with regard to the maintenance and utilities beyond November 2019 and in this circumstance the Trustees would have needed to reflect on the impact this would have on the ability of the Museum to continue to operate. 

 

The decision could also have been made not to proceed with the replacement of the fire alarm.  However, this might have invalidated the Council’s buildings insurance and the Trustees may have considered it not possible to open the building to the public in these circumstances.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·                The Finance and Property Portfolio Holder stated that it was the intention to bring a report to Executive once there was greater clarity on the Bushey Fire Station site.

 

·                Non-Executive Members expressed concerns that the Council was considering contributing circa £36,000 to cover the maintenance and utilities at Bushey Museum and Art Gallery which they believed contrasted with the Borehamwood Bowls Club site at Meadow Park.

 

In response, Executive Members referred to Meadow Park being the biggest park regeneration scheme in a generation in Borehamwood, which had taken place in partnership with the Town Council.  It was necessary to take into account in the decision making that Bushey Museum was a well frequented facility of national importance with a significant Victorian art collection.  It needed to be maintained for the wider community’s benefit and was not purely for the residents of Bushey.

 

(Action: Head of Partnerships, Community Engagement and Housing)

 

 

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