To receive any questions from members of the public, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8, to be submitted and answered.
The Mayor advised that one question had been received from a member of the public had been received under Council Procedure Rule 8.
1. Question from Nigel Stapple
“As an independent local political researcher, I work closely with a lot of community groups and speaking to a lot of people they share my view that the amount of display items in the museum are far less that the old museum. It was my understand that the remodelling of the Amelia Scott centre was to offer more display space, and that does not seem to be the case.
Another thing that has been brought to my attention is the signage, it seems somewhat confusing to a lot of people, and they are having trouble finding their way around, so my question really was, were the council aware to these concerns and if they were what are there any sort of projects or proposal to improve the current situation”
Answer from Councillor Fitzsimmons
“Dear Mr Stapple, thank you for your question. Perceptions can clearly be deceiving as there is far more on display within The Amelia than in the old building including, for the first time, galleries and display cases that are capable of showing our collections to best effect. I am also thrilled that we have been able to include a much wider range of interpretation and interactive exhibits to inspire and attract new audiences and better to inform those who visit.
I am particularly pleased that we have managed to instal cases that are much more accessible to children and that are easier to open and change the displays. Finally, I am delighted that we have been able to introduce ‘open storage’ which has enabled us to bring many hundreds of exhibits out of the basement where they would have historically been stored.
The Amelia has been a fantastic success – just under a month ago we welcomed our hundredth thousandth visitor and we are on a steeper growth in visitor numbers than the Turner in Margate. In the first week, we ran out of library cards, and we have had excellent engagement with the various activities we have run, the exhibitions we have held and the events we have run.
As far as signage is concerned Mr Stapple we have made big efforts to improve although it was designed to be clear we have actually added some news signs so I do not think there should be any problem in finding their way around the building and they can ask any member of staff who will be able to direct them”.
Supplementary Question from Mr Stapple
“There is a sign somewhere in the museum which clearly states that is less than 2% of the so-called archive is actually on display. So, I would like to ask has that archive actually ever been audited so we can establish what are the most appropriate finds relating to the history of our town”
Supplementary Answer from Cllr Fitzsimmons
“Thank you Mr Stapple I don’t actually know I can’t answer that question about the audit, but I will tell you that if there is anything in the archives that you would like to see that can make request and that item will be brought to the reading room for you”