Agenda and draft minutes

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Joint Archives Committee - Tuesday 27th February 2024 10:30am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Chantelle Denham  Email: chantelle.denham@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

35.

Declarations of Interest in accordance with Standing Order 16

Minutes:

There were no declarations of Interest on this occasion.

 

36.

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 August 2023 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Minutes:

Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 August 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

 

37.

Decisions taken outside of the Committee Meeting

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Committee about two issues that required urgent decisions being made before the committee meeting on 27 February 2024 they were

 

1)   Request to use the reserve for the City Archives relocation to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

The City Archives team were informed that the project budget would not cover the removal costs to transfer the collections from one site to the new site. Estimated costs for this were over £26,000. In addition, they also requested £10,300 to replace old and unsafe microfilm cabinets and frames for six photographs of each of the six towns from the Bentley Photographic Collection within the new Reading Room. They were requesting approval to use the Stoke portion of the Joint Archive Committee General Reserve. The total request was for c£37,000. Under the terms of the Joint Agreement the purpose of the Reserve is to:

 

a)   meet any deficits arising on the Revenue Budget.

b)   Set aside sums for future capital investment purposes.

c)   Finance any other specified use approved by the Joint Committee.

 

2)   Proposed domain name for the website for the Archives and Heritage Service and Joint Archives Service

The funding for the Staffordshire History Centre included development of a new stand-alone-website. This would enable the service to promote both the History Centre and City Archives and resolve issues with the front end of the online catalogue for the Joint Service. Procurement of the website included development of bespoke terms and conditions with Staffordshire County Council legal services and ICT. Legal have recommended inclusion of the domain name in the tender documents. The proposed name is www.staffsstokehistory.gov.uk This would complement the Twitter/X handle for the service and credits both funding authorities. A report on the website would be brought to the next committee including the website name.

 

Resolved - that the Committee notes the decisions that were made outside of the Committee meeting.

38.

Staffordshire History Centre Project - Update pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Joint Report of Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke on-Trent-City Council)

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Lead Officers on the progress of the development of the Staffordshire History Centre which would bring together the Staffordshire Records Office and the County Council’s Archives Service.

 

Activities continued to be delivered and during the Summer the Service delivered the Archive Animals events at six libraries across Staffordshire. Other events included co-curation outreach for the food themed touring exhibition with a Holiday and Activities and Food (HAF) group; the Staffordshire History Festival and walking tours of Eastgate Street.

 

Eighteen school sessions have been delivered on and offsite and 1208 pupils engaged up to December 2023. This is 26% of the target figure. Currently two community projects are underway. The first is working with collaborative doctoral award student on their project to raise aware of black history collections. The second is the Eastern European recipe book project for which further research has been completed. The project team are also supporting the Staffordshire Poet Laureate in creation of a research group looking LGBTQ+ history.

 

A Case for the Ordinary’ Asylums exhibition closed at the Ancient High House, Stafford on 12 Dec 2023. Rugeley Power Station and Climate Change pop-up exhibitions are continuing to tour libraries and community venues during 2024. Formal and informal learning resources have been developed to accompany ‘Beneath our Feet' touring exhibition, which opened at the Ancient High House, Stafford, on 27 Jan 2024.

 

Digitisation of collections is continuing with 317 photos from McCann collection complete and 480 transparencies from Michael Fisher collection digitised by volunteers. 7,000 photographs from the 1948 Staffordshire aerial survey are being digitised by Icam. These would be geo-referenced and made available on Staffordshire Past Track during 2024.

 

Construction progress continues with some areas showing a slight delay on programme. The strong room concrete slabs are complete to the roof. There have been delays to the brickwork due to bad weather. Refurbishment and reconfiguration of the Staffordshire Record was progressing well but work on the covered courtyard has had some issues with wet weather. Separation of the William Salt Library building had now been complete except for a first floor link to enable work to continue.

 

Resolved – that the Committee notes the progress update for the project.

 

39.

Joint Archive Service - Predicted Outturn 2023/24 and 2024/25 Net Revenue Budget pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Joint report of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Services (Staffordshire County Council) and the Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Lead Officers reported on the Joint Archive Service’s predicted outturn for 2023/24 and net revenue budget for 2023/24.

 

For 2023/24 details were given of each Council’s core services and site and public services budgets and the transfers between the two Councils. Latest forecast was for an overall breakeven position for the £0.890m revenue budget.

 

2023/24 Reserves totalled £0.439m spread between the General Reserve, Archive Acquisition Reserve and a specific reserve fund for the Minton Collection.

 

Staffordshire County Councils budget has beenuplifted by £0.033m to reflect additional costs associated with national insurance, pension contributions and provision for pay awards of 3% along with an uplift of 2% for all non-staffing budgets.

 

Stoke-on-Trent’s budget has had an uplifted by £0.005m. The actual indicative budget requirement uplift was calculated to be £0.016m.  It also includes the provision of 4% for the 24/25 pay award. All non-employee income and expenditure budgets have not received any inflationary increase and remain as the 23/24 budget. Stoke-on-Trent City Council have only agreed to fund £0.005m of the £0.016m increase, therefore the indicative budget presented does not reflect £0.011m for inflationary increased associated with employee costs.

 

It was requested that the Joint Archives Committee approve a transfer from the general reserve of £0.011m in order for the budget to be increased to accommodate the inflationary increases for employee costs.

 

A request was made for a report to be brought to the next meeting regarding using reserves to fill an overspend in the budget.

The total Joint Archives Services budget for 2024/25 is £0.927m, an increase of £0.038m from 2023/24 budget.

 

Resolved – That the committee (a) notes the current 2023/24 net revenue outturn budget position.

 

(b) notes a transfer of £0.001m into Staffordshire County Council’s general reserve towards New Burdens Funding.

 

(c) Notes a transfer of £0.196m into Staffordshire County Council’s general reserve towards the Staffordshire History Centre Project, to be used for any additional costs associated with the project.

 

(d) Approves a transfer from Stoke-on-Trent’s general reserve of £0.027m as a contribution towards the Archives service move.

 

(e) Approves a transfer from Stoke-on-Trent’s general reserve of £0.010m as a contribution towards the microfilm cabinets and reading room photo frames.

 

(f) Approves the indicative 2024/25 net revenue budget.

 

(g) Approves a transfer from Stoke-on-Trent’s general reserve of £0.011m in 2024/25 to fund the projected budget shortfall if required.

40.

Disposals from Staffordshire Archive Collections pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Joint report of the Director for Economy Infrastructure and Skills (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Lead Officers detailing the transfer and disposal of archive collections identified through a recent reappraisal process.

 

Through a recent reappraisal of several collections. Details were given of materials to be transferred or destroyed.

 

Resolved – that the Committee approves the transfer and disposal of archive collections identified through the reappraisal process.

 

41.

Stoke-on-Trent City Archives Move Update pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Joint Report of Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)

Minutes:

The Committee were provided with an update on the progress of the Stoke-on-Trent City Archives move.

 

The original timescale for the move was for Stoke-on-Trent City Archives (SOTCA) open in the new location in the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (PMAG) in May/June 2023. This would have given the Team time to survey the collections and package only.

 

It was realised that the timescale was lengthening, and the decision was taken to make the move project a once in a generation opportunity to:

 

a)   Appraise the Archive, Local studies Library and Ceramics Library collections.

b)   Plan projects to deliver for the future.

c)   Continue to deliver our core services as far as possible.

 

The Committee were provided with next steps including,

a)   Complete sourcing of remaining reading room furniture.

b)   Pack Local studies and Ceramic Libraries.

c)   Finalise strong room shelving layout with shelving supplier Bruynzeel and assess implications for the move.

d)   Complete physical move preparation.

e)   Move collections.

f)    Move staff furniture and equipment.

g)   Plan and deliver reopening events.

 

Resolved – that the Committee notes the progress update for the project.

 

42.

Website Procurement pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Joint Report of Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Lead Officers on the Website Procurement. Following a complex process, with input required from multiple teams, there had been significant progress and the tender was due to be made live to potential bidders in February 2024.

 

Resolved – that the committee notes the progress and complexity of the procurement process for design of a new service website.

43.

Predicted Performance Outturn 2023/24 and Benchmarking with Comparator Archive Services pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Joint Report of Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of Strategy and Resources (Stoke on-Trent-City Council)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report from the Lead Officers on the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service and Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service: Predicted performance outturn 2023/24 and Benchmarking with Comparator Archive Services.

 

Details were given of the progress on the predicted outturn with key areas of work under each service demand There were five service demands consisting of Active Partnership: Sustainability and resilience: Diversified users, stakeholders and collections: Share knowledge across the sector: and increased online activity.

 

Key performance statistics were provided based on the quarter three figures estimating the year end outturn.

 

The National Archives completed a Local Authority Benchmarking Exercise in 2023 which replaced the Archive Services Statistics Survey previously run by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). 58% of 126 English and Welsh local authority archive services participated in the survey which gathered data from 2021/2022 on use of archive services. Many services were still recovering from COVID-19 so figures were sometimes lower than anticipated or not reported in the survey.

 

There is no direct comparator for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service which comprises a county and city service jointly funded and managed by two authorities.

 

Resolved – that the Committee (a) notes the predicted performance outturn for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service and Staffordshire’s Archives and Heritage Service.

 

(b) notes the key findings from the benchmarking exercise against comparator archive services

 

44.

Date of next meeting -

Thursday 20th June 2024 10:30am. Venue to be confirmed.

Minutes:

Resolved – that the next meeting will take place on Thursday 27th June 2024 – 10.30am at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Civic Centre, Glebe Street, ST4 1HH

 

45.

Exclusion of the Public

The Chairman to move:

 

“That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business which involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Local Government Act 1972 indicated below”.

 

 

Part Two

(All reports in this section are exempt)