Agenda item

Joint Archive Services: Annual Report 2014/15

Joint report of the Acting Director for Place (Staffordshire County Council) and Director of People – Assistant Chief Executive (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)


The Committee considered the Annual Report for 2014/15 (schedule 1 to the signed minutes) providing an account and review of the work and performance of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service for the financial year from April 2014 to March 2015.


The Committee were aware that theterms of the Joint Agreement for Archive Services between Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council required an annual report of the Joint Archive Service to be brought to the Annual Meeting in June, to give them a full overview of the range of activities, progress and performance of the Service.


The year 2014/15 was the final year in the current three-year planning cycle for the Joint Archive Service.  This year’s Annual Report shows both positive achievements and steady progress towards meeting the overall strategic objectives of the Archive Service within the current Forward Plan, 2012-2015.


The annual report demonstrated a very productive year for the Joint Archive Services in terms of its performance, achievements and associated activity.  The most notable successes included:  the delivery of two grant funded projects to catalogue the Bradford Archive and to digitise the Staffordshire Manorial Documents Register.  The service was also successful with its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to digitise and index the rare Military tribunal records.  The service also launched the first phase of the Staffordshire Collection with Find My Past.  Almost three million records went online at the launch and celebration event held on July 2014 at the Staffordshire Record Office for volunteers who worked with the service.  The Committee acknowledged that all these projects relied on volunteer support to make them happen and widen access to the collections.


The Stoke Archives had received some exciting new collections which would form major projects for 2015/16, these included the Michelin Archive (deposited in December 2014) and the Minton Archive (March 2015).  The greatest disappointment of the year was the rejection of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid to extend Staffordshire Record Office.  However the feedback from HLF was used to develop a new plan for the service and, with the support of consultants, a new vision was developed.


The Committee noted the public service statistics detailed in the report, and that they had achieved a 100% customer satisfaction rating in the national Public Services Quality Group User Survey.  It also maintained its Customer Service Excellence award retaining its two compliance plus ratings.  The Committee also noted the service continued to change and was developing a new vision which moves away from building based services.  Overall it was a very successful year for the Service and they continue to meet high standards whilst also developing a new ten year vision to adapt to changing demands.


The Chairman asked that the thanks of the Committee be passed to the volunteers; Friends of the Archive Services; and staff for their hard work and dedication to the service.  Arrangements would be made for Terry Follows and Mike Davies to have a tour of the Stafford Record Office and store.


RESOLVED - That the annual report on the work of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (Joint) Archive Service for the period April 2014 to March 2015 be received and approved.

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