Historic museum saved from chop
RED House Museum has been saved following massive public outcry over plans to close it.
The Labour cabinet met on Tuesday to thrash out its amendments to the council’s budget recommendations, which included plans to close the historic Gomersal building.
However, after both the Tory and Lib Dem groups announced they would not support the closure, the Labour group has followed suit. A working group will now look at ways to generate an income from museums throughout the district.
Coun Jean Calvert (Lab, Ashbrow) said the group had been looking at ways to keep the museum open and had been considering introducing an entrance fee – but she said they did not believe it would raise enough revenue.
She said: “I want to try to get a meeting together to look for a way forward. I think it’s up to all of us.”
Council leader Coun Mehboob Khan said: “We have proposed to save Red House Museum – it is an important part of our history and we want to look at more innovative ways of generating the income needed to keep it running, or look at how we might make the saving elsewhere.”
Gordon North, vice chairman of Spen Valley Civic Society, said: “I am over the moon. I am convinved that Red House is an underused asset and we can now take it forward and keep it open for future years.
“We will be forming a working group to look at museums and ways of raising revenue from museums so they can all stay open, including Red House, and not just for this year but for future years.”
The Conservatives said they were delighted the plans to scrap the museum had been ditched.
Deputy Tory leader Coun David Hall (Con, Liv Gom) paid tribute to the many hundreds of people who had made their views known against the closure.
He said: “The Conservatives have done a lot of lobbying behind the scenes to ensure that the proposal to close Red House did not go ahead.
“Myself and ward colleagues Couns Margaret Bates and Lisa Holmes have spent a great deal of time talking to residents and staff who were appalled at the Labour Cabinets intentions. I am delighted that they have now seen sense.”
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Weather for Batley
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: West
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