First Ordsall Hall was hit with a financial axe that could see the historic Hall closed to the public on Fridays, with loss of education services to school kids (see here). Now Salford Museum and Art Gallery is being brutalised with proposals to shut it on a Monday, close heritage services and axe at least eight posts in a bid to make savings.
Meanwhile Salford Council, which has transferred the management of the Gallery to Salford Community Leisure (SCL) is still budgeting to spend £391,000 tarting the place up this year alone, and two execs at Salford Community Leisure received income package rises of over £18,000 between them last financial year.
A statement from Salford City UNISON, which represents workers at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, has condemned the move, arguing that the cuts will deny services for both children and old people, particularly, while families will suffer a heritage deficit.
Jobs to be axed include museum assistants, a heritage facilitator, local history workers, an archivist, a LifeTimes Link worker, and a Memories Matter worker, meaning this project for old people will cease.
"This project lends reminiscence handling boxes, exhibitions and picture packs for free to organisations working with older people in Salford" UNISON states "The service makes on average 320 loans per year, which are enjoyed by approximately 5,500 older people. Cutting this service saves less than £8,000 per year.
"Both our sites, Ordsall Hall and Salford Museum and Art Gallery, have recently received investment to develop our visitor experience and yet we are threatened with not being able to fully utilise this investment and see a return on it" UNISON adds "The museum could be used to generate income and create jobs. Instead Salford Community Leisure are reducing the services offered, reducing the opening times and cutting jobs. This is not the kind of management Salford needs during these difficult times!"
UNISON states that the community is being denied the chance to be consulted on the cuts, as workers have been told "they are not allowed to invite the community into the museum to discuss the cuts. Salford Council wants to quietly close the museums in Salford without consulting with the community who use them and essentially fund them."
Instead campaigners against the heritage cuts are using Facebook and an online petition to get their points across and to try and involve as many Salford people as possible in battle to save Salford's heritage.
To sign the petition and read a letter to City Mayor Ian Stewart and SCL Exec Steve Hassall to Stop The Cuts to the Heritage Service in Salford - see
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stop-the-cuts-to-the-heritage-service-in-salford or click here
To join the Facebook group click here or search Support Salford Museum
Main photo is from Salford Museum and Art Gallery's excellent Salford Through The Lens exhibition a few years ago