Museums face axe in budget

Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)
Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)

Volunteers in our district may face more responsibility in the face of potential museum and gallery closures.

In its latest budget announcements Kirklees Council has said it intends to cut the number of museums it funds in the district from five to three.

Oakwell Hall, Red House and Dewsbury Museum are all under threat.

The council has been planning new ways to deliver services because of cuts to its budget that will mean 40 per cent of its funds will have been lost between 2010-2020.

Council leader David Sheard has said that there needs to be a shift in the way people think about the council’s responsibilities. “Our job now is not to do things for people but to help people do things for themselves and for each other,” he said.

The district’s Friends groups for museums and galleries will be briefed on budget plans on February 17.

Chairman of the Friends of Oakwell Hall Roger Knight said: “We are not in the business of rumours so all I can say is at the moment we realise things are very, very tight and we are all going to have to bear quite a burden. The volunteer groups in particular are going to have a big responsibility. There is more to it than just representation – we have got to think in real terms about raising money. As far as we’re concerned, until we get the full picture things will remain how they are.”

He declined to comment on how the budget may affect the Friends groups until after the scheduled briefing.