Your Councillors

Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum Trust

6th March 2019

 

Update on Proposals to transfer the QORWKRT collection to the National Army Museum

 

Final Decision-Maker

Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum Trust  (QORWKRMT)

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

John Foster, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Victoria Barlow, Museum Director

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

The National Army Museum has stated that they have no active interest in acquiring items in the collection of QORWKRMT and that they work actively with museums to support the management and display of locally based collections.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum Trust Committee

1.   That members note the position of the National Army Museum in decision making about the future of the QORWKRMT.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum Trust

6 March 2019

 

 

 

 



Update on Proposals to transfer the QORWKRT collection to the National Army Museum

 

 

 

1.           INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

 In 2007, the Charity Commission Scheme governing the running of the QORWKRMT included the following on the topic of dissolution of the collection, “If the Trustee decides that it can no longer preserve and exhibit the collection, it must transfer the collection to The National Army Museum, London, or to such other MLA (or its successor body) Accredited museum or museums registered with the Charity Commission as the trustee decides in consultation with the regimental representative.” In this instance, the Trustee is Maidstone Borough Council.

 

It is now the case that Maidstone Museum has become the de facto home of the collection. Objects are catalogued, accessioned, cared for, displayed and studied by museum staff and in all ways the objects are treated as part of the museum collection.

 

As the link with serving members of the Regiment lessens (the Regiment was disbanded in 1961 making even a 16 year old soldier in the last year of the regiment, 74 years old today) it is suggested that the purpose of a separate charitable trust nominally representing their interests is no longer an absolute necessity.

 

If the Trust were to be dissolved and the collection transferred to Maidstone Museum, it could be safeguarded and administered in the same way as all other museum collections. Maidstone Museum is an accredited museum but is not a charity.

 

2.           NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM

 

In August 2018, museum officers met with Julian Farrance, Regimental Liaison at the National Army Museum (NAM) and Andrew Lloyd, CEO of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust.

 

Julian Farrance’s role is to advise on and support the curation of regimental collections within local museums. The role was created in response to the National Army Museum’s explicit recognition that the national museum was not best placed to preserve and explore the local significance of such collections.

 

The Ogilby Trust is a charity and grant-giving body dedicated to military museums, providing support through advocacy, advice and funding.

 

In a meeting lasting several hours, Messrs Farrance and Lloyd laid out numerous ways in which they and their organisations could support the retention of the collections, knowledge and skills in Maidstone were a transfer to be decided upon.

 

No written statement has been provided on the position of the NAM in not seeking to acquire the collection as NAM will generally only respond to offers and requests to accept rather than comment on hypothetical situations. However, it is clear from the conversation with Julian Farrance that NAM policy supports local retention.

 

3.           NEXT STEPS

 

Legal advice has been requested of MBC lawyers in the matter of the possibility of dissolving the QORWKRMT and particularly in the possibility of transferring to Maidstone Museum instead of another charitable trust as seems to be required by the 2007 schedule.

 

It is clear from the 2007 schedule that a ‘regimental representative’ will need to be consulted and it would be good practice to seek support from surviving members of the regiment and those with family connections but at this stage, the Museum Director is confident that no further issues relating to the National Army Museum should arise.

 

 

 

4.           PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That members note this report and that when legal advice has been received, they receive a formal report from the Museum Director on whether the Trust should be dissolved and the collection transferred to Maidstone Museum. 

 

 

5.         RISK


This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

 

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

·         We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities. 

 

Victoria Barlow

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section

[Head of Service or Manager]

Financial

This report is for noting so there are no recommendations that require funding for implementation.  If it is proposed at some future point that the Council formally takes responsibility for the QORWKRMT’s collection, the financial implications would need to be considered at the time.

 

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

·         We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

 

John Foster

Legal

·         The recommendations do not propose a change in service at this time so there are no legal implications at the present time.

[Legal Team]

Privacy and Data Protection

 

·         Accepting the recommendations will increase the volume of data held by the Council.  We will hold that data in line with [policy].

 

[Legal Team]

Equalities

·         The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment

[Policy & Information Manager]

Public Health

·         We recognise that the recommendations will not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.

 

Victoria Barlow

Crime and Disorder

·         The recommendation will have a no impact on Crime and Disorder.

Victoria Barlow

Procurement

·         On accepting the recommendations, the Council will then follow procurement exercises for any necessary actions. We will complete those exercises in line with financial procedure rules.

 

John Foster & Section 151 Officer]

 

 

 

6.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

QORWKRMT Scheme 12 March 2007