A Museum for Wednesfield?

Wednesfield History Society has a long term aim to have its own museum, its a laudable goal as the society wants to protect and display the Wednesfield history and heritage and its own very local cultural assets.

Recently just before Christmas, when speaking with senior City Officials, I raised this aim that the History Society has directly with the economic development team.

The museum plan had been raised briefly, at a scrutiny meeting of the City Council recently when a Councillors panel were discussing the economy of Wednesfield.

My discussions just before the Christmas break were based around the scrutiny panel investigation. I want to make it clear at this point that there were no real detailed plans discussed by me about the details of the History Society project, no promises made, no ready made proposals kicked about. Just a conversation on where the history society aim was at that moment in time.

My view is that the Wednesfield History Society needs to develop this policy on this aim quickly, It needs to be ‘beefed up’ a bit, and the History Society needs to talk to everyone who can assist in the development of a Museum for Wednesfield.

The threat to Wednesfield as a community in wanting to pull off this objective, is that the latest Government information that is available, is suggesting that there is No more museums needed.

A Government-commissioned review has concluded that Britain should stop building new museums in order to help existing ones survive by prioritising spending on improvements and modernisation. The report also recommends that the myriad of Government organisations funding the sector, including councils, streamline their activities and draw up an action plan and that museums should diversify, including partnering with local schools and health bodies.

My view is that the clock is ticking on this one! A determinable policy should be developed by the History Society quickly, one that can be supported by the community. One that also takes into account the ongoing revenue requirements a museum will require. The wish needs to be developed into a tangible Wednesfield History Society policy.

Currently there is a City Council team working with local Councillors to produce an action plan for the development of the Wednesfield economy. As I see it the ball is with the History Society, and I look forward to them articulating there forward plans. I want them to understand though that their current wish is not going to be easy to develop. That is why time is not on their side.



Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more