Museum jobs still uncertain

MUSEUM staff in Lancaster face another year of uncertainty after council chiefs last week decided more time was needed to discuss the future running of the service.

The City Museum, Lancaster Maritime Museum and Cottage Museum are owned by Lancaster City Council, but staff transferred to Lancashire County Council in April 2003, when it took over responsibility for their management.

The city council pays the county £549,000 a year management fee, but in April 2010 gave County Hall two years’ notice to terminate the agreement amid fears it was not giving value for money.

The city council’s cabinet last week decided to extend the agreement for another year, to allow further talks about a new shared service arrangement.

It remains unclear whether jobs could be affected.

Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said: “Museums are valuable assets, but the biggest asset of all is staff, and there must be tremendous uncertainty about their futures, but it is important we get this right.”