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Monday, 20 February 2017

Essex Record Office: Possible Self-Financing of Service. The President writes to Essex County Council

The Essex Society for Archaeology & History 

Cllr. David Finch,
Essex County Council,
PO Box 11,
County Hall,

Your ref: DF/ac
                                                                                                                                                                23rd January 2017

Dear David,


Thank you for your letter of 1st December 2016, which was carefully considered at the ESAH Council meeting on 21st January.  Incidentally, this meeting was held at the ERO, which is one of a number of ways in which ESAH supports the ERO.

ESAH and its members support and are anxious to continue to support the ERO and its work, not least through the use of the ERO as a venue for meetings, but also, at an individual membership level, through the use of the ERO’s non-digital resources, through the blog, twitter account and newsletter.  ESAH recently arranged and paid for on behalf of the ERO, the printing of a flyer for the forthcoming Lost Landscapes Conference to be held at the ERO. Collectively and individually we value the excellent services provided by the ERO extremely highly and are anxious about the future.  Our principal concerns relate to the implications for the services offered to the public, including our members, in light of Stephen Dixon’s report for which clarification is requested please. 

Council was concerned about the disappointing lack of any detail and the failure to answer directly the questions contained in my letter of 16th November 2016.  Council also considered that for a public service your phrase of “trading deficit” was rather curious.  What are the implications of this please?

We fully appreciate that your staff are busy but can you please answer the following questions to give ESAH an idea of the current running costs and staffing levels of the ERO in advance of proposed changes:

1.       Current income to date?
2.       2016-17 income target?
3.       Projected 2020 running costs?
4.       Current staffing levels?
5.       Will there be an opportunity for public consultation on any plans that affect the ERO?  We feel that it is important that we, as major ‘stakeholders’ are given the opportunity to comment on ECC proposals in detail, at an early stage. 

I look forward to hearing from you please.  Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Corder-Birch,
Essex Society for Archaeology and History

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