Thank you to everyone who responded and everyone who signed my petition to support the Friends of Chadkirk. I had 417 people signing to show their support. This is very much appreciated - thank you.
The Council's consultation on Museums, including the future of Chadkirk Chapel, is now closed.
I wanted to share with you my own response to the consultation which I have copied below.
Although the consultation is closed, my petition will remain open until shortly before the Werneth Area Committee next meets on 9th December.
We Councillors will discuss this at the Area Committee, and then we will await the Council's response to the consultation.
My response to the Museums Consultation
This response is from Cllr Lisa Smart, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Bredbury Green & Romiley.
Overall, these proposals show a lack of imagination on how to make the most of some of the sites which are important to Stockport’s identity. It appears to approach the museum's portfolio as a drain on resources, rather than as an asset.
In particular, the proposal to close Chadkirk Chapel to the public, apart from for wedding events, is short-sighted and very concerning.
The Friends of Chadkirk are opposed to the current plans, which would see an end to weekend opening, an effective closure to the public (apart from weddings and other private events), and no clarity about future maintenance and funding of the annual well dressing.
A more creative approach, involving the very active Friends of Chadkirk group, should be sought before this unique building is closed to the public outside wedding events.
At the time of submitting this consultation response, 417 people have signed the following petition on my website.
“We the undersigned wish to express our support for the Friends of Chadkirk and urge the Council to explore all possible alternative solutions to avoid closure of the Chapel as a community resource.”
The petition will close just prior to the next Werneth Area Committee, as this is the next opportunity for it to be formally submitted to the council.
A more positive approach to Chadkirk Chapel would be to increase the amount of advertising of the offer, not just as a refreshment option for walkers but also as a true community space. For example, the chapel is currently used by a local Tai Chi group and there is no clear reason why other groups couldn’t use the space. The Friends of Chadkirk have run several successful events and the layout of the chapel is ideal for events such as music concerts, talks and readings. Increased usage would be one way to increase the income generated.
Finally, in the proposals seen by Scrutiny to date, the risk is highlighted that closure of sites which have previously received external financial support could see the council required to pay back funding already received and could result in “difficulty securing Arts Council England/National Lottery Heritage Fund funding for future schemes”. This must not be allowed to happen – the current, minority Labour administration must not do anything to damage the Borough’s future chances of securing funding in this way.
We call on the Labour administration to look again at these proposals, recognise Stockport’s cultural assets as having value and seek to enhance these jewels in Stockport’s crown rather than close them down.
|Sign the petition|