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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Gareth Borsden - 01792 636824 

No. Item


Election of Vice-Chairs for the 2016-2017 Municipal Year.


RESOLVED that Councillors D W Davies and R V Smith be elected Vice Chairs of the Committee for the 2016-2017 Municipal Year.


Disclosures of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


In accordance with the Code of Conduct adopted by both Authorities, the following interests were declared: -




David Michael – Minute No.4 – Report of the County Archivist, Neath Antiquarian Society Archives opening hours - Membership of Neath Antiquarian Society Committee – personal and prejudicial and left the meeting prior to discussion of this item.


Minutes. pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To approve & sign the Minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.



RESOLVED that the Minutes of the West Glamorgan Archives Committee Meeting held on 18 March 2016 be approved as a correct record.


2016/17 Revenue Budget


The County Archivist reported ongoing discussions with Neath Antiquarian Society in light of the Joint Archive Service Revenue Budget for 2016/2017.  Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Members highlighted improved footfall figures at the Society’s Archives.  The County Archivist stated that the future affordability of the service rather than footfall was the critical factor going forward.


The Chair stressed the need for constructive and open discussions between all parties.



Report of the County Archivist. pdf icon PDF 231 KB


The County Archivist presented a report which outlined the work of the

Archive Service during the period March to May 2016. 


West Wales Regional Archives Partnership


The County Archivist and Head of Cultural Services reported that discussions were still progressing between partners on a shared new-build facility.  The County Archivist added that a further piece of consultancy work had taken place to develop the West Wales Regional Archives Partnership proposal.  A new venue would have to house the West Glamorgan Archive Service and the Richard Burton Archives Swansea University in a shared facility.  No location had been agreed.




The County Archivist reported that while a Prior Information Notice (PIN) regarding future service provision had been issued by Swansea, the Archive Service was caveated as currently subject to exploration of the benefits of a regional partnership.  Only in the event that this proved to not be a sound option to realise benefits for the joint service, would alternatives be considered.  At this stage, officers were not proposing alternative governance for the Archive Service, but would continue to explore the models available within the West Wales Partnership work.  Members who sought further information on the specific issues around commissioning for archive services were referred to The National Archives guidance ‘In a Spin: Guidance on Spinning out Local Archive Services’ (2014) at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/archives/in-a-spin.pdf

2016/17 Business Action Plan

The business action plan for the Service for 2016/17 was provided at Appendix 1 of the report.

Neath Antiquarian Society Archives Reduced Opening Hours

As a consequence of the 2016/17 budget saving discussed in the last two

meetings, the County Archivist outlined that a reduction in the advertised opening hours from four days to two days a week at the Neath Antiquarian Society Archives would come into effect on 1 August 2016. 


Public access to and curatorial care of the Neath Antiquarian Society (NAS) archive collections would be maintained with the presence of a WGAS archivist on a Monday.  On the second day of opening, NAS volunteers would provide access to the collections.


Although this reduction in public availability of the NAS collections was

significant, it was based on a rational analysis of their current levels of use in comparison to the use of archive documents in Swansea.   Both facilities were currently operating a four day a week opening but use of the NAS collections represented only 2% of the document issues in Swansea in 2015/16.


Two members of archive staff had taken voluntary redundancy as part of this

process, taking the total staff complement of the Archive Service to 8 Full

Time Equivalent.


Use of the Service - Statistics for March to May 2016


The County Archivist reported on the use of the Service for the quarter.


Service Outreach


The County Archivist reported on the various areas of work that staff

had been involved with during the quarter.


He detailed that the Service had created an exhibition for the Queen’s 90th

birthday celebrations for local nonagenarians at Margam Orangery on

23 May 2016.


He added that the Service was also involved in the ‘Visions of Steel’ project

led by Swansea University.  During the quarter, this has involved two public

events in Port Talbot and one education session at Sandfields

Comprehensive School.


Professional Meetings and Partnership Working


The County Archivist referred to the professional meetings and training

attended by staff during the last quarter.


Collection Policy


An updated collection policy was attached at Appendix 2.


RESOLVED that the Archive Service’s revised collection policy be



Archive Collections


A comprehensive list of archives received during the period March to May 2016 was attached for information at Appendix 3.


The County Archivist stated that the Archives Annual Report would be online shortly and a link would be circulated to Members.





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