Natalie Ceeney Chief Exec of TNA and Jeff James Head of Operations faced a second packed public meeting on Thursday 20 August at The National Archives. During this meeting Jeff outlined in more detail the proposal for charges to be made for using the car park from January 2010. TNA is suggesting a daily charge of £5 for all users of the public car park with discounted season tickets being made available for regular visitors. The rationale behind this proposal is that the car park costs something over £80,000 per year to run and maintain when overheads such as security, CCTV, building and maintenance etc are allocated. Introducing charges could possibly bring in something over £90,000 towards overall proposed savings of £4.2 million if the estimates of the future number of visitors who will use the car park and how much they are likely to spend come to pass.
Additionally Natalie and Jeff spent more time explaining their rationale behind someof the proposals and how their budgets work. In addition to the cuts made in operations and services attendees were told of some of the decisions that have had to be made on capital expenditure such as the postponment of a new cooling plant to update the aging building and archives. Unless any alternative suggestions about potential savings come out of the consultation period it looks like the proposals made in June will become finalised and acted upon. We will hear the final decisions at the next public users’ forum to be held in Spetember. Minutes of the meeting and the dates of future meeting will be available on TNA website shortly.
Many genealogists and family historians use the vast number of records relating to family history held at The National Archives.
Else Churchill, Genealogist, Society of Genealogists