"Second to none" Croydon history collection put at risk
Historians in Croydon have expressed concerns at the effect proposed cuts to the culture budget will have on the borough's archives service.
Croydon Council need to make savings of £105,000, but say only a quarter of the savings relate to the local studies and archives service, after £75,000 was saved by the decision not to fill two vacant posts within the culture team.
Paul Sowan of the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society described the borough's local history collection as "second to none" and said local knowledge is lost when staff leave.
He said: "Access and staffing is really at risk, but you have got to keep the service in the same form.
"Staff have built up an in-depth knowledge of Croydon, and you can't help people with local history if you haven't lived in it and been immersed in it."
Historian Sean Creighton is also concerned by the proposed cuts.
He said: "Reducing the role of the local archives and studies services can be damaging. If you don't have adequate staff you can't ensure the public records are accessible."
Councillor Tim Pollard Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Learning said there was no formal consultation process, but invited those with ideas or opinions to get in touch as no decision has been made.
Coun Pollard said: "As far as local studies and archives are concerned we have made no firm plans as to how we will meet out savings target.
"The council does fully appreciate how valuable a resource this is to its users and the borough, and for that reason we are looking carefully at options that will minimise the operational impact of the financial decision."