Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Edinburgh oopsie? Pays Glasgow a compliment!

While the sane and rational of the two cities enjoy some competitive banter and rivalry, I have noted that others are sadly bigoted (which i no fun at all).

While reading about a proposal (not a plan) which could see tourists paying an admission charge to get into the Edinburgh museums while residents (who support free admission via their council tax, as is the norm for Scotland’s national museums  – except the National Museum of Flight) would get free admission as usual, I couldn’t help but notice that the council leader cited GLASGOW’s system as a possible model for changes in Edinburgh…

TOURISTS could be charged for visiting the Capital’s council-run museums and galleries while residents continue to get in free.

Council leader Adam McVey said a different regime for visitors and locals was one possible move which could come from a review of the city’s cultural services as part of budget cuts aimed at saving £150 million by 2023.

And he revealed the council was also looking at handing the management of its museums and galleries to an expanded Edinburgh Leisure, which already runs the city’s sports centres and swimming pools.

“We need to look at whether we keep cultural services directly run by the council or whether we look at a model that has a way of pooling assets.”

He said the Glasgow Life trust, which runs sport, leisure and culture in Glasgow, seemed to be a model which worked well.

City Centre Tory councillor Joanna Mowat said she was not against the changes proposed. “A lot of tourists are perfectly used to paying for museums. I have to pay when I go to Paris.”

She said her party had previously argued for a trust like Glasgow Life.

Edinburgh could charge tourists for museums while residents go free

PLEASE don’t start the silly argument about ‘Free Admission’ – this really is just a convenient form of words. Just try phrasing something more technically accurate in two words. Those starting that argument are just mischief-making, and diverting attention for the real issue.

I’ve never quite understood the deal with the National Museum of Flight, and can recall visiting the place at times when there WAS an admission charges, then there was NOT, and then it suddenly seemed to return again – and I looked silly as I just tried to walk straight in, apparently trying to avoid paying! But i just didn’t know the charge had been imposed again.

I just checked, and am almost glad I can’t get there any more, as the adult ticket is £12 – Geez! No wonder I started to make sure I only went there when another event was on, which usually included admission to the museum buildings.

Although it didn’t seem to gain any support, I was actually intrigued to see this proposal…

Budget proposals published by the Capital’s SNP-Labour coalition suggest “consolidating” venues like the Museum of Childhood, Museum of Edinburgh, Writers’ Museum, People’s Story and City Art Centre and creating a new museum and gallery.

But Cllr McVey played down suggestions of a new building and hinted the move was more likely to involve moving at least some elements from other venues into the City Art Centre.

He said: “The City Art Centre is a massive building which is heavily under-used. We need to make much more of it if we are going to have it as a city asset, making sure people know it’s there and capturing people’s interest. It is competing with some fantastic national assets. It needs to work much harder for the city.”

He said merging the museums into a single building was “probably not feasible”.

As a once regular visitor to Edinburgh and its larger museums (which I think are great), I wonder if they are right to dismiss that idea so quickly.

Although I know of the smaller museums and attractions listed, I NEVER got around visiting any of them. They seemed a bit small and specialist, and I just didn’t feel like making the effort to get to them. However, had they perhaps been close, or ‘consolidate’ within a larger venue, perhaps I would have supported them with a visit.

Thinking more deeply about the statements supporting the Glasgow Life by Edinburgh councillors, maybe it is a ‘Cunning Plan’ with other motives.

Although I can’t recall seeing any claims recently, I’m sure I remember all sorts of whining and claims of (I can’t recall exactly which form, so I won’t cite any specifics) corruption by handing city assets to the trust, or just plain uselessness, of the Glasgow Life trust system when it was introduced.

As far as I can see, we still have our assets, and none seem to have been spirited away into councillors living rooms, or sold off.

Our museums have been, or are being refurbished and enlarged, new ones built, and more and more exhibits are being taken out of storage and put on display in ever growing gallery space.

Maybe Edinburgh WOULD be wise to look west for inspiration!

Kelvingrove Lights

Kelvingrove Lights

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28/01/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, council | ,

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