Museums Director presented this report to the Committee. The report
gave information to Trustees on the amount of time and resources
allocated to each research request received by the Queen’s
Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust by Maidstone Museum staff
and how the enquiry charges were structured. It was noted
·The enquiry charge was £15 for every enquiry
taking longer than 30 minutes. (Following the meeting Officers have
clarified that this amount of time was 20 minutes.)
·Enquiries were received by email, telephone, post
and via the contact form on the Maidstone Museum
·In the current financial year 2017/18, 117 enquiries
had been received and logged. Of these, 26 were taken forward and
charged for and a total of £390 had been secured.
·The Collection Manager spent on average a day a
month working on the administration of these enquiries and the cost
for this service was £1410.78 for the past six months. This
resulted in a net cost to the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent
Regiment Museum Trust of £1020.78.
·A volunteer carried out the research for the enquiry
once it had been logged by the Collection Manager, as he had the
regimental knowledge to complete the research to a high
·Appendix A detailed the enquiry service charges in
other museums. Most museums charged between £15 and £25
for the service, if they charged at all, and it was fairly standard
that the first half an hour of the service was free. This indicated
that the current enquiry service charge for Queen’s Own Royal
West Kent Regiment Museum Trust was at the lower end of charging
Committee was concerned that the cost per hour for the
administration of the enquiry was very high and asked whether a
volunteer or somebody with a lower hourly rate could carry out this
task. Officers informed the Committee that the Collection Manager
had the knowledge and expertise to carry out the task efficiently
and if anybody else was to do it the process would take much
longer. Officers also confirmed that volunteers did not have access
to financial information or an email account and so could not
perform the task.
response to a question, the Senior Finance Manager (Client
Accountancy) advised the Committee that he would investigate
whether gift aid could be collected for the enquiry service as the
charge was a donation to the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent
Regiment Museum Trust.
Museums Director confirmed that she would send details of the
enquiries received to the Committee, in order that they could
understand the substance of the enquiries.
noted that the Committee said that members of the public could be
directed more easily to the online form when making enquiries about
the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment online.
Committee agreed with Officers that charging £20 for each
enquiry would make the charge more reflective of costs without
causing too greater fall in enquiries.