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Museums: Closure threat

The world-famous Oliver Cromwell museum in Huntingdon is under closure threat after Cambridgeshire County Council withdrew funding as a direct result of government cuts.

In a body swerve to counter criticism of the closure option the council has offered to run the museum with volunteers, reducing the full-time curator’s hours, terms and conditions, and charging visitors. The strategy is designed to present the “Friends of the Cromwell Museum” with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The Friends are fighting back by presenting alternative charitable status and control mechanisms to preserve the  museum and take control away from the vandals who sit in County Hall and no longer see themselves as defenders of local history and tradition but merely administrators of contracts.                 ■