Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Archives Advisory Board
Friday, 6th December, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RP

Contact: Helen Whitby  01305 224187 - Email:

No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the year 2019/20.                                                                      


(Note: In accordance with the established protocol of the Board, the chairmanship rotates amongst the contributing authorities, with the Vice–Chairman, from a different authority to the Chairman, normally succeeding to the Chairmanship the following year).




1. That based on an annual meeting, chairmanship would move from Dorset Council to BCP Council and that the host council for the meeting would take the chair.

2. That Councillor Tony Alford be elected Chairman for the year 2019/20.


Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the year 2019/20.                                                          


(Note: On the basis of the established protocol the Vice-Chairman should be a representative from a different authority to the Chairman).



That Councillor Mark Howell be appointed Vice-Chairman for the year 2019/20.



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Lesley Dedman and Nigel Hedges.


Terms of Reference

To note the Board' s terms of reference as follows:-


1. The Joint Archives Advisory Board will:-


(a) oversee the management delivery of the Archives Service in Dorset.

(b) consider and recommend plans and budget for the service.

(c) monitor and review the service delivery, performance and quality

against approved plans and budgets.


2. Membership:


8, consisting of 4 members appointed by Dorset Council and 4 from

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Provision is made for

substitute members to attend to ensure constituent authorities are

represented at meetings of the Board.




Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.


Joint Archives Service: Budget Monitoring Report 2019/20 and Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director of Place, Dorset Council.


The Board considered a report by the Executive Director of Place which provided details of the Joint Archive Service’s financial position including reserves, its relative value for money and a suggested budget based on a further standstill settlement for 2020/21.


The Service Manager for Archives presented the report highlighting the current budget and the stand still position over the last 5/6 years, that details of the audit undertaken in 2015 were available, the value for money rating by CIPFA, the need for significant investment in the Dorset History Centre, its passive energy consumption, the budget outturn for next year, key budget pressures, general reserves, the summary of budgets if agreed and more detail of the reserve position.


With regard to why net expenditure for Wiltshire Council was so high, it was explained that this related to their prudential borrowing and repayments on capital investment.



1. That the current financial position be noted.

2. That the efforts made by the JAS to reduce costs and to manage its finances to deliver the best outcomes for both funders and users of the service be noted.

3. That the budget for the financial year 2020/21 be approved.


Joint Archives Service: Service Plan (2018-21) Monitoring Report and Capital Project Update pdf icon PDF 444 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director of Place, Dorset Council.


The Board considered a report by the Executive Director of Place which set out the current and future work of the Joint Archives Service, key objectives and detailed information on activities as set out in the Service Plan and the risk register.


The Service Manager for Archives presented the report highlighting areas of good progress, the reduction of costs due to membership of the digital preservation consortium, pressing challenges for 2020, engagement undertaken across a variety of organisations and communities, engagement with Exeter University and the future signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with them, the closure to allow for new shelving to be installed, Local Government Reorganisation and implications for the archives and institutional memory, a request for members to encourage their councils to support paper and digital records in order to protect the institutional memories of the previous sovereign councils, only material which met the criteria was accepted for archive, the importance of the Dorset Archives Trust and other charities for fund raising, the capital project update, and the limited space available for future archiving and ongoing local authority discussions around the costs and funding to address this.


In relation to the Service Plan, the Service Manager highlighted items which were not "on track" and provided a quick update on each.


It was clarified that the Service Plan had been refreshed and that this had not substantially changed from the previous Plan apart from the RAG ratings.



1. That the implementation of the 2018-21 service plan appended to the report be supported as demonstrating the quality and value for money provided by the JAS;

2. That the range of positive and innovative collections, learning and engagement related work undertaken by the JAS be noted;

3. That the relatively small size of the JAS staffing structure means that any

future budget reductions will have a direct and clear impact on the service’s ability to

deliver the service plan be noted.

4. Post-LGR, the JAS's role in identifying, collecting and preserving the records of the 9 predecessor authorities be supported.