Meetings of the Court of Governors - 27 May 2004

Meeting of the COURT OF GOVERNORS held on 27 May 2004 in the Imperial Hotel, Llandudno.

- PRESENT: Paul E Loveluck, President (in the Chair); Susan Davies, Vice President; G Wyn Howells, Treasurer; Peter Warren; Huw Williams; Dafydd Bowen Lewis; Jane Pierson Jones; Mike Salter; Rhiannon Wyn Hughes; Brian Willott; Iolo ap Gwynn; David Egan; Colin Jones; Mair Waldo Thomas; Frances Lynch; J Geraint Jenkins; Win Griffiths MP; Malcolm Parry.

- IN ATTENDANCE: Mike Houlihan, Director General; Eurwyn Wiliam, Deputy Director General; Mark Richards, Director of Operations; Robin Gwyn, Director of Communications; Mike Tooby, Director NMG; John Williams-Davies, Director MWL; Dafydd Roberts, Keeper, Welsh Slate Museum and Tony Lloyd, Head of Administration.

Apologies for absence from Court were received from Jonathan Jones, Murray McLaggan, Joan Raum, Anthea Wellington, Linda Quinn, Paul Thomas, R Cass, John King, Brinley Jones, Hefin Looker, Colin Rowlands, David Rogers, Mathew Prichard, John Last and Wynford Evans.

Resolved: That the minutes of the Court of Governors meeting held on 23 October 2003 be approved subject to Linda Quinn and Brian Willott being shown as present.

Reported: That the President reminded Court that the Quinquennial Review had recommended that the system of governance be reviewed and that a body be put in place to replace Court that would better reflect the needs of NMGW stakeholders. A proposal to Court by the working group to replace Court with a stakeholder group was agreed in May 2002 with the balance of appointments in favour of the Museum. However the Welsh Assembly Government proposal both to NMGW and the National Library of Wales was a balance in their favour and for NMGW that was 9:7 which would include all the Officers. Along with this proposal the Assembly also proposed to remunerate Council members and Council reluctantly agreed to discuss remuneration with the Charity Commission but a number of Council members had declared that they would decline this payment. The Charity Commissioners could see no reason why members should be paid, nor should there be a change to the current appointments. The Assembly was considering this further and therefore the Museum was in a hiatus with the plans to replace Court but work continued and yesterday a meeting had been held with partners and stakeholders in north Wales. Any changes would form a package of amendments to the Charter that needed to be agreed by Privy Council and would take some time. There was therefore a need for Court to continue and remain quorate. The danger of a quorum not being met was being considered as a risk by the Museum's Risk Management Group.
Resolved: Accordingly.

224 - VISION:
Reported: By the Director General that the Vision process started 6 months ago and was based on what the Museum should be doing in the 21st century. It was fundamental to the organisation and involved Council and staff of the Museum in delivering the intellectual direction which would be a collection-driven process. Consultation was ongoing with stakeholders across Wales following which there would be the planning of the detail of delivery. The work had been complimented by a series of 17 futures seminars through which external experts in a range of fields led sessions on the external influences facing the museums in the future. NMGW would engage with Court members in relation to developing the Vision statement and their perceptions of NMGW as an organisation and the potential for future links and partnerships over the next few months. In the future the Museum needed to be innovative, challenging, sustainable and diverse and stories about people, culture and places would feature strongly. NMGW should be a forum to address contemporary issues which would form a very different museum to that of today. Showing Wales to the world and the world to Wales needed to drive the themes and inform the collections. Issues involved would include the landscape, health, genetics, beliefs, people and history. In response to a question by Malcolm Parry that a good website would give presence throughout Wales it was felt that whilst this would be the ideal and enable the Museum to be taken out to people, it would have serious resource implications.
Resolved: Accordingly.

Received: The report from the Director General that is attached at Annex A.
Reported: That in response to a question from Win Griffiths MP he was assured that Council had put as its top priority that it would meet the minimum funding requirements of its Pension Scheme and that there was a wish to eventually transfer to the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

In response to a question by Malcolm Parry it was confirmed that the Museum was involved in Cardiff 2005 and that NMGW was trying to relate with the strands of Cardiff's celebration that were applicable to the Museum. NMGW was also collaborating with the newly appointed Head of the Cardiff Museum.
Resolved: Accordingly.

Resolved: That the next meeting of the Court of Governors be held on 28 October 2004 and at that meeting there would be a substantial discussion on the Vision and reports on the planned Centenary Programme, developing the Commercial Arm of NMGW and on the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, along with the formal presentation to Court of the Annual Report and Accounts.

Director General's report to Court

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.