Saturday, February 8, 2014
Supporters of the Cromwell Museum have collected more than 3,000 signatures on a petition and will take their campaign to safeguard funding for the heritage asset to Shire Hall.
Cambridgeshire County Council is due to vote this month on whether to scrap its financial support for the museum, saving £20,000 in 2015/16.
An externally-funded review of future options for running the Huntingdon High Street building has been commissioned, but is not due to report its findings until April.
Campaigners, led by the Friends of the Cromwell Museum, want the county council to postpone any decision until after the review has been completed.
Having reached the 3,000-signature mark with their petition, which demands a rethink by the county council, they can call for a debate by the full council on February 18.
Bob Pugh, speaking on behalf of the Friends group, said: “We reckon we’ve got around 3,500 signatures, which is a tremendous effort by those who live, work, or study in the county.
“There’s no doubt that Oliver Cromwell is a controversial figure, but it is clear that the significance of the museum, both locally and nationally, has been recognised during the course of this campaign.
“We sincerely urge Cambridgeshire County Council to reconsider their proposals to withdraw funding from end of this year.”
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, who has backed the campaign, joined supporters collecting signatures outside the museum at the weekend.
And this week, 33 leading history academics from universities in this country and abroad signed a letter to The Times newspaper describing the museum’s collections as “internationally important”.