Staffing levels at the county records office will be reduced as a ‘shift to more of a self-service approach’ is made to make ‘significant savings’, it has been revealed.
An East Sussex County Council (ESCC) spokesman confirmed that ‘due to government funding cuts, rising costs and increased demand for services, county and city councils have had to make significant savings this decade, which for ESCC amounts to more than £130 million.’
The Keep was the new £18 million repository designed to house the collections of East Sussex County Council’s Record Office, and partners: the Brighton History Centre, the Mass Observation Archive held by Sussex University and the university’s own Special Collections Archive.
The ESCC spokesman continued: “Due to Government funding cuts, rising costs and increased demand for services, the county council and city council have had to make significant savings this decade, which for East Sussex County Council amounts to more than £130 million in savings. With more significant savings required in the years ahead for The Keep partners, we have no choice but to make difficult decisions, and this includes a savings target of £300,000 from The Keep budget for the three years to 2022.
“For ESBHRO, regrettably this means we are having to reduce staffing levels and in future the team will focus more on accruing and managing statutory records – those records we’re obliged by law to hold. While there will be a shift to more of a ‘self-service’ approach, there will still be staff available to assist customers and answer their questions and queries as at present. The partners remain committed to maintaining The Keep as a publicly accessible facility where people can continue to make use of the huge wealth of archive material available.”