BEXLEY’s archives will definitely remain in the borough after a successful campaign to keep them, it has been announced.
The Local Studies and Archives Centre will stay at Bexley Central Library in Bexleyheath where thousands of documents, photos and other items from Bexley’s past are kept.
But there will be job losses at the centre in Townley Road in order to save £41,000 as part of Bexley Council’s drive to shave £40 million from its budget over the next four years.
Campaigner Penny Duggan helped organise a Bexleyheath protest and two petitions against the proposal to move the centre to Bromley which were signed by more than 3,300 people.
The Save Bexley Archives campaign leader told News Shopper: "It’s something that’s very important to lots of people so I’m very pleased the council has actually taken notice and made the right decision in the end.
"It’s been hard work but it’s definitely been worth it for the good result."
The decision was announced at a Bexley Council cabinet meeting yesterday before it will be voted on as part of the council’s annual budget on March 5.
Cabinet member for community safety and leisure Councillor Don Massey said: "Hats off to the organisers of the campaign who helped motivate people who care about this.
"They have been very responsible about it because they totally accept the position that the local authority is in.
"In reality whatever happened we would have been looking at restructuring staff around the service."
Discussions with employees over their future at the centre are ongoing.
The proposal to move the archives to Bromley was one of 23 in a Bexley Council public consultation on how to address a £10 million funding gap faced by the authority in the next financial year.
See News Shopper's past stories on the Save Bexley Archives campaign here.