COUNCILLORS on the Vale council’s learning and culture scrutiny committee questioned why a council-run museum should be based in Barry.

Rhoose, Llantwit Major, and Penarth councillors suggested that artefacts could be displayed in venues in their areas at their meeting on Thursday, January 16.

The report put before committee members said the volunteer-led Barry At War Museum was based in Barry Island railway station and the Cowbridge & District Museum located in Cowbridge Town Hall – neither of which receive local authority funding.

Penarth councillor, Neil Thomas: said: ”It’s not necessary.

“It’s difficult to justify until austerity ends.

“To look at spending that amount of money is doing a disservice to people who pay council tax.”

Barry councillor Sandra Perkes, suggesting tables and boards at various venues, said: “History is really having a sense of place – who we are, where we have come from.

“I don’t know if the money is there right now to establish a museum.”

Baruc ward councillor, Nic Hodges said a museum would foster a sense of Civic pride and provide a visitor boost to the town centre.

“Digital museums don’t bring people in – physical ones do,” he said.

“Austerity keeps us poor – it’s not meant to keep us intellectually poor.

“If it stops us doing things, it shows no ambition.”

Cllr Lis Burnett added: “History is about all of us.

“People in Barry need to see it’s more than just Barry Island.”

Barry Buttrills ward Vale councillor Ian Johnson, who requested the museum report, said the meeting had been generally positive.

He said: “Councillors discussed whether we would want a local museum, and the challenges in setting one up.

“It was good to see councillors from all over the Vale talk about the importance of their own local history.

“Twenty of the 22 local authorities in Wales already support a local museum.

“The Vale of Glamorgan is one of the two that doesn’t.

“That’s something that should change.

“For decades, people in Barry have said that the town should have a museum or heritage centre that celebrates its history and identity, and we need to start developing a plan to make that a reality."

“During the debate, Dr Martin Price reminded the committee that the new school curriculum places a greater emphasis on local history.

“A museum or heritage centre would be a great educational resource for our young people.”

Cllr Johnson added: "I don't want to see our young people miss out on an educational opportunity that 20 other local authorities provide."

The committee recommended further investigations take place.