A verbatim account of the meeting between the Friends of Snibston and the County Tories determined to close Leicestershire's Discovery Museum was taken down in shorthand by diligent officers of the Council.
I do hope it is published. Fans of 'Yes Minister' have already compared the leading and biased consultation to a comedy scene. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA&feature=kp Sir Humphrey Appleby would have been impressed at the way Cllrs Blunt and Rushton stonewalled the Friends.
Two Tory Councillors, determined to close down industrial heritage in favour of aristocratic tombs, faced a well-informed cross-party coalition of experts in Museums, Trusts and local government avoidance tactics.
There was some amusement when the embattled politicos tried to split the Friends, calling those on the right hand seats apolitical. With UKIP sitting even further to the right, and Bevanite Labour leading the charge, the Friends have achieved a Coalition not seen since WWII.
The 'Friends of Snibston' did a good job of calling the County Tories bluff. Everyone accepts the financial envelope on offer, The Tories have been claiming they 'will listen' to any realistic Trust bid that comes forward.
Hardly believable when they are trying to deny they ever commissioned a report by the nationally acclaimed legal team Winckworth Sherwood into alternative Trust models. The report was drafted and paid for - then mothballed.
The Tories are also remarkably reluctant to release detailed figures on Snibston Museum's running costs. Critics have already accused the Tories of unfairly loading back-office costs onto the Main Gallery.
Ex-Tory heritage lead, Cllr Sprason insists that - under his watch - using Black Radley advice - LCC reduced the subsidy to £240k. Funny how the running costs have quadrupled in the last two years!
Labour PPC Jamie McMahon, veteran of many public sector battles, challenged the dubious finance projections with a detailed critique.
The County Tories refusal to release detailed running costs for the Museum, to enable a realistic Trust bid, suggests they may have some creative accounting to hide.
Enter stage left our would-be hero Andrew Bridgen MP. He has promised to bring Culture Minister Sativ Javed up to Coalville to bless the Museum with the holy waters of 'Localism'. He reckons the Friends should be given a Community Grant to take the Museum out of public ownership.
Peter Latchford, beloved by Damien Green and right wing public sector guru, says local government - faced with community ownership bids - would rather strangle an asset than let it go.
I do hope someone files the verbatim record alongside the Paxman-esque interviews conducted by Tim Parker of BBC Radio Leicester.
Cameron's Coalition promised 'Big Society' not big government. Future politics students will be able to conduct a line by line analysis.
The Fate of Snibston is a classic example of little government Tories applying bureaucratic red-tape and information control to strangle social enterprise at birth.