Political Policies and Archaeology

Afternoon Debate on Archaeological Services with Politicians

The Archaeology Forum (TAF) hosted a half-day event at the Society in October 2013 entitled 'Political Policies and Archaeology' with Jenny Jones, Lord Stevenson, Lord Redesdale, and the Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey. You can watch the debate below, or straight from our YouTube Channel, 'SocAntiquaries'.

Following this TAF event, Edward Vaizey MP (Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) asked Fellows Lord Redesdale and John Howell MP to undertake a review of the issues underlying local archaeological services.

The purpose of the inquiry was to identify “sustainable ways of improving or maintaining the provision of archaeology services to local authorities, recognising that government funding is unlikely to be increased in the short or medium term”.

Download and read the full details

(The download includes the original briefing document for the inquiry, which closed on 14 February 2014.)

The Society also submitted a response to John Howell and Lord Redesdale’s consultation. In summary our response emphasised the fundamental importance of local authorities having access to archaeological services which provide consistent national coverage and high quality advice. We suggested that two key initiatives are required to promote effective protection of the historic environment: the enhancement of Historic Environment Records (HERs) and the establishment of archaeological teams with appropriate skills. We proposed that this can best be achieved by the reorganisation of the provision of archaeological advice and HERs on a regional structure. We believe that our recommended delivery model for archaeological advice offers a structure which would broaden participation, enhance archaeological research and provide information which will more effectively inform planning decisions. Underpinning this structure is the principle that all archaeological work should ultimately be focused upon public benefit, promoting social cohesion and making a positive contribution to the lives of local communities

Download and read the Society's response

The Archaeology Forum's half-day debate, 'Political Policies and Archaeology' from 7 October 2013.

Watch the afternoon debate from 7 October 2013