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Mike Heyworth Responds PLUS Southport Group and PPS5
Recently I asked Mike to explain about how they intend to bring sectors together. THis is the reply.

It is also worth reading this as well. The new 'Southport Group' and how it will look at PPS5 and Archaeology

Thank you for your email. Big questions deserve big answers, but these require considerable thought and are not always conducive to instant replies! The picture is also complicated by the different systems in the various parts of the UK, although this might be part of the answer.
I am sure that the CBA has a key role to play in bringing together the sectors within archaeology, after all it is the only independent, well respected organisation which operates in archaeology across the UK, has significant institutional membership from all parts of the professional and voluntary archaeology sector, has a significant public membership, has a wide range of activities some of which are based on statutory roles which operate in England and Wales, and so connects up all the diverse parts of the archaeology sector and allies them with the wider historic environment and natural environment sectors. With more resources (members) there is much more we could do ....
We have a number of initiatives underway or in prospect which will contribute to developing a broad vision for the delivery of archaeological work in the future. I hope to be in a position to make a number of announcements in the coming weeks, although like many organisations we are facing financial pressures and we may have to withdraw from some areas of activity to refocus on new strategic priorities. These will be based on a number of key principles which I hope we all share, including the need for:

  1. appropriately resourced strategic leadership and advocacy at a national scale within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  2. appropriately resourced and well-defined historic environment services (including maintenance and development of a Historic Environment Record) linked with local planning service delivery
  3. accredited archaeological contractors offering a high quality service associated with significant planning pain and public benefit, working within environment that encourages investment in best practice
  4. a range of resource centres offering enhanced research and educational facilities alongside the storage of archaeological archives in suitable conditions to ensure their long term survival
  5. a highly skilled and more diverse archaeological profession, rewarded by appropriate professional salaries, working closely in a mutually supportive relationship with an enthusiastic voluntary sector
  6. an increase in the number of academic researchers based within UK higher education institutions who are engaged with archaeological practice in the UK, enhancing the impact of their work within the UK
  7. opportunities for professional archaeological colleagues to move between different areas of the discipline, particularly linking with higher education institutions to archaeological contractors and curators
  8. increased public participation throughout archaeology to deepen public understanding and appreciation for our archaeological heritage and its value to the economy and society
  9. better mutual understanding of the issues which we all face and an ongoing willigness to engage creatively and constructively to find ways forward, without much of the griping that so often characterises our sector
We need to step back from the day to day and plan ahead, and CBA trustees and staff will be doing just that in the coming weeks. We are also working with colleagues in other organisations to ensure that we take opportunities which arise, eg the Southport group coming out of the 2010 IfA conference will shortly announce an important two-day meeting in London in late January to focus on the opportunities within PPS5 in England.
Often these discussions are best handled locally/regionally to allow maximum participation and as was mentioned on the britarch list recently there may be opportunities for the CBA regional groups in England, CBA Wales/Cymru and Archaeology Scotland to bring together key discussion groups, building on some initial documents and thoughts which are pre-circulated to stimulate debate. Online discussions are also useful, but we need to broaden them out to get the widest possible engagement. We need to use all the creative talents at our disposal, and everyone involved in archaeology has a role to play.
It would be very interesting to hear what thoughts individuals on the BAJR forum have for developing a positive, shared vision of the opportunities for the future. So can I turn the question back to you and ask what you think is needed in current challenging times?
best wishes
Interesting and worthy stuff, but this appears to be yet another "wish list" and does not answer your question "how they intend to bring the sectors together". It is a list of aims, if you will, and not a method statement. For example, item 2, of course we all want a well-resourced HE service, but it is clearly seen as a luxury item by government and ain't going to happen until the next boom period (if then). So what is to be done about it?

I do like the reference to "planning pain" in item 3 though.
As you say, I agree with all these wishes... I also want a villa in the Bahamas .. but hey, saying it don't make it happen.

What worries me, is that by the time the talking is over, it is too late.

What we seem to be doing on BAJR, over the past few weeks is building up a picture of how we... as archaeologists ( of all hues ) picture the implementation of PPS5

There do seem to be areas of general agreement as well. So Rather than setting up a committee to discuss things (let us not forget some of the other great working parties and committee ideas... like the ATF? The archaeology NVQ system? or perhaps the classic IfA Benchmarking Salaries Report (2008) which identified an increase of 13-53% required to bring archaeological pay in line with comparable professions. - At least BAJR has increased its minimum. )

Rather than talking, rather that asking for ideas, it would be good to see a clear leadership and an inclusivity - BAJR Fed is not anything other than people who are actually invovled in archaeology - whose jobs are actually on the line, and who (often) know what they are talking about.

To quote Madweasel from another thread.

We need one voice, one well-respected person, one knowledgeable person.

So who is it to be? Or will it be the usual suspects.

CBA Director, Dr Mike Heyworth, said: [INDENT]
Quote:Whilst there are significant threats to the archaeological profession across the UK, there are also opportunities which we must grasp. We need to agree how we want the archaeological discipline to look in ten years time and work hard to persuade everyone of the public benefits that can be delivered. There is huge public enthusiasm for archaeology and the CBA hopes to mobilise this support to ensure that we can safeguard our nationally and locally significant archaeological heritage. It will require us to develop a more collaborative approach and to be more innovative in our thinking, utilising new information technology where appropriate, but the CBA lies at the heart of the new archaeological world which will develop in the years to come.

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