Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
ALSF money no longer spent on archaeology
#1
Apparently the government is going to stop using ALSF money to fund archaeological projects. They are going to keep the gravel tax (which is now ?2 a tonne), increase it to ?2.10 per tonne in april, and not spend the money on community or archaeological projects. ALSF was a major source of funding to some sectors of archaeology, and funded some great projects. (such as http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/archive/...N=39545028)

Ending ALSF funding and diverting the tax to the exchequer makes a bit of a mockery of the whole idea of 'polluter pays'. The government have produced some waffle about how the Environmental Stewardship scheme should take over, but of course, this doesn't fund projects, it just assesses and produces management plans...

http://bit.ly/h1GEQn
Reply
#2
Bad news, have one big project currently awaiting publication that was largely ALSF funded and had ideas for several more small ones, was a useful and reliable source of funding :face-crying:

Oxbeast -If you were the other person who clicked on the 'No, that answer was s****' button, I've joined you. U think they'll take any notice if enough people click on it? -no, probably not....
Reply
#3
All the more galling when you consider that in late May the government published an evaluation on ALSF by the In House Policy Resource (IHPR). The scheme was judged to be providing good value for money (with many areas judged to 'offer evidence of excellent potential vfm') (Daykin 2010: 8). The evaluation also found that "ALSF is now a mature programme with considerable momentum behind it, a good reputation and a wide community of interest" (Daykin 2010: 17) and that there was "a strong case for future Government support" (Daykin 2010: 15).

Apparently the government chose to ignore it's own advice.

It is an extraordinary decision, especially considering that the cost of running ALSF came to an average of approx ?118,000 per year over the last 4 years....peanuts in government spending terms.

@Dinosaur that 'no' was me Smile

Daykin, S. 2010. ALSF 2008-11 Evaluation: Executive Summary. London: In House Policy Resource (IHPR).
Reply
#4
Environmental Stewardship such as HLS DOES fund restoration and recording projects it just doesn't fund excavation (in most circumstances) because it is directed at good environmental management rather than preservation by record under the 'polluter pays' principle - and digging stuff up doesn't agree with these goals. Natural England puts millions of pounds per year into archaeology and not just 'management plans', although we do fund these to find out the costs and scope an appropriate method before we commit to a restoration or enhancement project.

However to get back to the point stewardship can't be used on sites that would previously have been funded under ALSF because a quarry can't be registered as agricultural land on the RLR and has no grazing (minimum requirements for the schemes). It would have to be a CES agreement not Stewardship. CES can be used on sites such as quarries with SSSI value but I don't know that much about them, again their goal is to manage the environment so if the environment is being dug up and carted away for sale as gravel etc I would imagine the site would not be eligable.

If someone in government is genuinely using this reason as an excuse for removal of archaeology from the list of projects eligable for ALSF funding then they don't have a clue how agri-environment schemes work! And if they've committed this argument to paper or to a speech in the commons then it is easily blown out of the water...
one girl went to dig, went to dig a meadow...
Reply
#5
chrysalis Wrote:If someone in government is genuinely using this reason as an excuse for removal of archaeology from the list of projects eligable for ALSF funding then they don't have a clue how agri-environment schemes work! And if they've committed this argument to paper or to a speech in the commons then it is easily blown out of the water...

It is not that they are stopping archaeological projects from being eligible for ALSF, they are cutting ALSF in it's entirety in England. This will turn the Levy itself from being a revenue neutral tax into one that makes ?10 million a year for the treasury. Wonder how the aggregate companies themselves feel about that?

There was no speech or statement in the House of Commons. The only information was a short statement published quietly on the old Defra website in December. I only became aware of it recently, and when I contacted my local (Labour) MP about the cut he too had heard nothing about it.

As to committing arguments to paper - I've just put in an FoI request with Defra. I'll let you know if the documents reveal anything interesting!
Reply
#6
Can someone explain how the system has worked to date.

When a quarryer applies for permission I guess an archaeological condition might be attached to the development. In that circumstance do archaeologists have to approach the ALSF for funding or do they negotiate direct with the quarryer? In which case do quarries with archaeology have to pay more than quarries without or are the total costs shared across the industry?

I'm just wondering (in the absence of ASLF) whether archaeologists couldn't just approach the individual quarryers directly for funding (as with all other forms of commercial archaeology).....or am I missing something here?

And wasn't the ALSF used for some years to fund some maritime archaeology projects? Has this source dried up as well? (OK pun unintended...Smile
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Reply
#7
Had heard about this recently from a major unit... gonna have a major impact... that was a lot of money... a lot.... and now! paf.... gone.
Reply
#8
BAJR Wrote:Had heard about this recently from a major unit... gonna have a major impact... that was a lot of money... a lot.... and now! paf.... gone.
...but I am still confused. Why can't we go directly to the quarry companies and getting funding on a project by project basis. Surely the ALSF doesn't disbar archaeologists from directly asking developers for funding?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Reply
#9
Quote:Environmental Stewardship such as HLS DOES fund restoration and recording projects it just doesn't fund excavation (in most circumstances) because it is directed at good environmental management rather than preservation by record under the 'polluter pays' principle - and digging stuff up doesn't agree with these goals. Natural England puts millions of pounds per year into archaeology and not just 'management plans', although we do fund these to find out the costs and scope an appropriate method before we commit to a restoration or enhancement project.

@Chrysalis, good to have your input. I'm certainly glad that Natural England is funding archaeology, Farm Environment Plans and the Environmental Stewardship Schemes are great. There are a lot of knackered barns, etc out there that need some love. Restoring the Exmoor mires is also doing a great deal to preserve archaeology. However, Stewardship is limited to the Target Areas, and by the landowner being willing to participate. ALSF does not fund excavation either, though it does seem to fund some post ex and publication of legacy projects.

@Kevin, ALSF never was intended to replace developer funding, but it has contributed to a number of resource asessments and technical studies. It helps planning authorities get data to base their decisions on. A full list is here

http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/projArch...N=39545028

ALSF basically funds research designs and resource assessments, based on aggregates extraction but not limited to quarries or current or past areas of extraction.

There are impacts and potential impacts to the historic environment whcih are caused by development, but which are very difficult to pin down to a particular developer, sometimes because the licences havent been granted yet. This Suffolk project is a good example of that http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/arch...N=39545028

Many of these seek to enhance the HER in the blank areas, and allow decisions about mitigation to be better informed, such as the Peak District Assessment http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/arch...N=39545028
Reply
#10
Oops, came late to this topic, but in the usual way of things BAJR contributors have already covered all the main points. I helped to run the two-year EH ALSF pilot scheme in 2002-4; it did indeed fund some marvellous projects, then and in the years since. It's a huge pity that this grant scheme is now at an end. I can confirm the answer to Kevin's question - PPG 16 cases were not eligible for ALSF funding, and mitigation clearly remained the responsibility of the quarry companies.

Brian
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Computers taking archaeology jobs away pdurdin 14 11,564 30th August 2015, 11:10 AM
Last Post: barkingdigger
  Are Standards in field Archaeology Slipping Wax 90 44,551 23rd June 2015, 12:41 PM
Last Post: Dinosaur
  Wessex Archaeology Recruits a Teddy Bear BAJR 10 10,746 24th December 2014, 06:41 PM
Last Post: monty
  Tay and Fife Archaeology Conference Doug 16 12,278 15th November 2014, 01:04 AM
Last Post: Doug
  Archaeology in Schools Dirty Boy 8 5,889 28th September 2014, 09:04 PM
Last Post: vulpes
  Jobs in British Archaeology 2013-14 Doug 24 14,197 24th July 2014, 03:25 PM
Last Post: P Prentice
  Who would BAJarites award a "Queen's Birthday" honour to for services to archaeology? Wax 13 8,244 19th June 2014, 01:51 PM
Last Post: P Prentice
  Complete University Guide 2014 - Archaeology kevin wooldridge 2 2,934 14th May 2014, 03:00 PM
Last Post: pdurdin
  Blogging Archaeology eBook- FREE Doug 1 2,565 26th April 2014, 05:19 PM
Last Post: Doug
  WAC-7 Resolution on Community Archaeology BAJR 1 2,147 20th March 2014, 09:57 AM
Last Post: BAJR

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)