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Closure of Merseyside Archaeological Service
The new financial year has brought an announcement from the National Museums Liverpool that funding has been withdrawn for both the archaeological planning advice service and the Historic Environment Record.

"From 1 April 2011 there is no access to the Merseyside Historic Environment Record."

Partnership funding has been withdrawn by The City of Liverpool, Knowsley Council, St Helens Council, Sefton Council and the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral.
For clarity, this includes going in to do searches oneself, as there will be no-one to supervise. So I suppose baseline conditions for DBAs, WSIs etc. will now be based on older DBAs, OASIS searches, the NMR, local knowledge etc. It also seems that decisions regarding planning conditions will be made without specialist advice (perhaps by a town planner who likes Time Team, I don't know).

All may not be lost. Once those wasteful heritage advisors have been rationalised, they will be available to provide advice as part of the Big Society...

No access to the HER? Doesn't this go against government policy (I'm thinking pf PPS5)? Sad
Yes it does, it makes me very angry getting the information to the public is one of the main elements of the work, if you can't spread the knowledge for everyones interest and enjoyment then why bother, but mabye thats the point there trying to make
Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.
Is this a sign of things to come? Is this evidence of deregulation through the “Big Society”? It is a prime example of the effects the implementation of this concept will have on PPS5 and what it means for archaeological statutory bodies. I have my fingers crossed that it is an exercise in making a point by Merseyside Archaeological Services, with the I told you so to follow on. One can only hope.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
The Merseyside Archaeology Service had long been undermaned and under resourced and had to fight for it's existence on a yearly basis. This is a county with a world heritage site !!!!!!!Sad
Is this the shape of things to come.......................
As someone who was very recently working there... this really saddens me.
The planners could put a blanket requirement for archaeological consideration with all applications. Maybe any archaeologists working in that area should go to their councillors and make sure that this is the best way to go in the current circumstances. If you want big society then everybody should consider the heritage prior to application. Put a line in the decision notice. Pull the Valletta convention or PPS5. A developer with a statement from an ?archaeologist? is better than no statement at all. If a fellow archaeologist does not like the statements made by another archaeologist they could then take it to their respective associations. Without archaeological advice, without an HER and associated curators, on the planning application, the case office cannot have considered the archaeology, the case officer has to get their information from somewhere, particularly if there is a threat of appeal cases. Currently the case officers can pretend that the applications have been fully considered even though we know that there are many overstretched curators who cannot possibly have considered all the applications fully and where archaeologists are very unlikely to be able to prove easily that archaeological consideration has not been undertaken.
Reason: your past is my past
monty Wrote:Is this the shape of things to come.......................


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