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South Yorkshire Archaeology Service cuts
Unitof1 Wrote:Mr brody I applaud the motive behind your in depth defence of a system which is presumably alien law in your neck of the highland woods. Presumably your clear sightedness is based on their clearances.

Unitof1 Wrote:presumably some fig leaf for your ignorance of what happens south of your virtual boarder

Unitof1 Wrote:Brody of the glens appears to imagine that something called a report

Unitof1 Wrote:Maybe the tartan brody may like to point us to an example or two

I have to say, I'm finding the casual and low-level racism a little wearing, Unit. Honestly, are you so stuck in the 70s that you think it's acceptable to use this sort of crude national stereotyping? I assume you're one of those people who still thinks it's OK to shout 'backs to the wall, boys' when you meet someone who's gay, or to say 'goodness gracious me!' when introduced to someone from India. You know nothing about me beyond the fact that I work in Scotland - you don't even know whether I was born here, for example - but you still presume to make the type of comments I'd expect to hear from Bernard Manning.

For the avoidance of doubt, I don't find this particularly amusing, and I'm sad that the standard of debate has sunk to this level.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
Unitof1 Wrote:Hello tmsarch
sorry about the link. It was just to a planning application document picked out at random. Here is the form that it was on

found here

I would like to see archaeology mentioned on this form. I find this form used in many districts

Hi Unitof1, thanks for the response. The application form that you link to is the 1App form and it should be used by all LPAs in England for the submission of planning applications, not just many districts. It is the only legal way to lodge a planning application (other than for certain minerals developments). I would agree with you that in an ideal world it would be good to see archaeology included on that form, but that is not going to happen. However alongside that form most (all?) planning authorities will have their own local validation requirements and archaeology usually forms part of these - something we should welcome.

Unitof1 Wrote:1. Yes on the basis that archaeology does not need council curators as far as I am concerned. I want them gone so that we can get on with doing archaeology without them and their cost. Mostly I want the archaeology to be undertaken pre determination. I think that the curators drag it into post descion too much. I don think anybody losing their job is good.

2. I see a relatively straight forward one based on objections to planning applications with the planning officers following planning guidance’s, local plans, political influence, local concern. Much like they do on choosing brick colours and types

I would agree with you that in some cases it would be preferrable to see more archaeological work carried out pre-determination. Beyond this point I cannot agree with you. I am interested that you see curators as being the ones who 'drag' archaeological considerations into post decission, but think that you are wrong on this point. Both developers and planners are ususally happier working with planning conditions and in my experience it is often the curators who are pressing for the pre-determination works.

Planners, perhaps by their nature, seem to like conditions - it is a concept that they are familiar with and are happy to deal with. They are somewhat less keen on pre-determination assessment, particularly once an application has been validated and the 'clock is ticking' (the discussion of the failiure of the validation system is another matter).

Developers also in my experience generally prefer a condition and usually ask for any archaeological works to be dealt with post-determination. This is often a financial issue - in order to secure finance for development works (including archaeology) they need to have secured planning permission in order to borrow against that permission. With the economic situation as it is developers often have a much tighter cash flow and there is simply no money to do archaeology up-front. Once they have a planning consent in place (with an archaeology condition) they use this to secure finance and then pay for the archaeological works. It is a chicken and egg situation, but developers will generally prefer a condition appraoch (less so for desk-based work, but particualrly for field evaluation).

I am therefore confused how you think removing the one person (the curator) from the system who is most likely to push for pre-determination work from the system will result in more work being carried out pre-determination.

Unitof1 Wrote:Much like they do on choosing brick colours and types

I find this sentance odd - one of the things planners will often do on such matter's is take advice from their council's urban design/design and conservation team on such matters (not just for conservation areas). Why should a planner not be able to get the same specialist advice from their archaeological advisor (curator) with regard to archaeology as they do to the choice of bricks?

Unitof1 Wrote:3. The way that it is mentioned

I dont see why I acting for the applicant cannot make recommendations to the planning officer or the planning committee
never been to mid sommer sulfolk in my life nor have any intension

I won't requote all of the sections of PPS 5 that you have included, but I think that you are missplaced in your reading of the document. PPS 5 puts an onuss on the applicant to provide sufficient information for the application to be determined, but in order for the Local Planning Authority to be sure that they are not issuing decissions that are open to legal challenge they take specialist advice on areas where a planner would not have appropriate specialist knowledge. Archaeology is one of these areas, but not the only one. Biodiversity, which you mentioned earlier is another.

[This is where we come back to the issue of validation - an application simply needs to include this information, validation (in its present form) does not appear to allow for any consideration of the 'quality' of information that is submitted, only its presence (validate) or absence (don't validate). You ask why you can't make recommendations to the planning officer on behalf of the applicant (your client)? Well you can there is nothing stopping you doing this, but the Planning Authority will want to get independent advice as to whether your recommendations are appropriate and fit for purpose, it is them not you who would be challenged on the decision arrising from your recommendation - they do this by seeking advice from their in-house archaeological advisor]

I can see that we are never going to agree on this, however in my opinion it is imperritive that any Planning Authority has access to appropriate and sound advice on all planning aspects. They could choose to take this advice from any source, but I feel that this is best sourced from someone who is accountable to that Council and can offer advice without prejudice. To get us back on track, this is why I feel that the the proposals being put forward by South Yorkshire Council are wrong, and we should all take the time to object to them. The loss of specialist advice and an HER on which to base sound decissions is shortsighted and will be extremely harmful to the heritage of the area. It is a quick and easy cut to make now, but one that will take years to undo.
Hi Marcus,

Don't expect Unitof1 to appologise. Worked with Unitof1 years ago - he doesn't seem to have changed...always held extreme views. Not surprised he isn't sympathetic to South Yorkshire or that he is the only one to support of Cllr Melton.
[SIZE=3]form that you link to is the 1App form and it should be used by all LPAs in England for the submission of planning applications, not just many districts. It is the only legal way to lodge a planning application (other than for certain minerals developments). I would agree with you that in an ideal world it would be good to see archaeology included on that form, but that is not going to happen.
Why not?

It is the only legal way to lodge a planning application and archaeology is not mentioned.
Reason: your past is my past
Unit of 50 Wrote:Don't expect Unitof1 to appologise. Worked with Unitof1 years ago - he doesn't seem to have changed...always held extreme views. Not surprised he isn't sympathetic to South Yorkshire or that he is the only one to support of Cllr Melton.

No, you were absolutely right, no hint of an apology. So you worked with Unitof1 years ago? That must mean you know his true identity. In real life, is he a mild-mannered Clark Kent type, who works part-time as a volunteer coordinator for English Heritage while simultaneously drawing a fat pension from his previous career as a civil servant?
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
I have it good authority that Unit of 1 is actually Simon Thurley or was it Baroness Andrews...?
Anyone got any news on how the meeting went?
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
REturning to the topic... thank you Deadly

Concerns over planned cuts to archaeological service

Campaigners against cuts to the South Yorkshire Archaeological Service have said the planned loss of funding would pose a risk to local heritage.
They have met with Sheffield City Council to discuss the 50% funding cut.

And here:

where the first person reports:

Quote:This morning i attended the SYAS joint advisory committee meeting at the town hall to discuss the proposed 15%/50% budget cut.

The four representative members (with the agreement of the members of the public present) advised Sheffield city council should, in line with Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, adhere to the original agreed 15% and overturn the unilateral decision of Sheffield city council to cut it's share of the budget by 50%.

If you have any interest in our regions archaeology, i urge you to make your feelings known to our representative at tomorrows (private) Doncaster meeting, Councillor Julie Dore, via e-mail at ASAP.


THe stock reply to everyone who contacted them has been this:

Quote:Dear insert name here

Thank you for your letter regarding cuts to the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

I appreciate your interest in the service and accept that there are good reasons why we would want to support the archaeology service at its current level. As you have stated the service plays a strong role and I share the sentiments you have raised regarding the work of the organisation.

Unfortunately, we are currently operating in a very challenging financial climate.

As an administration, we inherited a situation where a 50% cut was made to the service in the budget passed by the previous Liberal Democrat administration. In addition to this we are facing further cuts to come as we deal with the ?219 million cut to our budget imposed n us by the government.

In light of this situation and with deep regret we are not able to reinstate this cut that the Liberal Democrats made to the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service when the Council’s budget was set back in March. In the current climate, it would be unrealistic to consider additional expenditure in this area when we are faced with such heavy cuts to come across the Council in future years.

With regards to the agreement that was reached between the South Yorkshire Authorities earlier in the year, made at the joint meeting of the Joint Advisors Committee in December 2010 and confirmed the South Yorkshire leaders meeting in January 2011. This too was agreed under the Liberal Democrat administration, therefore, I can not explain why they were not able to honour the agreement and should you wish further clarification on this matter I would advise you to contact Liberal Democrat councillors to explain their decisions.

Best wishes

Councillor Ben Curran

and IfA response

Quote: Submitted by Kathryn Whittington on Wed, 20/07/2011 - 10:29
Sheffield City Council hosts the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service under a service level agreement with its three neighbouring South Yorkshire authorities. Although the four authorities agreed a 15% cut in funding for SYAS, Sheffield has now budgeted for a 50% cut. IfA has written to representatives of the four authorities, who meet on Thursday 21 July to discuss this move.
Dear Mr Turner
I am writing to you as Secretary of the Joint Advisory Committee for South Yorkshire Archaeology Service to convey to you the IfA’s concern, as professional institute for the study and care of the historic environment, about the potential effects to SYAS of the increased cut of 50% proposed by Sheffield City Council following the agreement to a 15% cut agreed at your meeting last December and approved by the South Yorkshire Leaders’ meeting in January.
I would be grateful if you could provide me with contact details for the Councillors involved, or forward this message to them for consideration during your meeting on Thursday.
We realise that these are challenging times and that there are difficult decisions to be made. But we are concerned to ensure that the implications of any reduction in historic environment capability are understood.
  • First, the four South Yorkshire authorities must retain an adequate level of expertise to be able to comply with Planning Policy Statement 5. PPS5 is quite clear that archaeological knowledge and understanding are necessary to ensure informed planning decisions are made about the protection of undesignated heritage assets. Vitally this includes maintaining an up-to-date Historic Environment Record. We understand that these provisions are to be emphasised in the draft National Planning Policy Framework to be released for public consultation this week.
  • Secondly, recognising that it is often the case that the benefits of development outweigh those of retaining sites and monuments, the loss of the asset can be offset by the planning authority requiring the applicant to commission a programme of investigation, excavation, analysis and publication of the results, including opportunities for voluntary sector and community participation. SYAS has an excellent track record of securing such outcomes. This can only be secured by planning conditions or obligations: without professional historic environment advice to planners this responsibility cannot be adequately discharged and important elements of South Yorkshire’s heritage will be lost without record.
  • Thirdly, the role of planning archaeologists in applying such conditions is critical to levering in private sector investment in archaeology. I am sure your officers and those of the other three authorities will have the figures for South Yorkshire, but nationally the picture is one of each post bringing in c ?1m annually of such inward investment – an annual return of 30 to 40 times the cost of employment.
  • Fourthly, this investment is directly applied through the planning process to bringing communities new understanding and enjoyment. It is a major contribution to quality of life and sense of place for the people of South Yorkshire. It is something the four authorities should be proud of. Such dividends are rarely equalled by other sectors and should not be put at risk.
I do hope that the Joint Committee is able to persuade the four authorities to protect their invaluable Archaeology Service by reversing the decision made by Sheffield City Council.
I look forward to hearing your advice on how best to contact the Councillors concerned before the meeting on Thursday.
Yours sincerely
Chief Executive, Institute for Archaeologists

Results just in!

It shows that when we all pull in the same direction (almost) and utilise social networking, and write emails and letters and protest we can all be part of a change.

One battle from many, but teh followjg email to one writer says it all.

Quote:Dear Ms. Kennedy

Thank you for your e-mail of the 21st July regarding the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

I am pleased to be able to inform you that at today’s meeting of the South Yorkshire Leaders Group, the Leader of Sheffield Council announced a revised position, which was that of adhering to the original proposal of a 15% budget cut in 2011/12.

Kind regards.

Janice Ella
Mayoral and Office Manager - Executive Office
Phone: 01302 862221
Fax: 01302 862232
Address: Doncaster MBC
Floor 1, Council House
College Road
Doncaster, DN1 3AJ


and from Jim Mcneil this:

Quote:Maybe too early but I feel it's right to acknowledge the efforts of friends whose efforts have brought to to the position we have reached today. A return to sanity. A recognition of the value of an archaeology service.

On a day when we said goodbye to Marek Zvelebil, an enthusiastic proponent of the value of archaeology, the decision here is welcome and heartfelt.

To all of you, a deep and sincere gratitude and thanks.

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