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Not-so-Free Archaeology
#1
Word has reached me that to carry out any archaeological, or even historical research in Liverpool and Merseyside is going to cost an arm and a leg!

The re-opened Merseyside HER http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/c...nt-record/ is now charging a daily rate for access of £500 (+VAT) with a minimum consultation time of half a day, meaning that at the bare minimum you'll be paying £250+VAT to look at any of the HER data.

Surprise, surprise they have no online resources to look at, and photocopying will cost 10p per page.

Nice to see that a public service is now out of reach of most of the public, and adds a massive cost on to DBA's.
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#2
Quote:Please note that no planning advice can be given. The responsibility for maintaining or providing access to the MHER remains that of the Local Authority, as set out in National Planning Policy Framework (Para. 169: “Local planning authorities should either maintain or have access to a historic environment record”.) Since the withdrawal of funding by the five Merseyside local authorities, National Museums Liverpool has opened the MHER for access only as an interim measure, pending a long-term resolution of the funding and location of the Record.

obviously the HER should buy its information from the archaeologists

as I have always said you don't need an HER to do an evaluation.
Reason: your past is my past
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#3
I note that this is charged for all users. Presumably the LAs consult it when responding to planning appliactions?
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#4
From the site:
Quote:The responsibility for maintaining or providing access to the MHER remains that of the Local Authority, as set out in National Planning Policy Framework (Para. 169: “Local planning authorities should either maintain or have access to a historic environment record”.) Since the withdrawal of funding by the five Merseyside local authorities, National Museums Liverpool has opened the MHER for access only as an interim measure, pending a long-term resolution of the funding and location of the Record.
Sounds to me like the National Museums Liverpool is trying desperately to keep this resource available off their own bat. Presumably that charge will cover the ad hoc employee time and related costs of keeping it open.
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#5
I belive pdurdin is right. There is currently no archaeological,advisory service in Merseyside the only reason the HER is still accessible is because the museum have held it. They have no staff working with it hence the need for the charges. The situation is a scandal but across the country there are councils with no Advisory Service or HER!!!! (and of course no charges for accessing a non existent HER)
At Merseyside there is a least on going negotiations to try and find ways of addressing the situation.

So rather protest about charges people should be contacting the relevant councils and complaining about a lack of Archaeological Service.

A big consequence of no archaeological service is that it is likely the archaeological conditions are set by some one who is not archaeologically trained who may ar may not seek advice from the developers own archaeological consultant
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#6
A list ... time for a list for councils with no archaeological advisory service. This is one of the things that needs addressed. I know only too well (from my own experience ) when a planner sets conditions it is like an archaeologist carrying out surgery. having a go usually ends in tears. but only for the patient / archaeology

Lets stick a list together... then we can get teh emails... and begin supporting a lobby for statutory service provision. not this wiffle..." must have access to... "
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#7
BAJR Wrote:A list ... time for a list for councils with no archaeological advisory service. This is one of the things that needs addressed. I know only too well (from my own experience ) when a planner sets conditions it is like an archaeologist carrying out surgery. having a go usually ends in tears. but only for the patient / archaeology

Lets stick a list together... then we can get teh emails... and begin supporting a lobby for statutory service provision. not this wiffle..." must have access to... "

Hear Hear! It is also worth looking at some of the Archaeological Advisory Services Service Level Agreements. Some have been tweaked so that the advisors are limited to exactly that, they can offer advice when someone comes and asks them for it. They can no longer be preemtive they cannot look at the planning aps themsevles and go to the planners suggesting that their advice might be needed. Its up to local people to contact their planning officers and ask if appropriate archaeological advice has been sought this can flag things up. So BAJrites, as rate paying members of the public, keep an eye on the planning applications in your area and make pefectly ligitimate enquiries as to whether the archaeology has been taken into account and if not why not. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED that someone will have considered the archaeological implications of a planning application.
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#8
I think the situation on Merseyside may actually prove the saving of our profession. Any archaeological contractor that undertakes a DBA or evaluation for a site in that 'cursed earth' planning zone will be obliged to pass on to the developer/speculator the charge that NMM is making for access to the HER. Cost to archaeology? Zero! Cost to developer: £500 per day. Why is that a problem. Polluter pays and all that seems a sensible strategy to me......
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#9
However... the HER is made up of already apid for infomration... indeed my info. ( perhaps not there ) and why should the public pay to see this info.

I do agree that irate developers may help. but a major contractor who gives a damn, is going to ignore an extra 500 quid.,

And of course... perhaps no archaeological contractor will need to access the HER as no conditions are attached... ?? :0
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#10
Yes I think the HER situation. however expensive, is a side issue to the fact that five planning authorities are making planning decisions with no archaeological advice or information whatsoever. They are still processing Listed Building consents and planning applications so I can only assume that the case officers rely on the statutory consultees (EH, CBA, amenity societies) to identify any heritage issues (and those conslutees also don't have HER access). One would hope that EH, CBA, IfA, and ALGAO would be pointing out the dangers of this situation.
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