Valuing Lancashire’s Archaeology

The campaign to save Lancashire’s Historic Environment Record database and its associated Historic Environment Service, which supplies archaeological planning advice, continues with over 960 people signing the petition here:

http://www.change.org/p/marcus-johnstone-save-lancashire-s-archaeology-from-cuts

This may be having some small effect for Lancashire County Council published a call inviting enquires about taking over the Historic Environment Service and undertaking some or all of its services earlier in February (see below). These include maintaining the HER database of over 25,000 entries and providing archaeological planning advice to local authorities, developers, prospective developers, land owners, academics and members of the public. The economic and social value of such services to local communities has been well attested and details can be found on the CBA website here:

LancsCC_HER_consultationFeb16

http://new.archaeologyuk.org/local-heritage-engagement-network

So good news then, with the Council acknowledging the value of this service and responding to public pressure (as seems to be happening in Norfolk). Err…not quite. The key sentence in the call is the following ‘Provided that it can be undertaken at no cost (now or ongoing) to the county council…’ This accords with what CBA North West were told by the Council leader in January 2016.

So, seemingly the Council knows the cost of everything (in this case around £100,000 per year) and the value of very little. This is, though, a step forward. To maintain the pressure sign the petition.

2005_1003Image0004

Viking-era hogback tomb in the Norman parish church as Heysham, Lancashire

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