Tag Archives: bill

UK Heritage Bill dropped AGAIN!

In December the Architects website reported the dropping of the Heritage Bill

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3129091

Cross party condemnation as Heritage Protection Bill dropped

3 December, 2008         By Will Henley

MPs from all three main parties have criticised the government’s axing of the Heritage Protection Bill from next year’s parliamentary programme, amid claims historic buildings are being put at risk.

The dropping of the bill from today’s Queen’s Speech – ostensibly due to the prioritising of legislation to tackle the credit crunch and first predicted in BD last month – is a huge blow for English Heritage, which had hoped to take over responsibility for listing designations from the department of culture, media and sport.

The news also comes as leading policy thinktank Demos released a report warning that Britain would become a “cultural desert” if cuts to the conservation sector continued.

English Heritage described the axing of the bill as “disappointing, but understandable” in the economic climate but observers predicted the legislation could now take years to be realised – if at all.

EH chief executive Simon Thurley is expected to attend a summit with heritage groups next week to discuss what can be salvaged from the draft bill.

Key measures which require legislative approval include protection for buildings being considered for listing and the creation of a single register of listed assets.

“English Heritage is putting on a brave face,” said Victorian Society director Ian Dungavell. “They have been working so hard on it for years and years but have had the rug pulled from under their feet.”…….  read more http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3129091

Now it is July (the bill was supposed to be ready for June!) and this is the news.  from teh CBA website

There is deep disappointment again that the Heritage Protection Bill for England and Wales does not appear in the Draft Legislative Programme for 2009/10 announced by the Government this week.

The Programme indicates the legislation likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech for the next parliamentary session. Clearly there is now little expectation of the legislative reforms which the 2007 White Paper promised would place the historic environment at the heart of the planning system. The Bill aimed to simplify and strengthen existing legislation and introduce opportunities for people to be more involved in protecting and enhancing their local heritage. It also paved the way for the signing and ratification of the Hague Convention, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Without the Bill, the UK will soon be the only international power not to have signed the convention.

Mike Heyworth, CBA’s Director said:

The lack of Government commitment to these uncontroversial and widely supported reforms is deplorable. The Council for British Archaeology will be responding to the publication of the Draft Legislative Programme in the strongest terms. We will be working with the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group to progress the most badly needed reforms, some of which are possible through secondary legislation, and to press Government to deliver on other objectives for the heritage. Our historic environment fundamentally shapes the quality of our surroundings and is integral to policies for sustainability. It must be at the heart of new policies for the way places are designed and planned, not side-lined as a low priority.

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Heritage Protection Bill – problem?

“New priorities have emerged with the turbulence in the financial markets,” Burnham said. “But I can make sure that we maintain the momentum behind the reform whether or not the bill is part of the legislative programme in the next session of parliament.”

This is part of a longer post from here:

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=725&storycode=3126700&c=2  

BAJR has been openly discussing this problem.. (or not a problem?)

http://www.bajr.org/BAJRforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1903&whichpage=1

It is worth noting that comments on BAJR about a recent IFA meeting at which Peter Hinton and Charles Wagner spoke on the new Bill, the details on the content proved very hard to come by, as the government seems to be restricting access until a new draft is published – probably in early December.

Now we have this from Hansard on the 10th Nov.

“Mr. Jeremy Hunt (South-West Surrey) (Con): Will the Secretary of State confirm rumours that the heritage protection Bill has been dropped from the Queen’s Speech? If that is the case, is that not the final nail in the coffin for the Government’s heritage policies? We have seen lottery money plundered, the Government telling churches to turn themselves into cafés and gyms and now the denial of the vital parliamentary time that would allow the heritage sector better to look after the heritage that belongs to us all. When can we have a positive vision for our heritage sector? Is it condemned to yet more years of neglect and decline?

Andy Burnham: I do not accept the hon. Gentleman’s criticism. In the recent spending round, English Heritage received an increase in funding. We have worked with all parties in the heritage sector to introduce the first heritage protection Bill for 30 years. That is clear evidence of the Government’s commitment to the sector. The hon. Gentleman knows that I cannot comment on the Queen’s Speech in advance of its publication. However, he will know that the Planning Bill will require us to bring forward a new planning policy statement on the built heritage, replacing planning policy guidance 15 and 16. We will do so shortly, and we will issue that statement for consultation. We recognise the importance of the built heritage and we are taking active steps to protect it.”

Of course the Bill may make the Queens Speech in the end? cross fingers? But I ain’t putting money on it yet, we suggest you write to your MP – I have written to mine – Anne Moffat.. who wrote back within 3 hours.. (good representative that!)

REPLY

Dear David,

Many thanks for correspondence sent to my constituency office. I am sorry I am a bit slow in responding but I welcomed your letter and support the sentiments expressed within. I have sent a copy of your letter to the minister and confirm that I will try to raise the matter with him also at the next scheduled departmental questions in the House of Commons. I can assure you of my continued support in these matters.

I trust this is useful.

Yours sincerely
Anne Moffat MP

 So hope…  pray..  and wait

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