Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Third Report

2  The main players

English Heritage

Range of responsibilities

20. English Heritage was established under the National Heritage Act 1983 as an executive non-departmental public body with the following duties:

In carrying out these duties, English Heritage (formally constituted as the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is required to provide educational facilities and services, instruction and information to the public, and it may give advice in relation to historic assets (both solicited and unsolicited), fund or carry out research, or maintain records.[18]

21. In practice this means that English Heritage has regulatory functions, administering much of the heritage protection regime; it acts as the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment; it distributes grants for repairs (for instance to places of worship and to private owners); it is a source of expertise for local authorities and voluntary organisations, helping them to preserve built heritage by developing their capacity and in some cases (for instance national statutory amenity societies) providing funds. English Heritage is also a custodian and manager of over 400 properties, many of which it operates commercially.

22. The list may be long but it has been increasing steadily. New duties flowed from the National Heritage Act 2002, which assigned English Heritage responsibilities for maritime archaeology in English coastal waters, modifying the agency's functions to include securing the preservation of ancient monuments in, on, or under the seabed. English Heritage told our predecessor Committee in 2005 that the Act had increased English Heritage's area of responsibility by 70% and had "brought in whole new areas of work".[19] Since then, English Heritage has taken on (from DCMS) responsibility for day-to-day administration of the system for listing buildings of special architectural or historical interest. In neither case have additional resources been allocated specifically to help meet the new responsibilities.

23. The Heritage Protection Review, if implemented in the form being proposed by DCMS at the time of this inquiry, would add to English Heritage's responsibilities in the designation of historic assets (formalising the administrative duties for listing already transferred), would require English Heritage to provide "comprehensive" information about why an asset has been designated,[20] and would place a responsibility on English Heritage to broker and oversee Heritage Partnership Agreements (new management options for extensive or complex historic sites). English Heritage also notes that it will need to put time, effort and resources into developing appropriate guidance to a marine planning authority on the implications for the marine historic environment arising from the Marine Bill now under preparation by DEFRA.[21]

The possibility of conflict between roles

24. The National Trust was one of a number of bodies submitting evidence identifying tensions between the various roles. It feared that when resources were tight, English Heritage would be placed in the "invidious" position of having to make choices between its various roles.[22] The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) suggested that "chronic funding pressures" were driving English Heritage to become more commercial, which could ultimately compromise its role.[23] The Architectural Heritage Fund was uncomfortable about what it saw as "an inherent contradiction" in English Heritage's functions as on the one hand a Government-funded instrument of Government policy and on the other a champion of the heritage sector.[24] Save Britain's Heritage added that English Heritage currently spent "much time and energy trying to meet Government's wider agenda rather than focussing on the core work it can do so well", and it encouraged English Heritage not to be afraid of asserting its independence.[25]

25. The Campaign to Protect Rural England described English Heritage's roles as regulator and as distributor of grants as "by far the most important" and saw its ability to continue to engage in casework and if necessary engage in major public inquiries as "crucial".[26] English Heritage itself is planning a shift towards what it describes as "constructive conservation", entailing "a substantial reorientation of our activities and the way we work", a greater emphasis on access and other customer-oriented qualities and "a disengagement from some of the more detailed, hands-on activities and in-house delivery with which English Heritage has traditionally been associated"[27]. Some, such as Philip Venning, Secretary of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, have queried whether this means a shift to a less confrontational image and "a retreat from detailed casework and from high-profile issues that might upset the Government and developers".[28] Our attention was drawn to a number of cases where English Heritage had been accused of having taken an inconsistent approach in defending heritage sites from development: some of these have indeed been bruising for English Heritage.[29]

26. In recent years, English Heritage has devoted more effort to capacity building, and one of the three elements of its "constructive conservation" approach described above is the provision of "training to ensure that decision-makers have the necessary skills and knowledge".[30] This takes many forms: expanding the historic environment knowledge base among local authorities,[31] both elected representatives and officers, and promoting higher professional standards and practices in the management of the historic environment and in better crafts skills for practical repair. The National Trust described as "very helpful" English Heritage's efforts in helping the voluntary sector build its capacity.[32]

27. Other witnesses noted English Heritage's important strategic research role.[33] Its efforts in cataloguing the extent and state of the nation's heritage through the Heritage Counts thematic annual reports were widely praised.[34] No other body is equipped to carry out such a task.

28. English Heritage also acknowledges its function in promoting the historic environment as an education tool and is recognised as a leader in heritage education.[35] English Heritage itself notes that "while substantial progress has been made in outreach and events, the pace of delivery has been slower in education"; and the total number of educational visits to English Heritage sites in 2004/05 was 6.14% lower than the target figure and 4.25% lower than the 2003/04 figure.[36] English Heritage told us that the market for attracting schoolchildren to sites was "incredibly competitive" and that English Heritage had felt the effects of increased investment in regional museums, which had received funding under the Renaissance in the Regions programme, allowing the development of "very professional and very attractive education programmes".[37] Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, agreed that more needed to be done to provide on-site, direct teaching, even though this was costly.[38]

29. Despite concerns about conflicting roles, there was a strong view expressed in written and oral evidence was that English Heritage had done its best in the circumstances and was still a valued source of expertise,[39] but that it was coming under immense strain and that the situation was becoming critical. We also heard criticism, indeed, of English Heritage's "modernisation programme", which has led to a loss of experienced and expert staff. We refer to this further in paragraph 34 below. English Heritage supplied figures for grant-in-aid since 2000/01, which we reproduce below in tabular and graph form:

Table 1: Grant-in-Aid to English Heritage: 2000-01 to 2007-08
















Sum of variance over eight years in £m
Grant in Aid Allocation 112.1109.9 115.9122.9 122.9125.9 126.9127.9
Treasury GDP Deflator 90.292.5 95.497.9 100.0102.4 104.9107.7
Baseline uplifted for inflation 112.1115.0 118.6121.7 124.3127.3 130.4133.9
Variance against uplifted baseline 0.0-5.1 -2.7+1.2 -1.4-1.4 -3.5-6.0 -18.9*

*Cash shortfall for constant real base 2000/01 to 2007/08

Source: English Heritage

Table 2: Grant-in-Aid to English Heritage, 2000-01 to 2007-08, in graph form

Source: English Heritage

30. We received statistics from Mr Michael Coupe, a former Head of Land Use, Planning and Regeneration at English Heritage, suggesting that the buying equivalent in 2004-05 of the grant-in-aid received by English Heritage in 1994-95 would be £141 million (using the Retail Price Index) or £192 million (using the Tender Price Index, which reflects construction costs and is perhaps more relevant to an organisation which provides funding for repair). When compared to the actual Grant-in-Aid in 2004-05 - £122.9 million - Mr Coupe calculated the shortfalls as £18.3 million and £69.2 million respectively.[40]

31. Even using the figures supplied by English Heritage itself, the outcome is a notional cumulative deficit of £18.9 million over seven years, measured against a baseline uplifted in line with inflation. In the eyes of the heritage sector, this real terms decline in funding has led directly to a steady diminution in the level of grants,[41] the stalling of the Monuments Protection Programme (evaluating archaeological sites not protected by designation), delays to work on processing applications to list buildings, a reduction in English Heritage's ability to document historic assets (for instance, we were told that it has undertaken a number of valuable initiatives to record industrial heritage, none of which had been completed)[42], and under-resourcing of historic landscapes.[43]

32. Grant aid for repairs to privately-owned buildings, for partnerships set up by building preservation trusts and other charities, for publicly-owned buildings, for cathedrals, and as area-based grants including conservation areas, has also seen significant reduction:

Table 3: English Heritage grant aid for repairs 1995-96 to 2005-06
Year Privately-owned buildings Building Preservation


Charities Publicly-owned


Cathedrals Areas
95/96 2.31.6 0.63.2 4.313.3
96/97  2.21.7 0.22 311.8
97/98 21 0.51.9 28.9
98/99 3.60.7 0.61.9 36.5
99/00 2.81.3 0.43.2 3.18.7
00/01 3.50.5 0.72.9 2.98.6
01/02 3.31.5 0.42.2 2.59.6
02/03 1.41 0.32.1 26.6
03/04 2.10.1 0.31.9 1.99.8
04/05 10.7 0.72.4 2.17.7
05/06 0.50.1 0.30.7 14.3

Amounts in £ million
Source: English Heritage

33. The Campaign to Protect Rural England stated simply that the lack of sufficient funding for English Heritage had "serious implications for its ability to perform its duties effectively".[44] The Church Heritage Forum remarked that under-resourcing was placing the organisation under stress and that there was a danger that its quality of work would decline;[45] Mr Saunders, Secretary of the Ancient Monuments Society, said that English Heritage was being "starved";[46] and the National Trust told us that the situation was deteriorating to such an extent that "at the end of the day…we will have to reinvent a better funded English Heritage".[47] English Heritage itself warned that a further decline in the value of grant-in-aid would lead directly to a reduction in services.[48] It should be remembered that the decline in funding takes place in the context of an extension of responsibilities.[49] We are in no doubt that the decline in real terms in grant-in-aid to English Heritage has led to justified fears that English Heritage will in future be unable to carry out its functions to the standard required. There is a real prospect that the condition of heritage assets will worsen and that grassroots organisations and local authorities will lose confidence in English Heritage's ability to provide the support which they need - whether that be grant funding or expert advice. It is also essential that the key role provided by English Heritage expert advice and leverage funding in delivering regeneration of historic city and townscapes and World Heritage Sites, is understood and supported by the Department of Communities and Local Government; and DCMS must ensure that the role is communicated effectively. DCMS needs to take action to ensure that English Heritage can fulfil its functions properly, and we make specific recommendations on this point at paragraph 61.


34. In 2002, English Heritage underwent a Quinquennial Review which led to a far-reaching restructuring of the organisation. English Heritage told us that the restructuring had made it "a much fitter organisation" and had enabled it both to "move towards a more strategic role" and to ensure that it was able "to identify and communicate the sector's priorities more clearly".[50] In practice, the restructuring involved the turnover of some 11% of posts. English Heritage told us that the lost posts represented partly "bureaucracy" and partly expertise which was deemed to be not well matched to client needs.[51] Some evidence welcomed the changes,[52] but more often we were told that morale had suffered, expertise had been lost, and that English Heritage had been distracted from its main purpose.[53] Ms Pugh, Secretary of Heritage Link, told us that the latest restructuring had lost some extremely long-standing, experienced individuals and that expertise in some areas was "now spread extremely thinly".[54] The Prospect trade union (to which many English Heritage staff belong) told us that the "efficiencies" forced upon English Heritage by the funding shortfall had led to the loss on retirement and redundancy of many staff involved in giving casework advice to inform policy. It found the losses worrying, coming at a time when the need for such expertise was if anything increasing.[55] English Heritage itself acknowledged that reorganisation had led to a drop in morale but maintained that it was now "in pretty fit fettle".[56]

35. The restructuring arising from the Quinquennial Review followed hard upon an earlier decision to decentralise to English Heritage's regional bases, which had inevitably led to a degree of disruption and relocation. In 2004 a third Government-sponsored review was held, this time into the division of responsibilities between English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.[57] Together, the three reorganisation programmes combined to give an impression of constant internal change, when what was perceived as being most needed was a period of stability.[58]

36. We were surprised, therefore, when DCMS announced that a Peer Review would be set up to examine what English Heritage had achieved through its modernisation programme, as well as issues concerning English Heritage's role, strategy and resources, and external relationships, and how the organisation (and Government) gained recognition for the historic environment.[59] English Heritage told us that the review was "excellent", that it had commissioned the review jointly with DCMS and that it would be "improper" not to have a review examining whether the faults identified by the Quinquennial Review had been overcome.[60] English Heritage also noted that the terms of reference were not to make recommendations for radical change and it described the exercise as "an opportunity rather than a threat".[61] While we commend the positive approach to the Peer Review adopted by English Heritage - at least in public - we are not convinced that this is a good time for further examination of English Heritage's internal structures and method of operation. We strongly encourage the Peer Review to bear in mind that a period of stability and confidence-building is needed at English Heritage, both for its own good and to permit sound medium-term planning with stakeholders.

37. We endorse the efforts of English Heritage to become more responsive to the wishes of the public and those partners it needs to work with, and we believe this approach will pay long-term dividends. However, refashioning should not be at the expense of its functions as regulator and source of advice: no other body has the expertise to provide such a service. It is not clear how English Heritage's ethos of constructive conservation will manifest itself, but it should not be allowed to develop into a willingness to be accommodating to all. It should not run away from taking principled and possibly exposed decisions defending historic assets from inappropriate development.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Heritage policy role within Government

38. Formal responsibility for safeguarding the historic environment may rest with DCMS, but the subject is inextricably linked to policies across departmental boundaries. Chief among these are responsibilities at the Department for Communities and Local Government for planning and regeneration, where it falls to DCMS to liaise in order to represent heritage protection. Other examples of crossover include Treasury policy on VAT, specifically the rating for repairs; policy on roads and public realm at the Department for Transport (Stonehenge being the most obvious example); policy on the natural environment, where private owners may find themselves looking to bodies sponsored separately by DCMS and DEFRA for policy guidance or grant support; and the use of heritage as an educative tool, where DfES has a major interest.

39. The heritage sector sees DCMS as not only having policy responsibility for the historic environment but also as being the champion within Government, a role which DCMS acknowledged in its 2001 policy paper The Historic Environment: A Force for our Future.[62] Many, however, registered disappointment that DCMS appeared to have achieved little for the sector in negotiations within Government. The National Trust argued that DCMS had failed to influence the Department for Transport in limiting damage to the historic environment caused by expansion of Stansted Airport, had failed to influence the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the shaping of the Sustainable Communities programme, and had made little effort to persuade regional development agencies of the importance of the historic environment at a regional level.[63] The Director of Policy, in oral evidence, told the Committee that, of all the Government departments with which the Trust dealt, DCMS was "the least visible and the least effective in promoting its interests in this area [i.e. the historic environment] in terms of mainstreaming it with other priorities elsewhere across Whitehall".[64]

40. The policy area in which DCMS attracted most criticism in evidence for having failed to persuade another government department of a case is VAT rating on repairs, where the Treasury has shown no sign of yielding to pressure from across the sector. In fact David Lammy MP, the Minister for Culture, was careful not to disclose whether or not DCMS had even pressed actively for change, saying only that DCMS had been "in constant dialogue" with the Treasury and other Government departments on the issue.[65] We consider VAT rating for repairs in detail at paragraph 169.

41. Underlying all the representations on DCMS's lack of advocacy within Government is the suspicion that DCMS is simply not powerful enough as a Department to have a real voice within Government when key decisions are being taken.[66] One witness described DCMS as being "at the bottom of the pile for the Treasury"[67] and a perception remains that DCMS is a small Department concerned with non-essentials or distracted by national events.[68] The Architectural Heritage Fund expanded on this, and told us that there were "some advantages as at present in the DCMS, in bringing it together with other 'cultural interests' such as the arts and museums and galleries", but that the corollary of this was that heritage was "seen purely as a 'soft' asset (i.e. one reliant on visitors and as part of discretionary spending), rather than a driver of regeneration".[69] The Church Heritage Forum noted with regret that DCMS needed "more clout" to enable heritage to play more of a part in the country's future, observing that its objectives seemed to be optional extras when set alongside education, policing or health.[70] Similar points were made by the Association for Industrial Archaeology.[71] We note in particular that the recent letter from the Prime Minister to the Secretary of State, setting out the challenges facing her Department, specified as priorities the Olympics, the BBC Charter, digital switchover, participation in sport, the creative economy and stewardship of culture in relation to museums, galleries, theatres and the arts; but it made no mention of the historic environment.[72] The omission of a reference to the importance of the historic environment from the Prime Minister's recent 'priorities letter' to DCMS is a surprising and worrying omission, given the emphasis the Government places on regeneration and the important role of the historic environment in leading urban regeneration. We encourage DCMS to restate the priority it attaches to the role of the historic environment, and the Government should remedy this omission in its response to this report.

42. At the root of the issue is the question of how deeply DCMS is committed to the historic environment and what priority it is given within the departmental realm. The National Trust was sceptical, telling us that "when asked about the historic environment DCMS can come out with the right words in the right order" but that it was "not part of the narrative of the Department as a whole".[73]

43. A Force for our Future acknowledged the need for a cross-Government approach to promote awareness of the historic environment and to maximise its contribution to the Government's programme as a whole. To this end, it stated that the historic environment would be included as part of the remit of Green Ministers and that "drawing specific attention to the relevance of the historic environment will help ensure that it is taken into account in wider decision-making and thereby constitute an element of the Government's support for sustainable development".[74] In practice, however, it seems that very little has been achieved.[75] There was no mention in the DCMS memorandum of any contribution by Green Ministers to the Department's record in representing heritage interests inside Government, nor does the historic environment figure in occasional reports of Green Ministers' activity given in response to Parliamentary Questions.[76]

44. Another means of building heritage concerns into policy development across Government would be to require proposals to undergo heritage proofing, akin to rural proofing. This approach was favoured by many in written evidence.[77] Rural proofing is a part of the policy process and requires each Government Department to assess (with the aid of a checklist) the particular impact of the policy in rural areas. Departments and Government Offices for the Regions are required to report annually on how their policies have been rural proofed; and the Countryside Agency publishes its own annual assessment of Departments' rural proofing efforts.

45. Ideally, DCMS would have a high-level heritage champion who could demonstrate effectiveness in influencing policy across Government when heritage matters were at stake. The impression that most stakeholders seem to gain, however, is that despite warm words on advocacy for heritage other priorities generally win out. Whether or not this is true, we believe that a mechanism is needed to achieve more in representing heritage across Government. Although there is merit in the concept of rural proofing, we suspect that heritage proofing could too easily become bureaucratic and develop into a tick-box, formulaic approach. Inter-departmental understanding is what is needed and we recommend that the heritage role envisaged for Green Ministers in A Force for our Future in 2001 should be revived and enhanced.

Sharing of policy responsibility with DCLG

46. Until the creation of the Department of National Heritage in 1992, planning and conservation functions were integrated in a single department (then the Department of the Environment). DCMS now shares policy responsibility for the historic environment with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The DCMS memorandum did not identify where the boundary lay between the two departments in terms of policy responsibility, and the 2006 DCMS Annual Report offers no definition of DCMS responsibility; but, broadly speaking, DCMS could be defined as the cultural custodian, with DCLG being responsible for the planning framework and controls which underlie that custody.[78] DCMS also "works closely" with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in taking an integrated approach to the natural and historic environment.[79] The three Departments are co-signatories to the funding agreement for English Heritage although grant-in aid is channelled exclusively through DCMS.[80]

47. With the shared responsibility for the historic environment comes a danger that DCMS, although it has responsibility for designating what should have a degree of protection, has no direct responsibility for the planning controls which actually provide the protection. The Architectural Heritage Fund described the division between the two departments as "particularly unhelpful when decisions regarding planning and planning policy are being considered,"[81] and the Association of English Cathedrals believed that there was already "a lack of joined-up thinking about conservation and planning issues".[82] The Planning Officers' Society saw the former ODPM as the dominant partner in the relationship.[83]

48. The solution proposed by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation is to locate policy on protection of the historic environment in the department with responsibility for planning policy, currently the Department for Communities and Local Government.[84] Although there is a clear logic to this, not all those who contributed to our inquiry had great faith in the commitment and understanding of its predecessor - ODPM.[85] When asked directly whether there was a minister in ODPM who clearly had heritage at the top of their agenda, the Chairman of Heritage Link said simply "no".[86]

49. The former ODPM's Housing Market Renewal policy, designed to address apparent market failure in urban areas, has not taken sufficient account of the value local residents attach to heritage within their communities. It was put to us that the policy had demonstrated a clear presumption in favour of large-scale clearance and new build in preference to exploration of options for refurbishment; and we were told that there had been "evident shortcomings in the processes of consultation and community engagement".[87] Save Britain's Heritage was highly critical of the demolition of what it described as "accessible and ownable heritage".[88] There have been excellent examples of imaginative conversions, in particular of Victorian terraces, which have combined a retention of heritage with modern housing needs. DCMS and DCLG should take more account of these examples of best practice in refurbishment which have already been demonstrated and which are more likely to command the support of local communities.

50. Others saw little advantage being gained in changing departmental responsibilities for built heritage. The National Trust noted that there would "always be boundary issues", and it did not have "an emphatic view" on what machinery would best serve the historic environment. The Historic Houses Association took a similar view.[89] Although reuniting historic environment policy with planning policy seems a logical step, we are on balance more confident that heritage stands a better chance, given proper ministerial interest and leadership, of being given more prominence if it remains within DCMS. We recommend no change to existing responsibilities for heritage matters within Government but would like to see more effective action from DCMS to promote the value-added aspects heritage can bring to planning and developing cohesive communities.

51. The integration of heritage with arts and culture, with David Lammy as minister with responsibility for all three areas, has given some observers hope that heritage will carry greater weight within the Department's priorities and that more energy will be invested in securing support from other departments. Anthea Case, Chairman of Heritage Link, for instance, noted that he was "beginning to say some of the things that we would expect somebody to say who was going to champion the historic environment".[90] We welcome the avowed commitment of the present Minister with responsibility for heritage, but he will need to demonstrate his commitment through action not just within his own Department but across Government.

DCMS as policy developer

52. Heritage has played a comparatively small part in the legislative effort of DCMS and its forebears. In the last ten years, licensing, the Lottery, regulation of gambling, and communications have taken up the giant's share of DCMS Ministers' time in Parliament; and some recent examples of legislation affecting the heritage sector - for instance the Treasure Act 1996 and the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003 - were guided through Parliament as private Members' bills, albeit Government-supported ones. The most recent example of substantial primary legislation concerning the historic environment is the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, which was largely a clarifying measure, filtering heritage provisions from planning ones and creating a distinction between functions when, arguably, integration was more important. The low level of major legislation concerning the historic environment does not necessarily imply neglect on the part of DCMS or other departments with which responsibility is shared, rather that the need for reform in other areas of policy has been greater.

53. The picture is now changing, as DCMS has definite plans for reform of the heritage protection system, which will involve primary legislation. These reforms, known in the sector as "HPR" - Heritage Protection Reform - have had a protracted birth. The DCMS policy paper The Historic Environment: A Force for our Future, published in December 2001, announced an intention to review the case for integrating controls protecting heritage assets into a single regime,[91] but the substantial reform now proposed was signalled by the Secretary of State only in November 2002. A consultation paper with detailed proposals aiming to achieve "a more simple, open, flexible but rigorous system" for heritage protection was published in July 2003.[92] A further paper was published in June 2004 drawing conclusions from the responses to the consultation and sketching a future course of action.[93] The foreword by the then Minister for Media and Heritage (Lord McIntosh of Haringey) envisaged a White Paper in 2005 with a view to seeking Parliamentary time "at the first opportunity - probably in 2006-07". The present Minister for Culture confirmed to us that he expected publication of the White Paper to be in autumn 2006:[94] in part the delay was to acknowledge and take into account this Committee's report. Although not stated to us explicitly by either English Heritage or by DCMS in oral or written evidence, the expected date for implementation of the reforms seems to be 2010. The Royal Institute of British Architects referred in evidence to the former ODPM Select Committee to the "stately progress" of the Heritage Protection Review. It is with some justification that it described progress to us as having "slowed to a geriatric shuffle".[95]

54. Our terms of reference specifically invited submissions on what DCMS should identify as priorities in the White Paper, and most responses took up that invitation. From the start, the White Paper has been associated with reform of elements of the statutory heritage protection regime and little else. Some of those who submitted evidence were clearly frustrated at the slow progress of the reforms themselves and regretted what they saw as the lack of urgency shown by DCMS,[96] although these views were balanced to some extent by an appreciation of the efforts made by DCMS to consult openly and inclusively.[97]

55. Some witnesses clearly see it as essential that the White Paper should consist of a more wide-ranging set of reforms, for instance involving planning guidance and strengthening protection in conservation areas.[98] Section 3 of this report looks in detail at the proposals which are expected to form the backbone of the White Paper, and we make observations at that point on the fitness of the Government's proposals and on other specific reforms that might appear in the White Paper. For now we note that DCMS's approach to reform of the heritage protection system has been less than energetic. The process of consultation on the reforms has been commendably thorough, but the slow progress is placing stakeholders in limbo and delaying decisions by local authorities on medium-term allocation of resources.

56. Other witnesses called for the White Paper to articulate once again the value of heritage set out in A Force for our Future in 2001 and to recognise heritage as a cultural asset.[99] The National Trust, for instance, argued that the White Paper should, "as well as setting a vision for the historic environment as a whole…make the case for the better protection and management of the historic environment - outlining its role in improving our quality of life, fostering community identity and engagement and underpinning both urban and rural regeneration".[100] Much of this has however already been said by the Government. While we see no harm in restating principles, the groundwork has already been laid: the priority for the Heritage White Paper is to state exactly what action the Government proposes to take and when, and how it expects to resource its plans in the medium term.

DCMS as funder

57. The heritage sector looks to DCMS to secure the funding needed for the adequate protection of heritage assets. Much of this funding will be channelled through English Heritage in the form of repair grants and funding for national statutory amenity societies and others; but DCMS also determines the proportion of distributable Lottery funds to be awarded to the heritage good cause, and it is the body best placed to secure favourable fiscal treatment from the Treasury for voluntary bodies, private owners and others with direct responsibility for repair and maintenance of historic assets.

58. A comparison between resource budgets in 2000-01 and in 2006-07 demonstrates that heritage has done relatively poorly in terms of the share of the DCMS spending pot:

Table 4: DCMS resource budgets 2000-01 and 2006-07, selected divisions
2000-01 outturn 2006-07 plans % change
Museums and galleries £410.9 million £582.1 million42% increase
Arts £238.6 million£418.5 million 75% increase
Sport £52.2 million£154.2 million 195% increase
Architecture and the Historic Environment £144.3 million £175.6 million22% increase
Total DCMS resource budget £2,489 million £2,941 million18% increase

Source: 2005 Departmental Annual Report

59. Undeniably, the historic environment has lost out in relation to other divisions of DCMS in terms of benefit from recent spending rounds. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England suggested that the level of public resources devoted to heritage protection "does not currently reflect the very high value the public places on heritage or the contribution it makes to our quality of life".[101] At the root of the problem is the difficulty of making a case to the Treasury which quantifies in financial terms "soft" benefits such as community wellbeing and economic benefits which are hard to pin down such as the effect which a major heritage project can have on increasing confidence in a locality, thereby serving as a catalyst for regeneration. DCMS should strive to put together an economic case to justify to the Treasury the level of settlement which the historic environment deserves, and we believe that there is no justification for allowing its share to decrease. Again, we find this state of affairs a surprise given the emphasis the Government, including the Treasury, places on regeneration. Taken with the omission of the historic environment from the Prime Minister's recent 'priorities letter', the falling relative share of spending begs the question of how hard DCMS champions heritage and the historic environment in joined-up working across Government. We have received evidence that public heritage investment has been successful in levering in significant private and voluntary investment, and DCMS should undertake research to enable this case to be put clearly to the Treasury. The significance of heritage as a factor in tourism growth must also be identified more effectively, particularly in view of the opportunities provided by the London 2012 Olympics. We look to DCMS to redress the balance in the case which it presents to the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

60. At the sharp end of the funding shortfall is English Heritage, as we have discussed above. DCMS acknowledged to us that English Heritage had not received an inflation-based uplift between 2002 and 2005, adding that this was because English Heritage "was undergoing a radical modernisation programme" and that the expectation was that the programme would "result in savings which could be re-invested into front-line activity".[102] This does not necessarily give a rationale for a real terms decrease in Grant in Aid, particularly when additional costs for English Heritage were being generated through redundancies arising from the modernisation programme. We find the logic underlying DCMS's explanation of why funding to English Heritage has decreased in real terms in recent years unconvincing, and it inevitably leads observers to conclude that its claim to attach priority to heritage issues is cosmetic and not borne out by the facts. What makes the DCMS statement particularly difficult to swallow is the fact that the modernisation programme has now finished and yet the Grant-in-Aid is set to continue its real terms decrease, from £135.7 million in 2005-06 to £134.7 million in 2006-07 (planned) and £135.7 million in 2007-08 (planned).[103] When discussing the level of funding for English Heritage, Peter Hinton, the Director of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, wondered "quite what English Heritage is now being punished for", given its efforts to respond to the criticisms made in the Quinquennial Review which led to the modernisation programme.[104]

61. Earlier in this report we noted the increase in English Heritage's responsibilities, both in the recent past and in the near future, arising from the heritage protection reform measures (assuming that they are introduced in their present proposed form). We also described the various fields in which it had already been forced to scale back its activities, for instance on listing and in carrying forward the Monuments Protection Programme, and the very real prospect that a further decline in funding would cause it to cut back further. We note its distinct effort to refashion itself in line with Government priorities, by making itself more customer-responsive and more regionalised and by placing greater weight on engagement. We also observe that its capacity for giving grants for repairs is being eroded by an increase in construction costs which outstrips RPI let alone the English Heritage budget.[105] We can see no reason why funding for English Heritage should remain at a level which is clearly insufficient, particularly if there are to be significant costs in establishing the new heritage protection regime. We recommend that there should be an above RPI annual increase in Grant-in-Aid to English Heritage for the term of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. English Heritage should not be expected to fund its portion of the costs of setting up the new heritage protection regime without such an increase.

62. We note in passing the proposal by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England that English Heritage should be jointly sponsored by DCMS and ODPM. The Campaign to Protect Rural England argued that this would help to ensure that heritage issues were "routinely plugged in to the work of ODPM" rather than being considered as an afterthought and that English Heritage would as a result find itself on an equal footing with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).[106] The former ODPM Select Committee explored Government sponsorship of CABE with Government Ministers in December 2004 as part of its inquiry into the role and effectiveness of CABE, and it explored in evidence an apparent discrepancy between Departments' respective funding stakes and their share in responsibility for CABE within Government.[107] DCMS is the sponsor Department but contributes significantly less than DCLG/ODPM in grant aid.[108] The Committee did not comment specifically on the issue of Government responsibility for CABE, and we note in particular that it did not identify specific gains generated by the current arrangement. In the absence of persuasive evidence, we believe that dual sponsorship of English Heritage by DCMS and DCLG would introduce confused lines of accountability that would outweigh any benefits. We therefore reject the idea.

63. English Heritage is not the only body to rely heavily upon funding from DCMS. The Churches Conservation Trust, which maintains redundant churches vested in it, receives approximately 70% of its funding in Grant-in-Aid from DCMS. Like English Heritage, the Trust has suffered a real terms decrease in Government funding, and DCMS's existing spending plans show no prospect of an upturn. The church estate has distinct characteristics and management, and we look at the problems facing the Trust and indeed the church estate in general in section 4 of this report.

64. There is one further observation that we wish to make at this point: spending on heritage is an up-front cost with a return over a long period. This was enunciated very clearly to us by the Chatham Historic Royal Dockyard Trust, which spoke from experience in assembling funding from a vast range of sources to cover the repair and upkeep of a major ex-industrial site which became surplus to the requirements of the Ministry of Defence in 1984. They told us that "investment in the heritage is undeniably costly in the short term, but, properly thought through, can bring considerable, effective and efficient longer term benefits both culturally and economically". Furthermore, it could "unlock additional funding from trans-national and private sector sources, thereby increasing investment in the UK".[109] We encourage DCMS not to take a short-sighted approach to heritage funding and to recognise the long-term benefits in terms of leverage, value added, and an enhanced sense of place.

Heritage Lottery Fund

65. The Heritage Lottery Fund was set up in 1994 as one of the distributors of proceeds from the sale of Lottery tickets. It initially received 20% of funds paid into the National Lottery Distribution Fund, representing the proportion allocated to the heritage good cause. In October 1997, that proportion decreased to 16.66%, in parallel with those benefiting arts, charities and sport. The funds are distributed by regional boards using criteria set out in directions issued by the Secretary of State.[110] Since its establishment, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has committed £3.3 billion to heritage projects, covering built heritage, museums, libraries and archives, natural heritage, industrial, maritime and transport heritage, and cultural heritage.[111]

66. There was a near-universal welcome in submissions for the HLF's efforts, many of which had funded projects which were beyond the scope of others.[112] "Lifesaver" was one word used to describe the Fund;[113] and it is relied upon as a unique source of funding.[114] Although the figures for grants enabling the purchase of outstanding works of art or for major city regeneration might be most eye-catching, it was stressed to us how valuable the small-scale grants were, for instance the Your Heritage and Local Heritage Initiatives, in enhancing local awareness.[115] The HLF recognised the distinct appeal of the Local Heritage Initiative, which is designed to encourage local communities to care for local heritage features and which provides an unusually high level of development support for project teams.[116] Although the Initiative is closing this year because of changes in the structure of the natural environment bodies, we were assured by the HLF that it recognised the importance of providing new applicants to future small grants programmes with ways of accessing the support and skills which they needed.[117] The HLF acknowledged that frequent changes to the range of funding programmes made it difficult for people to know what was available, and it assured us that it tried to keep the number of special programmes "extremely small" and that it sought to change them "as little as we possibly can".[118] We encourage the HLF to follow its instincts and design programmes which are flexible enough to be accessible, sustainable and meet the needs of a wide range of community and public interests.

67. The Directions under which the HLF operates specify that, when determining applications, the Fund must (amongst other things) ensure that money is distributed to "projects which promote the public good or charitable purposes and which are not intended primarily for private gain". As a result, the Fund sees assets in private ownership as "a low priority for HLF funding".[119] The Directions also specify that the Trustees of the Fund should take into account "the need to promote access, for people from all sections of society, to heritage objects and collections, to the built and natural heritage, and to projects which relate to the history, natural history and landscape of the United Kingdom". This emphasis on encouraging access was applauded in evidence, encapsulated by the observation of the Archaeology Forum that "heritage was never funded [by the HLF] for its own sake but for the opportunity that it provides for grassroots participation".[120] We wholeheartedly support the Heritage Lottery Fund's stress on encouraging access for all to heritage assets: we are confident that this policy will have long-lasting benefits.

68. An effect of the Directions is virtually to preclude grants to private owners for the maintenance or repair of buildings, while being generous in providing funds to facilitate access and education. This was clearly illustrated during the Committee's visit to Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire, where the owners had secured HLF grants for interpretation facilities, a sensory tour, a Braille map for partially-sighted people and a virtual tour of the Hall; but the major cost of structural repairs which had to be met to make the house a viable concern could not be funded. The owners found this somewhat perverse, and the Historic Houses Association described the policy as "strange and regrettable" and one that it would like to see changed in due course.[121]

69. We asked the HLF whether it planned to reconsider its policy on grants towards private owners, given that the greater proportion of heritage assets are in private ownership and that the other main source of public funding for conservation of historic buildings - English Heritage - had reduced capacity to grant-aid repairs. The Fund's Chair, Dame Liz Forgan, told us that the governing Direction was "elastic" and that it allowed some leeway, but that the concept of providing substantial grants to people seen as wealthy private owners was not a popular one when raised in consultations. She encouraged owners to approach the Fund for help with schemes which enabled or supported public access, but in general her message to private owners was "Do not look to us for certain things that we cannot do, come to us for the things we can [do]".[122]

70. The provision of grant funding for private owners through English Heritage demonstrates that there is no fundamental objection to assisting private owners with the costs of repair. We recognise the distinct roles of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund. However the HLF should not be expected to fill the gap caused by the decline in English Heritage's ability to continue grant funding, as is evident from Table 3 in paragraph 32. Assistance for private owners should remain a function of English Heritage when a clear public benefit can be shown. We make further recommendations on support for private owners at paragraph 178.

71. It is in the interests of those who contribute to the Lottery, those who benefit from it, and of the HLF Trustees that applications for assistance from the Fund come from the widest possible range of sources. If application forms are complex and the process is perceived as bureaucratic (as some evidence suggested),[123] there is a risk that groups with little administrative back-up or knowledge will be deterred from submitting applications, and the HLF will be less inclusive as a result. A further deterrent is the process of commissioning professional assessments to support applications, which we heard could be expensive, time-consuming and potentially fruitless.[124]

72. The Archaeology Forum told us that the HLF needed to build the capacity of communities to lead in decision-making in heritage matters, and it encouraged the HLF actively to facilitate applications, mentoring and the sharing of good practice, possibly through evening classes to help potential applicants without experience of fundraising, charity law or project management.[125] The HLF told us that it plans a shorter application process (particularly for small grants programmes), with "clearer and more concise application and monitoring materials".[126] We believe that simplification of the application process for Heritage Lottery Fund grants and a commitment of resources to facilitate applications should be high priorities for the Fund.

73. Decisions on grants are made by committees in the nations and regions composed of local people recruited through advertisement in the press, taking into account expert advice.[127] The HLF also undertakes public consultation, in particular through citizens' juries. It pointed out to us that public opinion polling work in 1996 had played a part in the Fund's understanding of the importance of funding projects of local as well as national significance. More recently, research into heritage and identity and into young people's views has been conducted through citizens' juries, recruited randomly to reflect local socio-economic profiles. Juries lasted two and a half days and allowed development of ideas through discussion and input from heritage practitioners and experts. A similar approach was taken in consultation on the HLF's future strategy, this time seeking juries' views on projects that were already up and running. HLF identified a possibility that individuals from juries might participate in HLF decision-making committees in countries and regions across the UK.[128]

74. The Secretary of State has recently announced a trial scheme - 'Your Pound, Your Choice' - under which buyers of Lottery tickets at participating retailers will be able to indicate which local projects they believe should receive Lottery funding. Two regions have been identified for the pilot; five projects will compete for grants of up to £50,000. Full details of how many projects could 'win' and how binding the public preference would be were unclear at the time of the announcement.[129]

75. The Archaeology Forum welcomed wider public consultation on how Lottery money should be spent but warned against over-reliance on what it described as "Restoration-style TV programmes" as a primary source of decisions, and it said that it "would view with alarm any moves that would undermine the role of HLF trustees and expert advisers".[130] The HLF Chairman agreed that there was some fear amongst experts that extending the role of public opinion would risk overlooking the value of heritage assets, but she did not see a real danger of conflict between expert and public opinion. Experience with citizens' juries had shown that members of the public "who would not begin to describe themselves as experts in the heritage" could quickly arrive at sophisticated views.[131] We are satisfied that the HLF's current policy on public involvement in its strategy and decision-making is healthy and does not threaten the professional knowledge on which decisions must be based. We will watch with interest the experiment by DCMS with public voting, although we recognise that it should not be allowed to descend into a crude beauty contest. DCMS should explore whether the public preference should be treated as a presumption in favour of a project rather than as a binding commitment.

Future income

76. The HLF currently receives 16.66% of funds in the National Lottery Distribution Fund. Income trends are set out below:

Table 5: Heritage Lottery Fund income 2003-04 to 2007-08





Estimated Outturn





£ millions 246266 260227 223

Source: DCMS Sponsored Bodies Report 2006

There is a parallel fall in the projected value of awards:

Table 6: Heritage Lottery Fund total value of awards 2003-04 to 2007-08





Estimated Outturn





£ million 341358 330290 255

Source: DCMS Sponsored Bodies Report 2006

77. There are a number of reasons for the forecast decline in income. Sales diversion to new games which fund specifically the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics is one reason; according to DCMS estimates this accounts for some £75 million less for the HLF from ticket sales.[132] The Secretary of State has also indicated that she will divert up to £410 million from the proceeds of non-Olympic Lottery games to support the public funding package for the staging of the Games.[133] Assuming a 16.66% share for the Heritage Lottery Fund, this translates into about £68 million over the course of the four years from 2009-10 to 2012-13 inclusive.[134]

78. The Heritage Lottery Fund appeared confident that the diminution in funding would be temporary and that levels would bounce back in time.[135] The brunt of the decrease in available funds will be borne by applicants seeking the largest grants (in the £5 million to £10 million range).[136] The HLF recognised that it faced a tricky problem of managing demand and expectations, without scaring off applicants. Although the HLF seemed reasonably relaxed about this in oral evidence, we are concerned that latest assumptions of the number of applications which the HLF will receive show a dramatic fall, from 6,385 in 2005-06 (estimated) to only 2,400 in 2006-07 and 2007-08.[137]

79. While the success of the London 2012 bid in July 2005 was a cause for jubilation for many, those who are engaged in sectors which draw much of their funding from Lottery sources, such as the heritage sector, were well aware that there would be direct financial consequences. To their credit, witnesses to our inquiry generally accepted that the UK stands to gain in many ways from the staging of the Games and that the effects for the heritage sector will not just be negative financial ones.[138] The Association of English Cathedrals, for instance, anticipates an increase in visitor numbers,[139] and others foresee spin-offs for the profile of heritage (not least during the Cultural Olympiad),[140] a focus on the role of the historic environment in the regeneration of East London[141] and scope for a renewed effort to spruce up key heritage assets.[142] The Architectural Heritage Fund noted that Britain's heritage had played an important part in the success of the bid.[143]

80. We welcome the largely positive view taken by the heritage sector of the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We agree that there could be benefits for the sector and that these will be maximised if it shows itself willing to make the effort to seek out opportunities. DCMS should bear in mind that 2012 will be a showcase for tourist attractions across the UK. Investment to ensure that major sites are presented to best effect should begin now, and the point should be driven home to other Departments which play a role, such as the Department for Transport in relation to Stonehenge, and to the regional development agencies.

81. We are concerned that the Secretary of State has already accepted that £410 million from non-Olympic Lottery games will be diverted to the public funding package. This will increase the fears of the heritage sector that an overspend on the Olympics will lead to a further diversion of funds from good causes. The Government should give an assurance that the £410 million limit will not be exceeded.

82. At the time that evidence was gathered for the inquiry, no confident forecast of the likely reduction in Lottery funding for the HLF after 2009 could be made, as the formula for shares of Lottery proceeds for good causes was under review. The Secretary of State had however announced that heritage (and indeed other existing good causes) would continue as beneficiary good causes after 2009 and that no new good causes would be established; and a consultation on shares was held between November 2005 and February 2006.[144] Evidence was unanimous in calling for the heritage share to be at least maintained at 16.66%.[145] The Fund is the only remaining source of grants for large projects, which can play a major part in kick-starting urban regeneration, as we observed at the Ropewalks in Liverpool. Despite all it has achieved, the HLF pointed out that "vital tasks were still undone" and that the remaining need was "immense".[146] The recent decision not to change shares has therefore been widely welcomed.[147]

83. We welcome the Secretary of State's confirmation that heritage will continue to be one of the good causes to benefit from Lottery proceeds and that the 16.66% share will remain until 2019. We note the potential for awards from the Big Lottery to contribute to heritage preservation and enhancement, for instance in the revitalisation of public parks.[148]

84. The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games are not the only reason for the predicted reduction in the financial value of Heritage Lottery Fund awards. Provisions in the National Lottery Bill (shortly to gain Royal Assent) will change the basis on which the investment gains on balances held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) will be apportioned. Instead of being allocated in proportion to the balances held on behalf of individual distributors, investment income will be distributed according to the shares for each good cause.[149] DCMS sought this change in policy as a means of removing incentives to hold high balances and thereby increasing the speed with which funds are distributed. The Heritage Lottery Fund has traditionally held high balances: on 31 May 2005 it held 36.1% of the total National Lottery Distribution Fund balances despite receiving only 16.66% of proceeds from the Lottery.[150] The NAO has calculated that the proposed new method of distributing investment income between good causes would have led to a reduction of £15.7 million in funds available to the HLF in 2003-04.[151]

85. The Bill has proved controversial in its passage through Parliament, and the provisions concerning NLDF balances have been opposed by some who have contributed to our inquiry. The Archaeology Forum believed that the Bill showed "a fundamental misunderstanding of the time it takes for complex heritage projects to be put together from different funding sources, with many partners".[152] The Association of English Cathedrals made very similar points, noting that heritage projects "tend to be long-term due to the complex consent procedures and fundraising" and that delays in the course of projects, to consider new information or archaeological findings, were not uncommon.[153] We note however the conclusion of the Committee of Public Accounts that Lottery distributors needed to be less risk-averse and that distributors should not keep money in the Distribution Fund for as yet unidentified future projects.[154]

86. Yet another reason for the expected decrease in sums available to the HLF is its shift in policy on over-commitment of funds. The HLF has consistently committed more funds in new awards each year than it has received in income, on the basis that there would inevitably be a time lag between money being received, awarded to projects and drawn down by grant recipients. It told us, however, that it is "reaching the point where it cannot continue to over-commit"[155] and that from 2008 onwards it will distribute only as much as it receives in income.[156] This may be a prudent approach, although the recent decision by DCMS to retain the 16.66% share for the heritage good cause removes one of the uncertainties which has been used to justify it and therefore provides an opportunity for the Heritage Lottery Fund to reconsider its policy.


87. In written evidence to our predecessor Committee's inquiry into the National Lottery, DCMS defined the principle of additionality as one of not allowing Lottery funding to "become a substitute for funding that would normally fall to mainstream Government spending", and it maintained that it remained "firmly committed to the principle".[157] The definition may be neat, but DCMS has been bedevilled by attempts to draw the distinction in practice, and many (including our predecessor Committee) have taken the view that the principle was being eroded.[158] The argument has been rerun more than once during the passage of the current National Lottery Bill through Parliament.

88. The question arises once again: if heritage has the benefits which the Government has itself recognised in A Force for our Future - community wellbeing, a stimulus for regeneration and an educational tool - should so much of the financial support for it be left to Lottery funding (such as through Townscape Heritage Initiatives)? The HLF was satisfied that it was not being asked to substitute for Government funding, although it said that there was "no doubt that there are areas where we are funding projects which are dealing with many years of underfunding", for instance at local government level.[159] Others were less confident,[160] and we heard anecdotal evidence of people approaching the HLF having tried and failed to secure grants from English Heritage. The HLF Chair agreed that it happened;[161] but she maintained that the Fund "was alert to this problem" and that it turned down applications where responsibility lay elsewhere. It also takes care to allocate on a project basis rather than towards long-term running costs.[162]

89. DCMS sponsored a review in 2004 by PKF of the responsibilities of English Heritage and the HLF.[163] The review identified scope for savings through a merger, but it concluded that a change would be unacceptable to the heritage sector. The Director of the HLF thought that the delineation of roles between the two bodies was "pretty clear", not least because of the UK-wide remit of the HLF which extended beyond the historic environment.[164] The two bodies work together in certain defined areas; English Heritage provides technical support to the HLF on some applications for lottery funding; English Heritage takes account of HLF experience in forming policy and strategy; and there are examples of pooled funding "to increase the impact of grant spend and to improve service delivery for applicants". Both bodies are keen to explore other opportunities for joint working.[165]

90. The Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme is one example of pooled funding where, according to the HLF, the two bodies contribute appropriately in relation to their own aims.[166] It is not easy, however, to see how those aims diverge. The scheme has operated in one form or another since October 1996. The level of contributions fluctuated a great deal in the early years, usually with English Heritage contributing the majority. Since 2002-03, however, the total has exceeded always £20 million and the HLF has consistently contributed the greater part - between 60% and 67%, as the table overleaf shows:

Table 7: Repair Grants for Listed Places of Worship: sums awarded 1996-97 to 2005-06
English Heritage Heritage Lottery Fund Total
1996/97 £967,000 £967,000
1997/98 £10,023,000£7,790,000 £17,813,000
1998/99 £12,202,000£13,268,000 £25,470,000
1999/00 £9,994,000£5,488,000 £15,482,000
2000/01 £13,747,000£10,506,000 £24,253,000
2001/02 £3,170,000£16,528,000 £19,698,000
2002/03 £10,402,216 £17,242,022£27,644,238
2003/04 £9,274,759£19,565,796 £28,840,556
2004/05 £9,093,121£15,301,384 £24,394,506
2005/06 £9,373,974£14,409,335 £23,783,309

The HLF is clearly becoming the dominant partner in the scheme, and we note that it is now the sole funder under the scheme of repairs to Grade II listed churches.

91. The argument on additionality is unlikely to be resolved. We warn that any further decline in the capacity of English Heritage to give grants for repair or capacity development will inevitably lead to more pressure on the Heritage Lottery Fund and that substitution will appear to be the outcome. This reinforces our argument for better funding for English Heritage.

Local authorities

92. DCMS and English Heritage may have the responsibility for developing policy and for providing support structures and funding streams, but the sharp end of heritage protection is at local authority level, where much the greater part of managing and improving built heritage is carried out.[167] Over 90% of the task of protecting the archaeological resource is borne by local authorities, according to the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, and the same proportion is true for the built heritage.[168] The Architectural Heritage Fund summarised local government's responsibilities thus:

  • heritage protection through the planning system;
  • the bringing together of partnerships of the public, voluntary and private sectors to ensure the best development frameworks for historic areas in their control;
  • support for private and charitable owners in dealing with listed buildings; and
  • care of their own civic assets.[169]

93. We examine in more detail in Section 3 the tools available to local authorities enabling them to carry out their responsibilities for heritage protection through the planning system. At this point we observe that the picture of local authorities' performance which emerged in evidence was an uneven one, with extensive provision of expertise and considerable effort towards maintaining assets at one end of the scale, and under-resourced teams and a skeletal suite of services at the other.[170] Witnesses told us that as a result different authorities reached inconsistent and "strange" decisions which did not command public support.[171] For assets which enjoy less formal protection, such as historic parks and gardens, the situation is still less encouraging: only two local authorities employ a member of staff professionally qualified and dedicated to the conservation of historic parks and gardens.[172]

94. The only service which local authorities are statutorily required to provide to support the local historic environment is to designate conservation areas and to develop proposals for their protection and enhancement. Beyond this, provision will depend on the priority which a local authority attaches to the contribution of heritage to the local economy and to local communities and consequently the budget which it is prepared to allocate. Failure to offer such non-statutory provision may lay the local planning authority open to judicial review or investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.

95. English Heritage has sought to raise the profile of heritage within local authorities using a twin-track approach, consisting of the HELM[173] initiative and the designation of Historic Environment Champions. The HELM programme is a web-based resource targeted at decision-makers within local authorities, both elected Members and officers (such as planners and highways engineers). It seeks to improve awareness of the intrinsic value of heritage and the scope which it offers to add value to projects involving non-heritage professionals.[174] Historic Environment Champions (of whom there are now 181)[175] are almost exclusively elected Members who are encouraged to lobby on behalf of heritage.[176] We heard in Lincoln that the City Council Historic Environment Champion was the Executive member with responsibility for tourism and regeneration. Champions require significant support both from English Heritage and from within the local authority and its officers, and a mechanism is needed to embed the ethos of Champions when the designated individual councillors change. Both schemes are worthy but there are signs that further development and investment are needed: one witness told us that HELM could have been more effective had it secured the active support of local government heritage professionals,[177] and a web-based resource is likely to have less impact than a staffed advisory service. There are widespread concerns about the uptake and effectiveness of HELM in the sector.

96. Fundamental to the variable picture of local authority services is the well documented shortage of skills, which was raised constantly in written evidence.[178] Much falls to conservation officers, whose duties include advice to planning department colleagues on development control,[179] the administration of grant schemes,[180] specialist or technical advice on repair, alteration, extension and maintenance, general input into policy formation, character appraisals and other assessments of conservation areas, and the maintenance of registers of buildings at risk, working to reduce the number on the register where possible. Not all local authorities employ a conservation officer or are able to draw on the skills needed.[181] A Local Authority Conservation Provision survey conducted by Oxford Brookes University for English Heritage and the Institute for Historic Buildings Conservation in 2002-03 indicated that 85% of local authorities had in-house historic building conservation expertise, with an average figure of 1.7 per authority.[182] This figure however masks a wide discrepancy between areas with large teams such as Westminster and Bradford and those with little or no core provision,[183] and we gained the impression that numbers were if anything decreasing. The situation is set to deteriorate, as the current age structure of employees implies that many staff will be due to retire within the next five to ten years, just at the time that the Heritage Protection Reform programme will be implemented.[184] We note that the Government continues to rely upon the figures drawn from the 2002-03 survey,[185] and Baroness Andrews accepted that there were "a lot of gaps" in the picture of how local authorities handled heritage protection.[186]

97. Mr Kindred described the combination of skills and experience needed by conservation officers.[187] Some local authorities, having lost full-time core posts, opt to buy in expertise on a contract or short-term basis, sometimes with unsatisfactory results. One owner told us that they had had extensive dealings with the local council and had on occasion found the person contracted to provide advice on conservation bureaucratic, lacking in local knowledge and having an apparently poor understanding of the difficulties which they faced as owners. On the other hand, we recognise the contribution already being made by civic societies in the voluntary sector and by bodies established to provide a source of design advice, such as the 19 Architecture and Built-Environment Centres, co-funded by CABE, local authorities and regeneration agencies. The opportunities should be investigated for such architecture and design centres to be a source of conservation skills too, and notably, at lower cost than traditional consultancies.

98. Even in local authorities which do employ core, dedicated conservation staff, those staff do not necessary hold positions of particular seniority or influence to ensure that due weight is given to specialist advice in relation to the management of the authority's policies and programmes.[188] The Cathedral Architects Association noted that there appeared to have been a downgrading of the level of seniority of conservation officers in many local authority offices "with the result that the degree of expertise for advising and consulting is not as it used to be".[189]

99. The decline in core staff is evident both in relation to buildings and to archaeology services: the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers told us that some local authorities which had provided services which had been "standard-bearers" for public service archaeology were presently threatened with "savage cuts"[190] and that pressures on local authority budgets were having "a very negative effect".[191] The relevant Best Value Performance Indicator - 205 - requires simply that local authorities should have access to specialist archaeological advice, and some choose to buy in on contract the expertise as needed.

Impact of Heritage Protection Reform

100. Concerns about the implications of the Heritage Protection Review proposals for local authority resources recurred throughout the inquiry.[192] The Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the Planning Officers' Society and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers made it clear in oral evidence that what was proposed would require careful management, development of staff skills and a better corporate recognition of what was required.[193] The Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies warned that "without adequate resources being made available to local authorities, many of the benefits of Heritage Protection Reform will be lost",[194] and many others made the same point.[195]

101. When DCMS published its Review of Heritage Protection: The Way Forward in June 2004, there was little sign that it had given significant thought to the impact of the programme upon local authorities: there is just one reference to "potentially serious resource implications for government" arising from any decision to require local authorities to establish and maintain or have access to Historic Environment Records.[196] DCMS has now become more alert and has commissioned initial research by WS Atkins into current provision by local authorities of historic environment services and their capacity to implement the proposed reforms;[197] further clues have emerged from an assessment of heritage reform pilot projects run by English Heritage[198] and research examining the role of Historic Environment Records in underpinning the HPR proposals.[199]

102. English Heritage argued that the introduction of the new system would eventually brings substantial savings to them, to local authorities, owners of historic properties and to participants of the planning process,[200] although it did not define how large these savings would be or when they would occur. For local authorities it appears that the chief consequences of the heritage protection reform proposals would be:

  • establishing and maintaining an Historic Environment Record as a statutory duty;
  • being the portal for the reformed heritage consent regimes (which in future would encompass applications for changes to what are now scheduled ancient monuments); and
  • establishing Heritage Partnership Agreements with English Heritage (where appropriate).

103. English Heritage accepted that the pace of implementation would depend on the skills and capacity of local authorities to take on these new responsibilities and that the responsibility for what are currently Scheduled Monument Consents could not be transferred to local authorities until they had the capability to undertake their administration.[201] We understand that while most heritage professionals are familiar with the proposed changes, local authority chief executives and leaders are very largely unaware of the resource implications of their new requirements.[202]

104. We have considered several possible solutions to the question of how to provide a more consistent and improved level of service in local authorities: pooling of resources, a statutory requirement on local authorities to employ a conservation officer, the use of performance indicators, and the designation in statute of a suite of services to be provided by local authorities. We consider each possible solution below, although we observe first that a detailed picture of the level of provision of conservation advice in local authorities both now and in the mid-term is fundamental to any decisions on resources for implementation of the Heritage Protection Reform programme. DCMS should undertake such research now.

105. DCMS noted in The Way Forward in June 2004 that local authority conservation officers were coming under increasing pressure from development control workloads, at the expense of effort on enforcement and conservation area appraisals.[203] Indeed, specialist advice on applications for consent comprises the majority of a typical conservation officer's workload,[204] and the pressure is increasing as a result of the Government's efforts to encourage local authorities to speed up the process of making decisions on planning applications.[205] The Way Forward also noted the findings of the research in 2002-03 into local authority conservation provision, that conservation officers often found themselves "isolated and required to be experts across an unrealistically wide canvas".[206] To remedy this, it suggested a pooling of resources at sub-regional level, with staff remaining where they were based but with more formal links between historic environment services in nearby local authorities, underpinned by service level agreements.[207] Although attractive in some respects, there is a possibility that this would spur some lowest-tier authorities to disestablish posts, particularly when the majority of services are not statutory. The recent research by WS Atkins found little support among local authority professionals for a sub-regional model which it was said would be "counter to the community-based and devolutionary spirit" of Heritage Protection Reform.[208] Some respondents to the research preferred the more informal sharing arrangements commonly practised between similar authorities.

106. Both the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Association of English Cathedrals argued in favour of a statutory requirement for local authorities or planning authorities to employ a conservation officer. When the suggestion was put to witnesses from the Institute for Historic Building Conservation, many of whose members are conservation officers, they suggested that the idea was "too simple" and was liable to be met by a "tick-box" approach, appointing a postholder but without actually attaching greater importance to the expertise or role or allowing them particular influence.[209] Witnesses from the Planning Officers Society and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers agreed.[210]

107. Performance indicators guide local authority strategy, priorities and funding in many fields, but few relate to historic environment services. Three Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPI) were developed for local authority historic environment services for introduction in April 2005, but only the one relating to conservation areas survived the pilot phase; the remaining Indicators concerning management of local authority assets and Historic Environment Records were abandoned. The surviving BVPI had three components: a count of the number of designated conservation areas, the number of completed appraisals of conservation areas, and the number of conservation area management plans prepared. No targets for service improvement were set and we are advised that many authorities did little to develop services in line with Indicators.[211] English Heritage stated in its memorandum that it was working with others to establish indicators for Culture within the Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime. It also "continues to develop historic environment performance indicators for inclusion within the local authority performance assessment framework".[212]

108. Some witnesses were however distinctly lukewarm about indicators. Lincoln City Council described them as "essentially a backward-looking approach".[213] Mr Babb, Head of Planning at Manchester City Council, while supportive in principle, sought reassurance that whatever was being captured by the indicators was "being used for something productive", and he questioned how meaningful some of them were. Mr Burchnall, from Regeneration Services at Liverpool City Council, agreed. He drew our attention to the significant cost of preparing conservation area appraisals and their attendant management plans - £50,000 on average - and wondered what value was added.[214] He favoured "a process which identifies what those [heritage] assets were, set action plans to deal with those assets and then looks to see whether or not we have performed and were producing a heritage investment strategy".

109. The course preferred by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and others representing local authority practitioners would be to identify key elements of local authority services which support the historic environment and designate them as statutory; and it sketched a possible list of services, including technical advisory services, grant aid, maintenance of Buildings at Risk registers and provision of access to Historic Environment Records.[215] Enforcement of planning controls for listed buildings could well be added to the list. This course was echoed by others, including the Archaeology Forum.[216] We note that a detailed list of necessary core skills was drawn up in 1995 to guide the new unitary authorities in setting priorities.[217]

110. As Bob Kindred, who served as both witness and Specialist Adviser to the inquiry, said, at times of financial stress a local authority will prioritise services which it is required by statute to provide.[218] Historic environment services largely fall outside this category, as would significant elements of the Heritage Protection Reform programme. There is a danger therefore that authorities will simply not provide the necessary staff resources and that the benefits of Heritage Protection Reform will not be fully realised. The Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers told us that government needed to place greater emphasis on the importance of historic environment conservation if local councillors were "to take it seriously".[219] We agree that encouragement should be given to local authorities to treat the historic environment as a higher priority. We recommend that a set of statutory services and standards should be developed, possibly along the lines suggested by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, with discretion left to local authorities on how they should be met, according to the extent and range of heritage assets to be managed. Alongside research into the availability of conservation skills within local authorities, DCMS should, with DCLG, also examine how bodies such as the CABE-sponsored Architecture and Built Environment Centres might be augmented in terms of skills and funding to be a pooled source of conservation as well as urban design expertise for local authorities.

Assets owned by public bodies

111. Local authorities generally have a substantial catalogue of heritage assets, as do central Government departments and agencies, and NHS Trusts. Local authorities will need to demonstrate exemplary conduct in the management of their own heritage properties if they are to be credible in exercising control over privately owned heritage properties through the planning system. In many cases their buildings were designed for smaller populations or were erected in dense urban surroundings and are no longer appropriate for today's needs. On their becoming redundant, decisions need to be taken on whether to redevelop the site comprehensively or whether to opt for adaptation and re-use. Such decisions are not always taken quickly, and there are examples of striking and impressive buildings decaying while the future use of the site is determined, such as Severalls Hospital near Colchester and Crossley Hospital in Cheshire. Mr Wilkinson, representing Save Britain's Heritage, described the NHS as "the worst offender".[220] We understand that up to 17 per cent of all listed buildings at risk are local authority owned.[221]

112. We explored with English Partnerships its strategy for managing the portfolio of former NHS hospital sites transferred to them in April 2005, with more to follow. English Partnerships stressed its efforts to take into account the views and expertise of English Heritage in forming a policy on what changes could or could not take place. Decisions are taken by English Partnerships on the basis of that advice, within the context of the local authority planning policy and the Government's aim to create sustainable communities and make best use of surplus public sector land.[222]

113. DCMS issued a Good Practice Guidance note - "Disposal of Historic Buildings - Guidance note for government departments and non-governmental public bodies" in 1999, permitting and indeed encouraging the disposal of assets for less than best consideration if that is in the historic interest of the asset concerned.[223] Similar guidance was subsequently published with an accompanying Government Circular encouraging disposal of local authority-owned heritage assets for community economic, environmental or social objectives under the ODPM Disposal Consent Regulations 2003. This permits disposal of assets valued at less than £2 million for less than best consideration without Government approval. The Architectural Heritage Fund believed that local authorities should be encouraged to take advantage of Government regulations permitting the disposal of heritage assets for community benefit.[224]

114. It seems that neither the DCMS Guidance Note nor the disposal regulations are well understood or well used, despite large numbers of redundant public sector listed buildings. DCMS and DCLG should make renewed efforts to encourage public bodies to exercise dispensations to dispose of assets for less than best consideration when those assets have heritage value and it is satisfied that the buyer has a viable plan for maintenance.

Voluntary sector

115. The voluntary and community sectors were widely applauded in evidence for the huge contribution which it makes to the restoration and management of the nation's heritage. In many cases, voluntary effort takes the form of a building preservation trust, a model recognised and approved by the Charity Commission as a standard structure for a charity wishing to preserve and restore a historic building. Very few building preservation trusts have paid staff: in most cases the management effort is voluntary and expertise is only bought in for projects. County Gardens Trusts operate on a similar basis, depending on voluntary effort to research and record, give advice, educate and publicise historic parks and gardens, usually funding work themselves with some assistance towards administrative costs received from English Heritage through its Capacity Building Grant.[225]

116. Often the voluntary effort will depend on leadership with vision, energy and enthusiasm. For instance, once a heritage asset at risk (usually a building) has been identified, to establish a building preservation trust requires effort to get to grips with relevant charity and tax law, seek out appropriate advice, persuade funders and others of the merits of the planned preservation, and form a body of core support.[226] The scale of the enterprise was illustrated very clearly to us by Kate Dickson, of the Ancoats Building Preservation Trust, which had secured nearly £13 million in grant aid for the repair of an impressive and immense derelict historic industrial complex surrounding Murray Mills in Manchester - despite having received no direct financial support from the local authority.

117. The voluntary sector also encompasses the national statutory amenity societies (those required to be consulted by local planning authorities on applications to alter significantly or demolish listed buildings), such as the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Ancient Monuments Society, The Victorian Society and the Twentieth Century Society.[227] The Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies, which was formed in 1972 to co-ordinate strategy, pointed out that its constituent societies provided "a voice for the voluntary and community heritage groups that have difficulty otherwise being heard".[228] There is also a flourishing voluntary local civic society movement.

118. The voluntary heritage sector is very diverse and covers not just the constituencies outlined above but also private owners, volunteers, and funding bodies. Similarly, the range of interests extends to the preservation of residential and commercial buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, the natural environment, industrial sites and ecclesiastical buildings. Only since the formation of Heritage Link in 2002 has the sector had a collective voice. Heritage Link currently has 82 member organisations and seeks to influence government policy and develop capacity. Its efforts were praised by witnesses, who referred to its "vital" role in keeping the sector informed, co-ordinating the activities of member organisations, conducting research and acting as an authoritative advocate.[229] The Chairman of Heritage Link stressed that the diversity of the sector was an asset rather than a weakness[230] and that constituent members were now beginning to learn to work together.[231] The test for Heritage Link will be to show that it can exert real influence on decision-making; to do this, the level of access to Ministers will need to be increased.[232] The Government will also need to show that it is receptive and that it regards Heritage Link as authoritative. We recommend that DCMS ministers improve dialogue with Heritage Link as the collective voice of the voluntary heritage sector.

Private owners

119. Two thirds of the nation's built heritage is privately owned and maintained[233] and the costs of restoration and repair are met largely from private funds.[234] The stock of privately-owned heritage includes substantial 'country houses' and smaller-scale residential dwellings on both urban and rural settings; and it covers farm buildings, commercial buildings, certain piers, and monuments and archaeological sites on private land. While owners of larger houses may be members of the Historic Houses Association or the Country Land and Business Association and have a representative voice, there is no body which speaks for the owners of the many thousands of other buildings which provide a valued sense of identity for local communities. Our inquiry did not therefore have the advantage of a first-hand account of private owners' ability to maintain the abundance of historic assets under their care. This was a gap in our knowledge which we suspect may be shared by DCMS, and we recommend that DCMS and English Heritage should undertake research into the problems faced by private owners of small-scale built heritage assets.

120. The Historic Houses Association (HHA), which represents owners of about 1,500 privately owned houses, parks and gardens in the UK, set out the position facing many of its members.[235] It described "an enormous backlog of repairs", the cost of which was estimated in 2002 at £490 million.[236] Of immediate concern is the ebbing away of public funding to cover the cost of repairs; grants to private owners from English Heritage have declined dramatically since 2001-02[237] and are now virtually unobtainable for repairs to Grade II listed buildings. As we have noted, the Heritage Lottery Fund is constrained by its governing directions in the extent to which it can fund work which results principally in private gain, although we have recommended above that the directions should be made more flexible.[238] The Historic Houses Association told us that local authorities generally had little money for private owners of historic houses.[239]

121. The Country Land and Business Association (CBA) also drew attention to owners' involvement in management of the historic environment. Like the HHA, it described the "huge" cost of maintenance: a CBA survey suggested that members spent an average of £29,000 each year on repairs.[240] Again, like the HHA, it identified "a major funding gap" becoming apparent.

122. In the next section we look briefly at the merits of a fiscal relief to support private owners in the task of maintaining historic assets.[241] There is some scope to explore alternative means, however, such as diversification. The owners of Doddington Hall had been ingenious in generating income through staging events and selling Christmas trees; and they had tapped into a range of funding schemes (including the DEFRA Countryside Stewardship Scheme and EU funding) to regenerate parkland and provide seed funding for a farm shop. This seemed to us to be a commendable self-help approach which in addition revived much of the estate and brought it into productive use. We therefore support the Country Land and Business Association's statements that the maintenance of buildings and the conservation of historic monuments need to be funded by economic activity and that conservation is best achieved in the context of long-term and viable land management.[242]

Regional Development Agencies

123. Regional Development Agencies' roles in promoting economic development through Regional Economic Strategies places them as potential beneficiaries of historic assets through heritage-led regeneration. In practice, we find little evidence to suggest that RDAs take a consistent approach in acknowledging the part that historic buildings could play. The Head of Design and Built Environment at North West Development Agency, Heather Emery, told us that the Agency did indeed recognise and value "quality of place and sense of place" and that by supporting investment in the public realm it could encourage investment by developers.[243] The Historic Houses Association noted good practice among RDAs in assessing the benefits of integrated rural estates and in assisting heritage attractions to develop visitor facilities; but it added that some had yet to realise the importance of links between rural and urban economies.[244]

124. The Royal Town Planning Institute called for closer links between English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund on the one hand and mainstream funders such as RDAs on the other, to ensure that the benefits of design and heritage-led regeneration were fully recognised and prioritised in regional economic and funding strategies.[245] There is evidence to suggest that the relationships between RDAs and local players have sometimes been poorly developed and not fruitful, with the result that little priority is given to historic assets in economic development plans.[246] The National Trust told us that it would "have a good conversation" in place with an RDA but that "the moment the agenda moves on to something else it is almost as if that conversation had never happened".[247]

125. Practice varies from one RDA to the another, with no clear benchmarking or good practice standards.[248] We note that the first recommendation in the Power of Place report in December 2000, which it was proposed should be carried forward as an immediate priority, was to require RDAs to take full account of the historic environment in preparing economic and community strategies and implementing neighbourhood renewal.[249] We recommend that RDA Boards should have at least one member able to serve as a persuasive advocate on behalf of heritage. More effort should be made by RDAs to identify the benefits of heritage-led regeneration and share good practice.

17   National Heritage Act 1983, section 33 Back

18   National Heritage Act 1983, section 33 Back

19   Maritime Heritage and Historic Ships, Fourth Report of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, HC 296, Session 2004-05, Ev 45. Back

20   Ev 135 Back

21   Ev 134, HC 912-III (Session 2005-06) Back

22   Ev 274; see also Ms Garnham Q 84 Back

23   Ev 75 Back

24   Ev 16 Back

25   Ev 319; also Civic Trust Ev 97 Back

26   Ev 75 Back

27   Ev 138, HC 912-III (Session 2005-06) Back

28   Cornerstone Vol 26, No 3, 2005 Back

29   For example the Baltic Exchange and the Heron Tower at Bishopsgate: Ev 50 Back

30   Ev 132, HC 912-III (Session 2005-06) Back

31   Dr Thurley Q 323; Mr Lammy Q 372 Back

32   Q 67 Back

33   ALGAO Ev 47; Mr Burton Q 67 Back

34   Joint Committee of National Amenity Societies Ev 219; National Trust Ev 273 Back

35   Ev 134, HC 912-III (Session 2005-06) Back

36   English Heritage Report and Accounts 2004-05, pages 8 and 9  Back

37   Q 347 Back

38   Q 347 Back

39   Mr Babb Q 145; Ms Souter Q 254 Back

40   Michael Coupe supp memo Ev 122, HC 912-III (Session 2005-06) Back

41   HHA Ev 186, Association of English Cathedrals Ev 29, Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 17, CPRE Ev 72 Back

42   Association for Industrial Archaeology Ev 42 Back

43   Association of Garden Trusts Ev 37 Back

44   Ev 74 Back

45   Q 201 Back

46   Q 20 Back

47   Q 67 Back

48   Ev 135, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06  Back

49   Mr Wilkinson Q6; see also Ev 6, 74 Back

50   Q 316 and Ev 131, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

51   Q 316 Back

52   Mr Hinton Q 222 Back

53   Cathedrals Fabric Commission Ev 77 and Wessex Archaeology Ev 347 Back

54   Q 275 Back

55   Ev 294 Back

56   Q 317 Back

57   Review of the Structures of Government Support for the Historic Environment in England, DCMS/PKF, May 2004 Back

58   Association for Industrial Archaeology Ev 42, CPRE Ev 72; Heritage Link Ev 161 Back

59   Letter from Mr David Lammy, Minister for Culture, DCMS, to Chairman of the Committee, 19 April 2006 [not printed] Back

60   Q 319 Back

61   QQ 320 and 322 Back

62   Paragraph 1.2; see also Sir Neil Cossons Q 358 Back

63   Ev 272; see also Mr Hervey-Bathurst Q 82 and Ms Case Q 268 Back

64   Q 54 Back

65   Q 389 Back

66   ALGAO Ev 45 and Head of Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeology Source Ev 71 Back

67   British Archaeological Jobs Resource Ev 59 Back

68   Mr Burton Q 61 Back

69   Ev 15 Back

70   Ev 83 Back

71   Ev 43 Back

72   DCMS Press Notice 25 May 2006 Back

73   Q 54 Back

74   The Historic Environment:: A Force for our Future, page 12 Back

75   Mr Burton Q 61; Ms Case Q 268 Back

76   See for example Hansard, 30 January 2006, col. 56WA, and 20 April 2004, Cols. 432-3WA Back

77   For instance Historic Houses Association Ev 184; RIBA Ev 313 Back

78   In early July 2006, the DCMS website stated that "our responsibilities cover the identification, conservation and enhancement of the historic built environment in England" Back

79   Ev 136 Back

80   Ev 123, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

81   Ev 16 Back

82   Ev 30 Back

83   Q 107 Back

84   Ev 209; Q 114 Back

85   See for instance Mr Preston Ev 284 Back

86   Q 272 Back

87   Merseyside Civic Society Ev 147-8, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

88   Ev 318 Back

89   Q 66 and Q 82 Back

90   Q 271 Back

91   The Historic Environment: A Force for our Future, paragraph 4.7 Back

92   Protecting our historic environment: Making the system work better, DCMS, July 2003 Back

93   Review of Heritage Protection: The Way Forward, DCMS, June 2004 Back

94   Q 361 Back

95   Ev 313 Back

96   Architectural Heritage Foundation Ev 15 Back

97   The Archaeology Forum Ev 6 Back

98   RESCUE Ev 304; Mr Coupe Ev 130; Liverpool City Council Ev 222 Back

99   National Trust Q 56; ALGAO Ev 46 Back

100   Ev 271 Back

101   Ev 74 Back

102   Ev 142 Back

103   DCMS Sponsored Bodies Annual Report 2006, page 39 Back

104   Q 222 Back

105   See para 30; also Church Heritage Forum Ev 86 Back

106   Ev 75. In 2005-06 CABE had an estimated outturn of £12.6 million, £5.69 million of which was funded by DCMS as Grant-in-Aid and most of the remainder being funded by ODPM: DCMS Sponsored Bodies Annual Report 2006.  Back

107   Fifth Report from the Select Committee on the Office of Deputy Prime Minister, HC 59, Session 2004-05, QQ 244-6 Back

108   DCMS 3.69 million, DCLG 6.4 million, planned expenditure for 2006-07; DCMS Sponsored Bodies Annual Report 2006. Back

109   Ev 81 Back

110   National Heritage Memorial Fund Combined Management Statement, Financial Memorandum and National Lottery Directions, HC Library deposit 22 March 2006 Back

111   Ev 163 Back

112   Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 17 Back

113   Ev 38 Back

114   See Mr Saunders Q 9; also Ms Toms Q 147. The Association of Garden Trusts told us that there was little available funding for historic parks outside the HLF public parks programme: Ev 37.  Back

115   ALGAO Ev 47; also CPRE Ev 75, Q 222 and Ms Case Q 274. The Your Heritage programme provides grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 to support community-focused projects. Back

116   Q 245 Back

117   Q 245 Back

118   Q 246 Back

119   Ev 165 Back

120   Ev 10; Dr Dungavell Q 9 Back

121   Mr Hervey-Bathurst Q 95 Back

122   Q 247 Back

123   Archaeology Forum Ev 11 Back

124   See Association of English Cathedrals, Ev 30; also Mr Slee Q 180 Back

125   Ev 11 Back

126   Ev 166 Back

127   Q 241 Back

128   Ev 145, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

129   DCMS Press Release 087/06, 21 June 2006 Back

130   Ev 11 Back

131   Q 240 Back

132   Ev 165 Back

133   DCMS Press Release 087/06, 21 June 2006  Back

134   Ev 143 and 165 Back

135   Q 262 Back

136   Q 262 Back

137   DCMS Sponsored Bodies Annual Report 2006, page 47 Back

138   See for instance Society of Antiquaries of London Ev 324; also Historic Houses Association Q 83 Back

139   Ev 32 Back

140   DCMS Ev 143 Back

141   Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 17 Back

142   HHA Ev 187 Back

143   Ev 17 Back

144   Ev 143 Back

145   For instance, Heritage Link Ev 160; Church Heritage Forum Ev 87; also Q 267 Back

146   Ev 163 and 165 Back

147   DCMS Press Notice 087/06, 21 June 2006 Back

148   Q 263 Back

149   National Lottery Bill, Clause 9 Back

150   Managing National Lottery Distribution Fund balances, First Report of the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 2005-06, HC 408, paragraph 4 Back

151   Ev 166 Back

152   Ev 11 Back

153   Ev 31 Back

154   Managing National Lottery Distribution Fund balances: First Report of the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 2005-06, HC 408 Back

155   The HLF subsequently clarified its statement, explaining that the overcommitment would remain but that the level of overcommitment would not continue to increase beyond a certain point. Back

156   Ev 166 Back

157   Reform of the National Lottery, Fifth Report of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Session 2003-04, HC 196-II, Ev 157 Back

158   As above, paragraph 165. Back

159   Q 258 Back

160   CPRE Ev 75; Church Heritage Forum Ev 83 Back

161   Q 259 Back

162   Q 244 Back

163   Review of the Structures of Government Support for the Historic Environment in England, DCMS/PKF, May 2004 Back

164   Q 253 Back

165   Ev 138, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

166   Q 253 Back

167   Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 15 Back

168   Ev 44 Back

169   Ev 17 Back

170   See Dr Thurley Q 309 Back

171   Q 8 Back

172   Ev 36 Back

173   Historic Environment Local Management Back

174   The website receives about 120,000 "hits" per year: Q 323 Back

175   Q 327 Back

176   Ev 140, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06, Q 131 Back

177   Head of Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeology Service, Ev 72 Back

178   Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 18; Civic Trust Ev 100; Wessex Archaeology Ev 348 Back

179   Mr Kindred Q 114 Back

180   Such as joint Heritage Economic Regeneration Schemes (HERS), Conservation Area Partnerships (CAPs) and Townscape Heritage Initiatives (THIs) Back

181   Association of Gardens Trusts Ev 36; also Q 122 Back

182   Ev 139, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06  Back

183   Planning Officers Society Ev 157 HC 912-III, Session 2005-06; Royal Town Planning Institute Ev 161, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

184   Mr Kindred Q130 Back

185   See Hansard, 20 March 2006, col 14WA Back

186   Q 369 Back

187   Q 117 Back

188   Head of Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeology Service Ev 72 Back

189   Ev 77 Back

190   Ev 44 and CLASP, Ev 120, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

191   Ev 47 Back

192   See for instance National Trust Q 59 Back

193   Q 109 Back

194   Ev 218 Back

195   ALGAO Ev 44; Heritage Link Ev 158; Planning Officers Society, Ev 157, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

196   The Way Forward, p 24 Back

197   Historic Environment Services Local Delivery Project: Consolidated Report, WS Atkins, April 2006 Back

198   Heritage Protection Review: Assessment of eight pilot projects, David Baker, April 2006 Back

199   Implementing the Heritage Protection Review: Local Delivery, Strand B, evaluating the implications of statutory Historic Environment Records, English Heritage, February 2006 (interim report) Back

200   Ev 130, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

201   Ev 131, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

202   Advice from Mr Bob Kindred, Specialist Adviser to the Committee Back

203   The Way Forward p 22 Back

204   Mr Kindred Q 114 Back

205   Dr Dungavell Q7 Back

206   Local Authority Conservation Provision in England, study by Oxford Brookes University, 2003 Back

207   The Way Forward, p 22 Back

208   Historic Environment Services Local Delivery Project, Research by WS Atkins, para 3.3.5 Back

209   Q 132 Back

210   QQ 132-3 Back

211   Advice from Mr Bob Kindred, Specialist Adviser to the Committee Back

212   Ev 139, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

213   Memorandum by Lincoln City Council [not printed] Back

214   Q 141 Back

215   Ev 207 Back

216   Ev 6; Dr Bryant Q 132 Back

217   Q 119 Back

218   Q 124 Back

219   Ev 48 Back

220   Q 22 Back

221   Information supplied by Mr Bob Kindred, Specialist Adviser to the Committee Back

222   QQ165-6; also Ev 151 Back

223   Provisions under the Local Government Act 1972 give powers to local authorities to dispose of land in any manner they wish, except that a disposal must be for the best consideration [i.e. price] reasonably obtainable. Back

224   Ev 17 Back

225   Ev 38 Back

226   Architectural Heritage Fund, Ev 117-8, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

227   Full membership listed at Ev 218  Back

228   Ev 219 Back

229   CPRE Ev 75 Back

230   See also Architectural Heritage Fund Ev 18. Back

231   Q 279 Back

232   See Q 280 Back

233   DCMS Ev 143 Back

234   Country Land and Business Association Ev 125 Back

235   Ev 145, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06. The houses attract 15 million visitors per year and are estimated to contribute about £2 billion to the local and national economy. Back

236   Ev 182 Back

237   See figures in para 32 Back

238   See para 70 Back

239   Q 94 Back

240   Ev 127 Back

241   See paragraph 178 Back

242   Ev 128 Back

243   Q 154 Back

244   Q 80 Back

245   Ev 160, HC 912-III, Session 2005-06 Back

246   See for instance Q 80 Back

247   Q 63 Back

248   RDAs in the North West and North East were cited as good examples: Q 63 and Mr Way Q 80 Back

249   See also Mr Thompson Q 80 Back

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