Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Loughton and Vaisey on PAS

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham [electorate 72,996], Conservative)
"To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his future funding plans are for the Portable Antiquities scheme; and if he will make a statement".
He's probably got two metal detectorists in his constituency. The last time he asked a question in the House on archaeology was seven years ago.  The reply was singularly evasive:

"Edward Vaizey (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; Wantage, Conservative)
The Government recognises the important role that the Portable Antiquities Scheme plays in furthering our understanding of British history and archaeology. The resource allocations given to the British Museum up to 2015-16 include funding for its administration of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Future funding arrangements will be considered as part of the next spending review".
Maybe instead of asking periodically where the next batch of funding is coming from MPs like Loghton would do better to urge legislative change to establish the PAS and its "partners" as a permanent part of the heritage management system with a proper budget assigned as part of that status. Then some law changes to focus the whole system more on sustainable management of the archaeological heritage in a manner which is most archaeologically useful, bringing even greater benefit to the public (not just the ones that collect artefacts).

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