As I predicted ('PAS Meltdown (6): Why this is a Problem', PACHI Sunday, 21 June 2015), the LVA-PAS is stating to disintegrate as local partners ask "what's in it for us?" in financing part of the kudos-generation of the BM's education department. Norfolk cuts are planned. A petition has been started up (by an anonymous somebody called "Save Norfolk's History Now" who seems from the spelling and unstructured argument likely to be a metal-detectorist). Of sixteen thousand detectorists, only 190 have signed the "Save Norfolk's History" petition. The blurb reads:
It has been proposed that Norfolk County Council withdraw funding from finds identification and recording service from next April (2016). This would leave posts funded solely by the Portable Antiquities Scheme [ie from the budget of the British Museum PMB]: A Finds Liaison Officer, a Data Input Assistant (half-time) and a numismatist (half funded by the portable antiquities scheme). So in affect 4.5 posts would be reduced by 2.5 to 2 posts , a reduction of 56 percent. the Identification and Recording Service (I&RS), which in turn is a part of NCC's Historic Environment Service, make 15,000 + records a year of historical artifacts (sic) and coins made by people who hand them in quite voluntarily.[...] the "decimation" of ( or 56% cut in) the I&RS would result in a very steep decline in the number of new records that would be able to be processedand of course this would mean, wouldn't it, that responsible detectorists will stop their artefact hunting because they will want to avoid overburdening the system or having unrecorded finds on their hands.
My guess is that this petition is going to get a lot of signatures, the jobs in Norfolk may well be 'saved' for another two or three years, but this crisis will be repeated here and elsewhere and the PAS will collapse. What comes after it - or what should replace it to head off the possibility of a hiatus?
Go on, sign it, despite the support of some of them for anti-legislation Irish detectorists, they are decent folk in Norfolk.
My previous posts on PAS meltdown are listed here: ('PAS Meltdown Coverage so far'PACHI Monday, 20 July 2015). We will see how many of my other predictions come true in the next few months.