Thursday 3 December 2020

Revising the Treasure Act 1996 Consultation outcome (PAS refused to take part)

Consultation outcome: " Revising the definition of treasure in the Treasure Act 1996 and revising the related codes of practice"
This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome (The government’s response to the public consultation Revising the definition of treasure in the Treasure Act 1996 and revising the related codes of practice sets out next steps in the future of the treasure process)

As expected, with regard to some of the proposals the consultation says were under consideration, the "response" is totally bla-bla and lacking any concrete substance. 

The government has been saying for well over a decade now that they'll be getting around some time to having a look, whether perhaps it might be possible one day in the unspecified future to change the definition of Treasure. Maybe. This new document says in effect the same thing here. So nothing new here. No real timetable is mentioned (the report came out 27 days before the end of 202 in which the timetable presented say so much will have been done). In effect, "carry on as before" seems to be the half-arsed message here. Thanks Boris.
But look at this number of respondents 1,461 number of respondents part of Portable Antiquities Scheme: 5. Only five archaeologists out of fifty or so directly involved in the Treasure process took part, the rest sitting on their public-funded office chairs drinking coffee, refused to take part. Shame on them, shame on the PAS.


David Knell said...

It is perhaps indicative of their somewhat careless approach that they state "the unique 4th century statue of a dog found in Gloucestershire in 2017 [...] did not fall under the definition of treasure in the 1996 Act because it was made of lead" (3:3). The so-called 'licking dog' is in fact very obviously made of copper alloy (bronze).

Paul Barford said...

Oh come on, David. They've only been talking since at least the "Crosby Garrett" affair (May 2010) about making these changes, but this response looks like it was brinksmanship knocked up quickly in the last few weeks to get it out in time for the end of the year. You cant expect them to get these things right!

David Knell said...

I'm loving their decisive response to many of the questions they asked: "We will be looking further at this issue while we consider ..." or "We will not be commencing this section at this time".

Only ten years? That's lightning fast for government bureaucracy. I'm sure they can drag it out a bit longer than that. Bear in mind this is only the first response to the first consultation. They will certainly need a second consultation on that response ... then a third consultation on the second response ...

If they play it right, they will be safe in their jobs for at least another decade.

Brian Mattick said...

One of the further issues might be putting objects in regional tiers such that a common object found in one county will attract little or no treasure reward whereas if it is found in another where it is rare it will generate a bigger one.

What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

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