You may already be aware of the proposed Lancashire County Council (LCC) budget cuts, which amongst other things include the plan to close the Council’s historic environment service as well as to close five museums.
The CBA (Council for British Archaeology) is calling for concerned people to consider writing to their County Councillors to highlight the threat to the historic environment and the value that these services have to local people. CBA recognises that all services must take their share of the cuts. However, the concern is that drastic action is being taken without giving time for alternatives to be considered or for new, more sustainable measures, to be put in place to prevent harm to the county’s heritage and uphold the planning process.
It is the closure of the historic environment service that poses the most imminent threat to the historic environment of the county. The service provides a range of vital planning advisory services and maintains the Historic Environment Record (HER) – the database of known information on heritage assets in the county. CBA believe that it would be possible to save the service and put in place a new service, based on a regional delivery model, which would aim to deliver the same savings as the proposed closure, within 12 months. CBA is therefore proposing that Lancashire County Council issue a 12 month stay of execution which would allow the stakeholders to pursue alternate arrangements for delivery, maintaining a constant service and aiming to institute a cost-neutral regional shared service which would be able to pay for itself via agreed service level agreement.
All our members are being urged to write to their County Councillors to raise their concern, and ask for CBA’s proposal to be debated in the upcoming Council meeting on 11 February.