CIfA is continuing to advocate on behalf of the archaeology sector and help inform UK governments of the impacts of the pandemic in archaeology. In England, CIfA is sitting on both Historic Environment Forum task groups which are looking at COVID-19 (one focussed on short term recovery, the other on longer term rebuilding). In Scotland, CIfA is sitting on the COVID Historic Environment Resilience Forum. We are also receiving regular updates from Cadw and the Historic Environment Division on processes for managing COVID impact on archaeology in Wales and Northern Ireland.
CIfA has also been advising on new DCMS guidance for the heritage sector which will be published in the coming days. Throughout the pandemic we have been working closely with Prospect to help support the development of site safety guidance. More information can be found on our Coronavirus information pages.
We are currently surveying archaeological organisations and individuals to help inform our contributions to these forums. You can complete the survey here.
The Westminster Government has recently made statements about its aspirations for reform of the planning process, in part to help stimulate economic recovery from COVID-19. This should serve as a taster for what is expected from the English Planning White Paper, which is due to be published by Government very soon. Other press reports have indicated that the Government may be considering major reforms.
We will also be responding to the publication of a radical paper from the Policy Exchange think tank which advocated for the massive scaling back the planning system.
CIfA remains extremely concerned by the Government’s insistence that cutting regulation will speed up the planning process and make it more efficient. CIfA has a briefing paper detailing it’s policy position on the relaxation of planning control which you can read here. Last year CIfA also conducted the Planning Case Studies Project which developed a body of evidence which showed how the current planning system functions well to protect heritage and prove that it does not create unnecessary burdens, and conversely, highlighting the potential for harm where these systems are undermined.
CIfA recently responded to an initial call for evidence on Scotland’s National Planning Framework 4 and will also be participating in this major reform process as they develop later this year.
UK Shortage Occupation List:
A current consultation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is reviewing the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) in the light of propped changes to the UK Government’s immigration policy. Archaeology was added to the SOL last year following a previous review and the MAC is not currently re-considering that inclusion. As such all archaeological jobs will be remaining on the shortage list for the until such time as the next full review takes place.
Recent consultation responses:
Recent CIfA consultation responses can be found here.