General election 2024: CIfA’s advocacy for the new government

This morning, Labour’s general election’s victory was confirmed. We can now estimate the rough trajectory for advocacy over the coming months.

As part of their manifesto, Labour has promised rapid and bold changes to planning to enable the system to get more houses built, speed up decision-making, and invest in skills.

There are many other challenges facing the nation and affecting archaeology: Skills retention, local government finances, including squeezed discretionary spending for heritage provisions and planning services, and delivering action on biodiversity and climate crises. We also expect that Comprehensive Spending Review will be conducted and is likely to be a difficult one for public bodies.

As the new Government also steps into office, we are likely to welcome Angela Raynor as Secretary of State for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities. We do not have any strong indication of who will be the Culture Secretary as the former shadow front-bencher for Culture Thangam Debbonaire did not win her seat in Bristol Central.

CIfA’s CEO Nathan Baker said:

"We are excited to welcome a new Government, and energised by the prospect of change. We will be working hard to make sure that this change is driven by the opportunities archaeology provides to make people's lives better, shape great places, and inspire communities. We are looking forward to meeting new Ministers and engaging with officials to yield the public benefit of archaeology"

CIfA's immediate advocacy goals will be to:

  • Deliver the implementation of Statutory HERs
  • Take a strong interest in Labour’s planning reform plans and seek minor improvements to historic environment provisions in any National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) reform
  • Protect planning advisory services to ensure archaeology contributes to sustainable development and placemaking
  • Capitalise on opportunities for world-leading archaeological projects as part of infrastructure investment on projects like the new Green Grid
  • Support archaeological skills through continued investment in apprenticeships and by not increasing pressure on vocational archaeology degree courses
  • Promote vital synergies between environmental policy and the historic environment to inform Environmental Land Management (ELM) and other DEFRA work
  • Deliver structural improvements in the management of underwater cultural heritage by Government

You can read more about CIfA’s advocacy objectives with the new Government in this briefing.

Join an election debrief event – 18 July, 1pm

If you’re interested in discussing the outcome of the General Election, CIfA's advocacy activities, and what might be coming up in the next few months, please come along to an informal session with CIfA's Policy and Advocacy Manager, Rob Lennox on 18 July, 1pm.

We will talk about the priorities of the new government, as well as how we will be seeking to find new champions for archaeology among new intake of MPs.

CIfA members are invited to discuss and share thoughts in a respectful environment where the focus will be on issues and policies affecting archaeology.

You can register to attend here.