MINUTES OF THE 37TH MEETING OF by ae98A1i

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									Historic Environment Forum
                        MINUTES OF THE 37TH MEETING OF
                  THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT FORUM HELD ON
                                  26 MAY 2011
                 AT ENGLISH HERITAGE, 1 WATERHOUSE SQUARE,
                     138 – 142 HOLBORN, LONDON, EC1N 2ST

     Present: John Sell, Chairman
     Dave Barrett, ALGAO
     Tony Burton, Civic Voice
     Laura Clayton, English Heritage
     Pete Hinton, IFA
     Deborah Lamb, English Heritage
     Duncan McCallum, English Heritage
     Judy Ling Wong, Black Environment Network
     Ben Greener, Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division, C of E
     Mike Heyworth, CBA
     Kate Pugh, The Heritage Alliance
     Emma Robinson, The Heritage Alliance
     Ingrid Samuel, the National Trust
     Jonathan Thompson, CLA
     Ruth Watkinson, Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division, C of E
     Nick Way, HHA.

1.   Apologies
     Apologies were received from John Barnes, Noel James, Ian Lush, Ian Morrison,
     Helen Williams, and Duncan Wilson. The Chairman welcomed Ingrid Samuel,
     now representing the National Trust.

2.   Minutes of the HEF meeting 17 February 2011.
     These were approved.

3.   Matters arising
     Membership: The places of worship group POWAlliance had accepted the
     invitation to join the Forum and would attend the next meeting.

4.   Sector update
     1.   English Heritage & DCMS
     Deborah Lamb reported on the restructuring at English Heritage after the
     Comprehensive Spending Review. After reducing the senior management team
     from 5 to 4, other teams (HPR, Curatorial, and Conservation) were being
     reviewed. EH sites (other than Stonehenge and Old Sarum) would close for the
     winter season. She noted the launch of the new EH Corporate Plan on 23 May.

     Restructuring at DCMS means the remit of Head of Heritage post where Helen
     Williams has succeeded Ingrid Samuel will include the national museums.

     2.    Future EH Guidance and Advice
     Duncan McCallum outlined the three categories of documents created by English
     Heritage to assist owners, developers, heritage experts and elected members:
     Policy Statements, Guidance Notes and Standards documents. With the shift
     towards non-government guidance to support the National Planning Policy
     Framework/PPS, the Forum was invited to consider how best engage with
     English Heritage to draw up these documents in future.

     The Forum unanimously welcomed the table setting out EH’s proposed guidance
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over the next year. It showed up opportunities to express interest as well as
where the gaps might lie. They agreed the best way to be kept up to date on a
regular basis would be for a similar table to be tabled at every Forum meeting.
While guidance already in hand might be posted on the EH website, many of the
longer term proposals were tentative making the table a document for HEF
members only.

Action: EH to issue an updated list of forthcoming planning related
guidance as a standing item on the HEF agenda.

On engagement, EH strongly encouraged HEF members to contribute to the
development of guidance. On the process, PH recommended earlier
engagement in the process at the creative stage before drafting even begins; TB
suggested the language and support needs should be adjusted to an audience
that would, increasingly, become community orientated. The National Heritage
Protection Plan (NHPP) process would help prioritise guidance but HEF
members were invited to give pass on their views on priorities and their interest in
any of the proposals.

Action: All HEF members to contact Duncan McCallum to express interest
in collaborating over future guidance documents.

3.   Small Champions Group
Deborah Lamb reported the Small Champions Group meeting in April had
discussed the Localism Bill and NHPP, options for the launch of Heritage Counts
2011, the theme for Heritage Counts 2012 and the forthcoming HEF meeting, all
items now on the agenda. It had confirmed the criteria for HEF membership as
set out in the minutes.

4.   LA Historic Environment Services
Dave Batchelor (EH) presented the latest employment figures (FTE) for
Conservation Officers and Archaeological Advisers, confirming that the
downward trend continued at a greater rate for Conservation Officers (25% in last
5 years) than for Archaeological Officers but both were cause for very serious
concern. The final results would be published shortly.

Some suggestions were made on the presentation of the figures to take into
account the size of regions and their asset base, mapping some ‘black holes’
without any Conservation Officer provision. There were also dangers in
comparing the findings too closely with the arbitrary baseline of 2003 and with the
development control cycle.

It was agreed that the late paper, a draft to Heritage Champions, should be
amended in the light of these figures. To influence the next round of budget
setting it was agreed to contact Heritage Champions (if none, the Chief
Executive) to explain the value of historic environment services in their area in
mid August.

HEF members agreed to publicise the findings at the same time as the EH press
release. Letters to Heritage Champions should go out at the same time.

Actions:
1. EH would revise the material for HEF members to use with impact.
2. Small Champions Group to finalise the drafts, timing, and comms
   strategy
3. HEF members to publicise at a date tbc.
4. EH to email amended letter and attachment, with a summary of the
   findings to Champs at a date tbc.

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5.   Heritage Counts
     1. Heritage Counts 11
     The Forum noted the paper summarising progress on the various components
     relating to Heritage Counts 2011.

     LC noted the preceding session where HEF members had heard the very
     positive findings of the Heritage Alliance and Civic Voice research projects.

     A BritianThinks workshop had then explored the barriers preventing more
     sustained volunteering aiming to identify how the national heritage organisations
     could help local bodies attract more volunteers. Most recommendations covered
     a more outward-looking and flexible approach by local bodies with emphasis on
     better communications. An Action Plan would be drawn up on the basis of this
     and previous focus groups for consideration by the HEF.

     Action: LC to circulate BritianThinks findings, Social Action Plan.

     Members noted the case studies. Further case studies were requested from the
     Joint Committee (JS), on Street Clutter guidance from Civic Voice (TB), further
     information from HHA (NW) and on Trustees (JS).

     Action: John Sell, Tony Burton, Nick Way to forward case studies to LC.

     As part of the Action Plan, it was proposed to hold a seminar in 2012. Members
     discussed the objectives: show Government how to deliver even more Big
     Society through heritage; and potential audiences - local Heritage Champs
     and/or the Regional HEFs but not the wider voluntary sector. It might even
     combine with the Heritage Champs conference in 2012. It was therefore agreed
     to refer further discussion to the Heritage Counts Steering Group.

     Action Laura Clayton to add seminar discussion to the HC11 Steering
     Group agenda and bring fuller programme to next HEF.

     LC thanked all who had Tweeted news of Heritage Counts 2011 which had had a
     definite impact on driving up visits to the website.

     The previous date for the launch 10 November may be revised.

     2. Heritage Counts 2012 theme
     LC’s paper set out 4 themes based on previous discussions: Historic
     Environment and the knowledge economy, HE and learning/education; Heritage
     sector and skills; and Heritage sector sustainability.

     There was support for the education and skills theme which was in danger of
     being deferred yet again. PH suggested it might reflect how our understanding of
     the past had changed and how new knowledge is generated through heritage.
     Promoting heritage as an education resource would be also one of the key
     messages. MH noted the policy activity over curriculum reform and Henley
     Review but considered the recommendations would need to be carefully
     presented to avoid being though old fashioned. However it was felt that this, in
     view of the cuts, might not be a productive direction and could be covered in the
     annual review.

     Members discussed in detail the sustainability option revising it to showing how
     heritage contributes to the resilience of the nation, a more current and relevant
     topic. Although similar to the Big Society, it might look into financial areas such
     as asset transfer and social enterprise in more detail. Advantages lay in this

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     theme having a relatively uncontroversial political message and being much more
     forward thinking. Disadvantages lay in the risk that if heritage is shown to be
     resilient Government might drop historic environment policies and public funding.

     It had been agreed that the 2012 Heritage Counts would include an extended
     indicator sector marking the ten years of publications. But instead of the
     traditional 3 part format, it was suggested that the 2012 publication might take a
     different form such as a think-tank event or collection of think pieces. It was
     agreed that LC would convene a small group to hep her develop the idea.

     The 2012 theme is confirmed as ‘How Heritage contributes the nation’s
     resilience’.

     Action: Members to contact LC if joining the 2012 sub-group.

6.   HEF matters
     1. Value added by the National HEF
     KP thanked members for their feedback which would help make future agendas
     of benefit to all. Members agreed single issue discussions at future meetings
     would be useful subject to resources. The NHPP Advisory Board was expected
     to take the lead on horizon scanning and could be invited to the September HEF
     meeting to help identify future discussion topics.

     Action: All - any further suggestions to KP.

     2. Relationship with Regional HEFs
     A survey of Regional HEFS showed them providing some stability in the
     changing sub national framework and that the level of activity, above the
     common information-sharing baseline, varied enormously. The survey also
     showed that some RHEFS were already engaging with the new Local Enterprise
     partnership buts that it was too early to see how heritage outcomes could be
     incorporated effectively into their objectives. Thirdly there did appear a clear
     demand for better communication with the national HEF subject to resources.

     The forum agreed to thank the respondees, welcome a closer relationship;
     circulating the HEF paper for information; ask them to keep the national HEF
     informed on developing engagement with LEPs.

     The more efficient way of sharing information would be to upload agendas as
     well as minutes to the HEF webpage, adding RHEF publications to create an
     information resource and network.

     Action KP/ER to circulate paper and revise HEF webpage accordingly.

      3. Advocacy Opportunities
     National Planning Policy Framework. DMcC reported that the ‘practitioners’
     draft’ in the public domain was believed to be close to the one inside Government
     and if so raised serious concerns over the way heritage was being treated. It was
     agreed that HEF members should take action in the next 2-3 weeks in order to
     have an impact. KP agreed to alert members to this opportunity to influence the
     draft at pre-consultation stage. DMcC would circulate an EH briefing on 1 June
     for information. The formal consultation is expected to begin in early July.

     Action: All members to make concerns known to CLG and others.

     KP noted that the Alliance had been invited to a NPPF discussion with the
     Practitioners Advisory Group on 8th June. Henry Russell (THA Parliamentary
     Liaison Officer) would represent the Alliance.

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    Localism Bill (Report stage)
    Recent amendments over the setting of heritage were welcome but there were
    still many measures that would affect our heritage notably the introduction of a
    business led approach to neighbourhood planning and financial considerations.
    |It was heard that Baroness Andrews would be speaking in the Lords, the APPG
    on Archaeology was well engaged and the Alliance too was actively briefing
    Lords in advance of the 2nd and 3rd reading in early June.

    The Alliance was convening a meeting of heritage parliamentary officers on 23
    June to co-ordinate activity.

    HLF feedback on consultation
    Members noted the main findings so far in a paper that was tabled by Ian
    Morrison. Some concern was noted on the low level of support for HLF funding to
    places of worship.
    Action: KP to pass this on the PowAlliance grouping.

    Public Bodies Bill
    Government had dropped the measure which would have allowed bodies as
    named in Schedule 7 and established by Act of Parliament such as the National
    Trust) to be abolished, amended or merged by order, that is, by secondary rather
    than by primary legislation.

    4. Sub Groups
    Broadening Access: This group had held a successful seminar in May on
    disability heritage. EH plans an on-line disability history project next year.
    Climate Change: Ruth Watkinson felt there was an appetite for reviving the
    group and agreed to manage it. EH, HHA, CLA, CV, NT, SPAB Church Buildings
    Division all expressed interest.
    Action: RW to convene by email

7   AOB
    PH raised the Southport Group’s consultation draft Realising the Benefits of
    Planning-led investigation in the Historic Environment’,

    Action: HEF members to respond to the consultation by 4 June

    The Chairman noted that the HEF was invited to take action under
    recommendations 5 and 21. Members agreed that recommendation 21 where the
    HEF undertook to promote the principle of PPS5 was already in hand. Further
    support was agreed by asking all members to write to John Penrose reiterating
    support for PPS5. EH would provide a briefing on Wednesday 1 June.

    Actions: KP to alert members; DMcC to circulate briefing.

    Recommendation 5 suggested that ATA, IfA, Historic Environment Forum and
    EH work together to help the sector skills councils create an integrated set of
    historic environment NOS and NVQs. Members had reservations whether such
    action fell within the HEF remit. A fuller discussion was not possible so it was felt
    that this recommendation should be revised. However since no other
    overarching body existed for historic environment skills and training, PH agreed
    to draft a short note on a HEF role for discussion at the next meeting.

    Action PH to draft paper for next HEF meeting.

    Date of next meeting 15 September 2011, 2.00pm-4.00pm.


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