Thursday, 21 July 2011

News - Concerns over planned cuts to archaeological service (South Yorkshire)

Campaigners against cuts to the South Yorkshire Archaeological Service have said the planned loss of funding would pose a risk to local heritage.

They have met with Sheffield City Council to discuss the 50% funding cut. 

The Labour-led council is implementing the reduction in funding as part of £80m cuts to their budget.

The service works with planners to advise them on the archaeological impact of proposed developments. 

It also keeps a record of sites and monuments in the region in line with government policy.

Reduced demand
In a statement, the council said: "The demand for archaeology services has been reduced due to declining and substantially lower development and building activity because of the credit crunch.

"The budget reduction was agreed under the previous administration and is being implemented currently. 

"The current administration is not able to reverse this decision without impacting on other service areas and therefore regrettably, this decision will stand."

Sheffield City Council, Doncaster Council, Rotherham Council and Barnsley Council in South Yorkshire fund the service, and in January they jointly agree to a cut of 15%.

However, in March, Sheffield City Council decided to cut their funding to the service by 50%.

Bill Bevan, local archaeologist and heritage interpreter said: "A 50% cut is a much higher figure than any other council service is having to make, so why are they overloading the cuts to this particular service?"

The service recently discovered a Roman cemetery and artefacts over 2,000 years old on the site of the new Waterdale Centre in Doncaster.

Mr Bevan said: "If the service had not been able to advise on that site, a major nationally important archaeological site would have been lost."


No comments:

Post a Comment