Department for Culture Media and Sport
ministerial joint statement
Joint Ministerial Statement from Andy Burnham (Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport), Barbara Follett (Minister for Culture) and Baroness Kay Andrews (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
3 December 2008
“The Queen’s Speech today reflects the Government’s immediate priorities in these difficult times. We believe it contains legislation that will improve the lives of the people of Britain as they face exceptional global circumstances.
Many people, of course, will be disappointed that the Heritage Protection Bill has had to be put on hold for the time being as a result. But have no doubt: the Government is 100 per cent committed to preserving and protecting our precious historic environment. We know it is important to local communities in providing a distinctive character and a sense of place.
The important thing now is that reform work on a range of fronts continues, and the momentum built up since the publication of the White Paper in March last year is maintained.
Protecting heritage is an integral part of the planning system. One key area of reform will be the development of a new Policy Planning Statement which is clear and up to date and brings together planning policy on all aspects of the historic environment – the built environment, archaeology and landscape - and underlines their essential place in the planning context. We will work together to produce a draft PPS for public consultation before the Easter recess.
Alongside this, we will next year publish a clear statement of the Government’s vision and priorities for the historic environment – a statement that properly captures its value in the widest sense across government.
Next year will also see consultation begin on the English Heritage Strategic Designation Programme, and the continuation of their programme of training and capacity building for local authority historic environment staff.
So there is much to get on with and far to go. We hope that those working in – and for - the heritage sector will continue to engage with us, and we look forward to hearing your views as the reform programme continues into 2009 and beyond.”
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