Just before everybody gets too excited and starts signing things left right
and centre without finding out what this is about, Roy Clare has just given
me permission to repost this here. Its from Dec 8th:
Thank you for writing to me to express your concerns about the future of the
Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). The lead partners (the Museums, Libraries
and Archives Council (MLA) and the British Museum (BM)) recognise that PAS
is an important national scheme in England and Wales. PAS has strong
professional and scholarly relevance to the work of museums and to the study
of archaeology. The primary aim of the scheme - to record archaeological
objects found by the public - is complemented by outreach activities that
extend the benefits to wider audiences in the context of work by museums.
Backed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (from where the
funding originates), the MLA is currently evaluating its own operations and
the entire span of its programmes to ensure that every area is delivered
effectively and efficiently and in a way that gains the best value for
public money. As part of the overall process we have indicated our intention
to take stock of PAS and in particular to consider whether there is scope to
strengthen its day to day relationship with regional museums and further
develop its outreach potential. Details will be announced shortly, but in
principle the review of regional impact will be led jointly by the MLA and
BM and will include members of the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group.
Consultation will be planned with local authorities, regional museums and
partners in the posts funded by the PAS. A report would be expected by the
summer of 2008. A key assumption of the review is that the BM would continue
to manage the PAS and retain scholarly leadership of it, setting the
professional standards that assure its authority. Pending the outcome of the
review the MLA has already stated publicly that funding will be maintained
at 2007/8 levels for the financial year 2008/9. Beyond that, funding has
been earmarked for two further years and would be confirmed in light of the
findings of the review. I hope that this information is helpful to you in
setting straight recent erroneous reports and placing the issue in a more
Chief Executive - Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lindsay Johnson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Save the PAS
> Goodness, is this true? I thought it was a rumour, and had discounted it.
> have to echo Steve and say this can only have serious implications - the
> has proved itself as one central campaign as a working entity - just look
> the increase in reported finds etc. Why do they think that splitting it up
> will hlp at all? It would just lead to disorganisation and general ill
> feeling. Well Merry sodding Christmas!
> On Dec 13, 2007 2:52 PM, Steve@DDL <[log in to unmask]>
>> Excellent post Pete.
>> I too have been extremely surprised at the lack of discussion on Britarch
>> the plight of the PAS, as I would have thought the loss (and that is what
>> will be to all intnets and purposes) could have a serious implications to
>> British archaeology.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Peter Twinn" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 2:44 PM
>> Subject: [BRITARCH] Save the PAS
>> Well I reckon some must be smiling, others not quite knowing whats going
>> on and others totally astounded by whats currently doing the rounds about
>> the Portable Antiquities Scheme......well, everywhere except here maybe!
>> I'm bemused, neh staggered that those who would rub their hands with glee
>> haven't sought to hammer home their long held personal feelings that the
>> PAS is a drain on funding that could be better spent elsewhere!
>> Mind you, just imagine a what will happen! an unfettered hobby with no
>> sense of direction for the historic record which the PAS did very well.
>> Just imagine all those sites & artefact's that will never be seen or
>> of due to there being no PAS.
>> Ah I hear you say, but if they get moved off into these Renaissance Hub
>> Museums then that should be much more practical! Not so and I'll spell
>> why. One,the PAS has built a bloomin fantastic team headed by Roger Bland
>> and others, take the head away and the body will die. Two, If anyone
>> thinks for a minute that all the FLO's will just saunter off quietly to
>> regional museums like Bristol (who have shut their regional archaeology
>> section recently to the consternation of Gale Boyle(fab curator)) then
>> think again, they'll get less job security there than with the PAS at
>> present time. These hard working archaeologist are feeling as secure as a
>> live turkey in a butchers shop! Three, if you think that hobbyist are
>> going to sit there and think this is a great idea for them then pull your
>> fingers out of your ears and listen to what they think! This whole
>> that is currently unfolding will bring us all back to one place only and
>> that the pre PAS era of mistrust and anger.
>> Sorry if this seems a little terse, but I am along with a lot of other
>> hard working people really upset at this attempt to manipulate a whole
>> functioning, successful scheme into a railroad car out into the regions.
>> Love to hear what you all think?
>> I'm amazed that these hair-brain idea's that Roy Clare has come up with
>> has hardly been thought through, let alone ANY consultation with those
>> whom this affects. Perhaps he has a dream? Perhaps his lack of support
>> during the funding round for the PAS was just an oversight? Perhaps
>> Christmas really does exist!
>> Happy Christmas all.