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HERFORUM  April 2009

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Subject:

Re: Charging for HER searches

From:

Simon Walton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Issues related to Historic Environment Records <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:44:21 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

Hi,

I'm surprised by the number that don't charge for 'non commercial'
work. In other fields there is not this split for example most local
record offices I've dealt with for any search requests for genealogical
information charge a fee even if it is for personal use. 

cheers

Simon Walton

>>> Nick Boldrini <[log in to unmask]> 21/04/2009 12:15
>>>
Hi Hugh and others

to be clear we are not charging for information, but staff time to deal
with the inquiry.

The information may originally come form contractors, but it rarely
arrives here in a format that makes it easy to index in the digital HER,
and its perhaps arguable that HER costs reflect those costs as well as
the pure search time (ie overheads of IT, software licences, compilation
and maintenance of the HER etc) as well as admin time for generating the
invoice etc, and the one costs of my post.

I must admit to being quite surprised by this thread by

a) the number of HER's who don't charge at all - all the HER's I have
worked at have charged and I thought nowadays it would be hard to avoid
b) the number who charge less for the second increment of time - I
don't get that at all, the cost per hour is gonna be the same surely -
unless you change staff member half way through? ; )
c) the number of people who do scanning/photocopying for people - we
tell people they can do it here if they like, but we don't go through
the paper files for them

seems their quite a variety of service provision out there

best wishes

Nick Boldrini
Historic Environment Record Officer
Heritage and Environment Section
Development and Countryside Service
Business and Environmental Services Directorate
North Yorkshire County Council
County Hall
Northallerton
DL7 8AH
Direct Dial (01609) 532331
 
Nick Boldrini covers archaeological development control work for Selby
District ONLY.
For all other districts archaeological development control, contact
Lucie Hawkins Direct Dial: 01609 532316 [log in to unmask]


Conserving North Yorkshire's heritage - encouraging sustainable access
www.northyorks.gov.uk/her 


>>> 
From: 	"Winfield, Hugh" <[log in to unmask]>
To:	<[log in to unmask]>
Date: 	21/04/2009 11:54
Subject: 	Re: Charging for HER searches

Hi All,

We don't charge here in NELC; the main reason is that I am directly
employed by the planning service who until recently were extremely wary
of charges other than the planning fee itself as it was seen as a double
charge (if that makes sense).  
The second reason that I don't charge is that a large proportion of the
useful data in the SMR/HER is now data that has come directly from PPG16
work, so in many cases companies would end up paying for information
that they themselves created in the first place, which seems ludicrous
to me. Most enquiries are in relation to work that will in the end
provide data to enhance the SMR/HER so I see it as a fair exchange.

As the digital SMR/HER is only four years old I have been able to
custom build it with commercial enquiries in mind, therefore commercial
enquiries generally do not need any filtering so they take very little
time (the small size of NELC helps there :) ); I find that enquiries by
students and other academic researches take much more time to process as
they generally want much more specific data covering a larger area.

I do charge for photocopying though.

Hugh

Hugh Winfield 
Archaeologist

Access your county council services online 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week at www.northyorks.gov.uk.

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