PLANNING DELIVERY GRANTS
Its that time of year again when those of us working in the Boroughs will have our fingers crossed for a generous PDG from the ODPM. The question will be how much of it will be spent on Conservation Officers? Up to now the money has tended to go towards Development Control and Policy planners because of the link with Best Value targets, leaving conservation the poor cousins of planning. But things might be changing!
Rumour has it that the ODPM is rushing through Best Value targets for conservation-
1/ Quinquennial inspections of council owned heritage assets.
2/ Character appraisals of conservation areas.
3/ Creation of Historic Environment Records (already in place within London at EH).
The question will be, how can already overstretched Conservation Officers hit these new targets and thus get PDG money for extra staff? Given the lack of skilled conservation people in London where are these extra staff to be found? Answers on a postcard to J Prescott MP, ODPM, London.