2012 Yearbook

R E V I E W 15 MAKING MORE WITH LESS 4&©/ 0 3&*--: IHBC DIRECTOR Looking ahead in $%&$ we can see many challenges, whichever part of the conservation world we work in. There have been some appalling incursions into the infrastructure of conservation services in local authorities and these are well documented by the IHBC’s own surveys, supported by English Heritage and now Cadw. Similarly, the policy frameworks are changing and the misty-eyed ideas that were anticipated in the proposed new heritage legislation of only a few years ago seem little more than fond memories. De-regulation is now the watchword (albeit sometimes whispered) in governments across the UK. In England the Department for #VTJOFTT *OOPWBUJPO 4LJMMT %#*4 has been promoting recent reforms under the cover of implementing a much more integrated and thoughtful report by Adrian Penfold, a director at property developers and investors British Land. These reforms pose a major threat to some of the fundamental truths of conservation. Penfold’s ideas of customer service, integrated professional standards and refined processes are lost in the DBIS All have achieved a higher profile in Scotland than anyone, myself included, might have anticipated. In Wales the linkage between the political and the professional has been developing very well, with a strong ongoing dialogue between the key players. Cadw has provided invaluable support to the *)#$ T QMBOOFE 6, XJEF MPDBM authority capacity survey by helping to fund the survey of Wales. Equally, the close partnerships on the development of legislation in Wales, building on lessons hard won in our discussions on proposed legislative change in England, have secured the loyal friends and positive support that such open discussions generate. However, Wales still lacks an appropriate linking body active across conservation interests, in the way Scotland has BEFS or, for the voluntary sector, England has The Heritage Alliance. This is despite long discussions and substantial investment, not least by the IHBC. The missed trick of a Wales Historic &OWJSPONFOU /FUXPSL BQQSPQSJBUFMZ JG JSPOJDBMMZ QSF OBNFE A8)&/ or, better still, a Built Environment 'PSVN 8BMFT #&'8 NBZ become more of an issue as the pace of change progresses there. In Northern Ireland things have been developing a little more slowly than previously as we await UIF NVDI BOUJDJQBUFE EFMFHBUJPO PG powers to local authorities. However, UIF *)#$ JT IFMQJOH UP SF GPDVT discussions on suitably practical issues, looking at the conservation capacity there in line with our other conservation capacity research. We BSF BMTP FYQMPSJOH IPX XJEFS MJOLT across borders might ease pressures, not only for the sector as a whole, but for what is still our smallest branch. So, midst all the fire and hail, UJDL CPY BQQSPBDI UP B DSVEF LJOE PG resource/performance management strategy. No doubt there was some frustration in DBIS at what was seen as a lack of response to the headline issues in Penfold. However, the IHBC and others, from clients to USBJOFST XFSF TVDDFTTGVMMZ FYQMPSJOH the bigger picture of integrating services. But of course there is nothing new about forward planning being TBDSJmDFE PO UIF QZSF PG FYQFEJFODZ In Scotland there has been a less formally aggressive stance against the regulation that caring for our heritage can generate. The ‘intermediary body’ Built Environment Forum 4DPUMBOE #&'4 IBT HFOFSBUFE QBO TFDUPS MJOLBHFT JODMVEJOH CPUI third sector and professional bodies. These linkages have helped to tie the conservation threads together more e"ectively than in England, but then Scotland is a much smaller place. BEFS is faced this year with the end of a funding programme that was originally initiated, with commendable foresight, by Historic Scotland. Like so many of Scotland’s heritage organisations, BEFS now finds its operations hampered by the uncertainty of its future balance sheet. Yet its promotion of a number of key initiatives in Scotland has been crucial in marking out at least what might be possible if the sector were to join together. Recent initiatives in BEFS include: t building MOTs to test the condition of buildings t local authority conservation capacity standards t forward planning for skills in the DPOTUSVDUJPO JOEVTUSZ UISPVHI the Sector Skills Council, $*5# $POTUSVDUJPO4LJMMT t highlighting VAT imbalances, as VAT generally applies to SFQBJST CVU OPU OFX CVJME