Meeting the Minister

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World Heritage UK’s Chair and President have met with John Glen, the Under Secretary of State for the Arts, Heritage and Tourism at Whitehall in London. Sam Rose and Chris Blandford introduced the Minister to the goals of World Heritage UK and a range of issues were discussed. One of the significant outcomes was an invitation to meet with a senior representative of Visit Britain, a meeting which will take place next week.

Seen here with one of Visit Britain’s ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign posters, the UK’s 31 globally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites should fit nicely into this theme.

DCMS line up

A new team at DCMS – and World Heritage UK have met the boss

News

DCMS Changes

Since the arrival of Teresa May as Prime Minister there has been a lot of change at  Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).  The Secretary of State is now the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, who was formerly at the Home Office.

Whilst most other members of the team have changed, the World Heritage community is lucky to have continuety in the form of Tracey Crouch MP, the junior Minister with the brief for Heritage and Tourism, and we look forward to continue working with her over the coming years.

Brexit Round table

Over the last two weeks Site Coordinators have been asked for their views on how they think the referendum result may impact on WH Sites and their management.  This was in order to put together a briefing paper in advance of round table discussion about this issue between the Secretary of State and the Heritage Sector.

We were lucky enough to be offered a place around the table for the meeting, as part of a group that included the National Trust, Historic England, English Heritage Trust, Historic Houses Assocation, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Royal Palaces, Heritage Alliance and the Churches Conservation Trust.

So it was in that rather exulted company that I attended the session on Wednesday armed with the views of our membership.  The round table was a useful exercise – collectively we expressed our percieved challenges, notably around losing funding, concerns over European designations and movement of people with necessary skills. We also presented some opportunities, particularly around the potential for new collaborations and the heightened role that the Heritage Sector can play in presenting the UK and in ‘soft power’ diplomacy.

The Secretary of State was relaxed and interested, and sees the importance and value of Heritage. Along with her colleague Lord Ashton (two ministers for the price of one!) we hope that they are able to use our messages around the cabinet table, in committees and in both houses.  I also hope that this is just the start of an enhanced dialogue with government, and I will keep you up to date.

Our briefing paper is available to download from this page – go to the bottom under Brexit discussions.  Please do continue to send Chris or I your examples to collate – the Secretary of State offered us an opportunity to email further thoughts at the end of the meeting, so if we have useful evidence or constructive comments we can send it her way.

Sam Rose

5/8/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Heritage UK response to Culture White Paper

News, World Heritage Sites

World Heritage UK response to Culture White Paper

Dear members and supporters

In response to the Culture White Paper published last month, World Heritage UK have put together a letter to Ed Vaizey MP, the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy.  We are aware that there is no longer an official consultation period for this White Paper, but in the interests of being part of a listening government, we are hopeful that the Minster will take into account what we have written.

The letter, and our original submission to the process, can be found here. The essence is that whilst we feel that it is a positive move to put World Heritage in the Paper, and to aim to “set a global standard in the stewardship of World Heritage Sites“, there is a missed opportunity to provide some much needed support for the UK Sites to reach that high quality standard that the Paper aspires to, and further therefore be able to provide the expertise needed to support Sites overseas.

As such we have requested a discussion with the Minister about how some of the proposed Cultural Protection Fund can be used for this purpose.

We would welcome your comments, and if you feel the urge to write as individual Sites,  please feel free to quote from the letter.

With best wishes

Sam Rose, on behalf of World Heritage UK
Chair of Trustees

 

 

Culture White paper – your input needed

News

We have rather belatedly caught up with the Culture White Paper process, and although the consultation seems to have been mainly in 2015, we have been assured by DCMS that as long as we get a letter to Ed Vaizey by the 3rd week of Feb, our views will be included.

There is little clarity as to what the White Paper actually is. It seems to be more of a discussion, prior to a document, which is in itself no bad thing, and is set out around the following 4 themes:

1)    Places: how culture helps to create places that are attractive and vibrant and how we will support places that want to use culture to drive development and regeneration. This section will cover how heritage is protected, managed, and made accessible; the diversity of heritage; heritage’s contribution to the economy and general wellbeing and the benefits of strategic investment in heritage.

2)    People: how culture benefits people in their individual and everyday lives, how we will improve access and participation, and use culture in wider social agendas, such as education, health and well-being. This section will cover heritage participation; heritage education programmes; the sector’s digital offer; and heritage crime.

3)    Funding: how government will help and support cultural organisations to increase philanthropy and access funding from new sources, and reform public bodies to ensure they are fit for the future. This section will cover Heritage at Risk; grant schemes; the role of the HLF, new ways of working and opportunities for philanthropy.

4)    Cultural Diplomacy: how culture contributes to the UK’s international reputation and soft power and how we will build on the current position to ensure that culture continues to support and contribute to our trade, exports and influence. This section will cover world heritage sites; underwater cultural heritage; the promotion of the value of cultural heritage; Britain’s heritage in the media; the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict and Illicit trade.

Whilst we (WH:UK) tried to get a place at a round table at the back end of 2015, this was not possible, and in fact most comments seemed to be invited through twitter and their blog. You can find more details at:

http://dcmsblog.uk/2015/09/share-your-ideas-for-a-new-cultural-programme/

http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/update/dcms-culture-white-paper-whats-in-it-for-heritage/

and a cursory google search (other search engines are available) will produce submissions etc.

So in order for WH:UK to write a meaningful letter, we need your input, and unfortunately, we need it quickly. If you are able, please could you write succint comments about the role that World Heritage Sites (as opposed to, but linked with, the whole heritage sector) can play in the four themes above. We will then distill this into something appropriate for a ministerial letter.

Please send your submissions to chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org and the deadline is the end of next Monday (8th) please.

Many thanks

Sam Rose
World Heritage UK
Chair of Trustees