Letter: English Heritage and questions of monumental responsibility

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was disappointed that Lord Renfrew and others in their letter (29 October) expressing concern about the future management of the monuments in the care of English Heritage failed to mention the arrangements agreed by the Commissioners of English Heritage for consultation with the Ancient Monuments Advisory Committee, of which they are all members.

These are as follows: the draft paper dividing the monuments into three possible classifications was circulated in advance of the committee's meeting last Wednesday. On 18 November the commission will consider the committee's comments. Thereafter they will be subject to whatever further consultation the commission deems necessary. There is no time limit on this process, which may continue over a period of months before consultations are extended to include those local authorities that may be interested in sharing the burden of the management of some of the monuments in our care on a monument-by-monument basis.

The Ancient Monuments Advisory Committee, of which the chairman, Sir David Wilson, and Dr Neil Cossons are commissioners, all know that there is no question whatsoever of English Heritage 'disposing' of our responsibilities towards the monuments in our care. This is not an option open to us.

Yours faithfully,

JOCELYN STEVENS

Chairman

English Heritage

London, W1

30 October

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