Policy round-up December 2017
Happy New Year from the policy team!
Our December kicked off with the annual Heritage Day event, run by The Heritage Alliance. This gathering of heritage and tourism professionals heard from the Heritage Minister, John Glen MP, who used the opportunity to launch the Government’s Heritage Statement.
The Statement included a number of announcements for which we have been pushing – including acknowledgement that “most of our heritage is cared for by private owners”, a commitment to keep tax incentives for repair and maintenance under review, and agreement to explore opportunities for reducing regulatory burdens on owners.
The Minister also announced the formation of a new Heritage Council, to be chaired at Ministerial level, which will bring together representatives from across the sector to champion the importance of heritage across government.
Our consultation work continued in the run up to the festive season. Of primary significance to HHA Members is the current Historic England consultation on Conservation Principles, to which we will be submitting our full response in January. At the end of December we also submitted a response to DEFRA's consultation on banning UK sales of ivory; our response strongly supported the government's proposed exemption for objects of artistic, cultural and historic significance (such as 18th and 19th century portrait miniatures).
The end of the year offered a natural opportunity to review the past year, and to plan for the year ahead. In 2017 we secured more individual meetings with politicians than ever before, and welcomed ministers and MPs to our Members’ houses to show them at first hand the hard work and passion that goes into maintaining some of the country’s most important historic buildings and landscapes.
2018 is set to be another challenging year politically, but we are looking forward to building on the progress we made in 2017 and continuing to champion our Members’ hugely important economic, social and cultural impact.