All at sea: When duty meets austerity in scheduling monuments in english waters
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The current policy and legal framework surrounding the scheduling of submerged monuments in English waters, its application and the implications for the conservation of underwater cultural heritage arising is reviewed. Historic England (HE's) new policy being seemingly based primarily upon the perceived implications for its resources. The resulting dichotomy of policy between DCMS and its statutory advisers is at best confusing to both the marine archeological community and the public, at worst it may be ultra vires. At times of unprecedented public funding austerity statutory agencies such as HE need to build support amongst their public constituencies. Formulating such an approach is potentially alienating and does not seen well designed to achieve this. The 1979 Act also appears to offer a versatile instrument for managing underwater sites. Indeed the Act may fit HE's public agenda better than the 1973 Act, delivering the public access that HE desires, without he resource implications generated pursuant to the granting of licenses for visiting under the 1973 Act.
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