Cuts and Consultation: Sandwell Sacks Archaeologists

In late September news broke that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council was planning on sacking it’s Borough archaeologist after it declared that archaeology and heritage were “not core services to the planning service and could almost be considered to be a luxury“.

This was met with dismay by the archaeological community; Rescue (the British Archaeological Trust) described the proposal as “wholly and conclusively both misguided and incorrect” and the Institute for Archaeologists pointed out that Sandwell risked a “Judicial Review or investigation by the Local Authority Ombudsmanfor “ill-informed decision-making about the historic environment”.

Sandwell Council seemed to operating a policy of radio silence on the matter. Then, one day Council Leader Darren Cooper retweeted a message about a heritage trail in the area. Pleased to see that the MBC leader appeared to view local heritage as important I tweeted a question at him, to which I received the following response: Continue reading