General Election 2015: Heritage (2)

Again, in no particular order. Same five headings considered for each party.




Heritage Policies

In a manifesto section on the economy, there is mention of tourism and heritage and they state a desire to give these industries greater status in government and society. Tourism (and heritage?) will get higher status within DCMS.

They will maintain free access to museums and galleries while giving those institutions greater autonomy.

Some planning policies would have heritage impacts but these aren’t bought out clearly.


Quite a lot of the MPs list heritage as an interest or concern, so probably fairly approachable.

Annoying website.

Key Personnel

 Dan Rogerson, Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. From 2005 – 2010 he was successively Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for the Environment, Housing, Arts and Heritage, and Local Government portfolios.

John Leech – Culture, Media and Sport spokesman

Roger Williams – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman

Heritage Ethos

Heritage contributes to the economy through international tourism.

Under the Liberal Democrats, heritage will…

Be more recognised for its financial contribution to the economy, which will bring some benefits, but  maybe isn’t entirely the point?

James Dixon




Heritage Policies

Sinn Féin is committed to protecting and preserving the environment and is committed to promoting and supporting sustainable growth in rural and agricultural communities. There is also commitment to support the Gaelic language.

The Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising features strongly on their website. Sandra McLellan is Heritage spokesperson in the Dail (Irish Parliament). In 2014 she gave a speech supporting moves to better commemorate the 1916 Rising and to protect elements of its physical remains.


There is no Manifesto. There are no heritage policies.

Key Personnel

Carál Ní Chuilín MLA is a Sinn Fein member and serves in the NI Executive as Minister for Culture, Arts & Leisure. Her particular interests appear to be integrating sports.

Sandra McLellan is SF Heritage spokesperson in the Dail (Irish Parliament).

Heritage Ethos

Sinn Fein have a definite sense of heritage that relates to 1916, to cultural identity through language and to cultural events like the Toome Fair.

Under Sinn Fein, heritage will…

Protect and promote Nationalist history, principally the 1916 legacy. As they unfortunately refuse to take seats at Westminster they will make no impact on UK policy.

Martin Brown



Heritage Policies

There is explicit heritage policy in the Tory Manifesto: a commitment to keep major national museums and galleries free!

However, there is a whole section on Natural Environment and nothing on the human past save the idea that Common Agricultural Policy money can be used to protect stone walls and hedges. There is, however, a commitment to protect national parks and, in a policy reversal, to ensure public woodlands and forests are held in trust.

In addition, heritage will be directly affected by:

Commitment to build more homes, including 200,000 starter homes for under 40s.

There will be a Brownfield Fund to unlock homes on brownfield land and well as requiring local authorities to have a register of available brownfield land.

There will be investment in infrastructure, including improvements to the road network, notably (from an archaeological perspective) the A303.

There is commitment to give local people more control over planning but the manifesto doesn’t expand on this beyond commitment to a “right to build” that requires local authorities to allocate land for people who wish to commission and build their own homes. Locally-led garden cities are also proposed, citing Ebbsfleet and Bicester as pioneers.

There is specific reference to further cutting of “red tape” without any definition of what this is.

Community Right to Bid will be improved and a Pub Loan Fund will be created to fund feasibility studies for bids to buy local pubs as community assets.

Commitment to repeal the Hunting Act – does this count as support for Cultural Practice and heritage?

There is a promise to keep Council Tax in check. This means more austerity and continued threat to curatorial services.


The Tory manifesto is at:

Key Personnel

Rt Hon Sajid Javid – Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Hon Ed Vaizey – Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (Portfolio holder for Heritage and Built Environment).

Heritage Ethos

There stated belief that the countryside is a living thing that is part of national identity but it fails to recognise it as an artefact.

Under the Tories…

There will be continued austerity and this will impact all local authority heritage services. Their policies on improving infrastructure would potentially mean more jobs in archaeology unless the aspiration to reduce Red Tape means a lessening of NPPF and other protection.

Martin Brown



Heritage Policies

The Greens would repeal the NPPF and its presumption in favour of development.

They will introduce increased flexibility in how older buildings (presumably including listed buildings) reduce their energy use.

They will increase arts funding and restore post 2010 cuts, giving proper funding to local authorities to keep museums and galleries open.

There is no developed specific heritage/archaeology policy, but I’m told by one of their PPCs that there are plans to begin formulating one post-election.


The party seems to have a good record of intervention in heritage campaigns.

Easy to search manifesto. Website seems easy enough to use.

Key Personnel

The Green Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson is Martin Dobson, PPC in Liverpool Riverside.

Jenny Jones (House of Lords and London Assembly) studied archaeology at UCL and worked as an archaeologist for 10 years before moving into politics.

2015 candidates Helen Geake and Win Scutt are archaeologists.

Heritage Ethos

Heritage as key player in sustainable development.

Under the Greens, heritage will…

Be valued as more than just part of the tourist economy! Er, details to follow.

James Dixon



Heritage Policies

The manifesto states a desire to further develop cultural tourism and closer links with Scotland and the islands.

Greater tourism potential of built heritage to be ‘taken advantage of’.

Strong on development of Irish language learning, scholarship and protection.


Short manifesto, easy to search. Website seems easy enough to use, it has a good News search section to look up party interventions on heritage issues.

Key Personnel

Karen McKevitt, spokesperson for Culture, Arts and Leisure (not a Westminster candidate).

Heritage Ethos

Heritage contributes to tourist economy.

Under the SDLP, heritage will…

Contribute more strongly to the tourist economy and national identity. The focus on building stronger links with Scotland and the islands is great.

James Dixon



Heritage Policies

No mention of heritage is made on their website and George Galloway wants to move Parliament to central Britain (Leeds-Bradford) and turn the Palace of Westminster into a museum:


The website includes contact details.

Key Personnel

George Galloway MP, the only Respect MP and only person apparent on their website.

Heritage Ethos

Respect is focussed on “peace, justice and equality”. Heritage does not seem to be on their radar, despite their strong policies on the Arab world and the threat to heritage from ISIS/IS.

Under Respect, heritage will…

Not be a priority!

Martin Brown


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