Minister announces new strategic approach for Welsh heritage

Tuesday 14 January 2014

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport

The Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths has today (Tuesday 14 January 2014) announced new measures for the benefit of the Welsh historic environment — including regular strategic plans for the historic environment of Wales, the creation of a new independent advisory panel and the decision that Cadw and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales will remain separate organisations for the time being.

The Minister’s announcement followed the publication of the response to the Welsh Government’s consultation, The future of our past.

John Griffiths said: 'I was delighted with the level of response to the consultation which demonstrates the importance of the historic environment to the people of Wales.

'In most cases the consultation responses confirmed our approach to delivering a well-protected and accessible historic environment. There was strong support to extend protection where needed, to increase flexibility and improve accountability and transparency. Improved guidance was also seen as important as the proposed changes to legislation.

'I have asked officials to develop proposals for the establishment of regular strategic plans for the historic environment and for the establishment of an independent advisory panel.

'Both the plans and panel will support a strong overarching strategic framework within which Cadw can continue to provide leadership for the historic environment sector at a national level and use its sponsorship relationship with the Commission to promote and reinforce mutual priorities.

'The consultation response to the proposals to merge Cadw and the Royal Commission was mixed and having carefully considered these views, in addition to the evidence and analysis undertaken by my officials, I’ve decided that both organisations will remain separate for the time being.

'This avoids the financial costs, organisational risks and disruption to the sector at a time when public resources are scarce.'

The Minister’s statement to the National Assembly and the analysis of the options have been published on the Welsh Government’s website.

Work, that will include discussions with key interest groups, will now begin on developing the proposals contained in the consultation document over the next year, prior to introducing legislation on the historic environment to the National Assembly in 2015.

The consultation received responses from 177 individuals and organisations and helpful views were also expressed at two stakeholder workshops.