Monthly Archives: August 2011

New report proves CLA’s case for fundamental reform of heritage

By | government-legislation, planning | No Comments

The CLA today (26 August) said continued cuts to the number of conservation officers, highlighted in the Report on Local Authority Staff Resources proves its case for fundamental reform of the heritage system.

CLA Deputy President Harry Cotterell said: “Local authorities control what can be done to heritage.  If they don’t have skilled staff, it makes it difficult and often impossible to get consent for the changes needed if heritage is to be viable.  This is disastrous for owners and for the long-term future of heritage itself.

“The first survey of staff resources in 2003 showed just how few skilled personnel local authorities have working in heritage. Many had just one skilled person covering thousands of heritage assets, and many had no-one at all.

“This new report highlights how the situation has actually worsened, with the latest figure showing a 28.5 percent decline in skilled resources over the past five years.”

Mr Cotterell said the CLA proposed solutions to the skilled heritage staff problem in its report Averting Crisis in Heritage, published in July this year.

He said: “The CLA report stressed the problems of this scandalous staff shortage. Staff numbers are unlikely to increase so Averting Crisis in Heritage recommended ways to change the heritage system so it matches the resources actually available, and focuses these scarce resources where they are needed most.

“We need action now to secure and increase heritage protection and make the system work efficiently so the loss of heritage for future generations can be prevented.”

Rockhopper CEO chooses Rural Offices

By | officesinthecountryside-com, rural-offices | No Comments

Sam Moody, CEO of oil exploration company Rockhopper, interviewed in the Sunday Times Business section, has extolled the virtues of rural offices by choosing to place the headquarters of his Company in the Wiltshire countryside. With a current value of £565m and rising all the time, you would expect a high rise, glass block in Canary Wharf.  Not so. He has a 15 minute commute from his home to converted farm buildings outside Salisbury and saves a fortune on rents – keeping his shareholders happy.

Even though much of their oil exploration work operates in the Falklands and South Atlantic region, Moody sees no reason to move from Wiltshire as they can more than adequately coordinate their engineers and processes from their UK base. He certainly does not plan to relocate to Texas!

For more information on Rockhopper visit – www.rockhopperexploration.co.uk

Original article featured in Sunday Times 21 August 2011 – www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/business

 

Changes to the Construction Act Imminent

By | construction, government-legislation | No Comments

Further to our last newsletter reporting on the changes to the Construction Act, it is now planned to be in place for October this year and it will have an impact on every contract in the construction industry. The key changes are the drastically changed payment provisions, the extension of the adjudication provisions and the new rules around suspension … make sure you are ready for these changes.

For more information and advice please visit Hawkswell Kilvington on http://thkp.co.uk/2011/07/25/preparing-for-the-new-construction-act-10-things-you-must-know/

New UK Land Cover Map Available

By | general, rural-affairs | No Comments

Land Cover Map 2007 (LCM2007) is the latest land cover map to be produced by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology on behalf of the Countryside Survey partnership. It provides land cover information for the entire UK based on the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad Habitats which are widely used in monitoring and reporting on our countryside. LCM2007 has been derived from satellite images, digital cartography, ground reference data and ancillary datasets.

At a time when our land surface is under ever-increasing pressure, reliable information on land cover is essential. A growing population of over 61 million people needs space to live, to work, space for leisure and recreation, places to bury or process waste, a transport network, raw materials for infra-structure and land for crops. Intensification of agriculture, driven by increasing demand for food and biofuels, have squeezed wildlife into marginal and fragmented habitats. The ecosystems and the services that these provide such as clean water and insects to pollinate our crops are therefore under pressure too. The requirements of and the demands that we place on our terrestrial environment are often conflicting and need to be balanced to maintain and enhance our quality of life.

To address these issues and plan for the future we need to know what we have on our land surface and where it is. LCM2007 provides this information.

The Survey has been carried out at regular intervals since 1978. The countryside is sampled and studied using rigorous scientific methods, allowing us to compare new results with those from previous surveys. In this way we can detect the gradual and subtle changes that occur in the UK’s countryside over time.

http://www.countrysidesurvey.org.uk/land-cover-map-2007