The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) welcomes the Government’s Statement on the Historic Environment of England 2010. It is particularly pleased to see that it has interdepartmental support given the important relationship between all Government departments and the historic environment.
The vision provides a firm statement of intent and properly emphasises the crucial links that heritage has with social, economic and cultural well-being. The important relationship between the conservation of our heritage and sustainability is rightly stressed. The recognition of the importance of our undesignated heritage is very welcome.
The strategic aims get to the heart of the main issues facing the historic environment and the Forum especially welcomes the significance attached to leadership, building capacity and public engagement.
The Statement puts great emphasis on the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors and the key role played by local authorities. As a voice for local authorities the HTF applauds and endorses this.
The HTF recognises that key challenges the Statement sets out, e.g. loss and decay of heritage assets, the needs for flexibility and developing training and skills, and looks froward to continuing to work with partners to address them.
The acknowledgement that 'more people are choosing to live in the heart of our older cities' is a welcome reflection of the vision the HTF has always had: that our historic towns and cities are wonderful places in which to live and work and so often exemplars of more sustainable ways of living.