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Save Gloucester Archaeology Unit

RESCUE - The British Archaeological Trust

Gloucester Archaeology Unit is threatened with closure. Gloucester City council are currently considering a number of ways to save money for next year, and the Archaeology Unit is a prime target.

Alex Hunt of the CBA reports that the proposal is apparently to cut the field unit section. According to the local Unison branch 5 out of 7 staff will go and the service will be reduced, relocated and refocused on providing purely planning advice and monitoring. The council plans to make a decision on the proposal on 16th October, so there is only a relatively short time in which to lobby them.

Not only is the unit a valuable service and an integral part of preserving Gloucester's unique heritage, but closing it would save the council very little, only £28,000 in fact which is less than half of what the unit would have made in profit had it not been stopped from tendering for work.

Anybody who has ever dealt with the unit knows what an important role its staff play in protecting the archaeological remains of Gloucester city but also the incredible amount of 'educational extras' such as the yearly field school, events and work experience placements which will be lost.

Supporter Rebecca Briscoe, says 'personally had it not been for the huge part the unit had to play in my archaeological awakening I would not be heading off to one of the top universities in the country to study archaeology at the beginning of this term. The presence of a unit so near to where I live and work was instrumental in the amount of works experience I and many budding archaeologists like me have gained. The incredible staff, whom I cannot praise enough, are too valuable a resource of experience and expertise to be discarded because of budget mismanagement by the city council.

In light of this anyone who feels strongly about this matter should write to
Kevin Stevens, Leader, or Paul Smith, Managing Director,
Gloucester City Council, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP,
or the local paper The Citizen
Posted by phil
8th December 2003ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

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