We have become aware that some CAS members have expressed their disquiet that the speaker this year at the AGM is a politician.
There is a serious archaeological reason for inviting Mr George Eustice to talk. As you know, late last year it was announced that the Government has agreed to devolution of powers as outlined in Cornwall Council’s ‘Case for Cornwall’. Part of the package was a proposal to devolve more power to Cornwall over heritage matters. We are all very angry and discouraged by how much the heritage services have been cut by Cornwall Council. As the principal body in the county concerned with archaeology, CAS should be keen to hear how the devolution proposal may or may not help to reverse this decline and allow local people to have more say in how Cornwall’s archaeology and built heritage will be safeguarded in the future. We understand that Mr Eustice was a player in the proposal and has also been a supporter of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Consequently it was considered worthwhile inviting him so that we can hear what the Government is proposing and to give all CAS members the opportunity to question him. This may be an important moment for the future of Cornwall’s archaeology and we need to understand what is on offer.
We understand your possible concerns but hope you are able to accept that he was invited for archaeological reasons and not party politics.