§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Ordnance Survey has for reducing or reshaping its archaeological division ; what consultations preceded those proposals ; what are the purposes of any such reorganisation ; and at what level the decision has been taken.13W
§ Mr. Guy Barnett :
Beginning in 1979, there may be a reduction in office recording staff within the Ordnance Survey's archaeological unit as the Department implements a system whereby new archaelogical sites will be reported by professional archaeological bodies. Until now Ordnance Survey staff have extracted this information themselves from published archaeological inventories, books and journals. The new system aims to eliminate duplication of recording effort. It follows recommendations made in 1974 by an interdepartmental archaeological working group, and has been discussed with archaelogical interests.
A further change concerns the development of some topographical surveyors who have hitherto been concerned only with the mapping of visible antiquities. These surveyors will in future be deployed more locally and will not be restricted to the mapping of archaeological detail. In both cases the relevant decisions were taken by the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey, as part of his normal management function, and have been discussed with representatives of the staff association concerned.