The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) supports strongly the views on the Budget expressed by the Heritage Alliance, especially the impact on conservation work of the increase in VAT and the effect on support for heritage conservation implied by cuts to the DCMS budget.
The HTF is also concerned by the likely cuts signposted for the Communities and Local Government department and the Department for Transport. The services supported by these departments are fundamental to the conservation and prosperity of historic towns and the implications of any cuts must be thought through very carefully indeed. Many historic towns, with the unique qualities they offer, are centres of prosperity and their contribution to the wider recovery of the economy must not be undermined. These concerns are reinforced by the Forum's scepticism about some of the views emerging from the Government on the reform of the planning system.