You’d think, when massive new damage to our national icon is being proposed, details would be open to public scrutiny, especially the considered thoughts of the Historic England Commission, the body pushing the scheme. After all, brief platitudinous press releases and dubious public consultations don’t really serve the need. So you might be concerned by two items in their December 2015 Minutes:
12.1: Transparency and publishing Commission minutes
“Staff had considered the approach of other organisations in publishing Board papers. Commission approved the proposal to have one set of Commission minutes that would be published on the HE website once approved at the following meeting. Public and protective markings would be removed from agenda, reports and minutes.“
To clarify, they are removing some items from public scrutiny but not marking them as removed. In other words, you won’t be allowed to know which things you haven’t been allowed to know. That’s double locked censorship! And, lest you think we might be mistaken, here’s exactly the same thing being achieved in a different way:
13.1: Closed session for Commissioners and Chief Executive only
“This item was a closed session for Commissioners and the Chief Executive only.
There is no record of the discussion.”
May we suggest that when it comes to a tunnel at Stonehenge there’s no reason for anything the Historic England Commissioners discuss to be kept secret from the public?