[Bell Historians] CCC Bells & Clocks Committee

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at mWmNPNBaNQVVYk7XS4k0lF-54tIHTuRKpdn5tD2RrTR6vLnRiLTnTD7P3hJPF6b3lzoUAbNESS7ePFWcClz_y0I_JID_EfU.yahoo.invalid
Thu Aug 31 08:50:00 BST 2006

Although the selection and appointment process is a cause for concern - and it is rather crass that, ignoring the recent comments, the CCC have chosen not to canvass or advertise more widely for members representing a wider range of expertise and interests - it is not the most important factor.

Robert identifies some of the key issues:
  a.. What is the real role and position of the Council - where do care, development and use fit alongside conservation in the Council's grand scheme of things?
  b.. Does the overall membership (at Council and committee levels) represent the full range of interests across this spectrum?
  c.. What scope for influence will members have if they don't like the policies and principles that the Council and its staff are following?
  d.. And (not really mentioned until now) how will the Council exercise its role in respect of the faculty process? - as an upholder of conservation, or as an independent adjudicator seeking to identify solutions taking account of the interests of all stakeholders and (essentially, since the Church pays the bills) what is best for the Church
But in discussing this, we must be careful not to confuse concerns about the Council - it's role, policies and processes - with the work of those who have served on the B&C committee in the past. Several have done a great deal to champion the needs of ringing as well as seeking to preserve what ought to be kept, and members with specific responsibilities have done a lot of sterling work behind the scenes - casework, grant allocation, revising the preservation lists and making sure bells are not ignored when churches are closed.  

The balance in the past wasn't far wrong - the CCC wasn't "the enemy" in the days when the battles over the Code of Practice took place, actually, and at that time they held the middle ground in a very polarised debate between users / developers and diehard conservationists. 

My main concern is that the Council now sees itself as primarily a conservation body, that its powers have increased, that those who serve will have little influence on policy and direction, and (now we're back to the starting point) that the appointment process looks sure to restrict membership to those with a conservation outlook and background.

Chris Pickford           
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