Last weekend my left knee decided to stop working. So I had the day off today. This means doing work for the course I am undertaking alongside my full-time job.
I work as the archaeology officer for Southwark Council. Other than staff in the Heritage team who work in the Borough’s museum, I am the only archaeologist at the Council. I work within the Development Management department (we no longer control development, we manage it!). I advise planning officers on whether proposals comply with the requirements of the Borough’s archaeology policy, wider heritage policies and the relevant paragraphs of the National Planning Policy Framework. I issue briefs for archaeological work, check WSIs, monitor site work, check reports, make recommendations for the discharge of archaeological conditions and manage much of the digital data for the department. Along side the archaeological work I also undertake some conservation work where an archaeological input is necessary or valuable or if it is a GIS heavy project.
I work in a team with conservation officers, urban design officers and a tree officer. As part of my employer’s commitment to staff training I am currently undertaking a postgraduate diploma in Historic Environment Conservation at the Ironbridge Institute. This is part of the Institute of Antiquity and Archaeology at Birmingham that is currently threatened with closure. Ironbridge is an immensely valuable training organisation that provides recognised degrees and qualifications that are organised in a way whereby those in full-time work can easily undertake the qualification with a minimal level of interference with their full-time jobs.
I have nearly finished by essay on concrete conservation (far more interesting than it sounds) and would urge anyone reading this to visit this web page for more information on the potential closure http://saveiaa.wordpress.com/. If you wish to support the effort to preserve the IAA please sign the petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-the-iaa/.