To the Cornish Guardian regarding Tintagel
Your correspondent is unfairly disparaging about the business community of Tintagel. Whilst it is fair to say that the aura of the Arthurian myth hangs over the town, it is also true to say that the businesses which operate in Tintagel offer quality, good service and a culture of continual improvement. Tintagel is competitive, and repays its visitors with a well-provisioned experience which encourages many to return and return, and places the town in the forefront of the modern Cornish visitor trade.
The tension between commercialised mythology (King Arthur) and the proper conservation of archaeology is a matter for constant vigilance in Cornwall, and all over Britain - our market competitiveness and brand integrity rely upon us getting the balance right. Recent austerity-driven, rushed changes in how the Government approaches the management of heritage have created new risks, and my concern is to address those risks. The proposal to construct a bridge at Tintagel is a significant 'flashpoint'.
The problem is that Tintagel is a scheduled monument, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), and a precious landscape (AONB-Heritage Coast) - each protection is regulated differently, and, with the recent change of 'English' Heritage into a commercial operator with a seven year license, there is an urgent and critical need to ensure that the interests of archaeology, landscape and geology are fairly and effectively balanced - in the end it is Tintagel and the many other multi-designated sites that matter. Bureaucracy needs to sort itself out. That is the focus of my efforts - a matter which should concern us all, and far more important than whether Dick Cole or I tilt at windmills or not, nationalist or otherwise!
With best wishes