Tobias Ellwood: Stonehenge is a first-rate heritage site with second-rate facilities supported by a third-rate tourism policy. Even the United Nation’s World Heritage Committee is complaining about the standards at Stonehenge. The Government now admit that they have nothing to show for 10 years of work after spending £23 million of taxpayers’ money. Does not this reflect the Government’s attitude towards tourism, with budgets cut and a failure to stand up to other Government Departments? It has been some time since the druids conducted their last human sacrifice at Stonehenge. Such is the anger at the Government that I suggest the Minister treats with caution any invitation to Stonehenge that she may receive for the next summer solstice.
Margaret Hodge: I have already visited Stonehenge; it is an issue of major concern that I want to resolve. I have had good discussions on the subject with the hon. Gentleman’s Back-Bench colleague, the hon. Member for Salisbury (Robert Key). This Government have invested more in the past 10 years in supporting our heritage and tourism than the previous Government managed in 18 years. I have no doubt that with good will on all sides—including the local Conservative county council and the local district council—I am sure we will reach a conclusion.
Tobias Ellwood: We have been waiting 10 years.
Margaret Hodge: That is not an answer. I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman would have taken a similar decision had he been sitting on this side of the House. We could not afford to undertake the scheme that was on the table and we need to find a lasting, better and—
More from Hansard here.
“Most of what’s been built in my lifetime could be demolished without aesthetic cost”. Hayes’s speech on beauty: full text
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