Monday, February 01, 2016

Birmingham City Council vs local historians

Some graves yesterday

What is it with West Midland graveyards and the authorities?

On Saturday I blogged about the thwarting of the locals' attempts to preserve a historic gravestone at Bishop's Castle.

Now comes news that Birmingham City Council is frustrating the Jewellery Quarter Research Trust's effort to compile an online database of thepeople buried in the city's Warstone Lane and Key Hill Cemeteries.

ITV News reports:
The voluntary group’s website, is still under development, and contains database with lists of graves and in some cases biographies, obituaries and photographs or portraits of the deceased ...
They say they receives hundreds of visitors on their website each week from around the world, ranging from historians to people researching family histories. 
But they have now been banned from taking photos of each gravestone unless they apply in writing for permission on a ‘case by case’ basis.
The report also quotes a spokesman for the council:
Permission for this request was declined on the basis that once this information is held by a third party then the council will have no control over how it may be used in future, without a formal agreement in place.
Which must mean it never issues press releases, because it has no control over how they are used either.

If you asked Birmingham City Council to fund this work, they would (quite truthfully) tell you that their finances are under unprecedented pressure.

Which makes it a shame that the only departments they still fund are the ones that stop other people doing things.

Anyway, enjoy the Jewellery Quarter Research Trust website.

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