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Grass Roots Online header

Grass Roots Online Issue 39

The Civic Trust - creating better places for people

Support our work - donate to the Civic Trust
The support of our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, President Griff Rhys Jones, sponsors, civic societies and all our members is as vital as ever as we all experience the challenges facing our environment. It is only by working together that we can make a real difference.

A donation helps the Civic Trust continue to grow its grassroots work to enhance the environment in which we all live. For more information on the benefits of donating visit
http://www.civictrust.org.uk/support-us/donate/ or email Ian Harvey at helpdesk@civictrust.org.uk for more information.
Planning appeals - New restrictions!
Members should be aware that the Government is introducing new procedures for "householder" planning appeals, submitted by individual householders, with effect from April 6, 2009, which we believe gives cause for alarm and may well adversely affect their ability to engage with the appeals process. These have not been widely publicised; outline details can be read in the Civic Trust briefing note by clicking here.
The Civic Trust should reform its regional structure - county versus region?

A discussion has been started on the civic societies website about the future role of regional associations, do you feel you would benefit more from county federations or is the current regional structure giving you the necessary voice you need?

Helping to write a conservation area appraisal
Sutton Coldfield Civic Society became increasingly concerned at the poor state of their historic High Street, which forms the core of a Conservation Area. Heavy traffic, inappropriate signage and unattractive shop fronts have all made matters worse since Pevsner in the 1970s described the street as "the one place where Sutton still has a character"
There did not seem to be any master plan for the area and we heard that this Conservation Area did not figure on Birmingham's list of ten which were scheduled for appraisal as and when circumstances allowed.
Click here to see a summarised document helping to reflect upon experiences of the process.
Griff Rhys Jones Fundraising Appeal
The Civic Trust is delighted to announce that another 20 civic societies have pledged support in the past two weeks to the Griff Rhys Jones Fundraising Appeal. If your civic society would like to support the appeal please contact Ian Harvey at helpdesk@civictrust.org.uk or on 0151 231 6908.
Money raised through this fundraising appeal will enable the Civic Trust to provide better support to your civic society and will allow us to recruit policy and campaign staff dedicated to the civic society movement.
To see a list of civic societies who have so far pledged commitment to the appeal, please click here or if you would like to get involved please click here
Civic Trust Model Constitution

The Civic Trust's Model Constitution has been refined over the years and should meet the need of any Civic Society however wide its interests and activities. Even if certain clauses do not seem necessary at the outset (e.g. those providing for property ownership) they may be useful in the future and it saves time and avoids inconvenience at a later date to incorporate them from the start. New societies are strongly recommended to adopt the Model as it stands without alteration. The temptation to tamper, however strong, is best avoided, but if any problems do arise, the Trust will be glad to hear of them and to offer advice.

In cases where the Model Constitution is followed, societies will need to duplicate their own copies for distribution to members. An application to register with the Civic Trust should be accompanied by one of these copies.

Click here to access the new constitution

What is a CIO and why is it being introduced?

The Charities Act 2006 introduces a new legal form of incorporation which is designed specifically for charities, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
At present charities can be set up with a corporate structure but this means that they normally fall within the requirements of company law as well as charity law. In particular, they have to register both with the Charity Commission and the Registrar of Companies at Companies House and provide accounts and returns to both. As the framework of company was designed primarily for commercial organisations this may mean that it is not always suitable for charities.

Civic Trust Awards 50th Anniversary
Restoration presenter and author Griff Rhys Jones has presented awards for the best new buildings and renovations in the British Isles. Over 100 locations across the country have won Civic Trust Awards at a ceremony at Arsenal FC's Emirates Stadium in North London. You can view the complete list of winners at www.civictrustawards.org.uk or to download the winners brochure click here
Alternatively to view the keynote speech from Griff
Civic Societies Team
The Civic Trust
T: 0151 231 6908

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