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The Civic Trust Home Page The latest from the Civic Trust.

Grass Roots Online

The Civic Trust legal training events this week were a great success and we would like to thank everyone who made the effort to attend. Feedback has been very positive and we think that they'll agree that it was well worth the effort! We trust that delegates are now returning to their Societies armed with fresh knowledge and ideas...

Thank you too to those of you who forwarded the previous Grass Roots Online to your members. Increasing communication within and between Societies will allow the flourishing of a cohesive and stronger Civic movement creating better places for everyone! So, if your Society's members do have email, please forward them Grass Roots Online, asking them to reply if they are willing to receive electronic communications from the Trust.

As usual, items in this newsletter, as well as the latest daily news and other relevant information can be found on the Civic Societies Network. To register, and add your own news to the Network, contact Matt Birkinshaw on 020 7539 7904 or by email at mbirkinshaw@civictrust.org.uk.

Accessible open spaces?

We have received a request from a Civic Society seeking to make contact with people who have made successful representations in response to a local plan or LDF, especially in regard to public green spaces: parks, open spaces, village greens and accessible green belt. If you have experience of this please contact Matt on the details above...

Cut the VAT Coalition - sign up now!

The Civic Trust has joined forces with the Federation of Master Builders and other organisations to campaign for VAT on building repairs and renovation to be cut from 17.5% to 5%. Because demolition and rebuilding are VAT free it can currently cost more to demolish and rebuild an old building than to repair it!

We would also urge you to lobby your MP in support of Early Day Motion 669 which calls for a reduction of the VAT on repairs to existing buildings. Arguably it will bring empty homes (700,000 in England) back into use, reduce the number of people in substandard housing, protect the countryside and UK heritage, help tackle fuel poverty, and reduce rogue builders. It would also help home owners to make energy efficient improvements to their properties, helping to make existing building stock greener. With buildings responsible for 40 per cent of the UK's total carbon emissions, this measure would go some way in helping the Government to meet its target of a 60 per cent reduction in UK carbon emissions by 2050.

If you would like to support this campaign a petition can be signed online at www.cutthevat.co.uk. We would be interested to hear how the issue of VAT on repairs and renovations has affected you or your society. Please contact Hannah Mummery on 020 7539 7908 or hmummery@civictrust.org.uk.

J Oliver Radley

John D Kilby

Judkins Solicitors

KB Tyres Ltd.

Layston Nursery

Learn PC

Linden Flooring

Mark Addison Ceramic Tiler

Marketing Zone

Meeting House Kennels

My Computer Services

NCS Property Maintenance

Jack Poulton & Sons Ltd

Premier Payroll

Riverside Taxis

SJ Tokely Ltd