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LATEST EVENTS MEMBERS ARCHIVE JOURNALS SERVICES ABOUT

Civic Society Initiative - A response to your questions
Dear Derek,
Since we announced the launch of the Civic Society Initiative, we have been inundated with messages of support from individuals, civic societies, local groups, architects, local authorities and others, many offering donations and other forms of help. There has also been a large number of helpful questions about what the Initiative will do and how we will we go about debating the future of the civic society movement and building support. We cannot answer every question personally, so we have established a Frequently Asked Questions page on our website here. This tries to respond to the main issues that have been raised. If your question has not been addressed then please make use of the "ask a question" feedback form which has been set up and we will continue to post replies for all to see.

I hope it is helpful if I respond to some of the main issues here. First and foremost I think it is helpful to confirm that the Civic Society Initiative is temporary. It has been established solely to help find the best way forward for the civic society movement, following the loss of the Civic Trust. It is not a new organisation and certainly not a Civic Trust Mark Two. It is a means to address the question as to whether a new organisation is even needed and how any arrangements for supporting and representing the civic society movement would be funded.

There are also calls for more information on how the debate will be run. This is work in progress and I am meeting as many civic societies and others as possible in these early days to get your views. There will be more information provided shortly but there are already a number of meetings around the country in the diary and we have the national convention confirmed for October 15 and 16 in Blackpool. The debate will be as inclusive as possible and everyone who wants to participate and contribute their views will be able to do so.

There are a host of other questions which can't be answered yet - they are the focus of the debate. What is the purpose of the civic society movement? Is it fit for purpose in the 21st century? How does it need to be structured? How do we decide on future policy? Should we involve other community groups and local campaigns? Who will fund it? Will there be a membership? What is the role of the regions? What is it called? These questions - and many more - will be addressed during the next few months. Nothing has been decided yet - all options are on the table.

Many of you have also asked about how you can support the Initiative and involve others. There are a number of different ways you can do this:
  • publicise the website - www.civicsocietyinitiative.org.uk - and provide a link from your website to it
  • issue a press release to your local media about the Civic Society Initiative and the role played by your society
  • publicise the Civic Society Initiative in your newsletter or email update to members - Ian Harvey can help provide copy if that would be helpful
  • invite us along to a meeting with your members to discuss what they want from the movement
  • contact your members directly with an email from Griff Rhys Jones
  • volunteer to work with us on a range of activities - from gathering information on societies to providing advice on communications or policy issues or helping with the website
  • promote the news coverage which has already been received on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and in the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph - view it here
  • let us know what your society is doing - so we can promote it to others.

We will also be undertaking an email and web-based survey over the summer which it would be good to promote to local members. Please contact Ian Harvey (ian.harvey@civicsocietyinitiative.org.uk 0151 708 9920) for further information and help in taking forward any of these ideas.

Finally, may I repeat Griff Rhys Jones appeal for funds and ask your society to make a donation to the Initiative if you haven't already done so. We need to ensure we have the resources in place to allow us to discuss and debate the way forward. Your donation will also help support your own society by helping us to provide:

  • a "civic helpline" on 0151 708 9920 that can provide information and advice swiftly to societies that need it a regular electronic newsletter with information on the Civic Society Initiative
  • a news bulletin with information and tips on policy issues and campaigning
  • training and education services to societies that want this
  • campaigns to help unite the network and make us all feel part of a movement and make a difference
  • a national convention that will bring societies together to network and share ideas.

We know there are thousands of societies and local groups for whom the civic society movement is important. �50,000 will help ensure it has a strong and sustainable future. This is not the time for the more detailed discussion over membership or affiliation fees or how the future is funded. The question of how we fund the movement in the long term will be one of the main discussions during the debate.

We need your donations so we can support you over the next year and build a stronger movement for everyone. With the support of your society and by you promoting the appeal for funds to your members we can raise the funds we will all need. Donations can be sent directly to the Civic Society Initiative by cheque (payable to "The Civic Society Initiative" and sent to Civic Society Initiative, Unit 101, 82 Wood Street, The Tea Factory, Liverpool L1 4DQ) or standing order or by using the on-line facility on the website - www.civicsocietyinitiative.org.uk . Don't forget to gift aid any personal donations!

I look forward to your support and would be pleased to discuss any aspect of the Initiative with you.


Tony Burton, Director, Civic Society Initiative

Tony Burton
Methods of Donating
You can download a printable donation form by clicking here and can send a cheque or postal order made out to The Civic Society Initiative and addressed to:
The Civic Society Initiative
Unit 101
The Tea Factory
82 Wood Street Liverpool
L1 4DQ
If you would like to make a one off donation by credit card or UK debit card, please use our Donation page by clicking on the logo below

Donation Logo

If you would like to ask us any questions before you donate, please contact us at admin@civicsocietyinitiative.org.uk

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