Welcome to the ninth Civic Society Initiative Bulletin which follows on quickly from the announcement about the launch of the Love Local campaign. Find the items which interest you by clicking the links below.
Become a trustee - only a few days left to submit your application
The deadline to get in an application to become a Civic Voice trustee is this Sunday. We want people to put themselves forward to help grow Civic Voice in the formative stages of its development. Trustees will have the ultimate responsibility for running Civic Voice and ensuring that it acts in the best interests of the civic movement.
We are looking for a Chair, Treasurer and trustees and require all applications by 14 March. More information on being a Trustee is available here.
We hope successful candidates will be able to attend this launch and if you want more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Join Civic Voice
Civic societies across the country have asked for a new independent national body to be set up to on behalf of the civic movement. In a fast changing world a powerful voice promoting civic pride is needed now more than ever before. Civic Voice can provide this.
Civic Voice will only be a success if a large number of civic and amenity societies join as founder members. Over 60 societies have signed up already, including
- Bath Preservation Trust
- Bridlington and District Civic Society
- Chorley Civic Society
- Isleworth Society
- Merseyside Civic Society
- Milton Keynes Forum
- Plymouth Civic Society
Here are some of comments from groups that have joined
We would like to put on record that as a small Society the actions going forward are fundamentally important to us in providing information as well as a platform to assist in gaining access to areas which we would find difficult if we stood on our own. Our members have been more than happy to sign up to Civic Voice and we would put on record our appreciation for all the hard work that Tony and Ian have taken forward as the Civic Society Initiative.
Peter Chadwick, Newport and District Civic Society
The Coventry Society is proud to be the first civic society to join the new national organisation Civic Voice. While the Civic Trust did much good work we are looking forward to having a dedicated professional organisation, focused on the grass-roots work of local civic societies.
When we saw the proposals for Civic Voice we felt that a good balance had been struck between affordability and ambition. We know we will have to pay more in future to get the sort of national organisation we need, but the proposals give us time to work on raising our income.
While we have been loyal supporters of our regional body we are also attracted to idea of being able to network with societies around the country who face similar issues to us.
David Title, Coventry Society
We hope that Civic Voice will help to modernise the movement and transform it into a mass campaign for built environment quality, based on sound urban design principles. We are a small but lively society and we are sure that affiliation to Civic Voice will help us grow.
10 good reasons to join Civic Voice
If you are still unsure whether or not you should join at the £1.50 per member fee we have listed 10 good reasons to join Civic Voice
Joining Civic Voice will make you more successful. Your credibility will grow and you will attract more members.
- You will have a voice lobbying and campaigning on the national policies and issues that you can't change locally and have a higher media profile
- You will get authority and recognition from saying you are a member of Civic Voice and be able to use the logo on your letterhead and website
- You will have voting rights at our AGM, elect trustees and shape our priorities
- You will have access to tailored information bulletins and a lively website and we will set up and host a dedicated website for any civic society that wants one free of charge
- You will get support on local planning and policy issues
- You will know more about what other civic and amenity societies are doing and have more opportunities to meet and debate with them
Each of your members will be offered a free day access pass to the National Trust (worth up to £14) and if they are already members this can be given to a friend or relative who isn't
You will benefit from free current account banking services from The Co-operative Bank that pay premium interest rates
Your group will have access to the tailored insurance policy for civic societies provided by Bluefin, the most affordable of its kind, and benefit financially from Bluefin's personal health, home, motor, travel, pet and heating insurance products taken out by your members
You will automatically become a member of NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) and receive benefits that include help and advice on funding, managing volunteers and a free legal information service
With Civic Voice you will be part of the country's most important movement campaigning for the places where everyone lives to be more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive.
Civic Voice is now a registered charity (number 1134476) and you can view our constitution here
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Join us at the launch of Civic Voice
Civic Voice is being launched on Saturday 17 April at the Building Centre, Store Street, WC1E 7BT in central London (Click here to see a map and directions
). The event will run from 10.30am for 11am until 4pm. All civic societies registered with the Civic Society Initiative and our partners are invited to this unique occasion which will start a new chapter in the proud history of the civic movement. A small charge of £10 will help cover refreshment.
We are planning an exciting programme for the day - Camden Civic Society will be organising a selection of guided tours while the London Forum will be celebrating 21 years of activity and several civic societies have confirmed they will be bringing along promotional material. The day itself will include opportunities to shape Civic Voice's priorities and to meet the newly elected Board.
Griff Rhys Jones has confirmed he will be attending and you can join him at this event by registering here
Civic Voice is launching the Love Local campaign on 17 April to celebrate what is attractive, enjoyable and distinctive about where we live and what makes us proud to be there. We need your help in advance to get the campaign off to a strong start.
There is a link below to a short survey asking you to tell us what you love about where you live. This will help us build a picture which will encourage others to give voice to their feelings too. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and we have already had over 150 responses. We will use the results to help our campaign for places to be more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. If you are also able to send us digital photographs then that will help bring things to life. Photographs should be emailed to email@example.com and they may be used on our websites and in our work. Please keep the file size to less than a megabyte if you can.
Please visit the survey here and support the Love Local campaign. It would also help if you sent the survey details on to other civic society members so we can gather as large a response as possible.
We need your responses by Monday 5th April. All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to be announced at the launch of Civic Voice. This prize will be a signed copy of the Griff Rhys Jones book Rivers and £100 for a civic society of your choice.
Street Pride campaign
Over 70 local groups have already signed up to the Street Pride campaign. This aims to rid our streets of unnecessary clutter to create streets we can be proud of. The Street Pride campaign pack is now available and can be downloaded from the website at www.streetpride.org.uk
. The campaign pack provides everything you need to start surveying your area for street clutter and providing the evidence which can be used locally and nationally to campaign for its removal. We will also be providing briefing sheets on each of the four main causes of street clutter - bollards, signs, guard rails and posts - shortly.
We can also announce details of the Street Pride campaign workshops being hosted by civic societies across the country on Saturdays during May and June. The campaign workshops will be led by an experienced land use planner and community campaigner, Richard Bate, and will be held in:
Wakefield, West Yorkshire Police Headquarters, 8 May
Warwick, The Court House, Castle Street 15 May
Winchester, The Guildhall, 22 May
London, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, 19 June
Manchester, The Briton's Protection Hotel 26 June
The campaign workshops will run from 10.30am to 1.30pm and be followed by a practical session undertaking a survey of street clutter in the area. This is expected to run till around 4.30pm. Lunch will not be provided.
The workshops cost just £5 to cover light refreshments and places are limited to 30 so please sign up for a campaign workshop here
We are grateful to English Heritage for supporting the Street Pride campaign.
Regional & other groupings of civic societies
There have been several enquiries about how regional groupings and clusters of civic societies can join Civic Voice. Membership for these groupings costs £50 a year and means that the grouping can use Civic Voice's name and logo and also access benefits such as the insurance cover from Bluefin as well as attend meetings and get involved in campaigns. Voting rights are limited to full members. Groupings will need to have some form of memorandum of agreement or constitution to join. This should be a helpful way of involving the growing number of local groupings and clusters of civic societies working together across local and county boundaries. If your regional group or cluster wishes to join then simply provide the key contact details and make payment in the same way as individual civic societies. We will also continue to support other informal clusters of civic societies getting together to share knowledge and experience
Individuals can join Civic Voice
We have also recieved many enquiries from individuals about joining Civic Voice. Individual membership costs £10 a year and is open to anyone with an interest in the civic movement.
You can register to become an individual member online here
Altrincham and Bowden Civic Society
- Heritage Lottery Fund bid succeeds
Altrincham and Bowden Civic Society has been awarded £50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a series of projects, with the overall title 'The Heritage of the Altrincham Area'.
The projects will primarily cover Altrincham, along with nearby Bowdon and Dunham Massey and will take place over the next two years.
Project Coordinator Sue Nichols, who brought the bid together, said,
"We are extremely pleased that the significance of the heritage and history of the Altrincham area has been recognised in this way. With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are aiming to reach a wide audience, through a variety of projects and associated activities, in which the community will be encouraged to participate."
Peter Chadwick, Newport and District Civic Society writes on how the Newport and District Civic Society came to have a two page article in national magazine, Green Places.
'We were contacted by Ian Harvey early in 2010 to ask if we -Newport and District Civic Society (Shropshire) -had continued with our fight to focus proposed housing developments in and around Newport on previously developed land and for the housing to contain at least a 35% 'affordable' element as opposed to the option preferred by Telford and Wrekin Council of 1000 new larger homes being built on green field land around the edges of Newport i.e. the 'doughnutting' effect as referred to in the later report from Matthew Taylor MP. Ian contacted us as national publication Green Places were doing an article on the Green Belt and he felt our story was ideally suited to this article.
Please click the link below and turn to page 12 to read the full and very interesting article.
Click here for the full article
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|House of Commons seminar- A report by Malcolm Sharman, Hull
The Smith Institute founded in memory of the late Rt Hon John Smith is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and events. It provides a platform for national and international discussion on a wide range of public policy issues concerning social justice, community, governance, enterprise, economy, trade and the environment.
The Smith Institute recently held a seminar to discuss the future of Yorkshire and Humber. The Civic Society Initiative suggested to Malcolm Sharman that the seminar would be interesting. Read Malcolm's extremely interesting report from the day here and see how important it is that the civic movement is represented in such meetings.
|Oxford Spring Clean
Following the huge success of the inaugural event in 2008 and of Spring Clean 2009, Oxford Civic Trust and Oxclean are delighted to announce that they are now looking for groups, schools and businesses to register for Spring Clean 2010.
Spring Clean 2010 is an Oxford city-wide community event co-ordinated by Oxford Civic Trust in partnership with Oxford City Council, The Oxford Time and local groups. In addition to cleaning up the city, the aim to to encourage civic pride and responsibility at a grass roots level. Two-litter picks are carried out by local groups at a location of their choice.
More information on how your group could start a similar scheme in your area can be accessed here
Discover Gloucester with Audio Trails
You can now discover Gloucester at your own pace with a new series of audio trails. Developed by Gloucester Civic Trust, the trails are available from the Gloucester Tourist Information Centre or can they can be downloaded online from the Gloucester Civic Trust website.
Downloaded audio trails include all the audio tracks in MP3 format together with a printable PDF map.
Cheadle Civic Society website launched
The Cheadle Civic Society has launched a major new web site to coincide with the bicentenary of Cheadle Green in 2010, as well as celebrate the history of Cheadle over the past 1000 years. The new site features an assortment of rare archive photographs of Cheadle Green and the surrounding area and reveals many different aspects of Cheadle life from the past.
"We believe that by putting so much of our extensive archive onto the Internet, we are enabling many local people to learn much more about the history of Cheadle and how it has evolved," says Andrew Taylor, Chairman of the Cheadle Civic Society
|The Southern Comfort cluster, Hampshire - meeting date confirmed
In 1983 The Chichester Society, feeling a little isolated, invited the Lewes, Fareham, Portsmouth and Winchester Societies to meet with them for a day to discuss matters of mutual concern. The morning was devoted to society matters and the afternoon to planning issues. At the end all agreed that this sharing of experiences had been both enjoyable and extremely useful; above all it had been comforting to find that all had very similar problems. One member was asked to write a brief article and, knowing how catchy headings go down well with the press, he headed the article "Southern Comfort" and the name stuck.
The City of Winchester Trust is now organising the next Southern Comfort meeting, to be held in Winchester on Saturday 10 July. The keynote speaker will be the landscape architect Kim Wilkie and further information is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
|Kent Federation of Amenity Societies Annual Conference (KFAS)
The KFAS annual conference this year will take place at the Pines Calyx near Dover. The subject of the conference will be 'The Kent Coastal Network'.
Subjects to be addressed by the speakers this year will be:
More information is available here
Help shape the future of Heritage Open Days
The Heritage Open Days team is running a special series of forums in March - this is where you can tell them how they can help support you in developing your local programme
Find your nearest forum here
Civic Society Initiative talking to Wilmslow Civic Trust, 17 March
Civic Voice Launch Event, April 17
Making use of rivers, Ipswich, April 17
Civic Society Initiative talking to Peterborough Civic Society, 4 May
Street Pride Workshop, Wakefield 8 May
Street Pride Workshop, Warwick 15 May
KFAS Annual Conference, May 15
Street Pride Workshop, Winchester 22 May
Street Pride Workshop, London 19 June
Street Pride Workshop, Manchester 26 June
Southern Comfort, Winchester, 17 July
Street Pride workshops