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LATEST EVENTS MEMBERS ARCHIVE JOURNALS SERVICES ABOUT
Issue 2, May 2010
Civic Voice - talking civic sense

your voice

www.civicvoice.org.uk | 0151 708 9920 | info@civicvoice.org.uk | @civic_voice

Welcome

Welcome to this second issue of your voice with news about Civic Voice and ideas and suggestions for strengthening civic societies and the civic movement.

In this issue

200 member milestone passed

We are pleased to welcome Tottenham Civic Society as Civic Voice's 200th member. Membership continues to grow at the rate of two or three each day and the combined individual membership of all the civic societies in Civic Voice is now over 40,000. We have members from all parts of the country, from cities, towns and villages and with memberships ranging from less than 10 to several thousand.

The growth of Civic Voice is testament to the ambition of civic societies. It needs to continue if we are to build the sustainable and financially independent organisation which the civic movement has called for. Now is the time to join as a Founder Member before the end of May.

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Volunteer for Civic Voice

Civic Voice is run on a shoestring of just two staff and depends on volunteer support to be effective. We have received a number of enquiries from people wanting to know how to volunteer. The following opportunities are just some of them available:

Office support - Volunteers are required to help with general office support including database management and assisting with telephone duties and internet enquiries. We have further opportunities for more specific roles such as fundrasing and helping with publicity. Much of this work can be done at home as well as in Civic Voice's office.

Website resources - we are keen to improve the quality of information and support available on the website. Do you have ideas? What information should we be signposting on fundraising, volunteering, land use planning and heritage? How can we provide the online support which best meets the need of civic societies? How can the website build a stronger civic network? Can you help manage the site?

Policy analysis - are you interested in reviewing Government and other policy reports and publications for their implications for the civic movement? For example, what does the new PPS5 on planning and the historic environment really mean? What should we think of English Heritage's National Heritage Protection Plan?

Topic networks - would you like to lead an informal network of civic societies and volunteers interested in particular topics?. Networks have already begun on coastal towns and core cities and there is interest in blue plaques. What about conservation areas or canals, Heritage Open Days or out of town supermarkets?

Planning reform group - a review of planning law and policy is a near certainty. Would you like to join a group offering advice and providing evidence and examples which can be used to ensure the results work for the civic movement?

Photographs - are you a keen photographer with an eye for a good picture? We need you! Civic Voice is always on the look out for photographs that fit our style and we also need a volunteer to manage the Flickr site.

Contact Ian Harvey on ian.harvey@civicvoice.org.uk or on 0151 708 9920 to find out more

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Civic Day

The Board is discussing proposals for a Civic Day in 2011 and would welcome your views. The idea builds on the success of many civic societies in identifying a point in the year when they raise awareness of their work and public interest in the local area. We have received many suggestions that Civic Voice might make more of this at a national level. One of the most successful initiatives is Civic Societies Week in Yorkshire and Humber which is now in its third year and was launched for 2010 in Scarborough today. Local groups across the county are co-ordinated to put on events and activities which attract local interest and regional media coverage. They also compete for the Peter Spawforth Trophy with the prospect of a £250 prize for the civic society judged to have put on the best initiative. Civic societies elsewhere do similar things - from Blackpool's participation in the annual civic pride week to Midsomer Norton's celebration of midsummer's day.

The idea is to co-ordinate a national day when civic societies across the country get involved and truly raise the profile of the civic movement. It might also provide an opportunity to recruit members and raise funds - with each civic society deciding what works best for them and it all hanging together around a shared day and publicity. Civic Voice would offer support and co-ordination. By joining together we will be able to make a much bigger impact and to share ideas.

Tell the Board what you think and get involved in the Civic Voice Live discussion forum on 3rd June (see below). How could we make a success of a Civic Day and what would your group find most helpful?

Read more about Civic Societies Week in Yorkshire and Humber here

Send your thoughts to Ian Harvey here

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Civic Voice Live - 3rd June

The launch of Civic Voice marks an important stage in the the history of the civic movement. We have endeavoured to set Civic Voice up in a way possible to secure its independence and a grassroots approach. We now want to hear your thoughts concerning future campaigns and projects.

A discussion forum has been created on our new website which you can use to raise issues and respond to others. We also plan to hold regular "live" discussions where everyone can talk online at the same time. The first of these will be at noon on Thursday 3rd June for one hour with Tony Burton will be available to discuss the Board's proposal for a Civic Day next year.

Please join us on 3rd June - it only takes a minute to register to share your views if you follow these instructions

  1. On www.civicvoice.org.uk click Join Forum (foot of page)
  2. Click Register (top of page)
  3. Fill in the member registration
  4. You will be sent an email (to the email address you registered with) containing a link to activate your account.
  5. Click the link and your account will be activated
  6. You can now participate in the discussion

You can register for the forum here

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Heritage Alliance partnership

Civic Voice is joining Heritage Alliance - the umbrella group for the heritage voluntary sector.

As well as helping us work in partnership to influence policy and campaign this also brings a new benefit to groups who join Civic Voice. Heritage Update is Heritage Alliance's regular bulletin and has a strong reputation as a source of information and news on heritage issues. It will now be available to all members of Civic Voice through our website.

Look at the latest issues of Heritage Update here

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Board meeting

Civic Voice's new Board met for the first time on 28 April, in Birmingham, with Paula Ridley in the Chair. The Board agreed the priorities for Civic Voice and started a discussion about a "Civic Day” which joins civic societies across the country in a celebration of what makes places attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and which raises the profile of the civic movement.

The minutes of Board meetings are posted on the website once approved and can be viewed here

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Campaigner awards - who do you nominate?

Is your civic society campaigning on an important issue in your local area? Would you like support to be a better campaigner? An SMK Award is for people who are just starting out as campaigners and want to take their work to the next level.

Apply now, or if you know someone else who might benefit from an award you can nominate them in less than two minutes!

Deadline for applications: Midday on 28th June 2010

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Living Streets free conference

National charity Living Streets is hosting a free conference on 10 July in London for anyone interested in learning more about effective local campaigning to create safe, attractive streets where people want to walk. To find out more click here

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Love Local in Retford

Each year Retford marks the granting of its Royal Charter in 1246 with a festival. This year the Retford Civic Society took the opportunity to join the festival and surveyed over 100 people as part of the Love Local campaign.

Read what the Retford Civic Society said here and get involved in the Love Local campaign here.

Why not take the idea from Retford and conduct your own Love Local survey using the questions from the website. A list of the Love Local questions is also available here. You can use this to help you identify your campaign priorities for the next coming months and to help raise your profile with the local community.

Dont forget to send Civic Voice the results.

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Bristol asks the members

It is always helpful to know who your members are and what they want. A regular survey is one answer and Bristol Civic Society is on the case. The questionnaire is designed to give Bristol Civic Society a better understanding of their membership to help shape future priorities. What do you know about your members?

You can download Bristol's survey here

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Sometimes people say thank you!

Civic campaigning can sometimes feel like a thankless task but then all your hard work gets recognised. This happened recently for St Albans where hard hitting campaigns on rail freight depots in the Green Belt and the future of the Odeon cinema left a few bruises but the local Hertfordshire Advertiser ran a supportive editorial

Read what the local paper said about St Albans Civic Society here What has the local press said about your group - brickbats as well as bouquets? Let us know here and we can share it with others

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Finding support

Civic Voice has a range of resources to help civic societies strengthen and develop. Click on the headline below and tell us what else you think would be helpful

Looking for volunteers?

How to raise funds

Need a photo?

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Join Civic Voice

Why not join the fastest growing movement in England making the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. Only through a growing membership can Civic Voice become independent: supported by the civic movement, for the civic movement. Join as a Founder Member before the end of May and you will receive a 10% discount.

Join Civic Voice here

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S P Saban

Touch Of Glamour

Traceys Travel

Ultrasound Direct

A Cut Above

Attend2health

Bowtell Electrical Contractors

Buntingford Karate Club

Buntingford Mowers

Chipping Hall B&B

Countryside Trees

J Oliver Radley

John D Kilby

Jo Jangles

KB Tyres Ltd.

Layston Nursery