Thursday, 3 October 2013

Civic Voice

The Civic Trust has become the Civic Voice:

Morris Men

Who we are

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement in England. We make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. We promote civic pride.


Civic Voice works to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We promote civic pride. We are the national charity for the civic movement and have a strong local presence. We know how people feel about places because we feel the same way.

Civic Voice

Thanks to the East Devon Alliance for the latest info:

National Planning Guidance Draft

The Planning Minister Nick Boles launched new national online planning practice guidance ‘for public testing and comment’. Comments can be made until 9 October; the finalised version that will accompany the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) should then ‘go live’ later in the autumn.
No current planning guidance and advice is being cancelled for the moment – none will be replaced until the final online guidance is in place.
The new online draft is certainly shorter than the 7,000 pages or so of current guidance and advice that are in use. This reduction is a direct consequence of last year’s Taylor Review of planning practice guidance and a change that is in line with the Government’s response to the Review that was given this spring.
The new draft practice guidance still runs to hundreds of pages, covering a vast range of issues impacting on local plan policy and decision-making processes – from ensuring the vitality of town centres, design, viability, the use of conditions and obligations, to environmental assessment… and much more. If you are looking at this guidance, please share with us your thoughts so we can feed this into our Planning Panel to review. Send any comments you have on this new "beta" guidance to info@civicvoice.org.uk.

Ex Minister joins APPG

We are pleased to welcome Andrew Stunell MP as the latest MP to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies. From May 2010 to September 2012 Andrew served as Local Government Minister following the formation of the Coalition Government. Andrew is a big supported of the civic society movement as he is also the Patron of the Marple Civic Society. Andrew is pictured here with Gillian Postil from Marple undertaking a street clutter udit as part of our Street Pride campaign.
We have a target to increase the size of the All Party group to 100 MPs. Help us make this possible and in doing so increase the voice of the civic society movement within Parliament.
Ask your MP to join the APPG here.

Planning in National Parks

Speaking to MPs during a debate on planning policy, the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP said there was a danger of some rural communities in National Parks becoming "embalmed" if they were not allowed to grow. The Minister said there should be more of a debate about "the balance between growth, development, economic and social development and protection of the landscape" in national parks. He told MPs: "Communities [in national parks] will only retain their appeal and retain life if they are allowed to change and to develop and wanted to find out" and "whether current legislation properly captures what we are trying to achieve and what communities in national parks want to see".
These comments have been regarded as the Government indicating that they are considering relaxing strict protections for National Parks to help developers. We will be asking the Minister to clarify his position on development in National Parks and will keep Civic Voice members who live in National Parks informed.
You can view the debate here.

England’s heritage threatened by loss of expertise

A new report by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage (EH), into England’s local authority conservation staffing, shows continued long terms cuts, with the number of conservation specialists in English councils falling by 4% in 2012, part of a devastating 33% cut since 2006.
This massive loss in conservation knowledge and specialist advice equates to the reduction of one in three conservation officer posts in local government, threatening the proper care of heritage as well as the huge investment of public monies into England’s historic environment by bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Read the report here.

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