Civic Voice Live - Friday 11 November
Posted: 10 November 2011 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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What do you think civic societies should be campaigning on together? Over 100 groups joined in with our Street Pride campaign to get rid of pointless clutter. What should be next?

Should we be celebrating civic pride or blowing the whistle on things that damage our neighbourhoods? What makes a campaign easy to get involved in and what matters to your civic society?

Join the conversation here with other civic volunteers on Friday 11 November.

 
 
Posted: 10 November 2011 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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High Speed Rail: the parliamentary Transport Select Committee have now reported on their extensive research and concluded that we will need new rail tracks northwards from London, but that the current government plan is not necessarily the way to do it. CV has made its views clear prior to the consultation this summer, but now is the time to reopen the debate prior to the planned government announcement in December. The simple message to the government could be “think again”. What do members think?

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome to Civic Voice Live where between noon and 1pm we will be discussing campaign priorities for the civic movement. What should be the priorities for 2012 and beyond? Should they be about policy issues or more fun and celebratory? What issues will be relevant to a majority of civic societies so everyone can get involved?

We are already exploring two ideas which emerged from a “Dragons Den” style debate among nearly 150 civic volunteers at our recent AGM and convention in Sheffield. The two most popular ideas were:

1. Awards - providing an antidote to all the developer led and professionally run awards schemes for good urban design and architecture by bringing together the scores of awards schemes already run by civic societies, encouraging more and making awards which reflect the views of local communities. Scottish Civic Trust already runs a successful My Place Awards along these lines - http://www.myplaceawards.org.uk/

2. Civic shame - highlighting examples of unsightly or insulting intrusions on our streets and public space - blocked views, derelict buildings, pointless street clutter, hopeless cycle facilities, jarring design…...the list goes on. People would be encouraged to submit photos, identify the perpetrators and encourage them to take action. One existing idea along these lines is “cycle facility of the month” which has a strong following and has even resulted in a book http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/. A touch of humour will be an important ingredient.

When looking at different campaign ideas we have asked people to judge them against the following critiera:

* Overall appeal
* Importance to the civic movement
* Relevance to your group
* Likelihood you will participate
* Ease for Civic Voice to support

What do you think of these ideas or what others have you to suggest? Over to you…...

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dear Tony,
I attended the event in Birmingham last week and found it to be very enjoyable. I thought Griff Rhys Jones was inspirational. Although I felt an indifference from people regarding Civic Shame, i do think people supported the idea (in principle) behind the good design. I think it is clear we want to be seen as a movement that is positive and to move away from the NIMBY we are often tagged with (even if sometimes true!)

If you can find a way to unite the local awards and run workshop/discussion forums on helping people create their awards, I think this would add as much value as doing something nationally.

Ian mentioned to me about the Myplaceawards and they look very good although I can see why some people may not want to see Civic Voice competing with Civic Trust Awards.

Thanks

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Welcome everyone to Civic Voice Live. 

Les was quick off the mark with HS2 and I’m pleased to say we are teaming up with other voluntary groups to publish a report of where we think the plans for HS2 have got to in advance of an announcement on the route expected before Christmas.  This will be published by the Right Lines Charter - http://rightlines.org.uk/ - of which we are members and the report won’t cover the Government’s proposals in glory.  Views on next steps very welcome

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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We had a very helpful debate on campaigning with 50 volunteers in Birmingham.  Interestingly civic shame was the most popular idea at the AGM and convention.  There was also support for the awards and people wanted a positive slant as well as being rightly critical of those who damage our streets and neighbourhoods.

We don’t really see any competition with the Civic Trust Awards.  The Scottish Civic Trust’s My Place Awards work bery well and the Civic Trust Awards are UK wide.  The key difference is that these are propsoals which come from communities.  The Civic Trust Awards depends on nominations (and funding) from architects and developers and we are championing a more grassroots approach.

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It is interesting to see a recent post elsewhere on the Forum from the team at Open Plaques who are pulling together information on blue (and other coloured) commemmorative plaques Wikipedia style - these are a great way to celebrate different areas and many civic societies are arranging walks between them as a way of helping people explore their area. 

Have you seen this idea from the US - Jane’s Walk http://www.janeswalk.net/.  It is named after Jane Jacobs and is an interesting way of encouraging people to get out and about in their neighbourhood.  Would it work here?

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi there
I think a lot of people are seeing the problems with awards but not the benefits.  However if we do it, it has to be very different.  No black-tie awards dinners or any of that nonsense.  I would like to see more of a rolling, light touch, web-based programme of Civic Pride awards that could be awarded for anything: a development, an activity, a person’s contribution, a new policy, a business. Civic Shame could be part of that but the ratio must be at least 5 positive to 1 negative awards. It would be so different that it would not compete with anything else. Doing something nationally grabs national media attention, and local societies can benifit from that if they are the nominators.

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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HS2—It’s essential to note that the north of the country reuires HS2 complete with the Y, as soon as possible.  Taking away from the existing network some long distance volume allows other services to be re-organised and release essential paths for the increasing number of freight and container trains that are being attracted to rail.  HS2 could should be the key to unlocking a lot of probelms elsewhere.  However High Speed benefits come from very limited stops and next to no curves.

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks David - we know dozens of civic societies are already running awards - from Restaurant of the Year in Wakefield to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Chester!  We’re trying to bring them together so they get the profile they deserve - whihc means keeping it flexible.  Civic Pride sounds like a great idea.

We should probably debate HS2 on another discussion thread - check out what we have said so far in response to the feedback from local groups here http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/campaigns/high-speed-rail/ .  Not everyone thinks it is going to relieve capacity elsewhere and it certainly need to if it is to be a success.  In a nutshell our view is that there may be a case for high speed rail but the current approach isn’t really up to scratch.

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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In terms of campaiging priorities I think the defending and promoting ‘Town and City centres first’ policies is really important at this moment. Centres continue to be undermined by out of centre developments. Obviously we need to push for this in relation to the NPPF but with the Government stressing that its up to local authorities to set local priorities this could be more of a devolved campaign with societies auditing policy and practice in their areas and helping Civic Voice identify good practice.

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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We had a really big response from civic societies on the Government’s high streets review currently being led by Mary Portas - it is obvious that local groups are doing all sorts of practical things to look after their local centres.  We would love to build on this when the review is published and one idea suggested has been to set up an email group to which you can subscribe if you are interested.  We’re thinking about giving it a go so let us know if you are interested at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 
 
Posted: 11 November 2011 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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We’re wrapping up now on this Civic Voice Live but do keep your campaigning ideas coming in.