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Civic Voice Live - 17 August - 1pm - Take action for our high streets
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Gillian - in an era of “growth” and with our current Chancellor(!!!) it is hard to see the Government making the 4 big supermarkets change their behaviour.
nonetheless, I can see this being a conflict with the Portas review. If her report is to have “teeth” I think it has to be a given that she recommend Government clamp down on the Big 4. If she does not, her report will not be worth the paper it is wrote on.
It is localism when it suits the agenda, otherwise we are classed as Nimbys!

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Joe - just trying to provoke the debate - if it’s direct support you want then drop us a line (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) summarising what your issue is and what you are already doing.  We will see what we can do.  There are people we can put you in touch with to help think through the future of your area and run workshops that help.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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And a quick thanks to English Heritage for the support it provided to the Street Pride campaign.  We’ve also supported the latest guide on community planning and rural areas which has some good material and ideas http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/knowing-your-place/ .  We publicise new reports like this in our emailed bulletin, civic sense, so if you are a member of a civic society and want to receive this then let us know at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Tony Burton - 17 August 2011 12:26 PM

Sydenham’s expereince points to the importance of retailers and local businesses working well together, just as local people work through civic societies and other groups.  Civic societies can help with this and many have a good relationship with their local chamber of commerce or other local business group.  Many local business people are also on civic societies and there is often a very shared agenda around the high street.  I know one example where the civic society and local chamber of commerce are jointly lobbying the council on priorities.

Except that here they don’t.  Perhaps not having any local businesses in our Civic Society has something to do with it, but the politics behind that are too specific.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Our local planning authority in High Wycombe has had a policy against out-of-town supermarkets for many years, and they apply the “sequential test” diligently.  A huge John Lewis on the outskirts dates from the 1980s but was barred from the start from doing food and clothes, and that policy stands.  The recognition that out-of-town supermarkets can damage town centres goes back to PPG6 in the 1980s, so if there are still authorities out there who have not included this in their Local Plan, they need to do it!  And whether local Civic Societies can influence that depends on how good the LPA is at consulting.  Some are so much better than others.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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What is the experence elsewhere - what are links like in your area with business?  Do you have business interests involved in your local group or meet them regularly?

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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I think the problem works at two ends

People want cheaper goods to keep money in their pocket so they visit the cheapest place to buy their food/goods etc. People are not interested int eh wider good, they are interested in feeding the family and making sure they have money to pay rent. That is the reality of the world for a lot of people.

We have to get to a situation whereby we all care about the high street for other reasons - not just for retail.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Neighbourhood planning could help here as it can flesh out some of the details that your council’s Local Plan leaves out, or provide a plan where your council hasn;t yet got round to prearing its own.  This can cover retail and we are expectin glots of neighbourhood planning to cover town centres - there’s free advice out there on how to get going and there’s also a risk that if you don’t take the lead in your area then someone else will.  If you have a parish or town counil then they are the only bodies that can prepare a neighbourhood plan.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Thanks for your advice Tony. We do have a Vision for Marple and have set up joint working programme with the Borough Council and local community groups to work on projects to: improve the shopping experience, make a more attractive town centre, enhance and promote our heritage more effectively including the canal history of the town.

None of this includes a large 5 acre supermarket development of course!

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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What do people use high streets for - is it just retail?  What about other uses - libraries, leisure, swimming pools, art, culture, events?  Is there enough civic infrastructure or are we losing that even faster than our indpendent shops?  Maybe we should be focusing on this “civic glue” and leave the retail debate to others?

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Tony Burton - 17 August 2011 12:37 PM

Joe - just trying to provoke the debate - if it’s direct support you want then drop us a line (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) summarising what your issue is and what you are already doing.  We will see what we can do.  There are people we can put you in touch with to help think through the future of your area and run workshops that help.

Tony - I hope you didn’t take offence. It was not intended in that manner. I was more trying to find out how we can get this as an agenda item for the Civic Voice board to be talking about. This discussion is clearly provoking alot of debate and what I would like to know is, once the submission to the Portas Review is complete…. then what….. This is the type of project we expect Civic Voice to be leading on and I wondered how you select these issues over everything else that must come your way.

p.s. my civic society is not a member, which is a huge frustration for me so anything you can suggest that I can go back with on this subject would be good ammunition!

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Tony Burton - 17 August 2011 12:46 PM

What do people use high streets for - is it just retail?  What about other uses - libraries, leisure, swimming pools, art, culture, events?  Is there enough civic infrastructure or are we losing that even faster than our indpendent shops?  Maybe we should be focusing on this “civic glue” and leave the retail debate to others?

I like this!!! “civic glue” I wonder how many “civic” pieces have gone from the high street over the past ten years!

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Marple’s vision makes for a great read if you haven’t seen it - a testimony to what Marple Civic Society is achieving.  Find it here http://www.marplecivicsociety.org.uk/A Vision for Marple.pdf If you think your area could benefit from a clearer “vision” about what you and your group want then let us know and we can help prepare one.  It can be really helpful when responding to planning applications you don’t like or preparing for a Local or neighbourhood plan or even informing bids to bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It is also helpful to know what you do want for the area and head off the usual criticism about knowing more about what you don’t want there!

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Tony Burton - 17 August 2011 12:43 PM

Neighbourhood planning coul dhelp here as it can flesh out some of the details that your council’s Local Plan leaves out, or provide a plan where your council hasn;t yet got round to prearing its own.  This can cover retail and we are expectin glots of neighbourhood planning to cover town centres - there’s free advice out there on how to get going and there’s also a risk that if you don’t take the lead in your area then someone else will.  If you have a parish or town counil then they are the only bodies that can prepare a neighbourhood plan.

Here we have a system of Ward based local Assemblies, led by Councillors, who seem to anticipate the Assemblies becoming Localism Bill Neighbourhood Forums.  However, our Wards do not correspond to the areas served by our town centres, and our ‘Local Assemblies’, which have very weak governance, have been quickly dominated by ‘the usual suspects’. If such groups are accepted as Neighbourhood Forums, they could easily take the Community Levy, if that’s what it called, for large housing developments outside favoured areas - e.g. conservation areas, where the suspects are more likely to live themselves - and use it for projects which simply appeal to them.

 
 
Posted: 17 August 2011 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Joe - get in touch anyway - we’re here to help and hopefully it can show that we’re worth joining too!  Getting on for 300 groups have already done so.

 
 
   
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