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Civic Voice Live - 3rd June - 12 noon until 1pm
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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T.Bendixson - 03 June 2010 10:16 AM
tonyburton - 03 June 2010 10:10 AM

There are lots of great ideas and suggestions already posted.  Lots to respond to as we kick off.

What do we mean by “civic”?  Well there’s probably several PhDs in that one.  One thing we can be certain of is that it is much much more than local government.  The term has certain local authority associations and for many it is a reminder of the rise of local government and fine Victorian buildings, mayoral chains and customs, much of which is an important part of our heritage today.  But this isn’t the only definition.  We deliberately chose to use the word “civic” when setting up Civic Voice - it is very contemporary as well - a sense of being public spirited, citizenship and something very much from the community. 

hw makes a good point about Heritage Open Days - we need to be clear why these are very different initiatives.  HODs is a collaboration of different organisations and volunteers across the country to throw open our heritage to the wider public.  Over 100 civic societies take part and it is a wonderful event and a key part of the calendar.  The Civic Day is very different - a celebration of your local area, going well beyond heritage, and focused on civic societies and the civic movement alone - providing you with an opportunity to raise profile, attract members and harness the support and ideas of other groups

How we knit Civic Day together out of the work of hunderds of different local groups is, as abunson flags up, the central challenge.  What are your thoughts?  We need to be very flexible so the idea can work in different places but not so broad brush that it lacks coherence.  One theme which we might use - without it being necessary for everyone to pick it up - is around young citizens.  The overwhelming call from civic societies over the last year’s debate has been to work more with young

Dear Tony

I am not sure I have the hang of this but….............one possible event for a Civic Day would be to focus on conservation wins and losses. The wins might be cases won at appeal or ordinary planning approvals that have secured the protection of valuable buildings or other assets. The losses would be…...well we all know about them. This would provide a strong visual basis for an event linked to Civic Days/

Yours

Terence Bendixson
Hon. Sec. Planning, The Chelsea Society

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Great idea Sarah - is there anyone online from Yorkshire?

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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tonyburton - 03 June 2010 10:22 AM

The Civic Societies Week in Yorkshire predates Civic Voice by a couple of years - it was set up at the initiative of local groups in the area and is increasingly succesful.  This year’s launch attracted great publicity.  What we are doing with Civic Voice is drawing it to everyone’s attention - the idea needs to be developed and adapted but it does seem to work

so who is paying for these people to do it? probably subsidised by the rest of the membership! you need to cut your cloth accordingly and not run expenses projects - however good you think they are. You need to be setting priorities that can help raise the profile so we cna get new members.

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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What do others think about a good focus for the day?  It needs to be loose enough that all civic societies can get involved.  Terence’s idea would be a good way of showing how the civic movement is really making a difference and - most important - be interesting to people to.  There is always that parallel universe of what your place would look like if some of those developments that were allowed had been refused and vice versa - a sure way to provoke debate!

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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DBennett - that’s the joy of the civic movement.  The “work” is all being done by volunteers.  I believe the launch event found a local sponsor and the rest depends on the enthusiasm of the local societies.  And there is evidence that it has also brought in new members and support as well as raised the profile - so with the right approach Civic Day can kill many metaphorical birds with just one stone.  We will need to raise some sponsorship to make it a real success but the resource challenge is probably mostly about time rather than money

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Our Society is having a stall at Maidenhead Carnival in June along with many other local societies.  However in the past this has not generated many new members.

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Research that I have seen and experience over the years suggests that having a stall or presence at local events is an important way of maintaining or raising the profile of a local group but rarely a good source of members.  It is one of those “necessary but not sufficient” activities which remind people you exist, provide a chance to share information but may not trigger them into joining. 

Member recruitment is always a challenge - people join things that give them benefits or which they can see being succesful.  There is a chicken and egg conundrum between being able to do more and having the support (money and volunteers) with which to do it.  We hope Civic Day can help - by providing something extra - and we are also keen to offer support, information, tips and suggestions on how to increase members.  Many societies are increasing their membership - maybe they can share their secrets?

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The day could be a day when Press Releases go out saying what has been dione and what campaigns are coming up.  Press Release from Civic Voice and releases for / or on behalf of local societies.  Societies can accompany this with whatever other events they can organise on/following the day.
This years Civic Societies week in Yorkshire & Humber has less participants than previous years but the YHACS Press Release brought opportunities for even non participating societies to get press space..

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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That’s a really good suggestion from C0BRID - providing an omnibus press release which covers what local groups are doing and maybe also providing some draft press releases for local civic societies to adapt for their local media?

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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[size=4]I agree the focus has to be loose. Perhaps the focus is engaging with the wider public about whatever we think is important in our patch.
I can’t see societies putting a lot of effort to something in which they are not terribly interested just because someone ‘on high’ thinks it is a good idea smile

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Quite right vernon - this only works if the ideas come from civic societies.  The concept of a Civic Day is one invented by civic societies and many get involved in something along these lines already.  We’re hoping Civic Voice can simply “add value” by bringing more coherence, raising the profile and offering practical support, such as leaflets, banners and press releases for adapting locally.

The idea of “take a second look” at your area is really appealing - civic societies have so much fascinating information about “their” place which people will be fascinated by when they get the opportunity to hear about it.  Ask people what they think is important - which is the idea behind the Love Local campaign - and help open their eyes to things they were unaware of - hidden bits of heritage, unseen planning battles etc

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Our Civic Week is now in its third year and growing in momentum. Civic Societies Week is intended to promote the work done by civic societies in our region.  Societies across Yorkshire and Humber are being invited to run special projects during any week from Saturday 29th May to Sunday 4th July 2010.  There are few rules other than to involve members and the public; you may find new members joining too.  The event may be a Guided walk, Exhibition, Public meeting or something new for your area.  It is great fun especially if you win the Trophy or a Commendation Certificate.  These are awarded at an Autumn lunch.  The press are found to be supportive throughout with local civic society events and with the awards ceremony. 
Have a go!

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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It is great to see that “Planning” - the trade magazine for the planning profession - has just put out a message on twitter about the discussion forum.  There is real interest in Civic Voice and what the civic movement is up to - at a time of real flux in policy debate over strengthening the role of communities and the future of the planning system.  We also had special profiles about Tony Burton and Civic Voice in Planning and its sister magazine Regneration and Renewal

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Thanks Peter - Sarah Porter’s answer!  Yorkshire is online and Civic Societies Week is proving a success.

 
 
Posted: 03 June 2010 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Thanks to everyone for making this such a lively and positive first Civic Voice Live - keep the ideas coming in about Civic Day.  The Board of Trustees is discussing the issue next week and we’ll be back with news

 
 
   
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