Civic Voice Annual Convention Workshops

July 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civic Amenities Act 1967 that saw the introduction of Conservation Areas in the UK. The town of Stamford, Lincolnshire, was the first to be designated as a Conservation Area and, in recognition of this, Civic Voice is running the Big Conservation Conversation with a two-day convention on 20/21 October 2017 in Wakefield.

The weekend will bring together a range of speakers who represent different background and professions from national policy makers to community groups whose have helped inspire change in their local Conservation Area. The workshops, walks, talks and speakers will highlight specific lessons and consider and showcase innovative responses that are showing a common theme: local engagement; local civic action

Civic Voice Annual Convention Workshops 20 October: Unity Works

Placecheck: The first steps to a Community Led Conservation Area Appraisal
A Placecheck can cover a street, a neighbourhood, a town centre, or a conservation area. Groups including Marple, Lytham and Canterbury have all participated in a Placecheck to help stimulate local action. Join a workshop with Placecheck founder, Rob Cowan and learn how you can use it as the basis to start undertaking a community led conservation area appraisal.

What is the future for conservation areas? Ian Harvey with Ilkley Society and The Deal Society
With a 36% decrease in local conservation officers since 2006, join a workshop with Ian Harvey to hear how Ilkley Civic Society and the Deal Society are both in different ways showing how the communities can play a role in supporting the historic environment and discuss with us and answer the question “what is the future for conservation areas?

Paddington Pole; It could have been so different! Charles Campion with John Walker
The "Paddington Pole" is a controversial scheme in Bayswater Conservation Area receiving national attention for th wrong reasons. But things could have been different. Join Charles Campion to hear how Civic Voice and JTP, through utilising Collaborative Planning principles offered an alternative community vision and learn how you can apply the same lessons in your local area and that modern design in a conservation area is possible to be achieved.

Local Heritage Listing; Rob Loyd Sweet with John Stambollouian,Sevenoaks Society

Many civic societies have helped compile a Local Heritage List and are using it to ensure they have an extra "tool" to champion the local historic environment and give additional protection to buildings in a conservation area. Join this workshop to learn how the Sevenoaks Society have managed to develop a Local Heritage List and hear from Historic England about how can get involved to.

Civic Voice Annual Convention Workshops 21 October: Cedar Court Hotel

Our next general meeting will be on Saturday, October 21st at the Civic Voice Annual Convention in Wakefield. We will discuss the future of the Alliance and how we can move forward with lobbying and campaigning on behalf of our beautiful historic cities and towns.

Charity Commission and Good Governance; Kevin Trickett
Last year, the Charity Commission consulted on a proposed code of governance. This has now been published and is available on-line and has recently led to a lot of civic societies telling us that they are not meeting the guidance and fearing the future. While the new Code is at the moment just guidance, it is based on current legal requirements and recommended practice. If your civic society is a registered charity, you need to attend this workshop to get yourself ready!

Growing a civic society: Ian Harvey with Pontefract Civic Society & The Goole Society

Are you wondering how to get more members? How to get more volunteers? Why not learn from some groups who are growing and making a difference. As part of the session you will get to use the Civic Society Assessment Tool to self-assess your own civic society. You will hear how Pontefract Civic Society used the tool to assess their civic society’s health to identify areas for development. The session will let you use the form to discuss your strengths and weaknesses with colleagues.

Heritage Open Days; Annie Reilly with Sheffield Civic Trust
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the act which introduced them, come and hear about how Sheffield Civic Trust and other civic societies celebrated Conservation Areas (and lots more!) with a focus on Heritage Open Days!. You will also be asked to share your thoughts about Heritage Open Days 2020, what does HODS look like in the future and how can your civic society play a part. Sheffield Civic Trust will be giving a presentation on the 100+ events they organisation for HODs 2017. 

Influencing the agenda; Together we are stronger chaired Phil Douce with Lyn Hobson talk
You are part of a national movement and every action counts when we are campaigning on civic matters. Join Lyn Hobson from the UK Parliament Outreach team to discuss how you can play a role in helping Civic Voice raise the importance and the impact of loss of conservation staff with Parliament and MPs. Learn how working together, you and other civic societies can help secure a Backbench debate to help raise the profile of conservation area which may very well lead to the CLG Select Committee launching an inquiry about the loss of conservation officers.

Local Design Awards; Paul Bedwell and Sarah James
Over 100 civic societies across England give out regular awards to new buildings/schemes in their local area. But how can we connect the national and local? How can we ensure the lessons from our design awards are being learnt and improving the built environment? Come along to this session and learn how Sheffield Civic Trust are maximising public involvement and share your thoughts on the future of the national design awards.

National Civic Day; Joan Humble with Southgate Civic Trust
Civic Day 2017 celebrated 50 year of conservation areas with over 600 events being organised by community groups to say My Conservation Area Matters. Leaflets, plaques, walks and talks were just some of the activities. But what about 2018? What next? Learn what Southgate District Civic Trust got up to for 2017 and be inspired to get involved in Civic Day, June 17th 2018.

The Next Generation; Chris Winter with Birmingham Civic Society & Altrincham Civic Society
We need younger members and younger volunteers is the shout we often hear! We don't know how to get them. Did you know in 2016 100+ civic societies were involved in a “youth engagement activity”? Come to the workshop and hear about Birmingham’s hugely successful programme and how local teenagers in Altrincham said “My Conservation Area Matters”.

NPPF Review; Paul Bedwell with Sarah James

Civic Voice will be holding an APPG on the Review of the National Planning Policy Framework in March 2018 as part of the Government’s review of the legislation. Come along to a workshop with Paul Bedwell and Sarah James to share your current experience of how it is working and help shape and influence our response through the Civic Voice expert panel.

Regional Forum; A voice in the movement with Helen Kidman
Helen Kidman, Chair of the Civic Voice Regional Forum wants you to come along to a workshop to express thoughts that you have on how the civic movement can work better together. In 2018 we will continue to celebrate the impact conservation areas have on England and want to connect with civic societies to find out more about the threats to heritage caused by the fall in resources committed. Come and help Helen Kidman generate as many ideas as you can as and use your voice to help shape your national movement.

Where is the money coming from? David Evans - Leeds Civic Trust & Colchester Civic Society

In recent workshops, we have asked civic societies “what groups do you admire?” and Leeds Civic Trust and Colchester Civic Society always come back with the answer “they have money” or “they have accessed HLF funding”. Attend a workshop to hear from these two groups and hear why it is okay to have money from the private sector and to learn some of the challenges and opportunities involved in getting Heritage Lottery funding.