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 and it will with a two-day convention on 19/20 October 2017 in Birmingham.

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: Development in a conservation area.

Workshops could include:

  • 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. 
  • What is the future for conservation areas?  With a 36% decrease in local conservation officers since 2006,we will show different 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!  The "Paddington Pole" is a controversial scheme in Bayswater Conservation Area receiving national attention for the wrong reasons. But things could have been different. 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;: 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. 
  • Heritage Open Days; To mark the 50th Anniversary of the act which introduced them, come and hear about how 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. 
  • Influencing the agenda;  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; 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? 
  • National Civic Day;: Civic Day 2018  will be a key feature of our campaign to make the case for conservation area. Join with us and say My Conservation Area Matters. 

The programme will be published in the Spring of 2018.