New Chairman of national charity Civic Voice

Dr Freddie Gick has been appointed Chairman of Civic Voice, the national organisation for the country’s 500 civic Societies with over 75,000 individual members. The civic society movement is one of the oldest movements in the country dating back to 1840s and ever since has been helping to champion the best of the past and fight for quality future development.

A member of the Cheltenham Civic Society and a former Chairman of the Birmingham Civic Society, he has been involved in the movement for the past 17 years. His time as leader of the Birmingham Civic Society saw it grow significantly, notably through the introduction of major programmes in tree planting, Birmingham Trees for Life, and a schools programme, The Next Generation Awards Programme.

Speaking after his appointment Dr Gick said:

My plan over the next three years will be to significantly raise the voice of the civic society movement. People are disillusioned with politics but still want to have a voice in their local area. We want to make every civic society the place where people come together to speak about their town. I encourage all citizens of England to join their local civic society and to help increase our collective voice

The recent meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies, chaired by Laura Sandys MP, expressed concerns that progress in preparing Neighbourhood Plans is slow, not helped by a pause in Government funding and possibly by deliberate obstruction on the part of some local authorities. Following the meeting Dr Gick has issued a call for the Government to refresh the funding available and to stimulate greater interest in Neighbourhood Plans, particularly in more deprived communities.

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Civic Voice is supported in Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies.

Ian Harvey, Civic Voice (m) 07877 096968 (t) 0151 707 4319

Freddie can be contacted in the first instance via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on the phone number above.