Civic Voice encourages communities to showcase work for House of Lords Select Inquiry

Contributions sought for inclusion in Civic Voice's response to the House of Lords Built Environment Committee Inquiry

From Ramsgate Civic Society playing a pivotal role in establishing the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone, to Pontefract Civic Society organising events that bring life to Pontefract Town Centre, and Cheltenham Civic Society's impactful campaign for a better town centre – these stories exemplify the proactive efforts of civic-minded groups in improving where they live.

Now, as the House of Lords Built Environment Committee conducts an inquiry into the future of our high streets, Civic Voice invites communities nationwide to share similar examples of their innovative initiatives. Civic Voice aims to incorporate these success stories into its response to the ongoing inquiry, amplifying the impact of community efforts in addressing high street challenges. 

Individuals, community groups, and businesses are encouraged to contribute examples of their initiatives, showcasing how they are actively contributing to the resilience and attractiveness of their local high streets. Civic Voice recognises the pivotal role played by civic societies, and the recent examples from Ramsgate, Pontefract, and Cheltenham highlight the diversity of approaches that communities are taking.

Contributions can be submitted until the deadline on 15th March 2024.

Lord Moylan, Chair of the House of Lords Built Environment Committee, acknowledged the importance of community input, stating, “We want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible. If you have a view on any aspect of our inquiry, look at our call for evidence and let us know what you think.” Civic Voice echoes this sentiment, recognising the invaluable contributions of civic societies in shaping the future of high streets.

To contribute examples and stories, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The committee seeks evidence in response to the following questions. It is not necessary to answer all the questions. Short submissions are preferred. A submission longer than six pages should include a one-page summary.

  1. How do you define a high street in a town or small city and what is its purpose?
  2. What should be included on high streets to meet the needs of the whole community?
  3. What are the obstacles to bringing underused property on the high streets back into use?
  4. Who is involved in ensuring a thriving local high street and does the current structure of Government support facilitate those groups in working together?
  5. What role does the planning process have in determining the success or failure of the high street locally and is it fully able to address the challenges high streets face?
  6. What has been the impact of national level planning policies regarding high streets in the last five years and are any changes required?
  7. What should be done to ensure that high streets being redeveloped now are structurally and financially resilient for future societal changes?
  8. How can spatial planning, street design and layout help to drive greater footfall to high streets?
  9. Has the High Streets Taskforce been effective in providing support and expertise in high street recovery and what should this look like in the future?
  10. How can transport connectivity be improved to facilitate better access to high streets and town centres and how should this be funded?
  11. To what extent are the Government’s funding programmes to support high streets, such as the Town Deals and Future High Streets Fund, successful?