Civic Voice urges the new Secretary of State to reaffirm his commitment to ‘Pride of Place.’

Civic Voice invites submissions of examples of civic societies demonstrating pride of place.

In response to the announcement that Michael Gove MP has been appointed Secretary of State for The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Civic Voice has written directly to Mr Gove to ask him to confirm his support for 'Levelling Up' and in particular the mission focused on Pride in Place By 2030.

"From regeneration of our towns to heritage conservation and cherishing green spaces, pride in place is much more than hanging baskets," said Ian Harvey, Executive Director of Civic Voice. Civic pride entails community spirit, confidence in an area, and standing up for your community in the face of adversity. It means acknowledging the difficulties while saying, "I care, and I want to improve this place." Pride of place leads to economic growth. It is what we do at Civic Voice”.

Since the release of the Levelling Up White Paper earlier this year, several observers have noted that "pride in place" is notoriously difficult to measure and evaluate, as Civic Voice has known for several years. Civic Voice will ask the government to consider increase the number of events for National Civic Day as a goal.

Ian Harvey said: "The best way for government to deliver the mission on pride of place is to collaborate with a community network that has championed pride of place for years - that is the Civic Movement,". Why start from scratch when there is already a network in place to assist with this goal? Whether it's Addingham Civic Society funding a multi-use games area, Birmingham Civic Society awarding good citizenship awards to local schools, or New Folkestone Society hosting a town forum to discuss the town's future, civic society volunteers are a national network of volunteers demonstrating every day how pride in place supports economic growth."

Working alongside Civic Voice, the APPG for Civic Societies will write to The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP to invite him to meet directly from civic societies about how they demonstrate pride in place. We will also invite the government to collaboration National Civic Day on June 17th, 2023. This is a chance for communities all over the country to say, "I am proud of where I live."

Harvey concluded. "The University of Reading's research in 2022 called the civic movement 'a remarkable movement,' and we want to show the Secretary of State what they mean," We want to collect case studies from communities across the country that are championing pride of place in order to demonstrate how it leads to economic growth. We will publish this in collaboration with the APPG for Civic Societies as we continue to demonstrate the importance of Civic Societies to improving the places where we live.

Notes for Editors:

Pride in Place By 2030 - such as people's satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.

University of Reading Report looking: The report was launched at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies on 8th February 2022.">Read the report here.

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