Civic Voice is an organisation that the City of Rochester Society is proud to be a member of. This month, Civic Voice celebrated its 4th anniversary with a number of events including the Inaugural Sandy Lecture in honour of Lord (Duncan) Sandys at Central Hall Westminster and the launch of “A Brief History of the Civic Society Movement” telling for the first time, the story of one of the country’s oldest social movements.
Civic Voice have also put together a superb short film that totally captures what the civic movement is all about and why it’s so important for all of us to be involved. You can watch it here http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/resources/the-civic-movement-promoting-civic-pride-and-celebrating-the-places-where-we-live-2014/
Griff Rhys Jones, Civic Voice President said “The need for a vibrant civic society movement is greater than ever. With the right support we can build a movement to support and champion community action for local places that is stronger than ever. It is only right that we recognise the fourth anniversary of Civic Voice with this lecture and publication.”
Griff also commented on the powers communities have to protect their local assets.
“For far too long, people have assumed that they don’t have any voice in their locality. This is wrong. You do have a voice but you have to use it. The Government have introduced the Localism Act and yet figures released show that less than 1000 communities have utilised the powers available to list local community assets. Civic Voice wants to change this”.
Responding to a Parliamentary Question on 13th March, Communities Minister Stephen Williams MP said “we estimate that from February of this year over 900 assets have been listed across England”.
Griff added “Whether it is a heritage asset or community asset, you should get it listed. It can make a difference and that is why Civic Voice is launching a year long project to inspire communities across England to give buildings greater protection. We will be publishing case studies, holding events and mobilising communities to show people that they can have a voice in their local area”.
Stephen Williams MP said: “Communities across the country are developing neighbourhood plans, using the Community Right to Bid to protect their important local pub or shop and seeking to keep money in their communities through the use of community shares. They are doing their bit to make where they live a better place.