Clitheroe Civic Society becomes founding member of ‘Civic Voice’ - the national successor to the Civic Trust.
In April 2009 the Civic Trust, the national co-ordinating and campaigning organisation for local civic societies throughout England wound up due to lack of sufficient funds. In March this year (2010) a new successor arose as the successor to that 53 year old charity. Over the last 12 moths a holding group, operating under the working title of ‘The Civic Society Initiative’, has kept the flame burning for all groups and individuals concerned about maintaining and improving their civic, and architectural buildings and strengthening the environmental spaces that knit these together. Over many months - and widespread consultation - ‘The Initiative’ has given birth to the new national campaigning and resource organisation ‘Civic Voice’ which was launched nationally in April 2010.
Civic Voice has been formed to assist in making the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. It will speak up for Civic Societies and local communities across England and promote civic pride and participation.
Civic Voice believes that everyone has the right to live somewhere they can be proud of. Its intention is to develop a reputation and authority which will make it the first port of call for anyone seeking to develop, conserve or interpret the quality, beauty and character of our towns, cities and villages or simply to engage people in shaping their future. In partnership with your local Civic Society it seeks to be a source of civic pride and to be known for its independence of thought, challenging perspective and positive outlook. It has been established to assist local Civic Societies to listen, advise, support and act on behalf of communities everywhere and to inform the local community that they have a voice and a champion for the place where they live.
The strength of the new national charity will be taken from its local societies and individual members but with sufficient profile and resources to represent its supporters regionally and in Whitehall and Westminster, campaigning with local volunteers, speaking out in the media, undertaking research, building partnerships and promoting civic pride.
It will combine community action with a sense of place for the benefit of everyone. It will talk civic sense and act civic sensibly in partnership with any and all who share the same aims.
Clitheroe Civic Society is pleased to be among the founding local societies to take up membership of, and support for, Civic Voice. Two representatives from the Clitheroe Society, Paul Duck and Margaret Powell, attended the inaugural national meeting which was held at The Building Centre in London on the 17th April 2010. Here they heard proposals from the newly appointed Executive and Board for the future aims and aspirations of Civic Voice along with spirited and enthusiastic speeches from supporters and patrons, including international Architect - Sir Terry Farrell and the BBC’s ‘Restoration’ presenter and environmental campaigner - Griff Rhys-Jones.
Following this national meeting and the representatives’ report (which can be seen in full on the Society's Website) it was agreed that the Committee and Membership consider the following issues:
• Contact other NW Societies to encourage membership of Civic Voice and identify similar groups who are not affiliated to Civic Voice for occasional joint meetings and shared projects.
• Encourage local press to become involved in “Love Local” and “Street Pride” projects via surveys, competitions and photographic displays
• Use local display opportunities – Library, Photographic Society Exhibitions, Shop Windows, Old Court House, Platform Gallery, Churches Schools etc.
• List material on Civic Voice website linked to Clitheroe website to encourage members to see what other Societies are attempting and achieving.
The Clitheroe Society was also informed that having taken up membership of the national organisation one of the direct and immediate benefits was a free one day pass for every individual member of the local society. This will provide free access to any National Trust property during normal opening hours for the first 12 months of membership. Additionally member groups can also benefit from a free Groups Guide and a free Special Interest Tours Guide.
Clitheroe Civic Society is now looking forward to benefiting from the support and raised profile which the new national organisation will provide for its own local activities and campaigns. Further information about Civic Voice is obtainable by visiting their Website www.civicvoice.org.uk and about the Clitheroe Civic Society, their constitution and details of the monthly public meetings and lectures, which are now to held at the Council Chamber in Church Street, via their Website www.clitheroecivicsociety.webs.com