As Civic Voice Vice-President, Laura Sandys writes to MPs with Conservation Areas ‘At risk’ in their constituencies, inviting them to learn more about their communities’ concerns at the next All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Civic Societies meeting, IHBC members will be especially interested to note that the event will take place in Parliament on January 31, 2018, with IHBC Chair James Caird joining the panel.
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Laura Sandys writes to Civic Voice members and supporters as follows:
This week I will be joining the Chair of the APPG for Civic Societies in writing a letter to 80+ MPs across England. Why are we writing directly to these MPs? They all have something in common. They all have conservation areas on the Heritage at Risk register in their constituencies.
I will be asking to meet the MPs and invite them to the next All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies meeting that will be taking place in Parliament on January 31st 2018. This meeting will discuss the impact of funding cuts on conservation areas and Civic Voice members will be invited to attend.
We will let them know that the number of conservation areas at risk rose to 512 in 2017 from 497 in 2014. With funding cuts and continued pressure on local authority conservation staff (36 per cent of conservation staff have been lost since 2007), the problem is likely to get worse.
But it is not all negative. We will be using this APPG for Civic Societies meeting to showcase how Civic Voice members are celebrating conservation areas and playing a role in their future by undertaking audits and appraisals and developing local action plans.
We believe that the future of conservation areas can be positive. We believe we can put communities in control of conservation areas. We believe we can see more communities such as The Deal Society playing a central role in their long term management. But we need your help. With our report, we want to tell the stories of the amazing work already taking place and how Civic Day 2018 will be a National Day in June to celebrate conservation areas.
But to do this, we need your support
Every group and individual that donates to our Big Conservation Conversation campaign will be referenced on the day as a supporter. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the campaign so far, including Selby Civic Society, Isleworth Society and Saddleworth Civic Trust.
Let’s show that even more communities want to play their part. Let’s show that the civic movement is the last line of defence for the nation’s conservation areas.
Research by Historic England, shows that only a small majority of those surveyed who live in a Conservation Area (56%) were aware that they actually live in one. Let’s change this.
Support our campaign with a donation here and help us say ‘My Conservation Area Matters’ as we campaign for greater investment into conservation areas.
See here for Civic Day 2018
For more on Civic Voice see www.civicvoice.org.uk