West Midlands Historic Environment Strategy Launched
Putting the historic environment to work
A strategy for the West Midlands
Extracts from Foreword by Tim Johnson
"The historic environment is all around us in the West Midlands. It is our streets, homes, schools, villages, farms, cities and old industry, as well as our archaeological sites and monuments, great houses, churches, battlefields, and parks. The cultural legacy of the West Midlands is also on the world stage, through the region's pioneering industrial history as the centre of technological innovation and entrepreneurship."
"The historic environment needs to be championed - confidently and convincingly. The best and most valued elements need to be looked after and passed on to the generations of tomorrow. Above all, it needs to be put to work - for the benefit of people today."
Regional Director, English Heritage
Chair, West Midlands Historic Environment Forum
Visit the English Heritage website for more information on the strategy and to download documents.
Civic Voice Love Local Campaign
Civic Voice is launching the Love Local campaign on 17 April to celebrate what is attractive, enjoyable and distinctive about where we live and what makes us proud to be there. We want to start by hearing your views. It would be marvellous if you could forward the survey to all your colleagues and members of your local group. The more answers we get from your area, the better. This will allow us to build up a picture of what your community loves locally and how it compares with the rest of the country.
There is a link below to a short survey asking you to tell us what you love about where you live. This will help us build a picture which will encourage others to give voice to their feelings too. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and we will use the results to help our campaign for places to be more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. If you are also able to send us digital photographs then that will help bring things to life. Photographs should be emailed to email@example.com and they may be used on our websites and in our work. Please keep the file size to less than a megabyte if you can.
Please visit the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/lovelocalcampaign and support the Love Local campaign.
The first results will be announced at the launch of Civic Voice on 17th April. Every completed survey will be entered into a prize draw to receive a signed copy of Griff Rhys Jones' latest book 'Rivers' and £100 to be given to the civic society of your choice.
We want to gather as many views as possible before the launch so please pass the survey details on to civic society members and volunteers in your group and encourage them to respond.
We will be working with the media and central government to tell them what matters most to the civic movement. This is an important opportunity for you to help raise the profile of the civic movement and give voice to the issues we all care about. Please let us have your views and make sure we receive them by Monday 5 April at the latest. You can visit the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/lovelocalcampaign
We would encourage you to pass on the above information to a friend - the more feedback the greater the voice we have.
Tony Burton, Civic Voice
Heritage Counts 2009 - A Sense of Place
In October English Heritage released the latest Heritage Counts Report for 2009, on the topic of a 'Sense of Place'. Do you feel proud of where you live?.
Heritage Counts is an annual survey carried out by English Heritage with the help of many other organisations within the sector, on behalf of the sector. This year, Heritage Counts focused on the role of the historic environment in shaping what individuals think and feel about where they live - their sense of place.
The Historic Environment Review Executive Committee (HEREC) commissioned Newcastle University's Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies and Bradley Research and Consulting to undertake a ground-breaking study which would provide the first robust evidence that the historic environment has a positive and significant impact on people's sense of place.
The report reveals that England's heritage has had a bumper year with visitor numbers far higher than expected despite less than perfect weather.
The Government recently acknowledged the impact of the design and condition of places on crime levels, social inclusion and regeneration in its World class places: The Government's strategy for improving quality of place. However, until today there has been no solid evidence of a link between living in a historic area and how content and connected we feel to that place.
Do you feel proud of where you live? Do you care about what your area looks like? Do you feel you belong? These were some of the questions asked in the national survey to explore the role that the historic environment plays in creating a stronger sense of place.
For more information, the complete findings and downloads go to the Heritage Counts website at http://hc.english-heritage.org.uk.
HEREC at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.00100400100a00d
CURDS at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/curds/
Newcastle at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/
Bradley at http://www.bradleyresearch.com/
Importance of Local Community Action to be revealed in Major New Survey
The largest ever survey of civic activity by local community groups has been launched to reveal the influence of the civic society movement in villages, towns and cities across the country and strengthen its future. The civic society movement is one of the country's unsung treasures and its network of over 1,000 voluntary civic and amenity societies and 250,000 members plays a crucial role in defending and celebrating the character and quality of the places where we all live.
Civic societies provide a focus for voluntary and community action. Launching the survey, Tony Burton, Director of the Civic Society Initiative, said: 'Civic societies are rooted in local communities. They celebrate local character, help us discover our roots and campaign for a better future. At a time when people's faith in politics and institutions is in decline and too much development and change is harming the local environment, we need vibrant and active civic societies more than ever before. We would ask anyone with an interest in the character, heritage and future of their local neighbourhood to respond to the survey and help to strengthen the civic society movement across the country'.