I hope all Societies received a copy of this first “newsheet” from CTSE, produced by our very own Merrin Molesworth! Congratulations to Merrin for putting together the excellent format – and at very short notice.
Successful liaison between CTSE and Societies in the region is constantly under review. It is intended that this Briefing Sheet will be produced 2-3 times a year and distributed electronically. A website page will also be available – watch this space.!
Although still in their infancy, Civic Trust Regional Associations will play a greater role in the representation of the civic society movement for their regions.
To do this effectively will mean a salaried officer in each region. All societies therefore are being asked to raise the level of their subscriptions. Martin Bacon and Gill Smith on behalf of the nine Regional Committees have written to all Societies explaining this in greater detail.
Subscription increases will be scaled to take account of Societies’ own membership.
There is no magic wand we can wave over this pill. If we want the Civic Society movement to have proper representation at regional and national level, we must be prepared to fund it properly.
To put the case into perspective, other environmental organisations ask for individual contributions of £20-30 per head (CPRE annual subscription is £20.00). The increases anticipated by The Civic Trust will amount to an annual increase of approximately 30p (thirty pence) per individual!
This is one of the topics CTSE are trying to investigate within the South East region. What success are individual Local Authorities (LAs) having in increasing the provision of affordable housing? You will have seen a request for information from Brian Horsley, CTSE Chair in the Briefing.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has just brought out a thick report on the subject (available on line at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/odpm.cfm - if any of you feel strong enough to read it).
Very, very briefly, they conclude:
It would be useful to hear if any of you know (or can investigate) what method your own Local Authority favours and why.
I believe that because many LAs are still placing the greatest reliance on the provision of affordable housing via agreements with developers on greenfield sites, they are all too ready to bypass brownfield development sites. This needs monitoring.
The ODPM Report states :
“The calls on brownfield sites in terms of reclamation costs, infrastructure and other assembly issues make it much more difficult to get affordable housing as part of that development component”.
Do please contact Brian at 143 Orchard Street, Chichester, East Sussex PO19 1DH with any relevant information you may have.
CTSE are holding their AGM on Tuesday, 6th May at Carlton House Terrace. Do try to come.
A CTSE Conference Event will be held in Windsor on Saturday, 4th October. As this is relatively local to our area, it would be good to se ANTAS members there.