Ely - October 2012
Ely - May 2011
Cambridge - June 2010
Ipswich - April 2010
Bury St. Edmunds - June 2009
Cambridge - Sept 2009
Kings Lynn - Oct 2009
Welcome to the East of England Civic and Amenity Societies
Message from the Chairman
20 mph speed limitI learnt several interesting things at a meeting on imposing a widespread 20 mph speed limit in a town:
Gross national productAs a particle physicist, I have spent 40 years studying experimental data and I have learnt that one should never, never, quote data without including their likely errors. So why does the Office for National Statistics do it? We have learnt this week that last year it needlessly threw politicians and economists into panic by reporting that the GNP had decreased by 0.1%. That surely was a nonsense statement: can they really measure the GNP to an accuracy of less than 0.1%?
Heritage Lottery FundThe April meeting of the region's Historic Environment Forum heard a presentation about the Heritage Lottery Fund. Among the points made were:
East of England Estates GazetteIn a recent newsletter, the Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership has drawn attention to a publication that carries news about various developments around the region.
Bicycle pathsAccording to the 2011 Census, just less than 4% of residents in our region use a bicyle to travel to work, while in Cambridge it is more than a quarter. Even so, and rightly, there is strong campaigning for more cycle paths, and it is urged that they be at least 2m wide. But this can cause disfigurement to our precious green spaces, the more so if the paths are to be lit at night. What is the most attractive solution?
Heritage centenaryOn 7 March I spent the day at an English Heritage master class to mark the centenary of the Ancient Monuments and Amendments Act, which is also being celebrated by a BBC4 series Heritage! The Battle For Britain's Past and by exhibitions at the Wellington Arch in London. Championed by the former viceroy of India Lord Curzon, the act introduced listing, and founded the national heritage collection of buildings now looked after by English Heritage. The searchable on-line list of listed buildings now has 375,000 entries, covering 500,000 properties. The master class took place at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. English Heritage has been restoring the house and a large area of formal gardens laid out in different styles. It is well worth a visit.
Meeting of regional chairsA second meeting of regional chairs took place on 25 February, together with four of the Civic Voice trustees. Civic Voice now seems to recognise that the disbandment of the old Civic Trust regional structure was a mistake, and it was agreed that the regional chairs should meet regularly, probably 4 times a year.
Local listingFollowing his offer at the last Civic Voice AGM to give advice to societies, at the January meeting of the EECAS Committee Peter Lee of the Peterborough Civic Society gave a short presentation on how the society had compiled a new list of Buildings of Local Interest. It was the view of the Planning Authority that the list should form an annex to the new Local Plan to ensure the Local Plan conforms to the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. Since then there has been an exchange of experiences among regional chairs. It is clear that many local authorities are able to provide little effort or money, and so civic and amenity societies can play a valuable role. An example of a local list is that of Wakefield.
Peter Landshoff: pvl at damtp.cam.ac.uk
Chairman, East of England Civic and Amenity Societies
Civic Voice now has 290 member societies, of which 29 are in our region: