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The Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) is conducting a tailored review of Historic England. This is the first review of Historic England to take place since 2015 when the organisation was split into two separate, though related, bodies: an 'arm's length' body operating under the name Historic England, and a charity called The English Heritage Trust (trading as English Heritage).

The Government is seeking the views of people who work, or have an interest, in the heritage sector across the United Kingdom, including those who receive advice from Historic England and those who have applied for grant funding from Historic England. The civic movement is felt to be an absolutely key stakeholder in this consultation and it is hoped that all civic societies will respond. On such reviews numbers count - the more civic societies that respond the better and will help show the impact of the civic movement. Buntingford Civic Society have responded accordingly. Key messages to the government will be:-

  • There is a need for a national watchdog to advise the Government on the historic environment. Listed buildings, conservation areas and the wider historic environment would be under greater threat without Historic England.
  • Since we have lost 37% of conservation officers since 2007, the recommendations to engage more with communities and build local capacity is a sensible move and one we support.
  • Historic England cannot do everything, so the approach towards a 'place-making' agenda, with greater focus on 'conservation areas' and 'heritage high streets' is greatly supported by the civic movement as it chimes well with its Big Conservation Conversation campaign.

Following a recent Civic Voice survey, which we participated in, Civic Voice Chair Joan Humble has said: "We need to rebuild public trust and confidence in the planning process. For too many people planning is about confrontation and not one of meaningful participation. Developers. councils, communities and civic societies must be prepared to work together in a collaborative and meaningful manner to remove confrontation".

I couldn't agree more, but in my opinion, save for one or two exceptions, most confrontation comes because developers are unwilling to take on board valid recommendations (less density, more parking spaces, more green space areas) because it will affect their profits.

It was gratifying to see such a good turnout for the litter pick on 28th April. Thanks to all those who gave up a few hours on a Sunday - it was much appreciated.

Graham Bonner, Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

If you have any queries about Buntingford Civic Society or issues you would like to raise, you can email the Chairman direct at chairman@buntingfordcivic.org.uk.

Buntingford in Bloom 2019 - click here for more information and entry form.

Touch Of Glamour

Wood Bros Ltd


Kate Bennett Legal

Buntingford Dancing School

Buntingford Festival Choir

Buntingford Heating

Buntingford Karate Club

Cat Care Company

Christopher The Locksmith

Country Maids

The Humbleline

Jacqui Smith

John D Kilby

Judkins Solicitors

Layston Nursery