March 2011

Historic Towns Forum Update

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Success with Localism Lobbying! Greg Clark has committed to investigating the rephrasing of damaging paragraphs contained within the Localism Bill' s notorious Schedule 12 (paragraphs 22-24), which had left the heritage sector concerned for the statutory protection of England' s historic fabric and places.

This followed Birmingham Labour MP Jack Dromey' s introduction on March 1 of Amendment 149, which proposed removing the offending section. Clark agreed that the Bill, as drafted, ‘gives rise to understandable concerns on the part of the heritage community’ and went on to say that consideration would be given to changing this part of the Bill if necessary. More news as it becomes available.

Message from the Director

In February we held our first event around Localism and what that could mean for Historic Towns. The event was attended by over 70 delegates, with requests for events throughout the country. Speakers ranged from Communities and Local Government, Bircham Dyson Bell, Steve Bee Urban Counsel, Action for Market Towns, and Civic Voice. The common strand was how best to work together and make a success of Localism. Debate was vibrant – delegates wanted to get into the meat of the issues and above all wanted to have an active voice, not only in the day’s proceedings, but in the continuing process of Localism. We feel that HTF has a strong role here – not only in keeping our membership up to date, but also in terms of influencing Government. To that end we are providing a roll-out of updated Localism events around the country that tie in with the progress of the Bill; and lobbying Government both on behalf of our membership and also as part of the wider heritage sector. Parliamentary consideration of the Government’s Localism Bill has now reached the specific planning clauses of the legislation as MPs debate the proposed measure clause by clause; we have sent a strong response supporting the excision of paragraphs 22 - 24 of Schedule 12 from the Bill. See our initial response to the Localism Bill

Localism Update event in the North East

Following a successful seminar held in early February, HTF’s next Localism event will be hosted by _space group and Silverlink in Newcastle on 8 April. With expertise from Bircham Dyson Bell’s Planning and Major Projects Group the seminar will examine the vision behind the Localism Bill, its progress through Parliament, its main provisions and how communities in our towns and cities can use the opportunities in the Bill to best advantage. The Localism Bill foreshadows yet more radical change to the planning system, with proposals to give local authorities and local people much more power to shape their own communities. But how might these ideas work in practice? Will local people use them to embrace or resist growth? Register your interest for 8 April, Newcastle. Details available shortly.

Tourism, the heritage economy and LEPs 14 April

In conjunction with Bircham Dyson Bell and Responsible Tourism, HTF will be organising a Tourism event around the heritage economy, and how this is likely to be affected by the National Tourism Strategy, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and tourism opportunities. Among our keynote speakers will be James Berresford from VisitEngland. Register your interest for 14 April, London. Details available shortly.

Purple Flag

HTF members attended the Association of Town Centre Management ‘Going for Purple’ Purple Flag Workshop on 25 February. Purple Flag is an award scheme offered by ATCM that recognises excellence in place management in town and city centres at night. The event explained the steps towns must take in order to apply. Another event will be organised in Manchester before the next round of applications is due in October. Watch this space for more details as they become available! Presentations from the February event will be available soon.

CABE and the Design Council confirm merger

CABE and the Design Council have confirmed they will merge from 1 April, following an agreement reached by the two bodies and government. The new organisation will speak with one voice to support a broad spectrum of design, architecture and public space. It will be Government’s advisor on design in business innovation and the built environment. More here

Consultations and responses

Upcoming consultations:

Recent HTF responses:

Free good practice guidance

HTF Members can now download all the HTF publications for free - a wealth of good practice guidance focusing on tourism, public realm, housing growth and retail including titles such as the Manual for Historic Streets, Bus Based Park & Ride and Details and Good Practice in Shopfront Design. All provide policy and practical guidance on how to best manage our historic towns and cities. Not sure if your organisation is a member? Check here or join now.

The Listed Property Show

The event last month provided an excellent opportunity for HTF to meet listed property owner club members and visitors to the show; all very passionate about the heritage of our towns and cities. We shall continue to keep in touch with you all through our regular updates and look forward to welcoming many of you into Membership of HTF where you can:

  • access a strong network of like-minded professionals
  • gain free access to resources on the HTF website including guidance documents and the members directory
  • join our strenght and good reputation in lobbying Government and other decision makers
  • promote your work and achievements

Join HTF today: Individual Membership £33.33* Corporate Membership from £43.33*
Remember to use the promotional code we gave you a the show to get an extra 10% off your membership fee!
* pro rata April-December inclusive

Historic houses to be featured in Country House Rescue Channel 4

A search is now on for people who own historic or country houses to take part in a fourth series of ‘Country House Rescue’. If you, or someone you know, were to take part, the house could be featured exclusively in a one hour episode on primetime Channel 4. The last series was watched by an average of 2.7 million viewers. Read more.

HTF Members' Directory re-vamped!

You will now find the online Members’ Directory much easier to use and connect with other HTF Members. View the full list of Members where you can now sort by Membership Category and Region and search through the Suppliers List using our new keyword search facility. Soon you will also be able to search our Local Authority Members by Contact Type ensuring you always get to the right person. Please note that full contact details are only available to HTF Members who will need to log in. Request your log in details or Join the HTF Membership

HTF supported events

Heritage impact assessment for world heritage sites - ICOMOS - London, 17 March
Getting community building right events - The Glass-House Community Led Design - London, March/April

iNets South West support innovation in environmental businesses

The Environmental Technologies iNet is a £2.4 million initiative supporting businesses in the South West’s clean-tech industries, including sustainable construction. As a 'one-stop-shop' for this diverse and growing sector, it helps companies access specialist knowledge, develop products and services, improves competitiveness and engages with new routes to market. Led by the University of the West of England and backed by an impressive consortium of regional partners, the project benefits from a wealth of expertise and offers a range of free support tools and services. Find out about the project and its upcoming workshops and events.

Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH)

A new English Heritage-led initiative, Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH), has been formed by EH, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Crown Prosecution Service, local authorities, charities, the Church of England and other groups to tackle and reduce heritage crime. Read more

The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice

Another special offer for HTF Members! A 30% discount on a subscription to The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice, a twice-yearly, peer-reviewed journal published in both print and online formats, for all those who investigate, conserve and manage the historic environment. Get your individual subscription at the discounted rate.