July 2011

Historic Towns Forum Update

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Localism Bill update

The Localism Bill has entered into Committee stage in the House of Lords. Line by line examination of the Bill continued during the fifth day of committee stage on 05 July. Amendments discussed covered clauses 68-74 of the Bill. Committee stage recommenced on 07 July with further amendments up for discussion.
Well done to the Heritage Alliance (of which HTF are a member) for their continued briefings to the House of Lords, which have resulted in two tabled amendments for consideration in the Lords’ committee (148AZZA* and 152D*) supporting proposals for recognition of cultural well-being, the balance of public/private investment in neighbourhoods, and the status of national planning guidance in Neighbourhood Development Orders.
HTF continue to work with interested parties around the Bill and the built environment, and have received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to host a Westminster Briefing in conjunction with leading academics, practitioners and agencies working in the field. This event will take place in November, to coincide with the expected passing of the Bill. More information as it becomes available.
HTF is anticipating the following forthcoming DCLG consultations, in addition to the NPPF (expected on or around 17 July). We understand these will be published before Parliament goes into recess (20 July), and consultations will last for the usual 12 weeks. Read more
Read David Cameron’s comments on the launch of the Open Public Services White Paper

BOOK HERE for HTF'S next localism seminar in Bath on 21 July – hurry as places are now at a premium for this event!

Understanding Localism: Bath, 21 July, will focus on
Community, Town and Parish Councils

Community, Town and Parish Councils are at the heart of all localities – they are often the first place people go to find out what is happening around change, legislation and important issues within their communities.
HTF invite you to the next Understanding Localism seminar to find out about the Localism Bill's progress through Parliament, its main provisions and amendments to date and how communities in our towns and cities can use the opportunities in the Bill to best advantage. Further information and booking form

Community, Town & Parish Membership of HTF - fees reduced by 50%

HTF is pleased to announce that it will lower the Community, Town & Parish Council Annual Membership fee from £200 to £100 effective immediately. With decentralisation and the Localism Bill, Conmmunities, Towns and Parishes will be granted more powers. HTF recognises the value of heritage to smaller places and how important it is to offer guidance and a professional network of support to better manage the historic environment. Read more

Philanthropy news

Further to Arts Council England’s £40million philanthropy funding boost announcement last week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have also announced their commitments to Catalyst (which is a £100 million joint initiative to build endowments on a challenge-fund basis). The DCMS has announced a £55 million investment, with The Heritage Lottery Fund announcing a £20million commitment to Catalyst. More on the DCMS plans and the HLF plans. Read the Guardian blog, and Jeremy Hunt’s blog on Philanthropy in the Huffington Post.

And more philanthropy news

Nominations are now open for The Prince of Wales (our patron) Medal for Arts Philanthropy 2011 which recognises a sustained contribution to our nation’s cultural life over a period of time, or a major gift. The Medal is now in its fourth year. Further information on how to nominate your best givers, but you only have until 15th July to email or post your entries in.

NPPF: Presumption in favour of sustainable development

A statement released by Greg Clark on 15 June indicated an approach that could be taken to introducing a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework. Read more
HTF have been working with the Heritage Alliance and with the Historic Environment Forum around the NPPF. In particular there is concern for the need to reinstate the presumption in favour of conservation in planning matters, as well as the PPS5’s proportionate approach to significance and value. As the Government steps back from producing supplementary guidance to the NPPF, the Historic Environment Forum (of which HTF is an active member) will draft supporting guidance through its working group. A draft is already well under way and is expected to be published in early July to coincide with the Government’s draft of the NPPF. More as it becomes available.

LEPs engagement to maximise historic town centre economies

Local Enterprise Partnerships are under huge pressure to drive sustainable economic growth and realise the business and economic potential of the local community, but it would be hard to achieve these goals without sufficient engagement with the communities in which they are based. Engagement is vital in order to develop sustainable business models.
An HTF seminar in Bury St Edmunds on 28 July will consider how those already involved in town centre economies should understand and approach LEP engagement. With a basis in understanding governance structure, the main focus will be on tourism, historic, and market town economies. Further information and booking form
See BIS: Local authority (district/unitary) areas covered by Local Enterprise Partnerships

Community Infrastructure Levy Front Runners Project 2 and CIL guidance published

In December 2010, CLG invited all English local authorities to apply to become part of their Community Infrastructure Levy Front Runners project. The project was aimed at supporting local authorities to develop the best approach to implementing the Community Infrastructure Levy in their local area. A further 20 Local Authorities have now been announced. CIL Regulations work in practice and CIL Front Runners Project

More support for community groups campaigning to save local assets

On 9 June Planning Minister Greg Clark outlined more support for voluntary and community groups campaigning to save much-loved local assets such as historic pubs, seaside piers or precious market halls, under threat when their owners refuse to sell. Read more and HTF response to Right to Buy consultation

Abolition of Spatial Strategies - Govt's response

The Communities and Local Government Commitee report was published on 23 June. This Command Paper contains the Government response to the recommendations and conclusions set out in the CLG Committee's report on Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies

Purple Flag Awards celebrate towns excellent night-time offer

There is a huge interest in the Purple Flag Award which recognises excellent place management in towns and city centres at night. Following a well-received free workshop, hosted by the Association of Town Centre Management and HTF earlier this year, giving guidance on how to assemble a successful Purple Flag entry, another workshop is planned: 6 October, Glasgow - register your interest.

HTF 2011 Photo Competition

This year HTF invites you to submit photographs that demonstrate Localism at work in your community. The prize has been kindly donated by Barceló UK and is one night's dinner, bed and breakfast for two people at any UK Barceló hotel of the winner´s choice. Enter the competition.
12 selected entries will be featured on the 2012 HTF Calendar. Sponsor the calendar

HTF on Tourism

These are turbulent times for the public sector, not least as it tries to maintain the ability to make and shape places in the public interest. Leaving aside the financial dimension, legislation and government guidance are posing serious challenges to the principles of planning and heritage protection, both of which are seen as barriers to sustainable growth. In reality sound planning is essential to economic prosperity and should be seen as part of the solution to the challenges facing the country, not the problem. Planning for tourism is a good example of this. Read more

Brown Signs Task Force

After lobbying from the Historic Houses Association and the National Trust, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have formed a Brown Signs Task Force in conjunction with VisitEngland, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Highways Agency to regulate the way brown tourism signs are displayed. This is good news for our historic towns and cities in terms of street clutter review and uniformity of approach. More details as they become available.

Heritage Angels

Do you know of anyone or any organisation worthy of receiving an English Heritage Angel Award? Andrew Lloyd-Weber is sponsoring four annual awards to celebrate the efforts of England’s local people to save their heritage at risk. Find out How to enter and latest Heritage Angels news

Welsh Streets demolition... or not

The Secretary of State has ruled that controversial plans to demolish nearly 200 homes as part of a Pathfinder clearance project in the Welsh Streets area of Liverpool should be subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). William Palin, Secretary of SAVE, says "This is a massively important decision which could spell the end of fast-tracked mass demolitions." Read more.

New information leaflet for Conservation Officers on replacing windows

The Wood Window Alliance has produced a new 12-page leaflet as part of its campaign to encourage the specification of correctly detailed replacement windows and to stop the spread of plastic windows in conservation areas. Read more

Discovering Places

Launched as part of the London 2012 Open Weekend in July 2010, Discovering Places is the annual UK-wide celebration counting down to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, focusing on the natural, historic and built environment. This year's Discovering Places takes place between 22 – 24 July.

Civic Day celebrated by local people all across England

On 25 June Civic Societies invited local people to take part in activites and events in the celebration of what makes the places they live attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. Civic Day was organised by Civic Voice and sparked a significant level of media interest in both local and national press Read local media reports.

Knowing Your Place: Heritage and Community-Led Planning in the Countryside

Every village and parish in England has its own distinctive and characterful historic streets, buildings and landscapes and a wealth of fascinating archaeological remains. This history makes each place cherished and unique but how can local people make sure their heritage is taken into account in the planning system?
Download English Heritage's new advice.

Using social media to improve knowledge sharing

With the launch of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) new DCMS FaceBook page, their just-released mapping for the provision of Broadband, and the rapid sign up of heritage agencies and organisations to utilise social media for better business purposes and communications, HTF has received several requests from among its membership and wider audience to provide an event on how best to use social media within the heritage sector. We have now agreed to host an event supported by Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB – one of our partners) and ProjectBook in London on 29 September. Do you use social media? Why not start a discussion in the HTF LinkedIn discussion group and register interest in joining the social media event?

Bath Spa University: workshop leaders and mentors in heritage management

The School of Humanities and Cultural Industries at Bath Spa University is introducing a new MA in Heritage Management form October 2011. The University wish to recruit experienced heritage practitioners and specialists to help lead and deliver aspects of the course. If you wish to submit an expression of interest in fields including museums and built heritage or for more information please email a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk. Deadline for submissions is 01 August.

New part-time Master of Studies (MSt) degree in Building History

The University of Cambridge is offering a pioneering new part-time Master of Studies (MSt) degree in Building History, developed in association with English Heritage. Combining the best of academic and practical expertise, it will appeal to existing professionals seeking to consolidate and extend their knowledge of building history, bright new graduates looking for a challenging and rewarding career, and those in the voluntary sector who are actively involved with the management and protection of the built environment. For further details.

Jobs, Careers and Internships

UWE Graduate Internships - £1000 subsidy - register by 31 July
University of Cambridge: Master of Studies (MSt) in Building History
New Forest National Park: subsidised traditional building skills courses
Bath Spa University: Workshop leaders and mentors in heritage management


Communities First Trust Fund
HLF funded Repair Grants for Places of Worship
Tidy Towns grants for community-led projects to improve communities across Wales

Reducing CO2 emissions and energy efficiency

  • Reducing CO2 emissions: guidance for historic home owners - HTF/Prince's Regeneration Trust out soon.
  • Bath Preservation Trust launch Warmer Bath, a practical guide to low-carbon measures in heritage buildings.
  • The CIOB CarbonAction2050 toolkit is an action plan of simple, practical steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment.
  • EH guidance: Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings covers areas as diverse as energy and fuel, environmental protection, leisure, culture, and planning land and premises.
  • The final Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (EN-1) was changed following a response from over 2,500 people to the public consultation. The Historic Environment section (5.8, page 97 onwards) now includes more appropriate wording and clarity about protection of non-designated heritage assets. The Statement is currently awaiting Parliamentary approval.


14 July: Resilient Heritage 2011: Keep Calm and Carry On, Peterborough
21 July: Understanding Localism, Bath, HTF
27 July: HELM training: The Setting of Heritage Assets, Milton Keynes, EH
28 July: Maximising historic town centre economies: engaging with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Bury St Edmunds, HTF
8 Sept: Valuing places - old and new: why? what? how?, Edinburgh, BEFS
10-13 Sept: In Defence of the Realm: Europa Nostra UK annual meeting and conference, Portsmouth
29 Sept: Using Social Media to improve knowledge sharing, London, HTF
06 Oct:  Going for Purple Flag workshop, Glasgow, HTF/BEFS/ATCM
21-22 Oct: HTF Annual Conference, York and Scarborough, HTF

Recent HTF consultation responses