New group to stand up for Norfolk communities

Ed FossCivic societies and communities across Norwich and Norfolk today have a new group to stand up for them.Ed Foss

Civic societies and communities across Norwich and Norfolk today have a new group to stand up for them.

Civic Voice is a new national charity for the civic movement, which will be launched today with comedian and television documentary maker Griff Rhys Jones at the forefront.

Although not a like for like replacement, the charity has come out of the collapse last year of the Civic Trust.

The trust represented more than 700 civic societies across England and closed due to lack of funding. It was regarded as the voice for local groups dedicated to improving their civic and architectural spaces.

It ran awards and open days, and had been hit hard by local authority spending cuts in the recession.

One of the first steps the new charity has taken is to discover the top five things people love about where they live.

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After speaking to 250 local civic volunteers, they revealed these were, in order:

Lots of open space and gardens;

Having a natural setting and views;

A friendly and spirited community;

Well cared for historic buildings;

A range of cultural and community activities.

Launching the charity, Mr Rhys Jones said: 'Civic Voice is being launched as the nation debates its political future and communities are campaigning for more control over what happens in their local area.

'Civic Voice will turn local action into a national movement to make the places where we all live more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive.'

And Tony Burton, director of Civic Voice, said: 'Everyone has the right to live somewhere they can be proud of.

'The civic movement should be in the driving seat of a new politics which responds to the pride people have in the place where they live.'

Civic Voice is asking people to complete a short online survey to provide examples and digital images of what makes them proud about the place where they live, what they feel is at risk and to share their feelings.

Log on to

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