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What is a Civic Society

A Civic Society, as described, is a community-based organization that works voluntarily to represent the interests and needs of a local area. Its primary goals typically include promoting civic pride, enhancing the appeal and distinctiveness of places, and advocating for high standards in various aspects such as planning, conservation, and cleanliness.

The roots of the civic society movement can be traced back to the philanthropic efforts of individuals like John Kyrle, who aimed to improve the physical aspects of their towns. The formal establishment of civic societies began with the Rochdale Civic Society in 1846, well before the government introduced Parish Councils. The movement gained momentum, especially after World War I, leading to the convening of the first conference of Civic Societies in 1923. Presently, there are approximately 1000 Civic Societies across the country.

The origin of specific Civic Societies often stems from community-driven initiatives, as illustrated by the example of your Society's formation in 2009. In response to identified issues and eyesores in their villages, individuals like John Bulmer and the late Peter Leigh took action by compiling a report and presenting it to local authorities. This led to the suggestion of establishing a Civic Society to facilitate communication with the County Council. Subsequently, the Society was founded, and it continues to operate with a fluctuating membership, typically around 200 members and a committee of nine individuals.

The Society engages in various activities, including holding meetings to address local concerns and interests. The AGM meeting often attracts significant attendance, indicating the community's engagement and participation in the civic process. Additionally, the Society offers opportunities for collaboration with parish councils, offering them co-opted positions on the committee, further strengthening its ties with local governance structures.

What is a civic society
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