2008 news articles

Academy of Urbanism 2009 Awards announced

Congratulations to the following EHTF Members:

  • Bristol City Council
The European City of the Year Award 2009 - Winner
  • NewcastleGateshead
The European City of the Year Award 2009 - Finalist
  • Chichester District Council
The Great Town Awards 2009 - Finalist
  • The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham City Council
The Great Neighbourhood Award 2009 - Winner
  • Lace Market, Nottingham City Council
The Great Neighbourhood Award 2009 - Finalist
  • Skipton High Street , Craven District Council
The Great Street Award 2009 - Winner
  • Kensington High Street, RB Kensington & Chelsea
The Great Street Award 2009 - Finalist
  • Oxford Castle, Oxford City Council
The Great Place Award 2009 - Winner
  • North Laines, Brighton, Brighton & Hove City Council
The Great Place Award 2009 - Finalist

More details

Photo Competition winner!

Wilf Newall from Durham County Council with Sam Howes and and Cllr David Smith The winnng picture

From the 30 excellent submissions of images illustrating the USP of historic towns, 12 were chosen by the Executive at their July meeting to feature in the 2009 calendar, which will be circulated to Members later this year.

The overall winner of a two night stay at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, sponsored by Urban Splash, was Roger Elphick for the image of Elvet Bridge in Durham, lit at night.

A long time supporter of EHTF, Roger retired in October, so we wish him well and an enjoyable break in Morecambe.

All the finalist images can be seen here and will be featured in the HTF 2009 calendar which will be circulated to all Members at the end of the year

Thank you to eveyone who participated and congratulations to Durham!

Tunbridge Wells BC Schools' Heritage Project - Historic Shop Fronts

Tile showing the doorway of an 18th Century shop in Cranbrook

Inspired by German restoration of the traditional, pre-war townscape and architecture of Dresden (that's a place for a future EHTF visit), I felt that in England we don't do enough in schools to develop pride in our heritage. To ensure its preservation, the Heritage Champions' job needs essentially to educate our young people and harness their enthusiasm to understand their local built inheritance.

I felt also that, as education is about sowing seeds, the project might even address the skills shortage by suggesting an eventual career prospect for some, as conservation architect, conservation planning officer, master mason, carpenter, etc.

I began by going into schools, explaining the work of Heritage Champions. Into this was slotted the project. In order to introduce the local built inheritance, I decided to sponsor the recording, first of all, of historic shop fronts through children's accurate drawings of them. These went on show in the Town Hall and prizes were awarded for the best examples.

Children learnt about building styles, were involved in visits to examine and draw interesting shop fronts. The project grew to include literature/writing, craft work (models as well as tiles), religious studies, IT and music.

I introduced the project by means of a slide-show of local historic shop fronts, to illustrate just what I meant and provided a list of literary texts and writing ideas, as well as of historic shop fronts in the borough.

Linda Hall, Cllr and Heritage Champion for Tunbridge Wells BC

The Forum's programme for 2009 evolves

At the Strategy Meeting held on 8 October, Members met to consider the results of the Membership Survey carried out in August and, in the context of the Strategic Priorities set out in the Business Plan, to prioritise topics for the Forum to address in the coming year.

There was general consensus that high quality design should cut across all areas of work. Key issues of concern were agreed as:

Format of NEWS?

The format of the regular EHTF NEWS has been debated for some time - paper or electronic? Responses from Members vary - with equal numbers in favour of each, and the considerations well matched.

It has therefore been decided that the next edition - in the New Year - will only be circulated electronically - as a trial. (It will also be available on-line as it is now.)

The Use of Article 4 Directions

RPS Planning was commissioned by the English Historic Towns Forum to undertake research into the use of Article 4 Directions by English local planning authorities. These are used to bring under control a range of works authorised under Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Orders of 1995 and 2008.

New Executive Committee

New Executive Committee

Sam Howes (Chair) thanked members who were stepping down: Sharon Cosgrove (Oxford), Bill Cotton (Swindon), Ian Heggie (West MASA), David Reed (Canterbury) and Rob Surl (Shropshire).

Membership for the coming year was agreed as:

Representing Local Authority Members:
Ian Ayres, Newcastle City Council
Kim Bennett, Canterbury City Council
Sean Coghlan, Lichfield District Council
Chris Hargreaves, Birmingham City Council
Sam Howes, Chichester District Council
Brian Human, formerly Cambridge City Council / outgoing Chair
Ian Poole, St Edmundsbury Borough Council
Richard Tuffrey, High Peak Borough Council
John Wrightson, Worcester City Council

Representing the Partner/Sponsors: Nick Hayward, RPS
Representing Corporate Members: Tony Wyatt, Ryders Architecture
Representing Civic & Amenity Societies: Freddie Gick, Birmingham.

Officers were confirmed as: Sam Howes - Chair; Brian Human - Vice Chair; Chris Hargreaves - Vice Chair; Richard Tuffrey - Honorary Treasurer.

Contact details for Members of the Executive Committee.

Opening up Membership in 2009

At the Annual General Meeting held on 8 October, it was agreed that Membership should be opened to organisations and colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Ireland (North & South). This is subject to continued discussions and consideration of differences in law and practice, and the logistical implications of the wider geographical reach of the Forum, but it will make the Forum more inclusive and enable those across the borders who have supported events and used our guidance documents for many years to engage more closely with the Forum. It will also offer wider funding opportunities.

So from January 2009 the organisation will be known as the HISTORIC TOWNS FORUM.

The Annual Report was presented to the AGM and Sam Howes (Chair) summarised the work of the Forum during the past year, which had included the publication of two very successful guidance documents - 'Focus of Retail' and 'Manual for Historic Streets', conferences exploring the value of the industrial heritage, retail development, streetscape and tourism, as well as a study tour to the Netherlands.

The Forum had also contributed to, and participated in, a wide range of activities and responded to consultations from Government and policy making agencies to represent the views of the Membership.

Membership continues to grow but the move to Unitary Authorities presents a potential threat to the Forum's income from Membership fees. This will be partly addressed by changes to the fee bands (based on population size) and a small percentage rise in fees, which was agreed by the Meeting.

There was also support for the proposal for an additional category of Membership for Town & Parish councils which will be welcomed from January 2009

Sam thanked the Sponsor / Partners for their continued support and welcomed the announcement that Bircham Dyson Bell LLP had agreed to support the Forum.

New Membership Fees for 2009

From 1 January 2009 the AGM agreed a small percentage increase to the Membership Fees. The new fees will be:
Corporate Membership £65 - £595*
Local Authority Membership £410 - £540**
Town and Parish Council Membership £200***
Associate Membership £275
Civic and Amenity Membership £60
Individual Membership
*dependent on number of employees
**dependent on population
***new category