Response from MHCLG

  Receiving a positive response from central government is something of a rarity, especially for owners of listed buildings. However, the Club are very happy to report that we have recieved an invitation to meet with the new administration at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. We wrote to the ministry under it’s previous leadership, asking them to consider including listed buildings in their Accelerated Planning policy paper. Our hopes were not particularly high, and we were expecting to have to write again to the new minister. However, the new team of Robert Jenrick and Esther McVey have
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

Meeting Cadw

    The Club were happy to be invited to meet with Cadw, the Welsh heritage body, last week. Since the launch of our campaign in Wales earlier this year we have been keen to build a stronger relationship with Cadw, so we travelled out to Cardiff for our first meeting with them. We had a really positive and wide ranging discussion about the Welsh heritage landscape. As a government body, Cadw have a slightly different view of the system than ourselves or our members, and it was really good to get their input. We were happy to discuss options
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Categories: Ymgyrch Cymru.

A New Government

    The arrival of a new prime minister is always a difficult time for pressure groups. On the one hand, the Club are hopeful that the new regime will be more receptive to the concerns of over a million listed property owners. On the other, we are concerned that a single issue will continue to paralyse Westminster and prevent progress being made. There are certainly some reasons to be hopeful. Mr Johnson has publicly stated that he will loosen the public purse strings and we are hopeful that this will stem the local government cuts that have caused so
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

Heritage Alliance Manifesto

    The Heritage Alliance are one of the industry wide bodies that the Club are a part of, who deliver recommendations to the government about how best to support listed buildings. Naturally the Club are tirelessly working within the group to ensure owners get the help they need to take care of their buildings. The Heritage Alliance recently published their funding priorities for the coming year and we are gratified to see that they have included VAT relief as one of their key goals. Readers will recall that the club has been championing various versions of this policy through
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

APPG on Apprenticeships

    The lack of heritage skills available in the UK is a real concern to the Club. We are actively investigating ways to bring more young people into the sector through heritage apprenticeships. To that end we have begun to engage with the APPG on Apprenticeships, including being invited to their annual report launch last night. It was good to see a packed house in Parliament’s Strangers Dining Room, and it was a great opportunity to network and learn from those working in the area. We spoke with Andre Burwood, head of the Battersea Academy of Skills Excellence, to
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

Official Letter to MHCLG

  No matter how tumultuous the Westminster political scene, work still continues in Whitehall, particularly the drafting of major policy documents. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Accelerated Planning green paper is certainly continuing to take shape. The Club is extremely concerned to see that the draft paper has ignored heritage issues, and listed buildings in particular. Missing this opportunity to take action would be a major failing by the government, and so we have written to the ministry expressing the importance of including listed buildings. We hope to see other voices from the heritage sector join us.
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

Skills Shortages

  Most owners know how much of a struggle it can be to find skilled and experienced tradesmen to carry out work on their property. Our own supplier’s directory can help you find the right people, but often there simply aren’t the right tradesmen in your area. The Club see this as a major concern, especially as older tradesmen retire without passing their skills on. We have decided that this needs some real action, and so we’ve adopted this as part of our political campaign. We have started looking closely at the apprenticeship system and discussing ways to make it
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Categories: Campaign For Owners.

Mid and West Wales Conservation Officers Forum

    The Club are happy to report that we attended the Mid and West Wales Conservation Officers Forum at the Tywi Centre in Carmarthenshire yesterday, 25th of June. The group convers the centre of Wales, from Pembroke to Powys and is one of three regional groups for council conservation officials. The Club had a really productive discussion with the group about the challenges listed buildings present to councils and to owners. We are particularly happy to see a very open and accessible approach being taken in Wales, with officers who are keen to work with owners and provide the
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Categories: Campaign For Owners and Ymgyrch Cymru.

Council Campaign

    Local government is just as important to listed building owners as Westminster and Whitehall. The way that regulations are interpreted and implemented by your council can have just as much of an impact on you as major policy changes. As part of our political campaign, the Club are starting to work on a local level with owners who are facing persistent struggles with their council. Over the coming months we will be reaching out to owners and starting to organise. The goal is to bring owners together and put more pressure on local authorities to deliver a better
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Categories: Campaign For Owners and Local Campaign.

Answer from The Scottish Government

  One of the ways that the Club can place pressure on government is to write to ministers. Last month we wrote to Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning. Writing to ministers almost always creates a response and leads to the ministry officially stating it’s position. In our letter we asked for their present policy on heritage and planning. The answer (opposite) is from one of the civil servants within the ministry, and while it can be seen as frustrating it does open a dialogue with Holyrood. The Club will be answering in firm tones about
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Categories: Scottish Campaign.