Press Release
1st June 2017


England’s youngest Civic Society chairman elected to Bradford Civic Society

30-year-old Simon Cunningham says civic societies needs to attract younger members

Journalist Simon Cunningham has, this week, been elected as Chair of Bradford Civic society and has, today, called on all civic societies to reach out to younger audiences.

Simon said, “You look at some of the pictures of civic societies and it’s almost always older, white people. We need younger people. Bradford Civic Society now needs to attract more younger members, as well as those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds,” giving a frank warning that, “If that doesn’t happen, it will die out.”

Ian Harvey, Executive Director of Civic Voice said, “Civic societies are as relevant today as when the world’s first civic society was created in Sid Vale in Devon in 1846 but we cannot ignore the fact though that 80% of civic volunteers are over 55. We need to be thinking constantly about how we can bring in the new front line to protect the historic environment. I am delighted that Si Cunningham has been elected to lead Bradford Civic Society.”

Si said: “With a 33% reduction in conservation officers in local government across England, my two key aims for the Civic Society are to campaign for the preservation of Bradford’s architectural heritage while also calling for “better design” within modern developments and we hope to start by introducing a Bradford Design Awards, which could recognise excellence in major developments, shopfronts or other new projects."

Si finished by saying, “I’m delighted to have been elected as the new Chairman of Bradford Civic Society and I pledge to make our group one of the most celebratory and forward-thinking civic societies in the UK.”

Civic volunteers from across England will get a chance to hear from Si Cunningham when Yorkshire civic societies meet in September for a visit to Bradford and Civic Voice organises a study visit to Sunbridge Wells, Bradford.

Simon Cunningham's speech is available here

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Ian Harvey ian.harvey@civicvoice.org.uk

T 07877096968

T @civic_voice

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