HEREFORD CIVIC SOCIETY HUSTINGS
About a hundred people attended the first Hustings meeting of the general election campaign hosted on Friday 22nd November by the Hereford Civic Society.
There was a good standard of debate with a respectful conversation between the audience and candidates Anna Coda, Lucy Hurd, Jesse Norman and Diana Toynbee. Most of the audience's questions concerned national issues; the local roads issue and Brexit were largely ignored.
Norman supported "first past the post", suggesting it leads to stronger government; with Coda, Hurd and Toynbee referring to the lack of representation for much of the electorate. Quoted statistics were questioned and there were differences of opinion on whether living standards had improved over the last nine years.
Much was made about the huge cuts in Central Government support for local authorities with all candidates agreeing it was unsatisfactory. No justification was given for the huge spending increases set out in party manifestos.
Whether opinions were changed is unlikely, with some vocal support from supporters, but attendees obtained an insight into the personalities of all four candidates. Democracy in its present form is alive in Hereford albeit with exasperation over the antics of Westminster All candidates gave their support to the Civic Voice's desire for greater citizen participation during all stages of the planning process, and better public consultations.
The Declaration of 17th May, 2018
The Hereford Civic Society, here to champion what we love about Hereford as a place to live, work and visit, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of others, initiates this declaration for change in the way we plan and move about our City.
It is change which is badly needed for the sake of the future of Hereford as a vibrant, attractive and historically important place. It is change needed in the interest of our sense of well-being and that of our successors.
It is time we recognised the fact that the public realm should be laid out for individuals to encourage us to adopt healthy ways of moving around; recognition that our love affair with the private car degrades our environment, damages our health and separates us socially. Hereford is a small and attractive place so that journeys within the City should be short and pleasurable to make whether by foot, bus, train or bicycle. Together we need to design a City that makes these the default options for everyone.
Hereford itself stands at a time of change having to develop a university, the ESG area and much more housing. Managing those changes will require a much more radical and imaginative approach.
We urge Herefordians to join us in urging Herefordshire Council to make these changes:
Produce a City Masterplan – an overall vision that everyone works to
Change mind-sets so we become more open, embracing, adaptable and continental in our transport choices
Constantly challenge the 'car is king' approach to road design
Develop a best practice Design Guide, as recommended by Historic England, to ensure changes are fit-for-purpose and of high quality
Introduce a 'twenty is plenty' speed limit on all roads
Prepare travel plans covering the whole city, including schools
Fund improvements in a measured, equitable and incremental manner
Emphasise walking and cycling, e.g continuously level pavements across junctions
Promote park & choose schemes, joined up cycle lanes, integrated public transport, shared space schemes, de-signalised junctions and de-cluttered streets
Deliver the long promised 'Transport Hub' adjacent to the Railway Station together with improved access to the city centre
Critically review the design work of Balfour Beatty Living Places and their performance together with the Council’s supervision and control of the contract.
With particular thanks to leading highway planners Jessica Read and Brian Deegan who inspired the Society's well-attended 'Upcycling Cycling' event at the University Centre
on 17th May 2018.
Historic England's Urban Panel Report (March 2018)
Local Government Association's Corporate Peer Challenge Report (February 2018)
Further information from
John Bothamley on email@example.com 01981 580002
Jeremy Milln at firstname.lastname@example.org
URBAN ROOM and DESIGN REVIEW PANEL
Our Winter 2019/20 magazine features a bold proposal to establish an Urban Room and set up a Design Review Panel.
Full details are shown in PLACE Winter 2019/20 on pages 4 and 5 click on PLACE tab