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LITTER PICK ALONG THE RIVER STOUR - 10.30 am. SATURDAY 21 JUNE
One of our most popular events is the river litter pick, when a brave band of enthusiasts clears rubbish from the River Stour. We will be taking rubbish out of the River Stour (waders will be provided) and clearing litter from along the banks.  If you would like to take part, come to the St Radigund’s Street car park at 10.30 am.  Litter picking equipment will be provided.

REFORMING LOCAL DEMOCRACY: THE WAY AHEAD
JOIN IN THE DEBATE AT 7.30 pm ON WEDNESDAY 25 JUNE
The campaign to change the local Council from an Executive system to a Committee system is now well under way. But not everyone is convinced. Some have said that a committee system would be too slow and bureaucratic, or that it would make no real difference. The Leader of the Council has warned those who want change to, “be careful what you wish for”.

The aim of this meeting is to do exactly that – to assess the options carefully and consider what kind of system would serve local people best.  The meeting will be participatory - a chance for everyone to share in the discussion and to say what they think about some key questions, such as:

• What are the reasons for wanting to change?
• What would a better system look like?
• What might be the undesirable consequences of a new system?

Please come, listen and contribute. The meeting will take place at the Friends Meeting House in the Friars. If you want to know more about the Campaign or download the petition go to: www.CDCD.co.uk, email CDCD@gmail.com, or phone 760467.

FINAL DRAFT OF THE LOCAL PLAN: PRESNTATION BY COLIN CARMICHAEL
7.00 PM ON WEDNESDAY 2 JULY AT THE KENT COUNTY CRICKET CLUB
Colin Carmichael is the Chief Executive of the Canterbury City Council.  On Wednesday 2 July he will present the most recent version of the Local Plan for the Canterbury District, discuss the changes which were introduced following the previous consultation and outline the proposed Transport Strategy for the District. The Local Plan is concerned with homes, jobs, roads, the countryside and leisure facilities up till 2031.  There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.  The event will take place in the JM Recruitment Harris Room in the Cowdrey Conference Centre at the Cricket Club CT1 3NZ.  There is ample parking.

CURRENT ACTIONS
The Canterbury Society committee works hard to respond to the concerns of our members and to comment on developments taking place in the city. Lately we have been busy with the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District, with responding to the latest version of the Local Plan and with commenting on planning applications in the city. In addition:

PAST EVENTS

LEO WHITLOCK ON ‘RUNNING A LOCAL PAPER: DECISIONS AND CHALLENGES’
7.30 ON WEDNESDAY 4 JUNE AT THE FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE
Leo Whitlock is the Editor of the Kentish Gazette. He says his talk will be about, ‘How we put the newspaper together every week, the decisions we make and the increasing challenges from the digital world and social media’. Other events on the same evening:

So come along to the Friends Meeting House, the Friars, at 7.30 on 4th June. Refreshments will be available, with a charge of £3.00 for non-members of the Canterbury Society.

CAMPAIGN FOR LOCAL DEMOCRACY: SHOULD WE CHANGE THE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM IN THE CANTERBURY DISTRICT?  WEDNESDAY 5 FEBRUARY
This important meeting will take place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 5th February at the United Reformed Church Hall in Watling Street in Canterbury.  Please note change of venue from earlier publicity.

The meeting is being organised by the Canterbury Society on behalf of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District, which is a broad coalition of local groups concerned about the current way of running the Council.

Why is the meeting taking place?
There are two main ways in which Councils can work. Canterbury City Council has what is called a ‘Strong Leader and Executive’ system. This was adopted in 2002 when the government of the day made all councils choose between this and an elected Mayor. The aim was greater efficiency, but in practice it seemed to some residents that many decisions were being made by a small group of councillors without wider consultation.

The present government, in the Localism Act of 2011, gave councils the option of changing to another way of working, the ‘Committee System’. In this the Council forms a number of committees, each responsible for a particular area of interest. The committees make recommendations to the Council and more councillors are involved in making each decision. Some councils in other parts of the UK have already chosen to adopt the committee system.

What will happen at the meeting?
The meeting on 5 February will provide an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the two systems and to decide on future action. Speakers will include:

The public discussion at this meeting will inform the views of the committee of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District. If there is support for change, this group will lead in organising a petition and a referendum to find out what system the residents of the Canterbury area would like.

So do come along to express your opinions and to hear what others think. Refreshments will be provided and everyone will be very welcome.

LAUNCH OF THE FRIENDS OF WESTGATE PARKS:  2.30 pm SATURDAY 18 JANUARY
As you know, the City Council has been successful in getting a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the Westgate Gardens, Toddlers Cove, Whitehall Meadows and Bingley Island.  This is very much a community project, and one which is strongly supported by the Canterbury Society. You are invited to come to the Launch of the Friends of Westgate Parks, which is an opportunity to find out more about this exciting project and to get involved in future planning. The Launch will take place on the Terrace, 3rd floor of Augustine House, Rhodaus Town, Canterbury.

Places are free, but limited, and refreshments need to be arranged. So if you would like to attend the Launch, RSVP by 28 December by phone to 07800 524733 or email: fowparks@btinternet.com

FORWARD PLANNING FOR THE RESIDENTS’ VISION FOR CANTERBURY
Last year we produced The Future of our City: a Residents’ Vision for Canterbury, which was launched by Griff Rhys-Jones and which attracted a lot of attention. We have always been keen to take the Vision forward into the future and to do so in a way which reflects the priorities, hopes and fears of local people. In order to do this, a Steering Group has been set up to listen to the views of residents’ group and to advise on future directions for the Vision. The Steering Group is being led by Clive Church and it will draw together people from the North and South Canterbury Alliance groups.  It will work with the Team of Authors who wrote the original Vision, led by Geoff Meaden.

If you would like to get involved in any of this work, contact Clive Church on clivehchurch@freeuk.com or Geoff Meaden on geoff.meaden@googlemail.com or phone 01227 450140.

LITTER PICK FROM LADY WOOTTON’S GREEN:  SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER

The Canterbury Society and the Oaten Hill and District Society are getting together to pick up up litter at 10.30 am on Saturday 12 October..  Do come and help if you can.   We will meet at Lady Wootton's Green and start by clearing the litter black spot which is the Queningate car park.   After that we plan to go down the side streets (Love Lane, Ivy Lane, Monastery Street),  through to Longport, ending the litter pick with tea/coffee at the Two Sawyers In Ivy Lane.  Our aim is to tidy up part of the city before the Festival begins.

ANN BARNES, POLICE COMMISSIONER: 7.30 pm TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER

The talk by Ann Barnes, the new Commissioner of Police for Kent, will take place at 7.30 pm. on Tuesday 22 October in the United Reformed Church in Watling Street.  This is an opportunity to express our views about issues such as anti-social behaviour, policing the night-time economy, domestic violence, and licensing hours.  We hope you will come to hear about some issues which we know concern many residents of the city.

TRIP TO DOWNE HOUSE, SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER:  A DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES
We are arranging a special coach trip to Downe House, the home of Charles Darwin.  The house is still much as it was when Darwin wrote ‘On the Origin of Species’ and you can see his study, learn about his family life and walk in the extensive gardens which inspired his research.  Because the Canterbury Society is a member of Civic Voice we get free entrance to the house, so the only cost will be £17.00 pp for the coach trip.  We will leave Canterbury at 9.30 am and return after lunch.  Please book a place by phoning: 01227 765595.

OPEN MEETING ABOUT THE LOCAL PLAN:  7.30 pm TUESDAY 25 JUNE

The Local Plan for Canterbury has just been published and will affect all our lives over the next twenty years.  We are delighted that Colin Carmichael, Chief Executive, and John Gilbey, Leader of the Council, have agreed to come and talk to us about the Plan.  There will be plenty of time for discussion, questions and comments.  This important meeting will take place in the United Reformed Church Hall in Watling Street at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 25 June. 

CANTERBURY SOCIETY AGM

The Local Plan meeting on 25 June will be preceded by a brief AGM for the Canterbury Society.  The committee will report on the activities of the past year and invite comments and suggestions for the future.   

LITTER PICK UP ALONG THE RIVER STOUR:  10.30 am SATURDAY 6 JULY

In preparation for the Britain in Bloom judging, we will be taking rubbish out of the river (waders provided) and clearing litter from along the banks.  If you would like to take part, come to the bridge in St Radigund’s Street at 10.30 am on Saturday 6 July.  Litter picking equipment will be provided and afterwards we can go for well-earned refreshments.

HUSTINGS FOR KENT COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS: MONDAY 29 APRIL  

You are invited to come to the Canterbury Hustings, at which all the political parties taking part in the local elections in Canterbury will be represented.  Five political parties are sending speakers to the Hustings and the elections to the County Council will be on the following Thursday, so this will be a good opportunity to compare what the parties are saying on a variety of topics, from education, libraries and social care, to public health, highways and the environment. 

Come along to hear the speakers, make your comments and ask your questions.  The event will be chaired by Professor Richard Scase and the Canterbury Hustings will take place at 7.30 pm on 29 April at the Friends Meeting House in the Friars, Canterbury.  Everyone will be welcome and refreshments will be provided. 

SUPPORT THE CANTERBURY SOCIETY STALL: SATURDAY 11 MAY

We have been invited to have a stall at the Eco Fest event, which will take place in St George’s Street on 11 May from 9 to 5.   This will be the first opportunity for members of the public to see the new Residents’ Vision for the Future of Canterbury, which has been created by a group drawn from residents’ associations across the city.  So come along, have a look and give us your views on the Vision.   The committee would welcome ideas for our stall and volunteers to help, even just for a short time. 

KFAS:  TALK BY GRIFF RHYS JONES OF CIVIC VOICE:  SATURDAY 18 MAY

Griff Rhys Jones will be the speaker as this year’s AGM of the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies.    An active conservationist, as well as an actor, writer and comedian, Griff Rhys Jones is the president of Civic Voice, the national organisation representing Britain's civic societies.  The meeting will be held at The Lecture Theatre, Tourist Information Centre, 95 High Street Rochester ME1 1LX.  For further information contact Crispin Davis on: crispinandsue.davies@talktalk.net

INVITATION TO THE LOCALISM WORKSHOP: SATURDAY 16 MARCH 2013

This is an invitation to a special Localism Workshop, which will aim to help residents’ associations and community groups to influence local decisions and take advantage of new opportunities for neighbourhood planning.  Some Canterbury people feel that the views of local residents are often ignored when important decisions that affect the future of the city are being taken.  This event will provide an opportunity to consider the current situation and to find out how to make á difference in the future.

The workshop is being organised by the Canterbury Society and the North Canterbury Forum of Residents' Associations.  It will take place on Sat 16th March at St Stephens Church Hall, Hales Drive, Canterbury from 10 am to 4 pm.  The Workshop will be facilitated by Ian Harvey from Civic Voice, the national body for civic societies in England.  The cost will be £10 per head including refreshments.
Places are limited so book soon on 01227450140 or email: J.M.Pahl@kent.ac.uk

ARCHIVE FILMS OF CANTERBURY TUESDAY 23 APRIL 2013

You are invited to a screening of archive films of Canterbury, which will give a fascinating picture of the city as it was in the past, including before the Second World War.  A commentary will be provided by Tim Jones, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Art and design at Canterbury Christ Church University.  His research on the history of amateur film-making in the Canterbury area from the 1920s to the 1960s has led to the discovery of a unique collection of amateur films, depicting the local district.  The screening will take place at 7.30 pm in the Powell Lecture Theatre at Canterbury Christ Church University.

WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY: ‘IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BAD TO BE BETTER: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS IN CANTERBURY CITY CENTRE’
This will be the topic for an evening when Bob Jones and Nick Churchill will talk to us and answer questions about plans for the city centre.  Bob is Chair of the Canterbury City Centre Partnership, while Nick is Economic Development Policy Officer at Canterbury City Council.  So do come along and express your views about the future of the city centre.  The meeting will take place at 7.30 at the Friends Meeting House in the Friars.  Refreshments will be provided and there will be a charge of £3 for non-members.


THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY: A RESIDENTS’ VISION FOR CANTERBURY
We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to our project on a Residents’ Vision for Canterbury.  The latest version of the Vision has been presented to the Canterbury Area Members Panel and to a number of residents’ groups in the city and comments from these are now being incorporated into the final version.  It will be sent to all our members and to other residents' groups, and made available on our website, as soon as it is ready in the New Year.


FUTURE ACTIVITIES AND CONCERNS
We welcome comments and suggestions from our members.   Over the coming months we are hoping to arrange a talk by the new Commissioner of Police for Kent, organise more talks and walks and have another river litter clear.  We also comment regularly on planning applications.  But we like to hear from you about what you think we should be doing – so do get in touch with your suggestions at:  www.canterburysociety.org.uk

SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER:  10.30 VISIT TO ALL SAINTS COURT, ALL SAINTS LANE
All Saints Court is a Grade 2* listed building which used to be the Sydney Woodman Dancing School.  Over the past few years it has been meticulously restored to reveal its wealth of medieval features.  We are most grateful to the Kennedys, who have invited us to visit their beautiful house, and to Tim Ellis, the conservation architect, who will talk about the work which has been done.  This is a ‘members only’ event – but the fact that you are getting this message means that our records suggest you are a member.  Numbers are limited and booking is essential, so if you would like to come please sign up on 01227 450140. 

THURSDAY 11 OCTOBER: 7.30 THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY: A RESIDENTS’ VISION
The Canterbury Society has been working with several local associations and community groups to produce a Residents’ Vision for the Future of the City.  The aim of this open meeting will be to present the first draft of the report from the group working on the Vision and to listen to comments from residents of the city.  This is your opportunity to tell us your ideas about how you would like the city to develop.  The meeting will take place at 7.30 pm at the Dominican Priory in St Peter’s Lane.  Refreshments will be provided.

THURSAY 8 NOVEMBER:  7.30 TRANSPORT AND TRAFFIC IN CANTERBURY
Lynn Sloman is a Director of Transport for Quality of Life.  She has been carrying out a special survey of transport and traffic in Canterbury and this open meeting will be the first presentation of the results of the survey.  The Canterbury Society has been very concerned about air pollution in the city and this will provide an opportunity to discuss this and other issues.  The meeting will take place at the Dominican Priory in St Peter’s Lane, and refreshments will be provided.  Charge of £3.00 for non-members to help with expenses.

FRIDAY 7 DECEMBER SOCIAL AND QUIZ EVENING: HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW OUR CITY?  This event will take place at 7.30 at the Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre.  We hope it will give members and friends a chance for a more sociable get-together and a fun evening.  The team from Kent Creative Arts has kindly offered to arrange a quiz to test our knowledge of the city, using photographs taken for the Year in the Life of Canterbury project.  Since Christmas will not be far away, we will have wine, soft drinks and mince pies.

SATURDAY 21 APRIL:  TREE DEDICATION, LITTER CLEAR AND WALK

On Saturday 21 April we have an exciting day of activities.  You would be welcome to join us for one or all of these events:

For the full programme of events commemorating the Martyrdom of St Alphege, click here.

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF CANTERBURY:  HAVE YOUR SAY NOW

We are beginning work on what we are calling a Vision for the future of Canterbury.  The aim is to produce a plan for the future of our city which represents the views and hopes of local residents.  We would like as many people as possible to have their say in this important initiative.  We plan to use this website as a place to share ideas and suggestions.

Comments from our members have made us aware that many new developments seem very top-down and may not reflect the priorities of those who live here.  The committee felt that it would be good if we could develop a more pro-active, bottom-up Vision for the city, which would reflect the views and hopes of a wide range of local people. 

We decided that the first stage would be to bring together representatives of as many residents’ and community groups as we could.  We obtained funding from Locality, the government-funded organisation set up to help communities develop the opportunities presented by the Localism Act.  With the help of Glasshouse Community-led Design, we have now run two workshops, with the aim of producing a first draft of the Vision document, for discussion with our members and more widely.

The two workshops involved representatives of groups from Nackington Road, New House Lane, Oaten Hill and District, Protect Kent, St Michael’s Road, St Stephens, the St Mildred’s area (SMACS), South Canterbury, Whitstable Road, Wincheap and others.  Do let us know if you belong to a residents’ group which was not represented so that we can invite someone to future events. 

The next stage is to draw together the material from the workshops and to circulate it widely.  We shall be organising an event at which the first ideas about the Vision can be discussed.  For further information phone: 01227 752275

 

COMMEMORATING THE SIEGE OF CANTERBURY
SOME DATES FOR YOUR DIARY; CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PROGRAMME

One thousand years ago, on 8th September 1011, Canterbury was besieged by the Vikings.  Our ancestors held out bravely behind the Roman walls until the defences were finally breached on 29th September.  The city was sacked, the cathedral burned, and many of the inhabitants killed in a bloody massacre.  Archbishop Alphege was captured, and martyred at Greenwich in 1012, because he would not let a ransom of £3,000 be paid for his release.

This dramatic and terrible time in the history of Canterbury is being commemorated throughout September in an action-packed programme of special events, including historical re-enactments, museum activity days, lectures and discussions, church services, a guided walk and a creative writing competition. 

The Canterbury Society has worked closely with other organisations to put the programme together.  We are very grateful to all our partners and sponsors: click here for their names.

SATURDAY 10 AND SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER:  FAMILY ACTIVITY DAYS 
Family Activity Days when children of all ages can learn more about the Siege, attend Viking Warrior School, write in runes, meet Anglo Saxon defenders and enjoy many hands-on activities.  Based around the Heritage Museum in Stour Street.  Click here for full details

THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER: DEADLINE FOR THE CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION.  Create a piece of poetry or prose inspired by the Viking Siege of Canterbury. Visit www.saveaswriters.co.uk for further information.  The winners will be announced on 16 October (see below). Organised by the Save As Writers Group

TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER, 6.15: TALK ON CANTERBURY AND THE VIKINGS IN THE REIGN OF KIND AETHELRED THE UNREADY
Open lecture by Professor Simon Keynes (FBA, Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge), followed by a reception.  Woolf College Lecture Theatre, University of Kent.

THURSDAY 29  SEPTEMBER,10.30: DISCUSSION FOLLOWED BY CHURCH SERVICE
An informal conversation about the contemporary Christian relevance of Saint Alphege and the Siege of Canterbury, in St Peter’s Church Hall, followed by a special service in St Peter’s Church at 12.30.  Free entry and coffee served.

THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER, 2.00: GUIDED WALK LED BY PETER BERG
The walk will focus on landmarks of the Viking Siege, and will be led by Peter Berg, a specialist in Scandinavian history.  Meet outside the Tourist Information Office, Buttermarket
No charge, but prior booking essential.  Phone 01227 450140 by 15 September.  

THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER, 5.30; DEDICATED EVENSONG AT THE CATHEDRAL 
This special Evensong will take place on the anniversary of the day when the city fell to the besiegers.  It will include a procession and a display of the medieval stained glass portraying the siege.  

THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER, 7.30: ILLUSTRATED TALK ON LIFE IN CANTERBURY AT THE TIME OF THE VIKING SIEGE
An illustrated talk by an expert from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, based on archaeological finds from Canterbury, with objects to see and touch.  Canterbury Heritage Museum, Stour Street.  Admission £6, including refreshments.  Advance booking only: tel 01227 475202.  

SUNDAY 16 OCTOBER, 5.00:  CREATIVE WRITING AND PRIZEGIVING
Discover who won the Save As Writers Group creative writing competition and listen to an account of the Siege spoken in the language in which the Sagas were written.  Organised for the Siege of Canterbury Millennial Competition.  Old Synagogue, King Street, Canterbury. Tickets on the door. 

SATURDAY 25 JUNE: HELP US TO CLEAN UP THE RIVER STOUR
This is a repeat of our popular event last year, when some intrepid volunteers put on waders and worked to clear an amazing quantity of rubbish from the River Stour.  Others gathered litter from along the banks.  Afterwards volunteers enjoyed a free beer, thanks to Shepherd Neame.

This event is part of the Canterbury City Council Big Clean week, and is also coordinated with national Civic Day, when groups across the country work to tidy their town or village.  If you would like to take part come to the Millers Arms in St Radegund's Street at 11.00 on Saturday 25 June.  Waders and litter picking equipment will be provided and there will be free beer again!

TUESDAY 8 JUNE; TALK BY CLIVE BOWLEY and AGM
We are delighted that Clive Bowley has agreed to talk at our next meeting, which will take place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 8 June at the Dominican Priory in St Peter’s Lane.  Clive is Principal Conservation Officer at Canterbury City Council.  He has worked for the city for many years and his talk will be concerned with the contribution which Conservation can make to the urban environment.

This evening will also be the occasion of our AGM.  The committee will be reporting to you about the past year and asking for your comments and suggestions for the future.  We are inviting nominations for the committee, with a particular welcome for anyone who is willing to serve as Membership Secretary or as Web Site Manager.

WEDNESDAY 13 APRIL: ‘CANTERBURY THROUGH THE EYE OF THE ARTIST’
This talk by Hubert Pragnell will take place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 13 April at the Friends’ Meeting House in the Friars.  Hubert is an artist and a historian, who has written books on architecture and was for some years Head of History of Art at the Kings School.  His talk will be illustrated with pictures by the many artists who have chosen Canterbury as their subject.  Refreshments will be served and there will be a charge of £3.00 for anyone who is not a member of the Canterbury Society.

SATURDAY 14 MAY:  TALK BY TERRY FARRELL and LOCAL WALKS
This event is being organized by the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies (KFAS) as part of their annual conference and AGM.  Terry Farrell is a distinguished architect who has also been responsible for many regeneration projects.  His talk will be entitled:  ‘The Public Realm:  Who Plans it?  Who Pays for it?  It will take place at the International Study Centre in the precincts and will follow the KFAS AGM at 11.00 am on Saturday 14 May.  Book at: http://www.kfas.org.uk/conference.htm

In the afternoon of 14 May two guided walks will take place. Nick Blake will lead a walk looking at modern buildings in Canterbury, while David Birmingham will be leading an exploration of the history of Canterbury’s River Stour.  The walks will start from the International Study Centre at 2.00 pm.

SUNDAY 15 MAY:  SUPPORT THE CANTERBURY SOCIETY STALL
We have been invited to have a stall at the Climate and Fair Trade Market, which will take place in St George’s Street on 15 May.  We shall be showing photos of our recent activities, such as planting flowers and clearing litter from the river, as well as mounting a display about air pollution in the city.  The committee would welcome ideas for our stall and volunteers to help, even just for a short time. 

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE: MORE DETAILS COMING SOON
Here are some of our ideas for future activities:

 

Summaries of past events

 ‘Why air quality is important
Talk by the Environmental Law Foundation

Planning today and tomorrow
Talk by Brian Lloyd of Protect Kent