Griff Rhys Jones made the statement earlier this week while speaking at the APPG for Civic Societies
Griff Rhys Jones, renowned broadcaster, TV personality, and Civic Voice President, delivered a powerful and passionate speech on the importance of pride in place at the recent All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies meeting.
“Communities have pride in place, but they lack power,” Jones said, emphasising the significance of empowering communities to shape their own futures and take ownership of their surroundings.
Representatives from key heritage and civic society organisations, including Historic England, Architectural Heritage Fund, and The Heritage Fund, attended the meeting. Craig Mackinley, MP, chaired the meeting and experts from Public First, The Bennett Institute, and the National Lottery Fund also spoke at the meeting, all of which have recently published reports on the subject.
Many attendees agreed with Jones’ quote, including Jack Shaw, of the Bennett Institute, who stated, “We need onward devolution – not just government giving local councils more power, but local councils giving communities more power!”
“Government need to realise that civic pride is more than just liking where you live” Jones explained. “It’s about giving communities the tools and resources they need to make a genuine difference in their high streets and towns” Griff then referred to Public First’s Heritage and Civic Pride report: “It is critical for the government and local councils to recognise that the vitality of our town centres is directly related to the vitality of our communities, by investing in our town centres, we also invest in our civic pride”, Jones went on to say.
The meeting also discussed the critical role that civic societies play in encouraging community engagement and empowering citizens to take action on issues that are important to them. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies is committed to continuing this important conversation and working toward a future in which all communities have equal access to resources.
“Our goal is to support Civic Voice to empower communities to take ownership of their surroundings and shape their own places,” said Craig Mackinley MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies, “and this meeting was an important step towards achieving that goal. I encourage anyone who cares about their community to become a member of Civic Voice and participate in National Civic Day on June 17th.”