CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
By David Wyles
I hope our members and their families have stayed free of the virus but if you have been infected, I wish you a speedy recovery.
Digital committee meeting
Your committee held its first online meeting on May 18 and was pleased to receive a presentation by Karl Battersby, Kirklees Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure. Work to realise key ambitions within the Blueprint is moving ahead and you may have seen reports on our web site and in the Examiner relating to the purchase of the George and other strategic buildings.
Slow progress continues on shopfront improvements along a section of John William Street, with property owners pursuing grants to renew a number of frontages, regularly highlighted by HCS as being unsightly and contrary to their listed status.
To reinforce the status of the Blueprint, Kirklees Council decided to enshrine its key components into a supplementary planning document to provide guidance, on how policies or proposals in the Blueprint will be implemented, and to support the delivery of the town centre regeneration programme including future funding applications. Your committee has, of course, submitted comments as part of the statutory process. Further detail and links to relevant documents will be available on the website.
Cycling & Walking
HCS have called for involvement in the promised Kirklees Strategic Cycle Forum and the development of a cycling and walking delivery partnership. Your committee believe significant improvements in both cycling and walking are crucial to a ‘post covid’ recovery and improving the functioning and attractiveness of the area. Updates will be provided, via the website, as they develop.
Online Speaker Event: Bike Friendly Towns, 2 June 2020
All members should have received my recent email about the HCS online speaker event. My error for omitting to thank committee colleague, Chas Ball, for organising this. Don’t forget to book your free place by following this link to Eventbrite.
Discover Huddersfield Walks’ Programme
Due to a concern that people will be reluctant to join walking groups, even when lock-down rules are relaxed, the DH partnership has decided to cancel further guided walks through to the end of August.
Having produced the 2020 walks’ leaflet just before restrictions were enforced this is a big disappointment, not least because our voluntary group relies on the annual income from those participating, to fund future production of published trails.
A further move into the digital era is heralded by development of a web app intended to make these trails available via mobile phone. This has only been made possible with the help of Dave Pattern, computer expert and administrator of the Huddersfield Exposed web site – recommended for those interested in the history of the town.
Highfields – A Most Handsome Suburb
HCS will be publishing a new book by David Griffiths based on the historic development of the Highfields area. David, author of a number of local history books including The Villas of Edgerton has prepared initial drafts and it is expected that the book, which will be sold as a companion volume to ‘Villas’, will be available from early November – an ideal present for Christmas! Our publications continue to be available through our web site online store.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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