The North West Association of Civic Trust Societies (nw.acts) is about to issue a colourful booklet publicising the region's Conservation Areas and explaining what designation as a Conservation Area actually means. We are delighted to report that - out of the 800+ Conservation Areas which exist in the North West of England, it was Gateacre Village which was selected to appear on the front cover!

Along with over 20 other civic societies, we were represented at a meeting in Preston on 6th May, when the draft booklet was launched. Various speakers emphasised the importance of carrying out Conservation Area Character Appraisals - identifying the key features (both positive and negative) of each area - to provide an effective basis for development control by the local planning authority. One of these speakers was Steve Corbett of Liverpool City Council, who agreed to revive the discussions we had in 2007 with a view to producing a character appraisal and advisory leaflet for Gateacre Village.

Visit the nw.acts website for more information about its activities

In mid-April we received the shock news that the Civic Trust - the national body to which we and other civic societies are affiliated - has gone into administration. The Trust's financial problems apparently came to a head when key contracts - in particular the administration of the Green Flag Awards scheme - were lost and the flow of business sponsorship dried up. With an office in Liverpool as well as in London, the Civic Trust has been helpful to us in a number of ways over the past 35 years, and we hope that a new organisation will take its place before too long.

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