Updated 10 October 2006


The purpose of this page has been to allow people to flag up topics on which they want information or have information to impart. Entries less than a month old are in red.

However, now that our message board is up and running, we encourage people to use that to post their pleas and their replies. We shall probably close this page down in a few months' time. 

Meanwhile, if the people who helpfully provided the material below are still keen to get help, perhaps they would cut and paste their thoughts into a message for the message board.

Green Belts - A United Front?

9 August 2002

Jude and Geoff Dyson of the St Albans Civic society have written in with the following comment:

Green field, brown field or redevelopment these are the questions which we all face in our various societies when the question of new housing in our region is concerned. Should the Civic Societies in our area present a united front to restrict development in our green belt and amenity areas? Your comments on this and any action you have taken would be welcomed by the St Albans Civic Society. Please e-mail to

And please copy your comments to us at so that we can post them here.

Planning Green Paper

20 April 2002

We issued ANTAS' comments on the Planning Green Paper some months ago and more recently we have referred to the Civic Trust's response (see News page). We have now received an extract from the Amersham Society's comments from Anthony del Tufo.

On 18 July 2002, the Government issued its reply to the responses it had received on the consultation exercise - see the News page

Multi-Modal Transport Study

2 November 2001

For some time, the High Wycombe Society has been trying to interest its local authorities in the possibility of restoring the rail link between High Wycombe and Bourne End, possibly with a cheap-to-operate ultra-light rail system. There has been a lot of resistance by the County Council, who say they are not convinced that enough local people would use it for local journeys. But our attention has recently been drawn to the ongoing Thames Valley Multi-Modal study (formerly the London-Reading Multi-Modal Study) which covers the area High Wycombe-Reading-Basingstoke-M3-M25-Beaconsfield-High Wycombe. It is coordinated by GO-SE and the running of it has been contracted out to W S Atkins. There is an excellent website on the study at Question: does anybody in ANTAS (or elsewhere) have experience of this study, or indeed of any multi-modal study? If so, please get in touch with us (by any of the means listed on the Contact us page).

Layman's guide?

21 June 2001

Our chairman, Peter Diplock, has asked if we know of a layman's guide to responding to planning applications. That sounds a very good idea, but we haven't found one. Do you know of such an article. If so, please contact us using one of the options at the foot of this page, or even e-mail Peter Diplock directly.

Digging up roads

20 April 2002

On 4 March the DTLR issued a press notice (see the "Recent DTLR Press Notices" entry on our News page) reporting that two Councils are now charging undertakers a "rental" for digging up roads.

30 April 2001...

A topic raised by our chairman, Peter Diplock. Many of our towns have gone through some pretty disruptive experiences through statutory undertakers - who seem to have inherited all the statutory powers of their nationalised predecessors - digging up roads at short notice, in the way that causes least expense to themselves but often causes maximum disruption to communities. Hard-pressed Highways Authorities have been tearing their hair out over the situation.

What can be done about it? Does anybody out there know what limits there are to statutory undertakers' powers, and how they can be tamed? On 2 April the DETR issued a Press Notice (see our DTLR News page) proposing a new power to fine statutory undertakers who overrun. But that is not really the point. Should they not be paying for the disruption they cause, whether they overrun or not? The Highways Agency runs a non-statutory "lane rental" policy for its contractors under which they pay penalties if they overrun but earn rebates if they finish early.

School travel

30 April 2001...

Another topic raised by Peter Diplock. Bucks County Council has for some time been blazing a trail with measures to encourage children to go to school under their own steam (including the quaintly named "walking buses"), or at least not in the family car, and have received some credit from Government Ministers for doing so. There is a great deal on BCC's web site about it - click here.

Local Government Act 2000 - Public Speaking at Council Meetings

30 April 2001...

Under the Local Government Act 2000, there is a right for the public to speak at certain local meetings. We do not know exactly what is required by the statute. Can anybody out there explain it? The DTLR's Guidance Pack on New Council Constitutions, updated as recently as 24 April 2001, might help! Wycombe District Council is to allow up to 30 minutes before each Full Council meeting. Subject to that, each person or organisation can ask one question. The question must be submitted in writing beforehand, but there is a right to speak for up to 3 minutes to ask a "supplementary". But there is no right to make representations (except in the form of a question) on topics on the agenda, nor is there any right to ask questions at Cabinet meetings (even though these are open to the public).

We would like to hear what is happening at other Councils, and of people's experience with these arrangements.

Local Government Act 2000 - Community Strategies

30 April 2001...

The Local Government Act 2000 requires local authorities to prepare - jointly with "partner organisations" - Community Plans (or "strategies"), that can include community targets. This is connected with a power in the statute for local authorities to allocate resources to "improve or promote the economic, social and environmental wellbeing" of their areas. Wycombe District Council has already held some workshops on this. An organisation known as the Improvement and Development Agency, which appears to have been set up by local authorities jointly, has been helping with these developments, spreading best practice. We would like to hear of your experience with these developments. The Government Guidance to Local Authorities on Preparing Community Strategies is available from the DTLR web site. This item will be on the agenda for the 2001 ANTAS AGM

Membership Drives

30 April 2001...

Many of us have been struck by the huge disparity in the percentages of our local communities that join our civic societies. Would anybody care to share with us their experience in running a membership drive in their society?

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