As you may have read in the press, our national umbrella organisation, the Civic Trust, went into receivership last May. The interim successor body, the Civic Society Initiative, has been incredibly active consulting Societies and members in a myriad of ways to discover whether the Societies want a national voice and, if so, what they need from a central body. BCS members have attended a number of conferences and 'Civic Voice' has emerged as the new national body. Civic Voice it is designed to operate from the grassroots up, with the minimum of staff. It is also intended to be financially self-supporting. This is to give it a genuinely independent voice and to avoid the fate of the Civic Trust, which collapsed after the loss of government funds. Unfortunately this will mean increased fees for all affiliated civic societies. The BCS Executive Committee feels strongly that the Civic movement needs representation at national level. It also believes that support from a strong national body is the key to offering the best service to our communities. Our Management Committee is thus recommending that we affiliate our society to Civic Voice. This will unfortunately mean a modest increase in our membership subscriptions. More information on the fees and benefits will be included in the next edition of the Newsletter.