Bognor Regis Civic Society was born in 1998 as a direct result of the Kiosks disaster and because of the founders’ concern that Arun District Council was not paying proper attention to the Town Centre in Bognor Regis Regeneration matters. It was felt that not only was a non-political ‘watchdog’ needed to ensure that nothing like the Kiosks ever happened again, but the group of concerned residents that had come together as a result of that event were well placed to be able to ensure that the people of the Town would have a proper say in future decisions.
Founder members came from a number of local groups, notably Bognor Environment and Amenities Movement (BEAM), Aldwick Preservation Society, and the Anti-Kiosks Campaign (AKC). Valuable assistance and advice came from Angela Bayley of Littlehampton Civic Society, who has recently died and is much missed. Similarly we will always be indebted to the late Jim Briggs, then Chairman of Aldwick Preservation Society, who felt that the town should have a Civic Society affiliated to the national body. He was instrumental in bringing us all together to form the original core members of the Civic Society.
The Society has met every month for almost 20 years(click on public meetings), but now meets only when there is something important to discuss – but the Committee still meets monthly. Members take part in the meetings, receive regular updating emails, and pay attention to a wide range of matters around the district. To see more about this, click on News.
The short answer is we take an interest in anything and everything that happens (or doesn’t happen!) in and around our town, from Pagham to Elmer, which is likely to affect residents and visitors. And we seek to preserve those aspects of the area which are good, and to improve those aspects which aren’t!
To do this may involve representation to (and, if necessary, pressure on) the responsible authorities, involvement in local groups and committees, working with business and property owners, organising and publicising public meetings, consulting the public on their views and preferences. This last is very special to us, as the views we represent are not our own; they are the views of the public and we go to great lengths to establish this. Hence “Voice of the People” on our logo, and the more people join us, the stronger this will be.