We are delighted to welcome Professor John Belchem as the new Chair of Merseyside Civic Society following his election at the AGM in November. John is Emeritus Professor of History at University of Liverpool and is a well known author of Liverpool’s history.  Speaking of his appointment  John says:  “Gavin is a hard act to follow but I am looking forward to chairing the Merseyside Civic Society with its vital campaigns to preserve and enhance our heritage while encouraging high standards of design in our evolving built environment.  At the heart of the City Region, Liverpool has a remarkable urban and cultural landscape, in no way diminished by the regrettable (indeed undeserved) loss of UNESCO World Heritage Status.  Now is the time to chart our own path, to propound a wider understanding of our historic urban framework, extending far beyond the awkward and restricted boundaries and buffer zones of the former WHS.  By establishing a cross-river ‘national heritage area’, we can promote a more inclusive pride in place, offering yet another instance of a Merseyside ‘first’.

Given the expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm within the membership and supporters, MCS is well positioned to offer and coordinate aid and encouragement to the host of other societies in the City Region in their efforts to preserve the best of the past and to plan better for the future. Through such coordination and synergy we can be a powerful civic voice for the City Region and its efforts to secure much overdue levelling up.

Campaigns, planning and policy aside, the MCS offers a range of interesting talks, walks and other public events – I look forward to meeting you at these”.