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Cheltenham Civic Society announces appointment of new Chair

The Cheltenham Civic Society has announced the appointment of a new Chair.

Maxine Melling, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, one of the Civic Society’s first corporate members, will take over from outgoing Chair Roger Woodley, who is stepping down after two years at the helm for health reasons.

During his two years as Chair, Roger has overseen a 10% growth in membership and introduced the corporate membership scheme. Roger, who will continue to be a member of the Society, said: “I was delighted that Maxine accepted our invitation to stand, and am certain she will bring to the Society a breadth of vision and practical experience to boost substantially our unchanging aim of celebrating the designs of Britain’s finest spa town.”

Maxine, who lives in Cheltenham, was honoured to have been asked to stand for this position. She said: “Roger has been a respected and successful Chair, and I hope to build on his success by continuing to grow membership and further develop the corporate membership scheme.

“The Civic Society already works closely with a number of other groups with an interest in Cheltenham’s heritage and the public realm, and I hope to be able to strengthen existing alliances as well as foster new ones. Corporate membership for the University is part of its commitment and active participation in the town, and I believe collaboration between such groups is essential.”

The Civic Society lobbies for high standards in the growth and maintenance of Cheltenham’s architecture, streets and open spaces. It is a statutory consultee for all planning applications, manages blue plaques to commemorate individuals of significance, leads on Civic Day, Heritage Open Days and works with Cheltenham Borough Council in running the Civic Awards scheme. One of Maxine’s first active roles will be to coordinate a working group to plan for Civic Day on 18 June – which will launch the Civic Society’s support for the work of the West End Partnership action group.

Maxine added: “I see this as an excellent opportunity to contribute to the town’s continuing success. I have been interested to hear about members’ ambitions for the Society and plan to continue to work closely with Committee members on the Society’s future direction.“