The Civic Trust charity has folded - a further sign of the catastrophic effect that local councils’ financial situation is having on the voluntary sector.
The half-century-old charity that represents more than 700 civic societies across England said it had been hit particularly hard by “the squeeze on local authority spending in the current climate”.
The news will be a blow to hopes that residents associations and other informal groups might be able to step in to take over the running of parks, gardens and civic spaces as councils tighten their belts.
The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers (Solace) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (Cipfa) are currently working on scenario planning for a period of drastically reduced council funding.
The work could lead to councils seeking greater volunteerism for services such as litter collection and parks maintenance.
Speaking to the BBC on behalf of the Civic Trust, Philip Kolvin QC said: “I still passionately believe in the civic movement, but it now needs grassroots members of vision and energy to start afresh with a new organisation, working within its means and building gradually from the bottom.”