MINUTES OF THE 61st ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY 18th January 2023

Judge Lecture Theatre, Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6RL

The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, President of the Society, has been invited to take the chair

AGENDA

  1. The meeting was opened by the Mayor, Councillor Yogan Yoganathan the ex officio President of the Society. The Mayor welcomed all and stated his appreciation for the work done by the Society for the good of the Borough.
  2. Apologies for absence. Jennifer Butterworth, Alison Fure, John McCarthy, Carole Bilney, Malcolm Porter, Sarah MacGregor, Martin and Korinna Farrell and Councillor Roger Hayes
  3. Minutes of the previous AGM. These were unanimously approved.
  4. Chairman’s report 2022

Greetings to you. 2022 has been a good year for the Society as we celebrated the last 60 years and look forward to the next 60 years.

In November the Mayor opened our fantastic Right Here Right Now photography exhibition at All Saints Church Kingston. Comfortably filling two long walls inside the church our two week exhibition was a great success. The photos will be a ‘time capsule’, capturing the natural and built environment of the Borough in 2022. Also on display were 6 large panels, with a photo montage of notable events, people, and the Society’s achievements for each decade. It has been gratifying to see both the interest in, and the surprise about, the fine work of the Society since 1962. I wish to thank those who helped this a huge success, in particular Tony Lancaster and Mediha Boran among many others.

We had interesting and varied guest speakers this year Starting with a ‘Sound Walk’ around the Cambridge Road Estate by Alison Fure. In March we held a meeting to gather your views on the way forward for the Society for the next 60 years. Later in the year we reported on our progress to create an “Urban Room”, and we co-presented with the Riverside Residents Association our concerns over the County Hall proposed over development on its south flank. In November the RBK’s Urban Planning team presented the first draft of the new Local Plan. In the Spring we had some inspirational or controversial ideas, depending on your view, for setting up a King Æthelstan statue and cultural centre.

Plans are progressing well towards setting up a pilot “Urban room” in Kingston town centre, a place to drop in or attend events to understand, debate and get involved discussing the future development of the Borough. The Borough Council, the Kingston Society, the North Kingston Neighbourhood Forum, Chessington District Residents’ Association and the University are working together to make this project a reality. In September the University School of Architecture and Landscape held a very successful one week project, challenging students from across year groups and subjects to design a flat pack display system for the urban room and a programme of events for it. It is hoped one will be commissioned for the pilot Urban room, which will open in early January at the Market House with RBK’s Local Plan (LP) consultation. It will be staffed by members of the planning department and on Wednesdays volunteers from the Society. If you are interested in joining in do let me know. If successful, there is a strong hope to make it more permanent elsewhere in the Borough.

This year we continued our constructive feedback on the new draft Local Plan, which is now in public consultation ending on 28th February. The Local Plan will set out a vision for how we want the Borough to develop and change in the future. It has an impact on everyone living, working, studying or visiting Kingston because it will guide and shape what can be built, and where, in the Borough over the next 20 years. I encourage you to provide comments on the areas about which you feel strongly. I wish to thank our talented members for their ongoing dedicated work in this important area.Opening the Coombe Conduit to the public has been a proud element of the work of the Society over the years. We have had a number of new tour guides this year, led by David Kennedy who is now retiring. Unfortunately it is almost certain we will no longer be able to be the key holders, with no further openings. While we have approached Historic England about the future running of the monthly openings in the Summer months we have had little success, which is clearly very disappointing. We wish to thank David very sincerely for managing the conduit openings over the past 6+ years.

  1. Hon. Treasurer’s report and accounts

In the absence of Yusuf Siddiqi, Keith Paine presented the accounts for the financial year ending 31 August 2022. The report was unanimously approved.

KUTS Accounts (2021-22)

  • Clarification requested on “one of payment” – Life Members. (£150)
  1. Elect the following Officers and Committee Members for the year 2023 [see nominations below]
ChairVice Chair
TreasurerSecretary
Membership SecretaryExternal Relations
Planning SecretaryMeetings Secretary
Independent ExaminerCommittee Members

NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR THE YEAR 2023

ChairTony Lancaster*
Vice-ChairAnthony Evans*
TreasurerGraham Smith**
SecretaryMediha Boran*
Membership SecretaryBob Phillips*
Planning SecretaryAnthony Evans*
External RelationsTony Lancaster*
Independent ExaminerJohn Farmer**
Committee Members*       John Allen
* All are prepared to stand for re-electionMediha Boran
** Appointed after AGM but included here for referenceTerry Bowers
Anthony Evans
Peter Kapinski
David Kennedy
Tony Lancaster
Bob Phillips

  • The nominations were unanimously approved.
  • No nominations received for Treasurer or External Examiner. (but see above)
  1. Suggestions from the membership for future activities.
  • Antony Evans suggested Design Awards should come back in 2023 and requested George Innes to consider chairing it. GI will consider
  • Monthly Public meetings will continue
  • Request to hold next AGM and public meetings in hybrid format – In person and Online. Particular plea from Jenny Philpot on behalf of 20 or so members who cannot attend the meetings in person but wishes to participate online meetings.

Show of hands and unanimous approval to look into this in the near future. TL to take this matter to committee.

  1. Address by the President.

The Mayor thanked outgoing Chair for his services and welcomed Tony Lancaster as the new Chair. He praised the various activities of the Society, in particular the successful Right Here Right Now Exhibition which took place in November 2021. He went on to mention the importance of the Local Plan and the crucial role that community groups such as Kingston Society play in spreading correct information. Opportunity to comment on London Plan is mentioned. Encouraged vocal participation and democratic engagement. Finally he mentioned the Community Brain as the Mayor’s chosen charity.

  1. Any other business.

John McCarthy’s message is delivered by David Kennedy in regard to postal address of Kingston Society. He specifically requested that that “Surrey” to be replaced with “Greater London”. Delegated to a Committee decision at a later date

  1. Address by the New Chair – Brief intro and Video

Thanked outgoing Chair for his services and commitment to Kingston Society during his term and appreciation for all he has done over the years. He extended his thanks to outgoing vice chair Keith Payne for making the society more out going and technology focus. He said the good work he started will continue. He concluded the speech with two short videos showing the work of society in 2022 and Local Plan engagement with the Council.

  1. There being no further business, the Chairman thanked the Mayor and closed the meeting.

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Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Kingston Society