members agm

Minute of 2017 AGM

THE FARNHAM SOCIETY

Minutes of the 70th Annual General Meeting held on

Tuesday 9 May 2017

at South Farnham School, Menin Way, Farnham

PRESENT

Alan Gavaghan                  Chairman

Michael Blower                   Vice-President

John Cattell                        Treasurer

Janet Radley                       Vice-Chairman/Secretary

Committee:

Simon Bradbury                            Krish Kakkar

 Michael Clements                       John Slater

Gloria Dyche                                   Ian Soden

David Howell                                   Roger Steel

Approximately 75 members of the Society attended.

A scale model of the proposed East Street/Brightwells scheme was on display.

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming members to the Society’s 70th AGM and thanked them for attending. Mayor John Ward, attending with his wife Gillian, was invited to speak.

Cllr. Ward said he was delighted to be at the AGM and expressed personal appreciation, and that of the Council, for the huge support the Society had provided during the past year, particularly for its role in publicising the Neighbourhood Plan. Society members and Resident Association representatives had been instrumental in achieving the referendum’s 88% majority, and such a massive vote in favour of the Plan would reflect on the Inspector’s consideration of Waverley’s Local Plan.

Mr Ward looked forward to being an ordinary member of the Society after an enjoyable mayoral year.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

The Chairman announced that Sir Ray Tindle, the Society’s President, was unable to attend. Other apologies received:

Committee members: David Berry, Erica Wilkinson

Members: Diane Bradbury, Jeff Powell, Zofia Lovell, Jon Curtis, Ron & Rosemary Mansfield, Peter Bridgeman, Sam Osmond, Brian & Janet Martin, Roger & Jan Bradley, Sue Farrow, Tempe & Robert Mansfield, Brian & Judith Hunt, Penny & David Seal, Hans du Moulin, David Beaman

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held on 3 May 2016

The Minutes had been circulated and were approved and signed.

No matters arising.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

The Chairman’s report had been published on the website and distributed at the meeting.

Referring to the model of the proposed East Street development on display the Chairman said it indicated the problems facing Farnham, and expressed gratitude to the five claimants in the bid for a judicial review – David Wylde, Celia and Richard Sandars, Andy MacLeod and John Williamson – the latter two Farnham and Waverley Councillors. They had ventured into unknown territory, vindicated by the generous response from Farnham residents to an appeal for funds. David Wylde was asked to convey renewed thanks to the anonymous donor who gave £50,000

In turn, Celia Sandars said The Farnham Society and the whole community were owed a great debt of thanks for their wonderful support.

The Chairman then outlined what had led to the current situation. Because of Waverley’s challenge re the legal status of the claimants it was decided to opt for a one day preliminary hearing before proceeding to a judicial review. Given that in the Silver Hill, Winchester case a single self-financed Councillor was successful it seemed that with five ratepayers, two of them local councillors, it was safe ground.

Following the disappointing judgment, ruling against the claimants and precluding an opportunity to raise the substantive issues, legal advice on further action was sought, which was that an appeal was unlikely to succeed. The inevitability of accepting the situation and paying Waverley’s costs resulted in reluctant agreement to settle for £58,000.

The Judicial Review Group (formerly Farnham Interest Group) felt they had done their best in difficult circumstances. Advice had been given free by a professional fundraiser, and a great deal of effort was involved in printing and distributing brochures. £139,116 was raised (plus interest) – sufficient to fight the initial legal battle. Total expenditure was £98,534 including the £58,000 for Waverley’s costs. Crest Nicholson stated they would not pursue costs

After exploring other options It was considered from the outset that to work most effectively the Society should act as bankers and subsequently, following the judgement, as trustees for the residual funds of £40,616. This was ring-fenced and managed totally separately from the Society’s other accounts. Once it is established that all financial liabilities are discharged fully refunds would be made pro rata to those who subscribed, as stated initially in the campaign.

Referring to Surrey County Council’s proposed investment of £30 million in the commercial element of East Street the Chairman expressed grave concern that, given their dismal track record of commercial investment, this would be a financial and social disaster

One positive outcome was that the recent election of two independent Councillors had effectively demonstrated a vote against East Street. Reviewing the past year the Chairman felt that the Society had made every possible effort to preserve the quality of life in Farnham and gave his assurance that the fight would continue.

In his written report the Chairman expressed thanks to the Committee for their efforts in achieving the Society’s many targets. Gloria Dyche would not be seeking re-election and was commended for her support to innumerable Chairmen, past and present. Good wishes and thanks were also offered to David Berry, standing down as Membership Secretary.

ADOPTION OF DRAFT ACCOUNTS for financial year ending 31 March 2017

The draft accounts had been published on the Members’ Area of the Society’s website and distributed at the meeting, and the Treasurer outlined his financial statement, also distributed.

The judicial review campaign figures were included on the main statement for economy of printing but were in fact entirely separate.

The accounts were in draft form and would be inspected within the next few weeks.

Referring to the bequest of £10,000 from a former member, Beryl Mackay, John Cattell said it was the intention to use this for future high profile speakers.

Expenditure was down on last year, the major items being printing and stationery.

Current membership was 464 households, 621 members.

Efforts to promote Gift Aid had resulted in an increased claim from HMRC.

It was confirmed that residual judicial review funds would be returned pro rata to those who gave so generously during the campaign.

Adoption of accounts. proposed: Krish Kakkar seconded: Roger Steel

Carried.

CONFIRMATION OF INSPECTOR OF ACCOUNTS

Roger Smith of Milne Eldridge had agreed to continue as Inspector of Accounts for the current financial year.

Proposed: David Hillbery, seconded: David Brown

Carried

COMMITTEE REPORTS

All Committee reports had been published on the website and circulated at the meeting

The Chairman thanked David Howell, Chairman of the Planning Committee, and its members for their continued work on planning issues.

Planning

David Howell expressed the hope that reports included in the Spring 2017 Newsletter and within the AGM papers provided a comprehensive if concise statuson planning matters.

Thanks were offered to Resident Association representatives and everyone who helped distribute around 12,000 leaflets about the Neighbourhood Plan in just under two weeks, and to those who voted in favour. There had been a 88.17% majority with a 37.5% turnout.

A consortium of three developers challenging the Neighbourhood Plan had withdrawn their application for an injunction to halt the referendum but were proceeding with a judicial review, likely to start on 15 June

Protect Our Waverley had applied for a judicial review on Waverley’s Dunsfold decision, to be heard as soon after 20 June as possible to allow a decision before the Dunsfold public inquiry.

Dates not included in the report:

6 June – 35 Frensham Vale Inquiry

(former application dismissed on appeal on a technicality)

27 June – Local Plan Inquiry

6 July – Lower Weybourne Lane Decision

6 July – Waverley Lane Decision

18 July – Dunsfold Inquiry

Badshot Lea Village. There are growing rumours that an application will be submitted shortly.

Attention was drawn to the nomination form in the AGM pack, also available on the website, for the Society’s 2017 Amenity Awards, and the criteria outlined:

To encourage and stimulate architects, developers and contractors to undertake the highest level of design and workmanship in preserving and improving existing buildings and in new buildings’

Members were encouraged to nominate a completed scheme or building which they thought warranted an award. The deadline for nominations is 25 August.

Images shown on screen were of the 2015 Amenity Award winners, and two schemes the Planning Committee were considering for nomination.

Finally David Howell thanked the Planning Committee for their assistance in the last year

 

Air Pollution

Roger Steel explained that Farnham is the worst polluted area in the whole of Surrey with figures above the EU danger level. A Sub-Committee had been set up early in 2015 to study and report on air pollution in Farnham, given the lack of remedial action by the local authority. Clinical papers were studied on the effects of air pollution on health (largely from diesel vehicles) The government now accepts a figure of 40 – 50k deaths a year, from other causes but directly related to air pollution

Initial suggestions made to Waverley and DEFRA were followed up and data from the town’s monitoring stations released for 2014. Despite persistent requests, Waverley has refused to make public either the 2015 or the 2016 figures for receptor readings placed at strategic points in Farnham. It was Waverley’s responsibility to monitor the figures and Surrey County Council’s to take action

Q: Celia Sandars

On behalf of the PLACE Group called for action to reduce toxic emissions near schools, asking councils to pursue a campaign to reduce the speed limit in those areas to 20mph

A: Roger Steel

While such a speed restriction would improve road safety, the evidence suggested that pollution increased at that level, not decreased.

Q: Charles Stuart

Had Jeremy Hunt been approached and what was the result.

A: Alan Gavaghan

He had written to DEFRA and the Secretary of State with a copy to Jeremy Hunt who had replied that he would take the matter up with DEFRA on our behalf, but as yet there was no positive outcome. Currently there is no central government edict driving policy, making it difficult for councils to take action.

Patrick Webber

It was appalling that our MP, the Secretary of State for Health, knew that the information which related to health had not been made public and he had not acted for the protection of his constituency residents. It showed an allegiance to the party, not his residents. He disagreed that we should wait until after the election and suggested we confront Jeremy Hunt now.

Q: George Hesse

Could we contact our Waverley Councillors urging them to release information.

A: Roger Steel

We have written to the Executive Director at Waverley to no avail.

Q: Anne Cooper

Has an attempt been made to get data via the Freedom of Information Act

A: Alan Gavaghan

This had been tried but attempts thwarted.

Roger Steel said that as soon as the figures for 2015 are available the committee’s report will be released. The Chairman thanked him and said the Society would continue to keep up the pressure on this important issue

 

Heritage Open Days

The Chairman expressed his thanks to Sue Farrow and the HODS team for their dedicated work, and to the people who opened up their properties to the public for the HODS weekend, which had become a major event in the year. This year the purchase of radio headsets would aid the programme of guided walks. Thanks were due to Farnham Town Council for their continued financial support of HODS. Members were invited to submit ideas for future venues or activities.

 

Visits/tours

In Diane Bradbury’s absence the Chairman said the balance between visits which were not too physically challenging and those to attract younger members was not easy to achieve.

Attempts had been made to address this but it was increasingly difficult to get sufficient numbers to make some visits viable. Simon Bradbury outlined the visits arranged for this year, details of which were on the Society’s website

 

Talks

The Chairman said that tours, the programme of evening talks and coffee mornings were important in maintaining community spirit. It was hoped to expand the programme of evening talks with some high profile speakers. Ideas for future speakers would be welcome.

A presentation was made to Gloria Dyche, who was standing down having served on the Executive Committee for 20 years.

ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF HONORARY OFFICERS

Chairman: Alan Gavaghan

Proposed: Michael Blower Seconded: Krish Kakkar

Vice-Chairman/Secretary: Janet Radley

Proposed: Alan Gavaghan Seconded: Simon Bradbury

Treasurer: John Cattell

Proposed: Simon Bradbury Seconded: Michael Clements

All re-elections carried

ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Ian Soden – new committee member.

Proposed: David Howell Seconded: Alan Gavaghan

Re-election of committee members, en bloc

Simon Bradbury, Michael Clements, David Howell, Krish Kakkar, John Slater, Roger Steel, Erica Wilkinson

Proposed: Alan Gavaghan Seconded: Janet Radley

Carried

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Anne Cooper, Farnham Theatre Association, said that archive material on the Castle and Redgrave Theatres, researched and catalogued by Christopher Reeks and Peter Hunter, was now in temporary storage having formerly been housed at the Museum. Members were asked for suggestions about possible free or low cost permanent storage space.

Q: James Hardy

Did the residual funds from the judicial review campaign necessarily need to be refunded to donors. Many might wish their donation to be retained by the Society

A: Alan Gavaghan

Point taken, but a pro rata refund had been promised in the original request for funding

David Wylde made brief points given a constraint on time:

It was easy to think that the judicial review campaign was now over – it was not.

We need to go on fighting and the recent election result was a statement of opinion on East Street. The scale model will shock people by its sheer scale. There would be four years of construction misery, Waverley could abandon the retail element. Given the values The Farnham Society has, can members be asked to support a continued fight. We would be abrogating our responsibilities to the town if we abandon our efforts now.

John Price made general comments about speeding traffic in Farnham and the relation of planning laws to archaeological considerations.

The Chairman welcomed Jerry Hyman, John Williamson, Andy MacLeod and Stephen Spence who had previously attended a meeting at Waverley

Damian Blower, architect at Stedman Blower gave an on-screen architectural viewpoint on the East Street/Brightwells scheme.

His theme was on how towns are planned – their linear pattern, and how retail development only works if it relates to that linear spine. Streets in English towns need specific destinations and leading people off them is ineffective. Lion & Lamb Yard is a ‘street’, a pivotal building at the end draws the pedestrian in and it leads somewhere. It is a gateway. For all the reasons outlined East Street as a retail space is unworkable.

There is a paradigm shift in technology – this will alter how buildings are used.

Market towns are no longer necessary to provision us, but to excite us, to give a feeling of belonging, of communal life, of our past. They are there to connect us to each other.

Celia Sandars commented on aspects of the scheme and how it mitigated against viability.

Andy MacLeod

The proposed M&S Simply Food Store may prove unviable as there are currently M&S food stores on the A31 bypass, at Alton and on the A287 near Crondall. The cinema will be a second tier supplier/operator owned and operated by a group of entrepreneurs from Leicester with 15 other small cinemas throughout the country. Vue and Odeon pulled out because of the existing provision in the immediate area, Aldershot, Farnborough, Camberley, Guildford and Basingstoke. The view was that the area cannot support another cinema of this size, i.e 700 plus seats, six screens.

Mention was made of Jim Duffy’s letter in the Farnham Herald with observations on how the East Street proposal would affect the town.

 

The Chairman thanked members for attending and closed the meeting.

Charles Stuart proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman and to the Society

 

Agenda

The Farnham Society

 70th Annual General Meeting

  Tuesday 9 May 2017

   main hall, South Farnham School, Menin Way GU9 8DY

 8.0pm

complimentary drinks from 7.15pm 

AGM Agenda

1. Apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of the 69th Annual General Meeting held on 3 May 2016

3. Chairman’s report

4. Adoption of draft accounts for financial year ending 31 March 2017

5. Committee reports

6. Election / re-election of Honorary Officers

7. Election / re-election of Committee Members

8. Confirmation of Inspector of Accounts

9. Any other business

Questions from the floor

DAMIEN BLOWER – architect, Stedman Blower

An architectural viewpoint on the East Street/Brightwells scheme

a scale model of the scheme will be on display

Minutes of 2016 AGM

THE FARNHAM SOCIETY

Minutes of the 69th Annual General Meeting held on

Tuesday 3 May 2016

at South Farnham School, Menin Way, Farnham

PRESENT:

Alan Gavaghan         Chairman

Michael Blower         Vice-President

John Cattell               Treasurer

Janet Radley             Secretary

Committee members:

David Berry

Simon Bradbury

Peter Bridgeman

Michael Clements

Gloria Dyche

John Slater

Roger Steel

Erica Wilkinson

Approximately 76 members of the Society attended.

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming members to the Society’s 69th AGM and thanked them for attending in such numbers.

As the Treasurer had another commitment the agenda order was changed to accommodate his report.

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Committee member: Krish Kakkar

Members: Mike & Ann Thurston, Mr & Mrs Norman Nichols, Jeffrey Powell,

John Hurst, Noel Moss, Robert & Tempe Mansfield, Sam Osmond, Roger & Jan Bradley, Sanchia Vinall, Stephen Smith, Richard and Rosemary Thomas, Michael and Tandy Murphy.

2. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held on 12 May 2015

The Minutes had been circulated and were approved and signed.

No matters arising.

3. ADOPTION OF DRAFT ACCOUNTS for financial year ending 31 March 2016

The draft accounts had been published on the Members’ Area of the Society’s website and distributed at the meeting, and the Treasurer outlined his financial statement, also distributed.

  • INCOME. Overall income had increased due to receipt of a covenant from a past member, Mrs Beryl Mackay. However, membership subscription income was slightly reduced as a result of continued refinement of the members’ database. He asked members to check Standing Orders to ensure they were for the correct amount, as several had not been updated.

Current membership is 494 households (678 members)

£763 had been reclaimed from HMRC under the Gift Aid scheme. The Treasurer urged members to sign up for the scheme if they were tax payers and had not already done so.

  • EXPENDITURE. Expenditure was down, major items being share of legal fees with The Farnham Trust for the ongoing East Street enquiry, and for printing/ stationery.

A donation of £250 had been made to Waverley Borough Council for their Design Awards

  • Membership fees would remain unaltered.
  • The Treasurer confirmed that the Society’s accounts were in a healthy state with a strong balance for any future emergency.

 

Adoption of accounts. proposed: Simon Bradbury, seconded: Charles Stuart.

Carried.

 

CONFIRMATION OF INSPECTOR OF ACCOUNTS

Roger Smith had agreed to continue as Inspector of Accounts for the current financial year.

 

4. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

The Chairman’s report had been published on the website and distributed at the meeting.

  • The report centred on serious concerns about the proposed East Street / Brightwells development, with major planning changes forced through as Non- Material Amendments to the original contract, benefitting the contractor and in breach of public works contract regulations. An additional concern was the provision of tax payers’ money by Surrey County Council to fill the gap created by Crest Nicholson’s failure to secure commercial finance.

Parallels were drawn with Winchester’s Silver Hill development, the Council having withdrawn from the contract after a Councillor defied the party whip and personally financed a successful judicial review. The Farnham Society, together with Farnham Building Preservation Trust and East Street Action Group, formed The Farnham Interest Group (FIG), whose solicitor was engaged in frequent and ongoing legal exchanges with Waverley Borough Council, and now Surrey County Council.

On the subject of public fundraising to finance a judicial review, the Chairman expressed his concern at the sums involved, an estimated £50,000 – £100,000 to initiate it, but much more if the case went to appeal. It required a legal structure representing the whole of Farnham, adequately funded in all stages of the process, and he felt that realistically The Farnham Society, while fully supportive of the aims, should not be expected to shoulder responsibility for the campaign.

The Chairman referred to a development since writing his report. At the annual Farnham Town Council electors’ meeting a question was put as to whether FTC would provide financial support for a judicial review. Subsequently FTC had stated the intention to seek independent legal advice to protect their own position, for which £20,000 would be allocated. The Chairman welcomed the decision

which indicated the two organisations had a common cause.

  • Zofia Lovell voiced total support for the Chairman’s view and urged The Society and FTC to work closer together on this.
  • Abigail McKern suggested the Councillor in the Silver Hill case be asked to talk to Society members
  • David Seal suggested a Vote of No Confidence in Waverley Borough Council. The Chairman doubted its impact.
  • Celia Sandars suggested a show of hands for approval of the proposal to work more closely with FTC on this issue
  • Jackie Stinton urged that Farnham people fought hard against the unacceptable and uncaringbehaviour of Waverley. It was hoped that the genuine anger of residents in continual contact with events would generate substantial funds.
  • Mike Cubitt referred to the public subscription which had saved The Maltings and expressed optimism about a similar result
  • In reply to a request by Zofia Lovell for one of the FTC Councillors present to speak, Andy MacLeod said that it should be borne in mind that the East Street project would not necessarily go ahead. Crest Nicholson were now desperately trying to reduce costs, for example not now building the bridge to the bypass, and there was a time limit of August/September for the compulsory purchase of The Marlborough Head. If funding was not in place by then the scheme could not proceed. Planning permission to move the Gostrey Centre would also be needed.
  • Carole Cockburn backed the Chairman’s call for unity and felt that the Society and FTC working together was the only chance, given the crucial importance of the issue. Fragmentation had a negative effect on Waverley and the whole town needed to work together. She confirmed that the Council is seeking legal advice on the feasibility of a judicial review.

 

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

All Committee reports had been published on the website and circulated at the meeting

 

Planning

The Chairman thanked Peter Bridgeman for the enormous amount of work he

had done as Chairman of the Planning Committee, and wished him well now that he was retiring.

  • The main role of the Planning Committee is to look at plans/details of all significant applications in Farnham which, increasingly, were from 10 – 150 dwellings or more. Government encouragement to build new homes and the failure of Waverley Borough Council to produce a new Local Plan and a 5 year housing supply figure, had resulted in an unprecedented increase in planning applications. The previously reported 2000 new dwellings on greenfield sites in and around Farnham, and a further 262 on brownfield sites had been superseded by proposals for two new schemes for nearly 300 more.

The brownfield site of Dunsfold Park could accommodate 5000 homes (the current application was for 1800) which would solve the 5 year housing supply figure and avoid the need to build on greenfield sites.

Farnham’s infrastructure is totally inadequate for such levels of development.

  • The Local Plan is due to go before Waverley’s Executive Committee in August at the earliest. An adopted plan is unlikely before late 2017
  • Regulation 15 of Farnham Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan is nearing completion and will be submitted in May, with an eventual referendum sent to all Farnham residents. With 50% or more acceptance it could be adopted before the end of the year.

 

Traffic

  • The report had been prepared by Mike Murphy who, although not standing for re-election, would act as the Society’s consultant on matters relating to traffic and pedestrianisation
  • Without a Local Plan and with the explosion of potential housing, traffic conditions would worsen, and a western relief road was thought to be the only long-term solution.
  • Some of the on-street parking obstructing key roads, which prevented free flow of traffic, may be reduced by the expanded parking at Farnham station
  • The problem of town centre roads, gridlocked with A-class traffic, would potentially be exacerbated by construction traffic for the Memorial Hall and East Street and its development of housing, cinema, businesses, for which Surrey County Council

are making no extra provision.

  • Plans for pedestrianisation were unclear and its implementation uncertain.

 

  • Celia Sandars expressed scepticism about FTC’s attitude to pedestrianisation
  • In reply to a question about the Woolmead the Chairman said approval of outline planning permission had been delayed and was still awaited.
  • George Hesse raised the subject of the significant number of heavy lorries evident recently through the town via West Street, destination unknown but possibly the M3,as Anne Cooper confirmed that their route was up Castle Street. Mr Hesse also commented on road surfaces in and around the town and their state of complete neglect.
  • Andy MacLeod, despite initial scepticism about pedestrianisation, was now of the view that some sort of scheme was paramount. Hehad recently met Jeremy Hunt who is determined for pedestrianisation to go ahead. With no funding for the ultimate solution of a western relief road the traffic problem had to be dealt with now, with a trial scheme. The question was whether people would accept the inconvenience of re-routed traffic, sometimes involving a considerable detour, in order to achieve a more civilised environment in the town centre, and reduced air pollution.
  • Carole Cockburn spoke about the possibility of re-classification of roads in Farnham allowing more control of traffic through the town centre.

 

Air Pollution

Roger Steel presented an interim report on the findings of a Farnham Society sub-committee on air pollution, formed under his Chairmanship last autumn.

  • The combination of an inadequate road system and the emission of nitrogen dioxide from diesel vehicles has made Farnham one of the most polluted areas in Surrey (Farnham has more than the national average of diesel cars). Waverley’s monitoring of ‘hot spots’ show that pollution levels are approaching danger levels – evidence known to Surrey County Council and to DEFRA but without remedial action.
  • The committee had studied the monitoring schedule and its locations in great detail and had researched mounting clinical evidence of the dangers to public health.
  • The Local Plan’s major building programme for Farnham will hugely increase the problem
  • The committee will publish a full report on this major issue in the near future.

Visits

  • Diane Bradbury outlined the current year’s one-day visits and the coach tour to Birmingham. Take-up had decreased this year and the point was made that support from members for organised coach trips was needed in order for them to continue.

Evening lectures

  • The quality of speakers had been very good, and ideas for such speakers were always welcome. The Beryl Mackay bequest would be used to finance a keynote speaker.

Heritage Open Days (HODS)

  • The Chairman thanked Sue Farrow and the HODS team for their excellent organisation of this major event each year.
  • Erica Wilkinson commended the hard work of the HODS group and the team of volunteers and its very strong community spirit, combining to show Farnham at its best.
  • The theme of Hops and Brewing last year had proved a rich seam, effectively tapped. This year (8 – 11 September) the theme is Art & Craft in Farnham.

 

  • Zofia Lovell suggested much more engagement with young people, involving local schools. Although events at Farnham Pottery and the Museum did involve children, Erica Wilkinson was grateful for the idea, which would be pursued.

6. ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF HONORARY OFFICERS

Alan Gavaghan confirmed he was willing to stand as Chairman for a further year.

Janet Radley would stand down as Secretary when a suitable replacement was found but was prepared to stand as Vice-Chairman

Rosemary Thomas had decided not to stand for re-election and the Chairman expressed his appreciation for her considerable contribution to the Society. He also thanked Michael Murphy for his long association with the Society and his agreement to continue as a consultant on traffic and pedestrian matters.

John Cattell would stand again as Treasurer

Proposed: David Brown, seconded: David Wylde. Carried

7. ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

John Slater – new committee member.

Proposed Alan Gavaghan, seconded Janet Radley

David Howell – new committee member as Chairman, Planning Committee

Proposed: Peter Bridgeman, seconded: Krish Kakkar

Re-election of committee members, en bloc

Proposed: Michael Blower, seconded: Alan Gavaghan

8. CONFIRMATION OF INSPECTOR OF ACCOUNTS

(included in agenda item 3)

8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

None

_______________________________________________________________

.

Following the AGM – a presentation by Mark Westcott on the Memorial Hall

  • This focussed on the recent proposal to overturn the Covenants in connection with the Memorial Sports Ground Deed of Gift, protecting its sports ground for recreational and sporting use, and instead proposing to appropriate it for planning purposes, i.e. housing development, re-locating Farnham Town FC to Weydon Lane
  • A straw poll on support for the continued retention of the Memorial Sports Ground for sports, as intended by the original Deed of Gift, showed all in favour.

 

AGM 2017 Chairman’s Report

East St./Brightwells Development

My report last year was again dominated by the problem of the East St./ Brightwells development and I expressed a personal view that the final weapon left in the armoury was to call for a Judicial Review into the perceived unlawful actions of Waverley Borough Council. It was clear that to take this action would attract high legal costs and an educated guess taken at that time indicated that a minimum of £100.000 would be required. Little did I realise how quickly events would develop following our AGM.

At a full Waverley Council Meeting last May, further planning proposals were made, involving amendments to the Development Agreement with significant concessions to the developer, Crest Nicholson. Despite written warnings from Council Officers that the proposed action may be unlawful and could be challenged in the Courts, the proposals were approved.

In response a decision was made to launch an appeal for public funds to back an application for a Judicial Review and five individuals immediately volunteered to act as the Claimants. At this point I would like to acknowledge the public-spirited actions of David Wylde, Richard and Celia Sandars and Councillors Andy MacLeod and John Williamson. It should be appreciated that at the time of their decision it was uncertain whether sufficient funds would be raised to protect them against personal financial exposure. Their confidence in a positive public reaction was well founded when the original estimated figure was comfortably exceeded. This is also an opportune moment to thank all of you who so generously donated, and those individuals whose extensive efforts to raise the funds involved many hours of hard work, both in preparation for the appeal and its implementation.

The speed of developing events made it difficult to find an organisation prepared to act as financial controllers of the expected flow of cash from the public and in consequence The Farnham Society stepped into the breach to act as ‘bankers’ and financial controllers.

In August a High Court Judge agreed that there was a case to be made as the grounds were “plainly sufficiently arguable” , including a challenge to the legal standing of the five Claimants. To mitigate costs it was agreed that an initial one day hearing would be undertaken to address this specific challenge.

At that hearing in January the Judge’s decision that the Claimants did not have legal standing was totally unexpected, particularly because in the Silver Hill, Winchester case the sole Claimant was a Councillor and his status had been accepted.

Effectively the judgement restricts any action to other developers who must have a financial interest in the actions of a local authority. In effect, ratepayers and Councillors are debarred in these circumstances from initiating a Judicial Review.

This Judgement flies in the face of the Winchester case and the only possible counteraction would have been to appeal the decision. The cost associated and the uncertainty of success militated against taking that step.

This is a bitter pill to swallow as I have no doubt that a full Judicial Review would have rapidly proven the validity of the allegations that Waverley had acted in an unlawful manner. However, we have to accept the judgement and the consequences, but it does not mean that this Society will cease to resist this unwanted development. Crest Nicholson were granted planning permission a long time ago and have been free to commence construction at any time but have not proceeded. For many years the public have been told that the project is “shovel ready” and yet we all know that lack of commercial financial support is the real reason for the years of delay.

The political face-saving answer to this insoluble financial problem has been to resort to exposing more public funds by invoking support from Surrey County Council. In effect, one lot of politicians rescuing others to the continuing disadvantage of the ratepayer. It should be noted that ventures by SCC into property development has not been crowned with success. On 21March the BBC radio documentary series File On 4 uncovered the fact that current investments by Surrey County Council in property deals amounted to £150 million in the last financial year and had resulted in a loss of £315,000. Surrey Choices Ltd Is another venture into the commercial market and the last audited report shows a loss of £3.5 million. Before throwing another £30 million down the drain perhaps Surrey should listen to the wide-spread independent professional advice which states clearly that this development is unviable and heading for an economic and social disaster. Will common sense prevail over political dogma? I doubt it.

Your Committee

There are some known changes within the Committee, starting with David Berry’s retirement at the AGM from his role as Membership Secretary. We are all grateful for his hard work over the past years and wish him well for the future. We have been fortunate enough to attract the support of Ian Soden who has been co-opted onto the Committee and has taken over the responsibilities of Membership Secretary. His formal appointment to the Committee will be proposed at the AGM.

After many years organising the evening talks and coffee mornings, Gloria Dyche has decided to take a step back and not offer herself for re-election. Gloria has given unflagging and cheerful support to an innumerable number of past Chairmen and of course, to me. We will miss her self-deprecating manner and her rapid response to anyone seeking her help or advice. I am sure that Gloria will be unable to resist the temptation to continue giving support, but in a less prominent role.

We will need to find a replacement for Gloria and we are still seeking an Assistant Secretary to support the work of Janet Radley.

Overview

It has been a difficult year but I hold firm to the belief that the Society continues to strongly support the objectives identified by our predecessors when they produced the Society’s original Constitution in 1911. The prime objectives were to preserve the architectural heritage of Farnham, to encourage integrity in the construction of new buildings, sympathetic to their surroundings, and to maintain the quality of life for future generations.

We cannot win all battles but I would hate to have a nagging doubt that we could have done more to prevent developments which are totally against the spirit of our first Constitution. Recognising the events over the past year, I have no doubt that we have continued to make every possible effort to preserve the quality of life in Farnham. Whatever the outcome, your Committee will continue to fight to protect the special qualities of life in and around our town

Finally, I would offer my sincere thanks to all the Committee members who expend an enormous amount of unpaid effort to achieve our many targets. You will see from the following reports that we remain effective and energetic in all those areas which bring benefits to you as a member of the Society and indirectly to members of the general public.

Alan Gavaghan

AGM 2017 Financial Statement

External inspection of our accounts has not yet been completed, so the financial statement presented at tonight’s meeting is in draft form.

The covenant received last year from Mrs Beryl MacKay is still in our account and your committee wish to provide quality speakers for members to enjoy at evening meetings in the future.

Expenditure of our unrestricted funds was again down this year. The major item was printing and stationery.

Subscription income was similar 2015/2016. Our current membership now stands at 494 households (678 members).

We were able to reclaim £940 from HMRC under the Gift Aid scheme from subscriptions received. There are still a number of members who pay their subscription by standing order and are paying at the old rate. May I ask them to instruct their bank to amend their current standing order.

We were asked to set up a separate account to hold the funds for the East Street Judicial Review. This has been ring fenced and shown as restricted funds in the draft statement.

I am also pleased to recommend again that the existing membership fees should remain unchanged.

John Cattell

Treasurer

DRAFT FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Profit and Loss Statement (Unrestricted Funds) 28th April 2017
2016-2017 2015-2016
Membership Subscriptions

5689

5447

Grants and Donations

0

10000

Members events

390

532

Sundry Income

50

50

Investment annual payment

648

846

Refund of income tax

940

763

Heritage Open Days

900

715

Income total

£8,617

£18,353

Grants donations and awards

0

250

Fees and subscriptions

10

0

Hire of Halls

815

617

Printing and stationery

1775

3136

Insurance

412

302

Stamps/Telephone

0

122

East Street Expenses (Farnham Building Trust)

100

3060

Website / Database costs

65

0

General Expenses

766

206

Heritage Open Days

996

1387

Expenses total

£4,938

£9,080

Surplus income over expenditure

3679

9273

Gain (loss) on investments

528

-508

Interest earned on Deposit account

2

2

Surplus on Social Account @ 31/03/2015

109

-99

Net surplus

£4,318

 

£8,688

Balance Sheet
Balance at bank

23783

20399

Debtors

0

0

Unsecured loan

0

0

Investment M & G Charibond (14084.04 units)

18249

17721

Creditors

0

0

Total

£42,032

 

£38,060

Judicial Review (Restricted Funds)
Donations received up to 31st March 2017

139116

Interest received

34

Payments made out in support of Judicial Review

98534

Balance held in separate Lloyds Business account  

£40,616

AGM 2017 Planning

I reported as comprehensively as space permitted in the Society’s Spring Newsletter and the following is an update on changes to items reported then, and events since.

Farnham Neighbourhood Plan

The Society, alongside South Farnham Residents’ Association and Badshot Lea Community Association, funded 12,000 leaflets that were distributed by various Residents’ Association members, and individuals, before the Referendum, which took place on Thursday 4 May. I would like to thank everyone concerned for this support.

The Planning Committee responded to the Secretary of State’s letter (as reported in the Newsletter) and we have subsequently received a further response reinforcing his support for the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

Unfortunately a consortium of developers are challenging in court the Neighbourhood Plan Referendum and the Examiner’s report confirming that the Plan met required basic conditions subject to minor modifications. The reasons for the legal challenge are reported by Waverley as:

  1. The Examiner focused too heavily on the emerging Local Plan rather than the adopted one (2002).
  2. The Examiner sought views on a revised Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) policy but did not then deal with comments submitted to him by the claimants on the revised policy.
  3. The Examiner did not adequately deal with their criticisms on one of the evidence studies produced for the Local Plan in his report.

My understanding is that the Plan cannot be ‘made’ or adopted until the judicial review is quashed but we are supporting Farnham Town Council and Waverley Borough Council to ensure that the Plan is adopted as soon as possible.

On Friday 28 April the consortium withdrew their interim relief challenge (application for an injunction) to stop the referendum taking place, but have sought an expedited hearing date for the Judicial Review. The consortium are looking for a decision on the Judicial Review before the planning appeal decision dates noted on page 2 of this report. The Farnham Society website will report developments as they occur, (farnhamsociety.org.uk)

Local Plan

A date for the start of the Examination in Public (Inquiry) of the Waverley Borough Council Local Plan has been announced as Tuesday 27 June. A period of two weeks has been set aside for the hearing. The Inspector submitted questions to Waverley in accordance with procedure which Waverley have responded to. Unfortunately a consortium of developers, including the ones challenging the Neighbourhood Plan, have indicated their intention to also challenge the Local Plan. Publication of the Inspector’s report is not anticipated before late autumn. Tied in with this is an Inquiry into the proposed Dunsfold development. We will post updates on the progress of the Local Plan Inquiry on the Society’s website.

Dunsfold Park

The application was called in by the Secretary of State on 8 March. I understand a date has been set for an Inquiry into the application and decision by Waverley as Tuesday 18 July, but this has not been verified. Documents from Waverley, the applicant and others are appearing on Waverley’s website. Again we will post updates.

Borough’s Five Year Housing Land Supply

Waverley’s claim of having a 5.79 year land supply was challenged by the Planning Inspectorate in two Appeal decisions. Waverley have now conceded that they have to accept a 20% buffer, so cannot demonstrate a 5 Year Housing Land Supply. When Farnham has the Neighbourhood Plan in place we only require a 3 Year Housing Land Supply to prevent developers appealing to develop sites not included in the Plan.

Government’s White Paper Fixing our broken housing market

We have submitted our response to the White Paper expressing concern that the proposals will not resolve the problem.

Planning Appeals

The Secretary of State is due to publish his decision on three appeals that were called in. The Lower Weybourne Lane decision (140 dwellings) is due not later than 15 June, Waverley Lane (157 dwellings) no later than 6 July and the Land at Bilton House (56 dwellings) no later than 20 July.

Currently appeals are lodged for the following sites:

  • Lavender Lane, 9 dwellings, decision expected in May.
  • Land at 35 Frensham Vale, 46 dwellings, Public Inquiry starting on 6 June.
  • Land at Frensham Vale (Hamlet in the Woods), 130 dwellings, Public Inquiry starting 19 September.
  • Land at Folly Hill, 102 dwellings, Application for Appeal currently being verified, date for Inquiry likely to be October / November.

Planning Applications Approved Recently

Notably the St Georges Road, Badshot Lea application, 69 dwellings, Town Hall Buildings, 9 dwellings and Little Acres, Badshot Lea, 80 dwellings, and the Farnham Town Football Club retrospective application for siting new changing rooms on the Memorial HallSports Ground.

Planning Applications Refused Recently

Notably the Farnham Park Hotel / Sumner Heath application, 97 dwellings, and Hawthorns, Bells Piece, Hale Road application, 65 dwellings.

Planning Applications Undetermined

Notably the land at Crondall Lane (Hopfields),120 dwellings, land at Green Lane, Badshot Lea,120 dwellings, Knowle Farm, Old Park Lane, 9 dwellings and the non- material amendment application for alterations to the lower ground floor and existing roof to the Memorial Hall.

The University for the Creative Arts have recently submitted an application for a new Film and Media Centre. The Planning Committee will review these proposals during the forthcoming weeks.

Anticipated Applications

There was a consultation for the Baker Oates Stables site proposals on 3 & 4 March. We anticipate a new application shortly. Also the Switchback Lane, Rowledge application has not appeared on the planning lists yet.

Woolmead

The site has been recently acquired by the Berkeley Group for redevelopment with the benefit of outline planning permission for 96 dwellings and ground floor commercial space. Berkeley are consulting commercial operators and estate agents to confirm their intentions but it is likely they will submit a new Full Planning Application for revised proposals for a similar mix of uses with a similar bulk and mass of the approved scheme later this year. They anticipate starting work mid 2018. Berkeley’s undertook to consult with The Farnham Society.

2017 Amenity Awards

We are seeking nominations for buildings and schemes for consideration for the 2017 Farnham Society Amenity Awards. A separate sheet is enclosed with your pack.

Recrafting Farnham

The Recrafting Farnham Group are continuing to persevere in the background. They are planning an internal review meeting in May with a view to releasing a statement on their current position. As part of the Heritage Open Days weekend they will present their research, with feedback from residents, at the Maltings, and display the further upgraded East Street area model. Discussions are taking place about refreshing and upgrading the Farnham Design Statement but these are in their infancy.

Pedestrianisation

I understand that revised proposals will be revealed and open to resident consultation in September 2017, although it is understood the scope of the proposals have been widened and the scheme been renamed the ‘Farnham Traffic Scheme’.

Liaison with Local Authorities and Statutory Consultants

We continue to meet and liaise with Waverley Planning Department but would like to increase the frequency of our meetings. A member of the Planning Committee is a Farnham Town Councillor so we are kept appropriately informed and also frequently have conversations with other Farnham Town Councillors. Some members of the committee are meeting Natural England in June to discuss the Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) guidelines.

And finally

The past twelve months have been both hectic and intense for the Planning Committee, but we have proved equal to the task and will continue to act as a ‘watchdog’ for the Society to guard against inappropriate design and development in Farnham.

David Howell

Chairman, Planning Committee

9 May 2017

AGM 2017 Air Pollution

The Farnham Society sub-committee was set up in early 2015 to study and write a report on air pollution within our town. Why? Because Waverley Borough Council had been monitoring the problem for at least nine years, and whilst it was recognised that there was indeed a problem, no remedial action was taken in all that time. Worse, both Waverley Borough Council and indeed all our elected bodies ignored the ramifications. In short, air pollution from diesel engines is a major factor to the health of our residents and visitors to the town. Farnham has the worst level of pollution in the whole of Surrey. Your Society took on the mantle that the councils should have long taken, to investigate and report on all this danger of neglect.

The sub-committee, made up of five members of the Society, each with expertise in their field, decided the report should be an in-depth study of the 2014 figures produced by the monitoring stations situated around the town. These measure the density of pollution from diesel vehicles (the over whelming culprits) and are collected on a monthly basis by agents and reported to Waverley. Waverley then take the twelve monthly readings for the year and write a report addressed to Surrey County Council and DEFRA, the government agency responsible for the environment.

At the same time the clinical papers on the effects of air pollution on health were studied, together with traffic and public transport flows. A comprehensive preliminary report was submitted to your Executive Committee.

The findings were alarming. Many of the measurement sites were showing levels of pollution well above the danger level of 40 microns per cubic metre set by the EU. Further, some of the measurement sites were situated in incorrect positions and all were difficult to identify because their position was purely a map reference. On pointing out some of these deficiencies to Waverley they did take remedial action on at least one site. DEFRA later made all councils identify sites by their names rather than map references.

At the same time clinical evidence was produced showing that air pollution was either the cause of respiratory disease or was responsible for premature death in vascular disease, strokes, and cardiac arrest. The Government accepted this could be responsible for around 25,000 premature deaths per year – our report, having studied all the clinical evidence in both our country and the USA put the figure closer to 40,000. Remember this was based on the 2014 figures (now 3 years old). Diesel traffic in Farnham has increased by 5% since that time, for example.

40,000 is now an accepted figure by all, and many clinicians have even put the figure at closer to 50,000 premature deaths as a direct result of NO2, the product of diesel traffic. Clinical trials now show that air pollution leads to much greater clinical damage and now shows that it can proliferate dementia, liver disease, and even affect embryos in pregnant women. A study published only today proved that the particulates of air pollution actually enter the blood stream and can attack anywhere in the body – literally from cradle to grave.

Our early contact with Waverley was co-operative but following our negative comments Waverley now refuse to provide us with any information. Waverley Borough Council has refused to make public either the 2015 figures or indeed the 2016 figures for air pollution. We have even tried to seek information via the Freedom of Information Act but have been thwarted. The same with DEFRA.

Since the sub-committee first met, air pollution from diesel traffic is recognised by all. Worse, it has been shown that diesel manufacturers have been falsifying their emission tests. Some experts believe that the on-the –road emissions are as much as 15 times higher than claimed. Towns and cities around the country are now taking matters into their own hands. Actions have included the banning of HGVs in town centres, increased parking charges for diesel cars, and (like London) the introduction of higher congestion charges for diesel traffic. The government is due to release its own very late proposals but this has been delayed by months and it has now been forced by the High Court to release their proposals.

In the meantime Surrey County Council, unlike most other authorities, has done nothing! Waverley can only report the figures as it is the County’s responsibility to take remedial action- but why is Waverley refusing to make the air pollution figures public? What have they got to hide? Both councils have an over-riding duty of care to the residents and nothing is more important than health

Other councils are publishing their latest air pollution reports and conversation with Guildford only last week confirmed that it is not difficult as DEFRA provide a template. As a result some local authorities are banning new development on roads and areas with already high pollution levels.

The most dangerous levels in Farnham are emitted at the South Street and the Borough cross roads (already an Air Pollution Management Area). This will come as no surprise. The proposed East Street development will greatly add to the danger if it goes ahead. Waverley Borough Council is a ‘Partner’ in this development and will stand to gain financially for many years if it goes ahead. For environmental reasons if nothing else the scheme needs to be rethought.

Our initial provisional report now needs to be completely revised to reflect the current position. Your sub-committee however feels that it must be provided with the 2015 figures first as a priority. The Chairman of the Society has written to Waverley, Defra, and our MP but as yet with no result. Surrey’s best advice is to ‘monitor the situation’, something that it has been doing for many years. In the meantime it is the health of the young and old of Farnham that is suffering from this silent killer.

Roger Steel

Chairman of The Farnham Society Air Pollution Committee

AGM 2017 HODS

2016 saw the 22nd anniversary of HODs nationally, Farnham’s involvement now going back 16 years. HODs helps to promote the town. It enhances awareness and understanding of Farnham’s rich historical built and natural environment and generates a sense of goodwill which connects the Farnham Society with the local community. There is free admission to all venues, tours and events.

HODs is brought to visitors locally by The Farnham Society, generously supported by Farnham Town Council. It is now facilitated at the national level by The National Trust and funded by The People’s Post Code Lottery. The RIBA has recently taken on a supporting role.

Thursday 8 September – Sunday 11 September 2016. Reasonable weather provided the backdrop but rain set in on the Saturday, in fact there was a deluge! However, numbers were solid with around 3,000 visits. The Bishop’s Palace (Farnham Castle), The Museum of Farnham, The Farnham Pottery, Waverley Abbey House, The Masonic Centre and The Antiques Warehouse attracted particularly large numbers.

The whole project was delivered well within budget. There was a grant from Farnham Town Council and The Farnham Society funded the shortfall. A transmitter, 20 pocket receivers and pairs of in-earphones were rented for the first time. These were for use on walks where the traffic can make it difficult to hear the guide. The decision to rent was taken with the view that, if successful as a pilot scheme, then grants towards the purchase of such equipment could be applied for in 2017, which would enable the Farnham Society to make a contribution to increasing awareness and appreciation of the town’s special heritage.

34 properties were open to view including 3 smaller private homes, the latter being managed carefully via pre-booked timed tours. 7 guided walks were available over 6 sites and there were numerous guided property tours, all of which were led by local experts. The majority of the pre-bookable walks and property tours were completely full.

New additions to the programme were: Ivy House; St. Peter’s Church, Wrecclesham; Piccolo’s and Zizzi’s and Partridge House and Yew Tree Cottage in Wrecclesham, the latter being under restoration by The Farnham Building Preservation Trust. New also for 2016 were 2 walks, ’From Wells to Mains – The Story of Farnham’s Water Supplies’ by The Bourne Conservation Group and ‘Farnham Tree Walk Part 2’ by Peter Bridgeman. Both attracted large numbers.

There were interesting exhibitions and displays at: The Museum of Farnham; The Farnham Pottery; St. Peter’s Church; St. Andrew’s School; Hones Yard and The Council Offices, together with activities/demonstrations at The Antiques Warehouse in Runfold, The Maltings and The New Ashgate Gallery. Michael Blower’s week long exhibition at The Maltings of about 40 paintings and drawings of the local area, was drawn from his collection built up over his 60 years of living and working in Farnham. It was very successful. The proceeds were donated directly to the Farnham Society and the Private View was well supported.

Since 2012 we have opted to create a new theme or angle annually. For 2016 it was arts and crafts in Farnham which served to highlight Farnham’s official designation as a Craft Town. Farnham has a distinguished and long tradition of the teaching and application of the arts and crafts and the buildings used for these purposes were marked in the brochure with a symbol representing an Artist’s Palette. Other sites with material relevant to the theme were also marked in this way.

The Farnham and District Museum Society staged an exhibition, ‘Farnham’s Potted Past: The History of Farnham’s Pottery Industry’ and The Pottery hosted tours and showed information and artefacts which illustrated and contrasted the historical industrial pottery of the 19th c. era with the craft activities on the site today. Attention was also drawn to the important role and presence of Public Art in Farnham.

The RIBA joined HODs nationally through its ‘Love Architecture’ initiative. Historic and contemporary buildings could be selected which were of particular architectural or historical significance and special interpretive material was to be offered at these sites to enhance the visitor experience. In Farnham we were able to highlight: The Pavilions at St. Andrew’s Church; The Craft Study Centre; The New Aldridge Theatre at Frensham Heights; Willmer House and The Farnham Pottery. These were marked by a special icon in the brochure.

Written by Sue Farrow, the brochure was well received and took the form of an A5 24-page booklet. It remained our main publicity vehicle. 4,500 were printed and its contents uploaded onto the Farnham Town Council, The Farnham Society and Farnham Trust websites. Full details were also put onto the HODs national website. There was an advertising display in The Farnham Herald window, various publicity articles in local magazines and excellent pre-and post-coverage, with photographs, in The Herald. Our double- sided banner was hung across Downing St. and the Town Crier was out on two Saturdays.

The Launch Party on 30 August at The Garden Gallery (Museum), hosted by Alan Gavaghan, saw The Mayor of Waverley Councillor Christopher Storey and The Mayor and Mayoress of Farnham Councillor John and Gillian Ward, in attendance. The Town Clerk Iain Lynch and The Farnham Society Committee members were also present, together with HODs Working Group members. Later in the year The Mayor’s thank you party was held. On the evening of 22November at The Council Offices, The Mayor and Mayoress of Farnham hosted a busy event where the Mayor made a very warm and positive speech thanking all the participants and supporters of HODs 2016 who were there in force.

On the Thursday afternoon at The Bishop’s Palace, there were pre- booked afternoon teas and guided tours for visitors by Castle Guides. New outside was the exciting historical re-enactment staged by The English Civil War Society with drilling and musket and cannon firing on the front lawn. Inside, music was again provided by The Farnham Chamber Music Society, which added to the atmosphere. Present were the Mayor of Waverley, the Mayor and Mayoress of Farnham, Alan Gavaghan and HODs Working Group members.

The Farnham Rep returned to The Culver Room and presented intriguing readings revolving around selected paintings. Entitled, ‘A Pot of Paint in the Public’s Face’, there were two performances which both enjoyed good audiences, one being a full house.

The Mad Hatter’s Morris Dancing side also returned to give two energetic performances in town which lent a festive and social atmosphere.

David Fisher, President of The Aldershot, Farnham and Fleet Camera Club, took photos of selected events over several days, which have been transferred to a memory stick for The Farnham Society’s use.

We returned to the same organisational structure created in 2015. Each member of the Working Group took responsibility for a different element of the planning and organisation process, the whole team meeting together every 3-4 weeks. The brilliant and dedicated team, drawn from The Farnham Society Committee and Society members, did a sterling job. It comprised: Michael Blower, Simon Bradbury, Peter Bridgeman, Cathy Cook, Gloria Dyche, Sue Farrow, David Lang, Gillian Ward and Erica Wilkinson.

The success of HODS relies on the generosity of the property and venue owners/ managers who so kindly open their doors for us. We also acknowledge all the fantastic volunteers, knowledgeable guides and lively performers who together helped to realise last year’s programme.

The theme for 2017, which is already generating much research and interest, will be, ‘Changing Faces – Buildings Then and Now.’ Dates are Thursday 7 September- Sunday 10 September. If you would like to contribute in any way please contact Gloria Dyche on 01252 702449.

Erica Wilkinson

HODS Working Group

AGM 2017 Visits

During 2016 three visits were undertaken. The first was to Bowood House, near Chippenham, and was well supported by members. The day proved to be glorious, weather wise, which meant that a tour of both the private walled gardens and the Capability Brown park were very much enjoyed. The house proved to be a treasure trove as a previous marquis, needing to earn some money, became Viceroy of India and many of the gifts given to him are now displayed in the house. Joseph Priestley did much of his work on the discovery of oxygen at Bowood.

A three day visit looking at the industrial heritage in Birmingham was under-subscribed but extremely well received by those who came. For many this was their first visit to the city and they were pleased and excited with what they found.

The last visit was to Dover Castle, a site rich in history particularly in relation to the second world war. Again this visit was very well received by members.

Unfortunately because the visits were under-subscribed a not inconsiderable financial loss was made on the year.

2017 sees three visits again on offer. The first is to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough. This is proving to be popular with members.

Our second visit to the Heath Robinson Museum and the Museum of Water and Steam has been devised as a family day out with members encouraged to bring their children/grandchildren. It looks as though this trip will have to be cancelled as so far only nine members have signed up. This was designed particularly to appeal to people of all ages and the response has been extremely disappointing.

The last visit is a four day tour of Norfolk with the highlight being a visit to the home of Sir Antony Gormley. It was expected that this visit would be heavily over-subscribed but so far only 25 members are coming. At this rate a financial loss will again result this year. It is getting harder to get members to support these trips and I wonder for how much longer we will be able to offer them.

Diane Bradbury

Visits Organiser

AGM 2017 Events

EVENING LECTURES

South Farnham School

Tuesday 24 May. THE DEVILS PUNCHBOWL.PAST.PRESENT AND FUTURE

Talk given by Matt Cusack, Head Ranger of South West Surrey Hills.

Matt had the idea of a topograph of the Devils Punchbowl landscape and a 3 dimensional topograph was subsequently crafted in bronze by Haslemere sculptor Malcolm Strathers. It gives an intricate snapshot of this unusual valley for the fully sighted and the visually impaired. The Black Down and Hindhead supporters commissioned the topograph to commemorate 100 years of the National Trust at Hindhead.

Tuesday 11 October. UK EDUCATION – A PERSONAL VIEW.

A talk given by Sir Andrew Carter who was Executive Head Teacher of South Farnham School since 1988. The school amalgamated with the Bourne School to become a Primary School in 2011 and later an academy. Sir Andrew Carter ended his 28 years at South Farnham School and is now CEO at the South Farnham Educational Trust.

Friday 18 November. THE LIFE AND ART OF MARIA CALLAS

Michael Hartnall, President of Godalming Operatic Society presented extensive visual and sound material reflecting the fascination Maria Callas still exerts many years after her death.

Friday 20 January. TREES IN FARNHAM

A retired tree man and author Peter Bridgeman gave an expert description on 60 native and exotic trees in Farnham. The native species included English elms, oaks, hornbeams, alders and ashes. The pocket handkerchief tree was also shown as well as the gingko, a species which is thought to predate the dinosaurs. A tree trail devised by Peter has been put together by Peter and Farnham Town Council. The route starts and ends at Gostrey Meadow.

St. Joan’s Centre

Thursday 20 April 2017. WATTS GALLERY – THE ARTISTS VILLAGE.

Jane Turner gave an excellent visual presentation covering the four projects undertaken by George and Mary Watts in Compton: Limnerslease, The Mortuary Chapel, The Compton Pottery and the Watts Gallery. As one of her colleagues said “ Her enthusiasm for the Watts in Compton is infectious”

COFFEE MORNINGS

Saturday 18 June at SHOELANDS the home of Sarah and Clive Webster. Shoelands stands on the parish boundary between Puttenham and Seale villages. The house was first mentioned as a moated manor in 1207. Members were made very welcome and were free to explore the house and garden. The coffee morning raised £106 which was donated to Seale Parish Church

Tuesday 25 April at WATTS GALLERY, COMPTON. Members met in the Old Kiln, and over coffee, tea and biscuits chatted to Jane Turner, who later walked and talked as they made their way on a beautiful day to Limmerslease House, where they learnt about the achievements of Mary Watts.

Gloria Dyche

Amenity Awards 2017

AmenityAwardPlaque2015

TFS_Logo       THE FARNHAM SOCIETY

Nomination for Amenity Awards 2017

The purpose of the Awards is to ‘encourage and stimulate architects, developers and contractors to undertake the highest level of design and workmanship in preserving and improving existing buildings and in new buildings.’

Nominations will be judged on a selection of the following criteria:

Contemporary

Sympathetic to and integrates well with existing buildings

Designed for its location and fulfils its purpose

Environmentally sustainable

There will be three levels of achievement:

Exceptional

Highly commended

Commended

In 2015 The Farnham Society presented Amenity Awards to the following buildings or schemes for outstanding design.

 
    DanielHallAmenityAward           ForgeAmenityAward

Daniel Hall                                                               The Forge, Upper Church Lane (Plaque)                                                                   (Highly Commended)

    SweetShoppeAmentiyAwards          PotteryAmenityAwards

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Downing St                 Farnham Pottery         (Plaque)                                                                     (Highly Commended)

This year we are asking The Farnham Society members to nominate buildings or a scheme that they consider are worthy of one of these awards.

If you would like to nominate one building or scheme please do so, on the website, by returning the form that can be printed off the website – click here to download - or by completing the form which was included in AGM pack to the address below. Alternatively, complete the form at the bottom of this page.

The buildings or schemes must be within the Farnham Town Council boundary, completed between June 2015 and August 2017 and be visible from an accessible road, footpath or space. One nomination per person

The deadline for nominations is Friday 25 August 2017

Award certificates and plaques will be presented at the 2018 AGM

The Planning Committee have, in discussion, proposed for example, the following two for the shortlist:

    WeydonAmenityAwards      GuildofrdRoadAmenityAwards

Medici Building at Weydon School       Housing development on Guildford Road

Postal address for nominations The Farnham Society c/o 13 Lickfolds Road, Rowledge, Farnham, GU10 4AF

The Farnham Society
Nomination for Amenity Awards 2017

I would like to nominate the following building or scheme for The Farnham Society’s 2017 Amenity Awards:

Building

Address

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message

Nominations

Agenda Item 6 Election / re-election of Honorary Officers

NOMINEE PROPOSER SECONDER
Chairman Alan Gavaghan Michael Blower Krish Kakkar
Vice-Chairman / Secretary Janet Radley Alan Gavaghan Simon Bradbury
Treasurer

John Cattell

Simon Bradbury

Michael Clements

Agenda item 7 Re-election of Committee Members

Simon Bradbury

Michael Clements

Gloria Dyche

David Howell

Krish Kakkar

John Slater

Roger Steel

Erica Wilkinson

Block proposal: Proposer: Alan Gavaghan Seconder: Janet Radley

Election of new Committee Member

Ian Soden       Proposer: David Howell Seconder: Alan Gavaghan