members agm

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

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

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.

 

Minutes of 2015 AGM

THE FARNHAM SOCIETY

Minutes of the 68th Annual General Meeting held on

Tuesday 12 May 2015

at South Farnham School, Menin Way, Farnham

PRESENT:

Sir Ray Tindle       President                                  David Berry

Alan Gavaghan     Chairman                                 Simon Bradbury

Michael Blower      Vice-President                      Michael Clements

Andy MacLeod      Vice-Chairman                       Gloria Dyche

John Cattell           Treasurer                                  Krish Kakkar

Janet Radley         Secretary                                   Roger Steel

Erica Wilkinson

 

Approximately 65 members of the Society attended.

 

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming Mayor Jeremy Ricketts, the Society President Sir Ray Tindle and Society members

 

The Farnham Society Amenity Awards 2015 preceded the AGM and were presented by Sir Ray Tindle.    The citations for each award were announced by the Chairman, who  spoke of the Society’s aim to promote the preservation, improvement and construction of buildings in Farnham and expressed appreciation for the individuals prepared to put time, money and effort into preserving what is valued so much.

 

Winners of the Farnham Society  plaque:

Farnham Pottery – Guy & Elaine Hains

Daniel Hall – Robert Humphrey

 

Highly Commended:

The Old Forge, 5 Upper Church Lane – Andrew Tomkins

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, 51 Downing Street – Liz Fearnley

 

Sir Ray Tindle spoke about his memories of The Old Forge before its renovation

 

The AGM

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Committee members:  Peter Bridgeman, Michael Murphy, Rosemary Thomas

Members:  Rosemary & Ron Mansfield, Christine Bean, Mr & Mrs Walford Taylor

Mike & Gill Cubitt, John & Carol Wainwright, Pamela Wagerfield, Margaret & Terry Gibbon, Barbara Bradshaw, David Adams, Bob & Ann Blackman, George & Maureen Briggs, Jan & Roger Bradley

 

  1. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held on 27 May 2014

The Minutes had been circulated and were approved and signed

 

3.  (i) CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

  • The Chairman’s report had been distributed to the meeting but there were some additional comments
  • Housing.   There are real and genuine concerns about the ability of existing infrastructure to cope with demands.   The Society has a unique position in monitoring  what is happening in Farnham, with an overview of current developments, while the Residents’ Associations focus on  their individual area.   At a meeting last November Residents’ Associations had called on the Society to write to the appropriate Minister and to Jeremy Hunt to outline the threats to Farnham.  The Minister’s reply emphasised Waverley’s need to adopt a Local Plan.   Jeremy Hunt declared an active involvement with local politicians to discuss specific problems.   There was an indication of his opposition to large-scale brownfield site developments – with an inferred opposition to development at Dunsfold Park (which would attract enough subsidies to deal with infrastructure), but encouragement for discussion on a western relief road or by-pass.  It had been agreed at the Residents’ Association meeting to maintain momentum for Dunsfold Park to be developed (5,000 houses approximately)
  • A more rational distribution of housing was sought, rather than the criteria for a so-called growth plan for development potential, given to places like Woking and Guildford, being applied to Farnham.
  • The Chairman had already had discussion with Councillor Pat Frost on relief roads, unpalatable to some areas of Farnham but necessary for avoiding a worsening of the problem.
  • East Street/Brightwells.   Counsel’s opinion was still awaited on perceived parallels with Winchester’s Silver Hill development, also the possibility of an injunction being served on Waverley.

 

QUESTIONS FROM  THE FLOOR

  • (Celia Sandars)   What could be done about the impact on train services of a huge increase in population.

Chairman:  South West Trains had reached capacity but had no intention of spending significant amounts of capital.   Suggested discussion with Alton Train Protest Group

 

  • Jerry Hyman expressed a view that the most effective route was to cite breach of EU Environmental Directives.   The Chairman responded that the consensus view of the leading organisations in Farnham was to seek advice on parallels with the ‘Winchester decision’ and to explore the possibility of a successful legal action.   An opinion from Counsel was awaited

 

  1.  (ii) COMMITTEE REPORTS

Committee reports on Planning, Traffic, Heritage Open Days and Social Events had been circulated

  • Traffic.   The committee were awaiting a proposal for Hickley’s Corner, to be put forward by a Society member.
  • Heritage Open Days.   The Chairman pointed out the extent of the commitment of those involved in what was a huge operation with long-term planning, and thanked Sue Farrow, Erica Wilkinson and the committee members who supported them.   We were fortunate to have people in Farnham willing to open their homes to the public.
  • The Chairman thanked Janet Radley for her previous work as Visits Organiser, and Diane Bradbury who had now taken over this role.
  • Evening talks.   The Chairman announced the bequest of a significant sum from a deceased Society member.   It was hoped some of it would be used to engage high-profile speakers in the future.

A proposal was announced to increase the entry fee for evening talks from £2 to £3 (members) and £5 to £6 (non-members).   Approved.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

  • (Hans Dumoulin) Was the Society proposing to take any action on the proposed development of 157 houses at Compton Fields, Waverley Lane.

Chairman:  The Planning Committee were making a strong objection to development on this greenfield site, which would have enormous impact on the railway crossing

with resultant ‘rat-runs’ developing.

  • It was hoped that the problem of air pollution in Farnham was at the top of the Society’s priorities.

Chairman:  confirmed that it was

  • David Beaman suggested more pressure is brought to bear on politicians to improve transport services in and around Farnham.

 

  1. ADOPTION OF DRAFT ACCOUNTS for financial year ending 31st March 2015

The draft accounts had been distributed to the meeting and the Treasurer outlined his financial statement, also distributed.    Membership fees would remain unaltered.   He asked that members checked Standing Orders to ensure they were paying the correct amount and thanked them for their support

Adoption of Accounts,  proposed – David Berry, seconded – Gloria Dyche.   Carried

 

  1. ADOPTION OF REVISED RULES

It had become necessary to update minor details in the Society’s Rules and the suggested amendments had been circulated.    Approved

 

  1. ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF HONORARY OFFICERS

The Chairman explained that there was one significant change to the list circulated.

Vice-Chairman Andy MacLeod had been elected as a Councillor for both Waverley and Farnham Town Council in the recent local elections, and as a result felt unable to continue.

 

NOMINEE                 PROPOSER                SECONDER

ChairmanVice-ChairmanSecretary

Treasurer

Alan GavaghanRosemary ThomasJanet Radley

John Cattell

Janet RadleyAlan GavaghanAlan Gavaghan

Rosemary Thomas

Michael BloswerErica WilkinsonGloria Dyche

Michael Clements

 

The Chairman suggested they be proposed en bloc

Proposed – Roger Steel, seconded – Krish Kakkar.   Carried.

 

  1. ELECTION/RE-ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

The current Committee members were all willing to stand again.

 

David Berry                         Michael Clements             Michael Murphy

Simon Bradbury                  Gloria Dyche                     Roger Steel

Peter Bridgeman                 Krish Kakkar                     Erica Wilkinson

 

Proposed – Alan Gavaghan, seconded –  Andy MacLeod.   Carried.

 

  1. CONFIRMATION OF INSPECTOR OF ACCOUNTS

The Chairman expressed thanks to Roger Smith who had taken over the role from Colin Christmas, and confirmed he would remain as Inspector of Accounts for the coming year.

 

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

The Chairman outlined arrangements for the forthcoming coffee morning at Monkshill,

Tilford in aid of the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

 

Charles Stuart congratulated the Chairman for his continuing stewardship of the Society.

The Chairman said he had enormous support from the Committee and hoped the good done by The Farnham Society over the last 100 years would continue.

 

 

Following the AGM the Chairman introduced the presentation by Michael Blower and Michael Holden of an alternative scheme for East Street, emphasising that the Society could not claim credit for what was intended to be a community-driven scheme.

 

A group of local people had been working with professional advice to set up an alternative plan which, if progressed, would be run by a Community Trust.   Members had the opportunity earlier in the evening  to view artistic interpretations of the scheme by Michael Blower, who drew attention to a model of the original proposed East Street development, built 3 years ago, and said It had been a team effort to find a lower impact alternative to that –  one which captured the Georgian spirit and upheld the guiding principle of reflecting the historic character of the town.

 

Michael Holden then presented details of the scheme’s main features :

  • Brightwell House at the centre
  • Widened green open space landscaped as a park, with an avenue of trees framing a view towards the River Wey
  • Gardener’s Cottage retained
  • Two terraces of elegantly designed town houses bordering parkland at Brightwell Gardens
  • Overall, 103 housing units, including affordable flats
  • 394 car parking spaces
  • Retail units of mixed size on ground floor of old cinema site, with 400 seat, 3 screen cinema/bars above, linked to theatre and 180 seat restaurant at Brightwell House
  • Cultural and entertainment provision, with retail and residential use to ensure vitality and commercial viability
  • An independent cinema (like Curzon or Everyman) would be more responsive to its audience, more catholic in its tastes, provide a better service to the local community

 

The Chairman then asked if it was the wish of members for the Society to move towards something of this nature.   With support from Farnham Building Preservation Trust, the Farnham Interest Group and possibly the Chamber of Commerce, also Independent Councillors recently elected and established Councillors leaning in this direction, a political move may be possible, beginning with Farnham Town Council.

 

There followed general discussion on the current situation re East Street and the alternative scheme presented

  • The proposed Non-Material Amendment to Rule 16, due to be heard by Waverley’s Planning Committee at the beginning of June, would exclude the provision of a bridge over the River Wey from the A31 on to the Brightwells site.   There was concern that by establishing work on the site, however minimal, the need to renew planning permission would be avoided.

Two mitigating factors were that the land had not yet been amassed, and there was a strong proviso in the original contract for a bridge from the A31 to the development area.

In response to a question  as to whether there can be a legal challenge to the breach of the provisional contract the Chairman reaffirmed that lawyer’s advice was still awaited

  • Re funds for the new scheme

(Jackie Stinton)  – suggested maximum exposure in the Farnham Herald and  a request to The Farnham Society members asking for donations

Chairman:  When donations were previously requested, for legal costs re East Street, the result had been relatively disappointing.

(David Beaman)  - raised a point on the Waverley attitude to property values and the answer given was that Waverley would have to sell properties back at the same price.

(Michael Holden)   Financial backers lending money for the scheme would want provision of a covenant.   Farnham Town Council has the ability to hold a covenant on behalf of the community and the hope was they could be persuaded to do so.

  • The proposed alternative scheme does not provide enough accommodation in the centre of Farnham.

Michael Holden:  There was provision for more than 60 affordable units

  • Offering Crest Nicholson  the housing on the site could be a way forward

 

The Chairman stressed that the Society would not take action until  the appropriate legal advice was received, then persuasion rather than demand would be the best approach.

 

Michael Blower concluded by saying the team wanted quality for East Street and felt the scheme was the way forward to achieve that.

 

Proposal – that this audience supports an alternative scheme for East Street. Carried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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