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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 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 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 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

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

May 2017 Farnham Neighbourhood Plan

FNP leaflet 3

APPROVED

In the referendum held on Thursday 4 May 2017, 88% of votes cast were in support of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

Waverley Borough Council now has to implement the Plan as part of its policy, though this is likely to be delayed as a Judicial Review has been brought by a consortium of developers.

The Neighbourhood Plan, prepared through consultation with residents and businesses in Farnham over a four year period, provides a vision for Farnham and guides the future growth of the town and its surrounding countryside for the period up to 2031.

There are 32 policies that will support the vision guiding and controlling development within the area covered by the Plan, including sites identified for housing and business development. Page 5 of the Plan has a map showing the designated area.

We attach a link to the May 2017 Farnham Neighbourhood Plan document   Click here to see Neighbourhood Plan

 

Visit to Sandhurst

By WyrdLight,com 
CC BY 3.0

By WyrdLight,com CC BY 3.0

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and St Michael’s Abbey Farnborough

Wednesday, 24th May 2017

We start with a morning visit to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst which is where all officers in the British Army are trained to take on the responsibilities of leading the soldiers under their command. There will be a guided tour of the Academy which will include coffee.

After a stop for lunch the visit will continue to St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough.

Following the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870 Napoleon III, his wife Empress Eugenie and their son, the Prince Imperial, were exiled from France and took up residence in England. Following the death of first her husband and later her son the distraught Empress decided to found an abbey as a mausoleum for her family. All three now rest in granite sarcophagi, provided by Queen Victoria, in the Abbey church. We will be given a tour of the church and the crypt. Please note that there are three deep steps up into the Abbey church and more steps down into the crypt.

The cost of the day is £ 30. which includes a guided tour of the Royal Military Academy, coffee, a guided tour of St Michael’s Abbey church and crypt, coach travel and driver’s gratuity.

If you are interested in coming along. please contact us via the form below.

Your Name (required)

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Your Message

Photo by WyrdLight.com, CC BY 3.0

AGM 2017

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

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