Wednesday 14th June 2017
There was a good turnout for the Society’s AGM, held on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at the Methodist Church in St Edmund’s Church Street. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, Publicity Office and Treasurer were all re-elected, with new positions being taken up by John Elliott – Magazine Editor, Charles Villiers – Membership Scout and Stephanie Siddons Deighton – Website Manager. The formal meeting was followed by an informative and interesting talk by Richard Deane on the history of the Civic Society Awards Scheme.
Welcome to you all and thank you for attending on such a warm summer’s evening with many other distractions!
Our thoughts are now very much with the families of those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster earlier today in North West London and I am sure we would all wish to remember them in our prayers.
I will keep my report brief and enable us to pass through the formal business and then you can relax and enjoy Richard Deane’s talk on the ‘History of the Civic Society Awards Scheme’.
So much happens during 12 months that this address is a very small reference to some of the activities of the Society, but firstly I must mention that the proposed adoption of the new constitution will not formally take place tonight, even though it is shown on the agenda. Following recent consultations with the Charity Commission it would appear that some further changes are required to our new draft Constitution and it would not be possible to make those changes, circulate the new version and have suitable notice period in advance of the AGM.
In essence, the Charity Commission feel that our existing Objects are more in line with the charitable aims of the Society and therefore we shall probably retain them as existing with some minor amendments only. Obviously in due course a revised version will be circulated for comment and ultimately propose for adoption formally at next year’s AGM.
It has been another busy year with various talks and lectures, activities, and involvement with various outside groups. The Development Committee has continued to engage with various promoters of new developments such as the Quantum Group who are developing the Old Manor Hospital site and recently McCarthy & Stone who propose to build retirement and assisted living apartments in Castle Street.
Both organisations have presented their ideas and architecture to the Development Committee and took away feedback suggestions on how they might improve on their initial concepts. It appears most of our suggested comments have been taken on board, although there still one or two reservations.
It is sad these days that most Planning Applications are determined with only limited attention to architectural detailing and materials and it is good that our Civic Society does, to some extent, have its voice listened to and take a keen interest in making observations.
On that topic, but not exclusively down to us in the Civic Society, Wiltshire Council have rejected the idea of housing development on the Britford Lane waterside sites. They are outside the housing allocation plans for Wiltshire Council and that is great news. However, we must all remain vigilant in case the owners, the Longford Estate and St Nicholas Hospital, decide to challenge the Wiltshire decision and this might occur during the public enquiry which will now follow. I am delighted that the Civic Society with other lobby groups have succeeded in their efforts.
Looking ahead, we have the Civic Day on Saturday, 17th June 2017 starting at 10am at the Guildhall. We have brought together many local groups representative of Civic life and activities in and around Salisbury and Mr John Glen, our recently re-elected MP, will open proceedings with an address at 10.30am. I hope you will all come along to support the day, even if it is just for a short while.
I would like to welcome all new members to the Society and I do hope you have enjoyed participating thus far in our activities. The Society has much to offer, but please do not hesitate to make your own ideas and suggestions known if you feel so inclined. We welcome in particular a new corporate member, Woolley & Wallis Salisbury Salerooms, and we thank them for sponsoring the publicity leaflets associated with the Civic Day on Saturday.
We also look forward to the Heritage Open Days in early September 2017 running from the 7th September when we will be unveiling the Civic Society plaque at the Rai D’Or public house on Brown Street to commemorate Agnes Bottonham, who was an owner of that property and was founder of Trinity Hospital. Phil Harding, a notable archaeologist and now Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Wiltshire, will be our guest of honour for the unveiling. On subsequent days for the Heritage Open Days Weekend, we are working in association with Salisbury City Council and CAMRA with a wide variety of programmes focusing on the historic pubs and inns of Salisbury, their history, architecture and much else beside. If you look up the recent quarterly magazine, you will see all of the details on offer.
Later in the proceedings this evening we shall elect our various Offices and Committee chairmen but we are still looking for a volunteer to take on the role of the Society Secretary. Any ideas will be most welcome!
I am delighted to announce that we now have a volunteer stepping forward to be editor of the quarterly magazine, Mr John Elliot, who may be well known to many of you and has been a member for some years.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who participate in the organisation of events and serve on our Committees to give the members of the Civic Society such a wide variety of programmes and activities.
Thank you for your support of the Civic Society and enjoy the rest of the evening.
Peter Dunbar, Chairman