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Annual General Meeting 2023
The Marlow Society 62nd Annual General Meeting
was held at
7.30pm on Thursday 18th May 2023
at Christ Church URC, Oxford Road
The invitation was:
We are delighted to announce that our Annual General Meeting will once again be held as a "real" event! Please do come along and catch up with the latest issues and developments facing our lovely town.
Please mark your diary for Thursday the 18th of May at 7.30pm for refreshments and for 8.00pm AGM. We will once again be at the URC Church in Oxford Road, (plenty of parking nearby). Refreshments provided.
Following last year's AGM, when we were addressed by Joy Morrisey MP about the Greenbelt, we will have a speech by Little Marlow Councillor – Anna Crabtree, also on the Greenbelt titled:
Greenbelt: Why do we have to fight what we don't want, rather than being asked what we do?
We would be delighted to meet you - this is your chance to get involved. We are always looking for Marlow Society Executive Committee members so do come along. Refreshments are available too.
Andrew Wood and Richard Parker
The Marlow Society
THE MARLOW SOCIETY
Registered Charity No. 262803
The trustees present their report of the activities of the Society, in particular of the Executive Committee, for the year ended 31st December 2022.
The principal address of the charity is c/o 22 Rookery Court, Marlow, SL7 3HR.
The trustees of the Society are: Michael New OBE, Richard Parker, Geoff Wood.
The power to appoint trustees is vested in the Executive Committee of the Society.
The charity is administered and managed subject to and in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution, the current version of which was approved in May 2010. Minor revisions were approved at the 2017 AGM.
Objects of the Charity
These continue to be for the protection and improvement of the environment in the Marlow area, which consists of the parishes of Great Marlow, Little Marlow, Marlow Town, Bisham and Medmenham by:
- Working to protect features of historic or public interest and improve the environment.
- Educating the public in the geography, history and architecture of the Marlow area.
- Promoting high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting the Marlow area.
Chairman and Trustee, Martin Blunkell, sadly passed away during the year. The Society recognises his service and achievements over the years. Richard Parker has replaced Martin as a Trustee. He and Andrew Wood have been appointed as Co-chairmen. The President has been kept informed of the Society’s activities.
Executive Committee Activity
To further its objectives the Society’s Executive Committee met with local councillors on ten occasions, using Zoom technology, to discuss matters of planning, transport, river issues and environment. This enabled the constructive exchange of information and opinions that has characterised the sound working relationship established over many years.
As the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed the Society has recommenced the holding public events, talks and walks though many are still on Zoom.
The Society’s membership has been checked and now stands at 664 members. The number of new members has been more than offset the sad loss of departed members.
The Executive Management Committee has met every month throughout the year, with the exceptions of January and August, and has received regular reports from its subcommittees and officers. Nominated Executive members participate in the four 'action groups' of the South West Chilterns Community Board.
The Society has published and distributed three editions of Newsletter during the year
to all members. The magazines were made available to the public at the Bucks Council’s Information Centre in the town.
These activities were undertaken by volunteers: there are no employees.
The Society monitored all local planning applications submitted throughout the year and submitted its comments to the Planning Authority where appropriate. Advice has been proffered to members when sought.
Marlow Studio Project developer Dido met significant challenges as National Highways and the Environment Agency did not support the application citing significant issues. Bucks Council commissioned a financial consultant report which concluded that the economic case was weak and did not support the Very Special Circumstances requirement to override Green Belt planning rules. The Society agreed to work with other interested groups in preparing objections and comments on the application which will be considered by Buckinghamshire Council Strategic Planning Committee.
A threat to the Green belt was recognised in an outline application for five football pitches next to the existing athletics track. A proposal to extend a car park was supported by the Society, with a condition that the permission is time bound, as the development would improve access to the Country Park.
The Society raised objections to a number of the 5G masts being proposed throughout the town. The basis of objection being that positions detract from the street scenes.
The Local History Group of the Society continued its research into the local history of the area and answered requests for information from around the world.
The Society's website continued to be developed to expeditiously provide information about its activities for its members and local people. There has been an ongoing partnership with Marlow Archaeological Society and with the Museum.
Mindful of its origin as the Bridge Preservation Society, the Society continued to demand that Buckinghamshire Council introduce effective measures to prevent overweight vehicles damaging the bridge. However no further preventative measures are planned.
The Society continued to urge that Liston Court, partly a public-owned garden, be brought up to an acceptable standard. Essential Health and Safety works have just been undertaken but the Gardens remain looking unkempt. Proposals from Sorbon Estates to refresh part of the Gardens remain in discussion with Bucks County.
R.P. for the Trustees
The minutes of this 2023 AGM are provisional, to be formally signed off at the 2024 AGM -