Category Archives: AGM

Richmond Society Annual Report and Accounts 2016

The Society’s executive committee’s report and accounts for the year 2016 were presented at the Richmond Society’s AGM on 8th December 2016.

The report can be found on our Annual Reports page, or downloaded from this link.  It includes this annual Statement from the Chair, Professor Ian Bruce CBE.

The last year has once again been encouragingly active for us as you will see in the following committee reports which cover many important topics such as the new borough local development framework, the new leases for Old Deer Park, Heathrow expansion, riverside amenities, public lavatories, alcohol licenses and other subjects including our social events. Thank you to the chairs, committee members and all the others who volunteer to make these activities happen. Richmond Society has no paid staff so everything that happens needs someone to volunteer to do it! I should like most profoundly to thank everyone who helps, and hope that the 100+ members who volunteer find it worthwhile and (mostly!) enjoyable.

At our last AGM in December 2015 we agreed a legal format of a charitable incorporated organisation and a draft constitution. The Charity Commission approved our registration on 7 September 2016 without requiring any significant modification to our draft constitution. Special thanks to our Treasurer Andrew Coleman for steering us through this complicated exercise.

Membership has continued to grow, with 139 new members producing a net increase to a new high of 1,185 at the end of the financial year 30 September. I am fairly confident that at our AGM I shall be reporting that we have topped 1,200. This has contributed to some of the increased numbers attending our events. For example, when we were in the Vestry Hall our talks were usually to 40 to 80 people. We moved to Duke Street Church for a year up to November 2015 to accommodate larger numbers, but unfortunately they were planning major refurbishments and so we switched to the Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) in January 2016. Numbers attending talks are now between 120 and 200 and everyone is delighted with the warm and welcoming atmosphere of RACC.

Last year I reported on our success in lobbying for more community toilets, up from one to twenty-six. Over the first year of their operation some have worked well but a survey we undertook showed that about a quarter are not satisfactory and the distribution of the remainder is uneven e.g. with none along the riverside. You will read several references to this subject in the committee reports and we shall continue to campaign on this issue.

Although technically not in the year under review, it is worth reporting that on 1 October 2016 Richmond Council introduced a shared staffing and management arrangement with Wandsworth Council in order to save money, reduce overheads and protect front-line services. There is now one Chief Executive in charge of the two boroughs. In October we had a Forum on this subject and many members in the audience expressed concern.

Last but certainly not least, we were delighted when Baroness Ronny van Dedem accepted our invitation to become an additional Patron of Richmond Society. Along with her husband Baron Willem van Dedem, who sadly passed away in 2015, she has given the wonderful grounds of Trumpeters House for our summer party for many years. Already she has attended our Annual Review and Awards evening in September and presented the awards.

Richmond Society new constitution

Following the approval of the proposal at last year’s AGM to incorporate the Society, which included also approval of a draft constitution, the Charity Commission has approved the establishment of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

An increasing number of charities are taking this step as it has the benefits of simplifying contractual arrangements and protecting the position of the trustees.  This change should have no significant effect on your membership of the Society. The charitable objects of the CIO will be the same as at present and the trustees will also not change as a result of the change of legal status. The membership fee too will be unaffected by the change in legal status.

The Richmond Society’s Exec Committee is now transferring all the activities, assets and liabilities of the Richmond Society to the new CIO.

As a result of this change, the Society has adopted a new constitution.

Please follow this link if you would like to view the new constitution.

Richmond Society Annual Report and Accounts 2015

The Society’s executive committee’s report and accounts for the year 2015 can be found on our Annual Reports page, or downloaded from this link.

It includes the annual Statement from the Chair, Professor Ian Bruce CBE.

As we go to press one of the most significant local issues is the decision on whether Heathrow will have an additional runway. If the answer from the government is yes, it will be a blow, especially in the light of earlier promises, but the battle will not be over: there will be judicial process challenges and challenges for Heathrow to meet legal, regulatory and common sense requirements on air quality/health, safety and finance, leaving aside the inevitable outcry over the misery that will accompany a fifty per-cent uplift in planes flying over one of the most populous cities in the world. The Richmond Society has been active in opposition throughout the year through its active participation in Richmond Heathrow Campaign chaired by the indefatigable Peter Willan.

Last year I mentioned Village Planning as one of the subjects engaging our attention, with over 100 members involved in discussing and drawing up priority lists of positive change they would like to see take place. Our method of working has been recommended to other community groups. This engagement has continued during the year with progress already on some of the priorities, such as access to public lavatories. While we still have no additional “good old fashioned public lavatories” the need has been recognised by the Council and increased financial incentives for commercial outlets to make their facilities open to the public has worked. For example numbers of ‘community toilets’ in Richmond and Richmond Hill have risen from only one in full operation to 26. See www.spendapennyrichmond.com

We have had another year of excellent speakers organised by Janice Kay with, for example, Michael Frayn drawing in a rapt audience of 300 members and guests. Indeed guests at our talks are a major source of new members who totalled 120 this year, producing a net gain to a new membership high of 1,134 as of the end of the financial year. We are recruiting more members with young children, aided by three events a year aimed at this group, with the high spot over the last year of a Barn Dance in the garden of St Mary’s vicarage using historical tunes and steps which attracted members from one to 90 years.

2015 was a national election year and we were delighted to partner with the Kew Society to put on a Hustings at Duke Street Church at which all the local parliamentary candidates were questioned by our memberships – answers which helped people to decide how to vote. Promoting civic engagement is an important function of the Richmond Society.

Hon Secretaries do a lot of work in relatively little limelight and so it was well deserved to see our own Pat Spaight being recognised among the community awards given by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames this year. May I also acknowledge Geoff Hyde who, as our Hon Independent examiner, plays an important part in giving people confidence that our affairs are managed properly. We are also grateful to Ginny Curry who has taken up the role of Membership Secretary. Our Executive Committee, and indeed all our committees and volunteers have worked hard this year to bring about our successes, and I thank everyone who has contributed.

Richmond Society AGM 2014

The AGM, on Thursday 11th December, will mark another successful year for the Society.

In his statement, the society’s chair Professor Ian Bruce CBE says:

AGM Annual Report 2014I am delighted that membership has continued to grow for the second year running from 1,042 to 1,094. It is particularly exciting to see the increase in the numbers of people coming to our activities, with a total attendance of approximately 1,800 over the year. These increases are partly because of rising membership but mainly because of our interesting programme … … …

To read the rest of Ian’s review and see the rest of the Annual Report and the accounts, click on
Richmond Society AGM Annual Report 2014.