Minutes of the Society's AGM

Howe Lecture Theatre, University of Greenwich, Wednesday 30 October 2013

Chairman’s Welcome:  Richard Baglin (Chairman) welcomed and thanked those attending (approximately 40 members).

Gillie Bexson, Property Portfolio Manager, Greenwich Hospital: Gillie Bexon provided an overview of the Hospital’s charitable objectives and the extent of its town centre estate. She revealed the Hospital’s emerging strategy to improve its buildings in the centre of Greenwich, which required partnership with the local planning team and statutory consultees. The Hospital believed it had worked hard, abandoning the earlier plans for redevelopment and preparing a new vision for the Market. The new brief aimed to (1) create an attractive destination at the heart of Greenwich town centre (2) retain the historic character of the market (3) restore and reuse the original structure of the market roof (4) improve public realm (5) improve range of potential uses – Antiques & Crafts market, food market and event space – and (6) reconfigure the service areas to be more efficient. Specifically, the new plans include the creation of a flexible Food Market with publicly accessible open space, seating, hard and soft landscaping to reduce the number of food stalls in the existing market space at weekends thereby reducing congestion in the historic Portico. It is proposed that this will be accommodated in the area known as Fry’s Court. A new covering for the market roof is planned, using the existing historic structure, which will have improved daylight, lighting, event specific lighting and ventilation capabilities. In addition, the Hospital plans the restoration and relaying of the cobbles on the market floor, which will improve access for all ages and the drainage and power for stall holders.

AGM Apologies:  Jackie Hicks, Andy Smith

Minutes:  The minutes of the 2012 Annual General Meeting were approved.

Annual Report – Chairman’s Report: Richard Baglin commended the annual report to the membership and highlighted the Society’s recent success in the campaign against the Lovell’s Wharf development. He noted the new applications from Frankie and Benny’s, which would require our attention and the beginning of the work of GLUG in raising awareness and making the case for local residents to Southeastern, Network Rail and TfL as they manage the redevelopment of London Bridge Rail station.

Annual Report - Treasurer’s Report and Accounts:  David Matheson, Honorary Treasurer, reported that the Society maintained a comfortable reserve of over £21,000. The annual accounts for 2012 were approved.

Executive Committee Elections – Retirements: Hélène Mitchell and Helma Zebegs retire from the Executive Committee with effect from the AGM. Hélène was thanked for her long and fruitful contribution and for representing the Society on the Blackheath Joint Working Party. Helma was also thanked and it was noted that she will continue to contribute to the Society as an active member of the Events sub-committee.

Executive Committee Elections – Co-opted Members: Two members who had previously been co-opted to take places on the Executive Committee – John Evans and Andrew Smith – were confirmed as Executive Committee members for three years.

Executive Committee Elections – Continuing Members: Eight existing Executive Committee members were re-elected to serve for a further three years: Richard Baglin, Alan Bailey, Jonathan Chandler (as Honorary Secretary), Lesley Hodsdon, David Matheson (as Honorary Treasurer), Franklin Steves (as Membership Secretary), Ray Smith and Pieter van der Merwe.

Executive Committee Elections – Officers: Richard Baglin  was re-elected to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Society for a further three years. Alan Bailey was re-elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and Society for one year.

Executive Committee Elections – New Members: Philip Craig (who will act as the Society’s liaison with the Blackheath Joint Working Party) and Lorraine Turton were elected to serve for three years.

Questions:  Members confirmed the importance of the newsletter, particularly for those without email or internet access and sought reassurance that it would continue to be published.  The Chair was happy to give that assurance. Reference was made to the need for the Society to embrace new technology and build on the success of the new website. Members also commented on changes perceived in the local community, raising fears about security and crime.

The AGM was formally closed and the meeting adjourned for refreshments and the opportunity for members to talk personally with the Society’s officers and each other.