2013 Chairman’s Annual General Meeting Report
The Year in Highlights
The 2012 Garden Party
No-one will forget the Diamond Jubilee Garden Party for many years. Not least because we were blessed with a brief interlude of fine weather, which did not respect the celebrations for Her Majesty the following day. Red ,White and Blue was everywhere! It was the highlight of the Society’s many successful events during the year and brought out close to150 more people from the community around the Estate than in previous years.
The 2013 Garden Party. June 22nd We are only a couple of months away from this years party, which I am sure will surprise again with its own originality and splendour. So you are most encouraged to attend and support the tremendous commitments put into this event. If you have been co-opted into helping, thank you! Apart from being a celebration for the Members of the Society, it is the public face of the Society with its warm welcome to the dignatories at BHCC and, with invitations from the membership, to the residents around the Estate.
I am pleased to report our financial health continues to gain strength from the depleted figures of a few years ago. Our Hon. Treasurer will provide more definitive figures to those attending the AGM. More funds were added to the Society’s reserves, thanks in large part to the Garden Party Raffle and the fundraising trips. Our accounting procedures are now a little more stringent due to the incorporation. Our low income, keeps things simple.
The Incorporation of the Society
The incorporation of the Society is now complete.
The Society is now newly registered with the Charities Commission, after a testing time, with effect from February 29th 2012 (Leap year) under No: 1146155.
Our new bank account is: 20907868
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Despite the ongoing work volunteered by the Committee and a few others, finding ways to make it more equally shared is welcomed. We will need a Membership Secretary, as this task is being handled on an interim basis. We need younger blood too! We have members doing a lot despite ill health! Communications with the Membership is a dual task with both electronic and papered material to be issued. It requires ever deeper knowledge of spreadsheets and emailing systems and Web software – something a lot easier to those who were born with computers at school! It is not expected that all are able or willing to contribute to the work of the Society, but more hands are needed – administrative and keeping our Website updated too. We need to upgrade the site too.
Additionally, I urge all members to speak to their neighbours and friends around the estate to take a moment to encourage dialogue with them. Invite them to the Garden Party and outline again the benefits. Here are some of them.
Conservation Advisory Group
This past year, many representations have been made by our appointed representatives at CAG, which meets twice a month to consider planning applications. KTS is excellently represented. Many planning matters are considered across the City. Obviously, comments and interventions are made on matters which arise on the Estate or where the Estate is affected. This included the Tour buses.
Tour Buses redirected
There was much effort placed into the matter of the Tour buses, which last summer travelled through the eastern side of Lewes Crescent. During the height of the summer season this was every half hour. However, after prolonged efforts including letters to the Bus Company, Licensing Authority at the Department of Transport and a Deputation to the Full Council, which included photos demonstrating the unsuitability of the buses on the Estate’s road, the many efforts were rewarded. The route has been changed, despite the influential Chairman of the Brighton Bus Co. and the Sightseeing Bus company indicating they were not going to yield – the road being a public highway. Our local Councillors, were thankfully most supportive.
It has raised the issue of restricting access to unsuitable vehicles and creating an obstruction on the Estate’s lower roads. However, I advise the need to be careful for what we ask – it might have unintended consequences!
Fundraising Trips to Historic Houses and Theatre
The Society organised again several trips to Chichester last year, in April, July and August. Glynebourne in October, finishing off with a new destination – a Dickensian Christmas Special at Fincocks, a country house and music museum near Goudhurst. These trips will be repeated.
Chichester: Barnum – July 27th. Another Country 28th September
Finchcocks – is likely to be repeated for a summer trip
Glyndebourne is planned again in Oct/Nov.
Please register your interest with David Gort: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your support for these trips adds to our financial resources when well attended – and not when the full numbers fall below full capacity. So please book early. These programmes are well researched – so you should not be disappointed!
A New Project
Inspired by attending The Listed Property Show (www.lpoc.co.uk) and a dialogue with Dr. Nick Barrett of “Tracing the History of Your House” and learning there has been much research into the History of Houses around the Estate from the time of the ‘Thomas Kemp Celebration Day’, a concerted effort is currently underway to bring together all known information under one roof. We have been donated pages of research undertaken in Sussex Square. We are sure there is more lerking with others.
This will then inspire further work to research who these people were, where unknown, so a cultural profile of the Estate’s residents from the 1820’s to WW1 period is found.
Currently we are being given assistance from the Regency Town House in their MyHouseMystreet programme. http://www.rth.org.uk/volunteering/opportunities/my-house-my-street
Do you want to learn who not only was the first owner of your house but lived in your house? Come forward and help to find out!
The Railings Project
I am glad to report that our Donor has contributed his donation to the Society. The project is being managed by KTE under a Financial Agreement between KTS and KTE. Contractors will soon be appointed for the supporting wall to be built. Further fundraising efforts will now commence in earnest!
The City Plan.
BHCC submitted the new City Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The Hon Sec. submitted a lengthy comment to Council in order to address the on-going contradiction in the Marina, which acknowledges the height restriction. The combined areas of the Marina, Black Rockand the Gas Work sites allow for a total of 1,973 homes to be built.
It is a fact, we have not overturned the basic BHCC quest to make the Western end of the Marina a housing estate. To the contrary, BHCC Planning officers are pushing ahead for Brunswick to deliver on their approved plan on the ‘spending beach’ of the Marina out harbour.
See City Map and Housing Allocation update for the Marina District Area DA2:
Led by Robert Powell of Marine Gate Action Group and John Watts, Architect of the original Marina amoung others, a valiant attempt is currently underway to resist a significant amendment to the Brunswick Scheme – defined as a minor amendement. However, the Planning Department are minded to allow it, despite the robust technical objections. The decision will be taken after the AGM on 24th April at the hove Town Hall. You are encouraged to attend. KTS has sent a letter to the members of the Planning Committee, to raise objection to this scheme.
The Society became a member of the Heritage Alliance. The Alliances’ members include English Heritage, National Trust and most of the heritage societies across the country. The significance is that we are able to tap into many resources and learn developments for the Heritage community and put our voice into the Governments ear.
This year it was of particular interest at the AGM, as the matter of the National Planning Policy Forum was a lively topic. Many questions as to the impact and the implementation of the ‘fast track’ planning worried all present. Ed Vaisey, the of DCMS -https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-culture-media-sport was present to participate in a forum.
Representing KTS, I asked the Minister, whether the Settings of Heritage Assets, as presented by English Heritage’s recent report would be sidelines by the new planning framwork. He was emphatic that this would not happen as he personally valued the importance of protecting Settings. I was pleased how personally he represented this endorsement. Others voiced similar support.
The monthly reports are downloaded for members to read.
I commend the work of the Kemp Town Society to you all for its continuing work to meet its stated objectives.
“TO SECURE FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT THE PRESERVATION, PROTECTION, DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF FEATURES OF HISTORIC OR PUBLIC INTEREST IN THE AREA COMPRISING KEMP TOWN CONSERVATION AREA”