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06 December 2015

AGM Update

The Society’s AGM took place at the Honor Oak Pub on 22 October. Chairman Michael Abrahams began by looking back over a successful year for the Society. For the third year running, the Royal Horticultural Association judged our planting at the station and on the adjoining High Roads to be “Outstanding”. The Society was prominent in the successful bid to the Greater London Authority for funding to improve the public space in front of Louise House. Our planning workshop had also informed plans to improve Dartmouth Road, which will begin to be implemented in 2016.

Thanks were due to Kirkdale Pianos for replacing the street piano at the station, which continues to be a much loved source of fun and entertainment.

The Society had arranged talks on climate change and local history and continued to press for improvements to rail services. Most services have now been restored following major disruption at London Bridge Station and the Society would continue to make the case for late night services especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

Expanding on Michael’s review, Quetta Kaye summed up some of the Society’s environmental achievements during the past year. The launch of the Edible High Road in May had been a great success with shops sponsoring tubs and the Horniman Museum donating free plants to encourage people to grow their own. Hundreds of bulbs planted in the Horniman Triangle had added colour to this important community space while Sydenham School pupils had helped us clear litter from the High Roads.

Alisa Owens, the Treasurer, said that while expenditure had exceeded income during the year, this was planned and the Society’s financial position was “healthy”. There was no need to raise subscriptions but new members were always welcome.

And going forward – the issues that matter to local people
A major purpose of the AGM is to give local people the opportunity to talk about the things in Forest Hill that matter to them. This year the discussion focused on the busy Forest Hill Library.

Local residents were concerned about proposals to build two blocks of flats and new houses on Eliot Bank and the demolition of a large house in Dacres Road. In both cases, the Society will share with residents planning experience and expertise. Also, there continues to be a desire to see improvements to Forest Hill’s play areas and green spaces.

Electing a New Executive Committee
Finally the AGM elected a new committee to take forward the Society’s work. Michael Abrahams was duly re-elected as Chairman, along with Alisa Owens as Treasurer, John Firmin as Secretary and Belinda Evans as Membership Secretary.

The Executive Committee was strengthened by the election of four new members: Alistair Dey, Brendan Cuddihy, Andrew Orford and Rob Owen. The following existing members were also duly re-elected: Quetta Kaye, Hilary Satchwell, John Wysocki, Jake Twyford, Katherine Willett, Penelope Jarrett, Sheila Carson, Alona Sheridan, Katrin Klinger and David McKenzie.

Article by John Firmin, Forest Hill Society Secretary

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