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06 September 2019

Forest Hill Society AGM

By Michael Abrahams, Chair, Forest Hill Society

For this year’s AGM we are delighted to have a guest speaker from Transport for London, who will tell us about the plans for extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the South Circular, and what it will mean for cars and air quality in the local area.

The AGM will be held at Louise House (adjacent to Forest Hill Library) on Thursday 17th October, from 7:30pm, and members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.

As well as finding out about the ULEZ, you will learn about Forest Hill Society's projects and accomplishments over the past year and have an opportunity to set the Society's course for the year to come. At last year's AGM, two priorities emerged: concerns about flight paths concentrated over Forest Hill and concerns about air quality in the local area. I’m pleased to say that, with specific leadership from Tim Walker and Alice Tate-Harte, we have been able to make some progress on each of these issues.

If you have concerns that you think are important to the local area, please come along and share them at the meeting; issues that garner support will help set the agenda for 2020 and beyond.

As chairperson of the Society for eight of the past thirteen years, I have seen the Forest Hill Society become an important part of the community by campaigning on a wide variety of issues: retention of our swimming pools and library, developing green spaces in the town centre, high street regeneration, better train services, improved flight paths and air quality, and assorted planning proposals. We have also run markets, and organised walks and street parties. It is all part of our mission to continue to make Forest Hill an even better place, and we have certainly seen some positive changes in the past decade.

At this AGM I intend to stand down from the role of chairperson due to work commitments, but I’m confident that the Executive Committee that runs the Forest Hill Society will continue to make more improvements to the local area.

Throughout my time and involvement with the Forest Hill Society I have been constantly inspired by so many people’s passion and commitment to the local community. Both newcomers and long-term residents have contributed to our success in equal measure by volunteering their skills and offering creative ideas.

It has been a privilege to lead the Forest Hill Society during a period of substantial development, but I look forward to seeing new people with fresh ideas joining the Society’s Executive Committee, and even leading it. Every year, new members join the committee and offer new perspectives which make a big difference. So this year, why not be one of these people?

The Executive meets about once every six weeks, which is not a huge time commitment, and it is worth noting that the Executive includes some lovely people with a variety of backgrounds. Everyone is welcome as long as you care about our local area.

There are three ways to become a member of the Executive Committee:
1. By attending the AGM and standing for election (don’t worry, it isn’t an onerous task)
2. By emailing me at michael@fhsoc.com to state your interest and to find out more information
3. By me forcing you to ‘volunteer’
All three methods work equally well!

Finally, let me say a huge “Thank you!” to everybody who has supported me in the work I have done for the Forest Hill Society. Without so many willing volunteers, none of our accomplishments would have been possible.

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