Draft Minutes of Annual General Meeting held at Grange Rochester Hotel on Wednesday 7 May 2014 at 7pm.
The minutes of the 2013 AGM were adopted as a true record of proceedings.
The Chairman, Mary Maxwell, presented a short report on the activities for the year, including the annual garden party, kindly catered, as usual, by the Grange Rochester Hotel. Raffle proceeds of £350 had been donated to the Passage.
The Treasurer, Jonathan Cole, presented a short report, noting that membership numbers in 2013 were six down on the previous year – a second year of modest decline. Nonetheless, a modest surplus was recorded for the year.
The Tennis Secretary, Mary Maxwell, reported that there had been 37 tennis members in 2013, slightly more than the previous year. After the £3,564 payment to the school, the tennis activity broadly broke even. After eight years without change, it was decided to increase the tennis subscription to £120 from 2014. She noted the importance of observing the rules of tennis membership and thanked the Bursar and the Senior Groundsman for their continued help.
The existing members of the Committee were put up for re-election en bloc; approved nem con. The Committee therefore remains as follows:
Mary Maxwell Chairman and Tennis Secretary
Richard Harden Vice Chairman
Jonathan Cole Treasurer
Anthony Taylor History & Heritage
John Randle Planning
Malcolm Neate Police Liaison
Felicity Bullock Website
The formal business of the meeting having terminated, Tony Matharu of the Grange Rochester gave an update of recent developments at the Hotel, and of the ongoing works at the adjacent Wellington Suite (originally built as a hostel for clerics and ecclesiastical scholars). It is proposed that the former chapel become an event space, but some of the proposed changes are still subject to planning consent.
Local councillors [Danny Chalkley and Steve Summers] reported on local matters, including the ongoing resistance to the proposed Sainsbury’s store in Rochester Row (subsequently opened), and the areas where they had chosen to spend the ward budget: a breakfast club for senior citizens, school trips, hanging baskets and security for the Westminster Cathedral Piazza. There was also discussion of the bicycle superhighway proposal and of on-street parking, often the main practical reason to object to some proposed local development. Other issues touched on included the economies of pay-by-phone (as opposed to parking meters), the rough sleeper issue, and the whys and wherefores of the use of CCTV for parking enforcement.
PC Ivor Lucas reported that the area is seen as ‘low-crime’. Rough sleeping was a major issue, and the clearance of the Piazza was noted as having knock-on effects more widely. Opportunistic motor crime was also a feature, but plain-clothes operations were proving successful.
Gaetano Bellone, (standing in for Nicola Moore), Manager of Look Ahead Housing and Care at Hopkinson House reported on activities there. It now houses some 30 residents who spend up to two years transitioning to life in the wider community,
Joe Divito of Foxton’s. spoke about property activity in the area. He noted the growing popularity of the area reflected in purchase prices soon rising to £1500-£2000 psf. The area was, he said, “like Mayfair ten years ago”!
The meeting closed at 8 p.m. Those present availed themselves of the generous hospitality kindly provided by the Grange Rochester Hotel.