22 October 2008

Ham Amenities Group AGM 2008

I think that working from home has helped but for the last year or so I have been a lot more active with various local societies that I have been a member of for several years. I have been going regularly to meetings of Kingston Area Travellers Association (KATA) and of the Kingston upon Thames Society (KSoc), and I have also been to a meeting of Kingston Peace Council/CND. This week I went to my first meeting of the Ham Amenities Group (HAG).

HAG is a local community group whose most visible activity is the maintenance of the small Gate House Garden on a corner of Ham Common but they also get involved in local planning matters and in local events, such as Ham Fair.

The main part of the AGM was as boring as you would expect at these events, e.g. election of people you do not know to positions on the committee, but I did find that report on planning very interesting.

I knew about most of the applications that were mentioned (including the Russian oligarch on Ham Common who bought a large plot of land next to his mansion just for a swimming pool) but it was interesting to hear some of the history behind some of the applications, particularly from people in the room who were directly involved in them.

Once the business was out of the way we had a long talk on the Thames Landscape Strategy. Sadly this was pretty much identical to the one I saw at a KSoc earlier in the year and it left me just as depressed as it did then. I hate to see the urbanisation of the small really wild areas that we have left passed of as improvements.

It was almost 10pm by the time the talk finished and while I was slightly tempted to stay and drink wine in a room full mostly of women somewhat older than myself I made the wiser choice and came home to watch a repeat of House Season 3 on Five US.

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