18 March 2012

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: March 2012

The Committee of the Kingston upon Thames Society deals with the management and administration of the Society as well as participating in current issues and this makes each meeting bit of a mixed bag.

On the management side we dealt with a social event planned for 18 July, articles for the next newsletter (I've written a very short piece about our group on Facebook), the programme of talks for the year, and a London City Walk on 23 May.

As usual the more interesting, and contentious, part of the meeting was the discussions on current planning matters.

First up was the proposed development of the historical filter beds at Seething Wells that is supported by the society but which is ruffling a few feathers with groups of people who supports boats, bats and restoration of the industrial archaeology.

The interesting part of the discussion was the historical background behind the site. Chelsea Water Works (like the other London water companies) was forced by law to change their point of extraction of water from the Thames to somewhere upstream of the tidal reach, i.e. beyond Teddington Lock.

The rest of the discussion was less constructive and we seemed to be arguing between support for the proposal and strong support.

The consensus rallied around support and we responded in that vein.

Water provided the other hot topic with a consultation on the use and extension of moorings in Kingston.

To be over simplistic, our views varied between boats are a welcome sign of vibrant river life and they are a blot on the landscape. In the end the boats won but with a cautionary note that the Council need to manage them effectively to stop any problems arising.

The meeting closed with a round of news items. Work on the redevelopment of Bishop's Palace is due to start in September and seems to feature some sort of "Welcome to Kingston" sign that will almost certainly be ghastly. The two Olympic Cycling Time Trials will pass through Kingston, whereas the Road Races will pass near it.

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