18 June 2012

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: June 2012

As usual, June's meeting of the Kingston upon Thames Society Committee covered a lot of ground and had a few lively debates where opinion was divided fairly sharply.

Student accommodation

There have been several developments aimed at the many student who live and/or study in Kingston and we spent some time considering a proposal to build one for 260 students in Norbiton, next to the railway line.

Some of us felt that this was a development too far and that there were already too many developments of this kind in Kingston whereas others, including myself, thought that it was an appropriate use for the site and that catering for students directly would help to free up family homes many of which are divided in to bedsits to cater for students.

In the end we agreed (after a vote) to object to the application on the grounds of over development of the site.

Our decision making process

The previous lengthy debate caused us to question the process we should follow in order to reach a decision - we all agreed that it should not be down to just us as a group of individuals. The Committee should be representative of the Society as a whole and the aims, objectives and processes of the Society are defined in our constitution.

So we are all going to revisit our constitution, which anybody can read as it is on our website, and reconsider how we operate.

I see this as a very positive mood. It can be easy to fall into lazy patterns and this is our spur to rethink what we are about and reinvigorate how we do it.


There is a lot going on at the moment with the summer Tea Party, Heritage Open Days and the new season of speakers at our monthly public meetings.

I was surprised to learn that St Raphael's, where we are having our Tea Party, is where some of the French Royal Family were married when in exile.

We finally had our grant application from Kingston Council for the HoD brochure approved so the last obstacle seems to have been overcome.

Our Autumn speakers include one on aviation in Kingston who has impressed elsewhere.

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