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Page history last edited by A J F Hocking 12 years, 2 months ago

General Discussion of the Future of the Society


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From Tony Hocking 22.7.2009


It is very helpful and encouraging that Richard is willing to continue the tasks rhat he does so well, especially with house moving in the offing.  There is, however, a case for looking to the future and finding people who could take over the tasks if circumstances should change.


From Richard Johnston 22.7.2009


The situation is not as bad as Peter makes out - I am still the Local History Group leader, the Archivist and still responsible for the websites, and have resigned from none of these roles.  Family history requests are being processed normally.  The respondant usually gets a reply that deals with his enquiry adequately.  In some cases the enquiry is forwarded to Peter if it concerns something he knows more about, but that is the exception rather than the rule, and would still occur whoever was handling the initial enquiries.


As regards responsibility for archiving the Society's minutes, that is something for the archivist rather than the Secretary, since that ensures this job is done, and that the material is stored in a non-changeable format.  Whilst I have no doubt that Graham would do this effectively, this has not always been the case in the past when Secretaries have neglected this.  The second person review helps to ensure nothing is lost.


I don't think therefore that any changes to the current arrangements are needed at present.



Comment by Peter Tipton 22 Jul 2009

I have just revisted the listed of functions which Richard has carried out as Hon Sec, and in local history, planning and in website activities. You can find these by clicking on HonSecjob and LibrarianArchivist to get to the relevent page. Since we do not meet again until 19 Oct 2009 we need urgently to try to find people to fill these roles BEFORE the next meeting -- otherwise we are just going to have to inform people in the Newsletter and on the website that we are shutting down these activities until we can find volunteers to carry them out. 


One of the continuing services we provide via our website is answering queries from family historians from around the world. Richard told me that we had had about 30 in first quarter 2009. He fielded most of these and passed a few on to me. Some of these enquiries involve extensive email discussions. It seems to me that we need a 'secretary', as the first contact for the enquiry. The secretary would (a) acknowledge the enquiry and (b) pass it onto one of a TEAM of researchers to answer and (c) log all replies in order to (i) add to our our own store of knowledge and (ii) enable us better to answer future enquiries. This is essentially what Richard and I have done for the past 10 years. I have an archive of emails generated from website enquiries going back to 1999 and often use them to answer current enquiries. Since mid May I have had to put quite a number of enquiries 'on hold' whilst I did the responses to the SHLAA and Scoping Report. This is unsatisfactory. Obviously if all the enquiries initially come to me I shall not be able to handle them. Therefore, if we cannot find a solution to this, and in order not to raise expectations, I think we shall have to do two things: firstly remove the link to YHP website from our main website and secondly put in a statement that we can no longer handle enquiries. The Yateley Local History site will still generate some enquiries but we may be able to still handle these.


This is only one of Richard's roles we need to consider. We need to discuss them all, and find some solutions.





Comment by Peter Tipton 1 Nov 2008

Richard, Elizabeth has always maintained a complete set of Newsletters from day one. They are all in a ring-binder at MH. She was of course the newsletter editor for very many years -- I think in two distinct periods. It was her resignation as editor for the second time which killed off the old-style newsletter. You may notice that I have scanned a few of the local history articles from the 1980s newsletters which were regularly written by myself, Valerie and Michael and I have added them to the Yateley Local History website.


Another series of Society-related records you may not know about are the press cuttings files which were kept in the early 1980s by Stephanie Pattenden as part of the Publicity Subcommittee. They include all the press-cuttings resulting from Society press releases and pronoucements by Society luminaries in the first 5 or 6 years of our existence. Stephanie may still have these.


It is good to be gathering all the Society history into one on-line repository.


Comment by R H Johnston 1 Nov 2008


The process of preparing the Society's records for this website reveals we have quite a number of administrative records missing. I will be making clear what is missing in due course on the Meeting minutes page as I make available what we do have.


Also, strangely The Society has never held a central depository of its publications, Newsletters or Stop Press either. The ones we have got are ones collected by individuals and loaned or donated, and there are a lot missing. We need to try to draw a collection together and put them on an accessible site. I have put a list of what we need to find on the Newsletter and Stop Press page



Comment by Peter Tipton 31 Oct 2008

Jo, that is a good suggestion -- and I would take it one step further.

Should we, if he is willing, co-opt John Blackwell onto

(a) the Society's Executive Committee and/or

(b) the Planning Subcomittee?

Yesterday I also heard hints that other very major applications are going to come up in the near future and we can bet that one of them is going to be Collards on the Clark's Farm site. Even with the previous members of the Planning Subcommittee working at full stretch we would have had great difficulty handling what is

about to hit us.


This will develop from being a matter of planned succession to a full blown crisis unless we find additional support pretty quickly. Peter


Email from Jo Hill re Coach House etc 31 Oct 2008

I have spent a few days at my mothers with the kids and come back to find my inbox exploding!


Tony, with all of these things going on, have you asked John Blackwell for his input? As a planner himself he must have some suggestions or, if not, know a man who can. Jo


Tony Hocking's thoughts (26 Oct 2008)-

I assume that I will continue to monitor the Planning Applications lists and bring important Applications to the Planning Committee's notice. I can also continue to send comments and objections to Hart as I do now. The input of others is important in the respones as my ideas may not, and often do not agree with the opinions of the majority. So, let's have some volunteers!


I agree with Peter that the Travellers question must be followed and our position made clear as these people have a severe impact on our locality.


Comment from Peter Tipton 25 Oct 2008

Former members of the Planning Subcommittee, including myself, have received a notification about a consultation and exhibition by Hart on the 10 year targets number for new places for gypsies, travellers and show people needed in SE England. I am highlighting this consultation since I would have gone to the exhibition and prepared the response (in concert with Richard as the Hon Sec and member of the Subcommittee). My last duty as Chairman was to send in the Society's response to the Hart consultation on the SPA.


Going to these exhibitions was something I have done in the past since it gives an opportunity to speak to the officers directly, and even if no other formal response is forthcoming from the Society, at least the Society's delegate can fill in the questionnaire with the Society's view, and sign it on behalf of the Society.


The question of signing on behalf of the Society without having necessarily consulted the Executive is covered by the delegated authority afforded to the Chairman of the Planning Subcommittee -- particularly where members views are well-known by means of the several AGM resolutions on this subject.


I agree with Richard that the gypsy site issue is one on which the Society should take a view, and has taken views in the past. It is a good example of one of the planning issues which is not "development control". These crop up with increasing frequency as more and more consultations are made. As a Civic Trust we are on the list of consultees, but if we fail to respond I fear we shall not get these letters in future.


The issue for the Executive is not only who will attend this exhibition (Tony has already volunteered) but whether the Society will respond to these consultation in the future, and if the answer is yes, then the Executive must decide the mechanism as to how it is to be accomplished.


Until the early 1990s the Planning Subcommittee met regularly. There was a secretary who typed the letter according to the response agreed by members of the committee. When I was on the committee Christine Hecksher was the secretary. I have records revealing that from 1991 when Richard became the Society's Chairman, he assumed the role of Chairman of the Planning Subcommittee and Elizabeth (secretary/registrar) and Valerie (conservation officer) were the other two members, with Michael Holroyd attending occasionally as Commons & Rights Way Officer. The Planning Subcommittee changed in 1994 and consisted only of David Lister (Chairman) and Edward Dawson (President).


Using email rather than a face-to-face meeting it might be very easy to go back to the way Richard, Elizabeth and Valerie were doing planning in the early 90s. Most of these consultations are mainly commonsense. In the early 60s someone had to the comments of the others and type a letter. Nowadays as long as someone starts it off the rest of the group can comment and edit until a consensus is achieved. What do you all think?





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