Last year’s Annual General Meeting was held in September 2020 on Zoom and the Society’s Executive Committee has decided to postpone the 2021 meeting until September this year in the expectation that we will then be able to meet in person and, hopefully, hold an event to mark the retirement of our President, Dr Colin Niven, after ten years’ service.

We have recently received a letter signed by a number of members who are upset with the Society’s initial support for the Phase 1 of Southwark Council’s emergency traffic measures and its repeated statements that, given the diversity of views among our membership, it would be inappropriate for the Society to take a position either for or against the Phase 2 and 3 emergency traffic works. The Society has also pointed out to the Council several times that there may be unintended consequences of the measures and has pressed it to carry out a full consultation with all residents both in Dulwich and in the areas around it. I am pleased to say that this is shortly to start.

These members also believe that the Society’s Travel and Environment Sub-committee, and the Society, is biased in favour of the emergency traffic measures and that, in some way, it has been working in conjunction with the Council to have them introduced. While it would be flattering to think that the Society had such an influence on Council policies, it is not the case.

These members have asked the Society to put two motions to members at the AGM. The first requires the Society to set out ‘the process for appointing of members of the Society’s sub-committees and publish all minutes of their meetings on the Society’s website, including declarations of interest.’ Historically, minutes of meetings of sub-committees have not been published on the Society's website but the Executive Committee will do so in the future.

The second motion asks the Society to undertake ‘a formal, independent and impartial survey about the remit the membership wishes the Society to adopt with regard to the Society’s long term policy position on travel and environment, and to publish the findings of this consultation in full on the Society’s website.’ The Executive Committee is NOT in favour of this as the Council is about to conduct its own survey on the current temporary measures and the result of this survey will certainly impact on the future of travel in Dulwich and the Society’s views on it. This survey will include both local residents and those outside the immediate Dulwich area, not just the relatively small proportion of residents who are members of the Society. We cannot see what benefits a Dulwich Society would bring with its cost and impact on the Society’s other activities.

To accommodate those members with different views to the Executive Committee, the Committee has decided to hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) where these motions can be considered. There will also be an additional motion proposed by the Executive Committee seeking member support for the current remit of the Travel and Environment Sub-Committee.

This meeting will be held on 28th June on Zoom and the Zoom link will be published on the Society’s website www.dulwichsociety.com and in the June eNewsletter. You will also find a separate formal notice enclosed in this copy of the Journal which convenes the meeting and gives the Zoom link. It also sets out the motions to be considered, gives your Executive Committee’s views on them, and how you can vote on them. We would ask as many members as possible to attend the meeting.

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