The Society’s Annual Report 2017-2018

ACTIVITIES OVER THE PAST YEAR

The Canterbury Society committee works hard to respond to the interests of our members, to comment on developments taking place in the city and to work with other residents’ groups and with partners who share our concerns.

  • PLANNING  Members of the committee have commented on planning applications for many new developments, including those on the Abbotts Dairy site, the Barrett’s showroom site, Link City (ex-Serco site), student accommodation in Havelock Street, St Mary Bredin School/Rhodaus town site, housing in Ivy Lane, shops in Butchery Lane, renovations at Canterbury East Station, Sturry Road bus lane and others
  • We have engaged with a number of Consultations, including those on the Proposed Multi-Storey Car Park in Station Road West, the Community Governance Review, the District Transport Strategy, and the National Planning Policy Framework

 

  • HERITAGE  We continue to run the Heritage Open Days.  Diana Holbrook organised some very successful days in 2017 and is now planning ahead for September 2018, when an interesting collection of buildings will be open over two weekends
  • We contacted KCC about the removal of some historic street lights and were pleased that the street lights are to be safeguarded
  • We are very concerned about the poor condition of some historic buildings in the city: Hubert Pragnell’s report on six buildings at great risk was sent to the Planning department and widely publicised
  • We support the Canterbury Heritage and Design Forum and the BID Heritage Strategy, and are contributing to the council’s coming Heritage Strategy

 

  • QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE CITY  We work with other residents’ groups on issues which affect quality of life and are currently discussing concerns about the Multi-Storey Car Park in Station Road West and the Rhodaus Town site
  • We are developing closer links with the University of Kent and have raised issues such as residents’ complaints about student noise, rubbish and re-cycling and about student volunteering
  • We work with the Business Improvement District (BID), particularly on the Britain in Bloom initiative, and are pleased to have two seats on the BID Board, currently filled by Richard Scase and Craig Griffin
  • We care about parks and gardens are very pleased that Bev Paton, from the Canterbury Society, and Geraldine Fish of the St Peter’s Association are working together to enhance the Butterfly Garden in Pound Lane.  They have succeeded in getting the council to lock the gates of the garden at night
  • We were involved in the Air Quality Monitoring Project organised by Professor Stephen Peckham and we support the Canterbury Clean Air Group
  • We organise Regular Litter Picks and are members of the Litter Round Table; last year we arranged litter picks along the River Stour in the summer and another in Parham Road, working with the students who live there

 

EVENTS ARRANGED OVER THE PAST YEAR

May                Talk by Tom Crewe on ‘The Death of Municipal England’

May                 Hustings for local elections in Westgate ward

June                Talk by Ptolemy Dean on ‘Building New Communities in Canterbury’

October           Public meeting on A Town Council for Canterbury?

December       Talk by Jon Shelton and Lauren Baker on ‘Our Stour’

March              Talk by Heather Newton: ‘Conservation at the Cathedral’

April                Talk by Rosie Duffield, MP on ‘New Year, New Canterbury’

May                 Talk by Lisa Carlson and Bob Jones: ‘Doing Business in Canterbury’

 

CURRENT ISSUES WITH WHICH WE ARE CONCERNED

Developing a New Vision for the Future of our City

In 2013 the Canterbury Society launched its first ‘Vision for the Future of Canterbury’. This was well received by a wide section of local people and by influential groups such as the City Council officers and members.  However, the city faces continuing challenges, such as austerity, large developments, traffic congestion and pollution.

So we have started planning for a New Vision for the Future of our City, to be written by a team led by Geoff Meaden.  We hope to work with residents’ groups, youth groups, community associations and others and to circulate a questionnaire as widely as possible, so that the views of local residents on the changes taking place will be included in the Vision and heard by those responsible for our city.  The aim will be to highlight the challenges that need addressing if the city is to continue to offer a good quality of life for all its residents.

 

Encouraging Sustainable Transport

We have argued for some time that effective action to reduce air pollution and congestion involves many different initiatives, including urging people to reduce car use and make more trips on foot, by bus or train, on bikes and scooters, in shared cars, and so on, sometimes called ‘Modal Shift’.  We carried out a project asking drivers of stationary cars to turn off their engines at the level crossings.  We proposed the idea of a Sustainable Transport Forum and spoke in favour of this idea at many council meetings.  We were delighted when the council set up the Forum – but disappointed that the Canterbury Society was not invited to be a member.

 

Promoting Good Design

Our concern for good design is expressed in the Canterbury Society Design Awards, which aim to recognise and celebrate buildings, spaces and places that are loved by our community. The Awards are being organised by John Yard, and there is further information on our website: www.canterburysociety.org.uk

We are now calling for nominations for the 2019 Design Awards to be sent in by the end of September.  They will be given in five categories, which include: new buildings; buildings that have been renovated, retro-fitted or refurbished; public realm and open space projects; new homes; and shop front and signage projects.  The only requirements are that the projects are within Canterbury and the surrounding parishes, can be seen from a public road or open space and were completed in the 24 months prior to September 30th 2018.

 

Finally warm thanks

To all our members and supporters and to our hard-working committee for 2017-18:

  • Chair: Jan Pahl
  • Deputy-chair: John Walker
  • Treasurer: Craig Griffin
  • Secretary: Geoff Meaden.
  • Members: Clive Bowley, Diana Holbrook, Beverley Paton, Hubert Pragnell, Phil Rose, Richard Scase, Martin Vye, John Yard.

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