From the Chairman
As you are aware, the Society’s 2020 Events Programme has been decimated and, with the current outlook on Covid-19 infection levels and the attendant restrictions, your Committee has decided that face-to-face gatherings for our usual type of events would not be viable before March 2021. Our plan for the 2021 Events Programme is to make the January and February talks ‘virtual’ events and then pick up as many of the postponed 2020 programme items as possible. However, in view of the prevailing high level of uncertainty in the 2021 arrangements of presenters and destinations, we do not feel able to issue a stable and credible year 2021 Programme Booklet, as we normally do, at the end of this year. We will communicate to Members ‘bite-sized’ short-term programmes over the months as the situation unfolds.
The scant value you have received from your 2020 subscriptions is recognised and we have decided that your 2021 subscriptions will be waived (of course, if any Members feel that they wish to offer continuity of support to the Society, a donation would be gratefully received).
One occasion your Committee does feel important to preserve, for reasons of maintaining a more ordered governance position going forward, is the 2020 AGM. Accordingly we will hold a ‘virtual’ AGM during the month of November 2020 on Thursday 12th. at 7pm. Full details will be issued nearer the date in the usual way. All the current Committee Members have agreed to be nominees for 2021 providing continuity of service for the coming year during these challenging times however, if any new nominations are received, the normal AGM practice will be followed.
Although our Events Programme has been blown away by the Covid-19 pandemic, your Society has not been ‘hibernating’!
We are delighted to be able to tell you that we have signed an agreement for the very highly regarded and long-standing “Men-of-the-Stones” Society to come under the umbrella of the Stamford Civic Society. We will incorporate into our events programme an annual ‘Men-of-the-Stones Lecture’ and the transferred resources will be held in a discrete account for use in appropriate Civic Society conservation projects.
Further, our group of experts have continued to respond to Planning Applications with comments that reflect our Society’s aims and our ‘Urban Group’ has been progressing a number of important project initiatives for the town – see ‘Project Update’.
With this in mind, the Urban Group has now put in place the necessary arrangements for installation and electrical connections for floodlighting of St Mary’s Church and has initiated a continuous care plan for all plaques and information boards in the Town. The Group has also been beavering away to maintain forward progress on a number of projects that have been stalled somewhat by the pandemic, these include new proposals for enhancing the Sheep Market area of the town; progress on resolution of paving issues and proposals contained within the recently issued ‘Neighbourhood Plan’.
We continue to lend support to the ‘Stamford Millstream Improvement Group’ as the restorative and development project, that will considerably enhance the Meadow-side attractiveness, progresses to the next significant phase of channel works.
In addition, we have recently completed the development of an ‘Historic Sites’ App. for Apple or Android mobile 'phones which we believe will prove extremely useful for visitors and residents alike. The App. informs users of their current location in Stamford and provides location, history, and visuals for 41 historic sites in the town. The project was a joint initiative with New College Stamford who provided the technical development support. We are now setting up access to the App. from ‘Apple i Store’ and ‘Google Playstore’ and hope to ‘go live’ in a few weeks time – we’ll keep you informed
Stamford Conservation Area planning news
Local planning procedures are set for major changes with a newly issued Government ‘White Paper’ which seeks to provide a “significantly simpler, faster, and more predictable system”. Although recognized, the role and influence of local communities is not clear and, as a sizeable community group, we propose to enhance our ‘proactive’ stance alongside our current ‘reactive’ planning response during 2021 with the aim of ensuring our Members’ are able to make a meaningful contribution to current and future plans going forward. Fortunately the recently issued ‘Stamford Neighbourhood Plan’ gives us a sound base off which to work.