This year’s AGM was held on Zoom on Sunday 7 March, with around 45 members attending.
The Chair of Trustees, Prabhat Vaze, reported that, despite the difficult conditions of the pandemic, the Committee had continued to scrutinise planning and tree applications. More use has been made of the website, especially for Newsletter posts, but regular events had been cancelled including carol singing. BelsSoc had spearheaded a worthwhile pollution monitoring exercise conducted with Camden, with three of the monitored sites over the safety limit and two just below. The results have proved useful to Camden Council when assessing traffic and cycle proposals. The Society maintains a membership of over 500 households and this year celebrates having been active (in various different forms) for 50 years – not a common occurrence amongst such associations/societies.
In answer to questions from members, the Chair explained that the Committee is waiting to see results from similar trials including pollution results before finalising its view on traffic changes in Haverstock Hill. Members expressed opposition to a bus stop on one side of a cycle lane on Haverstock Hill as this positioning has caused accidents elsewhere.
The Treasurer reported on the Society’s financial position, saying that subscription income was similar to previous years. The first Gift Aid payment had been received. There had been unprecedented donation receipts thanks to a legacy and payments from Film Fixer (which has an exclusive contract as Camden’s film service) when streets in Belsize are used for film shoots. Expenses had been lower than usual owing to fewer events.
The accounts were unanimously approved. Jill Tyrell was reappointed as the independent examiner for 2021. Ten members, including four trustees, stood for election to the Committee and were elected unanimously.
After the formal business of the meeting was completed, the Chair introduced guest speaker Bob Stephenson-Padron from Penrose Care who talked about “Revitalising Belsize Village and the Belsize Streatery”. Bob is the Co-coordinator of the Belsize Village Business Association. In closing the meeting, the Chair looked forward to seeing everyone in person at the 2022 AGM.