The Finchley Society AGM

Finchley Society Chairman urges members to take action.

The Finchley Society held its 39th AGM at Avenue House last Thursday attended by 33 members. After the main business of the evening when David Smith was re-elected as Chair and the Treasurer reported that the Society’s finances were in a healthy state there was a lively discussion about local issues in an Open Forum. Topics covered were opposition to the Brent Cross enlargement, the problem of Traders taking over the pavements in Ballards Lane, the sad demise of local shops, and the battle to prevent suburban houses being turned into flats either by conversion or redevelopment.

Many of these issues, and others, had been taken up during the year by the various committees who had been active in planning, transport & environment & public relations. Some notable activities included the following: the unveiling of the information board at St Mary-at Finchley church; the forthcoming refurbishment of the panels at Finchley Central and East Finchley stations; Mari IAnson’s successful publishing of the ‘Finchley Sketchbook’; involvement in the planning applications for the FurnitureLand and Police Depot sites in High Road North Finchley; monitoring of plans for the new Finchley Memorial Hospital; commenting on the North Finchley & Church End Development Plans; improvement of Dollis Valley Green Walk; recycling; monitoring the brightness of street lights, air quality and bus routes The Spike Milligan Statue Fund had continued to fund raise including an ‘Evening with Maureen Lipman & Friends’ in April. They had now submitted an application for a grant from the Arts Council in the hope of being able to realise the sculpture in 2011.

Although the above list demonstrates that the Finchley Society is active, David Smith urged members to get more involved in local campaigns. In his Chairman’s Annual Report he suggested some additional campaigns members could get involved in, for instance: the use of ‘Church End’ instead of ‘Finchley Central’; the menace of ivy killing trees; unlawful advertising by trailers and vehicles parked in various places such as by La Deliverance statue in Regents Park Road & opposite the Vue Cinema complex; banner advertising at the junction of High Road & Summers Lane. We should be working with the London Borough of Barnet to improve the environment and retain the appearance of the leafy suburb we all care about.

He reminded members that those who started the Finchley Society nearly 40 years ago did so because they wanted to celebrate their cultural heritage and cared deeply about both the natural and man-made environment. He argued that we need to get back the passion in our Society. He urged all members to get passionate about something – to go out into Finchley & Friern Barnet and talk to neighbours and to people in the street and get people involved in the issues they care about. By doing this we, together, could really make a difference.

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