Posted on Jun 30, 2016
The Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators held their Annual Open Meeting on Wednesday June 22 at St Margaret's Church on Putney Park Lane. About eighty attended and the Conservators were privileged to welcome the Mayors of the London Boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.
There were presentations by the Chairman and by the Chief Executive neither of which contained anything out of the ordinary. There followed a session of questions, totaling about ten. Apart from the usual fractious questioning relating to the Putney Hospital site, its easement and its valuation and the expenses incurred in sorting out this matter, there were other questions some of which related to Putney in particular.
The most pressing of these local problems was the contentious question of the existence of the benches outside the Spencer on Putney Lower Common and the determination of the price at which the charity should be remunerated. This remains unresolved and negotiations between the Board and the owners of the Spencer are continuing. One questioner expressed the view that the presence of these benches set an undesirable precedent.
There were several questions about the accounts and the continuing operating deficit of several hundred thousand pounds. The absence of a forecast cash flow statement was noted and the profitability of the playing fields was raised. Consideration is being given to the development of a strategic plan that will be developed with the assistance of the Stakeholder Group that has recently been appointed. Of more pressing concern, which will be determined by the time you read this, was the question as to whether leaving the EU would have a negative impact on the wildlife protection. Dr Ros Taylor who leads the Wildlife and Conservation Forum was of the view that there will be a significant negative impact on available funding if the UK leaves the EU.