Our 2022 AGM

Our annual general meeting was hosted in person at Friends House, London, and online. Photo: OSS

We were pleased to hold our 2022 annual general meeting as a hybrid event for the first time, with some members attending by videoconference and others joining us at Friends House in Euston on 7 July.

Phil Wadey, our chairman, chaired the event which was attended by 30 members of the society and nine members of staff.

All the resolutions were passed, and minutes approved.

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, presented the Trustees’ report for 2021 and spoke to several of our recent legal cases. You can find out more about our recent cases here.

Kate expressed the society’s concerns on fencing and tree-planting on commons, and explained that OSS is currently deeply engaged with the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill, with hopes that the new act would encourage the voluntary registrations of town and village greens.

She spoke about the society’s increased capacity on rights of way thanks to the appointment of a new case officer, allowing us to give more support to our local correspondents. Kate also spoke about the society’s aim to reach new audiences through our website and social media.

Our society, Kate emphasised, is vital and flexible, jumping in where others feared to tread. Kate ended by thanking trustees, local correspondents, volunteers, staff, and members for their support.

Following the ballot, two trustees – Graham Bathe and Phil Wadey – were re-elected, along with four vice-presidents. These are David (Lord) Clark, Mike Clarke, Roger de Freitas, and Richard Mabey.

The chairman paid tribute to Steve Warr, who steps down after eight years as treasurer. Photo: OSS

The chairman paid tribute to Steve Warr, who was retiring from the board of trustees, and expressed the society’s immense gratitude. Steve was co-opted as a trustee in 2014 and was elected treasurer shortly after.

The chairman then introduced the Eversley Award, presented on an occasional basis to individuals for outstanding personal endeavour. The chairman was delighted to announce that the trustees wished to present the award to Chris Beney, who has devoted his life to the protection of the commons, greens, paths and access for at least the last 30 years. You can find out more about the award, and Chris’s work, here.

Following the close of the formal meeting, the nine members of OSS staff each gave a brief introduction to their work.

We then heard from John Lavery about the proposed holocaust memorial on Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, from Colin Saunders about the Vanguard Way and its newly-formed Association, and from Phil Wadey about the dedication of a bridleway and access land at Sarratt in Hertfordshire.

We have produced draft minutes here with the detailed results.

Members can request a copy of the recording of the AGM by emailing office1@oss.org.uk.