Notice is hereby given that the 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of Tunbridge Wells Alliance will be held on TUESDAY 20th JULY at 7.00 p.m. on Zoom.

Although most memberships have lapsed due to Covid, invitations to the AGM are being sent to previous members and supporters. To receive an invitation to the meeting, please complete The Alliance Subscription details on the home page (twalliance.com).

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Apologies for absence (Officers and Executive Committee Members only)
  2. Agreement to late notice of meeting, and delayed meeting date
  3. Report by the Chair
  4. Report by the Group Leader
  5. Presentation of the Financial Statement for the period, and Treasurer’s Report
  6. Election of Officers
    1. Chair (Party Leader)
    2. Treasurer
    3. Nominating Officer
    4. Ordinary Members of the Executive Committee
  7. Review of current strategy and future goals
  8. Recruitment of new members and Councillor candidates
  9. Any other business

Following the May local elections, we currently have five councillors, and the council is under no overall control, although the Conservatives have taken control using the mayor’s casting vote.

As well as the formal business, the purpose of this meeting is to begin the process of building on our strong performance in May. We are an important and influential opposition party on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. We need the support of members and residents to push through change in the council.

We need to start a new borough-wide conversation to ensure that we really understand the local policy issues that affect you and how best they can be addressed. This will also be an opportunity to meet the Alliance councillors and discuss issues of concern with them as well as to offer comments on our manifesto.

To succeed we need members who support us through donations and other encouragement and join us in roles such as Press Officer, Party Secretary / Manager, Website Manager, Campaign Manager and Policy Champions, as well as potential future candidates.

Please do not hesitate to put yourself forward if you would like to get involved in any of these roles You can do this at the meeting, or in advance by contacting the Chair by email or telephone below. Contact: Nick Pope on 07956340255 or nick@twalliance.com

2 Comments

  1. Why is the council planning to spend £10m ? to re-purpose the Town Hall into flexible working space and then hire a contractor to sub-let the space on there behalf. Is this not a white elephant in the making? Is there not a enough redundant office space in the Town already. Why don’t they just re-locate the few staff coming into the office + a meeting room ( council chamber) to one of the many options in the Town. Axa have just off-loaded 2 core buildings. If the Town Hall was sold with covenants it could be used by a commercial entity for a new theatre, pop up cinema, event space. I don’t understand where the demand for hot desking will come from. Especially with new requirements to ensure all space is Covid safe. The soft marketing consultants of course will agree it is a great idea. The only objection I heard was to make it carbon neutral – I would imagine that os the least of the problems. Just sell it as a black box and keep the facade for heritage value. I appreciate you have to fix the roof and the windows but the rest surely can be left to the buyer. What would any other ‘business’ do when they found they had redundant office space – they would sell and downsize.

    1. Author

      Peter,

      Thank you for your message.

      There is currently no confirmed cost associated with the Town Hall work, except for renewing the roof to make the Town Hall and Assembly Hall Theatre water tight again. I do not know where the £10m figure has come from. A number of companies have been asked to put forward their ideas for Town Hall with the requirement that the council has the use of some space. These companies have a range of very different business models.

      Covid safe environments are likely to be a short term requirement, and, in the longer term, there will be a need for office space although, perhaps, there will be a shift away from working full time in one central office, particularly city based offices, with, perhaps, more small satellite office spaces set up for staff to work in several days a week.

      The Alliance councillors are not keen to sell the Town Hall as it could become a second Cinema Site, an empty, derelict building next to the Amelia Scott building which is currently going through a major renovation and redevelopment, and was part of the same development as the Town Hall and Assembly Hall Theatre in the 1940s. The Amelia is a major project for Tunbridge Wells that will deliver a much improved library, museum and adult education centre with additional facilities including tourist information and shop, a new gallery, a cafe and the Gateway facilities.

      One difference between Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) and commercial companies, is that tied to the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, delivering services to the residents of the Borough. A commercial company can relocate to another part of the country or to a different country, if that works well for them.

      The option to relocate some of the council’s office space outside the town centre is still an option as part of the project to renovate the Town Hall. No final decisions have been made, and the current bids are about making the Town Hall a flexible space.

      These are my views layered onto our position.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Nick Pope

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