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2023 AGM

The 2024 Cookham Society AGM will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 7th March at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Cookham.


Before the main business of the meeting our speaker Richard Poad, who has been involved in the Maidenhead Heritage Centre from its start in 1993 and was its chairman for over 25 years, will look at some of the wide variety of Cookham-related objects in the collection. 



Registered Charity No.257224

Notice convening the meeting:

  1. Apologies for absence

  2. Minutes of the 56th AGM

  3. Matters arising

  4. To note the Reports of the Officers for 2023

  5. To note the Trustees’ Report and the unaudited Accounts for 2023

  6.  To approve the appointment of an Examiner for the 2024 accounts

  7. To elect the Officers and Committee for the ensuing year; see notes (a) and (b)

  8. To elect a President for the Society for the coming year

  9. To transact any business approved for discussion under Rule 13.8.9; see note (c)

  10. Any other business

Bill Perry (Chairman)


  1. The present officers and committee members are:

Chairman, Mr B Perry; Vice-Chair, Mrs L Penston; Secretary, Mrs L Penston; Treasurer, Mr M Chapman; Membership Secretary, Mr S Cooke

Committee members:

Mrs F Beaumont, Mr J Foord, Mrs L Peters, Mr D Scarff, Mr B Weare, Mr J Zealley, Mr O Wardell-Yerburgh, Mr A Harle

President: Mr T Denniford


  1. Rule 13.4 states: Nominations for election of a member as an Officer or an ordinary member of the Committee must be made by two members of the Charity in writing, consent having been given by the nominee, and must be in the hands of the Secretary of the Committee at least 7 days before the meeting (ie the 29th February 2024).  Nominees must declare any financial or political interest which is likely to be of concern to the Charity and such information shall be made available to the meeting”.  Nomination forms can be obtained from the Secretary, Mrs L Penston, 01628 308906, email:


  1. Members wishing to raise any matter under Rule 13.8.9 are requested to notify the Secretary (Mrs L Penston) not later than 26th February 2024

Minutes of the 56th AGM of The Cookham Society held at the CIM at 7.30pm on Thursday the 9th March 2023:

 Present: 45, including committee members.

 Prior to the formal business of the meeting there was a talk by the documentary-maker and actor Ross Kemp.


  1. Notice convening the meeting

The chairman, Bill Perry (BP), opened the meeting, welcoming those present.


The notice convening this meeting had been dispatched in early February 2023 by electronic mail and via a newsletter mailed out to members.  The details of the meeting had also been published on the Cookham Society website, and the Society’s Facebook Page.  BP asked if this could be taken as read.  This was accepted. 


  1. Apologies for absence

Mr B Weare, (BW) Mrs E Peters (EP), Mr John Bowley, Mr B Spicer, Mrs S Spicer, Mrs T Parkes, Ms J Cruse.


  1. Minutes of the 55th AGM

The minutes were unanimously approved by the meeting as a true record and will be signed by the Chairman after the meeting.


  1. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.


  1. Reports of the Officers

BP: Had submitted a report earlier which among other things noted the normal return to business after the pandemic, seven committee meetings during 2022, a successful AGM in March 2022, a new life-time member, the award of the Design Prize and the effective running of the Planning and Environment committee under Mr Dick Scarff’s (DS) stewardship.  He also noted the Society’s use of counsel to clarify a point under Permitted Development rights.  Finally, he expressed his satisfaction with the prudent management of finances.

Financial Review: As at 31st December 2022, the Society’s funds stood at £56,600, similar to the 2021 figure, demonstrating financial control of the Society’s funds.  The outlook for 2023 looked stable.  Mr M Chapman (MC) said that it was gratifying that many members make a voluntary annual donation to the Society.  The policy is to maintain reserves at a level which form the basis for a contingency fund should a major planning issue arise.  Based on the cost of current professional advice, a fund of between £50,000-£60,000 is deemed appropriate.

Membership: The objective of the new Membership Secretary is to overhaul the electronic membership system and to develop procedures for making contact with new residents of the Cookhams.

Planning: Under the meticulous stewardship of DS the Society continues to monitor all planning applications and in 2022 scrutinized a total of 232 applications.  Objections were submitted to 35 applications and two further objections were made to appeals.  A detailed objection was submitted to the plan to build a massive film studio in Marlow.  There were three noteworthy planning issues; the sudden proliferation of 5G masts; the final adoption of the Borough Local Plan confirming Poundfield as a Local Green Space and the Society’s involvement with the Neighbourhood Plan.  Finally, RBWM adopted the new Conservation Area Appraisal for Cookham Village.

Environment: The Society continued to push for the re-opening of Odney weir to Lock Island.  The Society also pressed to improve the branch line and kept up its involvement in the Marsh Meadow Management Committee, the Maidenhead and Marlow Passenger Association, the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise and the Open Space Society.

BP asked if there were any questions about the Officers’ Reports.  There were none.  He moved that they be approved, it was seconded by Mrs L Penston (LP) and they were approved unanimously.


  1. Trustees’ Reports and the Accounts for 2022

The Trustee’s Reports had been compiled and would be sent to the Charity Commission along with the accounts.


  1.  Accounts

BP said that the as the accounts had been made available to all members for scrutiny, did anyone have any questions they wished to raise with MC.  There were none.  MC moved that the examiner Richard Bridgen of Bridgens, Watkins and Wainwright be appointed auditor.  BP seconded this and the appointment was approved unanimously.


  1. Election of Officers and Committee for the coming year

Chairman:  BP briefly stood aside while TD took the floor.  He was proposed by Mrs F Beaumont (FB), seconded by Mr S Cooke (SC), and duly elected.


Vice-Chair and Secretary: LP was proposed by FB, seconded by BP;

Treasurer: MC was proposed by Mr J Foord (JF), seconded by BP;

Membership Secretary: SC was proposed by DS and seconded by Mr J Zealley (JZ)

Remaining committee members: FB, EP, DS, JF, JZ, BW, Mr O Wardell-Yerburgh (OW), were proposed en bloc and duly elected.


  1. Election of President

TD was proposed for re-election by LP and seconded by BP.  He was elected unanimously.


  1.  Clause 13.8.9

No business proposed for discussion.

  1. AOB

Mike Copland (MC): Asked if he could make a statement and plea.  Although he had not previously applied to the Secretary before the 27th February 2023, BP gave his permission.  MC made a wide-ranging statement about the threat to the natural environment and urged the Society to be more proactive in its activities.  LP answered that MC had asked the same question at a previous AGM and at that time he had been reminded that the remit of the Society was to protect the built and rural environment by careful scrutiny of all applications.  He was reminded that the remit remained, and that the Society also strove to award good design with an annual award and maintained a close involvement with a range of other civic organizations.

Cllr Mark Howard (MH): Made a request that the Society broaden its appeal to young people. JZ said that he agreed with MH and said that he felt that Facebook was a better way of communicating with younger residents of Cookham.  However, he also said that there was an issue of how we included those people without discriminating against members who paid their subs and that the committee planned to discuss that very issue at the coming May meeting.

Alistair McKerlie: Asked if the committee could give an update on the subject of flooding.  DS said that flood defences are paid for by the EA, who are short of funds and following the construction of the Jubilee river, Cookham is considered a low priority.  The EA did spend some money last year when it improved the flood defences on Marsh Meadow although DS is not sure it was money well spent.  He also noted that flood water has to go through Widbrook and the land has to be managed to facilitate the flow, but dredging and maintenance currently comes second to wildlife protection.

Paul Strzelecki: noted the different types of flooding and said the although the EA is responsible for flooding the Borough holds a key position.  He thought that with Climate change, surface water flooding will worsen.

Cllr Jane Perry: said that she sits on the Flood Liaison Committee and had raised this issue - that the current situation worsens the flood risk for Cookham - at the last meeting but she felt that her concerns were not given due weight.

Josephine Crabb: Expressed her concern about the threat from flooding to the area around the station, which will be greatly exacerbated by the building of Station Court.  DS reminded the meeting that after the flash floods in the 1980s, a large surface water drain had been run from Kings Coppice Farm to the pond on the moor.  MH said that he thought it should be essential that the developer should be required to solve the drainage problems that it created, but BP reminded all present that there was not currently a legal obligation to do so.   DS said that the developer pays CIL money but that is used for other purposes.


There being no other business, BP invited all present to join him and the committee for a drink in the bar.  The meeting was closed at 8.45pm.


LP 14.3.23

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