Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators April Update

Transparency, establishing a Friends' group, benches on Lower Common and more

Putney Common - Andrew Wilson@andrewpics

To promote transparency and to allow levy-payers to question Conservators, it was agreed at the inaugural meeting of the new Board of Conservators that an open meeting would be held in the autumn/winter of each year, in addition to the Annual Open Meeting in June.

This year the Annual Open Meeting will be held at Christ Church, Cottenham Park Road on Wednesday 27th June 2018. The doors will open at 7.30pm for a prompt 8.00pm start.

The Minutes of the Annual Open Meeting of the 21st June 2017 have been placed on the Wimbledon and Putney Commons website; please see the link below:
Minutes Annual Open Meeting 2017

The draft resolutions of the inaugural meeting of the new Board of Conservators held on the 12th April 2018 have been posted on the Wimbledon and Putney Commons website:
Resolutions from 12th April Board Meeting

The Board also agreed to establish an Audit and Risk Committee and a Finance and Investment Committee. In addition it was agreed that a working group would be established to consider a review of the constitution of the Charity. The Charity Commission has previously expressed concerns about the Charity’s governing documents. Any review would respect the founding principle of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act of 1871 to preserve and protect the Commons for the purposes of exercise and recreation, which is absolutely fundamental and immutable. The terms of reference of the working group will be published once agreed by the Board.

The new Board supported the resolution of the previous Board to establish a Friends of Wimbledon and Putney Commons. Building on the enthusiasm of the ‘Access for All Appeal’ and the increased interest in the Commons as a result of the recent Conservator elections, a Friends Group will provide support in ensuring the Commons are protected for future generations to enjoy.


A report of the draft outturn position for the 2017/18 financial year was received. The Board noted the efforts of the executive in delivering a small operational surplus. The draft accounts will be subject to independent audit by the newly appointed auditors Kreston Reeves.

The Board of Conservators agreed to submit a representation to Wandsworth local planning authority in support of the temporary planning application made by the landlord of The Spencer public house for the 22 benches to be placed on Putney Lower Common during the summer months, as has been the case for the previous seven years under an annual licence approved by the Board.

The picnic benches are only permitted to be placed on the Commons from the 1st April to the 31st October (inclusive) and are available at all times for all users of the Commons to enjoy.
Last year the Conservators undertook a consultation that demonstrated the popularity of the benches on the Common. Some 70.0% of the 1,239 respondents stated that they would like to see the benches remain as a long-term fixture, a further 26.5% supported the benches’ retention with a policy review every five years and 3.5% of respondents thought the benches should be permanently removed. Local residents made up the vast majority of the respondents.

The Board received a short report regarding the Interim Manager’s decision to ask Montagu Evans to review their original report in the light of information that had not been made available to them when they completed their original report.
April 26, 2018