Ramblers in London get up to lots of activities. Check out the individual groups' sites to see what they are up to.
You can see some of what we're up to on Twitter on the side of this page and the articles, below give a bit more detail about what's been going on or is planned in Inner London Area.
Two walks, led by Clare Wadd and Caroline Wall, converged on Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church after lunch on Saturday 4th February 2017 for the Annual General Meeting of the Inner London Area, followed by a talk and film by Travis Elborough highlighting aspects of his book "A Walk in the Park: The Life and Times of a People’s Institution".
A few dozen people attended to hear about what we did in Inner London Area last year and to go through the formal business of the Area. Formal minutes can be found here (pdf), but the key points to note are:
- The Area committee (technically the Area Council) is largely unchanged in its membership. There has been some shuffling of seats so Clare Wadd has taken over as Chair from Phil Marson, who is now Vice-chair. Dominic Pinto stood down from the Council. Sarah Doherty's recent co-option to Membership secretary was confirmed. Tony Atkins and Marion Watkinson were elected as representatives of all of our affiliated groups.
- Following an earnestly contested election, the Area will be represented at General Council by Caroline Wall, Gemma Butchart and Phil Marson.
- In the presentation of the financial reports, it became apparent that the wrong version of the report had been sent to the printers. The meeting requested that the correct version would be posted to the web site. It can be found here (pdf).
In advance of its Annual General Meeting - 4th February 2017, the Inner London Ramblers present our annual report. Click here (PDF), or on the image to find out about our campaigning, publicity and other activities last year.
Our accounts for 2015-16 are available here (PDF).
As 2016 draws to a close, I want to draw your attention to what the Ramblers have been doing across Inner London this year and look forward to some things next year.
If you've not got the time to read the rest of this note, do consider doing the following:
- Vote for the Love London, Walk London campaign in the Ramblers Volunteer Awards - http:
//www. ramblers. org. uk/volunteer-zone/rewarding-ou r-volunteers/volunteer-awards- 2016.aspx
- Think about coming to the Inner London Ramblers AGM at Bloomsbury Baptist Church on the 4th of February. You can find out more about it later in this e-mail and at http:
//www. innerlondonramblers. org. uk/articles-62328/notice-of-ag m.html .
Inner London Area co-ordinates the Ramblers local groups, and takes on tasks that are too big for those groups. We continue to 'punch above our weight' in the national organisation and, this year, we've had a focus on campaigning.
Local groups have had a number of successes in keeping or re-opening paths in their boroughs. London members and groups have supported national campaigns, such as Pathwatch, which have brought the Ramblers great publicity and given us vital information for campaigning with.
Love London, Walk London Campaign
In May, London elected a new Mayor and Greater London Assembly. To increase the Ramblers' visibility to Londoners and their representatives, we worked with staff from Central Office and the Ramblers Greater London Forum (a body drawing together Ramblers volunteers from Outer London groups) to call on the new Mayor to promote active walking through a 'Walking Ambassador', improve walking routes and guarantee Londoners' access to green space.
During the campaign, two Mayoral candidates - Caroline Pidgeon [Liberal Democrat] and Sian Berry [Green] accepted our invitations to join us for walks and to discuss our campaign. Both were elected to the GLA.
At the main 'green' hustings, Sadiq Khan spoke approvingly of the Ramblers historic campaign for our Right to Roam in the countryside and suggested that we need something similar in London. In his manifesto, he promised a "Pedestrian Champion".
After the election, we carried on campaigning, including having a very useful meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, urging that the Pedestrian Champion should be about all sorts of walking, not just pedestrianism. Just before Christmas, the Mayor announced the appointment of his "Walking and Cycling Commissioner" and we look forward to working with him when he takes up his post.
You can find out more about this campaign on the Inner London Ramblers web site at http:
This campaign has been nominated for a national Ramblers volunteer award for Innovation. Do vote for it at http:
The Garden Bridge Campaign
Because of the threat it represents to the Thames Path and public spaces on both sides of the river, we continue to oppose the proposed Garden Bridge campaign. During the year, we took a high profile in a number of campaign events. In particular, I represented the Ramblers at a large public meeting, and the Ramblers position was referred to by both sides in an adjournment debate in the House of Commons.
Naturally, we raised the issue of the Garden Bridge at our meeting with the Deputy Mayor. The campaign has been quiet since Mayor Khan appointed Margaret Hodge to chair an inquiry into the project. This, and the Garden Bridge Trust's delayed annual report are expected to appear in the next few months, which should prove decisive in this campaign.
Find out more about the Ramblers part in the campaign against the Garden Bridge here - http:
Inner London continues to buck the national membership trend by growing. By growing our membership, we have more weight in campaigns, more volunteers to organise walks. We grow incrementally by making our groups attractive places to be, publicising our activities, and making new people welcome.
Annual General Meeting
We'll be having our Annual General Meeting at the Bloomsbury Baptist Church on Saturday 4th of February*. There will be a walk to the meeting from Holland Park. In addition to the usual formal business (including electing my successor as Chair), there will be a short film and a talk by Travis Elborough, author of "A Walk in the Park".
As usual, all of the roles on the Area Council will be up for election - Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Web Master, representatives of affiliated groups and individual members, General Council representatives.
If you're interested in getting involved with Area Council or any of the activities we do, do get in touch. You can find out more about the AGM at http:
As usual, nothing we've done in London could have happened without the effort and commitment of the hundreds of Ramblers members who organise walks, sit on committees, produce programmes, staff publicity stalls, engage other organisations to make common cause, and so on. Thank you to everyone who's helped the Ramblers in Inner London this year.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas break and a successful 2017.
Phil Marson (Chair, Inner London Ramblers)
*Amended 7th January 2017 from "April". The date given earlier in the letter was correct.
Active travel (walking and cycling) are key to addressing many of London's issues, including reducing congestion, improving physical and mental health, and revitalising local 'town' centres.
In the run-up to the 2016 Mayoral and Greater London Authority elections, the Ramblers' Love London, Walk London campaign called for the new Mayor to employ a Walking Ambassador. Sadiq Khan's manifesto promised a Pedestrian Champion.
This pledge has been fulfilled by the announcement today of Will Norman, as the Mayor's Walking and Cycling Commissioner. We welcome this appointment and look forward to working with him to improve conditions for all walkers across our great city.
We're delighted that our Love London Walk London campaign has been shortlisted for the Ramblers Volunteer Awards 2017 in the Innovation category.
There are three categories of awards this year - Inspiring Walkers, Innovation and Protecting and Expanding Where We Walk - and there were over 90 nominations in total.
You can vote in all of the categories here (but we hope you'll vote for Love London Walk London in Innovation).
South East Walker Article Count: 7
South East Walker newspaper is produced quarterly by a small team of volunteers. It's distributed to Ramblers members across the South East with the glossy Walk magazine and contains more local news and updates about what volunteers and groups are doing across the region.