Another task that Peter Underwood fulfilled was as the Society's representative on the SPS. Not many years ago Jack Chapman prevailed on me to follow in Peter's footsteps. Now, I have to be a paid up member and a trustee of the charity, not just a mere observer.
Like many charities with full time professional staff and an office, this long recession has caused the SPS considerable financial problems. It has a complicated subscription structure which has become too low and it has relied on large bequests with their consequent income to survive. Now its investments have fallen in value and its income plummeted. It has been spending capital at such a rate that it would only survive after 2017 without paid staff.
Cutting expenditure, re-organising its investment policy and actively seeking wealthy donors has increased its life by a few more years. Finally, its extremely able Director, Simon Cairns, has decided to move on to Colchester Borough Council as Planning Development Officer. He has been succeeded by his equally well qualified wife. Fiona Cairns, on two days a week basis. Clearly the service SPS provides will have to be curtailed. It has been agreed that Simon will remain the SPS representative on the Ipswich Conservation and Design Panel.