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.