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SoLR Winter Update

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Our first industry meeting was held on 2 December, attended by members and subject matter experts, representing nine organisations that deliver and benefit from land referencing and land assembly services. Chaired by Thanasis Skentos, there was a consensus that there is a clear benefit to future collaboration. The observations and ideas from the session were captured and will be developed into key themes (such as professionalisation, common voice and market definition, added value and highlighting the human element of our services. These will be picked up for focused discussion and action throughout 2023.

At the start of the year, we sent a survey out to our members with a variety of charities to choose as our charity of choice for this year. Our members chose Shelter. As the days have got significantly colder, we wanted to do our bit as a society to help those who need it most at this time of year. As a result, we have set up clothing collection points in various members' regional offices. All donations be sent to Shelter in time to be distributed around the Christmas and winter period.

We have also set up a Just-Giving page for financial contributions and all donations will be greatly appreciated.

You will have probably spotted our fortnightly 'Armchair Referencing' series, a bit-sized and often light-hearted take on the various quirks of land referencing. Big thank you to Ashley Parry Jones for continuing to contribute these. You can read the full series by following the link below.

Banner promoting the 2021-2022 SoLR Annual Report

We have published our first annual report to share with you our activities, since launching in October 2021 and give a glimpse of what we hope to achieve in year two. Our chairperson's report is included below, however we hope you will read the full report which includes information on our membership, committees and finances.

We would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas break and happy start to 2023.

Chair Person’s Summary

When a group of us first discussed the idea of creating a society for land referencing, I would not have believed that I would be writing a note to 200+ members in our first year. The uptake of membership and the support to the Society has been beyond my expectations and I would firstly like to thank all of you for your contributions and I do hope that you will continue to be involved in the exciting next few years.

Although this report will focus on the first year’s official activity of the Society, it must be remembered that it has taken four years to reach this stage and throughout those years it has been a huge learning curve for myself and the fellow board members.

It was often a case of one step forward and two steps back, but we were always focussed on our aim to create an environment for land referencing and land referencers to succeed and grow. Our high-level objectives for the Society are framed by our three pillars; community, industry and careers.

Our first year has been focussed on establishing a community, through the brilliant community committee and to determine what the members want to collectively achieve.

Details of the community events are further explained later on in the report, but I think it has been a great achievement to host events throughout England, and not just London, and we look to host further events in other countries in the coming year.

We would like to thank the sponsors of all the social events; WSP, Mott MacDonald, Winckworth Sherwood, Carter Jonas, Jacobs for their contributions towards these and helping to make them such a success as well as Apogee for providing promotional materials.

We have also hosted a number of webinars throughout the year, including an informative lunchtime learning session on the requirements for producing a Book of Reference, hosted by Emma Rodican-Jones, Senior Associate, at Winckworth Sherwood, that was attended by 60+ people and is available on the SoLR website for those who were unable to attend.

The first year has also seen the successful intake of our first batch of apprentices onto the Land Referencing Apprenticeship Scheme. More information about this can be found within this report, but it was a very proud moment for the Board to have been involved in the success of this and that SoLR will play a huge part in the scheme.

As we move into our second year our focus is turning towards establishing and growing our Industry and Careers committees. After the survey in March 2022 on which we built the community events, we have recently launched a further survey to feed into the Careers and Industry committees, so that our committees can be shaped by what our members want.

But don’t worry, although the focus of the board will be on Industry and Careers, the Community committee will continue to provide great events for the Society and I look forward to seeing you at one of these in the near future.

Finally, I would like to say thank you and good luck to Trevor Wilding, who as you may know, was a founding member of the Society and a driving force behind the Land Referencing Apprenticeship scheme. We wish you all the best in your retirement.

I hope you find this report informative and that it shows you how much the Society has achieved in its first year and I look forward to writing to you this time next year with even more to report!

All the best,

Mark Aanensen

SoLR chairperson

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