Here’s  a bit of an update on what’s been happening recently on the OARA patch.

Parking Survey

The Council have reported  back to us on the responses to the informal survey about a  possible parking permit zone, which they sent out before Christmas. These were sent to houses not already in a parking zone. There was a mixed response , with some streets being in  favour of such a scheme  and others against. The Council was concerned on  two fronts:

  • – the low turnout  in some streets
  • – that residents should be aware  of the possible impact of “displacement” parking on the reduced number of  roads with no restrictions, should other roads  opt for a parking permit zone. The parking could be from  anyone who is not eligible for a permit on their road, chooses not to pay for  one or casual parkers.

As a result the Council  has organised a second stage to the informal survey to ensure residents in relevant  roads are fully informed. This has been done in partnership with OARA. As an organisation we do not have a single preferred view but we do know that parking is a  constant problem in our area and we want residents to be fully informed. If there is informal support at this stage it would lead to a fuller, more formal survey in due course.

Annual General Meeting follow up

A belated thank you to  all of you who came along to the AGM at the end of January. Almost thirty members attended to hear a report of what had been achieved in the year gone by and help plan for the year ahead. The minutes of the meeting, the Annual Report,  accompanying picture show, new committee details and Plans for 2019 will be posted on the website shortly  so  do have a look if you  weren’t able to make it. After four years in the Chair Sue Swallow felt it was time to stand down and John Hayward was elected as our new Chair, with Sue staying on as Vice Chair. The rest of the officers and committee were all re-elected, with Wendy Stokes volunteering to be trained up as a future treasurer! We owe a great deal of thanks to Sue for her tireless hard work and commitment as our Chair-  as well as chief Greener.

Street Cleaning

Following  discussion at the AGM we are now having one monthly Street Clean on the first Sunday of every month –  barring Bank holidays or Street Parties. We are hoping this   will have a “less is more” effect, less often but more volunteers each time. Next one is Sunday 3 March, 11.00 am at the planters. And between times some members have volunteered to keep an eye on a stretch close to home. Could you do a 100m stretch? Barbara Matcham would be delighted to hear from you at


Spring flowers are coming up in the OARA  beds and barrels; we’ve met with landlords and university reps to talk about student issues and plan better ways to deal with student clear-out time; we’ve reported several lots of flytipping/excess rubbish and had  the usual excellent response from Barry Olson at  the Council’s HMO team; our Bevois Mount  History Group has two forthcoming events – A talk on John Arlott, policeman, poet and commentator  at  Portswood Library  on Wednesday 13th March at 7.30 and  a “Common History” walk  on Wednesday 20th March, meeting at 2 at the Cowherds. Go to  for more history gems.

And a message from Ave St Andrews, who are raising money to repair their bell tower. They will be holding a Plant Sale on the morning of April 27th and if any OARA members  have any spare seedlings or plants to  contribute they  would be very welcome.

To see more photos, please click here to view our galleries.