Present: Fiona Barnes, Barbro Fitzjohn, Andy Haslehurst, Dorothy Haslehurst, Hilary Jackson, Barbara Matcham, Sue Swallow (Chair)

1. Apologies:

Petrina Boddington, Phine Dahle, Ally Hayes, John Hayward

2. Notice of any urgent other business to be discussed at end of meeting:

Website domain renewal

3. Approval of Minutes of Committee Meeting on 1st August 2016:

Minutes approved

Actions & Matters Arising not covered elsewhere

  • Hilary had contacted Inner Avenue but no reply yet – try again (HJ)
  • North Southampton Community Forum is on 18th October. Barbara will attend (BM)
  • Sue and Hilary had contacted Jacqui R re progress on Parking Project
  • Bevois Mount History Group link had been set up on the webpage.
  • Hilary is still redrafting Landlords’/Agents’ letter ready for new term (HJ)
  • Proposals re OARA groups status/relationships to be carried over to next meeting (FB)
  • GG was happy that post Brexit concerns had been addressed in the email to members

4. Finance

  • Andy shared the latest statement of financial activity. Finances are in good health. Andy is unable to attend OGM but will prepare a statement of accounts to share at the meeting. (AH).
  • The Greening Group are considering buying a mobile water carrier, in region of £50, to assist with watering. This was thought reasonable and Sue will investigate further. (SS)
  • Sources of grant funding: several of these were discussed and possible projects which we could apply for from the SCC Community Chest, Tesco and the National Lottery Awards for All/Celebrate grant funds. Agreed it would be useful to gather views from the OGM and that a small group – Hilary, Andy and John- should meet before to look at ideas. Sue to convene. (SS)

5. Membership:

Barbro was in the process of collecting currently due membership renewals. She had collected £60 and also received three new applications.

6. Correspondence:

None not already on the agenda

7. OGM Preparation:

OGM is taking place on Monday 17th October and we have two speakers from the Council, Sam Fox from Planning and Sam Ings the HMO Licensing Officer. Agreed format with 20 mins each for presentation then Q&A time. Agreed that we should ask members in advance if they have questions. Areas that we are interested in exploring include: overall LA policy re planning particularly with ref to student and HMO accommodation and population density; the links between planning and licensing; compliance with/enforcement of building regs; protection of character properties; impact of fire regs ; parking and high density properties; holding landlords to account. Hilary will confirm with the speakers and send early notice to members. (HJ)

Other agenda items to include: Common Ground Report (written and circulated beforehand to save meeting time) (HJ), Parking Project Update (DH – Dorothy will prepare in advance), Grant Application possibilities (SS).

8. Parking – what next?

Dorothy reported on the responses to the initial survey received to date. She had sent personal replies and also met with some respondents. It was agreed she would recirculate members asking for any more responses and include a summary of the themes emerging from the responses to date, on an anon basis. Sue will contact Cllr. Barnes Andrews to set up a meeting to clarify regs, see if he has any good suggestions, share views. (SS)

9. Constitutional matters

  • Discussion on OARA and sub groups deferred to next meeting.
  • Andy had looked at the committee spending approval limit and thought £100 was now too low. He suggested it should be £250. Agreed this should be put to the AGM in January.

10. COMMON GROUND Updates, Proposals & Plans

10.1 Planning

  • The planning Appeal for 114 Westwood Road, with access sought from Cambridge Rd had been refused. Sue to forward copy of judgment to BM.
  • Sue drew attention to the latest list of HMOs which had been fined for breaches – copy available.
  • Permission had been refused for an increase from 7 to 8 tenants at 124 Gordon Ave but the owners had lodged an appeal.
  • The Planning Enforcement Officer had visited 92 Gordon Avenue and advised landlord he needed to reduce the area of new concrete. OARA is monitoring the concreting over of frontages as this is an issue both with regard to appearance and water run off/drains capacity. OARA has offered to assist the landlord with planting/greening. Phine’s offer to try to liaise via local contact was welcomed. (PD)
  • OARA has objected to the application to change the shop front at the printshop at 25 Portswood Rd. Fiona thought the shop front may already be listed and therefore protected.

10.2 Community Liaison / Social

a) Meet your Neighbour Party October 9th:

Fiona reported on John’s behalf that preparations are well underway and the event will include the official inauguration of the mural. SUSU is more involved this year, including with performers. Agreed organiser’s party expenses should be met up to £100 with receipts. Request that Barbara’s burger stall should happen again – with funding for supplies if needed. Barbara would also be seeking donations from local shops.
The Uni Local Action Coordinator, Rosie, had also been in touch. John to liaise. (JH)
Hilary, Barbara and Fiona happy to join small group with John to help with preparations.

b) “New Term” preparations:

  • Hilary to adapt letter/leaflet for new student residents (HJ).
  • OARA to have stall at SUSU Freshers’ Event on 27th September. (JH) Volunteers needed to help. Des to be asked if display board may need updating for this purpose.
  • Gale Williams from SCC had asked for help with student leafletting/bin sticking on 26th September.
  • Volunteers need. Hilary to ask members (HJ).

c) Patient Participation Group:

Phine had sent a brief report to the committee and this was noted, including the patient survey which the group was organising. Very positive that there are now better links with the surgery.

10.2 Communications

a) Next newsletter.

Agreed that quarterly newsletter was sufficient, with small items of interim information covered through routine mailings from the secretary. Hilary to check this is OK with John (HJ). Next newsletter therefore out in September.

b) New Common Ground Leaflet preparations:

Hilary will amend CGL.

10.3 History & Heritage

a) Community Mural:

All done. Rest of anti-graffiti paint due to be applied. Lots of positive feedback.

b) FoSOC

Agreed to renew membership.

c) Other:

The history walk on Sunday 4th Sep. had gone well, with 20 participants. Two official SCC guides had joined in and been impressed.

History Calendar – Fiona shared a copy of the mock up for 2017 colour calendar. Looking good!

10.4 Smart Streets

a) Street cleaning update:

None in August but Council had responded promptly to reports of fly-tipped items and bin issues. Council had also done recent street clean. We had been ready to assist with leafletting re parking to help with this but no request received.

10.5 Greening

a) Bloomin’ Concrete.

More tubs and troughs in place. Trees in Ave Rd planters need replacing. Cost to be met from general fund/

b) Table Top Sale:

Now proposed for 15 or16 Oct. on Blockbusters’ carpark to pick up more trade.

c) OARA nice garden awards:

Carry over to future meeting

11. AOB

  • Andy reminded us that the OARA domain name and website hosting costs were due for renewal. Costs of approx. £15 and £30 respectively were approved.
  • Mid Winter Art Fair going ahead 25-27 November. Request for exhibits due to go out.
  • Barbara gave a brief update on Alma Road Hostel. The Manager had been very supportive in dealing with any issues.
  • There was a brief discussion about a previous suggestion about whether OARA was still the most suitable name for the group. Agreed it was worth future discussion and it should be a whole membership matter.

12. Date of Next Committee Meeting:

Monday 7th November @ Hilary’s.


  • Contact IARA again – Hilary – Next meeting
  • Attend N.Soton Comm. Forum. – Barbara &? – 18th October.
  • Parking actions: resend email survey to members with summary of themes. Prepare summary for OGM. Meet with Councillor. – Dorothy/Sue – By next meetng
  • Prepare statement of accounts – Andy – By OGM – 18 Oct
  • Convene mtg to look at Grant funding opps – Sue – 15th October
  • Make contact re liaison with landlords over gardens – Phine – By next meeting
  • OGM- Send notice to members, confirmation to speakers, organise Common Ground report – Hilary – 23 September
  • Make contact with Rosie, Uni Local Action Coordinator – John – Before Street Party
  • Landlord/agents’ letter to be redrafted. – Hilary – October
  • Newsletter bulletin. – John – End of September.
  • Proposals re. relationship with OARA and constitution – Ally/Fiona – Next Meeting
  • Amend new term student leaflet – Hilary – For start of term
  • Seek volunteers for Council student leafletting and bins – Hilary
  • Prepare new Common Ground newsletter – Hilary – TBC