Present: Sue Swallow, Andy Haslehurst, Barbro Fitzjohn, Phine Dahle, Fiona Barnes, John Hayward, Barbara Matcham. Ally Hayes attended as a taster to considering committee membership.
1. Appointment of Minutes Taker. Andy agreed to take minutes.
2. Apologies: Hilary Jackson, Petrina Boddington
3. Notice of any urgent other business to be discussed at end of meeting.
Nothing that was not already covered elsewhere on the agenda.
4. Approval of Minutes of Committee Meeting September 15th and Matters arising.
The minutes were agreed as a true record with one typo to be corrected (Barbro for Barbara in no 5) before posting. No matters arising not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.
Progress with updating Membership discount givers: Phine and Petrina to pursue further. Phine and Barbro have collected some monies but plan a few more visits before final banking for the year. Action PD/PB; PD/BF
Request re Westwood Road from Gil Dekel: Gil’s proposal was discussed at length. Phine has volunteered to act as OARA liaison with Gil. There was a general consensus that OARA believed the proposed enlargement to include Westwood Road in the OARA area was not sufficiently aligned with current OARA resources and activities to be beneficial, and that Gil should be encouraged to persist with attempts to establish as a separate entity. Several specific points were raised, e.g. (a) already part of HRA and better to work within HRA to influence their priorities and direction, (b) OARA does not have enough active members to adopt Westwood Road within OARA’s activities, (c) Westwood Road is in a different Council Ward and school catchment area. Whether Gil was successful in starting a new RA or trying to influence HRA’s focus, OARA would be happy for Gil and any other interested Westwood Road residents to attend OGMs and join in with OARA social activities – it was pointed out that there are already several regular attendees from adjacent streets and areas. Action PD
Andy circulated a report on OARA’s current financial position and known commitments likely to hit the 2015 accounts. There was discussion about the finances of the 2015 calendar and John, Ally and Fiona will be meeting with Jay to finalise the details and will report back to the next Committee meeting. Action JH/FB/AH
In Hilary’s absence, Sue relayed Hilary’s report re a leaflet for Bin Buddy tenants who are not following good practice; Hilary had also suggested it would be useful to have a standard response procedure and sample letters etc which OARA members could use if there was antisocial behaviour by neighbours, such as excessive noise from all-night parties. There seems to be a grey area for responsibility between Police and Environmental Health. Action HJ
8. Follow up to OGM on Tuesday 6 October
Approval of Minutes and matters arising. The minutes were agreed as a true record. No matters arising not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.
9. Common Ground Updates, Proposals & Plans
a) Kingsley House. Discussion took place of issues raised.
b) Parking issues/scheme. Further discussion of this will be necessary to agree a way forward. Information via Councillor B-A suggests two thirds need to be in favour to introduce a scheme, but clarified that this was of those who responded to Council requests which would be sent to ‘resident rate-payers’. It was also confirmed that different levels and times of restriction would be available.
c) Other. It was noted that the Planning Panel on 17 November will discuss 14 Westwood Road plan. Sue and Barbara agreed to attend this.
9.2 Community Liaison
a) Anti-social behaviour(noise etc). Further to Hilary’s suggestion re letters and procedures, there was a lengthy discussion about noise problems since the start of the new academic year, with several members being subjected to the disturbance of loud all-night parties, at least one having over 150 students. Not all the parties were student based; one at a Student No Fee property on Alma Road was thought to be mainly Polish. Environmental Health only become ‘interested’ if it persists after midnight, but may often not have the resources to follow a complaint up in good time. Making recordings of the noise and keeping a log of occasions it occurs is their ongoing advice – they also recommend a 101 call to the police; unfortunately, the reaction of the 101 hotline is to refer callers to Environmental Health . Emma (SUSU) attributes it in part to the 1000+ extra first year students this year and says SUSU have revived their SSSHHH campaign this year. It was suggested that perhaps the University should be asked to fund a patrol around student housing areas. The University has supplied a phone number for direct complaints – this could be included in proposed new procedures. Action HJ/JH
b) SUSU/Community Quiz. John reminded Committee members of the SUSU Curry & Quiz Night next week – details already circulated.
c) Christmas. Guide Dog (under new management) has agreed to host this year’s OARA Christmas party on 6th or 13th of December. The majority of the Committee preferred 13th and the Social Group will confirm. John believed the Ukephonics would be able to play on either date.
d) Update and progress with actions. John reported that the installation of the Notice Board in the planter is still on Balfour Beattie’s list of things to be done, but was being trumped by higher priority projects. Balfour confirmed there was no real way of OARA being able to speed this up.
9.3 History & Heritage
a) Community Mural. Further discussion has taken place with the proposed artist (Sam Daniels) who will be willing to discuss details with a working group, including high quality miniatures of a number of alternative designs. John reported that the owner may only be happy with a 2-panel mural, but it is possible this is due to misunderstandings – Action JH to clarify with owner. Fiona reported on the funder requirements for grant applications. Phine responded that it would strengthen any application if it was possible to get local involvement in the actual painting. Sue suggested that widening the application to meet other OARA priorities would be sensible and asked for suggestions. The best suggestion made was to find a way of combining the mural project with the pre-existing proposal to enhance the leisure/social potential of the planters area , although there was no clear agreement in the Committee as to detail. Action History Group/Committee working party (to be identified).
b) Tree protection. Taken under Greening Group item below as meeting running late.
c) Update and progress with actions. Nothing reported.
9.4 Smart Streets
Update and progress with actions. Barbara had left by this point of the meeting, but Hilary had left notes that following last Sunday’s street clean which had identified a number of specific problems, Jason and Barry had been informed and ‘blitzed’ both the reported on-street items and the overfilled and contaminated bins at several properties. Hilary had produced a letter to be used for Bin Buddy houses to explain the scheme and encourage good practice.
Tree planting and tree protection. Sue reported that there does not appear to be a major demand for more standard signature trees, but was reluctant to increase the number of barrels because of the watering implications. One of last year’s trees was identified as failing and might need to be replaced. Re tree protection, a limited circulation email (i.e. excluding landlords) should be sent to members to gather information. Action BF &(FB?)
a) Update and progress (see report). Phine agreed to attend the North Southampton Community Forum on 17 November. There is a PACT meeting at Bevois Town Primary School on 26 November. Nothing additional decided, but members wondered whether John’s Bulletin should be revived next year, possibly for inclusion on Facebook rather than by email. Action: to be re-visited at a future meeting.
10. AOB. No items taken as AOB.
11. Dates of Next Meetings:
Committee: Tuesday 8 December – AGM Preparation ( Venue TBA)
AGM: Tuesday 26 January 2016