Present:

As identified on the Attendance List

OARA Residents

Alma Road

  • Dave Rounce
  • Peter Wirgman

Avenue Road

  • Lynn Murphy

Gordon Avenue

  • Maggie O’Connor
  • Dorothy Haslehurst
  • Hilary Jackson
  • Chris Hawthorn

OARA Committee

  • Gordon Gillies (Chair)
  • Andy Haslehurst (Treasurer)
  • T Jacobs (Membership Secretary)
  • Rosy Maguire (Committee Member)
  • Barbara Matcham (Committee Member)
  • Barbro Fitzjohn (Committee Member)
  • Chris Jackson (Committee Member)
  • Phine Dahle (Committee Member)
  • Sue Swallow (Committee Member)
  • Liz Haslam (Committee Member)
  • John Hayward (Committee Member)

Other attendees

  • Cllr Derek Burke
  • Jerry Gillen (Highfield RA)
  • Joe Taylor, Community Arts Project contact

Apologies:

  • Cllr Rayment, Mary Hockey

1. Welcome

Gordon opened the meeting by welcoming all of the attendees. The apologies were given. He explained that there would be two meetings tonight:

  • the AGM (Annual General Meeting) where the Committee would be elected and end of year reports given,
  • the OGM (Ordinary General Meeting) where we would reflect on our progress with our current projects

2. AGM – Chairman’s Report

Gordon distributed the Chairman’s Report. He commented that we have achieved a lot this year, and having more people on the Committee has really helped.

He announced that he will stand down as Chairman. He commented that we need to focus more on external liaison for example, working more closely with the North Southampton Community Forum, NORA (National Organisation of Residents Associations) and SUSU (Southampton University’s Students’ Union).

He observed that our lack of funding can limit what we can do. Our only sources of income are the Greening Group’s activities and the Membership Card Scheme. Therefore, another area for focus could be fund raising via grants.

Cllr Burke commented that he uses our Residents Association as an example to others, and paid tribute to Gordon’s leadership.

3. AGM – Finance Report

Andy reported that our income for this year was less than last year because we have made little further progress on tree planting. The accounts are currently being signed off by a qualified accountant, and when this has happened, they will be published on the website.
Action: Andy

Andy asked the RA to accept the accounts formally and this was agreed.

Click here to see the Financial Report.

4. AGM – Election of officers and committee members

Gordon explained that there are 12 positions available on the Committee in total: five officers and seven members. Committee members have to be active, available for most (if not all) meetings and be willing to participate in events such as street cleaning; they also have to take responsibility for specific area of interest eg: Planning issues.

Liz Haslam announced that she was stepping down from the Committee, as she is away for a large part of the year. Gordon thanked Liz for her Committee role over the last year.

4.1 – Chair

Gordon proposed John Hayward for Chair and Sue Swallow seconded. This was agreed by those present, and John accepted, acknowledging that Gordon would be a hard act to follow.

4.2 – Officers

He asked existing Committee officers to indicate whether they would be prepared to stand again for election. Both agreed. The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: John Hayward
  • Vice-chair: No one volunteered for this role and there were no nominations.
  • Treasurer: Andy Haslehurst
  • Secretary / Minutes Secretary / Membership Secretary: T Jacobs

4.3 – COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Gordon asked the existing Committee members whether they would like to stand again. All of them agreed. Two new nominations were made for Hilary Jackson and Gordon Gillies to join the Committee. The following people were elected as Committee members:

  • Phine Dahle
  • Barbro Fitzjohn
  • Gordon Gillies
  • Chris Jackson
  • Hilary Jackson
  • Rosy Maguire
  • Barbara Matcham
  • Sue Swallow

5 – AGM – Date of next meeting

This has been agreed as Monday 19th January 2015.
Action: all to note

Gordon then handed over to John Hayward to chair the Ordinary General Meeting.

6. OGM – Membership scheme

T gave an update on the current Membership Scheme: over 100 cards have now been issued, and we have entered our second year of renewals. However, despite gentle reminders, many people have not renewed their cards, and the reasons for this are unclear.
The membership fees are an important source of income so we have to find other ways of encouraging people to both take up and renew their Memberships Cards.

Maggie O’Connor suggested that rather than an annual card, we could consider issuing Membership Cards that lasted for three years. The meeting thought that this might work. We might also need to revisit the businesses which provide discounts to inform them that some cards may have longer expiry dates.
Action: T to consider how three year cards might work in practice. Rosy to consider the need to revisit the businesses.

7. OGM – Police report

John reported that he has joined forces with the Safer Neighbourhoods Team; PCSO Holly Knight sends regular updates about police issues to John, who then arranges for them to be disseminated to all OARA members. T responded that it would be more efficient if we could publish Holly’s reports on our website and then send members the link, rather than sending them a document.
Action: John to find out whether Holly is happy for her monthly update to be published on the OARA website. T to arrange this if Holly approves.

8 – OGM – Community Arts project

8.1 – What it is

Maggie O’Connor introduced the Community Arts Project, which arose from the Greening Group, and which had been endorsed at the last AGM. The project aims to make better use of the space on the corner of Gordon Avenue and Livingstone Road. It is planned to erect a bench in memory of Kevin Sharpe, a late local resident who has left money in his will for this purpose, and to have a decorative brick pavement / construction that celebrates the diversity of the area.

Cllr Burke has introduced Joe Taylor (who lectures in brick laying) to the Greening Group and Joe has made some preliminary drawings of what the Arts Project might look like. His initial ideas were passed round to the meeting for comment.

Maggie said that they planned to have an open day to show local residents what the corner might look like and to gather input. A final design could then be decided.

8.2 – How to move the arts project forward

Cllr Burke reported that he had met with Balfour Beatty, the company which maintains the pavements and highways. In order to progress, the Arts Project will need to produce a properly drawn plan of the final design, and to apply for Planning Permission. Without a plan, it will be impossible for Joe to determine how much the brick design might cost to procure and lay.

Sue Swallow commented that the bench will need to be costed separately for Kevin Sharpe’s sister. Sue was asked whether Kevin’s sister was aware of the other plans for the space ie: the brick design.
Action: Sue to make contact with Kevin’s sister

Jerry Gillen commented that a project of this nature is likely to cost a lot of money and suggested that British American Tobacco and the Lottery Fund were two sources of potential funding.

It was agreed that the Greening Group would press on further with the Arts Project and would try to find someone who can draw the plans for them.
Action: Greening Group

9 – Planning issues

9.1 – Overview of the current situation

Sue Swallow reported that most recent planning applications were concerned with extending properties (and that these are being granted) or changing a property from an HMO to a family house. This however doesn’t mean that the property loses its HMO status; it means that the landlord can rent the property as a family dwelling, supported living dwelling or an HMO without the need to reapply for planning permission again.

Peter Wirgman noted that there is now no cap on the number of students at both universities so HMOs will be much in demand by 2nd and 3rd year students; 1st years tend to live in hall so the new student accommodation currently under construction will ease that pressure slightly.

9.2 – The HMO licensing scheme

Sue reported that the HMO Licensing Scheme came into effect in July 13. The Scheme requires that all HMO properties are inspected to protect the interests of tenants and that landlords have to pay a registration fee and an annual premium. One of the other provisions is to prohibit landlords’ To Let boards. The Council is currently waiting on legal advice before the enforcement of the letting boards ban can be enacted.

Peter Wirgman reported that there is a meeting on 31st January with the Council and Residents’ Associations and that he could raise the issue then.
Action: Peter Wirgman

9.3 – Street Cleaning

9.3.1 – Audit of current equipment

Gordon reported, on behalf of Barbara Matcham, that the regular street cleaning exercises on the first and third Sunday of every month were usually attended by the same group of people and that it had proved difficult to attract new helpers.

He said that an audit of our current street cleaning equipment needs to be carried out and agreed to contact current holders to do this.
Action: Gordon

9.3.2 – Lunch for street cleaners

Barbro Fitzjohn announced that she would like to invite former and current street cleaners to her house for lunch on Sunday 2nd February, even if the street clean for that day is cancelled due to inclement weather. T agreed to publicise this for her.
Action: T

9.3.3 – Poor recycling behaviour

Chris Jackson reported that there seem to be hotspots of poor recycling and littering. One of the biggest problems is that of recyclables being put into plastic bags, which the council will then not collect. Hilary Jackson responded that she had contacted Cllr Rayment late last year and as a result, has been put in touch with Jon Dyer-Slade, the Head of Service responsible for the street scene. He has agreed to fund some leaflets but would like ideas from us.
Action: Hilary, Barbara, Chris and Gordon to meet to move this forward.

Peter Wirgman reported that the council wants to be able to fine bin offenders and that a local bill to enforce this will be passed in Spring 14. The meeting welcomed the news.

9.3.4 – On-street glass recycling

Rosy informed the meeting that there are now grey lidded bins in our area which are specifically for recycling glass. Although we haven’t been made aware of them formally, we are being encouraged to use them.

10 – Any other business

10.1 – Venues for future ordinary general meetings

There are two potential venues for ordinary general meetings that are sufficiently large to accommodate about 20 to 30 people:

  • Avenue St Andrews
    Action: Maggie to follow up to see if we can use their meeting room free of charge
  • Bevois Town School
    Action: Sue to follow up with the school contact, Amanda.

10.2 Venues for future committee meetings

We have already set out the Committee meeting schedule for the coming year, but haven’t yet confirmed the venues (Committee members homes) . The first meeting on 3rd March will take place at 43 Avenue Road.
Action: all to note

At that meeting, we will decide the venues for the subsequent Committee meetings.

10.3 – OARA to join NORA

Peter Wirgman asked whether OARA had joined NORA because if we do, we will be able to attend the national NORA AGM on 3rd April 14 in London.
Action: Committee to decide whether we wish to do this.

10.4 – Street Party

Maggie O’Connor asked whether we are going to host a Street Party this year. The meeting agreed that we would.

11 – Conclusion

John concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for their attendance and contributions.

12 – Dates for the 2014 meetings

OARA General Meetings

  • Tuesday 1st April 2014
  • Monday 7th July 2014
  • Tuesday 7th October 2014
  • AGM: Monday 19th January 2015

OARA Committee Meetings

  • Monday 3rd March 2014
  • Tuesday 3rd June 2014
  • Monday 15th September 2014
  • Monday 15th December 2014