• Gordon Gillies (Chair)
  • Phine Dahle
  • Andy Haslehurst
  • John Hayward
  • Chris Jackson
  • T Jacobs (Minutes)
  • Rosy Maguire
  • Barbara Matcham (Host)
  • Sue Swallow


  • Barbro Fitzjohn
  • Liz Haslam

1. Introduction

Gordon opened the meeting by welcoming the Committee Members. The apologies were given.

2. Police Liaison

2.1 How it will work

Gordon invited John to set out how the proposed liaison between the RA and the police would work. John explained that he has discussed it with PC Stephen Blandford and PCSO Holly Knight and they are happy with the proposal. It is proposed that:

  • An initial email will be sent to all OARA residents with the contact details of Stephen and Holly.
  • Residents can then use those details to report any concerns, questions or issues directly.
  • The email will clearly state when residents should use 999 or 101 to report incidents.
  • The details of the Portswood police Twitter account will also be given in the initial email so that people can subscribe to the hourly / daily Twitter feed if they so wish.
  • Items of interest will be passed by the police to John, who in turn will ask T or Gordon to forward them on to the membership list.
  • There will be no more than two emails from the police per month.

Gordon said that he was still concerned that the PCSOs covering our area change frequently. John responded that he had raised this with Stephen and Holly and had been reassured that there were no immediate plans for Holly to move on. If changes in personnel were to be introduced, there would be a period of handover. We agreed to see how this would work in practice.

The following actions were agreed:

Action: John to draw up the initial email and get it checked by Stephen Blandford
Action: Gordon to send out the email once approved

2.2 Recent experiences

A general discussion about recent experiences of theft in the area then followed, with reports of bicycles being stolen from garden sheds.

Rosy reported that she had witnessed what appeared to be drug dealing in the vicinity of the Avenue Road planters on Sunday 14th July.
Action: Rosy to report this to 101

2.3 Police and Community Together (PACT) meetings

John commented that these regular meetings were very poorly attended by residents and often, the police outnumbered the residents. Gordon responded that we are always given very short notice of the meetings, usually about two days, and that although such invitations are passed on immediately, the notice is too short for people to attend.

John agreed to pick this up with Stephen and Holly. Gordon also asked him to advise them that they can have a regular half hour slot at all future general meetings if they wish.

Action: John to pass these messages on

3. T’S Availability and Minute Taking

T reported that she will not be available to take the minutes at the next three meetings due to other commitments. Gordon asked for volunteers to cover for her absence. It was agreed that the minutes would be taken by the following people:

  • Committee meeting on 16th September – Phine
  • General meeting on 14th October – Barbara and Chris jointly
  • Committee meeting on 5th November – Andy

Action: T to send the minutes templates to the volunteers

4. Planning Issues

4.1 Alma Road

A number of statements concerning the test case HMO house in Alma Road have been sent by residents to the council for action by their lawyers.

4.2 Gordon Avenue

Andy has liaised with Jerry Gillen regarding the house in Gordon Avenue which appears to be an HMO for which planning permission has not been sought. Andy reported that the house is still owned by the original owners but is being let by Posh Pads on their behalf. They did not have tenants in residence by 23rd March so would have had to have applied for planning permission to change the use to a C4 HMO.

Action: Andy to follow up with Chris Lyons at the council to find out what is happening

4.3 Change from HMO C4 use to C3 use

Sue reported that she has been contacted by Gavin Grayer (Planning Enforcement Officer) regarding 58 Gordon Avenue. It has been sold but will still be an HMO.

She has also had five new applications for changes of HMO use from C4 to C3. This means that the house can be rented to families as well as students. Sue asked how she should respond to these applications. The Committee felt that they should be supported but with the proviso that we should clearly understand what restrictions might apply.

Action: Sue to find out what the restrictions might be

4.4 HMO licensing

Sue reported that the council is to go ahead with the proposed HMO licensing with immediate effect.

5. Rubbish and Waste

Chris commented that he has been encouraged by the new Waste and Recycling Compliance Officer and the progress he has made in clearing polluted bins. He suggested that OARA and the council might want to run jointly a stall in the entrance to Sainsbury’s when the students return at the beginning of October with the aim of promoting good recycling habits from the start.

The Committee agreed that this was a good idea and asked Chris to contact Jason to discuss it, and to invite him to the 14th October meeting.

Action: Chris to contact Jason

6. Street Cleaning

John asked whether we could ask residents to be responsible for their section of their street. Barbara replied that we had already tried this but no-one had come forward.

It was noted that Livingstone Road was particularly affected by polluted bins and general rubbish issues. Phine and Rosy agreed to knock on doors when the students return to promote good recycling behaviours.
Action: Phine and Rosy

7. Greening Group

Phine reported that the Greening Group had met recently. She has spoken to Cllr Derek Burke about our aims for the planters and general amenity space, and he will be invited to attend a Greening Group meeting shortly.

8. Newsletter

Rosy updated the meeting on the progress of the next Newsletter. The subjects are to be:

  • The Big Lunch (article by journalism student)
  • The Committee’s visit to the Mayor
  • HMO Licensing – article by Sue
  • Interview with Catherine Wright (article by journalism student)
  • Membership – article by T
  • History of the area – article by Judith and Phine

Actions: articles to be provided ASAP by Sue, T, Judith and Phine

9. Any Other Business

9.1 The Christmas Party

John Hayward’s band has agreed to play at the proposed Christmas party in December. The purpose will be to raise funds for the signature trees so it will need to be a chargeable event organised by the Greening Group.
Action: Phine to take back to the Greening Group

10. Dates for 2013 Meetings

OARA General Meetings

  • Monday 14th October 13
  • Tuesday 21st January 14 AGM

OARA Committee Meetings

  • Monday 16th September 13
  • Tuesday 5th November 13
  • Monday 16th December 13