Present:

  • Jason Evans (Council)
  • Gordon Gillies (Chair)
  • Chris Jackson
  • Barbro Fitzjohn
  • Sue Swallow
  • Phine Dahle (Minutes)
  • John Hayward (Host)
  • Barbara Matcham
  • Rosy Maguire
  • Andy Haslehurst

Apologies:

T Jacobs

1. Introduction

Gordon opened the meeting by welcoming the Committee Members and Jason Evans, Waste & Recycling Compliance Officer at Southampton City Council. The apologies were given.

2. Street Cleaning and Bins

2.1 Progress on Recycling Bins

Jason addressed the meeting with an update on how his efforts in dealing with bin collections were progressing. He thanked Rosy for providing him with a list of properties where bins were not being emptied, usually because they were polluted recycling bins. The meeting agreed that much progress had been made in this area but that we would need to keep up the action, particularly as the students were returning after summer break.

Jason outlined the next steps that would take place to improve waste collection. All properties would shortly receive an information pack outlining again how the system works. The pack would include a sticker for residents to put on their recycle bin, as part of a system to reward good recyclers. He also outlined a process where properties would be given a series of warnings if they did not comply, culminating in official legal proceedings against persistent offenders.

He also mentioned that there is a new smart-phone app (called Recycle for Southampton) that has been launched which will give all the details you need to know to organise waste and report non-compliance. Amongst other things, the app will provide information on what can and cannot be recycled, when collections take place and how to report issues to the Council.

Jason announced that there would be several days where he and other Council officials and volunteers would be door knocking local areas to educate local people on good bin discipline, amongst other topics such as security and fire safety. He would provide Gordon with the dates that this will be happening and Gordon will let the membership know in due course.

Action: Gordon to circulate dates when local door knocking will occur.

Chris suggested we should focus on local supermarkets when students are back. Jason said he could give us stuff to give out to ‘hit people in the face with how NOT to do it.’ The meeting agreed that this was a good idea, but that we would wait to see how current initiatives are working before we take this course of action.

John asked how we could encourage landlords to take more action in this area. Jason replied that all private landlords would shortly be on an HMO data base. All would have to register or risk heavy government fines. Landlords would have to pay for each property on the database. Part of this exercise would be to educate landlords in what is required of them to comply with waste collection.

2.2 Litter picking

Barbara informed the meeting that the area was definitely looking better but that there was growth of weeds in the gutters. The regular street cleans had started to tackle this but it was an ongoing job that required a lot of work.

Jason asked that Gordon could request help from the Community Payback scheme to assist in cleaning these.

Action: Gordon to request help to clean the gutters for a day by community payback

Jason said that he would be happy to return in January to review the situation. Gordon thanked him again for his attendance and efforts. Jason then left the meeting.

3. Kingsley House

Gordon reported on the ongoing issues with Kingsley House. There had been a few incidents recently which showed that all the efforts that had been made to improve the situation over the last 3 years had provided little improvement for the immediate neighbours of this facility. The feeling of the residents was that we need to push this to the next level, which may include asking the Council to severely change the remit of Kingsley House or even close it down. Gordon has written to our 3 councillors giving examples of how things had not improved and asking for their support in helping our community. As it happens, the licence for the activities at Kingsley House are due for renewal in the coming months.

The meeting agreed that the next step is to convene a meeting of interested OARA members and our local councillors to discuss what the next step should be.

Action: Gordon to arrange a meeting with Councillors to discuss Kingsley House situation.

4. Police Liaison

John reported that the police wish to find another operations venue given that Portswood Police Station is being sold. He stressed that the service we received was not being reduced.

5. History Project

John reported that the new local history project has now been kicked off with a successful first meeting. Two further meetings were now to be held to progress this project. These would be on 2nd October at 7.30pm at John’s house and on Sunday 3rd November at the Sainsbury’s meeting room from 11am to 4pm. Gordon was asked to inform the membership of these dates.

Action: Gordon to inform membership of dates of next History project meeting.

6. Greening Group

Sue reported that the planters have been tidied up and that bulbs have been purchased for planting.

A meeting was also planned with Councillor Derek Burke to discuss what we could do with the large space on the western junction of Livingston Road and Gordon Avenue. said we’d tidied up the planters.

Some money had been raised to plant more trees, but if this happened in 2013, it would not be as grand a project than the previous year. This will be discussed at the next general meeting to see how much more interest there is on this.

7. Christmas Party

The meeting discussed whether we should hold a Christmas party. It was agreed that we could hold an event at the Bent Brief, with John’s ukulele band providing the entertainment. John will progress this idea and book a venue.

Action: John to progress Christmas party idea and book venue.

8. Dates for 2013 Meetings

OARA General Meetings

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

OARA Committee Meetings

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