Sharing ideas and priorities for the year ahead.

Proposed priorities for the year ahead were set out in the OARA Plans 2016 circulated at the start of the meeting. New ideas for the year ahead were presented and discussed.

1.Greening Group

The main focus of the coming year will be the Bloomin’ Concrete Project which will aim to transform the Portswood end of Gordon Avenue. The issue of trees causing leaves, and therefore a potential mess/hazard, was raised and it was agreed to mention it to the Street Cleansing Officer.

2. History

The first draft of the history mural was unveiled. It will be painted on the wall of Bitter Virtue next to the Alma Road planters. The middle panel still needs some ‘tweaking’. There is a space at the top of this panel which will be for a quote/ line(s) of poetry relevant to Bevois Mount. Suggestions would be welcome.

The cost will be in the region of £2,500 and the History group plan to raise the money through fundraising and sponsorship. The profit from the 2015 and 2016 calendars is already earmarked for this. The response of the meeting seemed positive.

3. Communications

We will be looking at what members feel is the most useful form of communication. Most agreed that the monthly bulletin/newsletter was effective. There was also support for another Common Ground type newsletter to all households. The possibility of a designated phone line was raised and will be discussed by the committee. Cllr Jacqui Rayment said that money for a notice board would be made available in the next financial year.

4. Community

Parties at the beginning of the academic year caused problems for many residents (although not exclusively caused by students). John Hayward, in collaboration with SUSU, the police and Environmental Health, has drawn up some guidelines and strategies for residents to use in these circumstances. These include a letter which can be given to the perpetrators the day after a disturbance.

5. Smart Streets

Regular street cleans will continue but there will also be focused street blitzes. We will also monitor and report local properties whose frontages have a negative effect on the look of the area.

6. Planning

We will respond to the forthcoming Local Plan Consultation.

There was general approval for the proposals which had been made.