Present:

  • Sue Swallow (Acting Chair)
  • Barbara Matcham
  • Andy Haslehurst
  • Barbro Fitzjohn
  • John Hayward
  • Phine Dahl
  • Hilary Jackson

Apologies:

None

1. Minutes and Matters Arising from previous meeting:

  • Reminder of special litter pick on March 15th  Action: Hilary
  • Arrange to see landlord re: ‘Bin Buddy’ scheme. Hilary to also attend meeting.
    Action: John &  Hilary
  • Matt Conrad has agreed to continue to update the web site for us. Many thanks!
  • AGM date, 20th of April has been notified to membership.

2. Reports:

a) Members

Barbro has taken on the role of membership secretary, carrying on existing systems that are in place. She let us know that currently we have 96 paid members plus 71 ‘friends’ who receive information from us and support our activities in many ways. All residents are ‘members’. 167 households have supplied us with contact details and 96 contribute to OARA via a voluntary annual fee.

Barbro and Phine will go door-knocking to collect membership fees. Action: Barbro and Phine.

Barbro suggested postponing the beer festival until October. Action: Barbro

b)  Greening

8 new cherry trees have been ordered two of which are replacements for vandalised trees.
3 local landlords have invested in trees for the front of their properties.
A table-top sale has been planned for Sunday 19th of April to raise funds for greening activities.
We have had an offer of a donation of bulbs from the garden of a local resident, who had seen the OARA-planted flowers coming up in the “Cut” and sent a supportive message.

c)  Street Cleaning

First & third Sunday litter picks continue. We have had some very encouraging comments  from local residents who have noticed the efforts that are being made and their results. Hilary and  Barbara have completed bin sorting and numbering in Gordon Avenue. We have alerted Jason from the council to ongoing litter issues which he has followed up on. We thank him for his continuing support.

Barry Olson, HMO Warden has offered to pick up any fly-tipping we alert him to on the Tuesday following a litter-pick. Again, many thanks.

d) Planning

There has been an application for the change of status of 111 Alma Road to allow for use as an HMO and/or family use, despite an enforcement order from the council for its current illegal HMO use to be ended in June. OARA members have sent in objections. Objections have gone in in response to an application for a front extension to 45 Portswood Road for a take-away, possibly chip shop. The site is on double yellow lines and next to the bus stop and any development like this would spoil a continuous row of Victorian terraces.

e) Bevois Mount History

The 2015 Bevois Mount History calendars finally made £275 profit. It was only possible to produce the calendars with the support of Jay Shah, local resident and businessman. He was so pleased with the response to the calendars that he has agreed to fund our 2016 calendar.

New calendar to be designed and pictures chosen. Action: John (with History Group)

f) Police Links

Because of local re-organisation our area now comes under Southampton Central, not Portswood. We have been assigned two PCs, Lee Scott and Danni Clarke, plus two PCSOs Emily Maddox and Michaela Newbold.

The old Portswood Police Station is to remain, but will house the rapid response units.

3. St George’s Day / SUSU event

Barbro is applying for a grant to support a St George’s Day event. SUSU have approached us to support a rag week street party in early May. Unfortunately, this only gives us a short space of time before ‘The Big Lunch’ which is one of our annual events that takes place in early June, so we felt it would put too much pressure on that section of Alma Road and its residents to have two street closures in such a short space of time. We will still look at a ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ OARA / SUSU event in October. Action: Big Lunch preparations – John (to liaise with  Maggie)

4. Future Structure

Ideas for a future structure will be presented at the AGM for discussion. Early thoughts were presented by Hilary. Under the ‘Common Ground’ umbrella, there would be a core (the committee) but branching out from this could  be different sub-groups e.g. planning, greening, clean streets, community, communication, history etc. with a representative from the committee on each one, but involving any members  or residents who have an interest in that particular area. One of the main messages we want to get across is that, ‘You don’t have to be on the Committee  to be involved’ and the amount of involvement is entirely up to you. One of our aims this year is  to broaden general involvement in OARA activities.

5. Nomination for Chair / Vice Chair

The following committee members offered to put themselves forward for the following positions at the AGM: Sue Chair, John Vice Chair and Hilary Acting Secretary.

6. AGM 20th of April

Final details to be ironed out at the next committee meeting but for now:

  • Invitations / reminder to be sent out two weeks before Action: Hilary
  • John to circulate chair’s report to the committee. Copies of the report to be circulated at the AGM. Action: John
  • Andy to circulate the financial report. Action: Andy
  • Cards to be handed out at the AGM inviting attendees to give their details if they are interested in getting involved in any OARA activities. Action: John, or anyone else who would like to help design the cards.
  • New PCs to be invited to give a 5 minute presentation outlining the changes to policing in our area. Action: John

7. Next committee meeting

7th of April, 7.30, at Sue’s