There have been no changes to the OARA constitution during 2014. The membership card scheme introduced in20L2 was retained in 2014 as was the f3.00 minimum annual fee. Card-holders are entitled to various discounts negotiated with local stores. Holding a card is not mandatory for membership which was and continues to be based on residence within the OARA area. Membership fees of f462.50 (f274.00 in 2013) were collected during the year. The OARA Committee membership was elected for the year to 31 December ?O14 at the AGM on 21 January 2014. There have been three ordinary general meetings and five committee meetings during 2014. Membership of the Committee and minutes of all meetings are available on the OARA website at:

During 2014, the Greening Group has concentrated on maintaining the planters in Avenue Road and Alma Road and the cut-through from Gordon Ave to Westwood Road. lt has also supplied many planted half barrels sited on various property frontages without full front gardens. Some have been co-funded by landlords. The Group plans to resume the signature tree planting project during 2015.

A fourth ‘Big Lunch’ street party event was held in the summer. OARA also held a ‘get to know each other’ soup party in October for residents and students. The weather was kind to both events. OARA also held a Christmas party at the Bent Brief Public House. All three events were well attended and benefitted from live music from the locally based band, the Ukofonics. OARA has organised twice-monthly litter collections around the area throughout the year to improve the appearance of the streets. The local police Community unit has continued to support OARA, but changes in personnel and base have meant they attended fewer OARA meetings. OARA has taken a keen interest in local planning issues, but these do not have financial implications in the accounts.

Significant time and effort has been devoted to the development of the ‘Common Ground’ charter and this was launched in the autumn with a full colour newsletter. The City Council provided professional editing services and printed this newsletter. The charter aims to maintain the positive aspects of the area to make it a better place for all to live through the identification and promotion of common values amongst residents, local businesses, landlords and the students and others who rent their properties. One landlord has made a donation to OARA in return for members keeping the bins of his houses tidy, and OARA hopes that other landlords may follow suit in 2015.

ln 2013 OARA launched a Local History Group which has built on its 2013 base to produce a 2015 calendar with historic photos and pictures of the area. ln October 2014, the Group held an open day at the Avenue St Andrews Church hall. The cost of this event was supported by a Community Chest grant from Southampton City Council. The Group’s Facebook page may be found at: .

OARA starts its fifth year of operation and will agree its priorities for 2015 at the AGM on 19 January 2015. OARA has now built up sufficient resen es to allow it to consider making bids for grants which require some match-funding.

Andrew Haslehurst,

The accounts can be viewed in the PDF accompanying this article.