OARA focuses on a number of priorities and projects , discussed and decided on by the members, to help us achieve our overall objective of ensuring our area is a welcoming, safe and attractive place to be.

Common Ground

We have adopted the notion of “Common Ground” as an umbrella which covers the different aspects of what OARA does and acknowledges the importance of working together with others who have a stake in the area, including students, landlords, the council, businesses, care-homes, places of worship and schools. We have also developed a Common Ground Charter to share with others and encourage them to adopt its good neighbour principles.

The key projects which sit under the Common Ground umbrella are:

  • Greening
  • Community Liaison
  • Communications
  • Smart Streets
  • Planning
  • History and Heritage

The current priorities for each of these projects are shown below. We are always keen to hear from members who would be interested in helping out with any of these, even if you can only spare a little time now and again.

OARA Working Plans 2015/16


  • Carry on maintaining existing plots, planters and barrels and holding plant swaps
  • Recruit new helpers and consider setting fixed days for some sessions
  • Find new plots and sponsors for cherry trees
  • Clear and plant new plot in Clifford Dibben Mews
  • Hold Table Top sales to raise funds for new planting – next one in October
  • Explore installing water butts to help with watering e.g. at 14 Gordon Ave next to cut if landlord is willing


  • Continue  current social events e.g. Big Lunch, Street Welcome and Christmas Parties
  • Develop new events –  e.g  Halloween lanterns at the planter
  • Meet and work with 2015/6 student officers
  • Set up student  cooking sessions and possible cook book
  • Make more contact with wider local community e.g. Polish and other residents
  • Develop links with more landlords, including through bin-buddy and possible garden schemes
  • Produce welcome materials  for new student year, with Communications group
  • Keep in regular contact with local police team re safety etc, including through PACT meetings
  • Set up OARA notice board at the planters


  • Review overall ways we communicate – and enable others to communicate with us
  • Set up and develop use of Facebook page
  • Review and update website
  • Set up and use contacts at the Echo, Portswood Life ( and any others?)
  • Send current Common Ground newsletter to landlords, estate/lettings agents to try and bring
  • Produce new Common Ground newsletter in the Autumn and use to promote Charter
  • Update general OARA leaflet
  • Produce Welcome to Outer Avenue leaflet/pack for new residents- to include OARA leaflet
  • Produce student leaflet for start of new term

Smart Streets

  • Continue regular 1st and 3rd Sunday street cleans (except in August?) and encourage more people, including students, to join in
  • Encourage people to adopt a street or stretch of street near their home
  • Encourage businesses to take care of area near their  shops etc
  • Buy more equipment including hoes, using landlord/Waitrose funding
  • Extend bin numbering project to Alma Road and two other
  • Continue meetings and liaison with Council officers re overall service and continue campaign to get bins put back off pavements and bins removed from houses with no suitable frontage
  • Continue bin buddy scheme, including new leaflet, and extend to more landlords
  • Include good bin habits in student start of term leaflet
  • Support the SUSU “Shift your Stuff” campaign
  • Continue work with others ( Council, SUSU, other RAs) to regulate/reduce lettings boards*
  • Explore ways to restrict removal of front walls to properties and protect character of the area (with Planning and History groups) * * Amended following the meeting on 06/07/15


  • Organise a cemetery walk in early July
  • Organise an Edwardian picnic in the summer
  • Set up Artists of Bevois Mount art archives visit
  • Produce 2016 Bevois Mount History Calendar
  • Produce postcards of our area through the years


  • Continue to monitor and respond to house sales and planning applications
    ….and not forgetting


  • Continue to build membership and sense of belonging through Membership Card Scheme
  • Update membership card benefits/concessions