Residents' Associations

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Residents' Associations may have different purposes. Mine is within a conservation area valued for its Victorian houses. Its goals include:
1. Promoting high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting The Area.
2. Securing the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in The Area.
3. Educating others in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of The Area.
4. Improving standards of environmental quality in The Area, including traffic issues, streetscape, signage, street cleaning and ‘greening’ through street trees and planting.
5. Creating and promoting civic pride and a sense of community within the area of benefit.

My residents' association is obliged to hold Annual General Meetings open to all local residents. Local issues are discussed, but a key purpose is to elect or re-elect a committee of 12 people to steer activities. These may range from liaising with the local Council about planning issues to organising events such as street play, local history tours, open gardens, advent windows, carol singing for charity, table top sales or jumble trails, dog shows, blue plaque ceremonies and community clean-ups.

Committee members are expected to attend monthly meetings to plan these events. The key roles are Chair, responsible for the agenda of these meetings, and Secretary who keeps a written record of what is decided, especially the action points and the names of those who promise to do things. Treasurer is another important role to keep track of the residents' association's income and expenditure. Income comes from a moderate amount of advertising included in the association's printed newsletter as well as occasional Council grants. For example, we got £400 to organise a street party to mark the Queen's 70th jubilee. Expenses may include the cost of a planter to help green a local street or a dog-poo pavement stencil to remind owners to clean up after their pets.

-----© Ted Power