We recently sent out a mail to gauge opinion among residents as to the future organisation of our neighbourhood groups. Many thanks to all those of you who have taken the trouble to reply so far – more opinions welcome! We are posting this proposal on the website in case you missed the email.
As you know, we currently have two main neighbourhood groups in this part of Widcombe:
- ARCH (Action for Calton & Holloway), which was set up in 2010 with a formal constitution and accounts
- An informal group in St Mark’s Road, including many of the residents who co-ordinated the Jubilee Street Party for the road.
In practice these two groups have worked increasingly closely together.We’ve jointly organised social events like the annual Community Christmas Lunch and summer barbeques, as well as occasional local history talks, walks, film nights and the like, donating proceeds from many of these events to charities. We’ve also provided joint community input to the running of the St Mark’s Community Centre and have worked together on some local issues. And recently we have even joined together our communications under the banner of “widcombewest” with a joint website at http://widcombewest.uk, which also includes the Lower Wells Road Group.
As a result of this closer working we’re now considering whether in constitutional terms it would make sense to make “widcombewest” the single representative resident group for the area. This would mean:
- having the ability to offer a combined, legitimately representative voice on event planning and issues for the whole of the area under the widcombewest title
- one set of elected officers – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – drawn from all the participating areas (which, amongst other things, would hopefully make it easier to find sufficient people willing to take on these duties)
- holding a single set of meetings for local people to share their views and ideas
- maximising the time available to focus on events and issues by only needing to maintain one set of accounts etc.
In practice, therefore, we would have a joined-up group where all residents are able to represent their views and to work together for the greater good of the local community. At the same time none of this would prevent us still being able to have local reps looking after day-to-day matters in each of the Calton/Holloway, St Mark’s Road and Lower Wells Road areas when that is most appropriate.
We want to know what you think about this proposal. It’s your neighbourhood, so please have your say either by replying to this email or by speaking to Ruth (483106) or Keith (284598). Please also let us know if you have any thoughts and ideas on things that our local community could do in the future.