Here’s the latest from Kingshill Area Residents’ Association!
New Secretary Needed & Minutes from the Last MeetingAs mentioned at the last meeting, KARA urgently requires a new Secretary in order to be officially recognised and to continue to exist. The main responsibility is to record minutes at meetings and prepare them for distribution, as well as holding our records. It would be much appreciated if a volunteer could step forward for this essential role at the next meeting. In the interim, Peggy Rosser has very kindly taken and prepared the minutes from the January meeting and you’ll find these attached for your information – thank you Peggy! Also attached is Councillor Dave Wood’s feedback, presented at the January meeting, from December’s “Raise issues with your Councillor” item.
If you are interested in taking on the Secretary role please do feel free to contact me to discuss it before the next meeting.
Meet your Neighbourhood Policing TeamYour local NPT have arranged the below drop-in sessions for residents to meet their local officers and discuss issues:
Wed 9th Feb – Cambria Bridge playground – 1400 – 1430Frid 18th Feb – Platform Youth Club – 2000 – 2030Thurs 24th Feb – Dean Street – 1400 – 1430Weds 2nd March – Farringdon park – 1800 – 1830Friday 11th March – Reading Street – 2000 – 2030Friday 18th March – Shelley Street – 1400 – 1430Thursday 24th March – TA Centre – 2000 – 2030
Funding FeedbackAs mentioned at the last meeting, we had bidded for Community Spaces funding to develop the nature reserve in Radnor Street Cemetery. We knew competition would be fierce as it was open nation-wide and unfortunately we’ve not made it to the next round this time due to technical issues. Other groups have faced this too and there’s no appeal process. However, the organisation that helped us in putting together the last bid is already actively looking for other funding streams for this project so hopefully we’ll be in a position to bid again soon!
Second Kingshill Crossing – great opportunity to raise your views!I’m really pleased to let you know that the Head of the Highway Management Network – Gwilliam Lloyd – is scheduled to attend the next KARA meeting so that he can hear your thoughts and feelings about this issue, as we know it’s something that has concerned many residents for a very long time! Please do take this opportunity to engage in this discussion so that SBC have a real understanding of real residents’ views!
Swindon Local Involvement Network (LINk)We had LINk business cards distributed at the last meeting and I have attached their latest e-newsletter to this e-mail. Jo Osario has offered to attend a future KARA meeting to talk about health and social care issues in our area. If this is something that you’d be interested in then please let me know so we can look to schedule him in.
Grits Bins – Your Views Needed – Message from Cllr Dave Wood Great news! We’ve persuaded the Council to install two new grit bins.  The proposals are as follows:- Hillside Avenue: Outside 31/32 on the grass verge- Valleyside/Sunnyside: Suggestion on the verge at the junction of the two – but they want resident viewsIf you have any views please do let me know. If you’d like to be on my councillor email list please let me know on team@eastcottfocus.org.uk
Social and Community EventsJo Mortimer has been busy trying to establish a Reading Group and a Big Lunch event to be hosted at the Clifton Inn. If you’re interested in either or both of these then please do e-mail her at clifton@kingshillresidents.org.uk We’ve also talked about running a Macmillan Coffee Morning and an Open Gardens / Allotments Day. For any of these to happen, we do need volunteers who are willing to help co-ordinate these events. Interested? Let us know!
Next MeetingThe next meeting is on Tuesday 15th February 2011 from 7pm at the Clifton Inn – look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes
Nicky SewellChair, KARA


Community Spaces funding bid – inspiring project name needed!

At the last meeting I was mandated by the meeting to prepare a funding bid for the Community Spaces grant, to develop the nature reserve in Radnor Street Cemetery. I’ve since met with the Biodiversity and Education Ranger to discuss options. As a result of that, I’ve prepared the attached funding bid and met with the Swindon manager for Groundwork South West and I’m continuing to develop the proposal ahead of the deadline on 7th January 2011. It’s all pretty exciting and could be amazing for our area, but competition for the funding is fierce. What we need is a project name for this development – please do have a look at the draft bid and let me know any inspiring names you come up with. Unfortunately due to the bid deadline we won’t be able to decide it at the next meeting, but I am keen to hear your thoughts. I was toying with “Swindon’s Secret Garden” but I’ve recently learnt that another project is being set up with that tagline. This is your project, so let’s hear your ideas!
A sad farewell – but can you help?

I’m sad to say that our Secretary, Lynne O’Shaughnessy, has reluctantly resigned her position as Secretary due to competing work demands and working away from Swindon more. Lynne has done a fantastic job since we founded KARA and I know we’ll all miss her greatly. She will try to come to meetings that fall when she’s in town so we look forward to catching up with her in the future. We do now, however, need a new Secretary. We have to fill this position in order to “legally” exist. The role requires the person to take minutes at meetings (including apologies and amendments) and type them up to forward to the Chair, as well as keeping the Association’s records (e.g. constitution, minutes, agendas etc.). It would be great if we could fill this position at our January meeting, so if you are interested in the role, please do get in touch and let me know!
Grit Bins, Grit and Snowy Weather!

At the last meeting, it was requested that grit bins be sought for the junction of Sunnyside/Grosvenor/Valleyside, Hillside and Hillcrest and for Dunsford Close. The request has been made, but it’s unlikely to happen this winter. For those of us that are fortunate to have bins on our streets, if they have become empty, then you can call nnnnnnnn to request replenishment. For personal grit supplies – as mentioned at the meeting – local social enterprise LEAVES are offering home delivery on bags of grit and they can be reached on nnnnnnnnnn.
A lot of what we talk about in KARA is about becoming better neighbours, and we’ve already had some good news stories result, but it’s probably this time of year that it’s needed more than most. Let’s remember to keep an eye out for our neighbours and those that are perhaps struggling to leave their homes in the snow and ice. I know we’d all want to help those that may need extra help at this time, and I’m certainly around a fair bit over the next fortnight, as I’m sure a many of us are, if there’s anyone we know that might need help with groceries etc.
Second Kingshill Crossing – volunteers needed!

We’ve talked in KARA about continuing the campaign for a second Kingshill crossing and I was mandated by the association to lobby the Council, through Mark Walker, to state our commitment to this cause. What I’m looking to do in the early New Year is conduct a pedestrian survey of those that cross this road and I’m looking for volunteers that can help with this. Please do let me know if this is something you’re interested in helping with.
Next meeting: The next KARA meeting will be Tuesday 11th January 2011 at the Clifton Inn, Clifton Street at the new time of 7.30pm.

To think that 5 months ago KARA hadn’t yet begun, we’ve come such a long way in such a short space of time and that’s down to you. It’s down to everyone that’s shown interest in the association, everyone that’s been to meetings, everyone that’s volunteered in delivering newsletters, being on the committee and becoming road reps, and it’s down to everyone that lives in the KARA area for making such an inspiring area in which to live. Thank you to all of you. We have much planned for 2011 and many more plans to come and I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a hugely exciting time to live in our area. Here’s to a bigger, stronger and even more successful KARA in 2011!
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, have a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to seeing you in 2011!
Warmest wishes

Firstly a HUGE thank you to everyone that came along to our second meeting last week. Over 50 people signed in and the feedback I’ve had suggests that people took a look from the meeting, which is great. Also a very warm welcome to everyone that’s joined the e-list since the last group mailing.

Lynne’s busy pulling the minutes together and I’ll get those out to you hopefully next week, but in the interim, here are the items on which I agreed to feedback/consult/highlight:

Place Shaping in Our Community
As per Kenny Duncan’s (SBC) presentation at the meeting, the council are keen to hear our views on the below topics and this will help with the priority setting process for our local area. Please send me your views before 10th December 2010 so that I can collate and present the views of KARA residents as a collective:
– What do you value in our community?
– What do you find difficult in our community?
– What are your aspirations for our community? What would you like to see changed and how would that look?

Street Smart deal with many of the issues which cause headaches for local residents and they really are the one-stop-shop for sorting these issues out. They’re the Council department that deal with issues which include waste and recycling, street care and cleaning, road, pavement and highway maintenance, street lighting, parks and open spaces, car park maintenance, highway drainage, winter services and environmental enforcement.

If you need action taken on any of the above issues then you can call 01793 445501 Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm or 01793 466453 outside of these hours. You can also e-mail issues to streetsmart@swindon.gov.uk

It would be great to hear your feedback on using this service so we can see how effective it is at remedying our woes.

Swindon Community Radio 105.5
We have been offered the opportunity to promote KARA through this local community radio station and we’ve had the invitation for myself and residents to be interviewed about KARA and our community. Additionally, they’ve offered to record our next meeting to be included in a future radio programme. I wanted to ask your thoughts on this as I know not everyone may be comfortable with having the meeting recorded or may feel anxious about speaking at the meeting if they know it’s being recorded. As members and residents your needs must come first so I’d welcome you to contact me in confidence ahead of the next meeting to give me your thoughts on this.

During our Local Business agenda item, InSwindon was mentioned and I agreed to circulate its web address:

Groundwork Community Space Grants – your thoughts needed!
This is an amazing opportunity but timescales are very tight. This is a grants programme that can award grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to community groups that want to enhance, improve or develop their local environment. This can include community gardens and parks, informal sports and multi-use games areas, nature reserves, churchyard gardens, ponds and basically anything that facilitates residents’ access to green spaces. There is still money available but I need your thoughts on what we could potentially use a grant for in the KARA area. The bid deadline is the first week of January so I will have to get the ball rolling in advance of our next meeting as it will need to be in liaison with the Council in regard to planning and permissions. Please do have a think about this and it would be preferable to have your thoughts back by Friday 26th November 2010. I only found out about this project after last week’s meeting so apologies for the late consultation but if we can gather ideas then I can consult with the Council about what may be possible for us.

KARA Reading Group
As part of KARA’s Community Cohesion objective, Jo Mortimer is very kindly establishing a Reading Group for KARA residents. The idea is that a book is set and then residents can meet informally to discuss the title. Jo is keen to hear from anyone interested in joining the group and she can be reached on clifton@kingshillresidents.org.uk

“Like” KARA on Facebook!
A KARA Facebook Fan Page has been set up to increase our presence within social networking. If you’re a Facebook user please do search for Kingshill Area Residents’ Association (KARA) and hit “Like”. Do suggest the page to any friends and family in the KARA area. Our website is currently under development and we hope to soon be on Twitter too.

I think that’s about it from me for now! There’s plenty here for everyone to think about and I’d love to hear your feedback, especially on the Groundworks grants and the Place Shaping in Our Community priority setting process. If you have friends, family or neighbours in the KARA area that aren’t on the e-mail list then please do encourage them to sign up and if they’re not on e-mail, it would be great for you to share this information with them.

Our next meeting is 7pm on Tuesday 7th December 2010 at the Clifton Inn, Clifton Street, and I hope to see you there. If you’re unable to attend then I will send on the minutes and have a safe and happy festive and New Year period.

Warmest wishes