Notes From The Inaugural SENA Meeting on 20 June 2011

1. Introductions:

Mike Torbe welcomed residents to the first meeting of the embryonic South Earlsdon Neighbourhood Association (a SENA pod?!) and we introduced ourselves.

2. Background - how we got to this first meeting at the Oak:

Mike outlined how he and Helen had leafleted roads in the South Earlsdon area, Where there is currently no residents association, to see whether residents would find an association of interest. Approximately 500 households were contacted in Warwick Avenue, Styvechale Avenue, Osborne Rd, Berkeley Road South, Providence Street and Moor Street. Several people at the meeting suggested that Beechwood Avenue, Woodland Ave and Stoneleigh Avenue should also be invited to join since they are otherwise quite isolated. The question of the geographical extent of the association is one to be returned to.

3. Where do we go from here?

We discussed how the association might develop, and the suggestions fell into two areas.

Firstly, we agreed that we would like the association to provide a social network to share information about developments or problems in the area. We would also like to meet more people in our street(s). While everyone at the meeting agreed this would be a good idea, there were two groups to think about in particular to help feel included - those who were newly arrived in the area, including students, and older residents who might be becoming more isolated. Social activities suggested were a picnic in the park, a plant sale, a street sale, a register of equipment residents might wish to lend to others, a welcome pack for new residents.

Secondly, the association could work to monitor the physical environment of the area and work towards promoting appropriate developments in ways which individual residents cannot. SENA might work independently or in collaboration with other Earlsdon associations, depending on the issue. We acknowledged that these are tough economic times, but there are still options and decisions to be made about the quality of our neighbourhood environment and its development.

4. Communication and organisation:

We discussed various possible approaches - the Echo, posters, leaflets, a desk outside the Co-op. A website would also be useful but so too is personal contact, and residents at the meeting (all but one of the streets were represented) agreed to start talking to their neighbours about the association and to take responsibility for leafleting their streets. The two key questions may be - What can we do for you? And what can you do for us? We noted that personal details must be held confidentially.

We discussed how we might organise ourselves and agreed that this would evolve depending on the activities. Funding was discussed but no decisions were made.

Mike will continue to act as chair and co-ordinator for anyone wishing to network with other residents. Ray, Sally and Deryck agreed to become actively involved.

5. Next steps:

We said that we would like to talk to other Earlsdon residents' associations about how they had developed and the issues they focussed on. The suggested date for this is July 11th. We agreed to start with one social activity in August / September - watch this space.

The publicans at the Oak had been very welcoming and had given us free access to the back room for this first meeting. Longer term we wondered whether we might find a member of the Criterion who would sponsor us so that we might meet there, at a more neutral venue where disabled access is possible.

Dates for your diaries:

July 11 - meeting with reps from NENA and Rochester Road at either the Criterion or The Oak, venue to be confirmed.

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