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News, Updates, Bulletins, Outer Avenue Residents' Association, OARA.

Lodge Road Improvement

So many people have complained about the state of Lodge Rd, which falls between our two areas, that the Inner and Outer Avenue Residents' Associations have joined forces to see if we can kick start a project to give it some TLC. Neither organisation has the capacity to take this on itself so a first step is to survey the residents and businesses along the road to find out their views and see if they would be wiling to get involved.

We'll be doing this over the next few weeks and hope, with the support of our Councillors, to then call a public meeting to rally support and see what can be done.

Alternate Weekly Bin Collections Coming to Outer Avenue in June


We are writing in response to the current SCC consultation re the budget and in particular to proposed changes to refuse collection in the city and possible alternate weekly collections (AWC).

As you will be well aware the Outer Avenue is part of the city which is seriously affected by the large number of HMO properties and the attendant impact on the infrastructure and services in the area. We already experience very visible, ongoing and dispiriting problems related to refuse and litter but, as we hope you are also aware, we have worked very hard to adopt a proactive and positive response to this. We do, literally, roll up our sleeves and get out there to do something about it in a variety of ways - and have also engaged very actively with Council officers, many of whom have provided very valuable and practical responses.

So we do know a lot – probably too much – about the rubbish in our area; we therefore hope our track record lends some weight to this response and will encourage you to take our comments on board as you draw up plans for the future.

Our view on Alternate Weekly Collections

The Committee view is that in an ideal world weekly collections are the best and our preferred option.

This is particularly so in an area such as the Outer Avenue where half the households are HMO in nature with a transient population who, for the most part, do not have the same pride in or care for the area as longer term residents, including with regard to refuse.

We understand, however, that the massive financial cuts which have been imposed mean that the Council has no choice but to make reductions in services and that difficult decisions have to be made about where these cuts will fall and how services can best be maintained.

If the Council does vote to implement AWC then it is imperative that particular consideration is given to those areas of the city, (often referred to in the Council as the "corridor of contamination!") which are already so blighted by bin and litter issues and which are so plain, sometimes to the point of shameful, for all to see.

We have set out those issues below and, true to our record of trying to bring solutions rather than just problems, some strategies which we think could work and make a difference without costing more money.


We are sure you are familiar with these issues. However, we think it is important to spell them out at this stage. If AWC is implemented, then many of these problems will be exacerbated in areas such as ours unless these underlying issues are tackled and preventative measures built in. Issues currently experienced include:

  • Bins and bottle boxes which are left permanently on the pavement, spilling/trapping litter, blocking the way (particularly for disabled and people with buggies), being prone to being tipped over by late night revellers ( often but not always students) and just looking really unsightly. AWC could result

  • Residents not following refuse/recycling guidelines, so bins become contaminated and/or overloaded

  • Some residents, particularly those who may have limited English, not understanding what they are expected to do

  • Refuse teams not removing contaminated bins and leaving clip-on notices which are usually ignored and/or fall off and add to the litter on the street

  • Bins which are visibly full but inside property/boundary being left by collection teams

  • Side waste which is not collected

  • Increasing sightings of rats

  • Broken glass sometimes left in road after glass collection lorry has been

  • Excessive number of bins at some properties, too few at others

  • Some persistent offender households where there is persistent contamination and mess

  • Landlords/contractors who leave excessive rubbish and expect Council to clear it

  • Lack of enforcement of available powers

  • Street litter is made worse by overspill from bins and lack of street sweeping and leaf collection leads to clogged up gutters and drains

  • Numbered bins (many of which OARA has numbered with support from the Council) not returned to correct properties


  • We understand there is a proposal for a "mop up" round in HMO areas to pick up any problems. We think this is an excellent idea which could practically tackle many of the issues cited and would encourage us to be more supportive of AWC proposals. Indeed, if the AWC proposal goes through we think this would be a "must" for our area.

  • We understand the Refuse and Cleansing departments are coming together under one departmental umbrella – we think this makes sound sense as we have, for example, heard members of the street cleansing team complaining about the litter created by overflowing bins!

  • Use the opportunity provided by AWC changes to negotiate some changed practices with refuse teams – including return of bins and bottle boxes to within property boundaries in HMO areas, collection of sidewaste (some teams are already good at this). We know this isn't easy but this is an opportunity for change.

  • Using possible AWC as a peg, call a conference of interested parties, such as RAs and litter picking teams in the city, who already have a lot of knowledge and show a lot of goodwill on the ground, to share good practice and ideas on how there can be more joined-up thinking and smarter solutions to the refuse and litter issues. A good opportunity for Officers/Employees to work with those of us who are willing to work with the Council and also put in effort on the ground. And good PR for the Council!

  • The general waste (green lid) teams automatically picking up/emptying contaminated blue lid recycling bins when they see them so they do not just get worse

  • Issue refuse collection lorries with brushes and dustpans so any spillages, including glass, can be cleared up they go

  • Audit the bins that are at each property – so that there are only the right number of the right-sized bins. Money is wasted on excess bins. We are happy to carry on assisting with this process – as we have done to good effect in some of our streets already - and to number bins so they don't go walkabout.

  • Review the practice of wheelie bins for houses that have no accessible frontage. The mess from them is awful and they look dreadful. Look at parts of Portswood Road and Lodge Road – not a sight for the city to be proud of. What alternatives could be considered.

  • Some university towns have a lot of student properties/HMOs but do not seem to have the bin and refuse issues. e.g. Canterbury (highest per capita student population in the country). Can someone find out what they do?

  • Organise more timely targeted street and pavement cleaning during university holidays when there are a lot fewer parked cars in the way. This is an opportunity to get the bins off the pavement, sweep up the leaves, clear debris from gutters and drains so that weeds don't seed. This approach could save costs of weed killing, drain unblocking and therefore be more effective and better value for money. And if the street starts out smart students and others are more likely develop good bin and litter habits and keep it that way.

We could say more but that is probably enough, save to urge you to give special consideration to areas such as Outer Avenue when you are considering the future for refuse collection and street cleansing in the city. The Council talks in its plan of Southampton being "an attractive and modern city where people are proud to live and work". We absolutely endorse this aspiration and believe a clean, rubbish free, attractive environment is a key part of making this a visible reality.

Hilary Jackson ( Secretary) and Sue Swallow (Chair)
on behalf of the OARA Committee

Contact us at info@outeravenueresidents.co.uk

Would you like a cherry blossom tree?

We are about to order trees for our area from Hillier’s nursery. If you would like a small flowering cherry tree in your front garden just let us know. We share the cost with you on an equal basis. See the attached poster and just contact us if you would like to join in.

Greening group tree planting

We want to make our area a greener and more pleasant place to live. In the last five years we have planted fifty flowering Cherry trees in front gardens throughout the outer Avenue area. Thanks go out to the residents, landlord and others that made this possible. The Hilliers 'Spire' flowering Cherry was carefully chosen as it will still flourish in small gardens, is hardy and requires little maintenence.

Do you have the space for a Cherry tree of your own?

We offer:

  • A tree to grace your garden and the whole area with a mass of pink blossoms in spring and crimson in the autumn.
  • Help with planting, if needed. The tree comes with compost and a stake.

What we need from you:

  • Space in your front garden, on or near to the boundry with the pavement.
  • Willingness to water the tree for the first few seasons
  • A donation of £20 toward the cost of the tree. Retail cost of the tree is £40.

Trees need to be planted between November and March, so book yours now.

If you are interested in this scheme, please contact Sue Swallow at seswallow@gmail.com

Traffic & Parking Survey

In response to the ongoing parking and traffic issues in the area OARA has embarked on a project to gather views from residents to get a comprehensive picture of the problems people face - and look for possible solutions. Dorothy Haslehurst, one of our members, has been collating all the replies and a summary of these to date is as follows:

Report to OARA Ordinary General Meeting 17.10.16

An invitation to make comments on issues (if any) relating to traffic and parking in the OARA area was sent out to OARA residents in August 2016.

Since that time around 20 responses have been received (this does not include any Committee member comments) and almost all have offered detailed descriptions of issues and made thoughtful suggestions for improvements. Contributions were acknowledged and, where appropriate, respondents were engaged in further discussion to clarify points or consider alternative views.

The issues raised have included:

  • Avenue Road and Rose or Cambridge Road are being used as a short cut by to avoid the Lodge Road/The Avenue lights. Sometimes this involves cars driving too quickly or heavy lorries.
  • Earls Road (and also Avenue, Spear and Cedar) are heavily congested. Some vehicles appear to use these roads as a 'rat run' to get to Portswood Road above the Lodge Road lights. Regular parking on double yellow lines occurs at the corners of these roads and enforcement is rare. There are confrontations and minor accidents as there is no room or 'gaps' for passing. Some recent property developments are exacerbating problems.
  • Poor parking, which does not maximise space available and causes obstruction, prevalent. Very particular problems occur along Avenue Road where cars regularly park across kerbs or on pavement because they are too large for hard-standing.
  • Extremely poor road surfacing in particular Avenue Road. No apparent plans for systematic programme of resurfacing any of the roads in area. Cycling hazardous.
  • Notwithstanding poor road surfaces there are instances of speeding. Speeding on Lodge Road and The Avenue at edge of area causes concern.
  • Very significant problems with parking in some specific parts of the non-Zone 5* area even outside of University terms. (* Zone 5 is the area on the Avenue side of the road block planters which already has a parking scheme.) This is mostly in parts where roads adjoin Zone 5 or are closer to Portswood or Lodge Road. Large vans and cars displaced from Zone 5 populate the non-parking permit zone (sometimes apparently at the suggestion of the Council and sometimes they are rarely moved). Some local businesses or services do not have (or do not use effectively) own parking for staff or business vehicles adding to congestion. There is extreme exasperation with students (in particular) who bring cars but hardly ever use them so limiting parking opportunities for other residents particularly workers and those with children.
  • Various specific concerns re potentially hazardous situations where signage is lacking (or in the case of turning onto The Avenue from Alma Road where signs/adverts block visibility). Also the particular issue at end of Highcliffe Avenue where there is no turning circle and access to the rear of some Earls Road houses has been recently created.

Suggestions to alleviate the problems include:

  • Conduct a feasibility study into the introduction of a one-way system involving Avenue Road (Middle and East end), Earls Road, Spear and Cedar linked to road resurfacing and perhaps 'angled' parking.
  • Review all signage and road markings to ensure they are fit for purpose. Investigate whether 'Access only' and 'Give way' signs would alleviate some issues. Introduce 'Twenty is Plenty' advisory signage. We are aware that a mandatory 20mph speed limit cannot be introduced because it is a police matter and cannot be enforced by the Council but investigate how other matters can be more effectively enforced.
  • Continue to consider and canvass opinions about whether an extension of the Zone 5 residents' parking scheme to parts of the area would be sufficiently supported to go forward for a formal consultation.

Information about on-going action:

  1. Residents can continue to contact us by e-mail with any comments.
  2. Await specific answers about queries to Councillors and Council Officers about the process to move forward with suggestions made as above to alleviate problem areas.
  3. Set up sub meeting with residents who have volunteered to assist in moving issues forward and draw up action plan for consideration by the Committee and wider membership.
  4. Include as main agenda item on a forthcoming OARA meeting.

Dorothy Haslehurst
Project Lead for this issue on behalf of the Committee

- - - -

Our next steps are to meet with council officers in order to share information and consider feasibility and then arrange a dedicated meeting to report back and discuss possible future plans.
You can still make your own contribution by contacting us at:


October 2016

Since the inception of the Common Ground project in late 2014 we have continued to work under the Common Ground umbrella - seeking to collaborate with people and groups who have an interest in the area in order to make it better for us all to share. Here is the latest report, presented at the OGM on October 17th, about how we have been getting on.

Below is a brief report on the progress made since our OGM in May with the Common Ground Plans approved at the AGM/OGM in January 2016 and any other new activities since that date.


There are currently around 130 people on our mailing list, with about 100 of these being paid up members. The membership secretary aims to visit new and renewing members each month and to keep the list up to date. This is also an opportunity to meet and listen to residents about any ideas or problems. Fees are paid in monthly to the Treasurer for checking and banking.


  • Carried on maintaining existing plots, planters and barrels. Regular greening sessions on the first Monday and third Friday of each month have started to become more established. Plant Swap took place on 10th June. The two cherry trees in the Avenue Rd planters have been ailing as not ideal conditions. They have been removed to nurse back to health and then replant in more suitable location. They have been replaced with a smaller ornamental cherry.
  • 5 window boxes and 4 barrels were installed at properties at the lower end of Gordon Avenue as part of the Bloomin' Concrete Project and with the support of some landlords and tenants. Almost all survived intact, although two window boxes disappeared at the end of September. Replacement ones will have an OARA notice on them to act as deterrent. We also tackled some of the street weeds which seem to flourish at a greater rate than any organised greening!
  • Table Top Sale took place on Saturday 15th October, in new location on ex- Blockbusters forecourt, and raised £130 for future greening activities.


  • Two newsletters have been circulated to the mailing list since the OGM, one in July and one in October.
  • New notice board at the Alma Road planters is now installed and in regular use. Several people have made contact as a result of seeing items on the notice board.
  • New leaflet circulated to all households at the start of October, inviting residents to the Meet Your Neighbour Party and encouraging good neighbourliness, including good bin habits.


  • Two Street Parties have taken place, the Big Lunch Street Party on 12th June and the Meet Your Neighbour Party on 9th October. Both well attended, including by council reps and the police. Also well supported by the Uni Students' Union who helped with organisation and entertainment. Good contact made with a number of students in the area, some of whom have volunteered to help with litter-picking and greening.
  • Attended and reported back on PACT meetings. Circulated police reports. Next one due 27th October.
  • Provided support for residents affected by party noise and music, liaising with Police and Council.
  • Meeting held with Practice Manager at Alma Road Surgery to discuss issues including impact of closure of Nicholstown Branch and parking. OARA committee member is now chairing the Patient Participation Group and helping organise patient survey.
  • Representatives attended the Southampton Common Forum meetings and are due to attend North Southampton Community Forum.
  • £550 was raised towards the Mural Project as a result of the Art Show in April and following that success a mid-winter Art Fair is now planned for the 25-27 November.


  • Twice monthy Street Cleans have continued, with 10 sessions since the last OGM. There about a dozen regular volunteers but we do need more. Extra pairs of hands very welcome. Follow-up reports now sent to the Council who arrange a prompt pick up of dumped items using the Community Payback Team.
  • Street Blitzes planned but suitable time not yet found. Spear Road likely to be first one in the autumn.
  • The bins in Alma Rd have been numbered and more numbers due from the council to do at least one more road.
  • OARA members assisted the Council at the end of September in relabelling all the recycling bins and the Council has provided us with some spare grey bottle boxes for houses whose boxes have gone walkabout.
  • The Uni "Shift your Stuff" campaign took place again in June/July this year, providing a recycling scheme for students moving out at the end of term. There seemed to be less uptake on our patch this year with many students unaware. Those we informed and gave red bags to were very keen. We will volunteer to distribute leaflets and red bags to all student households next year to increase uptake.


  • The magnificent Mural has been started and finished since the last OGM and has already become a local landmark. There a was a large piece about it in the Echo on October 14th.
  • The 2017 Bevois Mount Calendar, in colour this year, is already on sale.
  • A local history walk took place on 4th September and attracted over 20 participants.
  • Bevois Mount History Facebook Page and website frequently updated with new finds.


  • Continued monitoring of and response to house sales and planning applications.
  • Responded to planning appeals both in person and in writing.
  • Took action re the concreting over of garden frontages, including contact with the council over what is/is not permitted, and offered to advise on more attractive and manageable solutions.


We have initiated a project to research the traffic and parking issues which affect local residents and which encompasses several of our Common Ground areas above. Views are being collected and a preliminary meeting has been held with one of our Councillors to seek further factual information. Once all the information has been collated a dedicated meeting will be organised to share information and progress with residents.

Outer Avenue Residents' scheme blossoms with success as Roy Lancaster CBE plants 50th cherry tree in the area

Spring was in the air this Easter as the Outer Avenue Residents Association celebrated planting the 50th cherry tree in their patch, covering a number of local roads in the area. The Association is a neighbourhood organisation which works to bring people together, and thanks to the efforts of its Greening Group, a deal has been struck with local residents whereby they pay a share of the costs towards the planting of a flowering cherry tree and the organisation pays the balance, allowing all local people to enjoy the area being that bit greener. The scheme started in 2012, the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and since then student households, private rentals, and local families have all benefitted from giving a tree a home!
Roy Lancaster CBE, renowned plantsman and regular on Gardener’s World, did the honours by planting the tree commemorated by a locally-made brass plaque and oak stake. With a glass of fizz in one hand and his trusty spade in the other, Roy said to the assembled residents that we all have a lot to thank trees for: “Trees bring people together, they give us places to hide, we gather beneath them, they are a symbol of life and literally give us a reason to look up,” before adding what a good choice the tree was, being the locally-bred Prunus ‘Hillieri Spire’ – a hardy and attractive tree that doesn’t grow too big to be manageable.
Spirits were high as resident Maggie O’Connor provided cheerful accordion music and neighbours were treated to chocolate nibbles, juice and snacks, before the roots were carefully lowered into the ground and the organisation celebrated its success participant in the scheme.

So next time you're wandering around Gordon Avenue, Alma Road, or any of the smaller roads surrounding them, keep an eye open for blossoming cherry trees!

For further information, more images or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Ruth Kibble or Sue Swallow

PACT meetings provide the opportunity for people living and working in the Bevois area to meet with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and housing officers from Southampton City Council.

We meet quarterly to discuss the issues that affect you in your community. We then set three priorities for your NPT to address over the next three-month period. The next time we meet we review our actions before setting further priorities.

Join us on February 18 2016 at 19:30 at Bevois Town Primary School, Cedar Road, Southampton, SO14 6RU.

Around a dozen volunteers turned out on Sunday 19th July, armed with spades, forks and even a mattock, to begin work clearing the very weedy and unsightly verge in Clifford Dibben Mews, just off Avenue Road.

Such was the turn out and the effort that the whole area was cleared and dug over in couple of hours, aided by welcome refreshments from nearby neighbours. The patch is now ready for digging in a good load of council-donated compost ready for late-summer planting with bulbs, lavender and low-maintenance shrubs. We have registered this latest Greening Group initiative as our contribution to the RHS's current Greening Grey Britain project.

Thank you to everyone who came along to help and make such a rapid difference.