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Priorities, Projects, Greening, Clean streets, Outer Avenue Residents' Association, OARA.


OARA focuses on a number of priorities and projects, discussed and decided on by the members, to help us achieve our overall objective of ensuring our area is a welcoming, safe and attractive place to be.


We have adopted the notion of 'Common Ground' as an umbrella which covers the different aspects of what OARA does and acknowledges the importance of working together with others who have a stake in the area, including students, landlords, the council, businesses, care-homes, places of worship and schools. We have also developed a Common Ground Charter to share with others and encourage them to adopt its good neighbour principles.

The key projects which sit under the Common Ground umbrella are:

  • Greening
  • Community Liaison
  • Communications
  • Smart Streets
  • Planning
  • History and Heritage

The current priorities for each of these projects are shown below. We are always keen to hear from members who would be interested in helping out with any of these, even if you can only spare a little time now and again.


We've set out below ideas and priorities for the year ahead, continuing the work we have been doing and with new initiatives for 2022. These all aim to foster the idea of working together to improve and take responsibility the common ground we share.


  • Maintain and develop links with partners (such as the Council, the university, students' union, businesses, police, Alma Road Medical Centre, places of worship and the school).
  • Set up closer working links with neighbouring Residents' Associations e.g. IARA, HRA and Polygon.
  • Build up links with more landlords and lettings agencies, including SU's letting agency.
  • Produce and distribute a start of year Welcome / Information pack for students, in conjunction with the Council, Landlords and Universities, with guidance / expectations on waste, parking and noise.
  • Build up a profile of local population in order to forge better links.


  • Carry on with social events to include a June Big-Lunch Thank-You Party, an October Meet-Your-Neighbours event and a Christmas / Winter gathering.
  • Continue to develop art and cultural events, sometimes combined with social events.
  • Hold an Open Studio Art Event in August in collaboration with Avenue St. Andrews.


  • Continue membership drive, redistributing our leaflet and producing a welcome pack for new residents.
  • Carry out membership survey, to find out more about skills and interests.
  • Send regular bulletins, at least quarterly, to mailing list re activities / achievements.
  • Produce at least one hardcopy newsletter for wider circulation.
  • Make sure our website is fully functioning and up to date.
  • Develop our use of social media, including setting up local WhatsApp group.


  • Continue University / Student & Community Common Ground Meetings & extend to student landlords.
  • Campaign for parking / traffic / road improvements.
  • Continue monthly litter picks, increase number of helpers and look again at Street Blitz ideas.
  • Set up a Get Business / Landlords etc on Board initiative to encourage them to share local responsibility.
  • Lobby Council to enforce HMO licencing conditions and add addional ones where needed.


  • Continue with our programme of guided history walks.
  • Continue to give talks starting with 'Titanic Graves in the Old Cemetery' on April 20that Portswood Library.
  • Put up more blue plaques to celebrate people and places in Bevois Mount.
  • Finish writing 'A Walk Around Southampton Common' - the follow up to 'A Walk Up the Avenue' which was October Books' best seller of 2021.
  • Make plans for 2023 which will be the 300th anniversary of the Bevois Mount Estate - all ideas very welcome!
  • Produce a calendar to celebrate 300 years of Bevois Mount.


  • Celebrate Ten Years of Greening and maintain existing projects: flower beds, barrels & tree planting.
  • Create map of existing OARA Greening (trees, beds, barrels & planters) and seek more sites.
  • Set up Tree Project, including a Tree Protection Person, to protect / increase number of local trees.
  • Seek to increase protection / development of greenery in rental properties, working with Council and landlords e.g. change in licensing and education / persuasion of landlords.
  • Work with other parties with similar aims to green our area and city.


  • Set up a planning sub-group to better monitor and respond to planning applications and issues & oppose over-development.
  • Encourage site visits to understand local issues.