Residents are all ready take action
5:30am Friday 11th July 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
WESTLEA Residents’ Association has reformed after 25 years after finding a new need to highlight local issues in West Swindon.
The association met for the first time on Monday after receiving a locality grant to get off the ground, and will look at taking action and lobbying councillors.
The topics up for discussion at the first meeting were road resurfacing, parking, flooding issues and environmental maintenance.
Some successes have been seen already, with the council putting plans in place to repair potholes in the area by November.
Chairman Derek Lowsonsaid the group formed to help prioritise issues important to residents.
“The idea is that the association and the locality forum will be complementary of each other,” he said.
“At the forum you might have a number of people expressing different views.
“The aim is to focus on some of the more localised issues for residents in Westlea.
“What happened originally was I asked a question regarding the park at the bottom of the street, where they installed railway sleepers to house flower beds, and it has deteriorated dreadfully.
“After conversations with Gail Light the locality facilitator, the idea was floated for the residents to take it on and do something about it.
“We got a locality grant of £200, and there was no way we were just going to spend that on tidying up the park when we could do it for free.
“After talking to other residents in the area the idea was to form a residents’ association because there are a number of issues that need looking at.
“There was a kind of informal association at a coffee morning, but this brings it all together.”
“The association is open to all residents, and we currently have about a dozen in attendance, but it is still early days,” Dereksaid.
“At the last meeting issues such as road resurfacing came up, and we have now been told the work will go ahead by November.
“There are also concerns about parking in Westlea, particularly heavy goods vehicles in residential areas.
“We realise there are limited funds, which is the idea behind getting things focused to a local level.
“We want to be constructive and have positive discussions with the council, which is why we are trying to make priorities for the area.
“The council should be optimising costs rather than minimising them so they get proper value for money.”
The new association is the third in West Swindon, alongside the Shaw Residents’ Association and Rodbourne Cheney Residents’ Association.
“If there are issues where there is an overlap, such as the traffic on Mead Way from Ridgeway Farm, then having a number of residents’ associations meetings you might get things moved along a little better,” said Derek.
The association will meet at the Delta Centre in the first week in September. Any residents who wish to join and attend the meetings should contact Derek on 01793 872998.