The Future of the Community Association

The CA was founded in 2002, triggered by the proposed redevelopment of the General Hospital site and the desire for residents to have their say about the proposals. From this, the CA has grown and evolved and the Executive Committee now consider that its aims and objectives would benefit from a review at the forthcoming AGM. The current role of the CA is now more of an 'umbrella', overseeing and supporting a number of vibrant groups underneath it, including the JABA newsletter itself, the JABA web site, the Community Travel Plan, JABA in Bloom and Flicks in the Sticks.

As JABA is now established as a well supported and widely distributed newsletter (with its associated web site), information can be easily disseminated without the need for regular CA meetings. In the last couple of years, it has been harder to persuade residents to attend these meetings (themselves reduced in frequency), despite a number of excellent speakers giving freely of their time, and the Executive Committee consider that these have probably run their course and should be discontinued. Instead, 'Special Events' will be promoted, as and when the demand or need arises. The Executive Committee will ensure that the initial aims of the CA continue to be upheld. If you have any views on these proposals or indeed would like to contribute to the CA in some way, then do please come to the AGM, details above.

UPDATED: Chairmans report now available to download or click on 'Read more'.
FURTHER UPDATE: minutes now available to download.

CA Chairman's report 2008

2008 was a year with a difference, in CA terms. As far as I can tell, the St James and Bartonsham area continued to be the varied and creative place it has always been, and there was still a strong sense of "community", even there there have been few official CA events taking place in the past 12 months.

In one sense, it is good to know that many varied and important things continue to happen, without there being a song and dance about them. Flicks in the Sticks continues to provide a rich menu of entertainment. Jaba continues to inform, entertain, probe (and prod!), communicate and stimulate. The links with Castle Green continue to build for the common good. Work on the Travel Plan goes on, with its efforts to promote safer roads and healthier living. And links with school, church and the Riverside centre seek to make best use of the "campus" feel locally. So although no flagship events have taken place, much that is worthwhile has still been generated and sustained locally.

The CA executive have met regularly throughout the year, and have reviewed this state of affairs from time to time, and have reached two conclusions. First, to recognise that most of these positive things have either originated with the CA, or have been able to thrive because of CA involvement. So in one sense the "status quo" has been a positive condition. But secondly the exec have recognised that there does need to be change, momentum, and initiative if these existing good things are to be protected from becoming routine and commonplace, and if we are to address some of the other needs and aspirations of the community as a whole. So we ended the year with the strongly expressed desire to see new ideas, new projects, that the CA can help bring to fruition - and we know that if this is to be fulfilled we will need "new blood".

So as the AGM approaches we trust that whilst being grateful for a great place to live, and some community benefits that have been seen in 2008, we all share the desire to move forward in 2009 - please come and help us do that!

Paul Towner
CA Chairman 2008

Posted: Tue - December 9, 2008 at 09:19 AM