Press Release - July 2016

Press Release - July 2016
Wednesday 13th July, 2016

The Alton & District Residents’ Associations (ADRA) gathered at the Swan Hotel last week for their Annual General Meeting where members endorsed the election of Robin Lees as their chairman for the next twelve months.

Outgoing chairman, John Grace, presented his review of his term in office which highlighted the valuable contribution ADRA had made to the town during a very active year. He said:

“Notably, ADRA has spearheaded and part-funded the formation of two new residents’ associations with a third to come on stream shortly. In addition we have contributed to a planning appeal, engaged with the Clinical Care Commissioning Group and met formally and informally with many councillors and officers within and outside our formal gatherings.” He concluded by saying: “I believe that ADRA has achieved some outstanding results in the past year and I’m sure that it will continue to raise its profile in the town.”

One of Robin Lees’s first duties as chairman was to attend the inaugural meeting of the Barley Fields Residents Association, the latest of Alton’s residents’ groups to benefit from ADRA’s initiative to help new associations get started and onto a firm footing.

Mr Lees said,

"I welcome the formation of the Barley Fields Residents’ Association and am very pleased that ADRA has been able to help in its formation by utilising the grant funding which we received courtesy of Cllrs Joy and Hill. The new Association already has a strong agenda to improve the environment on the Barley Fields estate. We welcome their plans to engage with both the Holybourne Village Association and ADRA where its members will be warmly welcomed.” He continued: “ADRA is continually expanding its involvement in a wide range of issues in the town and beyond. In order to help Alton to flourish we will continue to promote the opinions and interests of Alton’s residents’ associations which now include our newest members at Barley Fields.”

Ben Wills, newly-elected chairman of the Barley Fields Residents' Association (BFRA), said:

“We had an excellent first meeting, endorsed by Alton & District Residents’ Associations who have given us outstanding support. We were joined by guest representatives from the Holybourne Village Association, Anstey Residents’ Group and Alton Eastbrooke & Wooteys Residents’ Association as well as our local Police Community Support Officer.”

After the appointment of the Association’s officers, the new group got straight down to business and discussed current issues exercising residents at Barley Fields: long-running estate management problems, neighbourhood events, parking and the development of open space. Ben Wills said:

“We look forward to serving our residents and facilitating some exciting community-building initiatives."

Alton already has a number of successful residents’ groups and associations which share similar aims in respect of doing the best for the town as well as their own particular neighbourhoods. ADRA chairman Robin Lees said:

“ADRA is an affiliation of those associations and groups. We are committed to encouraging the formation of further associations in areas that are not presently covered. ADRA feels that all new groups can benefit from the experience already gained by the more established organisations. We welcome approaches from groups of residents interested in forming their own Residents’ Associations. Thanks to recent grants from EHDC and HCC, ADRA is now able to allocate funds to assist people getting together as Residents’ Associations to address and promote issues specific to their communities.”