Tenants and residents groups play an important role in representing the interests of people who live in a small local area like an estate or on a specific road/group of roads. They are a vital way that communities stay connected with us as your local councillors and feed in to decisions about changes to our local area. Whether a formally constituted group that holds physical meetings or one informally run over a WhatsApp or Google group – residents groups also provide the amazing range of community activities we see in our area, from street parties to community gardening, work with the local policing team on antisocial behaviour issues and contribute to the amazing mutual aid system that organically started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marcia recently blogged about her experience as a resident and former secretary of the Arlingford and Brailsford Road Residents Association (ABRA). For more than 30 years, ABRA has organised in their close-knit community at the Brixton Water Lane end of Tulse Hill. With around 100 households participating in the group it has had a particularly important role in helping ABRA residents support one another throughout the coronavirus lockdown. The advice from committee members of ABRA is “To anyone reading this who lives in an area with no community group, don’t wait for someone else to set one up!”
As your local councillors we would be more than happy to provide whatever help you and your residents group may need. We can join meetings (virtually or physically when the lockdown ends!), will help you with engagement with the council over consultations on everything from planning to traffic changes, and we can help you link in with other organisations to access support for campaigns or activities you may want to run in your area. We also work closely with the Tulse Hill Forum, the formally recognised umbrella body that acts as a collaborative forum for local voices and is made up of representatives from estate groups like Cressingham Gardens, street-based residents groups and local community bodies. If you want help turning your informal group into a more formal residents group then just let us know!
If you’re not involved in your local residents group and want to be you can find some online (like St Martin’s Estate TRA or the Josephine Avenue Group) whereas others have social media accounts (like Leander Road). If you or your neighbours don’t know who to get in touch with about becoming involved in your group let us know and we can help point you in the right direction.