This review was presented by our Chair, Flash Bristow, at the annual meeting on 21 May 2013.
FARA review of the year
I was proud to be elected chair of FARA in 2012 for a third year.
We continued with our regular activities – for example the discount scheme continued to offer a good deal for members in local shops and businesses. Our newsletter has remained at 4 pages and I am confident provides useful information, from news and crime prevention details through to reviews of local traders. It is delivered to our members three times a year, and once a year goes to all households in our area.
FARA offered a range of events throughout 2012. The high point was undoubtedly our immensely popular Street Party last summer, which as our guest book said, “brought everyone together, got people out and gave a huge sense of community”. I must commend our dedicated team who organised this event: Liz Dawson led a talented team of Koen, Christine, Jane, June and Joyce, supported by Josie, Nicholas and Georgina, Val, Lucy, Frances, Wendy, Julie, Mary and Emmanuel. Wow, what a team! It just shows what can be achieved when a community comes together.
Other events have included a Scavenger Hunt, and more recently both Bluebell and History walks, as well as annual participation in Waltham Forest’s Springclean event. Many thanks to all those who attended, and I hope you had fun!
FARA also works closely with the police, passing on our concerns about local anti-social behaviour and relaying the Safer Neighbourhood Team news and crime statistics. This is part of our responsibility as a Neighbourhood Watch. We supply window stickers to all members and it is important that every member displays theirs, as it is a deterrent to burglars. Please let me know if you do not have a window sticker and would like one. I’m pleased to report that the Neighbourhood Watch officer for Waltham Forest says that compared to the surrounding areas, crime in the FARA streets is generally low. In fact last month there were no reported crimes in the FARA area at all! But of course we still need to work together to prevent crime, and there will be a Neighbourhood Watch report later on this evening.
We have continued our regular work liaising with local groups such as the staff at Edward House hostel, and with CBHA who own the Lincolns site. We have been working with them to respond to their plans for the site at every stage including organising a drop-in session earlier this year. I believe that CBHA will soon have a final version ready for review, and we will let you know where and when you can view the plans and have your say, before they are submitted as a Planning Application to the council.
FARA continues to respond to consultations – such as those on cuts to the Police and the Fire Brigade – and to respond to planning issues in our area. We are also involved in the formation of a new Community Plan scheme, which is intended to influence planning policy in Leytonstone town centre. This is at a very early stage and I hope there will be more news to bring you soon.
As you can see it’s been a busy year for FARA, I have been honoured to have been Chair during 2012 and hope that the next year will be even better. We have already been busy in 2013 and there is much more to come.