The ARA - what we do and how we're organised
The committee is elected each year at the AGM. This meeting is open for all residents to attend and usually takes place at the end of March. Before the AGM takes place, there is an opportunity for anyone who is interested to put themselves forward to be join the committee, but nominations must be in place 7 days ahead of time.
This may seem a little formal, but the timetable is defined by the rules of our constitution. Our constitution has to be robust and adhered to for us to operate effectively and be taken seriously by the various organisations we work with, such as the SADC (St Albans District Council). You can consult our Constitution Page for more insight.
The committee meets roughly six times a year. Residents Associations are independent of party politics and have to work within the system. Much of the time we are a responsive organisation, with our issues and priorities defined by what is happening locally. We stay across planning issues as the nature of the conservation area can be fragile and needs its advocates. So we speak out against any planning, domestic or commercial, that conflicts with Planning Regulations or that threatens noise or continuous disruption to residents.
Most of us who live here know that the benefits of city centre living mean there has to be compromise. We want to keep our area working well for everyone, and there are many things we need to fight to protect. So it may be inappropriate conversions, it may be ill-judged extended pub opening hours, it may be pot holes or parking - but it’s our role to make sure the voice of residents is heard.
Fortunately it’s not all battles. We also
work alongside our local city and district councillors
are part of the bigger Joint Residents Association of St Albans
sit on the City Neighbourhood Committee
run joint projects with others such as the Friends of Victoria Playing Fields
All of the above improve local facilities and contribute greatly to the many plus-points of living in such a vibrant city.