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Rodbourne Cheney group is a vital link with the community
A COMMUNITY group is proving to be a vital facility for the people of Rodbourne Cheney as they help to fight the local people’s corner.
The Rodbourne Cheney Residents Association was set up in 1988 by Les White, and it is believed that it is one of the longest established residents associations in the country.
The group now has 11 committee members, who meet once a month, following a constitution and produce a bi-monthly newsletter.
The newsletter costs £275 to produce each time and the group rely on two grants from Swindon Council and the Wiltshire and Swindon Community Foundation to cover the printing costs As part of the newsletter, the group, through chairman Terry Hunt, try to inform the residents of Rodbourne Cheney what is going on in the area, and it includes contributions from the local neighbourhood policing team and the local MP Justin Tomlinson.
Terry, of Cheney Manor Road, said: “With funding becoming harder and harder to come by we have to do as much as we can to justify our existence.
“In the newsletter we try to offer as much information about what is happening locally as possible and we try to be as proactive on issues as possible.
“When I started one of the first things I did was change the chairman’s comment to chairman’s chatter to make it a little bit more informal and more accessible.
“I think across the committee we cover the whole area and have got a wide range of knowledge between us.”
Over the years, the association has played a key role in many of the big decisions made in the area from anti-social behaviour to the recent plans to build a biomass plant [which has been opposed by residents and councillors].
Terry said that his phone is always on to help with residents concerns and offer advice, but he said that the committee would only act if they felt it was the right thing to do – and that they have no political alliances.
He said: “We try to be there for the people who need us in the area.
“There are quite a lot of elderly residents and sometimes they need help with who to speak to at the council or how to complain about something to the police.
“Sometimes I would be called before the police were by some residents.
“I moved to the area three years ago in October and it is one of the most friendly places I have been to.
“I have met more people in Rodbourne Cheney than I met in the 10 years where I was living before.”
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