Swindon AdvertiserNeighbourhood alliance to disband over a lack of support (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Neighbourhood alliance to disband over a lack of support

Swindon Advertiser: Rosemary Jackson, left, Highworth Neighbourhood Alliance chairman, and Pat Willis, who was chairman from 1998 until 2012 Picture: Alex Skennerton Buy this photo Rosemary Jackson, left, Highworth Neighbourhood Alliance chairman, and Pat Willis, who was chairman from 1998 until 2012 Picture: Alex Skennerton

HIGHWORTH Neighbourhood Alliance has disbanded as a result of declining support from the public and police, according to chairwoman Rosemary Jackson.

The association came to the decision on March 11, when the remaining members felt there was little point in carrying on with dwindling attendances.

Rosemary has only been involved with the alliance for a couple of years, but said the writing had been on the wall for the past five years.

“The police never came, fewer and fewer people were coming along,” she said.

“If the police don’t come to give a report, we have got nothing to talk about. There is just a lack of support.

“There has been a steady decline. It used to be very well attended at one time, when they started up.

“For the last five years it hasn’t been so good.

“I have tried my best to get the police to come in. I have had the Bobby Van in to give talks, but the interest just doesn’t seem to be there any more.

“It’s just a sign of the times. Everyone knows membership in community associations is dropping. We just decided, as a club, we were going to close. If people weren’t supporting us, what’s the point in carrying on?

“Everyone was very disappointed and saddened. I haven’t really been in there long enough to know what it must be like to live without it now.”

The alliance would meet once every three months, though it was once every two months at the start of its existence, back in 1998.

“It’s a crucial aspect of local society,” said Rosemary, 78, of Henley Drive in Highworth.

“It’s neighbours looking out for one another. If somebody is known to be doing something wrong in an estate, they can look out for one another.”

The alliance was first known as Highworth and District Neighbourhood Watch Associ-ation, when Pat Willis was the inaugural chairman.

The 60-year-old, of Home Farm, who led the association from 1998 until 2012, said he was not surprised by the final outcome of the organisation he set up.

“We had 30 to 35 people at every meeting initially,” he said.

“I’m glad it took so long for the lack of support to grind it down. I did think it would have happened sooner. I was very disappointed when I heard what happened.

“I am disappointed for the people of Highworth. They now haven’t got a point they can go to and be kept updated on the crime around the town.”

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