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Winchester Residents' Association decides to carry on
WINCHESTER City Residents Association (WCRA) will continue its work after members pledged their support.
Membership of the association, which has been representing residents’ views for 40 years, has been declining over the past few years and members debated whether it should fold at its annual general meeting last Thursday.
But members emphatically voiced their support for chairman John Thomas and his committee and said it should find ways of engaging new members, such as joining forces with small residents’ associations around the city.
Caesar Slattery, a civil servant, of Courtenay Road, Abbotts Barton, said: “I think the association is worth keeping because it is part of a national network and gives a channel for everyone to express their concerns.
“I think the idea of joining other organisations is a very good one because we have to show there are a lot of people who are concerned about issues like Barton Farm.”
Keith Story, of St Cross Road, added: “We should continue because no one else is speaking for Winchester as a whole.”
But Mr Thomas warned the association was desperate for new members otherwise it would “fade away”.
Around 30 people attended the meeting at Milner Hall, St Peter Street, and suggested ideas such as increased advertising and creating a pamphlet including the association’s goals.
Treasurer Ann Gossling said more money could be made available to spend on advertising, although the association did post a deficit of £206 this year, leaving a balance of £945.
The main expenditure was around £400 on a website set up last year, although most of that was a one-off cost. Membership income was £312, down from £366 last year.
Ms Gossling said: “We have talked to the National Organisation of Residents Associations (NORA) of which we are a member and we are not alone in finding ourselves in this position. It’s happening across all residents’ associations.
“But declining membership is a continuing problem and we really need to react and link up with other associations locally.”
Mr Thomas appealed for anyone interested to join the association by visiting winchester-residents.org.uk. Annual membership costs £6.