Issue 52— January 2003
Jericho gets organized
New forum for tenants and residents.
Jericho now has a Tenants' and Residents' Committee. The new organization was formed at the end of last year. "We hope this will allow people to work more closely together," says Secretary, Teresa Stuart of St. Barnabas Street. "We have already had a couple of meetings, to get the committee going, but now want to attract more people."
Jericho has a long history of community organization. One of the most notable periods was during the 1960s and early 1970s when there were plans to flatten most of the housing and replace it with a light industrial estate. A residents' association then sprang up and, with the help of local councillor, Olive Gibbs, successfully defended most of Jericho from the bulldozers. After this battle had been won, however, the association was eventually disbanded.
Following this, community organization split in several directions. The first strand is centred around the Community Centre in Canal Street. The Jericho Community Association, currently chaired by George Taylor of Great Clarendon Street, is a charity whose management committee runs the Centre. This Association also runs community events, like the very successful annual Street Fair in Canal Street, and publishes the Jericho Echo. If you live in Jericho you are also a member. Planning for next year's Fair is already under way, but as the chair of last year's organizing committee, Charlotte Christie of Canal Street, says: "We do need more people who will offer in advance to help whether with the initial planning or on the day itself."
Another forum for local issues from the early 1990s was provided by the Council-organized 'Area Committee Meetings', held at the school. These allowed local residents to grill councillors and city officers, but they were eventually discontinued partly due to lack of funds. You may have spotted, however, yellow notices for Area Committee meetings. These may have the same name but perform a different function. There are six of these which effectively serve as local sub-committees of the City Council. Each meets monthly, in public, to make decisions on matters for each area, including planning. Anyone can speak and propose items for the agenda. Because these meetings have so far been held at the Town Hall, they have not seemed quite so accessible. However, in future it is hoped to hold the meetings in different parts of the city, including Jericho. You find out more about this from Rebecca Carley on 252803.
A final strand of organization has been through tenants' associations. The first of these emerged in the mid-1980s for the council-owned flats in Whitworth Place. These have faded and been revived at various times and the new association can be seen as the latest incarnation. However, this time it will not just be for council tenants. According to the 1991 census around half the households in Jericho were tenants of private landlords, one-quarter lived in council homes and one-quarter were owner-occupied.
The Tenants' and Residents' Committee will, like the Community Association, be open to all Jericho residents. Subjects raised so far include the perennial issue of parking (not enough) and also anti-social behaviour (too much). The next meeting will be on January 15 at 7 p.m at the Community Centre. Further details from Teresa Stuart on 451264 and also on the Community Notice Board outside Walton St