This is a place to find the answers to questions that are often asked. It will be added to as time goes on.
Q: Why should I pay money to join the local residents’ association when I get all I need out of Neighbourhood Watch?
A: One reason why the question arises is that some of the people who attend Watch meetings are also active in the local Residents’ Association. They use their skill and knowledge to deal with things that would normally lie outside the scope of a Watch.
Your Neighbourhood Watch should be looking out for suspicious (possibly criminal) activity, keeping an eye out for the vulnerable people in your area, and liaising with the local police. Of course, in many Watch meetings the discussion strays onto things like fly-tipping, graffiti, abandoned cars, and so on.
A neighbourhood watch doesn’t deal with issues such as planning, roads, transport, health and hospitals. You are lucky if there is someone on your Watch that knows how to deal with such things – they are very probably an officer of your local residents’ association! Where residents' associations come into their own is the contact and rapport they have with Senior Council Officers and Cabinet members and knowing how to get things done.
If you don’t support your local residents’ association it will die and unless you are very lucky there will be nobody that you can go to for help. If everyone who currently brings their problems to a representative of the residents’ association had to make an appointment with their local councillor, for example, the system would not be able to cope!
Sue Reuss Weir Hall RA
Q: Can I join FERAA as an individual?
A: No I am afraid not. Membership of FERAA is only open to properly constituted associations in the London Borough of Enfield. This means that you need a Chairman (or if you prefer, Chairperson or Chair), Secretary and Treasurer. You should also have a written Constitution (the rules that govern how the association is run).
If you would like to start a residents' association, FERAA will be happy to explain how to go about it. It is quite easy to do, so if you would like to have a go, feel free to contact us for a chat on 020 8807 1460 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Bishop-Laggett FERAA Deputy Chairman