I had to sign two cheques today for the Cluny Residents Association (CRA), which is about to close. The money was sent to two community initiatives in the ward but now means our bank account will be empty once the cheques have been cleared, and we can then close the account and effectively the association (we have no assets). While life is short and life has to move on, it is with a sense of nostalgia tempered with a sense of failure and sadness that something that has been a significant part of my life these past eight or so years have come to an end. But there is no rancor or bitterness – it is as it is, and other things will no doubt come and take its place.
As a resident, I realized from the outset, 9 years ago, that having a residents voice on matters that affect the residents was needed, especially in order to tackle anti-social behaviour. While in the setting up of CRA I would have liked it to have achieved a lot more, it still has achieved a lot. I reflected on these matters back in May 2014, but come a year later, May 2015, it had become clear that without resident support to take the association on and do some of the jobs needed we would have to close, which I also reflected on. While there is community activity to be undertaken which may well (and does) take a different form from previously (and there are some good signs here in St. Lukes ward), no-one has come forward to take on the association and so the inevitable has happened.
Life is short, and we do what we can the best we can with the little we have. I believe there remains huge potential for doing things that make a difference for and with our communities, and I have no doubt the opportunities to serve in this way will come. While even in recent months I have seen initiatives such as the start up of the new charity shop and ongoing developments with the community hub and St. Lukes Centre, as well as the ongoing work putting on events during the year, which help foster community spirit, CRA ceasing to exist does leave a gap. Providing a concerted resident voice when it comes to matters affecting the community and how to address these is one of them.But as always, it is then a matter of deciding what causes to take up and what to leave alone, and recognising that certain things one really does need to leave for others to do.