Overview of neighbourhood based groups and organisations

Church Street, Charlton Kings

Here you will find descriptions of the different types of neighbourhood and place-based organisations that exist in the borough. We have an interactive map of community centres and venues.

To find out about local community centres, activities and health support services across Gloucestershire (with the ability to search by postcode) the ‘Your Circle’ website can help. Your Circle is a directory to help you find your way around care and support and connect with people, places and activities in Gloucestershire.

Parish councils

Parish councils are the most local tier of government. They represent the local community, and often provide services within their wards. There are around 10,000 parish and town councils in England and Wales. Cheltenham has 5 parish councils, and the rest of the borough is un-parished. Each council meets monthly and meetings are open to the public, although some items may be classed confidential and not detailed on the agendas, in which case public will be asked to leave temporarily. There is usually a slot in the agenda in which members of the public can ask questions or raise issues.

Representatives from Cheltenham's parish councils meet with the borough council quarterly at the C5 Parish Councils Group, held at the Municipal Offices.

Cheltenham Charter

The working agreements and commitment to maintaining good relations between the parish and borough councils are set out in a document, the Cheltenham Charter 

The charter formalises the relationship the borough council and five parish councils have in working together to secure efficient and effective service delivery, and in representing the needs and aspirations of all residents.  It is reviewed regularly, and was last refreshed in March 2021.  

Contact your parish council

Regeneration partnerships

Community regeneration is about building hope and trust through providing a vision for the revitalisation of geographical areas of greatest need. It is foremost about building sustainable communities and improving people's quality of life. This is done through a co-ordinated approach to address social, economic and physical deprivation to include;

  • Improving the physical infrastructure,
  • Providing good quality affordable housing
  • Making places attractive
  • Employment creation
  • Skills development and enabling self sufficient

There are two regeneration partnerships in Cheltenham:

Hesters Way Partnership

Cheltenham West End Partnership

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch is a national charity which began in 1982. There is now a network of 160,000 neighbourhood watch schemes supported by regional co-ordinators. For information on Neighbourhood Watch visit their website.

Cheltenham scheme co-ordinators meet regularly and put out quarterly newsletters. There is also a Cheltenham neighbourhood watch website which contains reports of crime and news items. You can find out about Neighbourhood Watch schemes near your home by emailing: cheltenhamnhw@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk.

Residents' associations

Residents’ or tenants’ associations bring together people who live in the same area. Often associations are formed to tackle a specific issue in the neighbourhood, but they are not negative groups. Most of the jubilee street parties in 2012 were organised by neighbourhoods, and many associations organise social or fundraising events, environment improvements and improved neighbourhood safety. Residents associations are a good way of getting to know your neighbours and using the skills you all have to improve the area you live in.

The smallest association in Cheltenham comprises four households within one building, and the largest has over 200 members. Some meet monthly, others twice a year; there are no strict rules.

Cheltenham Borough Council will recognise any community group, whether it is constituted or not. Formal groups usually operate with a chairman, secretary and treasurer and meetings have an agenda and are minuted. The committee is usually elected on an annual basis. We hold a database of around 40 existing associations. To find your local association, or to notify us of one you are involved in, email communityservices@cheltenham.gov.uk

'Friends of' groups

In Cheltenham we have a strong network of ‘friends of’ groups. These voluntary organisations are formed by local residents and people who use and feel strong connections to parks, gardens, buildings or areas. The groups fundraise and work to preserve and promote their area. These groups play a valuable part in the conservation of Cheltenham’s resources and character.

For contact details of ‘friends of’ groups, or for advice about setting one up, email greenspacedevelopment@cheltenham.gov.uk

Flood wardens

Cheltenham has a network of volunteer flood wardens who keep an eye on known flooding hotspots, river levels, ditches and culverts, and report any concerns.

The local knowledge of these individuals is of key importance in preventing and minimising flooding in the borough. The network is made up of parish councillors and residents. Anybody can volunteer to be a flood warden. You will be briefed on your role and given information on flood risks to look for and who to report them to. Flood wardens receive no remuneration for their work, but the role should not take up much of your time. There are no meetings to attend. The role mainly requires observation and should fit into your daily routine. Although the demands of the role are small, the difference having an observant and effective flood warden can make is huge. In extreme weather, reporting even a blocked drain which would otherwise go unnoticed can prevent the flooding of many homes.

For further information or to register as a flood warden in your area, email the community services team.

If you are at all concerned about flooding, you can also read our advice on flooding.