IMPROVEMENTS to a communal garden, a new bin store and extra parking spaces have been given the go-ahead thanks to a special fund.

Oxfordshire tenants of the GreenSquare Housing Association submitted bids for work costing up to £5,000 they would like to see in their areas.

A vote on which should be backed was taken at the housing association’s Isis communities board annual meeting, held at the Clockhouse in Blackbird Leys.

The money is from an estate improvement fund, with £40,000 available each year for projects.

Lew Fryer, GreenSquare’s community involvement officer, said: “People made a tremendous effort. Residents had photos, fact sheets and, in some cases, PowerPoint presentations on their stalls at the meeting.

“There was a really great atmosphere at the event, with lots of enthusiastic discussion about each of the proposed projects.

“In the end, we were able to give the go-ahead to all nine suggestions, which included a locked bin store with cover and two extra parking spaces at Marsh Court, Abingdon; new furniture and improvements for the communal room at Wingfield Court, in St Clement’s, Oxford; and the planting a willow tree in the communal garden for more privacy at Rackham Place, on the Waterways estate.

“We are always keen to involve residents in decisions to make improvements to their communities. Letters will now be sent to the residents who might be affected by the proposed projects before the final go-ahead is given to start any work.”

Other schemes include a water irrigation system for the greenhouse at Frys Court, in Greater Leys, and garden furniture for John Kallie Court, in Cowley.

Gerry Webb, whose garden is famous for its appearances in the disabled entrant category of Oxford in Bloom, welcomed the new water irrigation system.

He said: “It will make such a big difference. I’m disabled, so lugging 14 cans of water around the gardens in the summer can be very difficult. It will improve the area and the gardens.”