Welcome to Hitchin Forum

Our latest newsletter is available here – NEWSLETTER July August 2014 .

Time moves on and it is out of date already. The Heritage Lottery Fund announced its latest round of grants and unfortunately the bid for Bancroft Recreation Ground was not included. NHDC have said that there will be discussions with HLF, hopefully to clarify why. We hope that discussions will be held with all interested parties and full consideration given to the needs of current users as well as looking at ways of increasing its usage within a much more restricted budget. Further information on Bancroft Rec is here.

Priory Fields  Working with other members of Hitchin Town Action Group, Hitchin Forum is helping to raise awareness of the need to take urgent action to persuade the District Council to exclude this site from the Draft Local Plan.  We need to act now. If we wait until the Draft Local Plan is produced later in the year it may be too late to get the site excluded from the Plan. Priory Fields is the area between the Parkway and Maydencroft Lane – a popular walking area which looks out to hills which are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A walk is around the area is arranged for Sunday July 27th – more info on the the walk and housing proposals here.

 Litter clear up Hitchin is much cleaner following a mass clear-up by over 60 volunteers on a recent weekend.  Litter in parks and open spaces, residential streets and verges, footpaths and alleyways was tackled, along with a stretch of river at Cadwell. The Big Hitchin Tidy Up, co-ordinated by Hitchin Forum under the Keep Britain Tidy umbrella, brought volunteers out onto 15 different sites in the town. This was a town-wide project and has been publicised and promoted by The Comet, supported by Hitchin Initiative providing insurance cover and by North Herts District Council providing black bags and follow-up collection of rubbish bags.  It’s been a very successful partnership effort which we hope can continue.  More litter info here. – Gallery of some of the volunteers here.

What else do we do?

The Forum exists to develop and channel energy and enthusiasm for the town. We work to highlight things that we think need to change and improve the environment, and challenge developments that we think will damage our heritage and future.

We have run campaigns to clear up litter, improve Churchgate, slow the traffic and with other town organisations we hope to influence the Local Plan which the district council will use as a basis for future developments -Planning Hitchin’s Future .

Hitchin Forum was formed in 1992 as a non-political umbrella to bring together people and organisations who want to maintain and enhance Hitchin’s special character. It enables the views of people who live and work in Hitchin to be presented in a co-ordinated manner to relevant bodies.

Read more about Hitchin, its history and the changes (click here), where to find local footpaths (here), and how we work on planning applications (click here).

Anyone with an interest in Hitchin can join the Forum, either as an individual or as a nominated representative of an organisation in the town.

Members are regularly updated on issues and meetings, by occasional emails and a 2 monthly newsletter (past copies here). We hold several members’ meetings through the year to discuss the issues we are involved in. In the past year our local MP and the chief executive of the district council have been our guests at these meetings, helping us to keep up to date with their responsibilities concerning Hitchin, while we discussed our concerns. We support members who have concerns in their neighbourhood – the Butts Close newsletter is one such enterprise – see here.

If you do want to be more involved then tell us – we often need an extra pair of hands! But – there is no obligation to do more than sign up – that is support enough. It is important that we have a wide membership base, partly so that we can hear a wide range of opinions, and also that we hear about issues in all corners of the town. Read more here.