Hitchin Forum was formed in 1992 as a non-political umbrella to bring together people and organisations who wanted 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. Part of the inspiration was from a development plan which would have obliterated West Alley, which had existed for the past 1000 years. The question was asked “who speaks for Hitchin?”. The Forum was set up to speak for those interested in and wanting to sustain the unique character of the town. It was involved in setting up what is now known as Hitchin Initiative and continues to support the many developments that have stemmed from the work of the Town Centre Manager and others involved with the Initiative.
It has campaigned over many developments, though not winning every battle. It has sought to work with Hitchin councillors and with the District Council, though inevitably we have been most vociferous when we have disagreed with the Council and felt that important issues had been ignored or minimized. The way that companies have sought to demolish and build has been scrutinized carefully, knowing that profit rather than heritage may have been at the top of their agendas.