New chairman for Letchworth GC partnership

LETCHWORTH Garden City Town Centre Partnership has a new chairman. Chris Gerard of Broadway Hotel & Carvery has taken over from Hugh Harper. The board of directors, meeting for the first time after the 2009 AGM, wished Mr Harper well and thanked him for h

LETCHWORTH Garden City Town Centre Partnership has a new chairman.

Chris Gerard of Broadway Hotel & Carvery has taken over from Hugh Harper.

The board of directors, meeting for the first time after the 2009 AGM, wished Mr Harper well and thanked him for his years of service to the town's business community.

Mr Harper, who enjoyed a successful first career as a builder, ran a florist's shop in Arena Parade with a business partner, up until the time he sold the business and retired - although retirement is hardly a word that could be applied to his involvement with the business life of the garden city.


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For many years he was chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, and later was a founding member and chairman of the partnership.

Among Mr Harper's many notable achievements during the period as chairman, which has seen four different town centre managers in post, were the establishment in 2004 of one of the area's first farmers' markets, a major contribution to the development of the first town centre strategy and a key lobbying and consultative role as Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation's revitalisation programme emerged.

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Mr Gerard said: "For many people, for many years, Hugh has been the face of the town centre and of the partnership.

"He has battled on businesses' behalf over issues like car parking charges and fought tirelessly to support the many independents that give Letchworth Garden City its special appeal.

"His will be a hard act to follow, but I offer energy and enthusiasm and have the support of a dedicated board of directors, elected from our membership. I believe that Letchworth Garden City can rise to an ambition to be world class, I will do my best to support that ambition.

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