Well-respected Hitchin community group chairman says he’s delighted and relieved to move out of hot seat

Mike Clarke and Bill Sellicks

Mike Clarke and Bill Sellicks - Credit: Archant

The long-standing chairman of a Hitchin community group has paid tribute to the work of community supporters as he steps down from the position.

The body provides a discussion forum which brings together people and organisations concerned for the future of the town.

Dr Clarke said: “I’m both delighted, and relieved, to have handed over the chairman’s role to Bill Sellicks, who has been working hard on a number of important issues in recent years.

“In the past five years I’ve been pleased Hitchin Forum has been so active, involving many people in our work on planning proposals and consultations, litter, footpaths, parking, speed limits, as well as the sensitive site issues of Churchgate, Top Field, the Town Hall and Bancroft Recreation Ground.

“It’s been good to oversee the website which has had more than 8,000 visitors in the past year, and to use it to spread information about many important topics in the town.

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“The Churchgate crisis three years ago resulted in the Forum working even more closely with other community groups and councillors, presenting a united front in opposing the North Herts District Council plan, with more than 3,000 people signing our petition in one week.

“It showed that the naysayers weren’t just a few grizzled eccentrics who could be ignored. It also gave impetus to the coalition of town community groups, now the Hitchin Town Action Group, which successfully campaigned to save Priory Fields from development and produced an excellent contribution for the Local Plan.

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“I’ve learned a lot about Hitchin, about local politics and how many people work hard to maintain and develop the community we enjoy.

“The hard work done by town centre manager Keith Hoskins, by community activists – including my wife Ellie who has done so much in the Forum over the past 20 years – and our local councillors, will hopefully continue to help Hitchin to thrive.”

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