The HRA has a long history in Hersham going back to 1971 when it was created to help represent resident’s views during negotiations about the creation of Hersham Green Shopping centre – replacing an old slaughterhouse!
Hersham has come a long way since then – but still needs an independent ‘community voice’ to help make sure Hersham’s interests are heard. Although we make comment on local issues often involving the Borough and County Council, the HRA is not political, and our membership includes Hersham residents from all political parties. We have strong and positive links with all Hersham Councillors.
Hersham is a strong community with its own character and sense of identity which we try to protect where we can. Most visibly, the HRA arranged for the Hersham Robin on a pole to be put up on the green opposite Costa Coffee – this has helped create a sense of village identity and has confirmed the robin as the emblem of Hersham.
The HRA also tries to lobby and influence on issues which might put Hersham’s longer term sense of identity is at stake. For example a few years ago, the HRA fought and won in a campaign with the post office to maintain Hersham as a separate postal district; we are currently trying to make the case for Hersham not being marginalised in recent ward boundary change proposals.
We help organise, support and publicise the annual Big Lunch Picnic on Vauxmead in June and the now traditional Christmas lights event which is attended by the Mayor of Elmbridge. We also organise, based on demand, occasional smaller scale social events including quiz nights, pub visits and similar.
In addition to all that, our committee meets every month to discuss Hersham issues and review local planning applications. We comment on any major developments and review individual applications.
Where the need arises, we might run a campaign to try and influence the planning decisions of the council. In 2014 for example, we ran a campaign about the planning permission for the flats which are currently being built facing the green next to the Catholic Church. Our lobbying successfully reduced the maximum height allowed for the new flats.
We also make recommendations about practical action that we feel would improve Hersham – that might include anything from planting flowers, trees and establishing cycle lanes. What suggestions do you have? firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to help support us – please see details on our website here (or join at our AGM on 21st May 7.00 WI Hall, Burhill Road).
Members are very welcome to make suggestions to our committee, and come to one of our committee meetings by arrangement to discuss a particular issue or share ideas for future Hersham initiatives.