In the vibrant community of Harefield, a small town nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, a group of residents joined forces to form the Harefield Tenants and Residents Association (HTRA). This grassroots organisation emerged with the shared vision of fostering a strong sense of community, advocating for the rights of tenants and residents, and improving the overall quality of life within the neighbourhood. Over time, HTRA has grown into a vital platform for engagement, collaboration, and empowerment, showcasing the power of collective action and the transformative potential of dedicated individuals working together for the betterment of their community. In this reflection, we delve into the journey and significance of HTRA, highlighting its achievements, challenges, and the enduring spirit that continues to shape its path.
Reflections on the Formation of Harefield Tenants and Residents Association
by Pauline Crawley
The Association was originally two separate ones Harefield Tenants Association and Harefield Residents Association.
My family and I were rehoused into Harefield in October 1977 and I joined the Harefield Tenants Association soon after. I was voted on to the committee at the AGM in March 1979. My focus, at this time, was mainly dealing with London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) Tenant’s housing issues alongside the upkeep of the environment and other matters raised by tenants.
Following the ‘Right to Buy’ legislation (Housing Act 1980) the membership changed as a significant number of tenants took up the opportunity to purchase their property - thus becoming residents rather than tenants.
During the early 1980’s the funding for the upkeep of the LBH estates became blurred. The Hillingdon Tenants Federation took up this concern and one of the consequences was that associations were encouraged to merge and become mixed tenant and resident associations.
A joint meeting was called with the separate Harefield Residents’ Association and this took place at the British Legion Hall. It was a lively meeting with different points of view being voiced. However, it was agreed that we should explore joining together and becoming the Harefield Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, combining the different expertise of both groups. Our Association was thus formed.
It was at this amalgamation meeting that I met Rosa Crocket from the Residents Association. Planning and Green Belt issues were new to me, but we pulled together, shared our knowledge, and became a very strong, active association. Rosa and I formed a long-lasting friendship out of this, and we held different positions of responsibility for many years.
Major campaigns have taken place during the interim and the need to form separate sub- committees became apparent when dealing with the larger ones (e.g. Save Harefield Hospital, Bus services for the village, The Mediparc to become designated as a Village Green - unfortunately unsuccessful). The longest campaign has been HS2- over 10 years now! We continue to try and keep a watching brief on the project (albeit by virtual meetings) and are very thankful for the actions of LBH in holding contractors to task and ensure contractual requirements are adhered to as much as they can.
We receive funding from the LBH to help us run an effective association.
Up until moving, in 2022, Pauline was still an active member of the Association. She had accumulated a breadth of knowledge on planning and was serving on the committee until ill health interrupted her ability to attend. Her involvement and support of Harefield residents had covered over 45 years.
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