Hebden Bridge Partnership
Same chairman but new name, new members and new purpose

Sunday, 6 January 2008

A new name for the new year – that was the decision at the AGM last Tuesday (December 18th) of the umbrella organisation for local community organisations, which is changing its name from Hebden Royd to Hebden Bridge Partnership.

“This is a small legal step which we hope will make the Partnership’s role in Hebden Bridge completely clear.  Now that Mytholmroyd has Royd Regeneration as its own organisation, our focus is on Hebden Bridge itself and the rural hilltop parishes,” said Mr David Fletcher, the Partnership’s chairperson.

The Partnership, first established in 2001, meets about six times a year.  “We’re the focal point for community organisations to exchange information and work together to improve life in the community,” Mr Fletcher added.

The Partnership is the lead organisation in the ambitious proposals to bring Hebden Bridge Council Offices under community control, and has also identified four other priority projects for the town. These are the proposed conversion of the former Youth House into a heritage Eco-Museum, the transformation of Calder Holmes Park, the development of Hebden Bridge market, and improvements to the Central Street area.  The Partnership is formally recognised by Yorkshire Forward and Calderdale as the local participant in the Upper Calder valley regeneration initiative.

The Partnership’s structure provides for a management committee made up of representatives from different sectors of the community.  The elections held at the AGM saw David Fletcher (of Innovation café) and Steve Murty (Murt’s Motors) reelected to represent the business community.  Arts and cultural groups are represented by Dave Nelson (Arts Festival) and Lee Comer (HEADS Arts), whilst Gerard Liston (Hope Baptists), Michael Newton (Camera Club) and Nicola Milburn-Jones (Civic Trust) were chosen for the churches and community groups category. Representing environmental and recreational groups are Polly Webber (Alternative Technology Centre), Lesley Mackay (Sustainable Transport), Gwen Goddard (Friends of Calder Holmes Park) and Andrew Bibby (HB Walkers’ Action). Janet Oosthuysen (Central Street school) and Michelle Dargan-Cole (Girlguiding) are representatives of schools and youth groups. 

For the town council are Michelle Foster and Harry Ward, whilst Dorothy Sutcliffe represents Blackshaw parish.  Fiona Gibbon (Erringden parish) and David Bell (Wadsworth) were also elected, as was local Calderdale councillor Janet Battye.  Also elected were Susan Quick, Diana Monaghan and Stewart Brown.

“This is an exceptionally strong management group, which will ensure that the Partnership is a dynamic part of local life in 2008.  It’s particularly satisfying to have such a broad cross-section of the community represented,” Mr Fletcher said.

Mr Fletcher was re-elected as chair and Polly Webber as vice-chair.  Andrew Bibby becomes treasurer and Gwen Goddard is the minutes secretary.


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