Founded in 1928 as The Heston Ratepayer’s Association
Chairman's Report 2019
HESTON RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION was founded in 1928 following the opening in May 1926 of the Great West Road, which not only provided a huge number of job opportunities but also established a demand for significant changes to the existing local infrastructure, more housing and school places improved transport and health services and of course leisure services too.
Today with the residential build that we are witnessing in our local area and beyond, the situation is much the same, the constant demand for an improved local infrastructure to meet the requirements of the growing population. In 2011 Heston & Cranford's population was 49500 it is projected to grow to 58,500 by 2030. Projections can of course be wrong.
In 2018 we celebrated not only the 90th Anniversary of the Association but also I believe the dedicated efforts of its founder members in bringing about the enormous amount of change necessary to service the needs of the new residents. In so doing safeguarding the local environment and resident's interests. Yes the original "village appeal" gradually disappeared, but that was inevitable, although thankfully some still remains,
The challenge has always been to retain some semblance of the early twentieth century character and this has been achieved with the establishment of the Heston Village Conservation Area in November 1974 and the recognition of a number of locally listed buildings, currently the subject of review.
Since 1926 the Great West Road has of course changed, no Gilletts, just an empty shell of a building, but new industries including SKY and GSK are located in the area and of course the presence of Heathrow, offering thousands of job opportunities both within and without its footprint.
The Association continues to monitor residential development in the area, some of which has been the subject of criticism in recent years, not least of all HMOs and the outbuilding at the bottom of the garden.
In addition there has been the growth in recent years of commercial development, including warehousing, with Heathrow very much the attraction. The presence of the network of motorways in our area makes Hounslow and of course Heston & Cranford an attractive location for distribution hubs.
There are constant problems in our area associated with fly-tipping and litter, which may be attributed to a relatively small number of people with a could not care less attitude and lack any sort of pride for the public place.
In the 21st century, as in the 20th, there is a requirement for us to embrace change particularly if it is for the better but for us to impress on Hounslow Council and indeed the likes of Hounslow Highways our views and opinions.
Our house magazine RAM continues to attract favourable comment which I personally find very rewarding. Unlike many similar organisations HRA has managed to retain a solid membership, with new members joining each year.
We retain a solid attendance at Civic Centre meetings, including the Heston & Cranford and Residents Association Forums, Planning and other meetings, we also strongly support the G15+ Group of residents associations.
In my 2017 report in acknowledging our 90th I said "and God willing we may also celebrate a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - 2018. On 2 June 2018 we learnt that we were a recipient of this prestigious award a tremendous achievement and I frequently reflect as to whether HRA's founder members ever thought that the Association would celebrate a 90th anniversary.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.