I RESPOND in part to the letter in the Chronicle on June 12 headlined 'Feltham is being left a complete mess'. I thank Rob Healy for drawing attention to the demise of the local charity the Feltham Community Association, and asking: "What is happening to Feltham?"
After 36 years of massive local voluntary work, and much-needed service provision, Feltham Community Association has gone into dissolution. The will or ability to fight any more has finally been drained.
We developed two community centres, through our own fundraising, and provided multi-services for everyone. All this despite getting no help from local government and politicians. We were given no choice but to vacate both of these premises and now, ultimately, to go into oblivion. This is called partnership! We could write a book on this subject.
Undoubtedly, in a year's time, you will all have politicians of all parties knocking on your door, canvassing for your votes (probably saying what Feltham needs is a community centre). Do not come to my door. I want to take this opportunity to thank my board of trustees (local volunteers), the volunteer team, members, and our manager, Marian Keefe, and her staff for the years of work they have given to your local charity - congratulations, well done, sorry it had to end this way.
You have made a massive contribution in local service provision and I wish you all well in the future. You and Feltham Community Association (FCA) will be sorely missed.
I want to send a best wishes message to the many voluntary and community sector organisations we hosted at FCA and the many user groups that hired the halls. Sorry there are not many alternative community accommodations and no interest for such provision in Feltham by local government.
When I look at the positive community development support policies coming from the Ministry of the Third Sector (who actually considered FCA to be a model community anchor organisation) I wonder if Hounslow even knows there is such a ministry.
FCA has been trying to give a community development partnership 'wake-up call' to Hounslow for 36 years, without much success. I and my colleagues hope that future community residents and activists have more success - we are not holding our breath, but good luck.
FCA is proud to have provided so many services and support to people in Feltham, Hanworth and Bedfont. Goodbye and best wishes.
David Howell MBE Secretary/trustee FCA, Vernon Road, Feltham.