We founded HADAS in 1995/6 and I became the first Chairman. Our town is very special with its distinguished town centre in a fine setting provided by the River Tyne. We felt that a Society concentrating on buildings and landscape was needed and that has proved to be the case.
But circumstances have changed since HADAS was founded twenty years ago. In particular there has been a revolution in retailing which has brought problems for high streets throughout the country - including Haddington.
We took the initiative in commissioning the Haddington Vision Project with the support of East Lothian Council. This led to the establishing of the Community Development Trust. In doing this we recognised that the town and area's physical attributes - our particular interest - should be deployed in attracting visitors to spend time and money here.
Environmental, physical and economic issues must be considered together. They are inter-connected.
We therefore see our continuing work as collaborative. East Lothian Council and the Community Development Trust are our partners in a joint exercise towards increasing the prosperity and welfare of Haddington and area. It is not always plain sailing - but I am very pleased indeed to be involved.
I joined Hadas as I enjoy working alongside and sharing with people who care about the place that they live. I wanted to help protect and improve the amenity of the Town. I thought I could help the town by offering my skills as a designer and planner to represent the community and build on relationships that will bring better results either to changes that are made to the town and countryside from the local planning system or through private individuals projects and changes. I was part of the Hadas committee that helped to develop the Vision for Haddington Town Centre.
A relative newcomer, I have lived in Haddington since 2007 and have grown to enjoy all that Haddington has to offer when I return at the end of the day.
I am owner of the Malt Kiln gift shop in the High Street in Haddington and I first attended a Hadas committee meetings as the Haddington Business Association representative back in 2010.
At this time the Society and many others were concerned about the negative impact the potential new supermarket development could have on the town. I remained on the Hadas committee as honorary Secretary long after I stepped down from the Haddington Business Association, as I felt the Society aimed to improve the vitality and vibrancy of the whole town rather than concentrate on single issues.
Hadas took the lead on tackling the threat of the Supermarket developments and I was involved with the public consultations that took place in the town to enable the “Vision for Haddington” report to be published in 2012. The report also recommended the creation of the Haddington Community Development Trust. In 2015 I became a member Director of the Trust and also took on role of the Chair. In that role I work alongside the Hadas nominated representative on the Board Karen Stevenson, to ensure the “Vision for Haddington” becomes a reality.
I represent the HCDT on the Haddington and Lammermuir Local Area Partnership and HLLAP Town Centre sub-group. In my spare time I enjoy walking in the beautiful East Lothian Countryside and gardening.
Chris Clark lives in Humbie and is currently Hon. Treasurer of HADAS. He is professor emeritus of the University of Edinburgh, where he taught and researched in social work and social policy.
He is interested in promoting public policies that protect and enhance the environment for all citizens.