Michael Hewlett, for three decades a campaigner for better conditions for tenants living in Longheath Gardens in Ashburton and across the whole borough, has died.
Hewlett was 81, and he died on February 10 following a short illness, with his family at his hospital bedside.
Hewlett became involved in tenant affairs in 1994 when he responded to a council call for people living in its properties to become more involved in the management of their homes and estates by registering their interest in joining their local customer panel. Hewlett was soon chairing his local panel, as it negotiated and lobbied councillors and council officials.
In a statement issued by Croydon Council, they said: “His desire to improve services for tenants across the borough saw him give up his spare time to work with a number of tenant groups including the main tenant and leaseholder panel, which he also chaired for long periods during the past 10 years.
“Over the years, he played a central role in working to develop a range of opportunities for others to get involved… Hewlett supported officers on numerous occasions in sharing Croydon’s good practice to officers and tenants across the country, including speaking at the Institute of Housing Conference in Harrogate in 2010.”
Hewlett was also a member of the London Tenants’ Federation Committee, and sat on the Association of Retained Council Housing (Arch) residents’ board.
He was part of a local church committee that planned and developed the Longheath Community Centre, and he played an active role in the running of the centre, including the organisation of a weekly meal club for the estate’s older residents.
“He was the sort of resident that a councillor dreams of,” said Maddie Henson, a councillor for Ashburton. “Inspiring and dedicated, there was never a greater champion for Longheath Gardens and Croydon as a whole.
“I worked closely with Michael on a number of issues and he never gave less than his best.
“When services failed to meet the required standards, he would ensure that the officers knew and he’d expect them to remedy any problems, quickly. I’ll miss him greatly and my thoughts are with his family and many friends.”
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