STRiFE Latest – News and Petition
The application by St Albans District Council to seek the permission of the Court of Appeal to challenge the planning consent for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange on the former Radlett Aerodrome site near Park Street, was unsuccessful. Basically, they have come to the end of the road, and exhausted all realistic legal possibilities.
STRiFE would like to take this opportunity to commend SADC for their loyalty to the residents of the District, and the cause and belief in the Green Belt argument on the former Radlett aerodrome site. It is refreshing to thank a local Authority for doing their absolute best, and STRiFE really do believe that SADC have, as we have worked hard to support them, every step through the legal challenges that were open to them.
So, the pressure really is now on Herts County Council as the land owner! STRiFE would like to strongly encourage Herts County Council that, whilst they have a fiduciary duty to the County of Hertfordshire, they also do have a basic responsibility to preserve the Green Belt and all that, that stands for in Hertfordshire. Green Belt is under a massive strain throughout this whole area, and realistically this piece of land in question, is the last “large” piece of Green Belt land between London and St Albans. Once Green Belt is gone, it is gone forever!
Please show your support to this cause, and email Cllr Robert Gordon and your local County Councillors accordingly, urging Herts County Council NOT to sell the land to HelioSlough for a SRFI.
Please also sign the petition:
This piece of land needs to stay as Green Belt land For us, For our future generations, For always!
On behalf of STRiFE Ltd
Contact: Cathy Bolshaw 07710 327969
for further info please contact Cathy Bolshaw on 07710 327969 Strife Ltd. is registered in England. Company Number: 5961074.Address: PO Box 932, St Albans AL1 9GG
Rail Service Threat
OUR RAIL SERVICE IS UNDER THREAT
Hertfordshire County Council’s most recent Draft Rail Strategy includes a reference to Bus Rapid Transit, otherwise known as Guided Busways, as a possible replacement for the Abbey Line rail service. Guided Busways involve ripping up rail tracks and pouring millions of tonnes of concrete in their place. The link to the national rail network would be lost forever, replaced – at great expense – by a hybrid system whose benefits, where this has been tried, are highly debatable. Our electric trains, zero emissions at the point of use, would be replaced by diesel buses – direct polluters, with all that entails for the local environment and public health. This is a public transport disaster just waiting to happen.
Come along and show your opposition to these proposals by attending our
Public Protest Meeting
Monday 6th July – 7.30 pm
Bricket Wood Social Club, Oak Avenue, AL2 3LQ
Question Councillor Derrick Ashley, transport portfolio holder, on this and related matters, as well as the current train operator, London Midland.
Or send your own personalised copy of our ready-made consultation response to the Herts Rail Strategy. Individual responses are crucial to getting the message across. This can be done in less than 30 seconds by filling in our online form: visit http://www.abfly.org.uk/no2bus
Call 01773 829598, e-mail or visit http://www.abfly.org.uk
The St Albans & Harpenden Volunteer Police Cadets are now recruiting.
The St Albans & Harpenden Volunteer Police Cadets are a uniformed voluntary youth organisation, supported by Hertfordshire Constabulary. We are open to young people aged between 14 -18 from diverse communities, irrespective of their background or financial circumstances and including those vulnerable to crime or social exclusion within the St Albans District.
Our aims are to:
- Promote and encourage a practical interest in policing among young people
- Provide training which will encourage positive leadership within communities
- Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
Cadets meet every other Tuesday term time only at Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden from 19:00hrs until 21:00hrs.
For more information on becoming a Cadet and to request an application pack please either email: or visit our recruitment stall at Harpenden Armed Forces Day this Saturday 27th June on Harpenden Common.
Park Street Residents’ Association wins £1,000 worth of lights in the UK Blachere Illumination sponsored Revive & Thrive Christmas Light Competition
And the winners of the £10,000 Revive & Thrive Christmas Light Competition sponsored by Blachere Illumination are……
After a fantastic day in Blackpool on 9th September, the winners of the £10,000 Revive & Thrive Christmas Light Competition were announced.
Starting with a tour of the amazing Lightworks production warehouse – the home of Blackpool Illuminations – given by Richard Ryan, Head of Illuminations – the 7 teams went on to face a nail-biting day in the ‘green room’ waiting to give their Dragon’s Den style pitches. 6 hours later the winners were announced as
1st prize – £10,000 worth of Christmas Lights – St Leonards Town Team
2nd prize, £3,000 worth of Christmas Lights – Gravesham Borough Council
3rd prize,£1,000 worth of Christmas Lights – Hastings Town Centre Management
Then came the shocking and unforeseen news that ALL the finalists were to win £1,000 worth of Christmas lights for their communities – so Chester, Kington, Southwater and Park Street village in Herts all had plenty to celebrate on their way home. Even the judges were taken aback by the news!
Ronnie Brown, MD of Blachere, made the generous gesture in acknowledgement of the enormous effort teams had put into their presentations. One judge said “I was so moved by Park Street, who presented the voices of the people of their village. It’s fantastic that local volunteers were there bidding against professional urban regeneration teams!”
Sandra Constable, Chair, and Suzi Clark, co-editor of the local village news, prepared the bid, and learned a lot from the professionals at Blackpool. They will shortly be hosting the MD, Ronnie Brown, who is coming to look at the site for the lights in the village.
Sandra said “From the beginning to the end of the day, it was overwhelming. Blackpool has six miles of lights, and we were privileged to see the whole process of production, and also to learn from other towns across the UK how they deal with their own Christmas lights.”
As well as the serious side, candidates got to have a go at the famous “switch on the lights box” which has had many celebrity hands flick on the illuminations over the years, not to mention props such as the Dr Who set, including a Dalek and the famous Tardis.
STOP PRESS … Local County councillor Aislinn Lee, a resident of Park Street, was delighted to be able to match the £1k funding of the Blachere lights, to help with the cost of installation at the village parade of shops in How Wood.
Park Street Residents’ Association is a Finalist in the UK Blachere Illumination sponsored Revive & Thrive Christmas Light Competition
It’s a David v. Goliath story. The tiny volunteer organisation for a Hertfordshire village, Park Street Residents’ Association (PSRA), has faced stiff competition from towns and cities all across the UK to win a place in the final of the Revive & Thrive Christmas Light Competition sponsored by Blachere Illumination.
In the first half of 2015 town and city centres have been considering the wider value to their communities of Christmas lights and their accompanying switch-on events. They have also been using their imagination to consider their dream installation for their town centres. This project ended up with 59 applications being presented before the Judges and PSRA (St Albans) has won a place in the final, currently running joint-third.
In return for considering the economic and social impact of dressing the peak festive shopping period with Christmas lights, these amateurs will be joining Chester, Gravesend, Hastings, Kington, Southwater, St Leonards and Tamworth to battle it out to £10,000 worth Christmas lights for the local community in Blackpool, to be judged by, amongst others, the Head of Blackpool Illuminations.
Mark Barnes, Managing Director of Revive & Thrive said “I’m not aware of any project previously that has asked town or city centres to really consider if Christmas lights bring real economic or social value to the centres and its retailers. What the 59 applications have all demonstrated is that without doubt they do add immense value and people are passionate about seeing them put up every year.”
Suzi Clark of the Park Street Residents Assocation said “I can’t believe our bid outscored large cities and professional regeneration experts. Without the prize money, our lights might not be switched on this year. It’s been a tough year for local businesses, charities and volunteer-run organisations. We hope we’ll win enough to light up our village and bring some seasonal cheer.”
The volunteer group will present their applications in Blackpool on 9th September ‘Dragon Den’ style to a panel of experts to, hopefully, leave with a prize of either £1000, £3000 or £10,000 worth of lights for their centres.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT SUZI CLARK
01727 872796 / 07950024581
Blachère Illumination – Lighting up the World for 40 Years!
Established in 1972, Blachère Illumination is Europe’s largest manufacturer of festive lighting with offices and warehouses in 22 countries throughout the world: throughout Europe, in Canada, the USA and most recently South America.
Blachère UK has offices in Blockley, Gloucestershire and Ladybank, Fife, enabling them to provide cost effective festive and winter lighting across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Blachère works with a huge variety of market leading corporate customers, city councils, private customers, town and parish councils, local authorities, BIDS, sports clubs, event companies, venues and community groups.
At Revive & Thrive our aim is to facilitate the revitalisation of town and city centres. We believe that knowledge is the key to success, and it is through sharing expertise and working together that we all can accomplish the most.
To provide town centre management teams with the simplest, most practical way forward, we have created the following groups that are open to all and free to join:
- Our Revive & Thrive Town and City Centre Community offers town centre stakeholders the opportunity to network, sharing experience and best practice and also the potential for purchasing collaboration to obtain the best deals available for revitalising town centre locations.
- Our Revive & Thrive Partnership offers expertise and consultancy from recognised town centre experts. Some of this expertise is offered free via the Ask the Partnershipservice.
- Our Revive & Thrive Business Group provides a single place from which to access all the particular specialist skills required for town & city centre revitalisation: from training on window dressing – to retail advice for local businesses – to designing and implementing a town centre regeneration strategy.
Launch Of The Abbey Line Trail
The Countryside Management Service and Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership invite you to join us for the launch of the Abbey Line Trail on Thursday 26thMarch. CMS are offering a choice of guided walks from a 3 mile walk up to the full 9 miles. You are welcome to come along to one of these or come for light refreshments at 1pm at the St Stephens Parish Centre, Station Road, Bricket Wood AL2 3PJ. More details of the guided walks on offer are on the attached pdf or visit www.hertsdirect.org/walksandmore
The Abbey Line Trail has been created, linking rail travel with walking, by the Countryside Management Service working in partnership, and on behalf of the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership. The ‘Abbey Line’ is a 6.5 mile (10km) local railway line running between Watford Junction, on the National Rail Network, and St Albans Abbey stations. The Abbey Line Trail takes the scenic route between these stations and links to stations in between. So you could complete the full 9 mile trail in one go or break it up into smaller sections by taking the train and enjoy a different walk over several visits.
The new Abbey Line Trail is waymarked and there is leaflet with a map of the route available to download from the CMS website so walkers are able to explore the various routes at their leisure.
This forms part of the Hertfordshire Year of Walking – take the Pledge to walk in 2015 and receive tips and inspiration to keep you motivated, plus information about exciting walking events taking place throughout the year. Visit http://www.hertsdirect.org/walking
I do hope that you’ll be able to join us on Thursday 26th March.
Communities Theme Lead
Countryside Management Service Office (Car Park H)
Hertford SG13 8DN
Postal Point CHG001
CMS Telephone Number – 01992 588433 (Comnet x28433)
Direct Dial – 01992 556 094 (Comnet x26094)
Pledge to walk more in 2015 as part of the Hertfordshire Year of Walking: www.hertsdirect.org/walking
Local issues and problems with the grass cutting and gulley cleaning provided by Herts County Council
A number of residents have raised issues with the poor or lack of grass verge cutting and gulley cleaning provided by HCC.
Recent rains resulted in flooding to local premises, which the Fire Service blamed on the drains and gulleys being blocked and ill maintained.
This resulted in damage to properties and inconvenience to residents
Also a number of complaints have been raised about the quality of the grass verge cutting. There is a copy of a letter sent to the local press below.
If this is a subject that is affecting you, please let us know and we can consolidate the feedback and present to the local council, or alternatively please write to the council or your local MP and let us know what feedback you receive
“My wife & I moved to Park Street some 3 years ago ,we chose this area because it was nicely kept and close to all amenities .
All was well at first until the grass cutting contract changed when it went from well done to practically not done we thought it was just a blip and things would improve this year.
How wrong can we get when HCC have anything to do with it ,we have had 2 cuts if you can call it that up to and beyond Midsummers day and this once nicely kept area now resembles some 3rd world country.
We have heard every excuse in the book and then some.The only excuse that was not mentioned by HCC was their incompetence.Quite frankly the people responsible for this mess should be looking for another job,but who in the public sector would employ people like these who couldn’t run a cockle stall.
Grass verges are so important as they can make or break a City ,HCC have done there utmost to destroy what was once a beautiful city what have they got against St Albans compared to Borehamwood & Harpendon which are always nicely kept & maintained.
Speaking to people who have lived here all their lives they tell me that Park Street has never looked so run down & shabby as it is at present as for the main roads they have to be seen to be believed.
Last year the residents of Tippendell Lane were so angry at HCC apathy that they got their lawn mowers & strimmers out & cut Tippendell roundabout themselves.
Things can only get better can’t they?
Come on HCC take pride in St Albans & it’s surrounding areas and do the job for which you are being paid.
Laurie Kanka Dell Rise ,Park Street.”
Blackgreen Wood October 2015 Update
Following on from the successful work carried out in the first area or ‘compartment’ of Blackgreen Wood to open it up and make the woodland more accessible to the public, the Parish Council will be carrying out further works this year in line with the ten year Management Plan agreed with the Forestry Commission.
Many local residents came to the Open Day held in September 2014 when they were able to see the benefits of the work that has been done so far. With the removal of the holly that was choking the undergrowth and the thinning of trees that were growing too densely the areas worked on so far are now showing significant signs of regeneration, both of oak and hornbeam. They are now far more accessible to all and the extra light that has been allowed in has resulted in a far more diverse habitat for both flora and fauna.
We are now moving on to the second compartment of the Wood as identified in the Management Plan. The Forestry Commission and the Countryside Management Service have both advised that in order to bring the most benefit to the Wood, all the felling and coppicing in this compartment should take place at the same time. Therefore, whereas the work in the first compartment was carried out over a number of years, we will carrying out all the scheduled felling of a large number of trees and the coppicing of the old hornbeams over this winter period. This may well appear at the time to be a fairly drastic clearance, but we are only removing the same number of tress as we would have done if the work was spread over a 5 year period. This opens up the woodland, allowing light to penetrate and will result in the wood regenerating much more effectively.
We intend to use contractors to carry out this work, the cost of which will be covered by the timber that they are able to extract. We will retain sufficient timber for our own needs e.g. for benches, signs etc. In addition to the long term benefits to the woodland, there is also economic benefit to carrying out the work in this way as if this work was carried out over a number of years, there would be insufficient timber extracted to cover the costs of bringing in suitably qualified tree surgeons which could cost as much as £2500 each year.
Work to be carried out Winter 2015 – Spring 2016
- Coppicing of the hornbeam understorey to bring the neglected trees back to their traditional coppiced form
- Thinning of the oaks will take place in the areas where the dense holly has been removed, but no previous felling has taken place, leaving a selection of trees to provide further diversity of habitat
- Work will be carried out during the dormant winter period to minimise the disturbance to the wildlife
This work will continue the regeneration of the wood so that at the end of the current five year period another section will have been returned to its traditional form as an ancient semi-natural woodland.
Proposed How Wood Post Office Closure
The Co-op has announced that it proposes to close the Post Office Counter in its How Wood Store on the 6th April.
There is an on-line petition to fight this Closure. Local campaigner, Jay Baillie, has urged everyone to complete the survey and pass the link on to friends and neighbours to make sure we get as many responses as possible.
Local Councillors, Aislinn Lee & David Yates, were notified in a one page letter claiming that there is an alternative facility in Park Street despite the fact that it closed over 5 years ago!
Sandy Walkington commented that ‘The Co-op claims to be an ethical company, yet here it is, justifying its decision on purely commercial grounds, ignoring the plight of many elderly and infirm people who rely on these services.’
Sign the Petition at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BPBS9C5
Park Street Neighbourhood Watch meeting – Tuesday April 14th at 8pm
Dear Watch Member,
This is your invite to a public meeting on Tuesday April 14th at the Baptist Church on Penn Road.
There will be a talk on the work of the Herts Air Ambulance Service, an update on local crime, police priorities and speeding in the village. You will have a chance to put questions to the PSNW committee and PC Clare Lapenna.
At the meeting we will distribute the PSNW April newsletter to street coordinators. This issue includes items on preventing burglary, seeks your views on local suppliers of alarms, explores domestic violence and gives an update on slavery following recent arrests made in Chiswell Green.
Free tea and coffee will be served from 7:45 and the meeting starts at 8pm, if anyone needs help with transport please get in touch, we look forward to seeing you there.
5th February to 10th February – Tippendell Lane Closure
HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
TEMPORARY CLOSING OF TIPPENDELL LANE, CHISWELL GREEN
NOTICE is given that the Hertfordshire County Council intend to make an Order under Section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to prohibit all traffic from using that length of Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green from its north western junction with the service road fronting Nos.44-60 Tippendell Lane north westwards for a distance of approximately 85 metres.
The purpose of the Order is to enable utility service works to take place.
The section of road will be closed for approximately 5 days during the period 5 February 2015 and 10 February 2014, when signs are in place. An alternative signed route will be provided for traffic whilst the road closure is in place.
If you have any queries about the utility service works or the temporary road closure, please contact Phil Hawkins tel. 0870 444 7225 at Hawkins or David Parkinson tel. 0300 123 4047 at Hertfordshire County Council.
29th November to 28th December – Abbey Line Closure
The Abbey Line will be closed for 4 weeks from 19.30 on Saturday 29th November until 05.54 on Monday 29th December.
Rail replacement bus timetables will be displayed at stations from Monday 10th November and on London Midland’s website. Timetables will also be distributed on trains on the 10th and 24th November.
Please use this link to see London Midland’s website information
The Community Rail Partnership will distribute timetables to local libraries, Watford Town Hall, St Albans Civic Centre, St Albans Tourist Information Centre and St Stephens Parish Council.
20 February 2014 – village hall news
Sign up for the Village Hall newsletter: email Barbara Vernon
20 February 2014 – mobile library
At How Wood shops every two weeks from Wednesday 27 February 2014 at 9.45am. Please don’t park in the marked bay at these times.