March April Update

MEETINGS IN MARCH:

Tuesday 4th:    Licensing Hearing 10.30am – 1.00pm.  This was a learning/training session for me to observe how these are held.  I found the experience interesting and enlightening and look forward to being a member of the panel in the near future.

Thursday 6th:              Highways Liaison Meeting  7.30 – 9.00pm  This was a very useful meeting, at which arrangements for providing information digitally on forthcoming works was explained, together with the new system for reporting complaints, potholes, etc.  I am now sent information on any works being carried out in the Welwyn West area and would be able to answer questions from residents as to what it is for and how long it is scheduled to last.  I have already found this facility to be extremely useful.

Wednesday 12th:        11:00am– 1:00pm Meeting with County Councillor Richard Smith and WHBC Parking Services to discuss parking problems and grass verge damage in Hawbush Rise and adjacent roads.

Various proposals were put forward and would be implemented in April, with further action to be taken as required.

Saturday 15th:                        10:00am SURGERY at St Mary’s Church, Welwyn.   Resident volunteers who carry out valuable work on Singlers Marsh attended the Surgery and asked for assistance from Cllr Mandy Perkins in establishing a working liaison with WHBC officers to produce a plan for the maintenance of Singlers Marsh.   This has yet to be achieved, despite many requests, and it something that I will be trying to action.

Wednesday 26th:        2:00pm – 4:00pm Meeting with Welwyn Parish Councillor Bill Morris, Cllr Richard Smith to discuss car parking facilities, Whitehill Car Park development, and car parking problems in Welwyn village.

 Thursday 27th:                        Development Management Committee Meeting.  There were no issues affecting development in Welwyn West.

MEETINGS IN APRIL:

Monday 14th:              7.30 – 8.30pm Full Council Meeting .  It was announced that , following the long and detailed investigation into the High Ropes incident at Stanborough Park, that Finesse Leisure Ltd and Closer to the Edge would be prosecuted by WHBC.  For legal reasons there were no further comments to be made at this juncture.

There was considerable concern by members of the public who attended the meeting about the cut in funding for Friendship House in Hatfield.  The Leader explained that the grant from WHBC to help fund running costs would remain the same as last year and that the reduction was the result of the removal of meal subsidies.

It was confirmed that full sponsorship for the Women’s Cycling Tour would be achieved.

Saturday 19th                          SURGERY was cancelled due to Easter and possible inconvenience to St Mary’s Church.

Thursday 24th:                        7.30 – 9.30pm Development Management Committee Meeting.   One application for Welwyn West was approved but only by the one casting vote of the Chairman.   I personally voted against the application which I believed was not appropriate due to limited parking in the area – but such objections are not valid under planning guidelines.

EVENTS: 

Tuesday 4th March:    I attended the Annual Pancake Race in Welwyn Village.  There was great support from The Wellington and St Mary’s Church, together with participants from local schools.  The race was fiercely competitive and great fun to watch, with an excellent turnout of people to cheer on the contestants.

Saturday 15th March:            I went to the concert performed by the Chamber Players at St Mary’s Church.  Local professional ‘cellist Sarah Butcher introduced the fabulous programme and all who attended were thrilled to have such a high quality event available to us locally.  Can’t wait for the next one!

LOCAL ISSUES NEEDING MY ASSISTANCE:

Parkside: poor maintenance of communal areas.  Residents requested help in establishing responsibility for individual sections of the estate.  Help also requested on tree pruning issue.

School Lane:  Erection of unattractive and imposing structure without planning permission – liaison with WHBC action and enforcement.  Also area of debris on pathways caused by blocked drain from business premises.

Elmoor Avenue: Following a bad motor accident, residents expressed deep concern about inconsiderate parking, which obstructs views for oncoming traffic.  I raised the issue with Herts County Council and WHBC Parking Services and this road is now scheduled to be included in the revised plan for the area when this is produced.  This may not be for some time, however, as I am advised that Parking Services are fully committed to other projects in Welwyn Hatfield for the time being.

Bins:  Various problems over missed collections – all sorted out eventually.

Welwyn Bypass Road and Underpass opposite Fire Station:  I received complaints from residents about both areas, being covered with rotten leaves and, in the case of the Underpass, broken glass and litter, for many months.  Both areas tend to be missed as responsibility is shared, dependent upon the type of debris!  After liaison with Herts CC and WHBC officers, both areas have now been cleared satisfactorily and I am assured they will be monitored in future.  If not, please tell me!

Communty Housing Trust premises:  Ongoing queries from residents requiring liaison with CHT officers.  All issues moving forward towards a satisfactory conclusion.

Planning issues:  4 local matters were raised with me.  At the request of residents, I have “called-in” one application, but cannot provide more information at this stage as it has not yet been before the Development Management Committee.  The other issues were requests for advice or assistance with enforcement.

COMMUNITY CHEST WARD IMPROVEMENT SCHEME

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that Cllr Perkins and I agreed to donate £1600 of our community fund for 2013/14 to the Welwyn Scout Group to help with the rebuilding of their premises.  Scouts have met continually in Welwyn since 1908, when the Scout Movement was founded and the Welwyn 1st Scout Group was therefore called a Foundation Troop.  Since that time, thousands of young boys and girls have gone through the Group.

A donation of £400 was made to the Welwyn Anglo-French Twinning Association to help with the promotion and development of their youth activities programme.

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