GENERAL MATTERS: I had planned to update my website before Christmas, but events have prevented me from doing so. My activities over the past three months were:
Mon 3 Attended the Independent Group Conference in London – all day workshops
Wed 5 Photo call at the new Whitehill Car Park in Welwyn
Followed by a visit to the new Wilshere Park housing development
Thur 6 Development Management Committee Meeting at Salvation House
Fri 7 Office Accommodation Cross-Party Group Meeting to discuss progress of the WHBC building extension, which would appear to be progressing within its timescale and on budget; followed by visit to 7 Kindersley Close, WGC, on a Planning issue.
Sat 8 Attended the Quiz Evening for the Mixed Group.
Sun 9 Attended the Remembrance Sunday Service in Welwyn Village.
Tue 11 Licensing Sub-Committee meeting.
Mon 17 Audit Committee Meeting.
Wed 19 Drop in Meeting at Welwyn Library to discuss future of Library.
Development Management Member Training at Campus East
Sat 22 Meeting with Herts County Councillor Richard Smith and members of Welwyn Parish Council to discuss Parking proposals for Mimram Road
Sun 23 Development Management Site visit to Cuffley
Mon 24 Full Council Meeting at University of Herts
Wed 26 WHCVS Community Lunch and AGM, Hatfield
Thur 27 Opening of new Campus West Entertainment centre
Thur 4 Development Management Committee meeting at Salvation House
Fri 5 Meeting at Campus East with officers of WHBC and representatives from Affinity Water to discuss future plans for water management in Welwyn Hatfield.
Sat 6 Photo call for WHT at 797 Bus Stop with residents for protest against proposed ending of the service
Mon 8 Switching on ceremony of Christmas Lights in Welwyn Village – which following my public appeal in the WHT brought forth donations and sponsorship from some local businesses and Netherdown, who were particularly generous.
Development Management Committee Highways Training at Campus East
Thur 11 Accommodation Cross-Party Group Meeting at Campus East
Fri 12 Police Ridealong – 6 hours with the local police team. Following my complaints about lack of policing in Welwyn, I was invited to join the team on a shift to see at first hand the way they work and the problems they face. It was an extremely beneficial and enlightening experience, on the coldest of nights! I am now acutely aware of the pressures under which the officers work and how difficult it is to keep to timetables. Lack of support from Social and other services mean that much police time is taken up with issues that should be handled by other agencies.
Between Christmas and New Year I spent some time visiting an elderly, visually impaired resident in a Welwyn CHT property whose gas fire had been disconnected before Christmas and this was causing her some distress. CHT maintenance services came out and fixed the problems at the property and I was impressed at their efficiency, care and follow up. A second visit was required to supply a replacement part and do more safety checks, but the matter was resolved satisfactorily.
Wed 7 I attended a New Year gathering of the Welwyn Anglo-French Twinning Association’s Conversation Group.
Thur 8 Development Management Committee Meeting at Salvation House
Mon 12 Briefing by the Boundary Commission on proposed new boundaries for Welwyn Hatfield
Full Council Meeting at Salvation House
Fri 16 Barbeque provided at WGC Police HQ for members of the Drivesafe Scheme
Sat 17 Councillor Surgery at St Mary’s Church Hall
Mon 19 Welwyn Civic Centre Public Meeting called by Cllr Richard Smith to discuss proposals for Mimram Road
Wed 21 Singlers Marsh Workshop at Affinity Water, Hatfield, attended by members of the Environment Agency, HMWT, WHBC officers and Councillors, Welwyn Parish Councillors, Friends of the Mimram and the Special Interest Group of the FOM, and the HMWT. In depth discussions were held to look at proposals and envisaged problems when Affinity close the Fulling Mill Pumping Station in 3 years’ time. This was an extremely useful meeting; with more to follow.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE UNAVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS FROM 26TH JANUARY TO 9TH MARCH FOR HEALTH REASONS. I WILL BE CHECKING MY EMAILS FROM MID-FEBRUARY AND WILL HELP IF I CAN ON MATTERS OF URGENCY.
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK WELWYN RESIDENTS FOR THEIR ONGOING SUPPORT AND TO WISH EVERYONE ALL THE BEST FOR 2015. I AM ABOUT TO START MY FINAL YEAR OF OFFICE AS AN INDEPENDENT COUNCILLOR AND HOPE TO STAND FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2016.