March & April Update

STOP PRESS: SINGLERS MARSH: I am pleased to report that at long last, after 2 years, WHBC have finally installed the Information Boards at the 2 entrances to Singlers Marsh. These have been paid for by donations from the Community Chest budget, Affinity Water, Friends of the Mimram and WHBC.

Singlers Marsh Info Board
Singlers Marsh Info Board

 

After a successful replacement hip operation and several weeks’ confinement, I was very keen to return to some Council duties. The first of these was a visit to the new Wilshere Park development on the former Frythe site on Thursday 5th March. This was an “Open Doors” initiative by Linden Homes, to which senior pupils from local schools were invited to give them an insight into the opportunities open to them in the construction industry. The event was very successful and the young people appeared to be interested and enthusiastic.

Linden Homes Open initiative
Linden Homes Open initiative

Unfortunately, for me this was rather a premature outing, in view of the fact that I was not allowed to drive, was still on crutches and could barely walk around the site or the show home! I was exhausted after quite a short time and subsequently decided to wait until I had fully recovered before a full return to active duty. The next two weeks were therefore spent working from home, catching up on paper work and admin.

Thursday 26th March: At 6:00pm I attended a meeting with officers of the Welwyn Anglo-Twinning Association, together with Cllr Michal Siewniak, in order to offer advice and assistance in their quest for European funding. This meeting was followed up by my emailing appropriate officials in Brussels and establishing a contact between them and the WAFTA group.

At 7:30 pm I attended a Development Management Committee meeting.

Friday 27th March: Cross Party Accommodation Group Meeting. As a member of this group I meet with other councillors and WHBC officers to discuss and oversee the building project currently being undertaken at Campus East. I am pleased to report that progress is good and the project is set for completion on time and within budget.

Monday 30th March: I was due to attend a Highways Liaison Meeting, which was cancelled at the last moment – leaving me free to attend the meeting at the Welwyn Civic Centre of the Friends of the Mimram.

This was an interesting meeting at which a talk was given by an expert from Affinity Water on future plans, followed by a presentation on the impressive improvements made to the river and bank in Digswell that have been carried out by the volunteer group of the Digswell Residents Association. Chairman of the FOM, David Cheek, said that the Friends now numbered 698. Affinity Water has created a Scrutiny Group, on which there is a representative of the FOM. He gave an update on current procedures for monitoring water quality and said that some water from the Mimram may possibly be diverted to the drain in order to create a wetland reserve when the Fulling Mill station stops pumping in 2018.

Wednesday 1st April: I helped with the Drivesafe scheme, clocking traffic speeds on the Codicote Road for two hours in absolutely freezing weather!

Wednesday 8th April: I received two calls from residents who were having housing problems. This involved ongoing discussions with WHBC officers and Herts CC. Most of the issues have been settled by the end of April; just two being carried over to May.

Thursday 9th April: After a meeting discussing Local Plan and other issues with a fellow councillor, I went to Campus East and spent some time with the Head of Planning to obtain clarification on outstanding points of the plan.

Friday 10th April: Liaised with HCC Chairman, Cllr Richard Smith, on Hedge/Tree reduction works scheduled for the corner of London Road/The Crescent. He has kindly arranged for this work to be carried out under his budget, which will make access to the London Road from The Crescent considerably safer for both pedestrians and drivers.

Tuesday 14th April: Visited an Ayot St Peter resident who had requested advice on a proposed planning application.

Thursday 16th April: Attended the Ayot St Peter Annual Parish Meeting and, at the request of their Chairman, Peter Lee, I gave a talk to residents on the proposals, implications and current status of the Local Plan. Many residents expressed anxiety and a wish for more clarity on this issue. My talk seemed to be well received. I hope that I was able to put the pros and cons into context and to give some assurance that the Plan is still far from completion. Considerable feasibility studies must be undertaken before any decisions can be reached and it will be the end of 2015 before a draft plan is likely to be ready for submission.

Saturday 18th April: Held a Councillors’ Surgery at St Mary’s.

Sunday 19th April: Attended the Mayor’s Annual Civic Service, held at St Mary’s Church, Welwyn.

Monday 20th April: Full Council Meeting. During the Agenda item concerning repairs to the Hatfield Swim Centre hot water heating system, I asked the Leader whether he had confidence in Finesse in view of the number of problems arising under their management and whether he would recommend the company. The question was not answered on the grounds that the timing of the question was inappropriate.

Thursday 23rd April: 8.30 – 10.00am Cross Party Accommodation Group Meeting at Campus East. 10:30am : Attended the St George’s Day Flag Raising Ceremony.

7:30pm Attended the Development Management Committee Meeting.

Monday 27th – Thursday 30th April: Follow up on CHT problems with tenants and other residents’ issues involving house visits. Also photographed several instances of illegal parking in Welwyn village and forwarded these onto the police.

 

SINGLERS MARSH: I am pleased to report that at long last, after 2 years, WHBC have finally installed the Information Boards at the 2 entrances to Singlers Marsh. These have been paid for by donations from the Community Chest budget, Affinity Water, Friends of the Mimram and WHBC.

DIARY NOTE FOR ALL RUNNERS:

WELWYN 10K

Sunday 28th June 2015, 11am Start

Organised by Garden City Runners in support of local schools

 

*Chip Timing

*Technical T-shirt to all finishers

*Scenic course for all running abilities

*2K Family Fun Run – 11:10am

Venue: SINGLERS MARSH, WELWYN

Entry Fee: £14 affiliated/£16 non-affiliated

Entries: www.welwyn10k.org.uk

No entries taken on the day

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