Community Information Day

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Community Information Day

Please come along to the High Street Car Park, Welwyn

Wednesday 8th March 2-4pm

Residents have a chance to talk to officers form the Fire & Rescue Service, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Police and other partners to talk about local issues, learn about and sign up for Online Watch Link – OWL and much more.

Please support this important opportunity to tell the Police of our concerns by coming along to meet them.

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Cob Lane Common path resurfaced

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The footpath across Cob Lane Common is a well-used shortcut between the top end of Woodside Road by Cob Lane and the Welwyn North station car park.  This piece of land is looked after by Welwyn Parish Council as it is common land and has no registered owner.  The footpath was originally shingle that had been well-trodden down over the years and latterly covered by chippings from the tree works the Council has funded over the past three years.  Requests have been made to the Council for improvements to be made to the path.

Now, thanks to a grant made by Herts County Councillor Richard Smith from his locality budget, the Parish Council have had the path resurfaced using crushed concrete.  The specification for the work was provided by the Hertfordshire County Council Parish Paths Partnership Officer, Tom Goldsmith, who has much experience of undertaking the surfacing of rural paths in the County.  We hope the path will be used by residents for many years to come and we will be working on other improvements and additions to the Common in due course.

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More Fly Tipping at Cemetery Approach Road

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The Parish Council has now removed the debris that had blocked the approach road to the cemetery.  The fly tipper could not be bothered to take their tree and hedge trimmings to the County Council waste site at Stevenage.  They completely blocked the approach road, making cemetery access difficult on Sunday afternoon and nigh-on impossible for visitors and relatives needing near access to memorials by wheeled transport.  Later this week we have a funeral scheduled and it would also obstruct routine operations and maintenance.  We would like to apologise to cemetery visitors for any inconvenience caused.

We became aware of this around 2pm on Sunday 5th February.  On Monday morning our Head Groundsman and one of our contractors cleared the road and on Tuesday morning removed all the debris.  The cost will be met by local Council Tax payers.  Unforeseen, unwelcome and thoughtless acts like this spoil our beautiful countryside; they also drive up our Council Tax bills.

Can you help?

If anyone has any useful information that might identify the fly-tipper, please contact the police using 101 or the parish office on 01438 716667.  Thank you.

 

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Car Park Repairs

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Many of you will be aware that some of the car parks have degraded surfaces; others have white-lining worn away; Ottway Walk has several deep potholes.  Please be patient; we are tendering for all these works and will be announcing soon, when these works are to begin.  Regrettably this will involve closure of car parks whilst the work is done, typically for half a day.  We hope this can be co-ordinated such that any car park is closed for the minimum time but if we don’t have a clear car park to begin with, the sweeping, surface preparation and the lining takes much longer.  More details on this web site and at car park notice boards, as it becomes available.

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Consultation on Local Government Financial Settlement

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We have responded to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Consultation Paper on 2017/18 Local Government Financial Settlement.

This paper includes proposals to cap Local Councils’ increase of the Parish Precept (part of the Council Tax levied by the Borough Council) and the chosen mechanism is to trigger a local referendum, should the precept increase be above a certain amount.  This threshold is set unrealistically low as it is based upon the lowest-charging parish/town council in England.  This is contrary to localism initiatives where local councils have been encouraged to exercise initiative and respond to local demands and needs.  It is a very blunt and a very expensive method that fails to recognise regional and local differences in costs, requirements, priorities, history and capacity to fund.  It is opposed by many local councils and our representative bodies: the National Association of Local Councils and the Hertfordshire Association of Parish and Town Councils.

The original Government paper and the Parish Council’s response to this important consultation, may be viewed and downloaded from here.

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Help make our village bright for Christmas?

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Our street lighting has always made our village look bright, welcoming and festive over the Christmas and New Year period.  Local businesses contribute to fund more lights to increase the coverage and replace failed units.  Everyone, especially the children, enjoys the effect; it attracts visitors and customers and so is good for business; but it doesn’t just happen on its own!  We need volunteers to help put the lights up and take them down.   No special skills are needed, but the ability to climb a ladder, manipulate nylon cable ties and recalcitrant cable and keep a sense of humour in the cold (and if it’s wet) are an advantage!  We aim to put the lights up over the last two weeks in November (Saturdays and weekdays) ready for a 1st December “switch-on.”  We take them down at the end of the first week in January.  If you would like to help, please contact the Parish Office on 01438 716667 where Caroline would be pleased to record your details, or e-mail office@welwynpc.org.uk  and we will be in touch soon.

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Responses to Local Plan and Delivery Infrastructure Plan Consultations

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We were invited to respond to the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Draft Local Plan and Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan consultation. This is the latest iteration in a vitally important and complex process that will shape our Parish up until 2030.  We have responded to earlier consultations, but this is the final opportunity prior to submission.

Our Planning and Licensing Committee formed a Working Party, with local voluntary partners (Welwyn Planning and Amenity Group, Welwyn Parish Plan Group and Friends of the River Mimram) to determine our response. Generally we felt that the Borough had got it right, although we have objected to one aspect and raised concerns over the draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (which supports the draft Local Plan).  However, we recognise that the Borough Council do not control much of the infrastructure, such as roads, education and health.

The two individual reports which formed the basis of our  responses (submitted via the Borough’s web site) can be viewed and downloaded here.  The original Plan documents in all their detail with maps etc., covering all of Welwyn Hatfield, may be downloaded and viewed from the Borough Council’s web site here.

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