Digswell Christmas Lights

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Thanks to the generosity of local shops and the effort of volunteers, the Parish Council is pleased to announce that there will be Christmas lights in Digswell this year!   There will be white LED festive lighting on the parade of shops in Station Road/Woodside Road, Welwyn North Stores and Digswell Village Hall, during December and through to the New Year.  We hope you will enjoy them!

We aim to put them up week commencing 21 November, so if there are a few more volunteers out there who can help, please call the Parish Office and we will be in touch!

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Welwyn Christmas Tree Lights

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Don’t forget!

 

We will be switching-on the Welwyn Christmas Tree lights at

5 pm on 1st December, in St Mary’s churchyard.

Mulled wine and mince pies from 4.30pm – and the Welwyn Garden City Male Voice Choir. 

All residents (and of course, children) welcome!

 

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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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Welwyn High Street - Christmas 2015

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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Audit Completion – 2015/16

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Following the successful completion of our earlier Internal Audit, the Council has just been advised that it has now successfully completed its annual External Audit.  It is a legal requirement for the Council to be audited, internally and externally, annually.  The formal Notice of Completion, Annual Return for 2015/16 (Sections 1, 2 &  3) and the Report of Issues can be downloaded from here.   At the Full Council meeting on 26 September, Councillors unanimously resolved and agreed to approve and accept the Annual Return including the BDO (the external auditor) certificate and the Issues Arising Report. 

The minor issues arising from the Internal Audit have been resolved; those arising from the External Audit have been resolved, with one exception where the resolution is imminent (see Addendum Note).  If you have any further queries or require more information, please contact the Clerk.

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Ottway Walk Car Park

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The Ottway Walk car park is owned and maintained by the Parish Council.  It provides parking for members of the Welwyn Sports & Social Club, users of our Pavilion and Playing Fields and for those with children wanting to enjoy the popular play area with its exciting equipment.  During school terms, the car park is very busy with the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

Ottway Walk 1

In recent weeks, the Council twice had to take action to reclaim our land after Travellers parked caravans on the car park, occupying over 20 spaces.  Unfortunately that action does not prohibit them from returning.  To avoid this becoming a problem, the Council positioned  three 2.4 tonne concrete blocks to narrow the entry and exit to the car park, but with gaps wide enough for cars and small trucks.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL ON ENTRY AND EXIT.   YOU USE THE CAR PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK.

At the entry and exit points there are small additional pillars to aid judging the gap from a normal driving position in a car.  There are reflective markings at the entrance and exit and the concrete will be painted to aid passage at dusk/night time.

  • Approach the entry or exit gap at right-angles.
  • Keep as far to the right as possible (i.e. driver’s side).
  • Go through straight.
  • Ensure you are past the concrete barriers before turning either into a parking space or onto the road.

This may mean that a vehicle crosses the centre-line of Ottway Walk and larger vehicles may need additional manoeuvering.  We regret having to implement this and appreciate that it may cause some inconvenience, but the alternatives would be more costly, problematic and time-consuming.  We rely on all road and car park users to drive slowly and carefully and be mindful of all other road users, especially children at the start and finish of the school day.

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE ENTRY AND EXIT GAPS

Inconsiderate parking outside the car park, especially in the school entrance as shown in the picture can make it impossible to approach the gaps at right angles.  The blocks cannot be moved further apart or they will admit the very things we are seeking to prevent.  Also, the blocks cannot be moved further back as the the sub-base beneath the tarmac may not support the weight.

 

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Potential theft from Welwyn Allotments

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A hirer on our allotments at Lockley’s Drive has reported an attempted theft of some of their gardening equipment which was in a trolley.  Their house and car keys were also in it.  It is suspected that 2 youths aged about 13 or 14 years old, were involved.  When shouted at, they left the trolley and proceeded to throw blackberries at the owner of the tools.  They have been photographed and the police have been informed of this potential theft.

PLEASE BE AWARE  – if you leave tools lying in or around your allotment or garden.

Please report any suspicious activities to the police.

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