Water Water everywhere but (perhaps) not a drop to drink?

The following is extracted from papers produced by Affinity Water.

Within the next five years and beyond there may not be enough water to meet increases in demand, unless we make some changes.

Affinity Water have recently completed a Public Consultation to ensure that there is enough water for future generations. They now invite you to respond to their revised draft Water Resources Management Plan (dWRMP) further consultation.

Doing nothing is not an option.

We need to act now to ensure there is enough for future generations. Affinity Water plans include:

  • Helping customers reduce their water usage
  • Fixing even more leaks
  • Further improving rare chalk streams
  • Building a new reservoir to store water
  • Transferring water from another area via an existing canal
  • Working with other water companies to solve the challenge.

Affinity Water need your views to help shape our service to you. Their consultation period runs from 1 March – 26 April 2019.

Go to the Consultation Document and have your say on our plans to meet this challenge! Affinity Water really do want to hear your views.

Click here to have your say – it will only take a few minutes

Community Cafe – from strength to strength

Ian Skidmore reports on the success of 2018

The Community Cafe makes a surplus each year. The surplus has grown slightly over the years even though the cost of coffee, biscuits and teacakes has increased. This is because, as the message gets around, more people come here on Tuesday  and also because increasingly people come back for second helpings!

The surplus this year was a little over £1200, this is divided between the PCC who provide the facility and the Parish Plan. The Parish Plan share goes towards the projects we run.

Go to the Parish Plan Group for more information about the background to the formation of the Community Cafe, and a fuller report for 2018.

Herts Police & Crime Commissioner – wants to hear from you

Those of you on the Neighbourhood watch OWL system will have received the following notification a few days ago. (If you are not on the OWL system please go to https://www.owl.co.uk to register).

Dear Watch Member,

Hertfordshire’s PCC is refreshing his Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan: Everybody’s Business and wants to hear your views.

At the beginning of his second term, Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, set out his ambition and vision for community safety and criminal justice across the county over the coming years.

The Commissioner is starting the process of refreshing his Plan that will lead to a refreshed edition in spring 2019. He is asking for feedback from the public and partners on the current Plan ahead of consulting on a new version over the coming months.

David Lloyd said:

 “I want to hear the public’s views on the issues that are important to Hertfordshire and what my strategy should continue to prioritise to help me shape the new Plan and direction for the county, so please do take the opportunity to have your say.”

  • What should the PCC’s refreshed Plan continue to focus on over the years ahead?
  • What are the new and emerging issues that should be included in the refreshed Plan?

The public can read the current Plan (http://www.hertscommissioner.org/plan) and share their views by responding to the questions above via email – ku.vo1553377078g.nnp1553377078.ccp.1553377078streh1553377078@nalp1553377078.eht1553377078

You can also send your comments by Letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ by 10th January, 2019.

Welwyn’s Neighbourhood Plan – an immediate update


A start has been made to undertake online research into the methodology of approach followed by Parish Councils around the country.

At the 20th November 2018 meeting of the WPC Planning & Licensing Committee, a representative from the Codicote Parish Council was invited to share their experiences, which was extremely helpful. 

The Welwyn Parish Council has since established a Neighbourhood Planning Working Party, to be chaired by Cllr Mark Castle, with Ian Skidmore (Chairman Welwyn Parish Planning Group) as Vice-chairman.

It is expected that at least two members of the WPAG Committee will be invited to join the Working Party, and we are advising on suitable wider membership. 

We will report on the progress of this Working Party.

 

WPAG Welcomes the Wilshere Residents Association

On Thursday 25th October 2018, following an approach to the WPAG, the Leader of the newly formed Wilshere Park Residents Association, Mr Dan Ramasamy, was invited to introduce himself to the WPAG Committee.

He explained that the WPRA already have some 100 households signed-up to their Association, who are collectively facing a number of unresolved issues with the developers Linden Homes; issues that include un-adopted Highways, Footpaths and Rights of Way, and other services.

 

The Chair of WPAG, and Committee members spent time explaining the value of our connections within the community built up over the past 50 years, and particularly our role as co-opted members of the Welwyn Parish Council (WPC) Planning & Licensing Committee. It is in that capacity that three members of the WPAG Committee have already been earmarked for inclusion in the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party which it is hoped the WPC will soon agree to progress.

 

It was strongly recommended that the WPRA should aim to be included in the NP process once it starts,and the WPAG Chair therefore invited Dan Ramasamy to join the WPAG Committee, as WPRA’s representative, to ensure that that does indeed happen.

 

Dan Ramasamy was asked to submit an Introductory Statement to the WPAG Editor for publication on the WPAG website, following which the WPAG would be able to help raise awareness of WPRA activities within the Welwyn community by offering a link to the WPAG website www.wpag.org.uk

 

All members of the WPRA are encouraged to sign up to receive occasional WPAG Newsletters.

New WPAG Appointments

On 11th July 2018 the WPAG held an AGM, which had been postponed from its normal scheduled date due to the loss of service of two more key Committee Members for personal reasons, adding to the sad loss of Ron Oxley and Dr John Reay earlier in 2018

The date of the AGM coincided with the quarter finals of the World Cup which will have kept some members away, and as a result we had a low turnout. But, we are very happy to announce that four members volunteered to join the Committee in various capacities, and the new structure can be found in the Contacts section.

There remains one further Committee Vacancy for Lead Member dealing with Planning Applications.

Over the course of the next few months we will hope to include items to introduce the new members to you, who will then have the opportunity to talk about ‘how they see their role’ on the WPAG Committee.

North Herts Concrete Plant – the latest bad news

We have learned, too late for action at his stage, that a Planning Application 18/01726/FP has been placed with North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) for a Concrete Plant to be constructed on the B656 at Langley, North of Codicote.

The Welwyn Parish Council Planning & Licensing Committee, of which WPAG is a co-opted member, were given no time to consult and respond by the 2nd August deadline, and so Full Council formulated a quick response at their meeting on 30th July.

This Application has huge potential for further worsening the local road infrastructure, in particular the overloaded B656 Welwyn/Codicote Road and the Welwyn Link Road to the A1(M) Roundabout at Clock House Gardens, and we therefore give the earliest opportunity we can to brief you on the position.

Please follow the following link to read a Public Notice and the Planning Application NHDC consultation re concrete plant.

WPAG will now continue to monitor this development closely through our association with the Welwyn Parish Council Planning & Licensing Committee.

 

London Luton Airport – Expansion Consultation

Luton Airport is planning a major expansion.

A Consultation Paper did not reach the Welwyn Parish Council (WPC) until 25th June 2018 with responses required by 31st August, leaving precious little time to study the associated papers and to respond.

As WPAG are co-opted members of the WPC Planning Committee we have been invited to contribute to their response.

However, the dates of scheduled WPC meetings puts pressure on the time left to respond, and the WPAG Committee will therefore prepare a separate WPAG group response.

The Consultation Documents

To read the Main Consultation Paper go to Consultation Paper and for a Summary go to Consultation Summary. Other associated documents include the Feedback Form

These are weighty papers and the WPC Briefing Paper (copied below), is recommended reading for its comparative brevity.

Individual WPAG members who would like to add thoughts and comments, are encouraged to respond directly to the Consultation.

Briefing Paper for the Welwyn Parish Council Planning Committee

The following Briefing Paper has been prepared by Cllr Bill Morris, Chair of WPC and is reproduced here as it provides a very helpful guide which will be of help to WPAG members.

Background

WPC first became aware of this consultation at their 25th June meeting.  Luton Borough Council (whose company – London Luton Airport Limited – own the airport) are consulting with those whose opinions they seek and who may be affected, about their proposals to expand the airport further and a series of public meetings has been drawn up.  The consultation runs until 31 August, with a series of 17 consultation events taking place in and around Luton between 9 July and 4 August. At these events everyone will have the opportunity to view the plans, speak to members of the expert project team, and provide feedback.  The meeting for our locality was to be held on 10 July at Oaklands College WGC from 1400 to 2000.  Given the lack of open advertisement or direct contact and our late discovery of the event, no WPC representative could attend.  Other venues and times are given on their website and members may wish to attend a more remote event.

The website contains a lot of information including proposals, consultation format and a response booklet:  https:/www.luton.gov.uk/news/Pages/Consultation-gets-under-way-on-potential-expansion-of-London-Luton-Airport.aspx

Given that much of the village, Digswell and Oaklands are under the flight paths, many residents (assuming they were aware) may have concerns.  In addition to the obvious air and noise pollution issues, there are also infrastructure questions concerning travelling both to and from the airport and the airport layout itself, when such an expansion is being considered.The Planning & Licensing Committee is invited to consider the issue and this outline reply, with regard to submission to WPC at their July meeting.  The consultation ends on 31 August, with a further round in 2019.

Proposals

Luton Airport is growing faster than predicted and is now the fifth busiest airport in the UK. At its current rate of growth, Luton is forecast to reach its existing permitted capacity of 18 million passengers per annum (mppa) in 2021.  The Council believe it may be possible to handle up to 36-38 mppa (i.e. doubling the throughput.  The major reasons for doing this, as given by the Council are:

  • There is an opportunity for Luton to play a substantially greater role in the UK aviation market, notwithstanding the proposal for a third runway at Heathrow and the proposed expansion at Stansted. (“Why not us”?)
  • Initial estimates are than there could be an increase of up to 800 new jobs for each additional million passengers per year travelling through Luton and an annual boost to the regional economy of £76m. (“Let’s see the calculations and if Herts and a village such as ours really benefits”)
  • The contribution of an expanded Luton to Beds, Bucks and Herts could reach up to £2.6bn and support up to 42,000 jobs. (as per previous statement).

Essentially this all boils down to developing the site to be able to handle a doubling in passenger numbers and presumably in aircraft numbers (large jets are the most significant, the extensive and lucrative private jet market is important but insignificant in these terms.)  This in turn means expansion or re-arranging of: runway(s), terminal building(s), aircraft hangers (servicing/repairs etc.), inter-communication within the airport and passenger transport infrastructure outside the airport and beyond.

[1] Prepared by Bill Morris, Chair WPC, following a request from Colin Hukin, Chair P&L Committee.  The author has lived in Welwyn (near QVM Hospital) for over 32 years, has flown in and out of Luton Airport on business and pleasure all of that time and still continues to do so for pleasure, twice a year.  His home is also under the westbound landing flight path.

Van Gogh Statue – Reception and Unveiling

The WPAG Reception

The sculptor Anthony Padgett attended a WPAG Reception at the Chairman’s home on Friday evening 29th June 2018, attended by invited members of the WPAG Committee, Welwyn Parish Council, and other local organisations and dignitaries who had shown a close interest and support for the project to install the Van Gogh Statue in the village.

He was welcomed by Carl Storer, WPAG Chairman, who  proudly explained the vital role played by the WPAG which had led to the successful formal acceptance by the Welwyn Parish Council..

Anthony acknowledged the involvement of the WPAG Project Manager, Sandra Kyriakides in making this happen and, as a show of his thanks, he presented her with a signed copy of his book ‘A Year with Vincent Van Gogh‘.

 

The Official Unveiling

On Saturday morning, 30th June 2018, Mrs Marion Brown MBE JP, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire joined a gathering of villagers and local Borough and Parish Councillors to officially unveil the Van Gogh sculpture outside Welwyn’s Bridge Cottage Surgery in the High Street.

She was accorded a formal welcome by Councillor Bill Morris, Chairman of Welwyn Parish Council. On behalf of Welwyn residents, Cllr Morris acknowledged the great good fortune offered to the village by Anthony Padgett’s most generous donation of the Van Gogh sculpture, which is in fact the first of his busts to be displayed in England.

Anthony reminded us that Vincent Van Gogh had walked 100 miles to visit his sister, Anna, who was a teacher at Miss Applegarth’s School in Forge Lane, and pondered the thought that Vincent might have bathed his tired feet in the Mimram at the very spot where we have now erected his statue.