I have recently been appointed Project Manager of the Welwyn Planning and Amenity Group and would like to take this opportunity to explain the function of this role:
As matters arise that are of concern to the area, they will be researched and details will be posted on the WPAG website, together with a summary of queries and/or comments received from residents which relate to specific issues. I will also post updates giving information on progress, resolutions or the failure thereof. I would like to encourage residents to write to me at:
Current issues on which the WPAG is keeping a very close eye are:
- Crime and Anti-social Behaviour
- Parking and speeding offences
- Singlers Marsh
- CRIME AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOURPetty crime and anti-social behaviour are steadily on the increase and can be witnessed on more or less a daily basis. Local shops are experiencing frequent shoplifting by minors, there have been many incidences of abusive and unpleasant behaviour, particularly affecting the High Street businesses and houses in that area. The latest dangerous craze amongst young boys is riding bicycles on one wheel up the middle of the road into oncoming traffic or pedestrians!The police have been made aware of what is going on. They urge residents to report to 101 each and every incident that takes place, no matter how minor. If it isn’t reported, it didn’t happen!Please note: On WEDNESDAY 8th MARCH, between 14:00 and 16:00, The Community Safety Partnership will be visiting Welwyn. (High Street Car Park, or in the Civic Centre if weather bad). Crime advice, OWL signups and much more. This will be an opportunity to make the police aware of local concerns and it is therefore really important that as many people as possible come to this event.NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH.
One of the most beneficial aspects of living in Welwyn and surrounding areas has been the low crime rate. This is mainly due to the very close-knit community spirit that exists and how people look out for their neighbours. Maintaining this will help to ensure that Welwyn continues to be a safe and delightful place in which to live, and I would ask any residents who have not already done so to sign up to Neighbourhood Watch OWL (Online Watch Link). This will enable you to receive online messages from the police about incidents throughout the Borough, as well as putting you in touch with local co-ordinators for your immediate area. Feel free to contact me for more information.
- PARKING AND SPEEDING OFFENCES
Illegal and inconsiderate parking is an ongoing problem, particularly during rush hour periods and school runs. Vehicles are frequently parked on double yellow lines, on corners, on the pedestrian crossing and zigzags. All of these offences create traffic jams and dangerous situations. The perpetrators are breaking the law. The Police and the Borough Council are equally responsible for enforcement but, due to staff and finance cuts, neither organisation is able to efficiently control the situation on a regular basis.Speeding and driving carelessly through the village are also a matter of concern. Suggestions of a 20mph speed limit on some roads and slow down “smiley face” signs have been suggested by some residents as a possible solution.
- SINGLERS MARSH
In April 2017, Affinity Water are scheduled to cease abstraction from the Fulling Mill Pumping Station on Singlers Marsh. Through liaison with Affinity Water and the Environment Agency, I am able to provide residents with the following information:
EA asked their modellers to test the proposed changes in the Singlers Marsh area. These were carried out on an early version of the model therefore the results are precautionary and will be improved with further modelling work. A precautionary approach was also taken with how the interaction between the river and the groundwater was modelled, meaning that the EA approach will overstate the impact. With flood modelling, they think it is always better to over-estimate rather than under-estimate and, with this precautionary approach to modelling, the EA predict that the River Mimram could see a small rise following the sustainability reduction.
The EA’s technical experts have reviewed the initial model results and, at this stage, believe that a negligible increase in flood risk is the most likely outcome but cannot prove or rule out a small effect on flood risk.
The EA are liaising with Affinity Water to provide an interim operating agreement that would mitigate the possible change in risk and are currently making very positive progress towards this.
The WPAG are keeping a close watch on developments; are in regular communication with Welwyn Parish Council and will keep residents notified of any significant information as it becomes available.