Summer playschemes open for booking

Bookings will be taken from 10 am tomorrow morning for the Three Rivers summer playscheme for ages 5-11 years. This year’s summer playscheme will take place at Tanners Wood School from 27th  July to 26th August, between 9am-4pm (excluding 12th August). The price for Three Rivers residents is £10.50 per day.

To book a place for your child, please call the council on 01923 776611.

You can see details of the playscheme and other holiday activities for children and young people aged up to 19 on the Three Rivers web site.

Parish council success for Lib Dems

All fifteen LibDem candidates were elected to Abbots Langley Parish Council after  yesterday’s elections. Once again, all fifteen councillors are Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats had a successful set of elections in May, retaining majority control of both Three Rivers and Watford councils. Not one Conservative was elected at either District or Borough level in Watford Constituency and the Liberal Democrats topped the poll with 40% of the vote.

You can see the full election results on the Three Rivers web site here.

Thank you! Local Lib Dems elected to Three Rivers

All four local LibDem candidates were elected to Three Rivers yesterday, as the LibDems remained in control of the council. Matthew Bedford in Abbots Langley, Helen Lehrle in Bedmond & Primrose Hill, Paul Goggins in Langleybury and Stephen Giles-Medhurst in Leavesden.

The Liberal Democrats had a successful set of elections in May, retaining majority control of both Three Rivers and Watford councils. Not one Conservative was elected at either District or Borough level in Watford Constituency and the Liberal Democrats topped the poll with 40% of the vote. Three Rivers council currently stands at LD 29, Con 14, Lab 4, Ind 1.

You can see the full election results on the Three Rivers web site here.

Council planning staff retain training award

I was delighted to hear that Three Rivers’ planning team have retained their ‘Learning Partner’ status from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The council is one of a small number of local authorities that hold this award, which recognises the council’s commitment to the training and development of planning staff.  The RTPI were so impressed by the council’s performance that staff have been asked to share approaches to training and staff learning with other local authorities.

Having chaired the planning committee for seven years, I know how professional and hard-working the planning team are and. All those who use the service, whether they are residents, developers or councillors benefit from having suitably qualified, experienced and motivated staff.

Planning appeal for World of Water rejected

World of Water have lost their planning appeal to hugely extend their current premises on the A41 Hempstead Road (near the Hunton Bridge roundabout). The application (10/0286/FUL) was refused by Three Rivers on green belt grounds. The proposal would have seen the floor area of the shop add 482 square metres to the existing 1,134 square metres of existing covered floorspace, with a 5 metre high roof at the ridge.

The planning inspector agreed that the extension would be inappropriate development, harmful to the character and appearance of the Green Belt.

If you would like a copy of the appeal decision, please contact me.

Abbots Langley Tough Ten makes awards

Last year’s Abbots Langley Tough Ten raised over £8,000 through the sponsorship of runners in the main race. On Friday the funds were distributed to a range of local people and organisations as follows:

  • £3,500 Two local individuals who are disabled
  • £1,000 Abbots Langley Youth Project
  • £1,000 Breakspeare School
  • £1,000 South West Herts Narrowboats Project
  • £500    Monday Club
  • £500    South West Herts Samaritans

The Tough Ten is a firm feature in the calendar of the village. This year’s event will be held on Sunday 2nd and as usual will include 1.5k, 3k, 5k and 10k runs. For further information about taking part, contact the organiser Alison Warner ar

Refuse and recycling collections back on track

After the disruptions caused by the snow and ice, the refuse and recycling collections are back to the calendar this week, That means that you will have the same collection this week as last week.

I realise that means that residents will go three weeks without either a brown bin collection or recycling collection, but this will get collections back on track. The decision was made that this would make it easier for residents to keep track of which collection was due each week and that at this time of the year there would not be huge amounts of garden waste in the brown bins and that any food waste in the bins would not rot quickly in the winter weather.

Due to the extra bank holiday in April and the changes to the refuse and recycling collections planned for later in the year, collections will have to be changed and a new calendar will be issued.

Opposing charges for parking in the village

Tonight I attended the council’s Sustainable Environment committeeto listen to reports on a number of issues affecting local residents, One of these was the suggestion that the council start charging for car parking in all local shopping area. To be fair, council officers brought forward the suggestion in response to councillors’ requests that all possible sources of savings be considered, but I believe that such charges would be short-sighted in the extreme.

Three Rivers comprises a number of small, but thriving communities, including Abbots Langley, Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, South Oxhey and Chorleywood. Of these, Abbots Langley is the only one not to have a station in its shopping area and also does not have any major employers in the village. We don’t have large chain stores or bustling nightlife, but what Abbots Langley does have is a range of facilities that serve residents on a day to day basis, cutting down on time and fuel.

We don’t generally have a parking problem around the village. There are small areas where parking from outside, from residents of nearby flats, shopkeepers or commuters is seen as a nuisance to local residents, but these need small local solutions. Two years ago, when residents of Marlin Square, Langley Road and Breakspeare Road were offered a residents’ parking scheme, they overwhelmingly rejected it.

If the council starts to charge for car parking in the Abbots Road car park (behind the shops), the knock on effects will be huge. If people have to pay for parking, they may choose to shop elsewhere, either where parking is free (such as at Tesco in the privately-owned Katherine Place) or where there are more shops available for the parking charge. Shopkeepers will be faced with large charges to park all day and may choose to park in residential streets where there is already a shortage of parking for residents. The nu mber of shops in the village will dop as some inevitably close, thus reducing the strength, vitality and viability of the village and its community.

In order to prevent local streets simply becoming free car parks where residents struggle to park, residents’ parking schemes would have to be introduced in many local roads within walking distance of the village. This not only means a cost to residents, but also unsightly posts and signs and a reduction in he amount of parking available, as cars would only be allowed to park in marked bays. Other organisations, such as the Parish Council and local churches, would be forced to police their own car parks and maybe introduce charges to ensure that they were not filled with displaced parking.

There is no economic or environmental reason for introducing parking charges within Abbots Langley. Such charges would lowe the quality of life for residents and reduce the ability of local businesses to remain open in the current economic climate. I am delighted that the committee chose to reject the charges and keep the existing situation of free parking within the village.

Parish council holds level of council tax for coming year

Abbots Langley Parish Council have agreed not to increase the council tax for local residents for 2011-12, meaning that the council tax for Band D properties will be £68.50. The precept charged by the council will be a total of £558,955, a decrease of 0.06 per cent.

The Parish Councillors have worked hard over the past few years to make the council as efficient and effective as possible. But we’ve also been able to put money into items such as play areas, sports areas, . We’ve still got sufficient money in reserves and are solvent.

Thanks for preparing this prudent and effective budget must go to the council’s Clerk and Finance Officer and also to Cllr Keith Williams, the Chairman of the Finance and Administration committee.

Parish Council Chairman cancels this year’s Civic Reception

The Chairman of Abbots Langley Parish Council, Cllr Leon Lay has decided not to hold a Civic Reception this year, in order to save money for council tax payers.

Announcing the move, which will save over £2,000 plus council officers’ time, Leon said,”I feel that in the current economic climate it would be entirely inappropriate for it to go ahead. I would not like to think of residents looking through the windows, watching us eating food and drinking wine. It would not be right“.