District and Parish Council Elections – 4 May 2023

All five candidates nominated in our Parish were returned as our Councillors, without needing to hold a poll on 4th May 2023.

We have two vacancies which we hope to fill by co-option. There were no candidates to consider for the role at our Annual Meeting on 16th May, and we urge local residents to consider joining us. Please see our separate post.

Changes in Ragged Hall Lane after the Community Governance Review

All of the comments received by St Albans District Council during the second round of consultation were reported to their Policy Committee on 24 November 2022. 

The final recommendations of the review were submitted to Council on 7 December 2022 and were approved* (see foot of page). As a result, from next year St Michael Parish Council will no longer represent the residents living on the even-numbered, northern side of Ragged Hall Lane. These properties will transfer to St Stephen Parish Council. The following information applies to those properties and residents only.

It is our understanding that the current Parliamentary Boundary Review will recommend that the existing arrangements for parliamentary constituencies remain in place (although a wider change, from Hitchin & Harpenden to Harpenden & Berkhamsted, is fully expected). This means that for the time being, if you live on the northern side of Ragged Hall Lane, your current Member of Parliament remains Mr Bim Afolami.

Timetable

7 December 2022SADC approved the parish boundary changes
January 2023Subject to gaining consent from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, a Community Governance Order will be made.
1 February 2023SADC will republish the electoral register to take account of the new boundary.
March 2023SADC will inform residents of the revised council tax from 1 April, part of which will be payable to St Stephen PC, not St Michael.
1 April 2023The Council Tax billing year begins.
April 2023SADC will call for nominations for the parish council and district ward elections in May.  Candidates’ names and the parishes or wards they will be standing in will be published.  Polling cards will be sent to inform electors where their polling station will be.
4 May 2023Local district and parish council elections take place.
9 May 2023Newly elected parish and district councillors formally take office.

*The Final Recommendations Report below lists the final recommendations in full and provides the background and reasoning for each decision. For the appendices listed in the report, please see pages 121 – 138 of the public reports pack from the 7 December 2022 Council meeting. 

Affinity Water draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP)

(External post from Affinity Water)

Please take part and have your say in Affinity Water’s consultation with customers and stakeholders on the draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). This aims to address a significant future shortfall in water resources in our supply area. Population growth, climate change and the demand for water are putting significant pressure on the local environment and water resources in Affinity Water’s supply area. Without action, the area Affinity Water supplies faces a possible shortfall of 449 million litres a day by 2050. We want to hear what customers and stakeholders think about our draft plan to help us shape our final plan which we will publish in Autumn 2023.

The consultation runs for 14 weeks until 20 February 2023 and we really want to hear your views. Our Engagement website (https://affinitywater.uk.engagementhq.com/wrmp )  provides a breadth of materials from videos and summary documents to detailed appendices and most importantly the consultation questions.  All your views will be considered and we will produce a Statement of Response to our customers and our stakeholders in May 2023 to update you on how your responses will shape our final plan.

We are holding a number of events both regionally and locally to explain more about our plan. If you would like to join any of these sessions please let us know by email.

Events:

14 November: WRSE and SE water companies to launch dWRMP24 public consultations

16 November: WRSE Parliamentary launch event (including SE companies)

17 November: National Water Resources webinar

22 November: WRSE webinar

23 November: WRE webinar

28 November: Affinity Water and Thames Water – Water Resources Forum (hybrid event)

13 December: Local Authority and Canal community event with focus on the Grand Union Canal Strategic Resource Option

Other local events to be confirmed and will be updated on our engagement site.

Kindest regards,

Susan Jervis
Communications Consultant
WRMP
Affinity Water Ltd
Tamblin Way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9EZ

Tel: 07900 494347

Email: susan.jervis@affinitywater.co.uk

Homes for Ukraine scheme

(External post from Hertfordshire County Council)

Hertfordshire County Council is running a webinar next Weds 23rd Nov (7pm – 8pm) to give residents in Hertfordshire a chance to find out more about the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  There is now an urgent need for new hosts in Hertfordshire. 

Here is the link to register for this no-obligation, online information session: Register here for 23 Nov webinar

As well as a short introduction outlining how the scheme works there will be a panel of existing hosts who will share their experiences and answer any questions from people who may be interested in becoming hosts.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about this session or more widely about Homes for Ukraine in Hertfordshire.

Best regards

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/SiteElements/images/email-signature/logo.pngZarrine Dye
Development Officer

Community & People Wellbeing
Hertfordshire County Council  
Farnham House, Six Hills Way Stevenage SG1 2FQ – Postal Point: SFAR209M: 07974 596956
E: zarrine.dye@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Work pattern: Mon 9am – 4pm, Wed 9am – 4pm, Thurs, 12pm -4pm Hertfordshire County Council FacebookHertfordshire County Council TwitterHertfordshire County Council email updates

Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-2022

St Michael Parish Council is saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and other family members at this very difficult time.

For many The Queen was a symbol of comfort and stability who, throughout her long reign, was devoted and steadfast in her duty. A truly exceptional Monarch who will be dearly missed.

We wish King Charles a long and prosperous reign.

God Rest The Queen – a new poem by Roger McGough

© 2022 Roger McGough, for The Poetry Society

She spoke volumes quietly.
Is everywhere and will remain so
Our shared interest, our common currency
The nation cannot let her go.

Stars untwinkle one by one
The moon, in shock, averts its gaze
No words express the grief we feel
How we loved thee, let us count the ways.

The future, fearful, has gone awol
Life goes on but not the one we know
Though wreaths and words may wither
The nation will not let her go.

Guns fall silent, the flag lowered
She who kept us close is gone
Winter is composing a sad anthem
It will play on and on and on.

Parish Council comments on local planning applications

Parish councils are statutory consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment (or not) on applications.

From time to time the Parish Council may wish to make a comment about a planning application submitted to St Albans District Council (SADC).

When considering whether to comment, St Michael Parish Council may reflect on local feeling during the deliberation process. If a comment is approved, the Clerk will then submit it on behalf of the Parish Council, for publication through SADC’s planning portal, where it becomes part of the public record for that planning application.

Outside of Parish Council Meetings, our Councillors will frequently spend their own time to inform themselves of local concerns and opinions. They may fairly be said to be seeking information in their role as Parish Councillor, but they must remain objective and if they should express any views or opinions, for or against, they have to be clear that they are doing so in a personal capacity. They must not imply that their comments are, or are likely to be taken as, representing those of the Parish Council as a body. Parish Councillors do of course have a right, as any private individual would, to submit comments in their own name to SADC .

Whether there is support for or against any planning proposal, St Michael Parish Council urges members of the public to send their own written letters or e-mails direct to SADC as well – which are considered to be much more effective in an individual’s own words rather than a circular type or template.

It must also be made clear that any comment made in response to a planning application can only be based on planning matters. Conjecture and hearsay for example can never be taken into consideration. The specific points that can and cannot be included are set out in SADC’s helpful guidance on their website, at Home/Planning and building control/How to comment on a planning application

St Albans Food and Drink Festival Awards

The nomination forms for the Food and Drink Festival awards are now live. This is the first time the awards have been run in their ‘usual’ format since 2019, and it is hoped that there will be loads of nominations, particularly from places and people outside St Albans city centre. 

The nomination form is here: https://stalbans.force.com/guest/s/food-and-drink-nominations-2022

Please note this is not the voting stage, at this point it’s just nominations which are being asked for.

Nominations close on 11th July, and after that, the Food and Drink Festival Steering Committee will ratify/verify/rationalise the nominations, checking that they’re all in the right place, all fit the criteria and are all within the District/of a high enough hygiene standard to go forward to the shortlisting stage. And then the public will be asked to vote, vote, vote!!!