Chairman’s Annual Report 2023-24

Welcome to the Chairman’s report for 2023/24.

Another year has flown by and I would like to express my thanks to Councillors and our Parish Clerk for their involvement and commitment over this past year.

As a community we continue to face challenges and uncertainty. With inflation remaining high, cost pressures remain for households, business owners and community facilities alike. Our District Council is facing budgeting challenges. Work on the St Albans Local Plan continues.

It can be no coincidence then that we have seen a notable pickup in attendance at meetings of late, with local residents seeking to take the opportunity to reflect their views and feelings; the stakes are high. We have welcomed members of the public, campaign groups and District and County Councillors who have made active contributions to discussions on a variety of subject matter including planning applications, development and enforcement, road condition and safety, and upgrades to local infrastructure.

The Parish of St Michael is small in terms of number of residents, but is rich in green belt land. Whilst there have been recent applications to build within the area, this has largely been limited to extensions or isolated individual residential dwellings. As it stands, the Parish looks like it will not be directly affected by larger site development under consideration in the Local Plan. However, any larger scale development in North St Albans, North Harpenden, Redbourn and Hemel would stand to increase road traffic and associated congestion, noise and pollution quite significantly within and on the boundary of our Parish and would affect residents during and after any development. As such, StMPC is taking an active interest in the progress of the Local Plan and will seek to comment where and when appropriate.

This past year at St Michael Parish Council (StMPC) has again been one of change. Whilst last year the focus was on a boundary change that had a marked effect on the Parish, over the course of this year we have had turnover in the panel of Councillors serving the StMPC. We saw two long standing members depart and I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Liz Rolfe and Liz Rose for their tenures on the Parish Council and express gratitude for their individual steadfast dedication and contribution, each committing their time over two decades to serve the interests of local residents.

It is with pleasure we have welcomed Jeremy Peet and Ian Hawking to StMPC. Both live locally and have a keen interest in the area and I very much look forward to their presence on the bench as we move forward.

At the time of writing, we have two vacancies for the position of Parish Councillor and would like to invite anyone in the Parish or local area who has interest in taking the position to please get in touch.

It has again been a privilege to chair St Michael Parish Council this past year and I wish the best for the upcoming year to all residents of the Parish, their family and friends.

Best,

David Meachin

Chair of St Michael Parish Council