Minutes of the meeting on 10 August 2015


The residents’ association for Sopwell Lane, Albert Street, Pageant Road, Hart Road, The Ryder Seed Mews Estate, Saracens Head Yard, Pearce’s Walk and Keyfield Terrace


Minutes of Meeting held on Monday 10 August 2015 at 8pm
at the Clarion Collection Hotel, Holywell Hill.

1. Present: Avril Allen, Catherine Barron, Bernadette Blade, Cllr Alec Campbell, Anthony Hyde,

Jenny Johnson, Cathy Jones, Angela King, Catriona Martin, Roger Morton, Mary Plackett,

Cllr Chris White

2. Apologies for absence: Ania Buckley, Rob Buckley, Cllr Alun Davies, Pam Johnson,

Linda Matthewman, Darryl Stannard, Eric Thurston

3. Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 08 June 2015 had been circulated by email and a copy was made available at this meeting.

4. Matters arising: Cllr Alec Campbell raised awareness of various new local Strategic Planning issues which he felt SAPHRA members should know about. Please refer to Any Other Business.

5. Finances: Anthony Hyde confirmed that we had £254.22 remaining in the bank after the expenditure of £60 for the hiring of a bouncy castle for the summer barbeque.

6. Neighbourhood Watch: Roger Morton encouraged SAPHRA members to sign up for the OWL (On-line Watch Liaison) scheme. He circulated OWL sign-up forms and requested that completed forms be sent back to Catherine Hieatt (Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for St Peters Ward) or returned to him.

7. City Neighbourhoods Committee:

  • Roger Morton attended the meeting on 18 June 2015 on behalf of SAPHRA.
  • The subjects discussed included Clarence Park Recreational Ground, ‘Maintenance and renewals’ budget allocations to wards and the Waste Management Contract which is in the process of being re-tendered.
  • Detailed minutes of City Neighbourhoods Committee meetings are available on the St Albans District Council website.  
  • The next meeting will be held on 22 September 2015. Let Roger know if there is any subject you would like him to take to the meeting.

8. Resident Services Forum & Housing Consultative Forum for Council Tenants: Cathy Jones attended both of these meetings and reported back on some of the main subjects discussed. If you would like to know more please contact Cathy Jones through SAPHRA.

9. Our local environment:

  • Lorry ban / speed restriction / pinch-point in Sopwell Lane:  Cllr Chris White is still chasing Hertfordshire County Council on this matter and is due to attend a catch up meeting with them later this month. There has also been no feedback from the designers as yet.
  • Green oasis in Sopwell Lane:  Rob Buckley instigated a work party to spend a day tidying up the site. Cllr Simon Grover assisted and when completed he arranged for the Council litter collection team to collect the large pile of vegetation and rubbish. Several members of the team then went to Ayletts Nursery to seek advice on planting. They came back with discounted wild flower and grass seed to sow later in the month. The agreed date for this is Saturday 22 August 2015 at 11 am. Please feel free to come and join in.
  • Condition of wall at Holywell Hill end of Sopwell Lane: The rendering of the wall has been neatened up but not totally removed. The District Council are still putting pressure on the owners of the wall to rectify the problem.
  • Void in Albert Street (in the boundary wall of Ryder Seed Mews): Roger Morton met with Phil Bruce-Green (Parks & Green Spaces Officer) on 27 July 2015. Taking into account the fact that the surface area of the void is paved, enclosed on three sides and is situated under a mature tree, Phil suggested that a large planter should be constructed to house a mature shrub. The allocated amount for carrying out this work is from £100 - £300. Phil promised to get back to Roger with a detailed proposal.
  • Albert Street car park: On advisement from Cllr Alun Davies, SAPHRA will submit a fresh application, for consideration next year, to make the two end spaces usable again.
  • Flattening of speed cushions in Albert Street: Cllr Chris White has been informed by the County Council that the work will be carried out sometime between October – November 2015.
  • Pearce’s Walk planter: A decision has yet to be reached with regard to the possible planting of this void space.
  • Keyfield Terrace Car Park: We are advised that the revised parking fees to allow for 1 hour parking at a reduced rate will come into effect in September 2015.
  • Weeds Clearance: The County Council is now responsible for clearing weeds on roads, footpaths and in gullies. Cllr Chris White said that the County Councils fault-reporting website was not accepting reports of weeds in roads and gullies. This will be corrected. Clearance of weeds in gullies in Hart Road is underway.

10. Transition Streets: Catherine Ross (Co-ordinator of St Albans’ Transition Streets project) will be invited to the SAPHRA AGM on 07 September 2015 to explain more about Transition Streets. This project enables neighbours in the same area to work together as a group to reduce their impact on the environment, cut carbon footprints and save on household bills.

11. The SAPHRA annual family barbeque will be held in the garden of the White Hart Tap at 3.00pm on Sunday 06 September 2015 at 3.00pm.

12.  Any other business:

  • Darryl Stannard sent a text to SAPHRA voicing his increasing concerns with regards to the sawn off safety bollards at the junction of Thorpe Road and Sopwell Lane. He had reported it to the Hertfordshire County Council who then informed him that a survey of the site had been carried out and it was deemed to be safe. Cllr Chris White promised to ask the Councillor responsible for Sopwell Lane to put pressure on the County Council to sort this out.
  • Catherine Barron reported that small sycamore trees were taking root along the walled area of the London Road car park where it joins up with the Hart Road pedestrian access. Cllr Alec Campbell agreed to take a look at the site after the meeting.
  • Cllr Alec Campbell wished to make SAPHRA members aware of the various new issues arising from the proposed redevelopment of the glazed Ziggurat House in Grosvenor Road, St Albans. Even though it stands in a conservation area, recent alterations to planning rules permit the change of use from office to residential use. The glazing needs to be replaced so future occupants can open windows. One major concern with this new change to planning rules is the unchallenged  license to convert existing business properties in order to secure more, much needed, housing.

13. Date of next meeting: Proposed for Monday 07 September 2015 (subject to a meeting room being available).