Minutes of the meeting on 06 November 2017


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 06 November 2017 at 8pm
at the Clarion Collection Hotel, Holywell Hill.


1.    Present: Jacqueline Briggs, Alison Burroughs, Kam Cheung, Mary Green, Jane Harris-Matthews, Jennifer Johnson, Pamela Johnson, Cathy Jones, Angela King, Barry Knight, Roger Morton, Mary Plackett, Elaine Rainsford, Lloyd Rees, Cllr Alec Campbell


2.    Apologies: Avril Allen, Bernadette Blade, Cllr Alun Davies, Anthony Hyde, Cllr Chris White


3.    Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 04 September 2017 had been circulated by email and a copy was made available at this meeting. The minutes were approved.


4.    Matters arising: None


5.    Finances: Anthony Hyde sent an email advising that the balance in the bank now stands at £319.22.


6.    Our local environment:

  • Lorry ban / speed restriction / pinch-point in Sopwell Lane:  There have been no further developments since our last meeting. We are still awaiting a date for action from Herts County Council.

Residents of Sopwell Lane mentioned that on the morning of our meeting a huge lorry came down Sopwell Lane and was initially unable to make the turn into Holywell Hill. The police had to be called to move parked cars to let the lorry move on. This really illustrated the point that we need signs that say Sopwell Lane is not suitable for heavy goods vehicles.

  • Green oasis in Sopwell Lane: Cllr Chris White arranged a meeting with Roger and a representative from Affinity Water to discuss the works that had taken place in Sopwell Lane. MUS have completed a minimal reinstatement of the Green Oasis, but Affinity Water have offered to pay for further improvements to the site. SAPHRA will discuss possible options with Affinity Water.


Some work has been carried out on the wall at the Albert Street property backing on to the Green Oasis, but this is not yet complete. Work had been halted by the presence of MUS setting up site on the land.


  • Street cleaning: Since Veolia have taken over the contract they have been working hard to improve the service.


Weeds: Two weed killing treatments a year has not been effective in combatting the local weed problem. Cllr Alec Campbell will be talking to County Council Officers about further possible treatments and methods.


Rubbish bins: Residents reported regularly overflowing refuse bins in Keyfield Terrace and also by the Café Rouge restaurant. Cllr Alec Campbell reminded residents to report any rubbish issues to the District Council. In the case of Café Rouge, he took note of the details and will personally contact them.


  • Street nameplate in Albert Street: Cllr Alec Campbell had reported the nameplate as missing and it has now been reinstated.


  • Planting in grass verge at junction of Sopwell Lane, Albert Street and Keyfield Terrace: Roger and Barry spent a couple of hours planting the bulbs supplied to SAPHRA through a County Council grant from Cllr. White’s Locality Fund. Within 24 hours MUS had dug over the spot as they were laying new water pipes. Many of the bulbs were salvaged by MUS workmen and are to be replanted by Roger and Barry once the water works are completed.


  • Review of walkabout with Cllr Alec Campbell: Roger and Cathy met up with Cllr Alec Campbell and walked all the streets in our area and discussed the issues of concern to SAPHRA members. Hedging around the two NCP car parks in Albert Street had been cut by John O’Connor Ltd shortly after our working party had cleared vegetation away from the car park notices.


  • Blocked drain Albert Street: Roger reported it to the County Council, but it remains blocked. Members reported several other blocked drains in our area and Roger will take this matter up with Cllr Chris White.


  • Review of residents’ working party held 09 September 2017: A working party set about clearing vegetation away from the NCP notices in the two Albert Street car parks and removed any overhanging branches too near to vehicles. Vegetation was also cut back to reveal the previously obscured signage at the exit of the Clarion Collection Hotel car park. Roger will request that a missing ‘no exit’ sign post (found in a flower bed) be reinstated at the entrance to the car park.


7.    City Neighbourhoods Committee:

  • The CNC last met on 27 September 2017 and Angela King kindly represented SAPHRA. Angela gave members a brief overview of subjects raised at meeting.
  • The next CNC meetings will be held on 22 November 2017 and 21 March 2018.
  • The minutes of CNC meetings are available on the District Council website.


8.    Consultation on controlled parking zones M & N: Due to the very low public response to the questionnaire no changes will be made to the current parking regulations.


9.    Ongoing water-pipe works in the area: Questions were raised about the days and hours that contractors are legally allowed to carry out road works as some work had been carried out late into the evening and at the weekend. Aside from this, all residents agreed that they had found the contractors to be very friendly and obliging.


10.  Any other business:


       SAPHRA Christmas meal: Members at the meeting agreed that we should hold our Christmas meal on Monday 11 December. Details have been circulated to all those who have attended at least one of our meetings in the last year.


       SAPHRA New Year drink: We will be holding our New Year get together at The Hare And Hounds on Monday 22 January 2018 at 7.30pm. All welcome.


       Bollards in Albert Street: It is understood that a resident raised a query with the District Council with the idea of acquiring the small piece of land opposite the Garibaldi pub. A Planning Officer was seen inspecting the land and within a few days two men driving an unmarked van came and installed two concrete bollards. Cllr Alec Campbell offered to investigate.


11.  Dates of next meetings: 08 January 2018, 05 March 2018, 14 May 2018, 02 July 2018, 03 September 2018 (AGM)


Neighbourhood Watch: SAPHRA members are encouraged to sign up for the OWL (On-line Watch Liaison) scheme. SAPHRA can provide OWL sign-up forms to any interested party. It is also possible to sign up for OWL Messages via www.owl.co.uk. For those members who do not have email it is possible to obtain OWL Messages via a home phone (landline).


Highways fault reporting (Potholes, street lamps not working etc.) can be reported to Hertfordshire County Council at: www.hertsdirect.org/services/transtreets/highways/hhonlineservices/hfr/


Street cleaning issues (litter, fly-tipping, overflowing litter bins etc.) can be reported to St Albans District Council by telephone to 01727 819285 or 01727 819598 or email to a.cleanerdistrict@stalbans.gov.uk or online at: www.stalbans.gov.uk/environmentandwaste/street-care-and-cleaning/default.aspx