Minutes of the meeting on 08 January 2018


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 08 January 2018 at 8pm
at the Clarion Collection Hotel, Holywell Hill.


1.    Present:  Avril Allen, Bernadette Blade, Jacqueline Briggs, Alison Burroughes, Ian Chambers, Tamara Chambers, Mary Green, Kate Hardwick, Anthony Hyde, Pamela Johnson, Catherine Jones, Claire Jones, Angela King, Barry Knight, Roger Morton, Angela Sewell


2.    Apologies: Cllr Alec Campbell, Kam Cheung, Linda Matthewman, Mary Plackett, Elaine Rainsford


3.    Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 06 November 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 advised that the balance in the bank now stands at £299.22.


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.


  • Green oasis in Sopwell Lane:
  1. The wall at the Albert Street property backing on to the Green Oasis is still awaiting completion. There has been no further movement since MUS vacated the site. Roger will consult with the District Council Planning team.
  2. Affinity agreed to organise and pay for a planting scheme for the Green Oasis. We await their proposals.


  • Planting in grass verge at junction of Sopwell Lane, Albert Street and Keyfield Terrace: Roger and Barry totally replanted the verge with bulbs and reseeded with grass seed after the new water pipes were laid by MUS.  Already the grass is growing well and numerous bulbs are sprouting.


  • Bollards in Albert Street: Cllr Alec Campbell and Cllr Chris White have both helped in this matter. We now know that the bollards, on the small piece of land opposite the Garibaldi pub, were installed by the District Council who believed (wrongly) that all the land belonged to them. The Council Officers concerned were also, apparently, unaware that Albert Street is in the Conservation area and is subject to Article 4 restrictions. Arrangements will now be made to have the offending bollards removed.


  • Street Cleaning, weeds and rubbish bins:

The new street cleaning contract, with Veolia, stipulates that all streets in the district will be routinely inspected. Unfortunately, the system is not yet up to par. Residents are encouraged to report any areas that need cleaning by either visiting the Council website: www.stalbans.gov.uk/environmentandwaste/street-care-and-cleaning/default.aspx or by email to: a.cleanerdistrict@stalbans.gov.uk


Weeds: To combat the growing problem of weeds in gullies and on pavements the District Council are working together with Herts County Council to improve essential maintenance work. By spraying weeds harder and earlier in the year they hope to reduce the problem.


Rubbish bins: After reports by residents of overflowing bins in Albert Street behind Cafe Rouge, the District Council Enforcement Team visited the premises to carry out an inspection. Cafe Rouge have promised to acquire a large skip to contain the rubbish.


  • Blocked drains: Residents were reminded to keep on reporting any blocked drains in their area. Drains are the responsibility of the County Council and are only monitored on an 18 month cycle.


7.    City Neighbourhoods Committee:

  • The last scheduled meeting of CNC (22 November 2017) was cancelled.
  • The next CNC meeting will be held on 21 March 2018.
  • The minutes of CNC meetings are available on the District Council website.


8.    Ongoing water-pipe works in the area: Works are due to re-commence on 10 January 2018 across Watsons Walk.


Roger had a meeting with Cllr Chris White and Affinity to discuss the completed works and also the resident catchment for Zone M parking, which Affinity were unaware of when notifying residents of parking bay suspensions. Affinity stated that Herts County Council enforce a 2 year guarantee on the works to ensure any defects are repaired.


Kate Rogers notified SAPHRA, via email, about loose paving stones in Sopwell Lane. A number had been dislodged by mechanical diggers during the water-pipe works at the Green Oasis site and the walkway was now unstable and splashed mud. Roger will take this matter up with Affinity when they come back with their proposals for reinstating the area.


 9.   Review of Christmas meal: The consensus was that the venue and the food were a success. Most members said that they would happily go there again.


10.  Any other business:


Alison Burroughes confirmed that SAPHRA is affiliated with the St Albans Civic Society and circulated a copy of their latest Winter 2017 newsletter. You can also look at it by visiting their website: www.stalbanscivicsociety.net


Alison also circulated a program of St Albans Civic Society talks, a copy of which you will find attached to the SAPHRA minutes. SAPHRA members are welcome to attend any of the Civic Society’s talks.


Roger had received an email from Cllr Alun Davies, addressed to all Cllrs, informing them that the current parking contracts are due to expire in October 2019. To complement the procurement process an online questionnaire is available and can be accessed on: www.stalbans.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/parking/trafficregulationorders/Focus_Group.aspx


St Albans City & District Local Plan 2020-2036: The District Council is writing a new Local Plan which will show what can be built and where, up to 2036. The Council are very keen that residents’ have their say about the plan. Everyone should have received a leaflet through their front door. You can respond online at: www.stalbans.gov.uk/localplan2018


11.  Planned Events:


  • Informal get-together Monday 22 January 2018 at 7.30 at the Hare and Hounds pub
  • Summer SAPHRA barbecue on Sunday 15 July 2018, venue to be arranged


12.  Date of next meetings:  05 March 2018, 14 May 2018, 02 July 2018, 03 September 2018 (AGM).




NB: After the meeting finished John Bishop, from Herts Valleys Hospital (HVH) pressure group, spoke about his organisation’s wish that a new hospital should be built on a green field site in the centre of West Herts rather than attempting to rebuild Watford Hospital on its current site.


The pressure group is currently setting up a website – we will forward the link to SAPHRA members when it becomes available.



Note regarding 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





St Albans Civic society talks


The new St Albans Museum and Gallery Project

Date: 15 February 2018

Time: 20.00

Location: Cross Street Centre, Dagnall Street

A talk by Catherine Newley, Audience Development Manager at the Museum.


Reflections on Architectural Quality

Date: 15 March 2018

Time: 20.00

Location: Cross Street Centre, Dagnall Street

A talk by Bob Thompson. A joint meeting with Herts Association of Architects.


Civic Voice Awards

Date: 19 April 2018

Time: 20.00

Location: Cross Street Centre, Dagnall Street

A talk by Max Farrell, Chair of Civic Voice Design Awards.


Smallford Station: starting point for a Local Community Heritage Project

Date: 24 May 2018

Time: 20.00

Location: Cross Street Centre, Dagnall Street

A talk by Jeff Lewis.