Minutes of the meeting on 14 May 2018

Minutes of Meeting held on Monday 14 May 2018 at 8pm
at the Clarion Collection Hotel, Holywell Hill.


1.    Present:  Avril Allen, Bernadette Blade, Jacqueline Briggs, Rob Buckley, Ian Chambers, Ghislein de Cruz, Phil Fletcher, Ania Gudelewicz, Anthony Hyde, Claire Hyde, Jennifer Johnson, Pamela Johnson, Catherine Jones, Angela King, Roger Morton, Mary Plackett, Cllr Jacqui Taylor


2.    Apologies: Tim Boatswain, Alison Burroughs, Cllr Alec Campbell, Kam Cheung, Mary Green, Cllr Simon Grover, Kate Hardwick, Barry Knight, Linda Matthewman, Elaine Rainsford, Tita Tascon,  Eric Thurston, Cllr Chris White


3.    Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 05 March 2018 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 remains at £299.22.


6.    Outcome of local election: Cllr Jacqui Taylor was elected as a District Councillor for St Peter’s Ward, replacing Cllr Alun Davies. Roger welcomed her to the meeting.

7.    Our local environment:


  • Parking changes and pinch point in Sopwell Lane:


At our last meeting we noted that no progress had been seen with the proposed pinch point in Sopwell Lane. Since then residents of Sopwell Lane have received a consultation from St Albans District Council about a proposal to remove residents’ parking bays in front of three properties in Sopwell Lane and replace them with double-yellow lines.


Residents living in the immediate vicinity have responded to SADC saying:
- The proposed area for double-yellow lines is not large enough to deal with the problem
- The proposal says nothing about linked changes we are expecting – e.g. a pinch point in
   Sopwell Lane  
- Taken in isolation, the removal of parking bays is unlikely to find favour

Cllr Jacqui Taylor offered to request that this item be added to a joint County Council and District Council meeting that Cllr Chris White is organising. We need to see the specific County Council plan for changes to the road layout.

  • Green oasis in Sopwell Lane:


A group of SAPHRA members had met with Jake Rigg (Affinity Water) at the Green Oasis to discuss ideas for improving the site. Jake’s colleague, Michelle Howard, will put together a design for discussion by SAPHRA.


  • 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 does not appear to be up to par. Concerns were still being raised, at the meeting, with regards to the amount of debris left behind after weekly rubbish collections and the notable absence of street cleaners in general. An increasing number of rats had also been spotted in and around gardens and drains in Sopwell Lane and Pageant Road.


Residents were 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 email to: a.cleanerdistrict@stalbans.gov.uk


  • Refuse behind Cafe Rouge: Anthony had received an email from Café Rouge informing him that KPI Waste have been contracted to make an additional regular Sunday collection of their bins. They apologised for any upset this situation had caused to residents.
  • Air pollution in our area: Keith Cotton (local Green Party campaigner) has been putting up diffusion tubes in the area.  The results have revealed extremely high levels of microscopic particles in Holywell Hill and Watsons Walk with much lower pollution levels in Keyfield Terrace and Albert Street. Idling engines are a contributor and SAPHRA residents may wish to display stickers or signs to encourage motorists to switch off their engines where possible. For information about the Idling Action St Albans campaign please check the website: www.stalbans.gov.uk/idlingaction or the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/idlingactionstalbans
  • 8.  City Neighbourhoods Committee:


  • Roger attended the CNC meeting on 21 March 2018 on behalf of SAPHRA. The minutes of the meeting are available on the District Council website.
  • The next CNC meeting will be held on 27 June 2018 (with a new Chair)


9.    Opening of museum and art gallery and planning application for parasols and barriers outside it: The official opening date of the museum and art gallery is 8 June 2018. A planning application has been submitted with a proposal to change the use of the pavement outside the museum to a seating area including four parasols and barriers in connection with existing use of the new museum and gallery.


10.  General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Due to the implementation of GDPR, on 25 May 2018, SAPHRA have moved our email communications over to Mail Chimp which will offer more security.


11.  SAPHRA Summer barbeque: Will be on the afternoon of Sunday 15 July 2018 at the Hare and Hounds pub, Sopwell Lane.


12.  Any other business:

Dropped kerb near Sopwell Lane/Thorp Road corner: There is a dropped kerb just opposite the White Lion pub which is regularly being used as a taxi pick up/drop off point. The resident of the house affected has been putting out a cone and food bin on the pavement as a deterrent. Cllr Jacqui Taylor will see if the kerb can be raised or bollards installed. Concerns were again raised about the increasing number of loose blue bricks in the pavements in Sopwell Lane.

River Ver and Verulamium Park Lakes Improvement Project: The Environment Agency, Affinity Water, St Albans City and District Council and Hertfordshire County Council’s Management Service (CMS) are working together to develop proposals that will improve the River Ver, the Verulamium Park lakes and the wider river area through St Albans. Some of the allotments located to the west of Cottonmill Lane will be affected by this project. For more information, here is the link to the council website: www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-green-space/parks/verulanium-park/riverver

13.  Date of next meetings: 02 July 2018, 03 September 2018 (AGM), 12 November 2018, 07 January 2019, 04 March 2019




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