Minutes of the meeting on 07 January 2019


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 07 January 2019 at 8:00 pm
at the Clarion Collection Hotel, Holywell Hill.


1.    Present:  Bernadette Blade, Alison Burroughs, Kam Cheung, Douglas Davidson, Phil Fletcher, Mary Green, Jane Harris-Matthews, Pamela Johnson, Cathy Jones, Angela King, Barry Knight, Mary Merry, Roger Morton, Mary Plackett, Bob Shadrake, Cllr Jacqui Taylor, Cllr Chris White

2.    Apologies: Avril Allen, Tim Boatswain, Jacqueline Briggs, Cllr Alec Campbell, Cllr Simon Grover, Anthony Hyde, Jenny Johnson, Linda Matthewman

3.    Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 12 November 2018 had been circulated by email (and by hand to residents who do not use email) and a copy was made available at this meeting. The minutes were approved.

4.    Matters arising: None

5.    Finances: Anthony Hyde advised (by email) that having spent £20 on the printing of the Christmas card the finances now stand at £479.22

6.    Our local environment:

  • Parking changes and pinch point in Sopwell Lane:

Cllr Jacqui Taylor spoke of her recent meeting with the parking officer and the subsequent idea of merging zones M&N alongside looking at possible changes to Keyfield car park and the potential to freeing up of 2/3 more spaces in Hart Road. This could compensate for spaces lost in correcting the dangerous narrowing of the carriageway halfway down Sopwell Lane. Jacqui welcomed the residents’ thoughts on this. Roger, Cllr Jacqui Taylor and Bob Shadrake will form a working party to consult and assess on this subject.

Cllr Chris White had received an email from Herts County Council with regards to another speed and volume survey in Sopwell Lane in December/January. He is still awaiting the results.

  • Green oasis in Sopwell Lane:

At our previous meeting Cllr Alec Campbell offered to pursue the problem with the unfinished brick wall along part of the rear of the Green oasis site. The response he received back from the Enforcement team was:

‘The Council are unable to ask the owner of the wall to finish it – the development has been started and as you are aware, there is no time limit for completion. There is no breach of planning control’.

With regards to the removal of a large sycamore tree from the garden of this property it appears that all legal requirements were adhered to and a small silver birch tree was planted in its place.

Roger received an email from Michelle Howard of Affinity Water explaining that they have approached several companies to carry out the work on the Oasis, but it has, unfortunately, taken longer than anticipated to agree terms with a contractor.  They now hope to begin work in March/April. They will keep us updated at every stage to give us an opportunity to contribute to the process.

  • Possible grit bin for Sopwell Lane:

With some of the accumulated funds in the SAPHRA account members agreed that we should purchase a new salt bin for the SAPHRA district. The bin will be located on the grounds of the Hare and Hounds pub in order to serve the residents of the Sopwell Road/Keyfield Terrace/Thorpe Road junctions. Roger shared his research into products and costings and it was unanimously agreed that we will go ahead and purchase the necessary items at a cost of not more than £100.

  • Blocked Drains:

Cllr Chris White has been on a walk-about to view all the reported drains. Phil reported that the drain in Sopwell Lane, up by the Goat pub, was not actually listed on the Herts County Council digital map, which may be the reason why it has not been cleared, even though it has been reported numerous times by the residents.

  • Resurfacing Hart Road:

Residents of Hart Road were very satisfied with the resurfacing works that took place.

  • Broken Pavements:

Cllr Chris White has done a site inspection with Herts County Council Highways Officers. He is planning to request that the brick paving at the Albert Street end of Sopwell Lane, opposite the Hare and Hounds pub, be re-laid as it is becoming a major trip hazard. Members reported broken kerb stones opposite 16 Albert Street as well as loose brick paving by the Green Oasis and alongside the Goat pub.

7.    City Neighbourhoods Committee:

The last meeting of the CNC was on 28 November 2018. Items discussed were: Budget/special expenses for city centre area, Revised rules and extra funding for allotments, Renewal of football club licence to operate in Clarence Park, Clerical support for the CNC, Trees.

The minutes of the meeting are available on the District Council website.

The next CNC meeting will be held on 20 March 2019.

8.    Car charging points in our area:

At our previous meeting a sub-committee was set up consisting of Barry Knight, Phil Fletcher and Anthony Hyde. Barry Knight submitted a very informative paper reporting his findings with regards to on-street charging points for electric vehicles. Barry had contacted Cllr Chris White to clarify whether provision of charging points is a District or County responsibility. Cllr Chris White had spoken to HCC who had advised that they are working on an ‘active’ policy on the provision of charging points. Barry had also contacted Cllr Simon Grover for further information about the statement in the November/December ‘Greenleaf’ that ‘Herts County Council is set to abandon its already limited programme of installing charging points across St Albans’. Phil Fletcher had contacted Joe Tavernier of SADC to ask whether the District Council has any plans to install charging points in the SAPHRA area.

       Suggested actions for discussion:

  • Do we need a survey of residents’ views? Should this be carried out by SAPHRA, the District Council or one of the political parties? What questions should be asked?
  • To what extent should SAPHRA engage with the political parties? Would the provision of charging points be seen as a specifically Green Party issue?

Barry and the working group will continue their activities.

9.    Review of SAPHRA Christmas meal:

Members unanimously agreed that the meal was a success and the idea of people moving places between courses worked well. We will probably use the White Hart Tap again next Christmas.

10.  Plans for New Year get-together:

As advertised on our Christmas card delivered to all residents, the date of our annual New Year get-together will be Monday 28 January at 8.00pm at Hare and Hounds Pub, Sopwell Lane.

11.  Any other business:

  • Roger received an email from Robert Pankhurst, Vice-Chairman, Conservation 50. Conservation 50 are proposing a threefold event to celebrate and safeguard the St Albans Conservation Area on the 50th Anniversary of its first designation. A steering committee has been formed, chaired by Tim Boatswain (Chairman of the St Albans Civic Society) and consisting of members drawn from the Civic Society and local RAs. The planned date for the conference and party is Saturday 6 July 2019. Phil was considering volunteering to help set this up on behalf of SAPHRA.


  • News Release – Improve the festive season in St Albans:

Cllr Jacqui Taylor had been sent an email informing her of two District Council run workshops for residents to give their feedback on the Christmas festival. They are due to take place on Tuesday 22 January 2019 from 7pm and on Saturday 26 January 2019 from 10am at the council offices. All are welcome to attend.


  • The 20mph sign at the entrance to Albert Street:

Roger informed Cllr Chris White that the 20mph speed sign at the Café Rouge end of Albert Street had been turned out of alignment and was facing down Holywell Hill. Cllr Chris White will investigate this.


  • Phil Fletcher notified the meeting of details of a Sustainable St Albans training session on 23 January 2019.to demonstrate how to use an infra-red camera which you can borrow to measure how much heat your home is leaking. For further information go to www.sustainablestalbans.org.


  • Phil Fletcher also gave details about the newly formed Environment Action Group. Their second meeting will be on Tuesday 15 January 2019 from 7pm – 9pm at the St Albans Council offices in Committee Room 1 on the lower ground floor. The theme of this meeting will be Planning and Housing. All are welcome.


12.  Dates of next meetings: 04 March 2019, 13 May 2019, 08 July 2019, 09 September 2019.



    Useful information

       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, blocked drains 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 by email to a.cleanerdistrict@stalbans.gov.uk
or online at: www.stalbans.gov.uk/environmentandwaste/street-care-and-cleaning/default.aspx

       Agendas and minutes for District Council meetings can be found at:

Opening times and locations of the St Albans foodbanks run by the Trussell Trust:

Tuesdays: 1 – 3 pm  Christ Church, 3 High Oaks, New Greens AL3 6 DJ

Tuesdays: 4:00– 5:30 pm Cunningham Hub, Cell Barnes Lane AL1 5PX

Wednesdays: 12:30 – 2:30 pm  Christadelphian Church Hall, 4-6 Abbotts Avenue AL1 2HX

Thursdays: 12:30 – 2:30 pm   Hilldyke Community Centre, 17 Hilldyke Road AL4 8TU

Fridays: 1:00  - 3:00 pm    Holcroft Road, Batford AL5 5BQ

More information from: www.stalbansdistrict.foodbank.org.uk. Tel.: 01727 613 019.

Noise pollution:

To make a complaint about noise:

Report online through your MyStAlbans account at https://stalbans.force.com/mysadc

or email environmental@stalbans.gov.uk

or call 01727 819406 during normal office hours.

On Friday and Saturday nights St Albans District Council operate an out-of-hours noise patrol service, which deals with noise complaints.  You can contact the duty team on 01727 811155 between 6pm and 3am.

The District Council also operates a Licensing Hotline to report complaints about Licensed Premises (pubs, clubs, restaurants etc.,) out of hours. The number is 07770 701720.