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
Notes of SAPHRA Meeting held on Tuesday 19 July 2022 at 8pm
at the White Hart Hotel, Holywell Hill
1. Present: Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary
Cllr Chris White, Cllr Danny Clare
In addition: 1 resident of Albert Street
2 residents of Saracens Head Yard
2 residents of Sopwell Lane
1 resident of Hart Road
1 resident of Pageant Road
1 resident of Malthouse Court
2. Apologies for absence: 5 residents
3. Subjects discussed at the meeting were:
- Finances and bank account:
Our available funds currently stand at £381.28.
SAPHRA’s account with HSBC has been closed and their cheque for the balance is still awaited. Anthony and Roger need to sign a release letter at HSBC before they will release the cheque.
For Metro Bank to open an account in the name of SAPHRA we need to produce a signed copy of the minutes of tonight’s SAPHRA meeting and a copy of the Constitution document. These documents will need to be presented at the bank, by appointment only, by the signatories.
- The meeting unanimously agreed that:
- The existing bank account should be closed.
- An account should be opened with Metro Bank in the name of SAPHRA.
- The key officials for managing the account will be the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the Association.
- The signatories on the account will be Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the Association
- All payments from the account should be authorised by two, out of the three, signatories.
- The green oasis in Sopwell Lane:
A small working party of SAPHRA residents have been clearing and removing the dead and overgrown vegetation on the green oasis. There is still quite a bit left to do. A few members of the working party met with Heidi Carruthers of H&MWT on 18th July 2022 to discuss the future planting of hedgerows and to planting a mature rowan tree in honour of the Platinum Jubilee. If all goes to plan the tree will be planted by the Council’s contractor, John O’Connor, by the end of this year. We will arrange for the grass to be cut regularly but to leave a slightly higher growth with a view to encouraging new and existing plants to take hold. A small area of water will be introduced to the site to attract frogs and newts. A couple of habitats will be created for hedgehogs and insects.
The SAHAAS (St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society) have been approached to assist SAPHRA in putting together an information board about the history on the site.
- On-street parking and the proposed pinch-point in Sopwell Lane:
No change from our previous meeting. Cllr Jacqui Taylor is still waiting for council officers to develop the parking proposals for parking Zones M and N. As soon as their work on Zone A is completed work will commence on Zones M and N.
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- Herts County Council trial - Active Travel Scheme - Safe Cycle Route:
A temporary roadblock is proposed at the junction of Sopwell Lane, Albert Street and Old London Road to enable a trial of a cyclist friendly route from the city station to the town centre. Comments to SAPHRA have been mixed with some residents strongly opposed to the proposal and others strongly in favour. Herts County Council have now arranged a drop-in consultation on Wednesday 7th September from 4:30pm to 8:30pm at Marlborough Road Methodist Church. For more information, maps and drawings follow the link below:
- Herts County Council - High Street Recovery Trial:
Trials of various combinations of closures of Market Place, High Street, George Street and Verulam Road are currently taking place – the first phase (everything except Market Place open to traffic) will end in mid-August. Phase 2 (Market Place closed to traffic, George Street closed to traffic, High Street closed to traffic at weekends) will then run until the end of this year. Phase 3 (Market Place closed to traffic, George Street closed to traffic, High Street closed to traffic) will then run from January 2023 to June 2023. Traffic and pollution surveys are taking place before and during the trials so that the impact of the closures can be assessed. If you wish to find out more information about the scheme, view maps or comment please follow this link and click on St Albans:
- St Albans District Council Community Governance Review:
The result of the review was published in mid-July and recommended some changes to Parish Council boundaries. Of more interest to SAPHRA residents (we are in the unparished area in the centre of St Albans District) is that at its meeting on 23rd June St Albans District Council Policy Committee agreed not to progress a local [Parish] council for [Central] St Albans at this time but agreed to conduct a review of the Terms of Reference and method of operation of the City Neighbourhoods Committee, in co-operation with the City Neighbourhoods Committee, laying out options, including a local council, and enhancements to CNC powers.
- St Albans District Council proposals for the City Centre Opportunity Site North and Culture:
A consultation has started about proposals to improve the area that includes the Alban Arena and the car park behind it. This might result in replacing the Arena with a new theatre or might result in refurbishing the Arena. SAPHRA’s Chair has recently been nominated as a member of one of the Stakeholder Groups. If you would like to find out more about the proposals please follow this link:
- The Chair mentioned that at its meeting on 13th July the St Albans District Council City Neighbourhoods Committee discussed the Community Governance Review, the High Street Recovery Trial, Allotment Rent Charges, the Community Toilet Scheme and the Charter Market.
More information about the CNC can be found through this link
- The next SAPHRA meeting will be held on Monday 19th September 2022 at 8pm in the first-floor meeting room (Residents' Lounge) in The White Hart Hotel, 23-25 Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1 1EZ.
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