Minutes of the meeting on 16 May 2023


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 16 May 2023 at 8pm
at the White Hart Hotel, Holywell Hill, St Albans


1.    Present:   Officials: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary

Cllr Taylor
2 residents of Sopwell Lane, 1 resident of Pageant Road, 2 residents of Saracens Head Yard

2.    Apologies for absence: Cllr White, Cllr Grover, 3 residents


3.    The main subjects discussed at the meeting were:


  • Finances and bank account:
    The balance in our account with Metro Bank currently stands at £461.28 (an annual grant of £100 was received from SADC).

    Roger asked the meeting if anybody would be willing to take over the role of Treasurer and Tim Boatswain kindly offered to take the position.
  • On-street parking and the proposed pinch-point in Sopwell Lane:
    Cllr Taylor had been advised by SADC officers that a survey would shortly be sent out to residents of parking zones M and N seeking views about potential changes to parking arrangements in our area.


  • Cycle parking:
    Cllr Taylor has been advised by SADC officers that funds are available to provide cycle parking in our area. Roger will meet with Cllr Taylor and an officer from SADC to view possible sites for this.


  • Off-street car charging:
    Hertfordshire County Council still appears to be sticking to their view that there should be no on-street car charging in Hertfordshire. However, St Albans District Council is doing what it can and has installed 6 charging stations (12 charging points) in car parks within easy reach of our area. Unfortunately, the cost of these is about 4 times the rate for charging at home.
  • Solar panels in Article 4 streets:
    An application for panels on a rear facing roof of a property in an Article 4 street in our area has been approved. This is good news but there seems to be some inconsistency because an application for very similar rear-roof panels on a property in Verulam Road was declined recently.
  • The green oasis in Sopwell Lane:

Cllr Taylor discussed the pending installation of a low-level timber barrier along the front edge of the oasis and asked whether SAPHRA felt it was necessary to have cross beams between the posts as it might deter people from walking over the grass. It was agreed that as long as John O’Connor’s mowers could still gain access, a single line of short wooden posts would be adequate to deter vehicles from parking, and would appear less oppressive.

Cllr Taylor will talk with Green Spaces to find out what the arrangements/dates are for cutting the grass at the oasis so we can plan our activities accordingly.

A blog has been posted, re the green oasis project, by Annie at:


  • District Council City Neighbourhoods Committee
    Last met on 16 March 2023. Subjects discussed were: City Centre Vision, LCWIP, EV charge points, Parking Strategy, Solar Panels in Article 4 areas, Community Toilet Scheme.
    The next meeting will be 5 July 2023.
  • Central Combined Residents Associations:
    SAPHRA is a member of this group which meets regularly. It provides a useful forum for exchanging news and views with other RAs and for co-ordinating their approach to CNC.

    The CCRA last met 29 March 2023. Subjects discussed were: City Vision & Local Plan, CCRA Travel & Movement Plan for St Albans.

    CCRA members from the CNC met with Cllr White and officers on 24 April 2023. Subjects discussed were: City Centre Vision, non-paper parking permits (supporting residents to go digital only), ID to vote at election.

    Next CCRA meeting will be Tuesday 4 July 2023.
  1. A Summer get-together for residents:
    We agreed that we should hold a summer get-together on 16 July 2023, possibly in the White Lion, Sopwell Lane (date and venue yet to be confirmed). Leaflets will be circulated to all residents nearer the time.
  2. Date of next meeting

SAPHRA’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday 25 July 2023 at 8pm in the first-floor meeting room (Resident’s Lounge) in The White Hart Hotel, 23-25 Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 1EZ.

  1. Any Other Business:

    By-election Tuesday 13 June 2023 (vacancy due to sad resignation of Cllr Danny Clare).

    It was mentioned that parking infringements in Keyfield Terrace continue.

    Some up and coming events were mentioned:

    10 June 2023 – A Blue Plaque commemorating Frederick Sander “the orchid king” will be unveiled at 21 George Street at 3.00pm

    3 – 15 July 2023  - St Albans 60th International Organ Festival

    27 July 2023 – Born Sinful?
    A Dramatised Debate between St Augustine (who wrote of Original Sin) and Pelagius
    who disagreed. This will take place at St Albans Cathedral from 7.30 – 9.00pm.

    16 August 2023 – Essence of Greek Tragedy
    Tim Boatswain and a troupe of Ovo actors will provide an ‘entertaining and enthralling’ introduction to classical theatre in the Roman Theatre of Verulamium.


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