Thank you all that made it to the public meeting on the 27th, it was a great turnout and much appreciated. We started out by dispelling a few myths and setting a few records straight, followed by a presentation on the Pavilion Development scheme. We now have a few design suggestions, but are eager for more. Please let us have your thoughts in time for the public consultation in the pavilion on the 27th of March, where ideas can be reviewed ready for selection by the APM in April.

Following the Pavilion presentation we discussed the survey and recommendations. I will precis the major points as they appeared in the survey and the meeting:-

The Flamstead Future Working Group were identified and thanked for their help. We took a brief look at the report content and explained how to get it (facebook.com/flamsteadsports, flamsteadfuture.org, by email upon request, a bound copy for £2 or a copy is available for loan). It is an interesting insight into the village and well worth a read.

1) A5 Egress: The road will be de-trunked when the by-pass opens this month. It is unlikely that anything at all will happen until the resulting traffic has been monitored for a while and probably unlikely that traffic lights will ever be installed, but this is something that we will actively strive to resolve in the coming months.

2) Planning and development-related activities:We have set up a new Rural Protection Working Group in order to monitor and understand the ramifications of any and all planning-related changes that could affect the protected status of the village, to advise the council accordingly and to identify any parties capable of providing such independent professional advice in order that we might retain their services in order to ascertain the ‘real’ position for Flamstead if deemed necessary.

3) To defend aspects of the village valued most highly by residents: Reference was again made to the Rural Protection Working Group. Caroline Freer read a list of activities that the Parish Council is involved in and assured the meeting that support would continue.

4) Village facilities: The apparatus –This is actively being renewed along with the surfaces, which unfortunately cannot simply be patched in the meantime. The repair of street lights The Parish Council historically owns the 37 streetlights on the main roads. We have been trying to get HCC to ‘adopt’ them for some time, but they are resisting. The result is that faults for those lights have to be reported to The Clerk, whilst all other lighting faults should be reported to HCC. Broadband speed – BT is finally in the process of upgrading, which should be completed imminently. Common ground at the bottom of Chequers Hill – We are continuously pushing for something to be done and are hopeful that an enforcement officer will tell us more by the APM.

5) Roads & pavements: We have been in active negotiation with The Highways Agency, DBC and HCC and are awaiting imminent news of dropped kerbs, parking and road improvements. We have had the weeds killed and the drains cleared more often than scheduled and have secured our own road sweeper twice a year.

6) Utilisation of meeting places: There will be a calendar application on the Website in which all venues can manage their own events.

7) Speeding in Singlets Lane – The environment working group are putting together proposals for a long-term plan for the improvement of road safety in the area, we have applied for a new SID under the Road Safety Fund. Parking – We have sought advice from DBC and are awaiting plans, but there is no simple fix. Bus services to Harpenden – It was explained that HCC cut £1.7million of funding last year and although we have asked, bus companies do not see it as a viable option without it. The Parish Council’s voice is small in this regard, so community lobbying of HCC would be the only likely way forward. Availability of school places – Anything to do with education is dealt with by HCC; we would be happy to put you in touch with the relevant County Councillor. We can offer general advice but have no authority as such. Lack of a visiting surgery – The practice manager at The Health Centre, Redbourn, sent a statement explaining that visiting surgeries are no longer practical. This can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Details of the ‘Dragon’s Den’ community engagement initiative were released: There is £1,800 up for grabs for the best community led project(s), so if you have an idea then get your form from the shop or email clerk@flamstead.org by 10th April deadline.

Finally I mentioned the recent spate of Fly-tipping. We are exploring options but your thoughts and ideas would be welcome and a community-led group might find a better solution.