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Yes, that's right. After weeks of hard work, Grovehill Community Centre is now the first community centre in Dacorum to offer on-line booking.

At a rescent meeting of the GNA, long-standing committee member, Derek Baulch, pointed out that according to his calculations, an additional thirty-five hours of centre manager's time is required... per week!

GNA chairman Cllr. Alexander Bhinder says "Over recent years, I've seen the demands on community centre managers grow considerably. Keeping up with health and safety requirements, managing the finances, ensuring that the centre is compliant and of course the latest GDPR requirements all demand time, knowledge and skill. There's no way any community centre can actually afford the management staff it should have.  

That doesn't mean we should just give up and one solution to help make things a little easier for everyone was to develop on-line booking. I'm so pleased to have a forward-thinking committee behind me and look... here we are."

The on-line forms will be trialed for a few months while Alex makes plans to launch an on-line payment facility.

Grovehill Community Centre now accepts debit and credit cards - a first in Hemel Hempstead

Grovehill Community Centre becomes the first community centre in Hemel Hempstead to offer a debit / credit card payment option.

"It feels like it's taken forever to sort this out." says GNA chairman, Cllr. Alexander Bhinder.

Alex continues... "As the demands and expectations of community centre managers increases with things like GDPR compliance for example, I really want to try to save some time (and hence, money) on the things that should be simple and straight-forward.

Card readers used to cost hundreds of pounds a year and there was no way that smaller organisations could afford them. In the past eighteen months however, there's been a significant increase in availability of these smaller, lightweight readers and service providers that don't charge a (big) monthly fee.

I ended up going for the PayPal reader for one reason only; I had just set up a PayPal account for the GNA, so it made sense. Oh it seemed too easy. Err... yeah, right.

Julie and I have been a bit busy with setting up charity bank accounts recently, including the GNA's PayPal account. Without going into details, it's been a complete and utter nightmare. Determined to sort this out once and for all, we persevered so life's going to be a little easier at the Grovehill Community Centre from now on.

To the best of my knowledge, Grovehill Community Centre is the first community centre in Dacorum to offer a card payment facility."

Cllr. Julie Banks with Grovehill resident Joe

Joe of Wootton Drive asked Councillor Julie Banks if there was any chance that more benches for dog walkers and other people enjoying the Grovehill Playing Fields could be installed. Most council stuff take ages (hmm...) but we're pleased to report that Joe did get his benches.

The picture shows Julie (left) and a very smiley Joe (right) sitting on one of the new benches.

Inconsiderate parking in Grovehill

Pictured above are several cars parked up in Old Maple. Drivers coming out of Wootton Drive risk a collision with cars turning left into Old Maple as they are forced to drive on the other side of the road.

Okay, so parking has become a problem everywhere. I don't mean everywhere in Grovehill. I mean everywhere nationally. Various councils including DBC, have had verge-hardening schemes for some years. While such schemes have helped in some areas, it's very difficult to keep up. Children live at home with parents a lot longer now-a-days, due to higher property prices. We're all expected to travel to work and quite honestly, estates that were designed fifty or sixty years ago, simply can't cope with the increased demand for parking. Garages that were built in the sixties and seventies weren't designed for modern cars and are often just too small.

BUT... does this mean that we drivers have no option other than to be stupid, selfish and inconsiderate?!?!? I'd like to think not.

There have been reports of cars being parked across driveways preventing the car on the driveway from exiting. We've even heard of an ambulance being seriously delayed in attending an emergency due to inconsiderate parking. It's not at all uncommon to find cars and vans parked in the central driveway of Henry Wells Square forcing others to drive around them, despite the fact that there may be many vacant parking spaces. What the hell?!?!?

Yes, it's difficult. Yes, we'd all like to park outside (or as close to) our home, as possible. But things have changed and we all need to be aware of the consequences of mindless parking.

ENFORCEMENT IS INEVITABLY TARGETED AT AN INCONSIDERATE FEW
AND YET IT USUALLY AFFECTS ALL OF US

7.5 ton limit in GrovehillAs you enter Grovehill, you may notice a sign which reminds HGV drivers that there's a 7.5t weight limit for vehicles in Grovehill. Regrettably, that is sometimes ignored resulting in large lorries parked up over night in Aycliffe Drive.

"So what's the problem?" I hear you ask. well, there are two issues; the first is that large vehicles parked up like that can cause obstruction and limited visibility to those leaving Hunting Gate and Marlborough Rise. Secondly, the wear on our roads is considerable. These are big trucks! There's also a third issue; why bother having a weight limit at all if it just gets ignored?

We need to stop this so If anyone spots a lorry that's blatantly over the weight limit and parked up on any Grovehill road, please don't hesitate to call 101 and report it to the police.

No flytipping in Grovehill

What the hell are people thinking?!?!

The area to the right of the square as you enter it, is for recycling only. You can't just dump stuff there. If you do, it'll be classed as fly-tipping and you may be in for a hefty fine if you do.

Over recent months, this has become a real issue with shop owners and residents alike complaining at the amount of rubbish that (mysteriously) appears in and around the recycling skips.

Signs will soon be erected to reiterate the point that the skips are for recycling only and that Dacorum Borough Council will do everything it can to bring fly-tippers to justice. In fact there have already been several successful prosecutions.

With some residents quite anxious over the potential LA1 development, there have been concerns regarding the recent activity in the Marchmont fields.

Well, it transpires that some of the land is being rented out and the fields have been ploughed in preparation for crop planting. The ploughing and other activity has nothing to do with the potential development of some of the site.

AT BL%$DY LAST !

The pot holes at the entrance and exit of Henry Wells Square have finally been sorted. The newly laid surface is pictured above while below are a couple of pictures of the craters that used to be.

Councillors Alexander Bhinder, Julie Banks and Goverdhan Silwal have been chasing up DBC since they appeared. The late snow (so they were told) delayed things big time. Then there was the inevitable backlog. Having said that, DBC officers kept your councillors informed as best they could. Anyway, you can now enter and leave Henry Wells Square without trying to dodge the craters!

Check out these pot holes (left )! Yes, that's right; these are two separate holes. You can get a sense of the size of these things from the second picture which just shows the kerb of the central isle. The location of the pot holes made them unavoidable, specifically  when entering the square and we simply shouldn't have to put up with this.

It may be of interest that 5 meters in from the road into the square is the jurisdiction of Hertfordshire County Council. There after, it's Dacorum Borough Council's responsibility to  maintain the road surface.

Even more good news... Your councillors have heard that budget has been agreed for the entire of Henry Wells Square to be resurfaced between 2019 and 2020.

Okay, so while we're on the subject of pot holes, please be aware that anyone can report them. Most roads in and around Grovehill are under the jurisdiction of Hertfordshire County Council and clicking here will take you to the page where you can file your report. Oh and don't forget to make a note of the reference number given when your report is complete! It'll be really useful should you need to chase things up.

PCSOs back at Grovehill Youth Centre

After months of organisation, Cllr. Alexander Bhinder is delighted to announce the reinstatement of the police office at the Grovehill Youth Centre.

The youth centre doesn't have a permanent staff like the community centre. The small office is upstairs which is a little impractical and the turnover isn't sufficient to pay for full-time staff anyway. This doesn't mean that the office can't be used. In fact up until a couple of years ago, it was regularly used by the police, the presence of which proved to be quite successful.

Well, it took a little more planning this time around but when Alex mentioned his idea to PCSOs Alex Mason and Charlie Lumm, things very quickly fell into place.

Residents will be welcome to drop in to discuss concerns. In fact a schedule of open surgeries has already been published:

  • Wednesday 25th April 2018 – 15:30 – 17:30
  • Friday 25th May 2018 – 16:00 – 18:00
  • Friday 29th June 2018 – 16:00 - 18:00

So if there's anything you feel warrants their attention, please don't hesitate to drop in for a chat with Simon (left), Charlie (centre) and Alex (right).

In the meantime, we'll keep you posted as more drop-in dates are confirmed so watch this space.

Remember... if it's not an emergency, call 101.

You can report anything on the CrimeStoppers website here.

And you can sign up to Owl and receive Neighbourhood Watch alerts here.