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Planned to extend from Piccots End, around the back of Grovehill, Woodhall Farm and on to Leverstock Green, Hemel Garden Commmunities will also border the new Business Enterprise Park, an extension to the Maylands Industrial Estate. The development which will deliver approximately 10,000 homes (and as many jobs) will take up a lot of Dacorum's housing quota but will be shared with St. Albans.

More information can be found here.

The Grovehill Christmas 2019 Challenge

For several years now, Alex and Julie have had this idea of putting on a Grovehill Christmas dinner at the community centre, for everyone and anyone who might be alone at this special time of year and who would relish the idea of spending it with friends. Having two young daughters however, has always made any attempt to plan such an ambitious event. a little difficult.

Well the girls are now all grown up and have flown the nest so the idea of a
Grovehill Christmas dinner is back on the table. It’s a bit too late to consider doing it for this year but having mentioned the idea to Goverdhan, 2019 looks doable.

It’s going to be a mammoth task an’ it’s going to take all year to plan so to start off with, Alex and Julie would like to know if anyone in Grovehill would want to be involved with helping out.

It’s a Christmas dinner and the idea is to have it on Christmas Day itself. Yes, that’s right. The target date is 25th December 2019 so before you get too excited, please do bear that in mind. If you have other commitments, then this might not be for you.

Alex, Julie and Goverdhan will be looking to raise funds and do deals with the likes of Tescos and other outlets (Shaun, that includes you mate). There’s going to be a lot of vegetable peeling, tables, chairs, tablecloths and cutlery that’s going to need laying out, music, washing up, driving and so on. So, if you fancy doing something
different (and a little nuts) for Christmas 2019, then please do let us know. Either contact us via the 'Contact Us' page on this website, drop in at the community centre and have a chat with Julie or just e-mail us on

August isn’t normally a great month when it comes to unemployment figures. This year however, looking at the economically active population between the ages of 16
and 64, only 830 people were registered unemployed in the actual constituency of Hemel Hempstead. That's 1.5% unemployment, well below the national average.

For the group between the ages of 18 and 24, there were only 140 claimants in August. That's 35 less than the same period in the previous year.


I’ve always had a great relationship with our police, especially after I was first elected as one of your councillors back in 2007. Back then I worked closely with officers to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour here in Grovehill. Getting involved with the Grovehill Youth Centre, I encouraged kids to discard the stereotypical ‘us ‘n’ them’ attitude that young people are supposed to have. This worked just great and before long, officers would drop into the centre on a Friday night for a quick game of pool or table football with Grovehill’s youngsters. I’ve always supported any initiative that will help make Grovehill more secure. So, if any of my police friends read this, you know I’m not having a go at you!

So here’s the story…

After hearing on Three Counties Radio several weeks ago, about the dramatic increase in crime statistics for Bedfordshire and we're all too familiar with rising stats in London, I now feel that I’m not alone in observing a severe drop in enforcement over the past couple of years.

I’ve noticed an increase in police response time be it to attend an incident or to simply reply to my correspondence. Oh and then there’s the obvious; kids on motorbikes, not just in our open spaces in the evening but on the open roads in broad daylight and without helmets or plates an’ that’s just one example of blatant disregard for the law that is being allowed to happen.

There's an increase in illegal parking. Residents have insisted on double yellow lines in some areas but what's the point?

Has anyone been for a meal at Jarman Park recently? Well if you have, you may have noticed people (adults as well as kids) openly smoking cannabis. Hey, why not?!?!?! On Henry Wells Square, we have one guy who sits around drinking cans of whatever all evening and simply leaves his empties where they fall. He’s not homeless. He may have issues but why is this allowed to continue?

Having researched what’s happening in other police areas, I am not of the opinion that this lack of enforcement has anything to do with officers on the ground. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is obvious that our officers and PCSOs are under immense strain and simply coping as best they can under the circumstances.

Of course I appreciate that all police authorities have been subject to the most awful cuts but it’s not just a lack of money that affects what they can and can’t do. Many feel that now-a-days, the police are trying to do an extremely challenging job with one arm tied behind their backs. Well, something needs to be done.

Rant over, so here’s my plan…

This website includes a residents’ comments section. At the moment there’s no mechanism for people to post directly, however I’d welcome you sending me your experiences and observations regarding this issue, which I will in turn, publish here. If I feel that we have enough of your stories, I’ll contact David Lloyd, our police and crime commissioner and suggest that he takes a look at what you have to say. I’ll also share your stories with Mike, our MP.

I'm going to close by acknowledging that there's a lot of stuff the police do, that isn't publicised. We sometimes meet up and I’m always blown away with the stories I get told and the enforcement which does go on. The big “but” though, is that the community only sees what it sees and at the moment, that’s not a lot.

Cllr. Alexander Bhinder

On 6th September we reported that anxious residents had contacted Cllr. Alexander Bhinder regarding lack of notice of the consultation around the relocation of the Dacorum Athletics Track to Cupid Green. Well the matter was raised at the meeting of the Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee at The Forum on 10th October. So many residents turn up that the meeting is moved to the council chamber and still people have to stand.

Three speakers put forward points raised by many residents and the results of the consultation indicate that objections outnumbered those in favour of the relocation by an astonishing 7 to 1.

One committee member pointed out that the population sample that responded to the consultation was too small to properly reflect the views of the borough.

With so many arguments against the proposal and with so many recommendations  that would have to be made by the committee when referring the paper to cabinet, Cllr. Andrew Williams made an unprecedented announcement saying he would recommend that the item is not progressed beyond the next cabinet meeting.

The room erupted in cheer as residents couldn't believe their ears. Tonight's decision was quite unbelievable. There was talk about a long and drawn out fight. Instead, people went home thinking that perhaps DBC does listen to its residents.

Cllr. Alexander Bhinder says:

"There's a tremendous amount of pressure on local authorities from central government  to build more homes and while DBC's track record for using brown-field sites is one of the best in the country, this option is rapidly being exhausted. As such, I fully appreciate that all avenues must be considered. On this occasion however, it just wasn't right.

Another plus; I'm delighted, that this is one example of Dacorum Borough Council listening to its residents and I'm hoping that the people who took time out to attend the meeting on the 10th will spread the word."

On Friday 10th August 2018 and with only a week to go before the end of the consultation period, residents in Cupid Green contacted Cllr. Alexander Bhinder, concerned that they had not been advised of the consultation let alone the actual proposal.

Basically it has been suggested that the existing athletics track at Jarman Park be relocated to Cupid Green. A initial consultation was launched to gather residents' views. Since the matter would affect not just the residents in the proposed sites, the consultation was open to all Dacorum residents. The only problem was that as ever, very few knew about it.

Cllr. Bhinder advised residents to write to him requesting that the consultation period be extended. By the following Monday, Alex had received about sixty letters which he duly took down to The Forum.

Soon after, Alex was advised that although the consultation period would not be extended, all correspondence from residents regarding the matter would be included and hence considered.

"A lot of people aren't aware of the proposal and very few knew about the consultation. Since I have been advised that Dacorum Borough Council will still accept residents' comments despite the consultation period having passed I would urge all Dacorum residents to write in with their opinions." says Cllr. Alexander Bhinder

Looking at the proposal itself, there are several issues which should be considered:

  1. The location of the existing athletics track in Jarman Park is perfect. With buses and coaches coming in and out all the time, access is easy and doesn't affect any flow of traffic anywhere. With the retail park next door, it's very easy for youngsters to access refreshments.
  2. The proposed site at Cupid Green is large but is it actually suitable? The land slopes. This will have to be leveled. Some feel that sufficient and adequate car parking cannot e achieved.
  3. Just as residents of Redbourn Road are getting used to the Maylands Business Centre, they are potentially going to have to put up with increased noise and light pollution from the rear of their properties.
  4. Access to the site will be from the Redbourn Road. With buses and coaches regularly coming in and out of site, would the Redbourn Road simply be overwhelmed?

Councillor Alexander Bhinder"I appreciate that there is a continuing need for housing. Dacorum however, is way ahead of many surrounding areas with regards it's plans for the future and I'm sorry to say that some ideas just sound rather desperate to me. This is one of them." states Alex.

County Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe - New yellow lines in Crawley Drive

It's taken a couple of years to get these down but at last, here they are. Colette's perseverance got the lines that residents have been asking for, with a view to make the north end of Crawley Drive a little safer.

The highways team will be coming back soon to finish the job as despite ample warning, on the day that the work was booked for, several parked cars were found to be on the bend.

Henry Wells Square Make-Over 2018

Wow! Check this out. Just as we were commenting that things were looking a little shabby, our Clean Safe & Green team seem to have worked their socks off. 9th July and the big Summer clean up got under way. Today Alex and Julie met up with a couple of the Grovehill Clean Safe & Green team who were still at it.
Henry Wells Square Make-Over 2018

It's no secret that grounds maintenance has taken a big hit this year. Like so many local authorities, Dacorum Borough Council has been forced to tighten its belt and all departments are affected.
Henry Wells Square Make-Over 2018

Henry Wells Square Make-Over 2018
"We all know how difficult things are right now which makes this Summer clean particularly welcome. So many people have commented on this over the past couple of days and I think a big THANK YOU to our Green Safe & Clean team for all their hard work is well in order. It looks great, guys!" Says Cllr. Alexander Bhinder.

Food Waste Collection Trial in Grovehill 2018Alex, Julie and Goverdhan have just received an e-mail from Councillor Janice Marshall, portfolio holder for Environmental Services, staing the following:

Councillor Janice Marshall

"Just to let you know that collection of food waste from flats in selected areas in the Borough should start next month as part of a 6-month trial.  And Grovehill is one of 3 selected areas (the others being Berkhamsted and Leverstock Green).  I will send you more info soon."

This is great news for Grovehill residents living in flats and as stated by Cllr. Marshall, we'll bring you updates as they happen.

UPDATE - 20th JUNE 2018 - So less than a week later and guess who's back in Grovehill; yes, our Bulk Transfer truck friend. The trailer's different but the registration number is the same so we're thinking that it's the same driver. Perhaps he lives on Grovehill but this is still a violation of the 7.5 ton limit.

Cllr. Alexander Bhinder is quite determined to resolve this matter once and for all and after talking with the police today, received the following statement:

"We are aware of the on-going issues relating to the vehicles that are exceeding the weight restrictions on Aycliffe Drive. We have written to the companies that are responsible and we are awaiting their response."

Cllr. Bhinder's response: "Not sure why the parties behind these trucks get a warning. Last time I got done for a traffic violation, I just got done! 'Had to pay the fine and got points on my license. Bulk Transfer in particular obviously don't care a hoot. Remember, I called them last week and was told that it would get sorted. Hmm..."

Let's see how the story unfolds.

9th July 2018 - You guessed it; our friend is back. Alex telephones Bulk Transfer  from where he's just taken this picture and after informing the person he's talking to, that he intends to pass his pictures on to the police, he's told that the transport manager will call him back. At the time of writing (10:37 on 10th July 2018), no call has been received.

This vehicle was photographed last night (13th June 2018). 11:00 this morning, Alex telephoned Bulk Transfer in Watford and gave the details to ‘Tracy’.

Alex told Tracy that he didn’t actually want any action to be taken at this stage and would be happy with a reassurance from Bulk Transfer that this would not happen again. Tracy told Alex that she would adivise the appropriate people in her company and that “Hopefully it’ll be the last we see of them”.

It's been quite impossible to find anyone at the council or at the police who will deal with this matter. In the meantime, Grovehill residents simply have to endure this blatant breach of restriction while also putting up with the potential danger that these vehicles impose, particularly to cyclists.

Click here for the latest on this story.

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.


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.


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.