Skip to content

Burgermeister Dirk Gene Hagelstein visits Grovehill

Booked for an interview by our favourite radio presenter Matt Hatton, the Grovehill Community Centre was delighted to host Burgurmeister Dirk Gene Hagelstein, the Mayor of Hemel Hempstead's twin-town Neu-Isenburg, Germany.

Julie and Alex had the pleasure of being part of the team that looked after Gene, during his recent visit to Hemel Hempstead. There were a huge number of matters that got talked about and Gene absolutely loved our town. In fact, seeing Hemel Hempstead through someone else's eyes, does indeed make one appreciate that things really aren't as bad as we make out!

Out for an Indian with Gene and friends

If you want to listen to Gene's interview with Matt, just click here.

Julie and Alex will be visiting Neu-Isenburg as part of the European Town-Twinning celebrations in a couple of weeks and hope to strengthen ties between our two communities, following BREXIT.

If you're interested in getting involved in the town-twinning experience, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

Resurfaced entrance to Henry Wells Square 2024

Well, it seems that we didn't have to wait quite as long as we have done in the past to get the entrance to Henry Wells Square resurfaced. With the first 5m from the road coming under Hertfordshire Highways, we feel that Country Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe may have had something to do with this. 🙂

Residents will also be very aware of the considerable upheaval in the carpark at the moment. Indeed signs are up informing visitors that electric vehicle charging points are being installed.

Local councillors wanted the new charging points to be near the so-called seating area, where the old recycling bins used to be. Apparently due to technical reasons, putting the charging points there wasn't possible.

Professional beggars at Henry Wells Square Christmas 2023

This year, Henry Wells Square has been given the best Christmas lights ever! They look amazing. DBC's Clean Safe & Green team have been out regularly, keeping the heart of Grovehill nice and tidy. So it's a shame that a group of five adults who are NOT homeless and who live in an adjacent ward, are choosing to pretend to be homeless outside our shops.

Residents have been bringing them food that they don't want. What they want is your money. They have strewn an array of belongings across our shops, including brand new sleeping bags, etc.

After being alerted to the issue, local councillors have liaised with the police and Dacorum Borough Council to try to get the situation under control.

Please do NOT offer the beggars food or money. They are NOT homeless or rough sleepers. If you want to help actual homeless people, then please donate to DENS.

The Regulation 18 public consultation is important.
This is your opportunity to voice your views. Here are some points that you might like to consider:

While it is hoped that planners and developers intend to put in sufficient infrastructure for new builds, there is concern regarding the lack of infrastructure for existing residents (what is known as infrastructure deficit). Examples are hospital provision, police and enforcement, roads, parking and public transport.

The fact that Hemel Hempstead's housing quota has been reduced from 1100 dwellings per annum is fantastic but...

A (revised) build rate of 900 homes per annum across the borough, over the next 16 years, will yield 14,400 new dwellings by 2040. It would not be unreasonable to estimate a contribution to the local population of approximately 43,200 people. The population of Dacorum is currently about 155,000. The arithmetic therefore, suggests an increase of about 28% over these 16 years.

S E R I O U S L Y ?

Quite simply, we're being expected to accept the fact that Hemel Hempstead well, won't be Hemel Hempstead in 16 years! 🙁

If the quota was halved to 450 dwellings per annum, then the increase in population as a result of new homes over 16 years would be under 15% which is a figure that not only may be acceptable to most people but offers some hope that infrastructure and resources might be realistically enhanced to deliver.

Yes, the fight has been going on for a while!

Hemel Hempstead does not have adequate hospital provision. With West Herts Hospital Trust looking to invest considerable sums into Watford Hospital and with very little going to hospitals in St. Albans and Hemel Hempstead, residents are extremely concerned that hospital provisions in the area are already compromised.

West Herts Hospital Trust has had very little if no engagement with Dacorum residents. Why aren't Hemel Hempstead residents even given the opportunity to voice their concerns over such an important issue? The argument has gone on for decades but the bottom line is that it makes no sense what so ever, to offer Hemel Hempstead residents a hospital that's in the most impactable location imaginable.

A recent 'Health Campus' has been announced; a complex which is intended to be built on the old market square in the town centre. It's quite apparent that this simply won't be large enough to supply anything near the potential of a hospital and residents have very little confidence that, what seems to be a glorified GP surgery, will be of any benefit at all, to the wider population.

Residents see very little enforcement by police or Dacorum Borough Council. One example is the blatant consumption of cannabis. It’s difficult to go anywhere now-a-days, and not be subjected to the stench of weed. People have complained that it's even noticeable in the (apparent) privacy of their own gardens.

While litter picking, this discard joint roach in Putters Croft.

Boy racers can be heard most evenings, all over Grovehill and nothing seems to be happening to combat this recent phenomenon.

There have already been a couple of associated RTAs in Grovehill, one of which involved pedestrians.

Parking is of great concern, especially when it compromises safety. We have parking problems outside our schools, for example. We’ve had one incident which involved a parking warden being struck by a vehicle. Residents are fed up with the retroactive response of enforcement and don’t understand why action can’t be taken in advance. Surely that’s the definition of wisdom?

Verge abuse IS illegal but in many residential areas, people simply have very little option other than to park on grass. This is happening now, before another 15,000 homes get built! Will anything be done about this? We doubt so.

Whatever your opinion on e-scooters, the fact remains that they are illegal in Hertfordshire. As we all know, there are a lot of people who simply don't care... including enforcement bodies.

Roads are heaving. It’s now almost impossible to ‘pop’ to the local shops, for example without joining a que, let alone wanting to travel across town to one of the retail parks! Is this the new norm’? With another 40,000 odd people, things are going to be very congested.

Of course, more people means more pollution, more waste, more resources at a time when we should be thinking (and planning) to reduce the amount we consume and the amount we discard.

Whether we like it or, combustion engine powered vehicles are going to be around for a while. Reassurance from planners to this end would be greatly appreciated and surely a significant modal shift should be recorded prior to considering building several thousand new homes.

It is understood that water companies have a statutory obligation to deliver. Since the surrounding area is predominantly chalk based however, residents would like to know for example, how reservoirs will be built to potentially supply water for almost 15,000 new homes over the next 16 years.

So where will the water come from?

Water companies' customers remain shocked and bewildered that the dumping of sewage into our waterways, especially our ecologically fragile chalk streams, during periods of heavy rainfall, is still happening. If current demand can't be satisfied, then surely an additional 15,000 homes will only exacerbate the situation.

THIS IS UNACCEPTIBLE.

Plans for LA-1, 380 dwellings on Marchmont Fields, include provision for several gypsy/ traveller pitches. Residents would like to know what a gypsy / traveller pitch is and if there are existing sites (anywhere in country) which would help make things a little clearer.

Don’t let developers fob you off, promising that the homes that they’re building are for your children and your children’s children. Unless dwellings fall under the category of social housing and are therefore, the responsibility of the local authority, such promises are false and totally meaningless.

And lastly, we're told that more homes brings down property prices. Well, perhaps someone would care to show us evidence that this is the case and deny that it's just another selling angle by developers. Hemel Hempstead has one of the lowest unemployment figures in the country and where there's low unemployment, property prices are always high.

If any of the above resonates with you, please do participate in the public consultation.

SO HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS

The previous administration at Dacorum Borough Council, fought hard to get things to Regulation 18, including sticking by some controversial decisions at a time when COVID-19 was still an issue. The reason for that was because it allows you to have your say.

A local plan is necessary. With no local plan, developers can potentially come into areas, buy up land to build on and the local authority might not be able to refuse! That of course, could / would be disastrous.

Currently, Regulation 18 offers an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions.

DBC Local Plan Consultation 2023

Alex popped up to Maylands industrial estate today and was shocked to see a line of vehicles parked up on the verge again.

Parking on verge St Agnells Lane - 2023.05.25

It seems that although things were fine for a while, the developer is now ignoring our request.

Parking on verge St Agnells Lane - 2023.05.25

Very sad to see this but we're not going to give up. Verge abuse is illegal.

Parking on verge St Agnells Lane - 2023.05.25

While taking the above pictures, Alex was asked by a resident why he was taking the pictures. He explained that councillors and residents are trying to stop parking on the verges. The residents asked him "Where's the sign?". SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

Parking on verge St Agnells Lane - 2023.05.25

Elections 2023 Results for Grovehill

Elections 2023 Results Graphical for Grovehill

Turnout for Grovehill = 23% (low).

Julie Banks, Alexander Bhinder and Goverdhan Silwal were duly elected. Grovehill remains Conservative.

DACORUM RESULTS

  • Liberal Democrats - 28 seats
  • Conservatives - 18 seats
  • Labour - 3 seats
  • Independent - 2 seats

For the next four years, Dacorum Borough Council is under Lib/Dem control.

Click here for results of other wards within the Borough of Dacorum.

Weight Limit Grovehill

How many people know how much a coach weighs? Yeah, thought so! Neither do we. Either way, we’ve had complaints from residents along Washington Avenue about this Barnett’s coach which is regularly parked up along the road.

Barnett's Coach on Washington 2023.05.03

With respect to Barnett’s (and the driver who is known to live locally), this just isn’t good. On such a road where all Grovehill residents are aware of speeding problems (which we’re trying hard to resolve), this kind of thing just makes Washington Avenue more awkward and more dangerous.

Police Surgeries at Grovehill Community Centre

After a successful first run on 4th March with a dozen or so residents turning up, Charlie and Simon are coming back on 20th May 2023. They'll be available at the Grovehill Community Centre between 2:00 and 4:00.
Anything that you think they can help you with, just drop in and have a chat.
The café will be open and the coffee is awesome!

To help prevent fraud and protect our democracy, the 2023 local government elections, will be introducing the new voter identification scheme. To participate in the up ‘n’ coming May elections, voters are going to need approved ID.

Examples of photo id

It’s not as complicated as it might first sound and there’s a whole load of stuff that can be used to prove who you are! Here’s an official list of acceptable photographic ID:

  • A passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an
  • EEA state or a Commonwealth country.
  • A driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state.
  • A biometric immigration document.
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card).
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card).
  • A Blue Badge.
  • A national identity card issued by an EEA state.
  • An Older Person’s Bus Pass.
  • A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
  • An Oyster 60+ card.
  • A Freedom Pass.
  • A Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland.
  • A 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales.
  • A Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales.
  • A Senior Smart Pass issued in Northern Ireland.
  • A Registered Blind Smart Pass or Blind Person’s smart Pass issued in Northern Ireland.
  • A War Disablement smart Pass or War Disabled smart Pass issued in Northern Ireland.
  • A 60+ smart Pass issued in Northern Ireland.
  • A Half Fare smart Pass issued in Northern Ireland.
  • An Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland.
  • A Voter Authority Certificate or a Temporary Voter Authority Certificate.*

Darth Vader UK Driving Licence

* There are two options to get hold of a Voter Authority Certificate or a Temporary Voter Authority Certificate. With Internet access, https://www.dacorum.gov.uk is the place to go and just do a search for ‘voter identification’. You’ll easily be able to apply on-line. Alternatively, just drop into The Forum in town and ask about applying for voter ID at reception.

IMPORTANT

Applications for a Voter Authority Certificate or a Temporary Voter Authority Certificate must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on 25th April 2023.


POSTAL VOTES

For many, postal votes are convenient and in some cases, quite necessary. If you would like to apply for a postal vote, please start here.

The recycling area in Henry Wells Square has long done its job and has kind of past its sell-by date. Over recent years, it's become a go-to point for fly-tippers and apart from the cost to DBC, the once useful and much appreciated site, has brought down the Shopping square which is at the heart of the ward.

New Seating Area in Henry Wells Square
A new seating area in Henry Wells Square.

Julie, Goverdhan and Alex promised to look into repurposing the area and many residents will have notice that several weeks ago, the old bring site was removed.

Bring site at Henry Wells Square is removed
Just before Christmas 2022, the old bring site in Henry Wells Square was removed.

Well, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Henry Wells Square! 🙂

Below is a reminder of how things ended up with the old recycling area. Fly Tipping Henry Wells Square

These guys have been messing around on a motorbike for a couple of weeks now and have been seen riding the bike pictured, without helmets, on Wootton Drive and The Waveny. If you know who these people are, please contact the police on 101.

So in the right that they need to try to hide their identity. Stupid as well as annoying! 🙄

Several years ago and following requests from residents, Hertfordshire County Council put in double yellow lines at the junction of St. Agnells Lane and Putters Croft to help with visibility when leaving or coming into Putters Croft. Consistently however, vehicles are seen parked on the restrictions. These vehicles are now being photographed and reported. Below are a few examples...

Yellow Lines - St. Agnells Putters Croft

Yellow Lines - St. Agnells Putters Croft

Yellow Lines - St. Agnells Putters Croft
This vehicle was parked on the yellow lines on several occasions around the date noted.

Please let us know if you see an infringement of parking restrictions. You can submit photographs on our Contact Us page.


UPDATE - 13th September 2022

At about 4:00 in this afternoon, it was brought to our attention, that the owner of  the white van pictured above, had been issued with a fixed penalty notice. Hopefully this will act as a deterrent to others.

Mess Behind Tesco Express 2202-08-27

This comes up more times than any of us would like. In fact many years ago, at the point of taking Tesco Express to court, Tesco Express officials, DBC legal team and Alex accompanied by Sir Mike Penning MP, met at the back of the store and Tesco Express made a promise ensuring that things would be kept clean and tidy. That promise was kept for a long time but in recent years, things have gone back to how they used to be.

SHAME ON YOU, TESCO EXPRESS!

The fact that the whole lot was once set on fire (yes, you read correctly) a few years ago, either hasn't been passed on to subsequent management or Tesco Express don't give two hoots about things like that.

We've been told that Tesco Express simply don't have the room inside the building, to store stuff anymore. Well, that shouldn't be our problem and secondly, if the community accepts this 'excuse', then what's that got to do with keeping the back of the store tidy?!?!?!?

The picture above was taken on Saturday 27th August 2022 as a meeting of the Grovehill Neighbourhood Association was about to start at the Grovehill Community Centre. Alex took the picture and couldn't help but asking to see the duty manager who, in all fairness, did clean up the white stuff all over the ground. Unfortunately, he left the rest of the rubbish! 😡

Many Grovehill residents including Julie, Alex and Goverdhan, pick litter regularly around the ward. It's very disheartening that an organisation like Tesco Express demonstrates complete and utter disregard for our commitment to where we live.

Goverdhan was out litter picking yesterday and Alex couldn't be outdone, so set off to do Aycliffe Drive at 7:00 this morning (Sunday 20th March 2022).

About a bag and half was collected, the vast majority of which was confectionary wrappers from 'kiddie' chocolate bars and sweets and cans and bottles of fizzy drink, from the hedge which boundaries Aycliffe Drive Primary School.

With hardly any litter here during periods of (relatively) recent lockdowns, when schools were closed, one could easily conclude that it's the children who drop the litter as they're taken to  or from school.

The awful amount of litter along this hedge and surrounding areas, can be seen as a reflection of the school and respective parents, both of which are disappointing. There was a time when Aycliffe Drive pupils went out regularly picking litter. It would seem that this exercise which can potentially teach young children the benefits of being tidy, is no longer practised.

Parents of Grovehill kids and all Grovehill schools please take note. It literally doesn't look good!


UPDATE - 28th March 2022

Alex had to pop out this morning. Drive up Aycliffe Drive was upsetting and disappointing. He only litter picked here, a few days ago.

"After I cleaned up the mess, I thought I'd pop into the school and mention what I do on a regular basis. There was a sign on the gate asking visitors to wear a mask. I'd left mine in the car, duh. On the way back to car, I actually thought that what with rising COVID infections, perhaps the last place I want to be is in a school, so I decided to skip on that idea."

Some may have received an information pack from Luton Rising, the owners of Luton Airport, regarding expansion plans and a public consultation.
 
On this side of Hemel Hempstead as well as other parts of Dacorum, aircraft noise has been an issue for many, many years and most of us don’t want the situation to get worse.
 
The motorway between our M1 junction (junction 8) and Milton Keynes, seem continually to be worked on and no doubt, any expansion to Luton Airport will involve some motorway works.
 
One argument is for expansion is employment and indeed employment opportunities can't be ignored. On the other hand, how many Dacorum residents are directly or even indirectly employed by Luton Airport?
 
Increasing the economy of the area” Hmm… Luton District Council receives a substantial sum from the airport, not just in taxes. Always thought to be some kind of compensation, the arrangement is quite formal. So much so, that Luton District Council was in trouble when the pandemic started, due to loss of this income from the airport. Surrounding boroughs and districts don’t receive anything. Why should Dacorum residents agree or even support something that adversely affects them and for which another area is receiving income?
 
We therefore strongly urge all residents to have their say, voice their concerns and participate in the consultation.
 

MORE INFORMATION

This is yet another airport expansion proposal and consultation – but this one is really important since it’s the biggest yet. Luton Borough Council own the Airport using the company of London Luton Airport ltd - now rebranded “Luton Rising” – who are consulting between now and April 4th on further massive expansion, to go from 18 to 32 million passengers a year; which would involve building a second Terminal, more car parks and more airport stands on the open green space of Wigmore Park, flying up to 80,000 more planes a year over this area, and an additional 50,000 more passenger journeys a day on local roads and rail.
 
The noise-reduction commitments made in the previous expansion (2013) to get from 9 to 18 million passengers have not of course been delivered, which is why the Airport broke its noise planning limits in 2017-2019. COVID has of course knocked things back, and coupled with the increasing urgency of tackling the Climate Crisis it may be that people do decide to fly more responsibly and the demand for significant further expansion may not materialise in the timeframe expected.
 
Following the consultation, Luton Rising the company which owns the Airport for Luton borough Council, will have to apply to the National Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order, such is the magnitude of what is being proposed. There is an online virtual exhibition, plus in-person exhibition events. The timetable for these, along with other details, can be found at https://lutonrising.org.uk/consultation/.

They argue that this will be good for the economy of the whole region Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, but the reality is that the main beneficiary is Luton Borough Council who own the Airport and have made the decisions on the planning expansion such as the latest granting of allowing the Airport to breach the conditions of the last expansion PA in 2013.

They did not deliver on their promises then and they cannot deliver on their promises of noise mitigation, climate change or increased ground traffic environmental pollution now. Airlines are not required to deliver quieter planes and the existing quieter planes the A320 and the A321 which are gradually being introduced have been shown to be little or no quieter.  Passengers are expected to use public transport but the majority of passengers do not come from London but the counties that surround Luton, and the Airport has just built big new car parks.

The Development Consent Order for massive expansion of Luton Airport is being fronted by Luton Rising – the new name for the same old company LLAL which owns the Airport for Luton Council.

Luton Councillors are trying to get a DCO (Development Consent Order) for massive further expansion of the airport, which would have huge environmental impacts on the entire area. Do you really want up to 80,000 more planes a year, increased carbon emissions from the aircraft and from 50,000 more passenger journeys a day, incessant noise and clogged up roads and rail services? Particularly when the airport broke its commitment to control noise during the current expansion, thanks to ‘mismanagement’ perhaps induced by financial incentivisation from – the Council!

They’re consulting on the DCO plans between now and 4th April. A polished PR website has been set up with plenty of spin about ‘our airport’, ‘our community’, ‘our planet’ which tries to sugar-coat a plan which would almost double the airport’s capacity yet again, wreak noise blight and additional pollution on communities all around, and worsen the climate crisis which the Council has vowed to tackle. And in doing all this, Luton Rising has spent over £340 million of public money which it could have invested in diversifying the local economy to face the future’s challenges, rather than burning it to pursue on the kerosene-fuelled obsessions of the past.

LADACAN represents people in communities all around Luton Airport who believe this essentially rural area would be blighted if further massive expansion of the Airport went ahead.

Environmental impacts

The impacts on quality of life in the entire local area if this proposal succeeds would be:

  • 60% more flights overall, with many compressed into the very early morning and late evening by the low-cost airlines which favour Luton – so 70% more flights at night(11pm to 7am) and 50% more during the day
  • A significant increase in the noise footprintwhich badly impacts communities all around the Airport, with no mitigation: the latest planes sound just as loud, and promised airspace modernisation is still a decade away
  • Up to 40,000 additional passenger journeys each dayby car to and from the Airport on local roads (not just the M1, but the A505 and the Lower Luton Road), as well as many more rail users
  • 60% increase in carbon emissions from the flights, at a crucial time when the impacts of Climate Change are now obvious – and aviation emissions are three times more damaging due to contrails and high altitude pollutants
  • Impacts on health and well-beingdue to noise disturbance at night and early in the morning, and noise impacts on schools which affect learning
  • reduction in Air Qualityat and around the airfield due to the increased numbers of cars and aircraft, as well as the particulates from kerosene aircraft fuel and from aircraft brakes and tyres
  • Loss of valuable habitat– Wigmore Park, a County Wildlife Site and Asset of Community Value due to its wild orchids and ancient hedgerows, as well as a vital buffer between local housing and the airfield, will be concreted over to build Terminal 2, more aircraft stands and massive car parks.

NOTE: The average short-haul flight emits between 13 and 20 tonnes of CO2.


UPDATE - 23rd February 2022

PROPOSED MOTION TO FULL COUNCIL
23rd February 2022
Proposed by Cllr. Jane Timmis

I move that Dacorum Borough Council strongly opposes Luton Airport’s further planned expansion, from 18 million passengers per annum to 32 million passengers per annum by 2040, with the resulting negative impacts of increased noise, emissions and surface transport. This disproportionately impacts the Watling Ward villages in Dacorum, and more widely our Borough and much of Hertfordshire.  Given National Climate Change goals, air travel awareness, and noise and environmental pollution levels, it cannot be justified. This cannot go unchallenged and so Dacorum Borough Council will therefore commit to oppose the expansion of the airport at every opportunity.

Cllr. Jane Timmis (Dacorum Borough)
Cllr. Jane Timmis (Watling ward, Borough of Dacorum)

The motion was carried.

 

On Thursday 6th January, Julie, Alex and Goverdhan, had an on-line meeting with DBC officers, other officials and residents, to discuss the planned development at Laidon Square.

The meeting went well over the allocated hour but was most constructive with councillors only supporting residents' concerns.

The plan is for thirty-two affordable dwellings, comprising flats and houses, with the promise that they will be for local (Dacorum) residents only.

Situated at the very top of Marchmont Fields, the development is NOT part of LA-1 but will be part of the emergency access to the LA-1 site.

Residents and councillors continually made reference to the dire parking situation in Leven Way, Laidon Square and Lomond Road, expressing concern that the development may lead to even more problems. An on-going issue, Julie, Goverdhan and Alex fully supported residents, requesting that the matter be addressed in some way.

Other concerns included the removal of trees, the safety of children playing in the roads, privacy from adjacent buildings, the view over Marchmont Fields and even potential anti-social behaviour from mopeds and motorbikes.

We can’t stop development. That is a cold fact but working together as we've done before in other parts of the ward, perhaps we stand a good chance of getting the best all-round deal.” Says Alex.

It’s a particular plus that the ‘developer’ is the local authority and therefore has an obvious duty of care to residents. In the meeting, it seemed that DBC officers were quite attentive and appeared to be taking notes all the time.

Julie commented...

"This is one of the most beautiful views in Hemel Hempstead and we need to do what we can, to ensure that it's not completely taken away."

Councillors had another meeting with officers on Friday 14th January when they were presented with clarification on some points that were raised at the previous meeting as well as a FAQ which will be published soon.

Julie, Alex and Goverdhan were promised that more meetings would be arranged  with residents, to discuss issues and progress.

Although not directly affected, one Piccotts End resident was most concerned about the entire development of Marchmont Fields. Alex volunteered his contact details and will be meeting up with the resident to discuss further.

This morning (17th January), Julie, Goverdhan and Alex, met up with a DBC officer to discuss potential 'verge hardening' in the area.

Four or five locations have been identified with those closest to the development site, now being given priority. We've been told that the next stage will involve highways engineers coming out to conduct surveys and then as is always done with verge hardening schemes, a consultation with residents will soon follow.

It is of course in everyone's interest that the Laidon Square development ticks as many boxes as possible, so we'll do our best to keep you informed. 🙂

Everyone knows that drugs are not a Grovehill problem but something that adversely affects people across the world. In recent times, many dopeheads (cannabis users) have become quite brazen and are quite unphased by potential consequence of smoking cannabis in the open, in populated areas, with members of the public passing by.

If the stuff didn't stink so bad, most of us wouldn't probably notice but the truth is that the heavy, long lingering smell of weed has now become quite anti-social.

Before lock-down, Alex has seen dopeheads smoking their stuff in the open while having a pint at Jarman Park. Restaurant owners and staff simply don't seem to mind!

Very recently, it's become a thing to get stoned in our subways. With close proximity to residential housing, the horrible smell of weed has led some residents to complain that doors and windows need to be kept shut and that they can't even keep their kids in their own gardens!

We're aware that some people have been busted but we need more done about this very anti-social problem.

We're also aware that people smoking cannabis in their own property, is now rapidly becoming an equally anti-social thing for neighbours and we're trying to suss out just what to do about it.

In the meantime, we suggest that if you know that the dopeheads are occupying a council property, that you contact Dacorum Borough Council. If the residency is private, you should still contact DBC (anti-social behaviour team) but please also report the incident to the police on 101.

Like al Grovehill residents, we want to do something about this before it seriously gets out of hand, so perhaps the more of us that complain, the quicker something will be done. Alex has already contacted our Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, expressing concern.


UPDATE - 24th January 2022

On 20th January, I received an e-mail from David Lloyd's office, advising that the matter had been passed on to the local Chief Inspector and would be investigated.

David has never let us down, so I'm hopeful that something will be done about this.

Alex spotted this late this morning and has already reported it.

"What is the matter with people? Selfish, inconsiderate, thoughtless and above all dirty people who don't give a damn about anything or anyone." says Alex. 🙁

UPDATE - 23rd November 2021

Updates on stories are usually made days, weeks or months, after the post was published, not hours! Alex drove past the location of the fly tip at about 2:30 and noticed that the rubbish had already been cleared. Another big THANK YOU to our Gren Safe & Clean team! 😀

It's been an issue for many years and residents don't want to wait for a fatality until something's done.

So, in response to residents' concerns, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, has deployed a mobile speed trap for a second consecutive month, here in Grovehill. Pictured is the police van parked up on Washington Avenue earlier this afternoon (12th November). Last month a similar van was on St. Agnells Lane.

It's a shame that we have to resort to such measures but on the other hand, residents are reassured that someone is listening to them.

Over the past couple of years, many have brought to our attention, the 'Highway Maintenance' vehicles that are sometimes parked up on Aycliffe Drive.

Alex, Julie, Goverdhan and Colette are trying hard to sort this out. It seems that the driver doesn't give a monkeys about the 7.5t weight limit on Grovehill. Neither does he or she care about obstructing the cycle lane!

Pictured below is another Highway Maintenance vehicle that's regularly parked up in Crawley Drive.

You'll notice that this one is obstructing the public footpath.

Grovehill Councillors Facebook group launches today

With a view to keep Grovehill and Piccotts End residents updated with the latest news in and around the ward, your three borough councillors, Goverdhan Silwal, Julie Banks and Alexander Bhinder and your county councillor, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, have today launched a Facebook page and group.

Julie Banks comments;

"It's been a tough eighteen months for all of us. We've tried several times to get our In Touch out to residents but between us, we've agreed that delivering, just wouldn't have been appropriate.

Staying in touch with our community, isn't just important, it's the most vital part of being a councillor, an elected representative of that community.

While we plan to get back to delivering In Touches soon, we're hopeful that the new Facebook page and the group will go a long way to maintaining that special bond between us."

If you live or work in Grovehill or Piccotts End and feel that joining a community group aimed at improving the area is your thing, then please check out your councillors' Facebook page here and perhaps you'd like to join their Facebook group here.

Fly Tipping The Dee (2021.09.27)

As if we haven't got enough on our plates at the moment, there are those sections of the community that, well... aren't part of the community! Who the hell does this kind of stuff.

Anyway, thanks to a concerned and consciences resident, the fly tip was reported to Alex who was able to immediately attend, take pictures and notify the Dacorum Borough Council.

Your councillors can't be everywhere all the time so this kind of reporting greatly helps keep Grovehill tidy. It's such a shame that we can't do the same about the perpetrators of such unacceptable acts.

If you spot fly tipping, please consider reporting it directly, here: https://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/environment-street-care/clean-safe-green/flytipping

 

Congratulations to Colette Waytt-Lowe for winning the Hemel Hempstead North-East seat in the 2021 County elections.

CANDIDATE
PARTY
VOTES
PERCENTAGE
Colette Wyatt-Lowe
Conservative
1657
60%
Saba Poursaeedi
Labour
597
22%
Neil Kennedy
Liberal Democrats
280
10%
Paul Standford
Green Party
222
8%

Turnout was 27%

Our congratulations also to David Lloyd who has been re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.

Tree saved in Claymore on International Earth Day

Mid afternoon and Alex received a call from a very concerned resident in Claymore. Hertfordshire County Council contractors had been busy verge hardening to make more room for cars and were about to take down a chestnut tree, when they were confronted by Angeline. After expressing her concern, the team agreed to leave, presumably to wait to see what would happen.

Your local councillors have been wanting to get verge hardening done in a specific part of Claymore, for some time. Residents have been keen for a solution that would alleviate the car parking problem but unfortunately, Claymore has been pushed down on the list… until now, that is.

The original plan would have made many more parking bays but will have meant that an old chestnut tree would have had to be taken down.

As is common practice prior to verge hardening commencing, residents were contacted by DBC asking for their opinions and comments. The tree was mentioned but it would seem that it got overlooked.

Angelin telephoned Alex who decided to pop over and have a look at what was going on.

Alex could see that the land around the tree had been damaged by service vehicles but noted that it didn’t really have to be taken all the way back to the tree.

After a couple of calls, it was confirmed that the project would be put on hold and an alternative solution would be found, thereby saving the much loved chestnut tree.

“I’ve said before that we can’t be everywhere all the time and I’m grateful that Angelin called me straight-away. To be honest, I told her that I couldn’t make any promises but I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with a specific council officer who returned my call, although he was on holiday. He contacted Hertfordshire County Council and managed to stop the works while things are re-planned. This was great result for Earth Day!”

Back in April 2019, Goverdhan, Julie and Alex highlighted issues with the road off Stevenage Rise, running in between the community centre and the youth centre, to the back of the shops at Henry Wells Square.

Stevenage Rise in need of urgent attention

Well today residents contacted local councillors, delighted that the road is now being resurfaced. Thanks, Colette! 🙂

Resurfacing Stevenage Rise. Thanks, Colette!

Dacorum Borough Elections - 2nd May 2019

6th May 2021 will see elections for County Councillors and Police & Crime Commissioners, in some areas.

County elections were supposed to have taken place last May but with so much uncertainty over just how the COVI-19 pandemic will play out, things got postponed. Indeed many don't feel it appropriate that they should go ahead this year but we are where we are.

Dacorum Borough Council is doing all it can to ensure that polling stations are going to be COVID safe and a lot that normally occurs on polling day simply won't!

As an example, the count won't begin for at least two days while ballot papers are left in 'quarantine'.

On the hand, we can't wait forever and things seem a little more hopeful now than they did this time last year.

One last thing...

!!! DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR OWN PEN !!!

Cllr. Bhinder gets the jab

Late last Friday afternoon, Alex received a text from his surgery informing him that he can book in on-line to have his first vaccination dose. The earliest appointment was for 7:30 pm on the following Monday and he took it.

On Monday afternoon, he received another text informing him that he could come anytime between 4:00 and 7:00. He replied saying that he would be at the Maxted Road Vaccination Centre for 6:30.

"This is an amazing program. The speed of the roll-out is just remarkable. I'm quite aware that there's a lot of opinions about the vaccine but I'd rather take my chances with this thing than with COVID-19." says Alex.

"As soon as I pulled into the carpark, everyone was just so polite and helpful. There were lots of staff ready to help and a doctor even took the picture above. You have to bear in mind that some of these people have been here for hours.

I was at the centre for about twenty-five minutes, fifteen of which were spent just sitting down in recovery after the jab. 

I was warned that I might experience headaches, nausea and a little temperature, over the next couple of days, all of which I kind of would expect anyway."

Alex's message is clear and he urges anyone and everyone who gets the call, to take it up.

Stay safe, everyone.


UPDATE - 13th November 2021

I had my second jab a while back now and have my booster tomorrow. Saw this on Facebook recently and thought it was quite apt:

I'm fully vaccinated and, no, I don't know what's in it - neither this vaccine, the ones I had as a child, nor in the Big Mac, or hot dogs, or other treatments, whether it's for cancer, AIDS, the one for polyarthritis, or vaccines for infants or children.

I also don't know what's in Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, or other meds, it just cures my headaches & my pains.

I don't know what's in the ink for tattoos, vaping, Botox and fillers, or every ingredient in my soap or shampoo or even deodorants. I don’t know the long-term effect of mobile phone use or whether or not that restaurant I just ate at REALLY used clean foods and washed their hands.

In short...

There's a lot of things I don't know and never will…

I just know one thing: life is short, very short, and I still want to do something other than just going to work every day or staying locked in my home. I still want to travel and hug people without fear and find a little feeling of life "before".

As a child and as an adult I've been vaccinated for mumps, measles, polio, chickenpox, and quite a few others; my parents and I trusted the science and never had to suffer through or transmit any of the said diseases and,

I'm vaccinated, not to please the government but:

  • To not die from Covid-19.
  • To NOT clutter a hospital bed if I get sick.
  • To hug my loved ones
  • To Not have to do PCR or antigenic tests to go to a restaurant, go on holidays, and many more things to come.
  • To live my life.
  • To see and hug my family and friends
  • For Covid-19 to be an old memory.
  • To protect us.