© 2017 The Harpenden Society

Autumn 2015 Newsletter

Memos for Members; Future Events

As part of the exciting St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival (22 September to 5 October) mark clearly on your calendar Sunday 27 September. As well as the Farmers' Market, there will be a repeat of last years wonderful success from 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm with a fabulous fête of live cookery demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre on Church Green, children's activities and all manner of competitions and events organised by local shops, pubs, bars and cafes. People are still talking about the beach scene, complete with Punch and Judy, proffered by Godfrey's Fish and Chip shop – and that will be repeated to general joy and satisfaction.

Ron Taylor, that enthusiastic leading light of The Harpenden Society is, as usual, playing a major role in ensuring the success of this Festival. It's a good moment to heap praise. One of the problems of a civic society is that we sometimes have difficulty preventing our light from being hidden by that awkward bushel of getting on with things and forgetting – to mix the metaphor – to shout occasionally from the rooftops.

Seniors Annual Fair

So you don't believe us when we say we have a new uniform – see paragraph on Discovery Day on page 3. Then turn up at the Public Halls on Thursday

1 October 10.30 am to 2.0 pm for the annual fair organised by the Harpenden Seniors Forum. We shall again be staffing our stall and telling people about our actions and policies  - but this time suitably and definitively clad.

The Local Strategic Plan

It becomes ever clearer that of those four words only the first two are accurate. What we are faced with on the planning front is both unstrategic and unplanned. The county, the highways department, the Council for the Protection of Rural England experts all believe the proposed schemes to build lots of houses in the district is partly or wholly unsound. We are told, too, that the planners have held discussions with developers about how the latter might help with contributions to the necessary infrastructure. Few will step back open-mouthed with astonishment that the developers are not keen on that suggestion.

Infrastructure, or rather lack of it, remains the outstanding factor in this messy debate. Our attention has been drawn by critics to an independent review published by the St Albans and District Council in April 2012 that asserted 'there is overwhelming evidence that the current level of urban development in the District is unsustainable.'

How much more frightening that is after three years of continued development and the threat of much more against the increasing fragility of the barely amended facilities and amenities.

Red House Forum

The Red House Forum met on 27 July and was encouraged to hear from David Law and Diane Brent of the Herts NHS Community Trust that the plans to modernise facilities on the Harpenden Memorial Hospital site were being steadily progressed and that all the interested parties are backing the scheme to bring a health and well-being hub to Harpenden. We hope to include a fuller account of this in our next issue.