News updates May 2015

May 2015 Council elections. Jessica Chivers was elected as the new Councillor for Verulam Ward, and we look forward to positive collaboration with her and support on the matters that concern us in APRA. Jessica is also organizing one-hour Saturday morning voluntary litter-picking in Verulamium Park on 13th June, 11th July and 15th August – meeting at the top of the causeway (King Harry Lane entrance) at 10.30 am.

Car Parking. The Car Parking Working Party meeting for 18 March was cancelled –the next one is due for 23 June, when we hope that the results of last year’s survey will be presented and acted on.

The Brickyard. Following a brief attempt to use the exterior car-parking and bin area for licensed activity, the owner applied for a licence variation to use the front courtyard, for smokers only, after the current cut-off time of 11 pm. APRA supported objections by residents in College Street and a Licensing sub-committee (14 May) upheld SADC officers’ recommendation against granting this change.

APRA and the Civic Society have each made representations to SADC concerning the lack of transparency in dealing separately with planning and licensing issues –individual councillors being involved in determining both aspects for the same premises.

“Holy well”. Diversion of leaking water directly into the drainage sump seems to have stopped it from running out across the pavement in Romeland. Time and weather will tell.

Street rubbish. Residents and Councillor Edgar Hill have been struggling with the problem of sacks of rubbish (domestic and business) being continuously left outside No. 15 Verulam Road, which obstruct the narrow pavement and then become scattered and added to by passers-by. SADC officials have said that they do not currently have any formal powers to take action against those responsible. Edgar is now bringing the question before Council (next scheduled meeting 9 July).

School buses. SADC have implemented the dual-use changes to allow buses to park in the Romeland Hill car parking bay from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm, thereby dodging the recommendation from its own scrutiny task force to carry out an appropriate safety audit. As the School is now in exam mode the full effect of the change will not be felt until next September. Our complaints to SADC that they should follow due process have been side-stepped yet again. APRA has now lodged a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman service.