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Water Resources South East – Developing a Best Value water resources plan – seeking your views

WRSE (Water Resources South East) are seeking feedback n their regional resilience plan to deliver ‘Best Value’ to the South East.

To date, water resource programmes have been developed with an objective to keep bills as low as possible. However, it’s now recognised that it’s vital to also consider the additional value that they could deliver to people and places.

This could result in a plan being chosen that isn’t necessarily the cheapest, but is one which delivers much wider benefits to society.

Their ambition is to deliver a multi-sector regional resilience plan that provides additional value in the areas that matter most to the people of the region.

To find out more about and submit your own feedback, visit wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/consultations

Vandalism at Marford Playing Fields

Three floodlights have been broken (two at the artificial turf pitch and one at the tennis courts) during the past two weeks. It is believed that this was done intentionally and has subsequently been reported to the police.

If you saw or know of anything that may help the police with their enquiries, please contact 101 and quote crime reference number 41/7844/21.

Second rapid testing centre to take place in Wheathampstead

A second rapid test centre will be set up in The Memorial Hall car park on Saturday 27 February 2021 for those who have pre booked (no walk-ins will be accepted).

Free rapid testing for anyone without coronavirus symptoms is available across Hertfordshire and all key and essential workers who cannot work from home during the current government restrictions are encouraged to book a rapid test every few days to help ensure that essential services are as safe as possible.

Around one in three people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, which means you could be spreading the virus to loved ones, co-workers and into the community without realising.

To book a test, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest – get results in 45 minutes. You will find that Wheathampstead has now been added as a location option. Normally appointments must be booked 7 days in advance, however, bookings for Wheathampstead will be accepted given the last minute arrival of this testing centre. At present, we are unsure when the mobile testing unit will return to Wheathampstead, so please keep an eye on both ours and the county council’s websites and social media for updates.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you cannot have a rapid test – instead please book a standard PCR test at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Rapid Testing in Wheathampstead this Sunday

A rapid test centre will be set up in The Memorial Hall car park on Sunday 7 February 2021 for those who have pre booked (no walk-ins will be accepted).

Free rapid testing for anyone without coronavirus symptoms is available across Hertfordshire and all key and essential workers who cannot work from home during the current government restrictions are encouraged to book a rapid test every few days to help ensure that essential services are as safe as possible.

Around one in three people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, which means you could be spreading the virus to loved ones, co-workers and into the community without realising.

To book a test, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest – get results in 45 minutes. You will find that Wheathampstead has now been added as a location option. Normally appointments must be booked 7 days in advance, however, bookings for Wheathampstead will be accepted given the last minute arrival of this testing centre.

At present, we are unsure when the mobile testing unit will return to Wheathampstead, so please keep an eye on both ours and the county council’s websites and social media for updates. 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you cannot have a rapid test – instead please book a standard PCR test at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Mobile testing unit
Click to enlarge

Closure of Ayot Greenway – from 8 February

From Herts County Council:

From Monday 8 February for approximately two weeks, we will be lightly thinning the woodland between Blackbridge and Sparrowhall Bridge at the western end of the Ayot Greenway in Wheathampstead.

Click on the map to the right to see the specific area being closed.

Click to enlarge

The main purpose of woodland management is to enhance this habitat and benefit biodiversity. Secondary woodland along the route will benefit from respacing for its future maturity, both providing mature trees the space to grow into and allowing natural regeneration to diversify age and species structure. In the long term, this work will improve the resilience and habitat value of the woodland. By maintaining or increasing light levels along the verges, this will also help secure the floristically rich verges which prompted the designation of the Ayot Greenway as a Local Wildlife Site and improve the potential of the habitat for grassland butterflies and moths.

For safety, this contract will require temporary closures along sections of the route. Warning posters will be put on site in advance to advise members of the public of the works taking place. The contractor will also provide appropriate signage when work begins.

We’d like to sincerely apologise for the short notice of these works. Under the current circumstances, it has been difficult for some contractors to plan too far ahead with their schedules.

Do you know how to spot fraud online?

Take Five is a national campaign to provide impartial advice to protect people against fraud, particularly where criminals impersonate organisations. Visit their website for more information takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

What should you be looking out for?

Fake emails and text messages

Criminals are sending official-looking emails and texts containing links to websites designed to steal your personal information. These emails and texts pretend to be:

  • From the Government, offering
    Grants of up to £7,500
  • Access to Covid-19 relief funds
  • Council tax reductions for people on benefits
  • Help applying for Universal Credit, while taking payment as an advance for their ‘services’.
  • From the NHS Test and Trace service, stating the recipient has been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • From TV Licensing, telling people they are eligible for six months of free TV licence because of Covid-19 and/or problems with direct debits.
  • From TV subscription services (such as Netflix) asking them to update their payment details.

Fake advertising and exploitation

Criminals are also using fake advertising, such as fake investment opportunities and adverts for Covid-related products such as hand sanitiser and face masks which do not exist.

There have also been cases of exploitation by online dating websites. Fake social media pages are created, sometimes using the identities of real people, to manipulate victims into handing over money.

For further information about reporting fraud and cyber crime, visit actionfraud.police.uk

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

 

 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – Have your say

Resident Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy survey – St Albans District Council

Follow this link www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sadcedistrategy to have your say.

St Albans City and District Council is producing a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2021 to replace the current Inclusion Strategy which is now out of date. The Strategy will set out our vision and plan for the next three years to make our district an inclusive, welcoming place where everyone can thrive. We want to make sure the strategy reflects our diverse communities and that everyone gets a chance to have a say on what our priorities should be.

The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete, and will ask you to think about what you would see and do, and how you would feel, in a more inclusive St Albans City and District. Answers will be reported anonymously, and there is an opportunity to leave your name if you would like to be more involved in shaping the strategy.

The survey will be live until the end of February,

Equality Diversity Inclusion

Scattered food causing problems in the Diamond Jubilee Garden

Over the past few months, the Diamond Jubilee Garden (located on the opposite side of the river to The Bull) has repeatedly had a variety of foods scattered on the grass and it remains unclear as to why.  

If you are visiting this garden, or indeed any parts of our village, please do not leave food on the ground; instead use the bins provided throughout the village or take your waste home.

Any food on the ground is not only potentially harmful to ducks and other birds, but it may attract rats and other vermin.  

Use the map below to find the garden.

Piles of food on the ground of the diamond jubilee garden
Click to enlarge

Help to shape how your council tax money is spent

From Hertfordshire County Council

An online survey is available from 11 January until 1 February 2021 at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/budgetsurvey

Residents are being invited to have their say about Hertfordshire County Council’s draft Integrated Plan (the proposed budget) for 2021-22, contributing to the budget setting process.

We want Hertfordshire to continue to be a county where people have the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives in thriving, prosperous communities.

Hertfordshire is a great place to live and work. However, we face a range of major challenges over the coming years. Significant population and housing growth are anticipated and, as with the rest of the country, our population is ageing and increasingly experiencing long-term complex health problems. Coronavirus has also brought about some changes to how we work and provide services. All of these challenges generate increasing demand on our services and infrastructure.

Let us know how you think we should prioritise our spending by filling out our survey.

Just some of the draft budget proposals include:

Adult Care and Health

Investment in adult social care including care worker pay increases, support for the voluntary sector, investment in safeguarding, permanent funding for the domestic violence service, and funding for transformation in disability services.

Sustainable Hertfordshire

£10m of capital investment in sustainable projects to significantly drive forward delivery of the Sustainable Hertfordshire strategy approved by Cabinet, including £1.5m earmarked for pilot projects in school energy initiatives.

Highways

£10m of investment as part of our climate change response to improve drainage in response to highways flooding. Additional investment is proposed for moving forward the roll out of 20 mph speed limits, active travel schemes, and extra funding for winter maintenance to help keep the county moving.

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