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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.

Be wary of COVID-19 vaccine scams

The NHS have issued the following guidelines relating to COVID vaccine scams.

Remember the NHS will NEVER:

  • Ask for payment – all vaccines are FREE
  • Ask for your bank details
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal/official documents

Please share this information with friends and family.

You can find more information about the vaccine by clicking here. The GP surgery’s newsletter (view by clicking here) provides specific information about how the vaccine is being rolled out in the local area.

Follow the rules or risk a fine, says Police Commissioner

Hertfordshire residents are being urged to stay home and stay safe, or risk a fine as police enforce the rules against blatant offenders.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has recorded a video message praising the vast majority who are doing their best stop the coronavirus spreading.

He is reminding everyone that all unnecessary contact with another person, puts people and their families at higher risk. It is also a potential link in a transmission chain that could lead to a vulnerable person.

Since March 2020 Hertfordshire Constabulary have issued over 400 fixed penalty notices, which has included those attending parties, and vehicle drivers and passengers who were not on essential journeys.

The government advice is only leaving your home if it is essential to do so, and stay local. The limited reasons include to exercise, to shop for groceries, to buy medicine, to go to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, and to escape domestic abuse.

Mr Lloyd said: “While we as individuals play our part, I can assure you that our police officers are dedicated to keeping us safe. On behalf of us all I thank them for that.

“In addition to arresting criminals as they did before the virus, they are charged with enforcing the new restriction laws.

“They have a very difficult role in ensuring the treatment of members of the public is balanced and proportionate.

“Enforcing these laws saves lives. Officers have, and will continue to question and fine those who are blatantly ignoring them. Hundreds of fines have been issued in Hertfordshire during lockdown and more will continue to be given out for those who wilfully ignore the guidelines.”

For the latest information on the official government guidance visit at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and health advice is available at the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

You can watch Mr Lloyd’s full video message at youtu.be/4EAE4TYIjFg.

Applications to open for community revenue grants

Community and voluntary groups will soon be able to apply for a grant from a new St Albans City and District Council fund.

Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 are available from the SADC’s £50,000 Community Revenue Fund.

The fund is to help charities and non-profit organisations with general running costs and established activities that might need financial support.

Aimed at groups with a track record of delivering important services in the District, it is part of the SADC’s £381,000 Community and Voluntary Sector Fund.

This fund has been maintained at the same amount for 2021/22 as the previous year despite the pressure on SADC finances from the pandemic.

It is intended to support activities that help the District’s most vulnerable people as part of the SADC’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Applications for the Community Revenue Fund will open on Tuesday 12 January and close at midnight on Friday 12 February 2021.

Click here for more information.

Vaccine to be available to Wheathampstead residents

The Village Surgery have confirmed that they will be joining wave 6 of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, with the vaccines arriving tomorrow, Wednesday 13 January.

The surgery have confirmed that vaccinations will take place at Harpenden Public Halls from Thursday 14 January and a large number of patients over the age of 80 have already been invited to attend.

For more detailed information, click here to view the surgery’s most recent newsletter.

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.

Equality Diversity Inclusion

Winners of the Christmas trails!

Winners of the Knitivity Trail

Our three winners were picked at random and have been contacted.

Congratulations to:
 
  1. Aisla and Iago Colley
  2. Cillian and Fionn Toolan
  3. Sophie Rayner

Winners of The Musical Village Christmas Trail

Can you work out which Christmas songs they chose?
 
Although the competition has come to an end, the trail map will stay live on our website until 31st December.
 
Well done to everyone who took part.

Folly Fields play area now open

The Folly Fields play area is now open to the public. Necessary repairs have been made to the equipment and new eco-friendly rubber mulch surfacing has been installed.

Due to the weather, we are not able to improve the area surrounding the rubber mulch until the springtime. The play area will thereafter have to be closed for up to two weeks to allow the turf to root firmly into the soil. 

Folly fields play area with new surfacing
Click to enlarge image

Citizens Advice – Find out how they can help

The team at Citizens Advice can help with problems caused by Coronavirus, such as not having enough money to pay bills, claiming benefits, loss of employment, relationship breakdowns, cancelled holidays, how to save money on your energy bills and home insurance.

You can call 01727 811118, Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm and on Friday from 10am to 1pm.

You can also use Webchat to speak to an advisor or send an email – visit www.castad.org.uk for more information.

You can also contact the Herts Adviceline on 03444 111444, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm. For more general advice, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk 

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