External Links for Bishop's Stortford

Below are listed some local clubs and organisations.

Farmers Market in Bishop's Stortford

A Farmers' Market consisting of initially 20 stalls selling hot and cold food and a range of crafts, will line North Street from 9.30am until 1.30pm every first Saturday of the month from 5th September as part of the town council's plans after it took over management of the market from East Herts District Council in June.

Changes to subsidised bus routes

Following the conclusion of the recent consultation by Hertfordshire County Council into subsidised bus services, there will be some changes to these bus services from September 2015. 

Have your say on Bishop's Stortford North development

A special meeting of East Herts Council’s development management committee on August 18th is set to decide the planning application submitted by Countryside Properties at Bishop’s Stortford North.

Silver Sunday grants available

As part of its Ageing Well programme, East Herts Council is proud to support "Silver Sunday"- a national event celebrating the contributions of older people to the community as well as helping to tackle loneliness and isolation.

My Incubator Ventures has free business advice

As an East Herts Council resident or business did you know that you're now able to access FREE online business advice (via Live Chat) following a recent partnership with business support website, My Incubator Ventures?

Free childrens activities at your local library

Children bored at home can take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, creating artwork and reviews relating to favourite books as part of the ImagiNation project, joining in with Toddler Tales or simply choosing books and audio books to fill long journeys or quiet days.

Summer Reading Challenge

Ten minutes to change your life

The Change4Life campaign aims to help children reach the minimum 60 minutes of physical activity they need every day through 10 minute bursts of activity, inspired by Disney characters.

HCC Minerals Local Plan Consultation open to public

Hertfordshire County Council is in the early stages of preparing a new Minerals Local Plan. As part of this process, we will run a ten-week public consultation from Monday 3 August to Friday 16 October to seek your views on the subject and contents of the plan.

Still time for landlords to claim free smoke alrm

Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is offering free smoke alarms to private landlords ahead of a change in the law.

From 1 October this year, anyone renting out a property will, by law, have to make sure that there is at least one working smoke alarm on every floor of the property, and a carbon monoxide detector in properties where solid fuel is burned.

Hertfordshire Annual Report now available

Hertfordshire County Council annual report has been published online at www.hertsdirect.org/annualreport so that residents can log on and take a close look on what their council tax has been spent.

Free Library App

There’s a new way to access and keep up-to-date with Hertfordshire Library Services:

Download Hertfordshire Library Service’s new app for free and use it to search the extensive catalogue of books, e-books and audiobooks.

Renew your books whenever you want. Find your nearest library, its opening hours and how to get there, wherever you are.

The case of the missing ferret

Fascinating stories giving a unique insight into the county at war are now available to everyone as the award winning Herts Past Policing web site was launched at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday 15th July.

Still time to comment on county rail services

Over 300,000 people use train services to commute to London each week which is why Hertfordshire County Council would like your input in to the county’s Rail Strategy.

An eight-week public consultation into the strategy closes on Tuesday 4 August.

Using social media to contact police

It has been confirmed that forces in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire will merge control rooms, which process 101 and 999 calls.

The change will be coupled with moves to allow callers to use email and text to report crime – with social media not ruled out.

July is Independent Retailer Month

Independent Retailer Month is a campaign that runs annually throughout July to highlight the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.

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Herts Open Studios 2015

The popular Herts Open Studios arts festival began in 1990 - an event that has been celebrating Hertfordshire’s very own creative stars for the past 25 years.

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Calls to fine litter louts

Councils in England and Wales are calling for new powers to tackle the "huge and spiralling" problem of people throwing litter from vehicles.

They want the same power as London, where vehicle owners can be fined if someone drops litter from their car.

Councils say they cannot currently tackle the problem effectively as they have to identify who threw the rubbish.

Dementia cafe opens in Stortford

A dementia café will be open at Bishop's Stortford Baptist Church Centre on the first Wednesday of every month from 10am -12pm. The new café, which is funded by East Herts Council and Hertfordshire County Council, is part of a programme of activities to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers.

Schools in East Herts ranked

A new website ranking schools on key data shows that Haileybury College and Presdales School are top of the table. 

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Have your say on Stortford's second Neighbourhood Plan

Stortford residents will get a chance to help shape the town's second neighbourhood plan at a consultation day at the Rhodes Centre on Saturday June 27.

Health and Wellbeing grants on offer

East Herts Council are offering grants of up to £1000 for community projects within the district that could help people either increase their physical activity and/or improve their mental health and general wellbeing.

New app allows you to explore your local library

There’s now a new, easier way to keep up-to-date with Hertfordshire Libraries, thanks to their free app.

From information about events to making reservations, the app gives you access to library services from anywhere, at any time.

Over 65's let down by public transport

Many older people do not uses buses, even though they are able to ride them for free and the public transport system is failing the oldest and most vulnerable in society in England, a report says.

The Future of Transport in an Ageing Society was compiled by think tank The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) and charity Age UK.

Lorry drivers ignore restrictions on minor roads

Lorry drivers ignoring weight restrictions on minor roads are causing "bedlam" in rural communities, the Local Government Association has said.

The LGA said councils "urgently need tougher powers" to tackle the issue.

But the government said police already had the "necessary power to take action" and it had "no plans" to give local authorities more powers.

Election 2015 results - Hertford and Stortford

DECLARATION OF RESULT OF POLL

I, the undersigned, being the Acting Returning Officer at the election held on Thursday 7th May 2015, DO HEREBY GIVE NOTICE that the number of votes cast for each candidate at the election is as follows:

Revised dates for May bank Holiday refuse collection dates

The revised dates are the same dates you will find on your collection calendar

Normal Collection Day

Revised Collection Day

Election 2015 Adrian Baker UKIP

Inclusion on this site of a candidate in the 2015 National and Local Elections for 2015 is not an endorsement of them or their policies by Ward Times or anyone associated with it. Content is for information purposes only.

Performance to Excellence in Sports Grants application open

This special scheme is geared toward helping 11 to 18 year olds resident in the District to achieve sporting excellence. Deadline for applications is 22 June 2015. (Please obtain Councillor endorsement after the 19th May 2015).

Eligible young people are those already competing at a County level in their chosen sport.

Basbow Lane car park closed for crane access

A temporary closure of Basbow Lane in Bishop's Stortford for house builders who are bringing in a crane means that there will be no access to East Herts Council's Basbow Lane car park on four separate days. They are:

Tuesday 5th May

Tuesday 26th May

Monday 15th June  and

Tuesday 16th June

The road closure has been agreed by Hertfordshire County Council.

New secondary school approved

Hertfordshire County Council have granted planning permission for a new secondary school in Bishop’s Stortford.

The school, which will have a capacity for approximately 900 pupils plus sixth form, will meet the demand for places from the development of around 2,700 homes at Bishop’s Stortford North as well as the existing community.

Offer to political parties for 2015 General and Local elections

Letter from the Editor

I have today contacted the five main political parties - Conservatives, Labour, LibDems, UKIP and Greens – and offered space on this site for them to promote their own party manifesto across this district or individual candidates whether they are standing as MP, District or Town Councillor.

Nominations for election as Member of Parliament for Hertford and Stortford

Statement of Persons Nominated - Election of a Member of Parliament

Election of a Member of Parliament for the Hertford and Stortford Parliamentary Constituency to be held on Thursday, 7 May 2015

 

Baker, Adrian Howard

Hertford and Stortford

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Celebrate VE day with help from an East Herts grant

To mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day East Herts Council has grants of up to £300 available to help community groups and voluntary organisations come together and celebrate in style. Three days of celebrations are planned across the country on the weekend of Friday May 8 to Sunday May 10.

Free parking replaces yellow lines

Over 150 metres of yellow lines in Bishop's Stortford have been replaced with free parking.

The new on-street bays have been made available after a review of parking in town centres by East Herts District Council.

The review looked for locations where restrictions might be replaced by limited-waiting parking slots.

Getting tough on illegal parking

Police officers in East Hertsare joining forces with colleagues from East Herts Council to tackle the escalating issue of inconsiderate and dangerous parking by carrying joint evening parking enforcement patrols. The patrols have been taking place throughout March, in Hertford, Ware and Bishop’s Stortford.

Operation Gnome to protect your gardens and allotments

As the first signs of spring are starting to appear in gardens and allotments across the county, Hertfordshire Constabulary is launching Operation Gnome, a new initiative to help remind residents to keep their gardens, outbuildings and allotments secure.

Summer Activities Grants available

Are you a voluntary or community organisation, Town or Parish Council that provides fun activities for children and young people (aged pre-school to 19) over the summer holidays?

Apply for a Community Activities Grant

Could your community group benefit from some help towards the cost of new or replacement equipment, day to day running costs or one-off costs for events for the wider community e.g. community sports days or perhaps a group outing?

East Herts Council still has funds available to those who apply for grants of £50 to £500 before the deadline of March 31.

Grace and favour parking limits to be introduced

Ward Times has often covered the issue and proposals for a ten minute 'Grace and Favour' period for parking beyond the time paid.

Some Councils already implement this system but it will now become universal.

It is one of several changes, expected to take effect later this month, which include new restrictions on the use of CCTV cars issuing automatic fines.

Help to decide East Herts crime and disorder priorities

Each year, the East Herts Community Safety Partnership (CSP), chaired by East Herts Council, works closely with the police and other partners to develop an annual action plan.

The CSP research, based upon analysis of existing crime patterns and trends, has produced recommended priorities on where to focus attention and resources.

The recommended priorities for 2015-16 are:

East Herts DC cuts rates

East Herts District Council is cutting its share of the council tax by 1% - a saving of £1.57 a year for the average household.

It is the fifth year that the council has cut or frozen its share of the annual bill.

Operation STOMP targets rural areas

Operation Stomp is taking to the rural areas to try to combat an identified increase in rural burglaries, in particular from sheds, garages and outbuildings.

Outdoor fitness trail proposed for Grange Paddocks

A new outdoor fitness trail is coming to Grange Paddocks in Bishop’s Stortford proposed by East Herts District Council, together with its leisure contractor Everyone Active.

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Still time to apply for a Community Activities Grant

East Herts Council still has funds available to those who apply for grants of £50 to £500 before the deadline of March 2.

Your community group could benefit from some help towards the cost of new or replacement equipment, day to day running costs or one-off costs for events for the wider community e.g. community sports days or perhaps a group outing.

Ware's Dragon Boat Race now open for entries

Applications have opened for the tenth year of Ware's annual dragon boat race which will take place on Saturday June 13th 2015.

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Competitors can donate the money they raise to this year's Hertford Shires Rotary Club president's charities – the Helping Charity, Teens Unite and Friends of Ware Lido.

Referendum for Neighbourhood Plan

A referendum will be held on Thursday, 19 March 2015 to decide on the question "Do you want East Hertfordshire District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for the Bishop's Stortford Silverleys and Meads Wards to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Referendum for Neighbourhood Plan

A referendum will be held on Thursday, 19 March 2015 to decide on the question "Do you want East Hertfordshire District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for the Bishop's Stortford Silverleys and Meads Wards to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Run Hertford - Future Living fun run

Bringing the community together while getting fit is the aim of a newly-launched charity event. Run Hertford is a family sport event taking place in the natural beauty of the Lea Valleyon Sunday May 17th.

Run Hertford is organised by drug and alcohol recovery charity Future Living which was set up in December 2013 and has just moved to new premises in Vale House, Hertford.

Bishop's Stortford Town Council freezes tax bill

Bishop's Stortford Town Council is to freeze its council tax for the second year in a row.

The town council's 2015-16 precept for a band D household will be £67.69, a figure which has stood since 2013-14. In 2007-08 the precept was £76.71.

At a meeting on February 2, the Christmas lights budget was increased from £11,000 to £14,000.

Hertford has low shop vacancy rate

There are twice as many empty shops in England's northern towns and cities as in the South, research suggests.

The Local Data Company, which monitors 3,000 town and shopping centres and retail parks, said one in five shops in the North was now empty, compared with one in 10 in the South.

Nursery application scheme now open for parents

It’s time for parents with children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 to apply for a nursery place.

The online nursery application system for 2015-16 opens on Monday 9 February.

Residents parking permit charges frozen for 2015

Charges for resident parking permits will be frozen for 2015/16, it was decided this evening.

East Herts District Council approved the motion, while at the same time deciding to invite the environmental scrutiny committee to draw up a list of criteria for deciding on future residents parking permit schemes.

Hertford Art Trail 2015

Artists, both professional and amateur, are invited to submit their work for inclusion in this year’s Hertford Art Trail.

The event, which takes place over several weeks in April and May, is being held for the second time and sees artistic creations being exhibited at different venues around the county town

Care for the elderly in crisis

The BBC has launched an online guide to the care system for the over-65s.

The "care calculator" covers both residential care and the support provided in people's own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing.

Users can submit their postcode and find out how much each service costs wherever they live in theUK.

Enter now for Ware Rock at the Priory 2015

Ware’s Rock in The Priory 2015 will take place on Sunday 19 July.

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Help others to keep warm this winter

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from a home visit for installation of draught proofing and advice on keeping warm, Herts Healthy Homes can help.

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Emergency electric heaters and electric thermal blankets can be provided to people without heating, as well as advice on paying utility bills together with help for those in fuel debt.

Have your say on new bus consultation

Hertfordshire County Council is launching a follow-up consultation into how it funds some of the bus services in the county.

Herts Constabulary launch website to search for lost items

A new website HertsReunited, which aims to help reunite members of the public with their lost and stolen property, is being launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Constabulary.

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The website features photos of found and recovered items, as well as a facility for people to report their lost property.

East Herts Community Chest open for grant applications

Applications are open until 20th February 2015 to apply for grants of up to £500 for charities and community groups and up to £100 for individual endeavours and development from the East Herts Community Chest.

Thinking of standing for election?

The £500 deposit required to stand in a general election should be scrapped, the Electoral Commission has said.

The watchdog said the sum, which is returned if a candidate gets at least 5% of votes cast, was "unreasonable" as it depended on their financial means.

Boost for market from Town Council

A monthly farmers’ produce sale is just one of the initiatives that Bishop’s Stortford Town Council (BSTC) hopes will revitalise the town's ailing market.

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In an official statement the authority confirmed that it had been successful in its bid to take over operation of the stalls in North Street and South Street on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Residents suggestions for street names requested

Bishop’s Stortford Town Council is asking for residents suggestions for street names on the 2,200-home Bishop’s Stortford North estate.

Planning authority East Herts District Council has requested that the town come up with a strategy as construction begins on the first phase of 850 properties and to consider a theme for the road names.

There's an awful lot of potholes in Hertfordshire

The money English councils will get to tackle potholes over the next six years has been revealed by the Department for Transport.

Nearly £6bn was allocated to the problem in June 2013. Tuesday's figures reveal how much individual highway authorities will get.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it was enough to fix around 18 million potholes across the country.

First closure order issued in Sawbridgeworth

Police in East Herts along with East Herts District Council and Riversmead Housing Association, have been successful in applying for the first closure order in the district under the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014.

New household recycling service starts January 5 2015

Opening times and days at Hertfordshire’s household waste recycling centres will change from Monday 5 January 2015 and new schemes and service improvements will also be introduced.

East Herts amongst the top places for quality of life

The Ninth Halifax Quality of Life Survey placed Hart at the top spot once again as it scored highly on a number of measures, including residents' health and well being, education, employment levels, low crime rates, good weather and good broadband access.

Planning Applications Registered w/c 15 December 2014

Full details for each application can be found by going to the East Herts Planning Search Page and entering the reference number and any other details.

http://online.eastherts.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display

Planning Applications Registered w/c 15 December 2014

Full details for each application can be found by going to the East Herts Planning Search Page and entering the reference number and any other details.

http://online.eastherts.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display

Food Bank opened in Waitrose

A permanent collection point has been opened at Waitrose in Bishop's Stortford for donations to the town's foodbank.

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"We are all extremely grateful to Waitrose for setting up this 'drop box' and for inviting their customers to make donations of food," said Mione Goldspink, organiser of the Bishop's Stortford Foodbank.

Bus consultation enters final stage

At a Cabinet meeting on 15 December a second public consultation into the buses subsidised by Hertfordshire County Council was agreed.

Burial ground now a sanctuary

A £10,000 injection of funds has enabled an overgrown historic burial ground in Bishop's Stortford that was being used by drug-takers and rough sleepers to be transformed into a garden sanctuary for quiet reflection.

The work on the Newtown Road memorial garden was carried out by landscape gardening company The Landscape Concept (TLC), from Standon, on behalf of the town council.

Increased support for Small Business Saturday

Consumers across the UK came out in force to support the UK’s second Small Business Saturday on 6 December 2014, according to the campaign’s organisers. 16.5m people were reported to have shopped in small independent businesses on the day, representing a 20% increase in footfall on last year or 2.7m more shoppers at one of the busiest times of the year.

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Check data for your local A&E

The additional pressures of cold weather, norovirus and flu have an impact on all A&E departments across theUK.

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England is the only place to publish weekly A&E data every week. Elsewhere it is published on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Christmas & New Year Refuse/Recycling revised dates

Press release from East Herts Council

The revised dates are the same dates you will find on your collection calendar

Normal collection day 

Revised Collection day

Advice on avoiding phone scams

A countywide warning is being issued by Hertfordshire Constabulary following an increase in the number of phone scams being reported to the force.

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Have your say on HCC budget

Hertfordshire County Council wants your views on how they spend money in the future.  Over the next four years they need to reduce their budget by £150m. This is because of greater demand for services combined with a reduction in the amount of money received from central government.

Police aim to help residents stay safe over Christmas

Officers from East Herts will be stepping up their evening weekend patrols as the Christmas party season approaches, in a bid to keep people safe over the festive period.

Places on Buntingford Year End 10 Mile Road Race still available

More runners are invited to take on the Buntingford Year End 10 Mile Road Race, which will be on Sunday, December 28.

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Organised by Royston Runners the race raises money for charity and has been going for more than 30 years with around 500 people taking part..

Free Parking on December 6th

East Herts Council car parks will be free all day in Bishop's Stortford on Saturday December 6th to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

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Small Business Saturday is a national event held annually on the first Saturday of December.

12 on-line frauds of Christmas

This festive season Hertfordshire Constabulary is running ‘The 12 online frauds of Christmas’ campaign to protect thousands of people in our communities from falling victim to cyber-fraudsters.

Support Small Business Saturday December 6

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

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Consultation on the A120 bypass

Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency want to hear your views as they prepare a planning application for a bypass of Little Hadham and flood alleviation scheme along the A120.

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Ward Times are looking to pay student writers!

We're looking for student writers!

We are looking for a team of student writers, wanting to earn on a pay-as-you-write basis. 

You will be asked to write about local news and events, from charity activities to sporting fixtures and results. 

Interested?

Time running out to apply for Capital and Activity Grants

East Herts Council is urging local parish councils, voluntary and community groups, sports clubs, charities, youth organisations, and social enterprises - based in or specifically serving rural areas of East Herts to apply for a Capital grant before the closing date of December 16.

Bishop's Stortford in Top Ten Shopping Spots

Bishop’s Stortford has been named as one of the country's top 10 hot shopping spots outside central London in a report compiled by location specialists CACI exclusively for Property Week magazine.

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Bus consultation continues

At the Highways and Waste Management Panel meeting on 4 November the results of a public consultation on bus services subsidised by Hertfordshire County Council were presented and discussed.

Applications now open for primary, junior and middle schools

The process for applying to primary, junior and middle schools in Hertfordshire opens on Monday, 10 November.

It is vital that parents and carers make their applications before the closing date of 15 January 2015.

East Herts residents requested to complete housing survey

More than 9,000 East Herts residents will be asked to take part in a housing survey this November.

All councils are required by central government to have a clear understanding of their housing requirements and to carry out a housing survey every few years. The results of the survey will be invaluable in helping the council develop its housing strategy and planning policies. 

Be 'Deer Aware' this winter

The M11 near Bishop's Stortford and Stansted Airport is a hotspot for collisions involving deer in the East of England, according to new research.

The Deer Initiative (DI) has researched collisions between deers and vehicles in England and Wales from 2008 to 2013.

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Report reveals dead zones for mobiles on railways

A comprehensive test of the state of mobile connectivity onBritain's busiest commuter routes has revealed much of the rail network is a blackspot for coverage.

The research, by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), found one in three mobile internet tasks failed, as did one in seven voice calls.

Engineers tested the 10 most popular routes in and out of London.

Extra funding for Citizens Advice Bureau

East Herts Council has agreed an additional £20,000 of funding for the next two years on top of the £120,000 per year it already provides to the Citizens Advice Service for East Herts. This will enable the charity to continue helping people to resolve their problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.

British Pub Week - 31 October to 8 November 2014

British Pub Week is an initiative, borne of the Save the Great British Pub campaign, which celebrates everything that is great about the British pub!

Donate your voice

Community Matters

Waitrose is calling on the nation, as well as its own staff, to lend their voices to its Christmas advert this year in a new initiative called ‘Donate Your Voice’, which launches this week.

Herts Constabulary to check on firearms certificates

Hertfordshire Constabulary is taking part in a national campaign to ensure that licenced firearms holders are storing their guns securely, reducing the risk of accidental injury and firearms inadvertently falling into the hands of criminals.

Support for East Herts residents affected by flooding

East Herts Council has put into place a number of measures to support residents and businesses impacted by flooding. Closing date for applications: 31 October 2014

These include :

Council Tax Exemption

Business Rates Relief Scheme

Repair and Renew Grant ( RRG)

Business Support Scheme (BSS)

Scam warning on People's Postcode Lottery

Hertfordshire CC Trading Standards is warning residents to avoid a scam claiming to be the People's Postcode Lottery after a Hertfordshire couple have recently lost money to this con. The addresses being used for the scam are at Turners Hill, Cheshunt, Herts and Madrid,Spain. The genuine People's Postcode Lottery is not based at any of these locations.

Decline in the retail offer

The number of shops on the High Street declined dramatically in the first nine months of this year, a survey suggests.

Town centres saw 964 net closures between January and September, two-and-a-half times the net reduction for the whole of 2013, according to the study by PwC and the Local Data Company.

Be safe on our rural roads

New figures from the Department for Transport show that on average three people die every day on Britain's country roads.

It means motorists are 11 times more likely to die in a car accident on a rural road than a motorway.

Send your news and views to Ward Times

Letter from the Editor

Is this your missing property

Police have released images of jewellery items, believed to have been stolen during a series of burglaries, as part of an attempt to reunite them with their rightful owners.

The items were recovered after three people were arrested in east London.

Capital Grants available from East Herts

The second round of funding for capital grants is now open until 16 December 2014. If your group is based in or providing services for people in rural East Herts and could do more for the local community with funding for building refurbishments, improvement projects or items of equipment, then you should consider applying to the council now.

Get ready for winter

Hertfordshire County Council’s winter maintenance service begins on 1 October and runs until the end of April. During that time Ringway has a fleet of 61 gritters on stand-by to salt the county’s roads if temperatures plummet.

Visit your local baker

Although a new survey reveals that bakeries are seen as the most important food shop on the high street – it also shows that most of us only visit their high street baker once a month.

In a 2007 survey there was only one baker in Hertford Town Centre – in 2014 there is still only one, Greggs in Railway Street. There is however a Simmons bakery on Ware Road, just past Tesco.

New secondary school for Bishop's Stortford

A new secondary school for Bishop's Stortford has been approved by Herts County Council's (HCC) cabinet.

The authority is proposing a new six-form-entry (6FE) campus to meet rising demand from the proposed 2,200-home development at Bishop's Stortford North and from existing communities in the town and the Sawbridgeworth area.

Funding for Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club

Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club was chosen by the RFU to become a Lead Up and Legacy Centre for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.

That decision brings with it a grant of £6,626 which has been used to upgrade the club's floodlights to 200 Lux and confirm a partnership between the RFU and club to 'Be Fit for 2015'.

Why not stand for election as District Councillor in East Herts

Have you have ever thought about becoming a District Councillor?

East Herts Council is holding two events for potential candidates to find out more ahead of the next local elections which take place in May 2015. Sessions will include:

Who can be a councillor?

How a district council works

What is it that councillors do?

Learn more about the district

Bright future for Household recycling centres

A decision was made to keep all of Hertfordshire’s recycling centres open, while changing some opening days and hours at a meeting of Highways and Waste Management Panel on September 22nd.

Hertfordshire Constabulary launch campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse

September 12th saw the launch of a new social media campaign #trustinus and a new external website by Hertfordshire Constabulary and partner agencies to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

The social media campaign and launch of the new website form part of a larger picture in terms of how Hertfordshire Constabulary deals with Domestic Abuse as an organisation.

Libraries to offer help to get on-line

Hertfordshire Libraries are supporting the eighth national Get Online Week with a programme of events in theEast Hertsarea.

Get Online Week, which takes place between 13 - 19 October, is aimed at encouraging people to get online and do more with digital skills. Across the county there will be a number of events taking place, bringing digital skills and know-how to everyone.

New Buntingford town guide published

A shiny new town guide for Buntingford has been released to the public by the town council.

The guide includes a map of the town and information about the town's history, sport and leisure facilities, shops and businesses and the various clubs and societies based in the town.

Consultation opens on growth of Stansted Airport

Hertfordshire County Council is encouraging local communities and businesses to respond to a consultation on future growth at Stansted Airport.

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Free school meals for all infants

Following months of hard work Hertfordshire schools are ready for the new free school programme.

At the start of the new term in September all 367 state schools in Hertfordshire and state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, are obliged to offer a free school lunch to all children under seven.

Free short stay parking

Motorists will be able to park free for 30 minutes at district council car parks in Bishop's Stortford, Hertford and Ware from September 8.

The short-stay parking initiative was agreed by East Herts' executive committee as part of its ambition to increase the vibrancy of its town centres.

Proposal for new secondary school in Bishop's Stortford North

Hertfordshire County Council is planning ahead to meet the rising demand for secondary school places across the county.

Hertfordshire Constabulary adopt Stop and Search proposals

Hertfordshire Constabulary have launched two key elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.

A & E unit at QEII closing

From October 2014, there will be no accident and emergency (A&E) service for the treatment of serious illness or injury at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Car Tax laws changing on October 1 2014

Car tax laws are changing in little over a month but with more than two thirds of drivers unaware of the new rules, millions could be risking fines of up to £1,000.

A poll of more than 1,000 drivers found that 40 per cent were completely unaware of the impending changes and of those who were, half were unsure when they were coming in and many were not planning to find out more.

Draft Neighbourhood Plans submitted for two Bishop's Stortford wards

Residents of Silver Leys and Meads wards in Bishop's Stortford are the first in East Hertsto complete a draft Neighbourhood Plan with the help of the Town Council, setting out how they would like housing and design, green infrastructure, transport, education, health and sports facilities to develop.

East Herts one of the best places to live

Fore Street Hertford

East Hertfordshire has been rated as one the best places to live out of thousands of other areas acrossEnglandandWales.

An index, compiled by The Telegraph from 7,137 areas across England and Wales identified the top locations across the two countries using economic, health and crime statistics.

Ricky Gervais loves Bishop's Stortford

Greg James and Ricky Gervais

Comedy legend Ricky Gervais has reaffirmed his feelings for Bishop's Stortford – by pairing up with home-grown DJ Greg James for a love song to the town.

The musical homage – called simply 'Bishop's Stortford Song' – was played when the star of TV's The Office, Extras and Derek appeared on former Bishop'sStortfordHigh Schooldeputy head boy Greg's BBC Radio 1 drive-time.

Sheep rustling on the increase

Rural crime is rising, with a spate of sheep rustling and an increase in the theft of farming tools costing theUK's rural economy £44.5m in 2013.

NFU Mutual who insure three quarters of farmers in the UK say that up to 150 sheep are taken at a time, rather than just a dozen. The fear is that they enter the food chain, making it impossible to track those responsible.

Bee keeping boosted in Bishop's Stortford

Bee keeping in Bishop's Stortford has been boosted by a grant of £1,500 from Herts County Councillor Colin Woodward as part of a bid to make the town a national centre.

The cash allocated by the town’s west division member, Cllr Colin Woodward, is in response to the national bee population crisis.

Evening car parking charges deferred for nine months

Proposed evening charges in town centre owned car parks in the East Hertfordshire area have been deferred for at least the next nine months.

East Herts District Council had planned to introduce a flat rate of £1 between 4pm and 10pm.

Council leader Tony Jackson also suggested the matter should be reviewed again in June 2015, to which the council executive unanimously agreed.

Speeding motorists to be targetted

Motorists who risk the lives of other road users by speeding will be targeted throughout August.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces will be increasing the amount of speed checks and enforcement across the three counties in a bid to tackle this continuing problem at speeding and collision hotspots.

Evening Parking charges to be scrapped but free half hour to remain

Proposed evening parking charges for East Herts Council owned car parks could be scrapped for the time being.

Councillor Paul Phillips, the executive member for economic development, will propose withdrawing plans for a £1 nightly fee when the scheme is discussed by the authority's executive next week.

HCC Police Commissioner seeks help on combating crime against businesses

Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has committed to developing a major new strategy to combat business crime and, in a first step has begun a survey of businesses across Hertfordshire to find out their needs and experiences.

Call for council tax to be cut for volunteers

Community volunteers who help out in their local library or do charitable work should get discounts on their council tax bills, a new plan proposes.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said volunteers saved the public purse millions through their efforts and deserved some financial recognition.

Public access to East Herts Audited accounts 2013-2014

The Audit Commission Act 1998, Sections 14-16 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011 (Regulations 9 & 10) allow electors and other members of the public to inspect the Council's accounts, to ask questions of the Council's auditor and to object to the accounts. Set out below is information about how these rights can be exercised with respect to the accounts for 2013/14

Councils should show where parking fees spent

Four people in five surveyed by motoring group the RAC said parking charges had increased in towns and cities. Two thirds of 1,525 people surveyed thought there had been a reduction in available parking near the centre of their town or city, the research found.

The Local Government Association said the report did not reflect "the reality of parking in our communities".

New RPZ being considered in Bishop's Stortford

A new permit parking zone could be introduced in Bishop’s Stortford following continued complaints from residents about commuter parking.

The proposed B8 zone, if implemented, would incorporate around 800 properties – residential and commercial – in 24 roads in the ‘Southmill area’, including Southmill Road, Thorley Hill and Havers Lane.

Police remind all residents to be aware of phone scams

Police are reissuing a warning to members of the public following an increase in the number of phone scams in July.

Thirty-nine incidents have reported in July so far (up until July 20), with three victims parting with their bank cards:

• On Monday, July 7 a man in his 80s from Hertford was targeted.

• On Tuesday, July 15 a man in his 80s from Waltham Cross was targeted.

Summer working guidelines for children

Hertfordshire County Council is launching a summer awareness campaign to highlight the law regarding young people working during term time or school holidays.

During July and August officers from Hertfordshire County Council will be visiting employers across the county to provide information on the rules regarding work permits for school aged children.

Which town pays the most income tax

There can be little doubt that living in picturesque commuter towns comes at a cost. But just how much may come as a surprise. Income tax payments cost the average British taxpayer £4,985 a year, but research has revealed that those who reside in the leafier areas are paying up to three times that amount.

Helmet mounted camera purchased by EHDC

Motorcyclists are 35 times more like than any other road user to be involved in a serious or fatal accident, East Herts District Council has purchased a helmet mounted camera which will be used to teach riders how to stay safe.

Bishop’s Stortford market could be taken over by Town Council

Bishop’s Stortford Town council has been discussing the possibility of taking over running of the market from East Herts District Council since early 2012 following a drop in trade.

Chief executive officer James Parker said he believes the town council could “do a better job” of running the market, which is held on Thursdays and Saturdays.

HCC amends cost saving figures on reducing subsidies to bus journeys

Hertfordshire County Council is proposing to save between £700,000 and £887,000 from its £3.8 million bus budget by reducing its funding for evening and Sunday services as reported here earlier.

East Herts Council to disclose public spending

As part of East Herts Council's drive to increase the transparency of its spending, the Council is publishing all payments on a weekly basis as part of its commitment to be open and transparent with its residents.

The weekly reports list payments made to external bodies and suppliers net of VAT, where applicable, which is fully recoverable from HMRC.

Views sought on cuts to bus subsidies

A consultation has been launched to determine how much Hertfordshire County Council should subsidise bus journeys.

To protect the majority of services, the authority is proposing to withdraw funding to services that run after 6.30pm and withdraw funding for services that run on a Sunday.

HCC Local Budget Scheme

In the last newsletter I drew attention as editor to the contribution made to local life by all of our Hertfordshire County Councillors. A total of £10,000 is allocated to each member to spend on worthwhile community projects in their area that promote social, economic or environmental wellbeing.

Bereavement support for young people in Stortford

Councillor John Barfoot (Bishop’s Stortford East) has allocated £500 from his locality budget to Cruse Bereavement Care, Hertfordshire, to be spent specifically on the young in East Herts, Bishops Stortford East area.

“The loss of a loved one is always a difficult burden to bear,” said Cllr Barfoot. “Any help that can be given at this vulnerable time is to be encouraged.”

Help Hertfordshire Constabulary fight crime with new app

A mobile phone or tablet app has been launched in Hertfordshire which gives opportunities for members of the public to help solve crime.

Inspiring libraries strategy approved

Hertfordshire County Council approved a ten year strategy for Hertfordshire Libraries on July 16.

This comes after last years public consultation where over 15,000 people had their say on the library service.

MP's debate effect of out of town supermarkets/developments

A recent debate, held on 24 June at Westminster Hall, covered the effectiveness of the “Town Centre First” policy, with MPs discussing a review, conducted by the Association for Convenience Stores, which had concluded that sequential and impact tests were failing and the Town Centre First Policy was “failing.”

Plans to build on Bishop's Stortford eyesore

Developer Redrow Homes is seeking permission from planning authority East Herts District Council to demolish the garage and adjacent buildings on the former Regent petrol station in South Streetand replace them with two blocks of one- and two-bed apartments.

Parking for 44 cars is also proposed as part of the development.

Independent Retailer month

Independent Retailer Month is a UK-wide, month-long campaign that aims to increase footfall to town and village centres and highlight the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.

Councils urged to reduce harassment by chuggers

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has called on councils to take sensible steps to clamp down on high street harassment – saying aggressive fundraisers risk “turning our high streets into an unwelcome gauntlet of bolshie bucket shakers and clip-board waving connivers.”

Travel by taxi? - Use a feedback form

Taxi feedback form

If you travel by an East Herts licensed taxi, then East Herts Council wants to hear your views.

Taxi drivers have special feedback forms that you can fill in or you can use a QR code to complete an online form. It's an easy way to let the council know about your journey and anything you loved or weren't so keen on.

Registering your right to vote

The way in which people register to vote in the UK has changed.

The electoral register – sometimes called the ‘electoral roll’ – lists the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in public elections and referendums in the UK.

Check house price rises across regions

An article in The guardian newspaper compares price rises across all regions following a larger than average rise in London.

Across the regions house prices are up but in some parts of the country they are yet to reach their pre-crisis highs.

Local Bishop's Stortford projects gets PCC funding

Bishop’s Stortford Street Pastors and Thirst Youth Café are among the projects which have received more than £200,000 worth of funding from Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

Opportunities at The Teenage Market

The Teenage Market is the perfect opportunity for markets to connect with their town’s large population of young people, by providing a free platform for them to be entrepreneurial, try out a new a business idea and sell creative products.

Future strategy for Hertfordshire libraries

Hertfordshire County Council’s proposed strategy for a modern and sustainable library service is now available.

Free public Wi-Fi for Bishop's Stortford

Free public Wi-Fi in Bishop’s Stortford town centre is set to be switched on in early July.

ITVET has been installing cables and Wi-Fi access points from May 30, which will enable the public to access free internet access on the retail part of South Street, on Potter Street and to the end of North Street.

Greater Anglia passengers still not happy

Just 33% of Greater Anglia's passengers on the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street line are satisfied service is value for money.

Greater Anglia (GA) is boasting of an improved customer satisfaction rating in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS).

Herts Open Studios Tour 2014

Why not extend the summer holiday mood with a self-guided tour of some of Hertfordshire’s finest artists, craftmakers and artisans?

Town centre parking now more expensive claim motorists

Two thirds of an RAC survey of 1526 motorists believe that town centre parking has become more expensive and spaces are too small for today's vehicles. They thought spaces did not take into account new, wider cars with side-impact protection

Get your dog microchipped for free

Free microchipping for your dog by Dogs Trust at Southern Country Park, Thorley Lane East, Bishops Stortford, CM23 4BH on Tuesday 29th July from 12.00pm to 15.00pm.

From 6 April 2016 the law will require that all dogs must be microchipped.

Contact 0207 8370006 for more details or at www.chipmydog.org.uk

Musical Mystery Tour returns to Hertford

Hertford Music Festival organisers and sponsors

The Hertford Music Festival promises an exciting climax with the Musical Mystery Tour on Sunday 24th August.

What now for Shire Hall in Hertford?

Shire Hall, Hertford

The bulk of the work currently undertaken at Hertford’s Shire Hall Magistrates Court will now be moved to Stevenage or St Albans. Only Family work will remain in one of Hertford’s most prestigious buildings.

This transfer will take place with effect from June 2014.

East Herts Council Community Sports Awards

The East Herts Council Community Sports Awards are inviting nominations for deserving volunteers from sports clubs across the East Herts district.

It's a celebration of the district's sporting achievements, open to any one living in the East Herts area. The awards are organised by East Herts Council, in partnership with The Mercury, Active East Herts and Everyone Active.

The Past, Present and Futures of the High Street

A new report, The Past, Present and Futures of the High Street, (originally reported on the Action for Market Towns website) concludes that “Despite the obituaries the high street is still very much alive. High streets have proved resilient, surviving centuries of social change to remain the functional centre of most towns and cities.”

Stortford's St Michael's Church to launch £300,000 appeal to rebuild historic organ

St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Stortford has launched a £300,000 appeal to refurbish its historic organ.

The organ, which has more than 2,500 pipes, dates back to 1888 and was last rebuilt in 1940, almost three-quarters of a century ago.

However, it is now in urgent need of rebuilding to ensure it remains at the heart of music at St Michael’s for years to come.

Incentives offered for Bishops Stortford housing

Potential buyers of 2,200 homes at the Bishop’s Stortford North estate are being lured to the town with the promise of "a wide range of shops, restaurants and pubs”.

Blue bin stickers issued by East Herts

A "friendly" advice sticker is being put on every blue lidded bin in East Herts reminding residents that soft plastics – plastic bags and plastic film/packaging – must go into the black bin.

The change is because they can no longer be recycled as they are often contaminated with food waste and other material.

Get on a bike at Stortford station

Travellers using Bishop’s Stortford train station can now take advantage of the UK’s first major rail cycle hire programme, ‘Bike & Go’.

Abellio Greater Anglia is pioneering the project at 15 stations across its network, with Stortford the first in Herts to offer the scheme.

Call for more rural special constables

Volunteers are being called to work with Hertfordshire Constabulary and become rural special constables.

Business man and father of three, Nick Livermore, 36, has been a rural special constable for four and a half years and he told the Mercury it was a very rewarding and fulfilling.

Hertfordshire's Year of the Bike

2014 is Hertfordshire’s Year of Cycling and residents are being encouraged to get on their bikes.

Across Hertfordshire, there are activities and events designed to raise awareness of cycling as a great way to get and stay fit, and a cheap travel option that helps reduce traffic and pollution.

Holistic approach to saving our High Streets

This is an excerpt from the Guardian of 7 May 2014.

To compete with internet shopping, high streets must invest in arts, local flavour and history

Keeping safe at Prom Nights

A  prom night should be a night to remember for the right reasons – this is the message from Hertfordshire’s Alcohol Campaigns Group through the  County Community Safety Unit as it launches its new social media campaign: ‘Class of 2014 – How will you be remembered?’

FSB warn of scam letter

Hertfordshire’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning companies to beware an official-looking scam letter which could cost them £2400.

Pam Charman, chairman of Hertfordshire FSB, said: “We are concerned that businesses in Hertfordshire may believe the letter to be from an official source, which is not the case.

BIshop's Stortford Town Council submit neighbourhood plans

Bishop’s Stortford Town Council has submitted its neighbourhood plan for Silverleys and Meads Wards to East Herts District Council.

Following examination there will be a referendum (either late in 2014 or early 2015) and if the plan achieves a simple majority it will be used to judge future planning applications in the area.

Job Pilot Scheme for Hertfordshire

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that Jobcentres in Hertfordshire will be part of a pilot scheme offering support to under-18s for the first time.

The new scheme, which will see services expanded to serve 16 and 17-year-olds seeking work and training, will be rolled out in the county as well as Lewisham, Norfolk and Sheffield.

Eastern Region European Election Result

DECLARATION OF RESULT

[Under Rule 61(1)(a) of the European Parliamentary Election Rules 2004 (as amended)]

I, Steve Packham, Regional Returning Officer for the Eastern Region hereby give notice that the seven candidates elected for the Eastern Region are –

 

Audition now for Christmas Cinderella

Hertford Theatre will be holding auditions at the venue on Sunday June 22 for their Christmas pantomime, Cinderella and the Glass Slipper.

The theatre is looking for 28 talented young performers with a good level of technical dance ability, to dance in at least two or three numbers per show, as well as appear on stage at other times during the pantomime too.

Enter 5-a-side team for world cup

Wodson Park Sports and Leisure Centre in Ware is the venue for a community 5-a-side football tournament open to all East Herts residents, teams or community groups on Sunday June 22 starting at 10am.

Result Town Council election Bishops Stortford Central

Result of By-Election for a Town Councillor for Bishop's Stortford Central Town Ward held on Thursday, 22 May 2014

Burrows, Peter David          UKIndependenceParty (UKI P)     774 (E)

Drake, Holly Catherine         Conservative Party   724

Result District Council Election Bishops Stortford Central Ward

Result of Election of a District Councillor for the Bishop's Stortford Central Ward held on Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cutting, George Charles      Conservative Party   779 (E)

Goldspink, Madeline Hermione       Liberal Democrats    483

Spell Bishop's Stortford correctly

Owen Bennett

Owen Bennett has won an assurance from Abellio Greater Anglia that name signs at Bishop's Stortford railway station will be replaced, restoring the missing apostrophe.

In an exchange on micro-blogging site Twitter, the former Birchwood student said: "Every single sign at Bishop's Stortford station is wrong. None of them have the apostrophe!"

Guidelines on graphic novels

New library age restrictions imposed on graphic novels to protect children from harmful images risk alienating teenagers, staff have claimed.

Campaign group Child Eyes has successfully called upon libraries in Hertfordshire to restrict loaning of graphic novels after a member found her child reading examples containing extreme images.

Car Park Fees and Charges

The following Traffic Regulation Orders will be published in all affected East Herts Council car parks and in the local press on 1 May 2014.

Public consultation will take place between 1 May and 30 May inclusive.

For more information about the Council's proposals and to take part in the consultation:

Funds required for home building video

Paul_Jennings

Ben Adam-Smith of House Planning Help, based in Hertford, is planning to launch a new video documentary on Kickstarter, the crowd funding website. It's called “The Future of Housing – and How Airtightness Can Help” and was launched on 1st May

Time for a supermarket levy?

Alison Eardley

Alison Eardley, Policy Manager at Towns Alive has written that the organization has consistently raised concerns about the impact that large retailers – particularly supermarkets – have on town centres.

Competition from out of town retailers has appeared in the top five pressing issues for two years now in the Towns Alive Annual Survey that explores challenges facing towns.

European Election Guide for Eastern England constituency

The European Parliamentary Election takes place on Thursday 22 May 2014. East Herts is part of the Eastern England constituency. Here are links to everything you need to know about polling, the candidates and how the winners are decided as this election is based on a "closed list" system.

Postcode health map

Postcode health map - sunshine

Where you live could provide clues to your health and the influence the environment may have on it, say researchers.

They have come up with a new online atlas mapping the geographical pattern of various diseases acrossEnglandandWales– and companion maps of environmental factors such as air pollution, sunshine and pesticides.

Views sought on travel for 16-18 year olds

Hertfordshire County Council wants to hear your views on its proposals for the future of travel for 16-18 year olds in full-time education or training.

The review aims to ensure that the county council funds school/college transport at the right level, whilst supporting those in most need and developing young people’s resilience and ability to travel independently.

Heritage Watch Scheme launched

Hertford Castle Gatehouse

Heritage Watch has been launched by police, the county council and English Heritage to protect Hertfordshire's historical sites, monuments and artefacts from criminal activity.

Heritage crime is any offence against the historic environment, such as famous natural landmarks, cathedrals and ancient battle fields, as well as cultural property like pieces of art, jade and rhino horn.

INSET Days need to be explained to parents

Parents need more information about what teachers are learning when schools close for in-service training days, said Tristram Hunt the Shadow Education Secretary.

Speaking at a teachers' conference, Mr Hunt said schools had a duty to explain to parents how these days improved children's education.

He said schools should inform parents what skills teachers are developing.

Notice of European Election

Notice is given that an election is to be held in the Eastern Electoral Region for seven members of the European Parliament. If the election is contested the poll will be held on 22 May 2014 between 7am and 10pm.

More under-11's allocated first choice school

More Hertfordshire children have been allocated a place at one of their preferred primary, junior or middle schools this year than last, despite a large increase in the number of applications.

CCTV not used in District to collect parking fines

Hertfordshire is free of "traffic spies" according to research published by campaign group Big Brother Watch. It claims that 70 local authorities have used static CCTV or car-mounted CCTV cameras to capture traffic offences.

Freedom of Information requests submitted by the group to Hertfordshire County Council and East Herts Council all drew a blank.

Help to decide Hertfordshire boundaries

The independent local government boundary commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of electoral divisions for Hertfordshire County Council.

The consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw division boundaries across the whole county.

Warning on air pollution should be taken seriously

The following report is from www.politics.co.uk

Voice your concerns over GP surgeries

Bishops Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Much Hadham will be the focus of a month-long investigation into patients’ difficulties getting an appointment at their GP surgery.

Healthwatch Herts, set up last April to be an independent voice by representing residents views on how the NHS and social care should work in the county, is about to launch the new initiative.

Walk into Summer with Hertfordshire Health Walks

Hertfordshire County Council's Countryside Management Service (CMS) is offering a bumper programme of Health Walks across the county this summer.

The walks programme covers May to the end of August, and includes evening walks to offer flexibility to workers who want to enjoy their local green spaces on warmer nights.

On the Move with Hertford Museum

Hertford Museum

Hertford Museum's latest exhibition on transport.On the Move: From Skates to Scooters explores the many ways in which people have travelled over the years, including hot air ballooning, boating and plain walking.

Most of the objects have come from the museum’s nearby storage rooms at the Seed Warehouse.

STANDonA120 call for by-pass extension

Little Hadham crossroads

Although Hertfordshire County Councillors agreed to press on with plans for a new bypass of the A120, taking traffic from Bishop’s Stortford around Little Hadham the STANDonA120 group is urging councillors to include Standon and Puckeridge in the bypass – taking traffic from Stortford straight to the A10.

Consultation begins on parking charges change

East Herts Council is proposing to make changes to the charges in council car parks in Hertford, Bishop’s Stortford and Ware. The proposals are now subject to public consultation.

The authority wants to introduce a free 30-minute slot for short-stayers and fund the concession by introducing a £1 flat rate for parking from 4pm.

Community groups invited to bid for funding from PCC

Community groups in Hertfordshire are being invited to apply for grants from a £125,000 community safety fund launched by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner whose projects, services or activities contribute toward the priority areas set out in the Police and Crime Plan for Hertfordshire, 'Everybody’s Business'.

New Apton Centre in Bishops Stortford re-launched

The New Apton Centre in Bishop's Stortford has launched after major refurbishment work.

Angela Alder Chairperson, also the mayor of Sawbridgeworth, explained what work had taken place at the centre for over 55’s inApton Road.

Isabel Hospice given boost by County Councillors

Isabel Hospice will be able to support clinical nurse specialists visiting patients in East Herts, thanks to funding from Herts county councillors

District Councillor vacancy Central Ward Bishops Stortford

Notice is hereby given, pursuant to Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, that a casual vacancy exists in the office of Councillor for the following ward of the District of East Hertfordshire by reason of the resignation of Councillor Peter Gray:

Bishop's Stortford Central

Helping hand for hedgehogs

County Councillor Colin Woodward (Bishop's Stortford West) has allocated £87 from his locality budget to Herts Hogline, which will cover the costs of caring for three hedgehogs.

Herts Hogline, based in Bishop’s Stortford, rescue sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs. The funding will cover the costs of medication when needed, food, bedding and cleaning materials for the hedgehogs.

Notice of Vacancy Central Ward Bishops Stortford

Notice of Vacancy in the office of Councillor for the Central Ward of the Town Council of Bishop's Stortford

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a vacancy has occurred in the office of Town Councillor for the Central Ward  of Bishop's Stortford Town Council caused by the resignation of Councillor Peter Gray.

Licensing laws relaxed for World Cup

Licensing laws will be relaxed during the World Cup to allow pubs to stay open late during some England matches, the Home Office has said.

Pubs and bars will be allowed to open until 01:00 BST whenEnglandmatches kick-off at 20:00 BST or later.

The decision follows a two-week public consultation.

Recycling for electrical items made easier

New small domestic appliance recycling banks are now located across Hertfordshire.

Read, Re-Use, Recycle

There is a new book reuse scheme which is now available at 16 of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across Hertfordshire.

Half measures only for Highays repair bill

Only half of the £7m road repair bill left in Hertfordshire by the wettest winter on record will be covered by the Government, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has identified 42 miles of road and 16 bridges in the county which were damaged by the weather and were eligible for DfT funding.

Young Enterprise programme awarded £500

Bishop's Stortford's Young Enterprise programme is set to be boosted by an allocation from a county councillor's locality budget.

Follow Hertfordsshire Health Walks on line

Hertfordshire Health Walks is a countywide programme of regular, free, volunteer-led walks, organised by Hertfordshire County Council's Countryside Management Service.

Follow the Police on Twitter

Since starting up the @HertsPolice Twitter channel in 2011 the number of local people ‘following’ the tweets has been steadily growing, until earlier this month reaching 20,000.

More 'Keep Safe' premises required

Hertfordshire Constabulary is working with learning disabilities charity Herts People First to build positive relationships with people who have learning disabilities and improve their feelings of safety by introducing more ‘Keep Safe’ premises.

Test Town 2014 programme

The Carnegie UK Trust launched the TestTown 2014 programme in Manchester at the beginning of March. TestTown offers innovative young people aged 16 to 30 the chance to test out great business ideas for real in a town centre environment.

Presentation of public consultation on Hertfordshire Libraries

Public feedback on consultation over the future of Hertfordshire’s library service was presented to county councillors on 17 March.

More than 13,000 residents across the county completed questionnaires in an extensive survey about what Herts libraries might look like in 10 years’ time.

Bishops Stortford one of the best places to live

Windhill Bishops Stortford

Bishops Stortford is ranked among the top 14 towns in the South East.

The complete list will be published in the The Sunday Times’ annual Best Places To Live supplement on Sundays March 16 and 23 (web access by subscription only).

Is this the end for shopping malls?

In January, Rick Caruso, the C.E.O. of Caruso Affiliated, one of the largest privately held American real-estate companies, stood on a stage at the Javits Center, in New York, and forecast the demise of the traditional mall.

Rural watchdog warns over cuts to bus services

The impact of cuts on bus services across Herts and Essex is being highlighted by the Rural Services Network.

The organisation claims provision is being hit especially hard by local authority budget savings as a result of on-going funding economies imposed by the government, and in some areas they have reached critical levels.

The Big Lunch 2014

Neighbours with an appetite for street parties are being encouraged by Hertfordshire County Council to get together and celebrate The Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch on Sunday 1 June is the UK's annual get-together for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project made possible by the Big Lottery Fund.

Extra £140m to repair weather damage to roads

An additional £140m is to go to councils in England to repair roads damaged by the bad weather, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said.

The investment comes after the wettest winter on record in parts of the UK caused widespread devastation to sections of the road and rail network.

2200 homes at Stortford North not to be 'called in'

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has thrown his weight behind East Herts District Council (EHDC) and decided not to "call in" plans for 2,200 homes at Bishop’s Stortford North.

EHDC referred the application to Mr Pickles' department for scrutiny, but today a spokeswoman for the council confirmed he was taking no further action.

Footfall the key to revive town centres

Ken Shuttleworth, the architect behind London’s Gherkin tower, has called for policymakers to stop trying to prop up retailers to revive Britain’s high streets and focus instead on broader footfall.

Evening car park charges approved by East Herts

Plans to introduce evening car parking charges in Hertford, Ware and Bishop's Stortford were approved by East Herts Council's executive committee on Tuesday March 4..

The proposals include introducing 30 minutes of free parking in the three towns to support people making short visits; and plan to bring in a flat rate of £1 for parking between 4pm and 10pm.

Response to Government parking consultation

In December 2013 the Government launched a parking consultation alongside a range of other proposals for supporting towns and high streets. Parking has consistently been one of the key issues mentioned by those that are responsible for the running of the country’s market towns.

Business rates not fit for purpose

The current system of business rates is ‘not fit for purpose’ and needs fundamental reform, MPs have said.

Warning the high street was struggling under a system of business rates that amounts to ‘one of the highest forms of local property tax in the EU’, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee called on government to undertake a wholesale review of the scheme.

Provision for disabled upgraded at Stortford and Stansted stations

Train operator Abellio Greater Anglia is investing in 50 railway stations to make them more easily accessible to those with mobility problems.

Two new benches are coming to the town's concourse, which are compliant with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Road markings to improve safety at Hillmead

Thanks to local county councillor Colin Woodward, road safety will be improved for students and visitors to Hillmead Primary School. Cllr Woodward (Bishop’s Stortford West) has allocated £700 from his locality budget to the school.

The funds will pay for the painting of double yellow lines and box markings to prevent unsafe parking.

Evening Car Parking Charges get closer

Cllr Paul Phillips

Plans to introduce evening charges to council-owned car parks in East Herts have moved a step closer to reality.

East Herts Council’s scrutiny committee has decided to press ahead with plans for a £1 ticket fee to use its car parks in the district between 6.30pm and 10pm.

Train passengers rights to compensation

As many as 75% of those using Britain's railways do not know enough about claiming money back, said the study for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

For example, passengers choosing not to travel after a delay or cancellation are entitled to a full refund.

In response, the industry admitted that more needed to be done.

NHS Database plan put back

The start of a new NHS data-sharing scheme in England involving medical records is being delayed by six months.

Work to start compiling the largely anonymised records on to the Care Data database was meant to start from April.

But NHS England has now decided that will not now happen until the autumn.

St Elizabeths in Much Hadham receives £1000 boost

Improvements at St. Elizabeth’s, Much Hadham to make two courtyards in the school grounds accessible to pupils even in bad weather have received a financial boost from County Councillor Jeanette Taylor (Ware South).

Cllr Taylor has allocated £1,000 from her locality budget to the project which is scheduled to take place during the summer holidays.

Are you aware of NHS data plans?

From the BBC News/Health pages

Fewer than a third of adults recall getting a leaflet about changes to the handling of medical records, a poll for BBC Radio 4's PM programme suggests.

The NHS in England is set to collect data on patient care by GPs for the first time, uploading some of the information to a database.

Ramblers Association fears for 270 Hertfordshire paths

The Ramblers Association fears well-trodden paths across Hertfordshire could be lost because the county council has a backlog of 270 waiting for official recognition.

Greater Anglia lambasted by commuters

Greater Anglia's service is the worst in the country, according to a new survey by the consumer group Which?

The Abellio company responsible for services betweenCambridge and Liverpool Street was joint bottom alongside Southeastern, with a satisfaction rating of just 40 per cent.

Rock at the Priory looking for Bands

Rock at the Priory

Bands and musicians are being invited to showcase their talents ahead of a one-day festival.

North/south divide on retail vacancy rates

Retail and leisure vacancy rates for 2013 demonstrate a growing gap between north and south, according to new figures from the Local Data Company.

The Local Data Company’s report, ‘Divide and Rule,’ analyses over 2,100 town centres, shopping centres and retail parks visited in 2013. It analyses both shop and leisure vacancy rates (All Vacancy) in 2013.

Grant award for Contexture Theatre Limited

A grant of £1,000 has been awarded from Councillor Colin Woodward’s locality budget to Contexture Theatre Limited towards their community outreach and educational initiatives.

Network Rail agree five year plan

Network Rail has agreed to a five-year plan from regulators that aims for an improvement in train punctuality.

The programme also includes a commitment to try to bring down the costs of running the railways by 20% in the five years from April; and to improve lines, stations and safety for passengers and workers.

Cameron asks for rethink on World Cup pub hours

David Cameron has called for a rethink on pub opening hours during the World Cup after ministers appeared to rule out extending them for England matches.

Publicans had asked for serving times to be extended on two weekends during the tournament in Brazil this summer.

The Home Office rejected the bid, saying the World Cup was not a "one-off" event like the Queen's Jubilee.

Stansted professionals move to Baroosh

Networking group, Stansted Professionals, is moving to a new base - Baroosh bar in Bishop's Stortford's Market Square.

Five years ago the free event was started by Chelmsford based Chartered Accountants, Bird Luckin and Stortford's High Street law firm Pellys RJP. They have now been joined by Handelsbanken, based in Stortford's Sworders Yard, and Marketing Kinetics, off South Street.

Research articles now available through libraries

Hundreds of thousands of research journal articles are to be made available on computers in public libraries.

The Access to Research initiative will give the public access to articles on health, biological research, engineering and social sciences for the first time.

More than 8,000 journals from around the world are included.

Polaris surfaces in East Herts

Polaris ATV

Police in East Herts have taken delivery of their latest off road vehicle.

The new Polaris has been donated by a local resident who wants to remain anonymous and is a welcome addition to the team’s growing fleet of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Government guidance on rate relief

In December’s Autumn Statement the Government announced that it will provide a relief of up to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less in each of the years 2014 – 15 and 2015 – 16.

On 30 January 2014 the Government published Guidance to Local Authorities on how the business rates relief will be implemented.

Get your dog chipped for free

Police in East Hertsare supporting the Dogs Trust micro chipping campaign.

Throughout February and March, PCSO Amanda Higham and staff from the charity will be running free chipping events across the region, to enable people to get their dog chipped ready for the introduction of new legislation in 2016.

Work starts on new waiting room at Bishops Stortford station

Bishops Stortford railway station

Work has begun on a larger waiting room at Bishop's Stortford railway station as part of the £1.8m redevelopment scheme.

According to train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, good progress is being made on the major upgrade, which is due for completion in the summer.

3Music is back for an 11th year

Formerly known as Pop Luck, 3Music is back for an 11th year.

It gives young performers the opportunity to step into the limelight with the 3Music competition — culminating in a final showcase at the Weston Auditorium, Hatfield on July 6.

New £30 Explorer ticket

The new weekly explorer ticket gives anyone unlimited travel on the Hertfordshire bus network for a whole week for only £30.

First sponsor for Stortford Music Festival

David Lee Estate Agent sponsors Music Festival

The 13th staging of the annual showcase of the best music talent in Stortford and around the region will be sponsored for the first time, by David Lee estate agent.

Festival directors said: “We’re very excited to have David Lee as our first ever sponsor.

Hertfordshire County Council to use 0300 numbers only

Make sure you know the best way to contact your local county council by phone, email or online.

From 1 February, callers will be unable to contact HCC using old 01923 helpline numbers.

Exchange your old £50 note

Shoppers with an old-style £50 note featuring the image of Sir John Houblon need to spend it or deposit it by the end of April.

The banknote is being withdrawn from circulation by the Bank of England. The notes can be used until the end of 30 April.

Retailers and some banks can refuse to accept the note after that date.

Mark Prisk MP wants your views

Mark Prisk MP

Mark Prisk MP has thrown down the gauntlet to Greater Anglia and Network Rail on behalf of local commters: 'I want to know commuters' complaints and questions'

Before Christmas, many people had to endure continuing problems on trains intoLondon.

One day event to help protect elderly residents

Older people in the Bishop’s Stortford area are being invited to a special event to help keep them safe, secure and confident in their local community.

An information day to provide expert advice and guidance on topics ranging from home safety to using the internet, will be held at the Charis Centre inWater Lane, Bishop’s Stortford, on Thursday 30 January from 9.30am to 4pm.

Support your local pub in January

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has launched a national “Pubs and the Economy” campaign which aims to promote the benefits of pubs to the British economy and encourage more people to use their local during January, which can often be a quiet period for the industry.

Peers defeat Government over nuisance bill

Peers have handed the government a big defeat in the Lords over plans to make injunctions against being 'annoying' legal.

The upper chamber voted 306-178 against the proposed injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance (Ipnas), which would be easier to implement and be defined more broadly than antisocial behaviour orders (Asbos).

Parking fines in England could be reduced

Parking fines in Englandcould be reduced, amid claims some councils are using them as a "cash cow".

The government could also order local authorities to bring in a five-minute "grace period" before issuing tickets when cars remain in bays for too long.

And it is looking at banning the use of CCTV cameras to enforce on-street parking restrictions.

Home Start East Herts given financial boost

Three Hertfordshire county councillors have donated £1,500 between them to the family charity Home-Start East Herts.

Cllrs Jeanette Taylor (Con, Ware South), Ken Crofton (Con, Hertford Rural) and Colin Woodward (Con, Bishop’s Stortford West) each donated £500 to the organisation to help with its work across the district.

Peers set to block law on being annoying in public

A group of peers wants to block a law under which courts could stop people being annoying in public.

Ministers want to replace anti-social behaviour orders in England and Wales with injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance. Courts could impose these on anyone engaging - or threatening to engage - in "conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person".

Funding for Pregnancy Support service

The Choices Crisis Pregnancy Centre will be able to advertise its services more widely after County Councillor Colin Woodward (Bishop’s Stortford West) allocated £320 from his locality budget to the group.

The funding will help Choices pay for publicity material in local doctor’s surgeries, Sure Start Centres, pharmacists, health centres, shops and libraries.

East Herts District Plan now available to view

The first draft of the East Herts District Plan is now available for public viewing. The Plan, put together by East Herts Council, sets out where the council feels that new development, including housing, schools, employment uses, transport, roads and more should go up to 2031.

Stortbus extends route to Tesco supermarket

Stortbus has extended its timetable and now calls at the Bishop's Park Tesco supermarket.

The addition to the service is in response to cuts in the 308 route, which previously serviced Heath Row and the store offLancaster Way.

Councillor John Barfoot, Herts County Councillor for Stortford has been a driving force behind the Stortbus project, said:

Getting people out to vote

You're angry, not apathetic. That was the most compelling conclusion to be gleaned from a Guardian/ICM poll on UK voting habits and inclinations.

Voter registration to start in 2014

Individual voter registration for British elections will come into force as planned in June 2014.

Each member of a household will have to register to vote individually to help cut fraud.

At the moment, the "head of the household" supplies details of other people living at the address.

Notice of councillor vacancy in Braughing

Notice is hereby given that a vacancy has occurred in the office of Parish Councillor for Braughing Parish Council  caused by the resignation of Councillor Sue Landon.

Grove Cottage named as Jackson Square's charity of the year

Grove Cottage has been named as Jackson Square's first ever charity of the year.

In November, the Bishop's Stortford shopping centre invited the community to vote from three nominated charities for who they wanted the centre to support in 2014.

The three charities put forward were the Animal Rescue Centre (ARC), Grove Cottage and Herts and Essex Macmillan Cancer Care.

Funding for Arts ventures

Arts ventures looking to raise investment can apply for an investment readiness grant as part of a new initiative to bring more capital into the arts sector.

ACS Calls for Local Shops to be included in Carrier Bag Levy Plans

The Association of Convenience Stores has responded to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into plastic bags by calling for local shops to be able to be included in the forthcoming plastic bag charge inEnglandin 2015.

In the submission, ACS called on the Government not to exclude small shops from charging for single-use carrier bags and giving the proceeds to good causes

More planning protection for pubs and clubs called for

Moves for better protection of pubs and members' social clubs has been backed by East Herts District Council.

Small Business Saturday a success

Chuka Umunna

A survey of 2,533 adults undertaken by American Express in the 24 hours following Small Business Saturday on 7 December 2013 found that:

48% were aware of the day;

57% shopped at a local, independently owned business on 7 December

43% choosing to do so specifically because of Small Business Saturday;

Cuts to bus services reaching 'critical levels'

Cuts to bus services are reaching "critical levels", a report from the Campaign for Better Transport has said.

Almost half of local authorities reduced their support for buses in 2013 and some may remove all support next year, the study says.

Governments Town Centre First policies failing

An independent review of the planning system has revealed that the Government’s Town Centre First policies are failing, as Councils across the country approve millions of square feet of new out of town retail development.

Phone scam alert in East Herts

Police in East Herts are issuing advice after a widespread phone scam has started to affect residents in the district.

Operation Policy is the investigation into fraudulent phone calls which sees offenders calling people, pretending to be a police officer and requesting bank details and/or cash.

Supporting emotional well being in Bishops Stortford

Cllr Roger Beeching

Thanks to funding from their local county councillor, vulnerable young people in Bishops Stortford will be able to get emotional support through the Keep Yourself Safe (KYSS) Project based at Leventhorpe school.

Funding for child contact centre

Cllr John Barfoot

Thanks to funding from their local county councillor, the Portland Child Contact Centre, Bishop's Stortford will receive help towards operating costs.

County Councillor John Barfoot, (Bishops Stortford East Division) has allocated £500 from his locality budget to the Portland Child Contact Centre in Bishop’s Stortford which works with families.

East Herts YMCA gets award

East Herts YMCA has received an award for displaying good practice in volunteer management.

The Bishop's Stortford based charity aims to engage local residents and help them reach their full potential.

It requires a host of volunteers in order to do its work and has now been awarded Valuing Volunteer Management 6 Point Promise status.

Protect yourself and family with a flu jab this winter

If you’re a mum-to-be, or have a young family, Hertfordshire County Council is urging you to protect yourself from flu this winter by getting vaccinated against the virus.

Council defers decision on 2,200 homes

Discussions between developers and East Herts District Council are to be held after a decision on plans for the biggest house-building programme in Bishop's Stortford since the 1970s was deferred by councillors.

Government launches parking consultation

The Government has launched a consultation which “invites views on local authority parking strategies and government options for parking enforcement.”

The consultation published on 6 December states:

RSPB report shows decline in bird numbers

A young cuckoo

East Herts is mainly rural so the following report is of special significance.

Some of Britain's most familiar countryside birds have plummeted in numbers since the 1990s, and some species have disappeared from parts of the UK, according to an authoritative annual report.

Track A&E Performance levels

Each winter, the NHS faces extra pressures. Hospitals become busier as cold weather, flu and other winter bugs lead to falls, chest infections or heart problems.

Under the A&E target for England 95% of patients should be seen, and either sent home or admitted to hospital within four hours.

Swimming gala gets funding

Cllr John Barfoot

County Councillor John Barfoot (Bishop’s Stortford East Division) has allocated £200 from his locality budget to Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club to help pay for a swimming gala.

East Herts police launch Operation Advent

Police in East Herts have organised 25 successive operations and events in the run up to Christmas, which will all fall under Operation Advent.

7 out of 10 still use the car

The vast majority of people in England and Wales still commute to work by car, according to a new report.

The RAC Foundation report crunched the numbers from the last census in 2011 and the National Travel Survey.

It said six in 10 commuters either drive or grab a lift in a car or a van - 16.7 million people - which rises to more than seven in 10 when you single out rural areas.

House prices boosted by local businesses

A report by American Express UK shows that houses near town centres full of prospering small traders have climbed by an average of £40,000 over the last decade

The rise in property values was 17% higher than the growth in comparable areas with proportionally fewer independent traders.

Commuter train to be used to gather opinions

Class 317

A refurbished train is to be used to canvass commuters' views on the West Anglia route from Cambridge to London Liverpool Street.

Abellio Greater Anglia and Angel Trains unveiled a pilot Class 317 which is currently going through its final testing before it enters passenger service, giving customers the chance to comment on theWest Anglia routes in the future.

Herts PCC seeks resident feedback

David Lloyd

David Lloyd Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has outlined his plans to protect local policing in the county in an open letter that seeks the views of residents.

Council recommends plans for 2200 homes

Oficers at East Herts District Council have recommended that plans for up to 2,200 homes at Bishop's Stortford North be approved – even though they agree opponents are right and congestion will hit a new high.

Shop local for Christmas

Louise French (l) and Vicky McNeil (r)

Ahead of Small Business Saturday on 7th December and the Christmas shopping period, two shoppers were given £100 to spend in a small town and £100 to spend in a large shopping centre. Over two days they hit the streets, and at the end compared the results.

Improving the petition scheme at East Herts

Improvements are being made to the process by which members of the public petition Hertfordshire County Council.

These will ensure that issues raised by residents are dealt with in the most effective way, and will encourage more engagement between the public and their local county councillors.

Be safe this winter

Winter is traditionally a time for celebration and fun. While we all want to enjoy the festive period, it is important to remember that accidents can still happen and to keep ourselves and others safe.

Campaign against sexual assault launched by Herts Police

Nobody asks to be sexually assaulted

A hard hitting campaign has been launched against sexual assaults in the run-up to Christmas.

Herts Police’s county community safety unit is running Operation Advisory which aims to prevent people becoming victims of a sexual assault on a night out.

It also sends out a strong message to potential offenders around the consequences of committing a sexual assault on someone.

County Council seeks residents views

Cllr Derrick Ashley

Herts residents are being asked to prioritise the county council's spending for the next year in a new budget consultation.

The authority says central government’s aim of cutting the national deficit in public spending means its total income is falling whilst the pressure to spend increases.

Funding for dancing club

Thanks to funding from their local county councillors, High Wych Scottish Dancing Club will be able to purchase new sound equipment.

County Councillor Roger Beeching (Sawbridgeworth Division) and County Councillor Graham McAndrew (Bishop’s Stortford Rural Division) have each allocated £200 from their respective locality budgets to High Wych Scottish Dancing Club for the new equipment.

Adico Care launch homecare service

Adico officially opened by Hertford Mayor, Cllr Pat Moore

A Homecare service provider has been launched in Hertford.

Adico Care situated in Conbar House, Mead Lane aims to help people live at home for as long as possible, without having to go to a care home or relatives.

Visits from staff members can range from 30 minutes to several hours, with clients also able to have a full-time live-in carer.

Free parking in Buntingford for Christmas

Free parking will return to Buntingford in time for Christmas.

In September, members of Buntingford Town Council agreed to ask East Herts Council for three hours’ free parking on weekdays at the town’s Bowling Green Lane car park.

Under the new payment structure, people will be able to park for free for three hours between Monday and Friday. An all-day ticket will cost £2.

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) imminent?

Councils to be given powers to ban peaceful protests that might disturb local residents

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which is currently going through Parliament could see youngsters banned from skateboarding, forbid teenagers from using local parks and prevent demonstrators from gathering outside council offices

Boris Bike scheme for Stortford

Bike hire

A public cycle sharing scheme similar to London’s Boris Bikes is set to open at Bishop’s Stortford train station.

There will be 10 for hire as part of Abellio’s Bike and Go programme, which is part of a new £190,000 cycle compound.

The bikes, which will cost £3.80 to hire for one day, will be available for people to use once they have registered online.

Green Aiders can help care for your garden

Following success in Welwyn Hatfield, Broxbourne and Dacorum, the garden rejuvenation project Green Aiders is launching in East Hertfordshire.

Green Aiders helps elderly, disabled, or vulnerable adults take control of their overgrown gardens. Groundwork staff and local volunteers tame residents' plots, making them safer and more accessible.

Police and Crime Commissioners - one year on

In November 2012 the country's first Police and Crime Commissioners were elected with an overall turnout of just 14.9%.

A BBC poll suggests that a year later more than a third of people in England and Wales have no idea if there is a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in their area,

Herts County Councillor's cash boosts good causes

Three good causes have been given a cash boost thanks to grants from Herts county councillors’ Locality Budgets.

Herts Police's Operation Stomp, to prevent older and vulnerable people from becoming victims of crime in Bishops Stortford was allocated £400 from Cllr Colin Woodward (West Ward).

Small Business Saturday

Chuka Umunna

Saturday 8th December is ‘Small Business Saturday’; a day to celebrate all the small businesses in the UK and for communities to support them at a key time in the shopping calendar.

Fears raised on investment proposals by East Herts

Cllr Michael Tindale

Fears were raised over East Herts Council plans to reinvest £60 million of its taxpayer-funded money to get better returns by placing part of the investment into property.

Prince Charles champions countryside

Prince Charles

East Herts is essentially a rural economy and the views of Prince Charles in the current issue of Country Life are particularly appropriate.

“Our countryside is as important as any cathedral and central to life in Britain”, says Prince Charles.

But he fears for its future – in particular, who will be around to care and nurture the countryside in years to come.

Police target burglars during November

Herts police operation scorpion

Herts Constabulary is launching a campaign targeting home raiders and helping residents to make their more secure as part of a national anti-burglary drive during November.

Late night levy on late night venues being considered

Southampton City Council is considering a late night levy which would charge venues that serve alcohol after midnight. Money raised would go towards covering the costs of policing..

Some residents have complained of anti-social behaviour in areas with a high concentration of late-night venues, but some pub owners said the charge was unnecessary and could lead to closures.

One Fitness opens in Stortford

ONE Fitness opened its doors to Bishop's Stortford residents on Monday, November 11.

The new gym is based in the Millars One building inSouthmill Road, formerly home to nightclubs Zenchi, Scorch and H2O.

Cards for Good Causes opens in Stortford

Cards for Good Causes Christmas Shop

Cards for Good Causes, which sells Christmas cards for more than 24 national and local charities, has opened its pop-up shop in the United Reformed Church,Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford.

Fees for scrap metal dealers set by East Herts

scrap metal recycling

Fees for scrap metal dealers have been agreed by East Herts Council as part of a new act to crack down on theft of the material.

Collectors must seek a licence to operate within the district and will need a separate one from other boroughs, such as Broxbourne, if they wish to work there too.

Pubs may stay open longer during World Cup

The time difference between the UK and Brazil means most pubs should be closing their doors when England play in the World Cup, with some Group C games starting at 11pm British time.

Local artists encouraged to apply for an award

Cllr Linda Haysey

Local artists living or working in East Herts are invited to apply for an award of up to £7,000 from East Herts Council to create an innovative art project, installation or performance for the enjoyment and benefit of East Hertsresidents and or businesses.

Local charity gets £300 award

Cllr Colin Woodward

Bishop’s Stortford West's Herts county councillor Colin Woodward has allocated £300 from his locality budget to Kickstart Trust to help towards essential insurance costs and internet and telephone charges to support the charity which helps unemployed people get back into work in the town.

Amici Fashions opens in Jackson Square

Amici Fashions

Amici fashions has taken over the former New Look premises at thePotter Streetentrance toJackson Squareshopping centre. The unit had stood empty for more than a year

The new shop will stock a range of ladies' clothing, shoes, bags and accessories.

Public owned car park scoops award

Cardigan market

A project started to provide affordable car parking has resulted in a whole range of community-owned facilities has won Britain’s top award for town community projects, the Towns Alive National Award organised by Action For Market Towns.

Council Tax increases likely in 2014

Many English councils plan to increase tax, survey suggests

Almost a third of all English councils plan to increase council tax next year despite a government cash incentive to freeze it, a survey suggests.

According to the research published by the Local Government Chronicle, Conservative-run county councils are most likely to be considering a rise.

Getting prepared for winter

Now that the clocks have gone back our thoughts turn to .. winter!

Highways crews are on stand-by 24 hours a day during the winter. An average winter sees 45 gritter runs (usually at night), although last winter was exceptionally cold and saw 78. Each run treats around 1,500 miles with nearly 300 tonnes of salt, at a cost of approximately £30,000.

Consultation on Library Services

Hertfordshire County Council have begun an extensive countywide consultation with local residents to develop a new ten year strategy to ensure the county’s libraries continue to provide a modern and relevant service.

New blue bins to aid recycling

Blue bins to aid recycling

Blue-lidded wheelie bins are being rolled out across East Herts ahead of new collection changes due to come into force on Monday November 11th 2013.

The council hopes the mixed recyclables bin will complement residents' existing brown and black bins.

Shop Local the answer - 10 reasons

Mary Portas

No town in East Herts was included in the ‘Portas Pilot’ scheme. The 12 pilot areas are Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Greater Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees and Wolverhampton

Thinking of a postal vote

Posting box

The next Local Council elections may seem a long time away but this is a good time to discuss postal votes.

The Electoral Commission published statistics gathered from the Local Elections inEnglandin 2012.

In five council areas more than 30% of the electorate had a postal vote; in another ten fewer than 10% had a postal vote.

Happiest towns are market towns

Fore Street, Hertford

The traditional definition of a market town is one where agriculture dominates in a settlement that serves a rural hinterland. Towns offer at least convenience shopping and meet some weekly and specialist needs; and act as a service centre for their hinterland and local community (providing, for example, a bank/cash point, doctors surgery/health centre, secondary school, library and so on).

MP's seek 'Grace and Favour' period for parking fines

Parking meter

The Commons Transport Committee chairman, Labour MP Louise Ellman, said that: “the Department for Transport's rules for councils should include a five-minute ‘grace-and-favour’ period after tickets expire before imposing a fine.”

New editor at Ward Times

John Barber,Editor

John Barber is the new editor of Ward Times. Residents of Hertford may remember him as the Town Centre Manager. Although John has no formal publishing experience he is hopeful that his background will bring a new perspective to the news and views published here.

Ward Times relaunched

Cllr Jim Thornton

Ward Times is being re-launched. There is a lot or work yet to be done on the site but changes should be noticed over the next few months.

East Herts Council Donate Unneeded Furniture to Local Voluntary Groups

East Herts Council donated a number of pieces of unneeded furniture

East Herts Council have donated various bits of unneeded furniture left over after the redevelopment of the Hertford Theatre last year.

The furniture was no longer needed after the venue was transformed from the Castle Hall to the Hertford Theatre. Nonetheless all the equipment, although no longer needed at the The Wash venue, was still in good condition.

Closing Focus DIY Stores in Hertford and Stortford Bought By Wickes

'It's got our name on it': Wickes purchases former East Herts Focus DIY Stores

The DIY and Gardening chain, Focus DIY is to close after administrators, Ernst & Young, failed to secure a buyer for the loss-making company after it went into administration earlier this month (see ‘Worries for Focus DIY Staff in East Herts as Chain Goes Into

21-Year-Old Stortford Man Remanded in Custody After Attempted Kidnapping of Ex-partner

A 21-year-old Bishop’s Stortford man has been remanded in custody today (31 May) after being accused of attempting to kidnap his ex-partner at Harlow Mill Railway Station on 9 May (see ‘21-Year-Old Stortford Man Sent to Trial After Attempted Kidnapping of Ex-partn

Herts Police Authority Elect New Chairman

David Lloyd, the new Herts Police Authority Chairman replacing Stuart Nagler

David Lloyd, the Deputy Leader of Herts County Council, has been elected as the new chairman of Herts Police Authority after the current Chairman, Stuart Nagler, announced he was to stand down.

Cllr Lloyd was elected unopposed at the annual meeting of the Authority held on 27 May. Mr Nagler has also been elected as Vice-Chairman of the Authority.

RoSPA Warns of Dangers of Blind Cords to Children

RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has warned parents to be careful with blind cords around children after a 21-month-old boy recently died after being strangled by the nylon cord of a blind hanging next to his cot.

Pedestrianisation of Bishop’s Stortford Market to Begin Next Thursday

East Herts Council are planning to pedestrianise the Bishop’s Stortford market from next Thursday.

The plan involves North Street between the High Street/Bridge Street junction and Barrett Lane being closed to vehicles from 6am to 7pm each Thursday and Saturday and becoming the main area of market activity.

Tree Fire in Adderley Road in Bishop’s Stortford This Morning

A tree was reported to be alight in Bishop’s Stortford this morning requiring fire crews to rush over to the Riverside Quarter in Adderley Road.

It is understood the Fire service were informed of the fire at 6am on 25 May and were quickly on the scene to extinguish the tree.

It is not yet known how the fire was caused.

 

Ahren Lester.

Man Punches Three Teenage Girls in Bishop’s Stortford

A man has punched three teenage girls in South Street in Bishop’s Stortford on 17 May.

The incident, which occurred at 2.30am on 17 May, involved three teenage girls. One aged 18 and the other two aged 19.

Ware and Stortford Benefit Cheats Prosecuted after Falsely Claiming £9,000

Shire Hall in Hertford.

Two East Herts benefit cheats have been prosecuted individually after they made false benefit claims which together totalled over £8,000.

Ware and Bishop’s Stortford Tool and Plant Hire Company Goes into Administration

A local tool and plant hire company, Hiremee, went into administration on 18 May with the immediate loss of 6 of the 20 jobs in the company.

Hiremee was established back in 1976 and has three depots in Ware, Bishop’s Stortford and Royston.

The company has now been taken over by the specialist restructuring, recovery and insolvency firm, FRP Advisory LLP.

Woman with Pram Arrested after Shoplifting from 5 Stortford Shops

Potter Street entrance of Jackson Square shopping centre

A 22-year-old woman pushing a baby pram has been arrested by Herts Police after stealing from five different shops in Bishop’s Stortford.

The string of thefts included household items worth £37 from QD in Potter Street, children’s clothing worth £27 from Store 21 also in Potter Street, a book worth £12 from WH Smith in South Street, clothing worth £27 from NEXT in Jackson Square.

Police Appeal for Information After Road Rage Incident in Stortford

Police are calling for information after a road rage incident in Bishop’s Stortford involving a 45-year old driver and his car being targeted by a man and a teenage boy.

The incident occurred on 14 May at 6.25pm and took place at traffic lights in Hockerill on Dunmow Road. It is understood that the incident was in response to a driving dispute which occurred on junction 8 of the M11.

Two Men Attacked in Separate Incidents in Station Road, Bishop’s Stortford

The Fountain, Bishop's Stortford in 2007

Two men were attached in the same road in Bishop’s Stortford on two consecutive days in unrelated attacks.

The first attack which occurred on 12 May (Thursday) at around 1.50am left the victim with chipped teeth.

Ware Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After Bishop’s Stortford Crash

A crash on St James Way (A1184) has led to the Ware motorist involved being arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.

The incident which occurred on 11 May just before 10pm involved the 26-year-old driver veering off the road and ending up in a bush.

The Ware man has been bailed which Police investigations continue. He has to return to Hoddesdon Police Station. 

21-Year-Old Stortford Man Sent to Trial After Attempted Kidnapping of Ex-partner

A Bishop’s Stortford man has been sent for trial today (12 May) after being accused of trying to kidnap his former partner at Harlow Mill Railway Station.

Joseph Mills, 21, of Piggott Way in Bishop’s Stortford is accused of kidnapping Sophie Johnson and for assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).

Residents Warned of Fake Charity Clothing Collections in Herts

Herts residents are being warned that fake charity clothing collection leaflets and bags are being dropped in the area and are being reminded not to donate to them.

Fake leaflets have been dropped in Hertford claiming to be collecting on behalf of The Salvation Army. Similar leaflet drops are understood to have taken place in Cheshunt and Hoddesdon.

Bishop’s Stortford Church and School Targeted by Lead Thieves

St Joseph and the English Martyrs Catholic Church, Windhill, Bishop's Stortford

Bishop’s Stortford has become the next victim of lead thieves as a school and church were targeted between 2 and 9 May.

Lead edging has been stolen from the Church of St Joseph and the English Martyrs in Windhill. The value of the stolen lead is around £1,000. It is also understood that the theft left damage to the roof itself. This incident occurred sometime between 2 and 4 May.

East Herts Residents Give Resounding ‘No’ To AV Referendum

East Herts voters have delivered a resounding ‘No’ vote to the referendum on the electoral system as the final count is made.

The national campaign as to whether to adopt the Alternative Vote (AV) system or continue with the First Past the Post (FPTP) system has often been heated. However, in the end the result was fairly unambiguous.

Local Election Results released for East Herts Council

The election results for East Herts Council are in. Below are the links to the final counts. Click on your ward to discover the result.

Bishop's Stortford

Worries for Focus DIY Staff in East Herts as Chain Goes Into Administration

East Herts Focus DIY Staff have anxious future

Concerns are being raised about the future for current Focus DIY employees after the nationwide home and garden chain went into administration yesterday (5 May).

East Herts has two of the 179 Focus DIY stores within the area with one in Hertford in the Madford Retail Park and another in Bishop’s Stortford in Goodliffe Park.

East Herts Royal Wedding Parties a Roaring Success

Royal Wedding Street Parties hugely successful in East Herts

East Herts residents celebrated the Royal Wedding in style on 29 April as innumerable house and street parties took place across the district.

Herts Trading Standards Warn Local Businesses About Cold Calling Water Testers

Herts Trading Standards warn of cold-calling water testers

Hertfordshire Trading Standards (HTS) is warning East Herts businesses to be on their guard against cold calling companies. 

HTS have recently received several complaints from Herts companies which have been visited by a representative of a company testing tap water in washrooms and staff kitchens. 

Bishop's Stortford to play host to several Street Parties

Streets Alive: www.streetparty.org.uk

A number of proactive local residents have been preparing a vast array of events for the raft of Street Parties for the Royal Wedding on 29 April being undertaken across the town and the surrounding area.

Graffiti Clean-up Begins as Cannons Close is First Location for Community Payback Scheme

Cannons Close, Bishop's Stortford (before clean-up)

Offenders who are on probation have been tasked with removing graffiti which has been scrawled on some of the walls and underpasses in Bishop's Stortford as part of the Community Payback Scheme.

Launch of County Council Website To Encourage Residents to Access Services Online

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has launched its new website which is seeking to encourage more people to access its services online.

The website, which went live today (14 April), is one of the ways that HCC are looking to reduce costs in order to protect the frontline services themselves.

East Herts Shopkeepers Helping with Clampdown on Underage Drinking Sales

East Herts shopkeepers are helping Police in their clampdown on sales of alcohol to underage customers.

Hertfordshire Trading Standards undertook an undercover test on 5 April of 6 premises in the area and only one in Sawbridgeworth failed by selling cider to a 16-year-old.

Herts is Ready for Winners Announces Paralympic and Disability Sports Representative

Michael McGrath and John Fuller.

Herts is Ready for Winners Partnership (HRFWP) has announced that they have elected Michael McGrath as a Paralympic and Disability Sports Representative to their Board.

Michael was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 18. However, he follows his life motto ‘Quant Je Puis’, or ‘As Much as I Can, to the letter.

Taxi Licence Fees to Rise in East Herts

East Herts Taxi drivers will have to pay more for their licences in the future after East Herts Council (EHC) voted to no longer subsidise their cost.

EHC claim that this move will save taxpayers in East Herts around £13,000 per year.

Councillor Candidate Lists Released for 5 May Elections

Nominations for local council elections taking place on 5 May have now closed and the list of candidates have been released.

Click on your electoral ward below to find out who is standing in your area.

 

Bishop’s Stortford

Herts Police Appoint new Chief Constable

Hertfordshire Police Authority has appointed Andy Bliss as the new Chief Constable for Hertfordshire. 

Andy is currently the Deputy Chief Constable for Essex Police. He will take over from Frank Whiteley, who retires at the end of this month.  

Cllr Duncan Peek's Funeral Held

The funeral for Cllr Duncan Peek was held today (30 March) at the Church of St Joseph and the English Martyrs in Windhill.

Duncan, 70, died of cancer on 8 March and had served as a councillor for Bishop’s Stortford in East Herts Council since 1983 and had served as the town’s Mayor.

New East Herts Parking Payment System Allows Drivers to Pay by Mobile

A new car parking payment system has been introduced in East Herts which allows drivers to pay by mobile phone.

Private fostering - everybody's responsibility

If you know of someone under 16 who is living away from their parents you may not realise that Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) also needs to know.

Bishop's Stortford Councillor, Duncan Peek, Passes Away

Tribute was paid at last night's Executive meeting to Cllr Duncan Peek, who has died, aged 70.

Cllr Peek, who passed away on 8 March had represented Bishop's Stortford Silverleys Ward as an East Herts councillor since 1983.

Local Resident Produces Leaflet for People Running For Local Elections

A local resident has co-authored a free guide to help individuals running in the Local election make the most from their campaign budget.

Hertford resident Jim Thornton has written Elections on a Shoestring along with the leading environmental activist Tamsin Omond. The content of the guide was compiled from ideas sent in from around the country.

Stortford Canoe Club’s Vital Training Assisted by Funds From Councillor

A local Councillor has provided a grant to help a Stortford canoe club pay for essential training for coaches.

The Bishop’s Stortford Canoe Club has been given £1,700 by Cllr Leanda Newlyn (Bishop’s Stortford Rural) to go some way to paying the Accredited Canoe Coach Courses and Child Safety Workshops for its members required as part of the new British Canoe Union regulations.

Councillor Allowances Proposals to Save Council £31,000

East Herts Council, Wallfields

East Herts District Council have supported the allowances package drawn up by an independent panel to come into force from May this year.

Under this new package the basic allowance for councillors will be frozen at their current rate of £4,747. What is more, the special responsibility allowances will be cut.

Herts County Council Mark Dignity Action Day 2011 - But The Campaign Continues

Herts County Council (HCC) marked Dignity Action Day last Friday. The day celebrated the work undertaken by people in delivering dignified care.

The special event was arranged by HCC and took place on 25 February and involved a vast array of activities.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Secure Thorley Wash Site for Public

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust have secured the 40-acre Thorley Wash site from the Environment Agency for people and wildlife.

Local Enterprise Partnership Set-Up in Herts

Leading local business figures have signed up to join the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help develop economic development in Herts.

Reception, Junior and Middle School Starters: APPLICATION DEADLINE TODAY

HCC at Peg's Lane

The final application deadline for parents to put their children’s names down for places at reception, junior of middle schools for this Setptember will be at midnight today (Saturday 15 January).

If you have not applied already, please apply online immediately at: www.hertsdirect.org/admissions.

Local Estate Agent Calls for Government to further support property market

Mullucks Wells has called for the Government to make its New Year’s resolution to ‘provide stronger support for the property market in 2011.’

‘As house sales play such a pivotal role in the wider economy,’ explained the Stortford based company, ‘much more should be done at national level to help people move home.’

Herts County Council launches its new e-Petition system

HCC at Peg's Lane

Herts County Council has recently launched its first ever e-Petition system for residents to use. Thus now residents of Hertfordshire can now create petitions and  collect signatures online as well as using the paper system that has long been in place.

Make a Difference: Fostering and Shared Care in Hertfordshire

Fostering

Could you foster for Hertfordshire?

Are you enthusiastic about working with children and young people? Do you have a spare room and want to work from home? Why not think about becoming a foster carer for Hertfordshire?