Hertford Newsletter

Stay informed on our latest news!

External Links for Hertford

Below are listed some local clubs and organisations.

Post Office on the move to Maidenhead Street

Hertford Post Office could make a move to Maidenhead Street, plans have revealed.

201 Hertford Post Office in Fore Street

The Fore Street store has proposed the move which is rumoured to be to the old McDonalds building

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. 

Public Consultation on Hertford Town Cenrtre

You may already be aware that Tibbalds, a leading urban design, masterplanning and planning specialist consultancy, appointed by East Herts Council, working together with Hertfordshire County Council and Hertford Town Council, are undertaking the Hertford Town Centre Urban Design Strategy.

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.

Councillor boosts fund for Arts hub in Hertford

Plans for a contemporary arts hub in Hertford received a boost following a £1,650 grant from a Hertfordshire County Councillor.

Cllr Andrew Stevenson (Hertford All Saints) allocated the money from his locality budget.

The funding will help The Courtyard Arts Centre get the ball rolling on a project to turn the disused Old British School into a multi-purpose art gallery.

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.

Oyster Card use to be extended to Hertford and Ware

The use of Oyster cards will be extended to Hertford East, Ware, St. Margarets and Rye House.

Passengers will be able to tap in and tap out at the validators to be provided on the platforms and use Oyster for journeys to London and back.

It is hoped the system will be fully functional by the end of the year.

Asda bowl a last minute googly at the Van Hages planning application

The following notice appeared on the East Herts Council website.

The planning application submitted by Van Hages for refurbishment and erection of a food store has been withdrawn from the development management committee of Wednesday July 22.

Gascoyne Way car park to close for cleaning

Gascoyne Way cart park will be closed from 6pm on Sunday August 16 to 7am on Friday August 21 to allow for essential deep cleaning work.


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.


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.


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.

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. 


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.

Sign up to Time Banking

Time banking is a community initiative that uses time as a form of currency. It allows you to share your time and skills with others to help, support and build your local community. The project is now spreading across East Hertfordshire.

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.

Can you help the Hertford CAB find a new home?

Hertford Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is desperately seeking a new home.

The charity’s current location is in Yeoman's Court but it has been given six months notice on its lease, with the building to be developed into housing.

Hertford in top ten towns

The Daily Telegraph published a list of the top ten towns for those thinking of leaving London, but not sure where to go.

Seek out towns which offer something special, where average house prices are still below £400,000 but rising steadily, and where there are rail links toLondon. Here they are, in order of price growth over a decade, according to data from Savills.

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


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:

Police cadet scheme launched in East Herts

Hertfordshire Constabulary is to launch a new Volunteer Police Cadet scheme in East Herts and is looking for enthusiastic youngsters to sign up.

Police Cadets are young volunteers who get involved with a wide range of local events and crime prevention initiatives, as well as learning about police procedures and the law.

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.

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.

Safer Neighbourhood Team running surgeries in Sele Farm

Officers from the Hertford Safer Neighbourhood Team are holding surgeries on the Sele Farm estate throughout the Easter holidays to help combat anti-social behaviour.

Van Hages gets approval for Waitrose store

The EHDC Development Management Committee met on March 25th and approved the application by Van Hages at Amwell End for the building of a Waitrose store.


This decision was taken against the advice of its own Planning Officers who had recommended the application be refused.

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.

Interested in standing as councillor on May 7th

Are you interested in stading for elction to Hertford Town Council on May 7th?

This is a copy of the letter from Clr Jim Thornton published in the Hertfordshire Mercury on 12 March.

Public consultation on Hertford Town Centre

A leading planning and urban design consultancy, Tibbalds, has been commissioned to develop a Vision and Urban Design Strategy for the town centre.

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.

Sele Farm housing project gets green light

Riversmead Housing Association's plans for 11 houses and 24 flats on the green area next toTudor Way and Hutton Close in Sele Farm was initially rejected by East Herts District Council

That decision has been overturned by independent planning inspector Nick Palmer because of the district council’s five-year housing supply shortfall.

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.

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.


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.

Hertford town centre - what is the future?

There are 269 retail premises in Hertford Town Centre; a further 126 offices, 14 vacant retail units and some light industrial units.

Grant for local Primary School's Music Festival

County Councillor Jeanette Taylor (Ware South) has allocated £750 from her locality budget to Hertford and Ware Primary Schools' Music Festival towards the cost of staging a large scale musical performance.

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.

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.

Planning Applications Registered w/c 26 January 2015

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.


Plans for Waitrose store resubmitted by Van Hage

A new application has just been lodged on behalf of Van Hage Garden centre with East Herts Council for permission to demolish old buildings and develop space for a new food store. This is believed to be Waitrose.


Hertford Post Office future secured

Despite stories that Hertford could lose its Fore Street Post office it appears that common sense has prevailed and its long term future secured.


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.


Last Post for Hertford Post Office?

It was announced on Monday January 26th that Hertford Post Office in Fore Street was to close as from January 27th. There was no reason given other than staff running the Post Office were facing eviction.

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.


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.


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.

Watton at Stone Memory Day - January 24th 2015

Hertford Museum invites residents past and present for coffee and cake at Watton at Stone Methodist Church Hall on Saturday 24th January 2015 to help prepare for their May Watton at Stone exhibition.

They are seeking your memories, stories, photographs and any other memorabilia that makes the village unique.

The day is free and runs between 10.00am and 12.30pm.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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

Van Hages planning application withdrawn

An application by Van Hage Garden Centre in Great Amwell for permision to build a food store, now widely accepted as being Waitrose has been withdrawn at the eleventh hour.

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.


Future of Bircherley Green still unclear

From the Editor

(This piece is entirely the comment and opinion of the Editor and does not reflect that of any other person connected with or of Ward Times, nor of the web site itself).

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.

Small Business Saturday in Hertford

Think Christmas, Think Hertford will take place in the town centre on Saturday December 6.

It is being organised by independent businesses and Hertford Town Council as part of Small Business Saturday, which supports and promotes small businesses.

The initiative will run all day, with five hours free parking available in the East Herts Council-owned car parks.

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.


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 Hertford on Saturday December 6th to celebrate Small Business Saturday.


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.


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. 


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.

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. 

Nominations sought for Hertford's Cheeriest Trader

Hertford’s Cheerful Trader competition, which is organised by Hertford Town Council, has launched once again and members of the public are encouraged to nominate their favourite merchant.

Last year’s winner was Jamie East, the manager of Money Matters Worldwide Bureau de Change.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 21.

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.

Waitrose and Van Hages lodge application at Amwell End, Ware

An application has been made by CBRE on behalf of Van Hages to redevelop their Amwell End site with additional space for a Waitrose Supermarket.

There has been a lot of speculation regarding Waitrose’s intentions regarding staying in Hertford, the regeneration of the Bircherley Green Shopping Centre and the prospect of a joint planning application with Van Hages.

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.

Free sessions at Fellas Fitness

Are you over 60 and need to get fit, but not sure where to start? Why not give the new Fellas Fitness programme a try? It’s specifically designed for the older gent and these weekly sessions are an ideal opportunity for participants inEast Hertsto become fitter, healthier and socialise with new people.


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.

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.


Hertford Food & Drink 2014 launched

The Hertford Food and Drink Festival has been officially launched by its organisers and main sponsors.

Hertford Town Council has joined forces with the likes of Waitrose, McMullens and the Mercury for this year’s festival.


From Friday, October 10 until Sunday, October 12,Hertford Castle will play host to a revamped event.

Come to Hertford and stay healthy

Damage from traffic on Gascoyne Way

A new handy leaflet, aimed at improving air quality in Hertford, gives lots of useful tips on travel to and from the town by train, bike, bus and on foot.

The leaflet, put together in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and East Herts Council, was funded by Defra, in accordance with the air quality action plan for Hertfordshire.

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.

Plans for Bircherley Green redevelopment on view

On Friday and Saturday, 29th and 30 August 2014 companies working on behalf of Diageo placed a series of exhibition boards in Bircherley Green to illustrate how the proposed redevelopment would look.


140 Bircherley Green proposal

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.

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.

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.

Greater Anglia apologises to its customers

An apology has been issued by rail bosses for the performance of services between Hertford and London.

A statement on behalf of Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles and Network Rail Anglia managing director Richard Schofield read: "We are genuinely sorry for the problems that have affected train services in recent weeks.

Sponsors announced for Hertford Food and Drink 2014

The third Hertford Food and Drink Restival which is organised by Hertford Town Council, will run from Friday, October 10, to Sunday, October 12.

The headline sponsors are Hertford House Hotel, Clover Kitchens, Giambrone's Coffee Bar and McMullen brewery.

Waitrose and SPJ Event specialists of Ware are associate sponsors and the Hertfordshire Mercury is the festival media partner.

Proposed redevelopment of BIrcherley Green Shopping Centre

There have been rumours flying around Hertford for some time regarding the future of Bircherley Green Shopping Centre and Waitrose in particular. These were heightened by the announcement from East Herts Council that they would be surrendering their lease on the car park, toilets and bus station.

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.

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

River Beane to be filmed

River Beane at Hartham

Thanks to funding from their local county councillor, the River Beane Restoration Association will be able to make and present a film about the river.

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".

Mill Road development given go-ahead

Plans for a 107-unit development near Hertford East station have been given the green light by East Herts Council.

The proposals, submitted by Redrow Homes, would see four houses, 45 one-bedroom flats and 58 two-bedroom flats built on the junction of Mill Road and Mead Lane.

Forty per cent of the homes will be affordable.

Premier Inns decision delayed

A decision on plans for a Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant in Ware has been deferred by councillors (see earlier news story)

Plans had been submitted for a 60-bedroom hotel and restaurant to be built on the junction of Viaduct Road and Marsh 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.

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.

Future Living Hertford awarded grant

Cllr Peter Ruffles

A charity supporting people trapped by addiction in the Hertford area has the backing of a Hertfordshire County Councillor.

Expect 17 weeks delays on A10 Hailey Lane

Improvement work, carried out by Osborne on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, will begin on the A10 Hailey Lane interchange on Monday 28 July.

The scheme to repair worn out sections of the 30-year-old bridge will take place between 7.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday under lane restrictions and temporary speed limits. The works are expected to be completed within 17 weeks.

Help Hertford FC win £20,000 makeover

Hertford Town FC ground under water - again

Hertford Town FC have been shortlisted to win a £20,000 makeover, which could revitalise Hertingfordbury Park following the flooding that swept through it earlier this year.

The judges at the Daily Mirror have shortlisted the Blues along with nine other clubs to win the competition with Buildbase.

Panshanger Aerodrome to close

Panshanger aerodrome

Panshanger Aerodrome will close after more than 20 years.

The home of the North London Flying Club, which is based in Cole Green, will shut on Saturday September 20.

In the organisation's newsletter to members this month, it is written: "it is with great sadness that we have to notify you on the closure of Panshanger Aerodrome.

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.”

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.

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.

Sovereign House to make way for 84 homes

Sovereign House

The plan to demolish and redevelop Sovereign House in Hale Road into 84 homes was approved by East Herts Council's development management committee at their meeting in Wallfields on June 25.

Ward members were in favour of the redevelopment of the building, which has been mostly unoccupied for many years but still houses some Government offices.

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

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.

Cyclists raising subway concerns in Hertford

Concerns have been raised over cyclists riding in subways in Hertford and posing a danger to pedestrians.

Mum-of-three Sharon Threlfall, who lives in the town’sPark Road, has been campaigning for riders to walk their bikes through the underpasses for two years.

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.”

Hertford celebrates Independents on July 4th

Businesses in Hertford are gearing up for the national Independents’ Day on Friday July 4, which ties in with the US holiday.

Stores will run American-themed promotions between 5pm and 8pm.

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.

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.

New Franchisee Govia promises a better future from 2018

An extra service on the Hertford Loop railway line in 2018 and enhanced train carriages are some of the promises made by the new franchisee.

Govia has been appointed the operator of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise from September, taking over from First Capital Connect, it was announced by the Department for Transport on Friday May 23.

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


[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.

Fellas Fitness launches in Hertford

Funded with a grant from the LSP Health and Wellbeing Group which is overseen by East Herts Council, Fellas Fitness is a new exercise group for men aged 50 plus is about to get under way in Hertford.

Decline of Hertford's retail offer

John Barber, Editor

The following represents the views and opinions of the Editor (John Barber, pictured) solely and does not represent those of anyone else connected with Ward Times.

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


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

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.

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'.

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

Free wi-fi at Hertford North

Free WiFi is coming to 17 stations on the First Capital Connect (FCC) rail network including Hertford North as part of a £2 million-plus investment package.

FCC is making service improvements over the next six months to mark its eighth anniversary.

FCC managing director David Statham said: “This is all about giving people better value for money."

Help centre for addicts to open in Hertford

Future Living Hertford will open at the St Andrew’s Centre at St Andrew’s Church later this month, initially for two days a week.

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.

Award for Hertford Childrens Book Festival

This year’s Hertford Children’s Book Festival has been given a £1200 boost by Hertfordshire county councillor Cllr Andrew Stevenson (Con, All Saints) out of his locality budget.

The event, which will run from October 2 to 8, involves authors and illustrators speaking at different venues.

Funding for Future Living Hertford

A theraputic counselling service to help people recover from addiction will be able to start up in Hertford thanks to County Councillor Andrew Stevenson (Hertford All Saints) who has allocated £980 from his locality budget to Future Living Hertford.

The funding will let the group rent the St Andrew Centre andSt AndrewsChurch, Hertford from April.

Hertfordshire's last windmill to be restored

Cromer windmill

The last windmill in Hertfordshire will be restored thanks to a grant from a Hertfordshire county councillor.

Cllr Ken Crofton (Con, Hertford Rural) had donated £750 out of his locality budget to the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust to spend on Cromer Windmill in Ardeley.

The money will help pay for the replacement of the timber steps and fantail.

Recycling for electrical items made easier

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

Hertford's Pinehurst playing field to get revamp

Cllr Andrew Stevenson

Cllr Andrew Stevenson has allocated £2,000 from his locality budget to the town council to spend on the Pinehurst playing field in Hertford.

It will pay for the design, the tendering process and the consultation phase of the proposed new play area, which is due to be installed by October this year. It will include play equipment and re-landscaping.

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.

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.

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.

Organisers for Hertford Carnival 2014 seek support

Hertford Carnival 2013

This year’s Hertford Carnival will be in Sunday June 22 and organisers are hoping it will be “bigger and better” than ever. This year's theme will be nursery rhymes.

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.

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.

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.

Debt advice centre to open in Ware

People struggling with overwhelming debt are to get free help thanks to a new charity centre.

Debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has partnered with Christ Church in New Road in Ware.

Waitrose in talks over new store at Great Amwell

Hertford’s Waitrose supermarket could close if plans go ahead to open a branch of the chain in Great Amwell.

The company is in talks to launch a store at the Van Hage garden centre in Pepper Hill.

However, this puts question marks over the future of the Hertford branch in Bircherley Green.

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.

Security mark your power tools and agricultural equipment

To help protect power tools, plant and agricultural machinery from theft, Hertfordshire Constabulary has teamed up with Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd. in Benington, near Stevenage, to offer members of the public the chance to security mark their equipment through CESAR at a 10 per cent discount. Proof of ownership will be required.

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.

Van Hage's deny rumours

Van Hage in Great Amwell has dismissed rumours that it is looking at shutting up shop.

The garden centre giant said whispers it was closing down were not true and claimed it was experiencing record sales.

Five minute grace and favour period being considered by Council

A five-minute grace period before handing out parking tickets in Hertford's Fore Street could be introduced

A Scheme to introduce a five-minute grace period before issuing a parking ticket in Hertford'sFore Street has been cautiously backed by town councillors.

Facilities funded for disabled at Hartham Leisure Centre

Equipment for disabled visitors will be installed at Hartham Leisure Centre in Hertford thanks to a £58,000 grant.

Decision awaited on flag pole

Frustrations emerged at Hertford Town Council over the lack of progress of reinstating the flagpole at the town’s Shire Hall.

The authority had wanted to reintroduce the flag at the magistrates’ court in Fore Street in time for the diamond jubilee and London Olympics in 2012.

The pole had been removed two years earlier during an inspection, in which it had been deemed “unsafe”.

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.

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.

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.

Life of Ronald Wright celebrated at Hertford Museum

Hertford Museum

Thanks to funding of £200 from Hertfordshire county councillor Peter Ruffles, Hertford Museumwill be holding a special evening event to encourage LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups and individuals to visit the forthcoming exhibition Fizeek and engage with their local museum.

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.

Labour win Bengeo Ward election

Labour candidate Alec Turner has won the by-election for the Bengeo seat on Hertford Town Council.

He was elected with 337 votes last night (January 22).

Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Porrer came second with 319 votes and just behind was UKIP candidate Colin Campbell with 318 votes.

The turnout was 15.88 per cent.

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.

Rock Choir appeals for new members

Hertford Rock Choir

The Hertfordshire branches of Rock Choir invites new singers to come on board with a free taster session.

The group, which has a branch that meets at Sele School in Hertford, claims that in addition to helping with singing, sessions can also prevent and reduce members’ snoring.

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.

Hertford Town Council announce 2014 events

New attractions have been added to Hertford Town Council’s programme of activities this year.

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".

Hertford Town Council freezes precept for next financial year

The precept at Hertford Town Council has not been increased for the 2014/15 financial year.

Members of the authority agreed to a precept of £1,025,845, which will cost a Band D property owner £94.21, at their meeting on Monday January 6.

Herford and Ware Primary Schools' Music Festival is given grant for conductor

Cllr Peter Ruffles (Con,St Andrews) has donated £500 out of his annual locality budget to Hertford and Ware Primary Schools’ Music Festival.

The money will pay for the rehearsal and performance costs of a conductor.

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.

Reading group to launch at Hertford Library

Book lovers can share their thoughts with like-minded individuals at a new Hertford reading group that is set to launch this month.

The group will meet at the town’s library in Dolphin Yard off Maidenhead Street on Saturday mornings.

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.

Four Rivers and a Castle launched by Hertford Mayor

Four rivers and a castle -

A new collection of fact and fiction from the Hertford Writers Circle about Hertford and its locality was launched by Mayor of Hertford Patricia Moore.

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

Hertford Museum given £500 for digital equipment

Sara Taylor, Curator, Hertford Museum

Hertford Museum in Bull Plain has been awarded a £500 grant from Cllr Andrew Stevenson (Con, All Saints) out of his locality budget.

The grant will enable them to buy a replacement projection and screen for use in their community events and education room following the donation

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.

Simon Balle student accepted as National Citizen Service leader

Adam Gill

Y12 Simon Balle student Adam Gill has been accepted as a National Citizen Service leader.  For the first part of his service Adam had helped to raise £1,000 for local CHIPS charity

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.

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.

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.

Funding for deaf club

Cllr Peter Ruffles

A Hertford club for deaf people will get some financial assistance thanks to a grant from a local county councillor.

County Councillor Peter Ruffles (Hertford St Andrews) has allocated £150 from his locality budget to Monday Club for Deaf People towards the cost of renting a hall for their regular meetings.

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.

Simon Balle Book Week

Sally Nichols with Y7 students

Dan Freedman, popular football writer, kicked off Simon Balle School’s annual Book Week on 18th November by talking about his fascinating career in sports journalism as well as his novel writing.

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.

Shaize kids club set to close

A breakfast and after school club in Hertford that caters for children at six primaries in the area is being forced to close because of running costs becoming too high.

Shaize Kids Club, which is based at Bengeo Cricket Club and has been going for two years, will end on Friday December 20, to the devastation of working parents who rely on the service.

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.

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

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,

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.

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.

Cllr awards £30000 to Hertford Entrepreneurs Network

Winners of a small business growth competition in Hertford will benefit from funding, publicity and critical advice thanks to their local county councillor.

A grant of £3,000 has been allocated from County Councillor Andrew Stevenson’s (Hertford All Saints) locality budget to Hertford Town Council.

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.

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.

Listening Place offers support for the bereaved

Olive Hussey

The Listening Place has been offering support for people struggling to come to terms with their grief for 11 years. Running alongside a coffee morning and a bric-a-brac sale, the informal drop-in centre run from Leaside Church Hall off East Street, Ware has proved a welcome respite for hundreds of people needing support.

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

Thanksgiving service for Cllr Radford

Cllr Russell Radford

A thanksgiving service in tribute to Russell Radford, who died unexpectedly on October 17, will be at the town’s All Saints’ Church in Churchfields on Tuesday November 12 at 11am.

Russell, of Mandeville Road, Hertford, was a Conservative councillor for the Bengeo ward and served as Mayor of the town from 2007 to 2008.

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.

Hertford Museum Given Spectacular Panoramic Virtual Tour by Former Curator

Hertford Museum has been treated to a spectacularly attentive visitor who will help more people appreciate what was described by Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian culture writer, as a ‘cabinet of curiosities’.

The Museum has benefitted from a gift from its former Curator, Helen Giles, who left the Bull Plain Museum back in March after almost 9 years in charge.

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

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.

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.

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.

Hertford Town Council Results

Results from yesterday’s election of Councillors on the Hertford Town Council. Click on your ward to find out the specific result;


Hertford Castle

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.


            Hertford Castle

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.

Hertford Castle Flag at Half Mast as Cllr John Hedley’s Funeral Takes Place

John Hedley had been a Councillor for Hertford for 8 years

The flag at Hertford Castle is being flown at half-mast this morning to mark the funeral of Cllr John Hedley who died on holiday earlier this year.

The funeral took place at All Saints’ Church in the town and was attended by many town councillors in their full ceremonial gowns.

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. 

Hertford 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.

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.

Funeral Date Set for Cllr John Hedley

The funeral of East Herts and Hertford Town Councillor John Hedley will take place on 27 April.

The 66-year-old Conservative councillor for Sele Ward who lived in Hutton Close in Sele Farm died from a cardiac arrest on 19 March whilst on holiday in Tunisia.

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.



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.  

Hertford Town Council Helps Support Taxi Marshalling Scheme

Hertford Town Council have voted to help fund the Taxi Marshalling scheme that operates in Hertford on Friday and Saturday nights after East Herts Council withdrew their funding for the scheme.

The Taxi Marshall cost around £21,814 per year to maintain and has been operating in the county town from Fore Street since 2005.

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.

Hertford Councillor John Hedley Dies Suddenly

Long-standing member of East Herts Council and Hertford Town Council, John Hedley, has died suddenly this weekend.

The 66-year-old Conservative councillor for Sele Ward who lived in Hutton Close in Sele Farm died on Saturday morning (19 March) whilst on holiday in Tunisia.

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.

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.

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.

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.

NXEA Train Services Adjusted due to Snow - UPDATE

Hertford East Station

The current spell of snowy weather has forced National Express East Anglia (NXEA) to introduce an amended train timetable today (Monday 20 December 2010) and tomorrow (Tuesday 21 December 2010). However, NXEA currently claim that Services between Hertford East and London will be unaffected tomorrow by the amended timetable.

Winter Fun Day at The Ridgeway

Ridgeway Sele Winter Fund Day - 4 December 2010

The Ridgeway Play Area in Sele Farm will be the venue for a Winter Fun Day this Saturday (4 December 2010).

The day is hoped to get the local people to visit and try out the new equipment and see all the changes and improvements that have taken place there recently.

Last Chance to See: 'Impressions of Languedoc' Exhibition at Courtyard Arts

Courtyard Arts

We are entering the final days of this years Impressions of Languedoc Exhibition at Courtyard Arts. The Exhibition has been viewable for free for the last two weeks at Hertford’s premier community arts venue. The vibrant exhibition will have its final curtain call this Saturday at 4pm.

Make a Difference: Fostering and Shared Care in Hertfordshire


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?

Lung Cancer Awareness - Free Lung testing in Hertford

Hertford County Hospital

Hertford County Hospital is marking World COPD Day by working with members of Breathe Easy Hertford. Breathe Easy Hertford will be at the hospital from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 17 November 2010 offering Free lung function tests.

Gascoyne Way Car Park Reopens

Gascoyne Way Car Park

Gascoyne Way car park reopened last week after being closed for nearly six months for an £800,000 refurbishment.