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PARISH COUNCIL NEWS

April 2006

During the month that has passed all the committees of the council have met and each has been hard at work on things of concern to the village. The Council Tax bills will have now been sent out for the year 2006/2007. It should be noted that although the whole Tax bill has increased by about 5% the Parish Council element has reduced by about 8%.

Correction
Last month I made a plea for prospective new Parish Councillors to contact our clerk for details of just what was involved in this service to the community. Unfortunately I gave the wrong phone number and it should have read 813795. Hopefully prospective candidates will still offer themselves for election in May.

Hiring the Village Hall (and other things....)
At the Village Hall meeting one of the items was to fix the hire charges for the coming year. A new schedule was agreed that put up prices by around 3 to 4%. Regular hirers would be informed. At the same meeting the problem of an extractor hood for the gas cooker in the kitchen was discussed. This item in itself was suggested could cost some thousands of pounds. The cooker itself is now out of date and so it was agreed that this whole problem was to be fully investigated before any action was taken. Regulations are constantly changing and this is just one example of why hire costs have to be increased.

Swinging times
The Recreation ground committee was told that a grant of £500 had been received from NHDC towards the cost of replacing some of the obsolete swings. A long discussion took place as to which type of swing would be best suited to our needs. It was felt imprudent to just replace them without looking at what types and size are now available for our needs. It was decided that an additional Dog Bin would be purchased to be placed near the Stevenage Road northern entrance. Unfortunately it was also reported that vandals have ruined one of the new Enviropol picnic benches in the main Rec. by lighting portable barbeque on the table. The heat has completely burnt through the table top. The cost of repairing this damage does of course fall right back on all the village taxpayers through our Council tax. The Council will prosecute any persons found guilty of causing willful damage to our property...

“Libraries for the 21st Century”
The members of the F&GP Committee were told that a reply had been received from Hertfordshire County Council concerning the future of the Library in St. Martins Road. Concerns had been expressed following an item in the National Press suggesting that some smaller libraries may be closed to save costs. The reply, from Head of Libraries, stated that “there is no proposal to close Knebworth or any other library in the rural area.” There is however a proposal for a new strategy called “Libraries for the 21st Century” under discussion which includes suggesting improving buildings, facilities and opening hours. This is good news indeed.

Parish AGM Meeting
A very important date for readers to note is Wednesday 3rd May. This is the date for the ANNUAL MEETING of KNEBWORTH PARISH. The entire village is invited to this public meeting, when the council reports back to the ratepayers just what the Parish Council has been doing on their behalf in the past year. The accounts and minutes for last year will also be available. After the statutory business and reports, which are kept as short as possible, comes question time. This is always a lively occasion when you can ask questions on matters that concern you. A panel of representatives from County Council, District Council, and the Police have been invited to help with the replies to questions. This once a year event has always been an enjoyable occasion and the Village Hall is very often full to capacity. Please come early to get a good seat. Light refreshments will be served from 7.30 for an 8.00 p.m. start and with our new sound system working everyone will be able to hear what is being said. We all look forward to meeting you there.

John Bland 01438 812135

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To contact Knebworth Parish Council please email
Claire Graham, Parish Clerk
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