|It seems a long time ago when the report for
last month was written on the 6th December. The long Christmas and New Year
holidays are behind us and a New Year is now well under way. The Parish
Council did meet in December and the Recreation Ground committee has met on
the 12th January. There has also been a Planning meeting.
The main decision taken at the full
Parish Council meeting was to approve and set the Budget for the year 2005 /
2006 which was mentioned last month. The percentage increase on last year is
less than 3%. This is in spite of an ambitious Capital programme, which does
include more provision for the costs of the Pavilion replacement.
There does seem to be an unusually large number of Consultation documents
and Plans coming through just at present each of which is likely to affect
our village in some way. The Parish Council, being the first rung in our
system of Government, therefore has a duty to be involved to reflect your
views and concerns. This process does take up a lot of time and also needs
your continuing feedback.
As an example the interim report on the Housing Need
Survey that took place in August 2004 at the request of North Herts
District Council and Knebworth Parish Council, has now been received. The
purpose of this report is to identify those housing needs that cannot be met
within the village for those who want to reside in the village. There were
1952 households on the 2004 Council Tax register and 776 forms were
returned. This response rate of 41.5% is slightly above the average for
Hertfordshire. Among the many statistics and conclusions was the fact that
there is a present need for 35 affordable homes. Half the respondents also
said that they would support affordable housing for local people. This
survey and its many findings are sure to be included in the Parish Plan.
Copies of the Survey report in full can be obtained from our Clerk.
It was exactly a year ago that the Football Foundation Grant success was
announced. One year on and work on the building is now well advanced but we
were told that currently we are some three weeks behind schedule. It is
hoped that once the roof is in place work it can proceed, independent of the
weather, and possibly catch up some of this slippage. This is an exciting
time for all involved in bringing this project to completion.
With the very wet and windy weather there have been several instances of
public footpaths and roads being blocked by fallen trees or branches. To get
the problem attended to promptly contact Herfordshire Highways by phone on
(01438) 737320 when you will be asked for a description and the location of
the problem. You will then be given an item number so that you can progress
if required. I had occasion to do this in early January after a gale and was
most impressed by the quick response. Well worth keeping a note of this
number for all highway problems...
Finally, there have been several favourable comments about the new coloured
Christmas Lights in the High Street. Thanks must be given to the traders who
have provided the electricity to make them shine and brighten the village at
this time. It is hoped we can add a few more lights for the coming year.