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PARISH COUNCIL NEWS

February 2005

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.

Annual Budgets
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.

Consultations and Plans
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.

Football Foundation Grant
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.

Fault Reporting
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...

Bright Lights
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.

John Bland 01438 812135

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