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PARISH COUNCIL NEWS

March 2004

There has been a lot of activity to report this month as all the committees and the Council have met. The meetings of the Village Hall and F& GP committees due to be held on the 28th January had to be abandoned due to very heavy snow which made it impossible for members to meet. Both committees did meet on the 3rd February.

Parish Council vacancy still open
Among the many items to come out from the above meetings was the fact that the vacancy for a Parish Councillor is still open. It is hoped to co-opt a new member at the next Parish Council meeting on the 24th March. It is therefore still not too late for interested people to apply. Please do consider if you could offer your services to the village. Full details of what is involved can be obtained from our clerk Mrs. Claire Graham phone 812375 or talk with any councillor.

Library cut-backs
Another item raised was the planned reduction in the staffing level of our library to single manning. It was reported that this economy was due to lower usage and also to enable trial Sunday opening in some larger libraries. This was thought to be very unfair to Knebworth taxpayers. The Clerk was asked to write to the Herts. County Council Cabinet Member responsible for Libraries to complain about this lowering of service level. This is a classic case that we must use this service or risk losing it altogether.

Villagers petition!
Residents of Meadway who had heard of proposals to demolish their homes dominated the Parish Council meeting held on The 11th February. Although council housing is not within the remit of the Parish Council it was felt that as the representatives of the village that it should be involved and had therefore invited those involved to this meeting. Well over thirty very concerned residents attended this meeting to hear Mr K. Thompson, the Chief Executive Officer of North Hertfordshire Homes Ltd (NHH), explain just what was happening at this very early consultation stage. He stated that the problem had arisen due to the age of the properties and type of slab construction, which now rendered them 'statutory defective'. This meant that they could not be improved to the new Government Decent Homes Standards, which was the NHH objective. It was agreed that there had been a communication problem and NHH said that they would now try hard to rectify this. A petition was handed in to NHH signed by most of the Meadway residents stating that they didn't want to move from Knebworth. The Parish Council offered the use of the Village Hall as a venue to enable further meetings to try and resolve the way ahead on this important matter.

More funding obtained
Some good news for the Lytton Fields play ground users is that Knebworth has been successful in obtaining £3000 from the NHDC Parish Challenge Fund towards some new play equipment. The Parish Council has more than matched this sum so that work can now progress without delay. Included in the list of new equipment is a new roundabout for age 5 - 15.

More vandalism
It is sad to have to report that some motorised vandals have been active on the night of the 3rd February in the main Recreation Ground. The steel gates and fence at the top of the Watton Road entrance have been attacked with a van or lorry. The result is broken concrete fence posts, fence and gates leaving them all flat on the floor. This surely must have damaged the vehicle involved and must have made quite a noise. Does anyone know anything?

More colour
To finish on a brighter note the bulbs in the Jubilee Walk are now coming through and should produce a nice splash of colour at this end of the Recreation Ground. We suggest a visit should be made on a nice spring day to see just what has happened since last year. Thank you to Andrew our groundsman who has planted the majority of the 4000 bulbs.

John Bland 01438 812135

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