Friday, 20 December 2013

Council Tax Support Grant - statement on the NMPC's website

The following has been copied from the NMPC's website:

Clerk’s statement:
Council Tax Support Grant

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, the Billing Authority, who will receive the grant from the Government for 2014/2015, has informed the Parish Council that the Council Tax Support Grant will not be passed on, which means that North Mymms Parish Council’s income in 2014/2015 will be nearly £10,000 less than in 2013/2014.

The background is that in 2013/2014 the Government gave a grant to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to offset the changes to the benefit system and the Borough Council passed on the Council Tax Support Grant to the Town and Parish Councils.  Since 2009 North Mymms Parish Council has kept the precept (parish council tax) at £176,800 and cut costs but in 2013/2014, as the Council Tax Support Grant of £9,801.72 was shown as income, in practice the parish precept was reduced to £166,998.28.

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis MP, when announcing the local government finance settlement for 2014/2015, said  “…. we have been clear that we expect billing authorities to carry on passing on support to town councils and parishes to help mitigate any reduction in their taxbase due to the local Council Tax support scheme.”

Because Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will not be passing on the Council Tax Support Grant, North Mymms Parish Council will have to consider a 6% shortfall of nearly £10,000 when deciding on the budget and precept for 2014/2015 in January.  Councillors will face a difficult choice between raising council tax or cuts to services and either way it is going to affect the residents of the parish.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

North Mymms Parish Council to lose Welhat council tax support funding?

Front page news of the WHTimes this morning is the news that 'each parish and town council was told that they would not be receiving any council tax support funding next year - as Welwyn Hatfield Council planned to keep the cash itself''.

Apparently the controversial move is down to Government cuts, but the WHTimes adds 'Welwyn Hatfield is the only borough council in Hertfordshire planning to withhold the funding'.

The BPRA has contacted North Mymms Parish councillors to ask if any more is known about how this will affect the villages in North Mymms.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

BPRA Christmas e-card

The Brookmans Park Residents Association Christmas card is winging its way through the ether to all members of the BPRA.

For our first Christmas card we have opted for an animated e-card called 'Northern Lights' from the website of Jacquie Lawson, who is based in Sussex. We hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

BPRA meeting Tuesday 7th January 2014

There will be a meeting at 7.00pm on Tuesday 7th January 2014 in the Brookmans Park URC to discuss Brookmans Park residents' response to HCC's consultation on their Waste Sites Allocation Plan. Cathy Roe of HAI will bring us up to date on the Plan, the HCC questionnaire, and the response needed. It is important to show a good response in terms of numbers, if we are to get New Barnfield downgraded from the HCC preferred option as a waste site.

It is anticipated that we will need delivery teams to deliver HAI leaflets door-to-door, and also to man stands in the village centre for a couple of weekends in January. All volunteers welcome.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

HCC's consultation on their 'Plan for Waste Sites Allocation'.

Cathy Roe of HAI - Hatfield Against Incineration - has sent the following notice regarding Hertfordshire County Council's Plan for Waste Sites Allocation throughout the county:



From January 6th to February 14th 2014, residents and organisations will be asked once more for their views about where sites for Waste Management for Hertfordshire County Council should be located.

HCC has written a Plan for Waste Sites Allocation throughout the county, and the Consultation will be about some proposed changes to this plan. The Waste Sites Allocations Plan was discussed at an examination in public (held in two parts, in September and November 2013). The Inspector, Andrew Freeman, is currently considering changes that could be made to it.  

The list of suggested changes will be published on December 16th 2013.

Please can your organisation put this Consultation on your agenda, so you can respond, if you want to, by February 14th 2014.

Once we know exactly what the suggested changes are, Hatfield Against Incineration will be sending out suggestions as to what residents and organisations could say in responses to this Consultation – objections and/or agreement.

The HCC Waste Sites Allocations Plan is a very important procedure, separate from Veolia’s Planning Application to build a 380,000 tonnes per year incinerator at New Barnfield. That Planning Application has been through a Public Inquiry, and the final decision on it by the Secretary of State will be known by May 2014.

HAI committee are:  Cathy Roe(Sec), Simon Archer (Chair), Sheila Archer (Treasurer), Kieran Thorpe (Vice-Chair) , Paul Zukowskyj, Adrienne Nix, Barry Cross, Valerie Dorantt, Mick Bee and Roy Ward.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Herts CC to fund 'huge chunk' of Veolia's legal bill

From the front page of the Welwyn Hatfield Times today "County to foot huge chunk of Veolia's legal bill at waste burner enquiry"

'Taxpayers will have to not only pay for the county council's legal costs at the upcoming Hatfield incinerator public enquiry, but also £250,000 towards applicant Veolia's fees - taking the total to £500,000'.

'Terry Douris, Conservative, the county council's cabinet member for highways and waste management, called the six-figure sum "a very tiny amount in the overall scheme of things". He added that the council was contractually obliged to put up £250,000 of Veolia's legal fees, but denied that a mistake was made in signing the contract'.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Brookmans Park residents give huge 'thumbs down' to Hatfield incinerator

Brookmans Park residents have delivered a massive boost to the anti Hatfield incinerator campaign with two days to go.

The last collection was made today from the BPRA's post box in Brookmans Park News, and the final 151 letters of objection are now on their way to the Inspectorate in Bristol.

Objectors who have missed the deadline for letters can still make their views known before the final deadline of Wednesday 21st August, by emailing   making sure to give your name and address and your reasons for objecting.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The importance of the BPRA door-to-door anti-incinerator campaign

Have you registered your objection yet? BPRA anti-incinerator
campaign material delivered to every home in Brookmans Park

Majority against

A campaigner calling door-to-door on behalf of the Brookmans Park Residents Association (BPRA) has reported an overwhelming surge of opinion AGAINST the proposed Hatfield incinerator.

The local resident who took on to knock on 51 homes in Shrublands and Woodlands wrote in our forum that 97% of those he spoke to were going to send letters opposing - some for the second time, others for the first.

Worryingly, some had never heard of the incinerator, which underlines the importance of the BPRA's leaflet and letter campaign. The campaigner wrote:

Alarmingly four of the households had not heard of the incinerator!

Knocking on doors

However another, delivering to Peplins Way and Peplins Close, stressed the importance of following up the leafleting campaign by knocking on doors. They found the following responses:
  • Some had put the leaflet to one side but did intend objecting, and were grateful for the reminder.
  • Several seemed to have only a vague idea of what I was talking about, and no real sense of it being an issue that impacted them and their loved ones.
  • Two were elderly without access to computers and glad to receive the letters.
  • Only one had actually already responded.
The campaigner said:
From this it is clear that putting leaflets through doors is not enough and we need to follow up.

Still time to object

Remember, you have until Saturday 17 August to post your letters in because all letters must be with the inspectorate by August 21.

More details, and sample letters (you need to send three copies) can be found in our earlier post, but are copied below.

Click here to download a sample letter if you have objected before, and click here if this is your first time for objecting. There are more than 50 sample letters and one will be chosen at random for you to download.

The BPRA would like to thank all those who delivered leaflets and all those who have responded.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

BPRA chips in on national waste and recycling live chat

This site, tweeting under the name @brookmansparkra along with the Brookmans Park Newsletter, tweeting under the name @bpnewsletter took part in the Guardian Sustainable Business live online chat on waste and recycling in business Thursday lunchtime. We felt it was important that we tried to make our voices heard during the hour-long debate. We posted a couple of questions between us, but were not thrilled with the answers - or the lack of them. The exchange is embedded below (it might take a moment to load) as a record of what took place.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Brookmans Park Residents Association logo chosen

The BPRA has a new logo, just two weeks after the group was set up.

A number of local residents submitted their suggestions and we invited everyone to pick the logo they liked best.

In the end it was a dead heat between Logo 6 and Logo 7. After considering both, the BPRA committee decided to go with Logo 7 (below).

Logo 7, designed by Richard Jackson

The winning logo, made up of two green triangles, will now be included in all our official stationery and other communications.

Richard Jackson explains the concept behind the use of triangles in the BPRA Forum.

Richard also designed the Logo 6 which polled the same number of votes as the one chosen by the BPRA.

Logo 6, designed by Richard Jackson

Thanks to all who submitted logos. You can see all seven here. And thanks, too, to all those who took the time to vote. The final voting scores are captured below in a screen grab as the poll closed.

The final voting scores in the poll for the BPRA logo

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Template letters for BPRA anti-incinator campaign

The BPRA anti-incinator team has put together a number of suggested letters for Brookmans Park residents to download and send to the planning inspectorate. Please note that the information from HAI calls for THREE copies of the signed letter in one envelope.

There are two types of letters; one to send if you have objected before and one to send if this is your first letter of objection.

You may either use these as they stand, or we would encourage you to alter them and personalise as you see fit. Remember to put your own address in the usual place.

All letters must be with the inspectorate by the 21st August. Alternatively, there is a box in Brookmans Park Newsagents. Please post your letters in here by no later than Saturday 17th August.

Click here to download a sample letter if you have objected before, and here if this is your first time for objecting. There are over 50 sample letters and one will be chosen at random for you to download.

Friday, 26 July 2013

BPRA draws up anti-incinerator campaign strategy

Up in arms (Cropped from a picture by Jason Reeve)
Members of the BPRA gathered in the URC hall last night to hear Cathy Roe, Secretary of HAI (Hatfield Against Incineration), outline the many reasons why Brookmans Park residents should be joining the fight to stop the Hatfield Incinerator, and how best to do that at this late stage.

Cathy asked for urgent action from Brookmans Park on four fronts:

1) Send "lots and lots" of letters and emails of objection - as many as possible! Even if residents have objected before, they should send another letter or email saying that they still object "regardless of the extra information submitted by Veolia in July, we still object". This last phrase is to acknowledge the 'extra information' that Herts CC has just received from Veolia in support of their case.

Letters go to Leanne Palmer, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/02 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN. Quote case no 2192045. Send 3 copies. Emails go to quoting case 2192045

2) Attend the Public Enquiry! If you can only spare a little time, make it in the morning of the first day on Tuesday 10th September so that the arriving Planning Inspectors see the full scale of opposition. Meet at the Fielder Centre at 9.30am for a 10.00am start. This will need home-made banners and posters!! There is apparently plenty of parking at the centre, postcode for Satnavs AL10 9TP

3) Help HAI to deliver their leaflets in Brookmans Park in late August.

4) Help to raise funds for the extra legal help - the enquiry has been doubled from 3 weeks to 6 weeks and there needs to be extra legal representation. Veolia and Herts CC have no problem with finding funds, but HAI and the umbrella organisation New Barnfield Action Fund will struggle.

Members of the BPRA agreed that urgent action was needed. Teams of volunteers signed up to a door-to-door campaign to start as soon as possible. Residents will be given information about the BPRA and an invitation to join and become voting members, together with information about the Brookmans Park Anti-Incinerator campaign and template letters of objection.

It was also agreed that the BPRA would urge and encourage as many residents as possible to attend the enquiry, and that they would help to deliver the HAI's leaflets in late August.

All leaflets, letters and any other documentation will also be published on this website for all to see and download.

Updates will be tweeted using our Twitter account @brookmansparkRA and copied to our Facebook page. You can keep up to date with the important dates.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Choosing a logo for the BPRA

The BPRA now has eight possible logos to choose from. All have been suggested by local residents either via email or via the logo discussion thread currently running in our forum. Here are the eight listed in no particular order.

Logos 1-3

Logo 4

Logo 5

Logo 6

Logo 7

Logo 8

A poll was added and, after almost 50 votes the result was a dead heat between Logo 6 and Logo 7. The BPRA decided to go with Logo 7.

Join the BPRA and make a difference

Image courtesy of Barry Walker and released under Creative Commons
Image courtesy of Barry Walker
Released under Creative Commons
The Brookmans Park Residents Association (BPRA) has been set up to give a voice to our community.

The more members we have, the louder our voice and the more influence we will have, so join us today.

Membership is £5 per household, per year.

This will all go towards the running costs, which will include hiring halls for meetings and other costs associated with running campaigns.

Membership entitles you to attend meetings as a voting member, raise issues that you would like to see addressed and gives you a say in which campaigns to take forward.

The BPRA is committed to "safeguard and promote the interests of residents in the area on matters concerning housing and the environment". Join us now and make a difference.

BPRA Agenda July 25 2013

Anti-incinerator meeting

July 25 2013 7.30pm at Brookmans Park URC


  • Welcome
  • Introduction to Cathy Roe of HAI.
  • Discussion on Strategy for the BPRA campaign against the Hatfield Incinerator.
  • Discussion on Implementation for the BPRA campaign against the Hatfield Incinerator.
  • AOB
Close by 9.30pm

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Anti-incinerator meeting update

The following information was posted by the chair of the BPRA in our discussion forum.
I have been asked to clarify the invitees for this meeting - it is for all the members of the BPRA who wish to attend, particularly if they would like to help plan and implement the strategy for the BPRA against the incinerator. We have invited Cathy Roe of HAI (Hatfield Against Incineration) to the meeting to give us some guidance, but all other attendees will be Brookmans Park residents. If you are a Brookmans Park resident and would like to join the BPRA and the meeting on Thursday, please contact me in advance.

You can reply in the forum thread or by using the contact form in the right hand column of this site. The meeting about the incinerator is being held at the Brookmans Park URC at 7.30pm on Thursday 25 July.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The BPRA has a Facebook page

Screen grab of the Brookmans Park Residents Association's Facebook page
BrookmansParkRA on Facebook
The Brookmans Park Residents Association wants to be as accessible as possible so that local residents can raise any issues and share their thoughts in the way that suits them best.

We have set up a Facebook page for those who prefer chatting there, we have our own discussion forum on the Brookmans Park Newsletter, there is this blog, and we are on Twitter posting under the name @BrookmansParkRA.

And, if that's not enough, you can add comments to any articles posted on this blog by going to the bottom of the page and logging in via email, Twitter, Facebook or Disqus.

If none of those options suit, please contact us using the form in the right hand column on any page. We will read all comments submitted and reply when appropriate.

Make a date with the BPRA

Image of calendar taken by Photo Steve 101 and released under Creative Commons
Image by Photo Steve 101
Released under Creative Commons
The Brookmans Park Residents Association now has a public calendar for tracking important events.

You can access it by clicking on the 'calendar' tab at the top of any page on our site.

The calendar will feature BPRA events and meetings, including the time, date, venue and details.

It will also include events that are related to issues being tackled by the group.

The information displayed comes from a feed of our own Google Calendar. It will be updated on a regular basis.

We have chosen the ‘agenda’ view as default because more information can be displayed in one page, however you can switch to the weekly or monthly layout by click in the tabs.

How to use the calendar 

screen grab of the BPRA calendar
If you spot an event that grabs your interest, click on the title and then ‘more details’.

If you want to save the event to your own calendar, click on the title and then ‘copy to my calendar’.

You can click the print icon at the top of the list of events in any mode – agenda, weekly or monthly - and print a copy of the page.

If you are clicking around and find the calendar is empty, click on the small downwards pointing arrow just to the right of the agenda tab, select the ‘brookmansparkresidentsassoc’ calendar, and the entries will reappear.

If you have a date that you think the BPRA should add to the calendar, please let us know using the contact us email form in the right hand column of the site, or by posting about it in our thread about the calendar in the BPRA forum.

Monday, 22 July 2013

BPRA anti incinerator strategy meeting called

Image of Brookmans Park URC released under Creative Commons by the BPRA
Brookmans Park URC, Oaklands Avenue
Image by BPRA released under Creative Commons
Are you worried about the possible environmental impact an incinerator in Hatfield could have on the area?

The BPRA (Brookmans Park Residents Association) is officially opposing the incinerator.

If you live in Brookmans Park and are keen to do something about it, please pop along to the URC in Oaklands Avenue at 7.30pm on Thursday 25 July.

All are welcome, but we do need people who are prepared to take action and volunteer to take part in the campaign.

Notice about the meeting was posted in our BPRA forum.

The BPRA meeting to agree strategy for our stand against the Incinerator will be this Thursday 25th July 7.30pm at the URC in Brookmans Park. Anyone who is interested in contributing to the strategy and helping to organise and implement, is very welcome. Please contact me in advance so that I know numbers."

So if you do intend to come along, please let the BPRA know via the forum thread, through a forum personal message, or by using the contact email form on the right hand side of this page.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Welcome to the BPRA website

Image by Ariel Grimm and released under Creative Commons
Image by Ariel Grimm
Released under Creative Commons
This simple site has been set up to feature the work of the Brookmans Park Residents Association (BPRA) which was established on July 18, 2013.

The site will include news updates about the issues being tackled by the group and our latest tweets from @BrookmansParkRA.

You can comment on articles on this site or in the BPRA discussion forum on the Brookmans Park Newsletter. There you can also post about any issues you feel the BPRA should address. Volunteers are welcome.

Could you design a logo for the BPRA?

The Brookmans Park Residents Association (BPRA), which was formed last week, now needs a logo. Three members of the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum have submitted designs. If you want to have a go, you can post to the logo discussion thread currently running in our forum.

Three suggestions

Here are the three submitted so far. The first by forum member Richard Jackson.

Created by Richard Jackson
Richard then put together a design based on Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green. He wrote in the forum:
Attempt number 2....using the shape of Bradmore Green to provide 2 triangles.  Changed colour to green to match.  With thanks and apologies to Google maps for the snip below the logo but wanted to demonstrate the shape!"
Created by Richard Jackson
Forum member Epiphany chose a blow lamp for the following reason
The logic actually is that BP probably owes its very existence to this little object as it was responsible for the fire that destroyed Brookmans Manor House back in 1891."

Suggested by forum member Epiphany
Would you like to have a go?  If so, please post your efforts in the discussion forum thread. Thanks in anticipation.

Friday, 19 July 2013

BPRA to campaign against the Hatfield Incinerator

Screen grab of Flipboard magazine about the Hatfield Incinerator
Screen grab of free magazine (details below)
Grab by BPRA released under Creative Commons
It's official, the newly-formed Brookmans Park Residents Association (BPRA) is to campaign against an incinerator being built at New Barnfield in Hatfield.

The group is holding a public meeting on Thursday 27 July at 7.30pm.

Update: The venue has now been confirmed as Brookmans Park URC.

All who want to get involved are welcome to attend.

The announcement was made on the BPRA forum.
After last night's meeting, we have decided to 'officially' join the campaign against the Hatfield Incinerator."

The group is holding a public meeting on Thursday 27 July at 7.30pm (venue to be confirmed) and all are welcome to attend.

More details on the BPRA forum page.

A thread, entitled Hatfield incinerator - what's going on? is currently running on the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum.

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download our free magazine to keep up-to-date with news about the Hatfield Incinerator.

The Brookmans Park Residents Association is formed

Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green
Image by BPRA released under Creative Commons
The threat of a waste incinerator being built in the area, along with concerns about plans to build new homes in the village, brought 20 local residents together for the inaugural meeting of the BPRA - the Brookmans Park Residents Association.

Despite sweltering heat, those who had expressed an interest in playing some part in the formation and running of the BPRA gathered at the URC on Thursday 19 July to sign off on the wording of the constitution and agree on roles and responsibilities.

We now have a constitution, a chair, a secretary, a treasurer and a plan, although more volunteers are needed.

Initial soundings about whether a local residents association would be supported, along with the issues it should tackle, were taken at this year's Village Day, when a team set up a stall and canvassed people on their concerns.

One of the BPRA team posted about the issues raised in our discussion forum.
A huge 'Thank You' to all who turned up today, both to help on the stand and to sign up. It's very heartening to meet such lovely people and to know that there's a feeling of goodwill towards the founding of a Residents Association in Brookmans Park.

The main topics mentioned by our visitors today were:
  • Threat to the surrounding Green Belt
  • Inappropriate development
  • Planning approvals contrary to the character of the village
  • Hatfield Incinerator
  • Speeding
  • Parking
  • Potholes
  • Poor state of many pavements
  • Poor state of some verges
All felt that Brookmans Park needed a bigger voice and a bigger say in our future as a community."

At the first meeting of the BPRA at Brookmans Park URC on Thursday 18 July the following priorities were agreed.
  1. Planning and development:
    • In particular the threat of building houses on the site of Brookmans Park primary school.
    • The proposal to build 250 homes on RVC land south of the village.
    • Developments that are seen as being out of keeping with the rest of the village.
    • Whether existing planning restrictions are being applied properly.
  2. The Hatfield incinerator:
    • Concern over the proposal to build a waste disposal incinerator at New Barnfield in Hatfield.
    • Transparency in the process, including broken political pledges.
  3. Village parking:
    • The station car park and its future.
    • Village parking provision.
    • Parking restrictions and yellow lines.
    • Poor parking on pavements.

Discussion forum

A number of residents have been discussing forming the BPRA for some time. Three months ago the idea was mooted on the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum. Soon after a discussion forum was set up for all BPRA issues. Any registered forum members (it's free) can start threads and post to this new area.


The BPRA is on Twitter and tweets under the name of @BrookmansParkRA. We will be using the hashtag #AL9, which is the postcode covering the area.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

BPRA Agenda July 18 2013

Inaugural Meeting

July 18 2013 8pm at Brookmans Park URC


  • Welcome
  • Introduction
  • Draft Constitution
  • Election of Officers:
    • Chair
    • Vice Chair
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
  • Volunteers for committee.
  • Action plan for membership.
  • Discussion of immediate issues/projects and agree outline strategy.
  • AOB

Close 9.30pm