The true cost of the bus consultation

Yesterday at County Hall in Hertfordshire Conservatives failed to listen to two motions asking them to call a halt to their planned£1.7m of cuts to bus services in the County.

After consulting with the public earlier this year and 13,000 people asking them to stop their planned cuts, they decided to ignore the resounding “No” they had received from the public, and start another round of consultation on more proposed cuts.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, (LibDem), Leader of the opposition on HCC, commented, “The Conservatives at County Hall have admitted that the consultation they have chosen to ignore cost local taxpayers over £16,000 for printed materials.  What they haven’t disclosed is how much the Council Tax payers of Hertfordshire have paid for the salaries of the five staff who worked on this full-time for 4 months. Instead they could have been working with local bus operators, user groups, the NHS and local Councils to find ways of improving bus services and usage, as well as reducing costs.”

The launch of the Christmas Market 

St Albans’ European-style Christmas Market is opening on Thursday 27 November. On Friday 28th November there will be an opening celebration for all the family, from 5pm – 8pm, at which the Mayor will officially open the market.

The festivities will include magical frozen, icy guests, with local businesses serving up refreshments in the City centre. The central shopping areas of Market Place and Christopher Place are opening late and beginning to look a LOT like Christmas.

Bjorn the polar bear is back by popular demand, and is sure to delight the children and grown-ups alike. He will be joined Mr Snowman, the Ice Queen riding her mythical Snow Creature, Ice Fairies in fabulous illuminated costumes and a close-up magician.

All this to the accompaniment of live festive music on the Market Place stage, starting at 5pm. Continue reading

UPDATE to Govia Thameslink Railway December 2015 timetable consultation document 

Please note we have clarified the wording of questions 3 and 4 (Thameslink North services) to make clear that the proposals here only relate to overnight services. We trust this provides important clarification.

The peak, daytime and evening Thameslink North services in December 2015 are planned to continue with the same patterns north of London Blackfriars as will be operated from January 2015. The proposed changes relates to overnight services only.

Details of the proposed changes can be found on our websites, or

You will be able to respond to the consultation either by e mail on or by post

Govia Thameslink Railway launches consultation on December 2015 timetable

On Friday 7 November 2014, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) launched a 12 week consultation with passengers and stakeholders on the proposed off peak timetable which will be introduced in December 2015 to pave the way for the new expanded Thameslink network of 2018.

Details of the proposed changes can be found on and on

You will be able to respond to the consultation either by e mail on Friday 14 November 2014) or by post (details below).

If you require a hard copy of the document please contact:

GTR Dec 2015 Consultation

Views needed on performance of Thameslink service

Rail users can still suggest questions for St Albans City and District Council’s Local Services Scrutiny Committee to raise at its next meeting about Thameslink.

They can also attend the meeting on 4 December to hear the Committee question managers from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Network Rail on the service’s performance.

Earlier this month rail users were invited to send in their views and questions about service to the Committee. This will be the Committee’s first meeting about Thameslink since GTR took on responsibility for the franchise on Sunday 14 September.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Chair of the Local Services Scrutiny Committee, who is a daily commuter to London, said: “The Committee is grateful for the questions we have already received. Residents have until Friday 21 November to send any further questions for us to consider. They can also attend the public meeting to hear management from Govia and Network Rail questioned about Thameslink’s performance.”


One week left to comment on draft Strategic Local Plan

Message from the district council

The public are being asked for their views on a plan for what can be built and where in the District based on work done by independent consultants.

Responses to this consultation on St Albans City and District Council’s draft Strategic Local Plan need to be submitted by Sunday 23 November.

The consultation began on 10 October. Any feedback in writing will be used to help the Council inform its decision making process.

A copy of the consultation draft Strategic Local Plan is available on the Council’s web portal at:

A public information booklet setting out key issues and questions has also been produced and is on the online portal, along with supporting technical documents. Printed copies of the information booklet are available through libraries, and District, Town and Parish Council offices.

County Gets Greener after Lib Dem Pressure

Hertfordshire County Council will emit less CO2 in future after pressure from Lib Dem Councillors Paul Zukowskyj and Malcolm Cowan at the Performance, Resources and Transformation Cabinet Panel last week.

Paul and Malcolm had questioned HCC’s extremely low carbon reduction target a number of months ago, when the Conservatives proposed a CO2 reduction target of just 2% per year. Having achieved a 25% reduction over four years, Paul and Malcolm questioned why the new target was so low.

At last Wednesday’s panel, officers informed the panel that in 2013/14 CO2 had been reduced by 7%, so they were suggesting revising the five year target from 10% to 15%.

At Paul and Malcolm’s insistence, the panel agreed to add a new recommendation to Cabinet, that the target be kept under review and increased even further if progress continued.

Paul commented: “The new 15% target is really welcome, reducing CO2 not only helps limit climate change, it also keeps HCC’s energy bills down, saving public money from going up in smoke.

“The original target was simply too low. HCC should be showing the way. With the new target of 15% it really helps show what can be done with a little effort. We’ll be pushing HCC to raise this to 20%. A target should be ambitious, and with LED street-lighting due to come on stream shortly, 20% would be ambitious but achievable.”


Closure of various city centre roads on 28 November

Notice from the county council

TEMPORARY CLOSING OF various roads in St Albans during the ‘st albans christmas mini festival’,

NOTICE is given that the Hertfordshire County Council intend to make an Order under Section 16(A) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to prohibit all traffic from using the following lengths of roads:-

  1. that length of Market Place, St Albans from its junction with A5183 High Street north eastwards to its junction with Spencer Street, a distance of approximately 168 metres.
  1. that length of Spencer Street, St Albans from its junction with Cross Street south eastwards to its junction with Market Place, a distance of approximately 96 metres.
  1. that length of Lower Dagnall Street, St Albans from its junction with Cross Street south eastwards to its junction with Market Place, a distance of approximately 65 metres.

The lengths of roads will be closed between the hours of 2.00pm and 9.30pm on Friday 28 November 2014, when signs are in place.

The purpose of the Order is to ensure public safety and prevent accidents for the duration of the ‘St Albans Christmas Mini Festival’.

Major power outage at Telford Court – Red Cross called

Note from district council

We have a power outage at Telford Court which is also affecting the lifts which are not working.  UK Power and our Contractors are on site trying to restore electricity  but are having difficulty re-instating the supply.   A red cross vehicle is on route to Telford Court to provide teas and coffees and we have now opened a reception centre at the Alban Arena .We have several staff on site liasing with residents on the ground  to assess the ongoing situation and what is needed and we will be having a telephone conference here at 2pm to discuss further actions.