Food hygiene advice

Note from the district council

Join the Chicken Challenge and halve campylobacter food poisoning

St Albans City and District Council is calling on people to follow simple hygiene rules when handling and cooking chicken to help halve campylobacter food poisoning.

It is backing a campaign by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to get people to take up the Chicken Challenge during Food Safety Week, 18-25 May.

The FSA wants to cut the number of campylobacter food poisoning cases in half by the end of 2015 by getting people to commit to hygiene standards.

A recent FSA poll found that 73% of people eat chicken every week in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The same poll revealed that almost three quarters (72%) of 16-24 year olds and half of those aged over 25 (52%) agreed that chicken was their favourite meat. Continue reading

Rail disruption 19 June to 22 June

Note from Thameslink

Thameslink (Govia Thameslink Railway – GTR) rail replacement buses between St Albans City station and St Pancras from 23:00 Friday 19 June – 06:30 on Monday 22 June 2015

Over the above weekend Network Rail will be carrying out major engineering work on the Midland Mainline. As a result no trains will run between St Albans City and St Pancras International from late Friday evening 19 June until early on Monday 22 June.

Trains will run from St Pancras International for Gatwick and Brighton.

During this period Thameslink will run a maximum of four trains an hour between Bedford and St Albans City and vice versa. Trains from Bedford will arrive on platform 3 and will depart for Bedford from platform 4, which adjoins the Ridgmont Road car park. Trains will shunt (out of passenger service) between the Up Fast and the Down Fast lines at Radlett Junction and will not serve Radlett station.

Thameslink (GTR) plan to run a mix of ‘fast’ buses travelling non-stop from St Albans City to St Pancras International and ‘all stations’ services. Typically there will be 4 ‘fast’ buses and 2 ‘all stations’ buses leaving St Albans City station every 15 minutes, i.e. 24 buses an hour departing and 24 buses an hour arriving.


New Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet at Herts CC

At yesterday’s Annual Meeting of Hertfordshire County Council (May 19), the Liberal De​mocrats, who form the official opposition on H​ertfordshire County Council,​ revealed a new Shadow Cabinet.

The new Shadow Cabinet is as follows:

Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Central Watford and Oxhey) – Leader of the Opposition, Hertfordshire County Council

Malcolm Cowan (Handside and Peartree) – Deputy Leader of the opposition, Hertfordshire County Council

Nick Hollinghurst (Tring and the Villages) – Environment, Planning, W​aste and Community Safety

Paul Zukowskyj (Hatfield South) – Resources, Performance and Localism

Mark Watkin (Nascot Park) – Education, Skills and Children

Ron Tindall (Hemel Hempstead St Pauls)- Adult Care and Health


The Opposition leads for the Councils overview and scrutiny functions are Malcolm Cowan for Overview and Scrutiny and Chris White (St Albans Central) for Health.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst said: “At a time when Hertfordshire Conservatives are making ideo​logical cuts to vital services such as bus routes it is vital that we have a strong opposition in place to hold their actions up to scrutiny.​

“I am delighted to have such an excellent team, full of ideas and keen to serve the best interests of Hertfordshire residents.

“It is our duty to make sure that vital services such as w​aste d​isposal, e​ducation, s​ocial c​are and looking after vulnerable children all happen to an excellent standard, but while making the most of every penny of taxpayers’ money. The Liberal D​emocrat team will hold the Conservatives to account for every shortsighted decision and ill-advised service cut.​”


Hertfordshire Conservatives drive a coach and horses through Public Transport

At Friday’s Highways and Wast Management Cabinet Panel the ruling Conservative Group decided to press on with harsh, politically motivated cuts to bus funding.

These cuts will mean that many bus services will stop at 7pm and not run at weekends. Tens of thousands of local people have petitioned the Council in two rounds of protests to try and save essential transport links.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Leader of the opposition and Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Central Watford and Oxhey) spoke vigorously at the meeting against these cuts, and after the meeting commented: “This drives a coach and horses through public transport in the county.  Those who cannot drive, or cannot afford to drive are now consigned to a 7.30pm curfew in many parts of the County.

“Thousands of people from across the County have petitioned HCC on two occasions now to stop these cuts. The savings have already been made elsewhere – this is part of the Tory austerity plan, rather than there being a genuine need to save money.  I do fear for the future for the elderly and those unable to afford a private vehicle who rely on public transport.  This it the Tories at their worst, hitting the most vulnerable in society, and given the massive under spend it is totally unnecessary.

“I do question the timing of this – did the Conservatives delay this until after the General Election to help win votes?”

Local election results in St Albans Central Division

Congratulations to Sam Rowlands for winning Clarence and to Matt Jones for a splendid result in St Peter’s where the Greens crashed to fourth place.


Labour 683
Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 28
Green 399
Sam Rowlands, Liberal Democrat  1,606
Conservative 1,375

St Peter’s

Conservative 1,634
UKIP 191
Matt Jones, Liberal Democrat 1,250
Green 741
Labour 778

Lib Dems launch local manifesto

For text click here: Manifesto 2015

The Liberal Democrats in St Albans have today launched their manifesto for the District Council elections in St Albans which take place at the same time as the General Election on 7 May.

The manifesto, entitled ‘Time for a New Approach’, contains details of the Party’s programme for the local council including:

  • a commitment to local travel plans, increased cycle facilities and the transition streets movement
  • a reversal of some of the key car parking charge increases imposed by the Conservatives
  • a commitment to make the district business friendly
  • a plan to give local people a much greater say over local facilities such as play areas
  • an increase in affordable homes while protecting the green belt.

Commenting today, group leader Chris White said: ‘It is important for the district to focus back on the core issues.

‘The Conservatives have lost interest in the city centre as a key part of the economy, being content to drive shoppers away from St Peter’s Street to out of town shopping centres. Labour likewise are actively encouraging people to desert the high street. We are the only Party locally which is standing up for those who still would prefer to come to central St Albans.

‘But the key issue is the environment. We need to green the entire district – and this means providing better cycle facilities as well supporting the transition streets movement as a way of reducing our collective carbon footprint.’

Chris added: ‘It’s also important that we have an administration which stands up for the area. The local Conservatives have just rolled over in front of their masters at county hall, taking no interest in the Conservative decisions to cut household waste sites, cut bus services and cut the quality of pavement and highway maintenance.

‘We will offer a much more robust response to the constant attack on the health and appearance of the district.’

Garden Fields JMI to be expanded

Notice from the county council

Hertfordshire County Council has given the green light for plans to extend and refurbish a primary school in St Albans.

Garden Fields JMI School will expand from two forms of entry to three forms of entry.

Permission was granted by the council’s development control committee to build three new classrooms, a break-out space, toilets and additional staff parking.

Catherine Street to be closed on Sunday 3 May

Temporary Closing of A4147 Catherine Street, St Albans

NOTICE is given that the Hertfordshire County Council intend to make an Order under Section 14[1] of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to prohibit all traffic from using that length of A4147 Catherine Street, St Albans from its junction with Adelaide Street south eastwards to its junction with Drovers Way, a distance of approximately 90 metres, except for access.

The purpose of the Order is to enable gas maintenance works to take place.

The section of road will be closed between the hours of 8.00am and 6.00pm on Sunday 3 May 2015, when signs are in place. An alternative signed route will be provided for traffic whilst the road closure is in place.

Lib Dems welcome news that Buongiorno Italia has been reprieved 

Lib Dems Chris White and Sandy Walkington have this morning expressed jubilation that the application to turn part of Buongiorno Italia into a residential unit has been turned down.

Chris, who is county councillor for the area, and who called the matter into committee, said: ‘I am glad that common sense prevailed. We cannot afford to lose facilities of this quality.’

Sandy added: ‘Hundreds of people were galvanised to support this brilliant shop. It shows that people power can work, I am glad so relieved that the majority of councillors on the Committee listened to their concerns.’

Ringway slammed in county council meeting

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that failing county council contractor Ringway get a grip on the number of non-working street lights within six weeks – or be sacked.

Lib Dem Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who proposed the motion critical of the county’s street lighting performance, said: ‘The levels of failure are now so high that members are spending more and more time dealing with lighting problems, having to apologise on behalf of the county council. It should not be like this.

‘Nor should we have to propose a full council motion to get action.

‘If Ringway have not fixed the problem within six weeks, the county council should be looking for a new provider.’

St Albans Lib Dem councillor Chris White was one of a number of councillors who highlighted key problems in his division: ‘A series of lights in Drover’s Way, central St Albans, have been out since December 2013 and I have just been given excuses or false reports.’

Sandy Walkington added: ‘There are numerous lights out on King Harry Lane in St Albans – one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the county. The contract says that Ringway has to keep 98% of lights working – but this is a county average, allowing Ringway to get away with poor performance.’

The motion was agreed unanimously.