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Is this the right time to be leaderless?

It is worrying to see that the independent Chair of the Safeguarding Children Board in Hertfordshire has resigned. This is a key post and she had been in office for only a short time. Hertfordshire is very much in the public gaze at the moment because there are some serious doubts about its capacity to protect childen at risk. The resignation of the chair cannot help things. I do hope that a new chair, with the relevant skills and time, can be found to ensure that there are no tragic incidents in Hertfordshire.

If anyone has any concerns about how the county council handles child protection they should contact me – full anonymity is assured.

Queuing problem on Verulam Road

Residents have been contacting us about this for some time. The problem is with the phasing of the lights on the pedestrian crossing on the High Street. For a long time Herts Highways denied this but have now agreed that there is a problem and that it is fixable. I am told that this change is imminent. We’ll see.

BROKEN PROMISES: Herts Highways responds

Updates are shown in italics


Lemsford Road: resurfacing was repeatedly promised and I even checked the text of a letter I sent to local residents confirming that it would be done two years ago. Last year I was given further reassurances but am now told that it is on hold awaiting the end of building works.

There is now a tentative date of February next year but they have added in new reasons why they won’t be willing or able to do it: HCC are now publishing an order to close this road temporarily for resurfacing.


I was assured that there would be additional markings on Holywell Hill to warn motorists of the pelican crossing – something which is not so obvious among all the usual street clutter. I have been told that ‘safety officers have decided’ that they are not needed.

Herts Highways says: ‘there were reports of red light jumping at a pedestrian crossing in Holywell Hill and some antiskid was provided at the approaches to the crossing point to make the feature more visible and help people feel more secure. It was agreed that the location be monitored and if deemed necessary officers would add additional signage and road markings to supplement the antiskid. This location is in a conservation area near the Cathedral and therefore officers would seek to avoid adding any unnecessary clutter to the street scene. Officers are continuing to monitor this situation.’


Years ago I was promised that the various faded and illegible signs in Cecil Road would be replaced by new ones. Year after year this simple task is not done or even started.

Herts Highways says: ‘The signs have been ordered and arrangements are being made for their installation as soon as possible. Officers anticipate the signing installation works being carried out as soon as possible this financial year.’


I was given cast iron assurances that the failure to ensure that the pedestrian lights on the High Street were in sync with the Peahen lights would be rectified. That was more than two years ago.

Herts Highways says: ‘The High Street Pelican was upgraded to include “Go bits”. This means that the lights can change when no traffic is seen or that traffic is queuing, which is shown to be helpful and officers are monitoring the current operation.’

My comment: I have seen no appreciable difference. Please let me know if you can see any improvement.


I was told that the pavements in St John’s Court would be replaced. Nothing happened until over a year after I had passed this promise on to residents. The situation today is that still only a tiny fraction has been done.

Herts Highways says: ‘The footpaths have deteriorated and officers are arranging to undertake locally funded maintenance works in phases. Phase 1 is complete now and officers now intend to carry out a second Phase 2 of local maintenance works as soon as possible next financial year.’


After the failure of contractors to patch Worley Road to an adequate standard, residents were promised that the road would be resurfaced adequately this year. There are no signs of any intention to honour this promise.

Herts Highways says: ‘Surface treatment works are planned to be carried as soon as possible next financial year under the local Super CAT2 maintenance programme, to seal the previous patching works carried out.’

Note from me: ‘Super Cat 2’ is large patching – supposedly a good quality surface short of a complete resurfacing exercise.


There have been frequent requests for yellow lines at the corner of Churchill and Jennings Road. This is to prevent pavement parking and is a safety measure to protect young people. I was frequently assured that this was in hand and would be in the next batch of traffic orders. The officers now say they know nothing about it. Their boss now admits that it has ‘fallen off the radar’.

Highways officials are now processing this after my protests. A letter is being sent to residents.