2018 In Focus


Newly promoted Harps have had a brilliant start to the season with 42 points at halfway after 20 games in the Spartan South Midlands League premier division but faced a tough holiday programme also losing against 2nd placed Welwyn.

Manager Danny Plumb said:"I am happy with the points total when the aim was to secure our place in the top division this year. Now we can look at a realistic target of a top eight place.

"We have reached the final of the Premier Division Cup against big rivals Welwyn and this is a great achievement which we want to go on and win.

"Going forward the major challenge is consistent team selection because the team changes from week to week although not helped by injuries.

"The players general availability needs to improve but I am happy and know there is more to come."

On Saturday Berkhamsted took the lead after 13 minutes when Adam Mead curled a free kick into the top corner for 1-0 and went two up a minute later when Ashton Campbell side footed a rebound into the net.

Harps made it three goals in three minutes moments later when Harry Hunt hit the post with a free kick and captain Mike Davies hurled himself to score with a diving header from the rebound.

Mead got his second on 48 minutes slotting home another rebound from a great Connor  Sansom save.

And Berko's No 10 got his hat trick on 70 minutes when he floated a free kick into the top corner for 4-1 final score.

Plumb said:" I am disappointed how we started both halves. I thought we were competitive for large parts of the game but we can't keep conceding early goals and going behind against quality teams."

On Tuesday (jan 9) the Harps are again away to Hoddesdon Town in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup and travel to Cockfosters on Saturday.

Harpenden finally have two home league games in Rothamsted Park against Holmer Green on Tuesday night (jan 16) and close rivals Biggleswade FC, currently seventh, on Saturday, January 20th at 3pm.

Chairman Roman Motyczak said:"We have had a string of highly competitive away matches so I hope we can have a good crowd for the home matches especially the afternoon game on Saturday against Biggleswade FC."

Harpenden Town were well beaten by top of the league Berkhamsted 4-1 away from home on Saturday JAN 6 but still sit third in their league.


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Bim Afolami MP held a debate in Westminster Hall on Luton Airport expansion, in response to the airport’s announcement last month that it plans to more than double its passenger numbers to 38 million per annum.

Mr Afolami explained to the Minister and others present that the number of passengers per year has increased by 70% over the last seven years, and that noise complaints have increase 22-fold over the last two years alone. Night flights have increased by 25% in the last two years, and traffic through neighbouring villages is a worsening problem. He described how Luton is an unsuitable and unsustainable airport for expansion of such magnitude.


Mr Afolami highlighted the conflict of interest that exists as the airport is owned by London Luton Airport Ltd on behalf of Luton Borough Council, which is currently the authority responsible for setting passenger limits.


Mr Afolami said in his speech: “Luton Borough Council’s ownership of Luton airport, which generated a net profit of roughly £47 million in the last financial year, coupled with the huge increase in flight noise for many thousands of my constituents and across Hertfordshire, as I have already demonstrated, as well as with the huge increase in passenger numbers, leaves many of my constituents feeling that Luton Borough Council has one real interest: growing passenger numbers and therefore revenue for its airport. That interest has been pursued without any real consideration for the significant negative impacts on the people of Hertfordshire that I have outlined here today. As one of my constituents put it to me, Bedfordshire gets the gain, and Hertfordshire gets the pain.”

Anne Main MP (below) reiterated many of the same points on behalf of her St Albans constituents but added that the average noise levels used to record  flights over homes masked the real problem as at peak times the decibel levels were very high. Additionally LBC had failed to address many other issues raised by residents.

Paul Maynard MP(above), a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport responded with a box ticking exercise justifying the current situation and the policies in force. He suggested that local groups and resident should consult with LBC on future actions AND then confirmed on behalf of the Government that the proposed expansion will be a decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate with reference back to the Secretary of State, and therefore that it will not fall to Luton Borough Council to approve the decision.

After the debate, Mr Afolami said: “I am very pleased to have had such a considered and helpful response from the Government on this important issue. I have written to the Minister to ask for clarity on exactly how matters will proceed and will continue to monitor the issue closely.”


Click on this link:  : http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/e08f0ef8-7a1e-4f0f-8eb7-03162020d676?in=11:00:03