Active News in Harpenden


Jan 12. 3G Pitch Opening event at Katherine Warington School with Luton’s Mick Harford and Annie Brewster + hundreds of school pupils.

On Friday 12th January 2024, the Katherine Warington School Community Pitch, our new artificial pitch, was officially opened by some special guests: Mick Harford, the former LTFC player, manager and ex England international, Annie Brewster, who has worked at parish, district, and county council level for over 15 years and Dr Tom Gilham, a local GP partner.

A collaboration between Katherine Warington School, Wheathampsted Wanderers, the Football Foundation, and Watford FC Community, the new pitch will be enjoyed not only by KWS students but by the wider community for multiple sports, all year round.

Our guests spoke about how fortunate the students and local residents are to have such a fantastic facility on their doorstep.  Mick Harford commented that “sport changes lives for the better” and urged students to make the most of the pitch, which he said “is going to be an incredible success”. Mick also said, “Sport and exercise also brings people together especially when it’s introduced in your formative years, it builds relationships which last a lifetime”

Annie Brewster commented that, “She was delighted the school, plus its wider community, now had access to this fantastic facility having originally campaigned for the school to have a 3G when it was built”. Annie looks forward to working with the school in her new role as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire later in the year.

After the official cutting of the ribbon, some selected students were invited to take part in a penalty shootout with Mick Hartford. Benjamin Mupita, a KWS student said, “It was amazing to be playing with Mick Harford. It was lots of fun and I really enjoyed myself.” Isobel James, a KWS student said, “I enjoyed using the new astro to play football with Mick Harford very much as it gave me an opportunity to use this wonderful facility and understand how it would be used in the future.”

The school was also delighted to be able to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK as part of the event and currently has a Just Giving page running   ( At the ceremony, a cheque for £1,000 was presented following a donation from Academia Technology Group.


Left to Right -

Jasleen Nagi,

Annie Brewster,

Harry Hare,

Dean Inns,

David Martin,

Mick Harford,

Dr Tom Gillham,

Jenny Howarth and

Tony Smith.

Left to Right -

Annie Brewster,

Dr Tom Gillham,

Joe Kelly,

Mark McCormack,

Mick Harford,

David Martin and

Dean Inns.

Planning permission secured for new Skatepark in Harpenden

Harpenden Town Council, together with local charity Playpark Action Rothamsted Committee (PARC), is celebrating another step towards Rothamsted Park’s Skatepark redevelopment with the news that planning permission has been granted.

The redevelopment is badly needed as the current skatepark is at the end of its life. Designs accommodating the need for an inviting and inclusive space, with good wheelchair access, features for all abilities and ages, and suitability for different users including skateboards, BMX bikes, WCMX (adapted wheelchairs), scooters and roller skates, were agreed earlier this year.

With designs approved and planning permission agreed, PARC continue to fundraise to ensure the vision becomes a reality. The overall budget for the new Skatepark is £250,000, with Harpenden Town Council committing £100K, and the remainder relying on local fundraising. PARC is making progress with fundraising but needs more help from local people and businesses.

Cllr Fiona Gaskell, Mayor of Harpenden, said,

“News that planning permission has now been secured for the new skatepark is extremely exciting. This is an important redevelopment benefiting a wide-ranging demographic, particularly Harpenden’s young people and their families. The Town Council is delighted to be working in partnership with PARC and we thank them for their continued hard work and dedication.”

PARC, originally set up in 2018 by local parents and grandparents, formed a partnership with the Town Council and successfully raised funds to redevelop Rothamsted Park’s playpark, and is following a similar model for this project. PARC representative Rod Cooley said,

“With planning permission now in place, the only barrier to building the Rothamsted Skatepark is the funding.  PARC has been working hard to obtain funds but we still have a substantial amount to raise to reach our target.  To help us do this, residents can donate £100 and have their name or a message inscribed on a paver that will be laid on the path from the Leisure Centre to the Skatepark.  Just 200 pavers are available! Furthermore, PARC is appealing to local businesses to sponsor the skatepark with donations of any amount gratefully received.  A £2,500 donation will secure a place on the sponsor board to be located by the skatepark illustrating business' support of this great community project. Details about these and any donation can be found on our webpage

Feb 28. Sustainability and Climate Crisis Strategy for St Albans District and Harpenden is launched.

A new sustainability and climate crisis strategy for St Albans District and Harpenden with the aim of achieving net zero by 2030 has been launched.

The strategy covers the years from now until 2027 and sets out measures to cut harmful emissions and improve the local environment.

St Albans City and District Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and produced a strategy with more than 100 actions for 2020 to 2023.

Last year, Councillors also declared a sustainability and biodiversity emergency, recognising the urgent need to protect and enhance nature.

Now the Planning Policy and Climate Committee has approved an updated strategy to progress all this vital work.

The strategy includes further initiatives to improve the sustainability of the Council’s own operations and services with its emissions having been cut by 52% since 2009.

It also sets out commitments and proposals to:

*Boost the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings around the District.

*Promote active and sustainable transport to improve air quality.

*Reduce waste, encourage recycling and campaign for sustainable food production.

*Enhance the natural environment and allow biodiversity to flourish.

Conserve precious water resources and ease flooding risks.


Councillor Raj Visram, Lead for Climate, said: “Since declaring a climate emergency, we have made great strides forward and taken many positive actions.

“For example, we have planted many thousands of trees and spent more than £20 million on improving the energy efficiency of our social housing properties with more work scheduled.

“Our parking services team now has an all-electric vehicle fleet and 18 more electric vehicle charging points have been installed around the District.

“We have also helped to set up the St Albans Home Energy Support Service which provides free advice to households on making their homes more energy efficient and how to obtain funding.

“However, we are not complacent and this updated strategy will further boost our efforts to tackle the climate emergency and create a carbon neutral District.

“It highlights the areas where we will be making major efforts in the years ahead to promote sustainability and I am sure we will have the support of our residents and businesses as we continue with this priority project.

“I would urge all those who are passionate about their local environment and the need to make improvements to take the time to read this strategy. We need everyone to buy into what we are doing.”

Among the new measures the strategy commits the Council to is a campaign to increase opportunities for the community to become involved in its climate work.

St Albans Greener Together will be launched soon with the aim of helping residents, schools, community groups and businesses find solutions to environmental issues.

APRIL 25. Rothamsted Skatepark Funding appeal

The PARC team has already raised over £41,000 towards the new Rothamsted Skatepark. They would like to thank everyone who has donated so far, but still need more help from local people and businesses to hit the fundraising target of £150,000. The shortfall can be reduced by an additional £42,000 with another 220 inscribed bricks and eight more companies on the sponsor board to bring in the additional £42,000.

A single inscribed brick can be obtained for £100.00 donation, which can be gift aided, OR a section of the Sponsor board for a company logo is £2,500

Harpenden Town Council have set aside £100,000 towards the £250,000 skatepark budget. PARC and Harpenden Town Council have worked closely together on the project.

Skateboarding is gaining popularity and with its inclusion in the Paris Olympics it will generate even more interest, particularly for the younger generation.

The aim of the Rothamsted skatepark project is to create an inclusive, welcoming, wheel chair accessible, and enjoyable place for all members of the community and families. The new skatepark will be suitable for beginners and provide challenges for those who are more experienced. We hope that this will encourage more people, across all ages, to take up skateboarding and other wheeled activities (scooters, roller skates, BMX bikes, and WCMX) and then develop their skill level. It will be a community asset.

Planning permission has been obtained for the new skatepark but it can only be built if sufficient funds have been raised.

Please can you help?

Contact Rod Cooley on email address:

OR visit to give any amount,

no matter how small. In addition,

please scan the QR code to see a

video about the new skatepark.

Rod Cooley, Co-Chair of PARC.


April. Great News! - Planning Consent for New Harpenden Care Home in Grove Rd.


Locally based RDT Architects are delighted to share that planning consent has been granted for a new 75-bed care home in Harpenden for Oakland Care.


Having previously received planning permission for 39 apartments on this site for Jarvis Homes, Oakland Care appointed RDT Architects to submit a care home design to serve the local community.


This modern facility, situated in Grove Road, Southdown, represents an innovative approach to care home design, prioritising the needs of residents, staff and visitors.  The RDT team have worked closely with our partners including Harpenden based project manager, Aedifice Partnership, to ensure functionality, sustainability and seamless integration into the urban context.


With 75 residential bedrooms and associated amenity spaces, both indoors and outdoors, the new care home will be a positive addition to the community, revitalising this former vehicle repair centre site and enriching the neighbourhood and we look forward to bringing our vision to life during the construction phase.


New Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire - Jonathan Ash-Edwards

New Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire Jonathan Ash-Edwards has been sworn in for his four-year term in office.

The news was announced at Mr Ash-Edwards started his first official day in the role at his office based at Harpenden Police Station on Thursday (May 9).

The Declaration of Acceptance of Office is an important symbol of the Commissioner's open and transparent approach and the aim of being truly accountable to the public.

Mr Ash-Edwards (above right) said: “I am honoured to have been elected to serve as Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for the next four years and greatly looking forward to the work ahead.

“Our county already has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and I am determined to build on that foundation, while accepting there is more that can be done.

“It is important that I work with everybody to reduce crime and harm across the county. The public need to know they can influence what happens in their neighbourhoods and I invite them to tell me what they want from their policing service.

“Hertfordshire has more police officers than ever before and I know that people want to see that translating into visible and responsive local police to make our communities even safer. My priority now is to get to work on delivering on the promises I have made and publishing a new Police and Crime Plan which will deliver results.”

The wording of the oath is set in law by the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2012.

Through the Declaration of Acceptance of Office Mr Ash-Edwards promises to serve all the people of Hertfordshire with integrity and diligence to cut crime and protect the public. He also pledges to give a voice to the public, especially victims of crime, and work with other services to ensure the safety of the community and effective criminal justice, while at all times not interfering with the operational independence of police officers.

The PCC is responsible for the way policing is delivered in the county. They decide how funding related to policing and crime reduction is allocated and set a Police and Crime Plan which sets the strategic direction and objectives of the force. They also bring together community safety and criminal justice partners to ensure local priorities are joined up.

Sat April 27. Presenting the facts on Harpenden’s Concourse by PARC. A summary of residents thoughts:

  1. 1Every person, adult or child, who expressed an opinion was very supportive of the skatepark 

  2. 2Not one person objected to the skatepark or said anything bad about it.

  3. 3Some people expressed gratitude to the PARC team for raising funds and work done on the skatepark.

  4. 4Some people thought that their children were too young at present to enjoy the skatepark, although we explained that it is for all age groups.

  5. 5Some people hoped that it could be used by BMX bikes - we explained that it could be.

  6. 6People were interested that they could see a video about the skatepark by scanning the QR code on the leaflet.

WHAT do you think?

Scroll down for more background

June. Please be aware of a car park scam involving car parks using the PayByPhone Service.

It arises when people search for the PayByPhone app or website. The searches reveal the fraudulent apps/websites first, before the genuine ones, misleading people to using the fraudulent apps or websites.


♂️ Identifying the Genuine PayByPhone Service

Look for the authentic logo: Recognise the authentic PayByPhone logo and beware of sites using similar names. PayByPhone is always written as one word with nine green squares to the left of the name:

Be aware of terminology: The term 'Pay-by-Phone' can be a catch-all phrase referring to phone payments in general and may not necessarily be associated with PayByPhone.

No surprise subscriptions: PayByPhone does not offer subscription services or charge without authorisation.

Key website features: The app and websites will always include the following: Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy

Accessing PayByPhone Safely

Download the App: Ensure you're getting the genuine app by downloading directly from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Visit their website: Access service through official sites:

Phone payments: Use the automated service via the number displayed on parking meters.


Message Sent By

Daniel McManus

(Hertfordshire Constabulary, Community Safety, Hertfordshire)