News Round Up  2023/2022


Harpenden population 32,500+

Harpenden’s 3 GP Surgeries registered patients = 43,274.

What’s going on??

A chance visit to the NHS Choices web site on May 6 revealed the following registered patient numbers:

Village Surgery = 15,983

The Elms = 14,749

Davenport House = 12,542

SO if the numbers are accurate where do all these people live? (Redbourn and Wheathampsted have their own surgeries.

OR are the numbers duplicated OR are they simply out of date?

WELL, on average GP Surgeries are funded at £136 per patient so the numbers generate high income.

THE average number of patient visits per year is 7 giving a cost per visit of £19.42.

YES it’s obvious that very young patients and elderly patients have more than the average number of visits.

These figures do not cover the prescription costs.

AND YES we know averages disguise the actual numbers BUT something is amiss?

WITH more and more homes bing built in Harpenden how will GP Surgeries cope with this  influx?

More to come on this story.

    Scroll down to read all the exciting editorials below

Feb. 2022.

New Garden Town planned close to Harpenden

A massive project described in detail in ‘A Spatial Vision’

Hemel Garden Communities (HGC) is an ambitious development programme that will transform Hemel Hempstead and create attractive and sustainable new neighbourhoods and communities to the north and east of Hemel Hempstead, through the delivery of more than 11,000 new homes ( That will be 30,000 + people) and 10,000 new jobs by 2050. Many of these jobs will be in Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter, a new business park with a range of facilities including flexible office and industrial spaces, and a variety of amenities to serve the local community.

The whole project will be part of a Dacorum Borough Council scheme on land within their boundary. providing a variety of benefits to Hemel Hempstead.

These include new high-quality homes, of which 40 per cent will be affordable. New neighbourhoods will be set around vibrant local centres, green spaces and play areas, all easily accessed on foot. Sustainable travel such as walking, cycling and public transport will be given priority as we target a greener, healthier environment, which includes open spaces as well as new country and district parks.

A priority for Hemel Garden Communities is to accelerate a shift to public and active transport and increase the share of journeys taken by cycling and walking, and providing high quality infrastructure to support the creation of new homes and jobs.

HGC partners – Dacorum Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership - are working with The Crown Estate and other landowners to deliver the HGC programme.

Phillipa Zieba (right) has been appointed to the role

of Programme Director.  Phillipa brings with her a

wealth of experience, from her previous role as

Head of Planning at Hammerson, with a strong

track record of delivering masterplans and a range

of high profile mixed-use projects. Cllr Chris White,

Chair of the HGC Delivery Board (also Council

leader of SADC)

said: “I am delighted that we have recruited someone of Phillipa’s calibre to the role of programme director and welcome her to the team.

ONE KEY CHALLENGE (of which there are many)

Although Hemel’s neighbourhoods will be used as model for growing and regenerating the town, certain aspects of them will need to be significantly modified to meet twenty-first century challenges. The challenges to be met are tackling car dependency, responding to large portions of the housing stock aging at the same time, and diversifying local centres. Development of new neighbourhoods will also need to ensure that places and communities are integrated with each other and with established neighbourhoods.

Read ‘A Spatial Vision’ and you will be amazed at the detailed progamme already devised. The Spatial Vision is a high-level document that provides a series of aspirations for the future of HGC.

  Hemel Garden Communities Spatial Vision (PDF 11MB).


How will this affect Harpenden?

How will this affect SADC’s Local Plan?

Follow Harpendia for answers

Could you change lives locally?

Rennie Grove is recruiting to its Supporting Hands scheme, a volunteer-led service providing companionship, respite and practical help for patients and families in their own homes.


Supporting Hands volunteers are trained and supported by the charity to offer between two and four hours’ support each week. Rennie Grove matches each volunteer to a family and arranges a block of six visits. Volunteers might help with anything from light housework to dog walking, collecting prescriptions or simply having a chat or a game of cards with a patient while their carer pops to the shops or catches up on sleep.

Alison Raynor, Supporting Hands Coordinator, explains: “You don’t need any prior experience; you just need to be a good listener with the time and motivation to make a difference.”

Supporting Hands complements the charity’s mission to help patients live well and be cared for where they choose. “Families can be exhausted, on the verge of breakdown and desperate for respite support,” says Alison. “Your two hours a week could change that.”

Interested? Rennie Grove runs regular training sessions for new Supporting Hands volunteers. Call Alison on 01442 507348 to find out more about joining the team. 

Harpenden Child Contact Centre

A safe place for children to meet their non-resident parent.

Sadly when relationships break down

sometimes the children get caught up in

the middle and contact between the child

and their non-resident parent stops or

reduces. Our aim is to provide a safe

and friendly environment where the

children can see their parents and

hopefully we can help to rebuild trust

between the parents.  

Can you help children from separated families to keep in touch with both parents?

HCCC  Trustees are looking for a new Co-ordinator/Team Leader to provide good leadership to our teams of volunteers and an effective service for families.

This is an immensely rewarding role, and if you are interested and would like to discuss it further, please contact our Coordinator Ken Brennan on 07913 761167

Based at All Saints’ Church and Hall at the

bottom of Station Rd.

Open on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays each month

from !.00pm - 4.00pm

Learn more:

March 2022.  An important subject presented in Harpenden on March 12th.

‘The Belt and Road Initiative and its impact on the Human Rights in Xinjiang, China.’

May 2022. Writing Competition for Harpenden senior schools is a huge success.

You can read all the stories via The Harpenden Society web


Your local Talking Newspaper (‘SADTN’) helps to keep visually impaired residents and others in touch with what is happening in Harpenden, St Albans and the surrounding communities.  

We send our weekly audio programme to more than 90 local listeners, who have come to us through recommendations from current listeners, word-of-mouth or reference by care homes, GP practices, opticians, clinics, seniors’ clubs etc.

Our programmes include news stories and letters from the Herts Advertiser, St Albans & Harpenden Review and local newsletters (including Harpendia), articles from Hertfordshire Life Magazine, interviews with local ‘celebrities’, previews of local events, audiobook discussions, exercise sessions devised for seniors, and more.  

They are delivered & returned free to listeners by Royal Mail ‘Articles for the Blind’ on a memory stick which they listen to through an easy-to-use player (provided by SADTN on free loan) or their own computer/tablet.  Volunteers record the news programmes and articles; others handle the production, copying and distribution. 

Our programmes can also be enjoyed on the ‘Listen Online’ page of our website and on the free app “Talking Newspaper” in the East of England section.

As a registered charity active since 1974 and run entirely by volunteers, SADTN is funded through gifts, donations, street collections and bequests.  Our website explains how new listeners can join and how new volunteers can offer to help. 

In 2019, SADTN was honoured to be presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. (The QAVS is the MBE for a voluntary group.) In the same year, we received the Mayor of St Albans & District’s Special Recognition Award for “outstanding organisations that make a positive contribution to the local community” and, in 2021, the Lord Lieutenant’s ‘Heroes of Hertfordshire Award’ for having continued our weekly service without a break throughout the pandemic.



As featured at

Classics on the Common.

Hertfordshire Constabulary

Prevention First.

Preventing your car

from theft.

Phone hotline launched to help residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes and cut bills.

A new service to help St Albans District residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce bills has been launched.  FREE TO CALL

0800 107 0044

St Albans City and District Council has joined forces with the National Energy Foundation to provide the scheme.

St Albans Home Energy Support Service provides households with information, advice and possible financial support.

They can call a free helpline that puts them in touch with experts from the Foundation’s Better Housing, Better Health (BHBH) team.

BHBH offers free, confidential and tailored solutions to issues such as how to save energy at home.

They also advise on whether callers are eligible for funding to make energy efficiency improvements to their home.

The service is available to all households, regardless of income, by calling 0800 107 0044 on weekdays from 9am to 5pm, by emailing or by going online at

Councillor Chris White, the Council’s Leader, said: “The launch of this free helpline service fits in with our main priorities.

“It helps people cope with the cost of living crisis by advising them on how to cut their energy bills and take advantage of available funding.

“It also offers people practical advice and support on how they can reduce their carbon emissions and become more sustainable through taking measures like installing insulation or more efficient heating systems.

“I hope residents make use of the new service which has proven to be successful in other parts of the country.”

Ali Vickers, Programme Manager for the National Energy Foundation said “We’re thrilled to be working with St Albans to help more residents with their home energy.

“During the current energy crisis, more households will struggle than ever before and with a risk to many peoples’ financial and personal wellbeing, we will be doing everything we can to ensure residents stay warm this winter.”

Dec 6. King Charles  visits Luton Airport meeting staff and apprentices who work on the DART, before taking the short 4-minute ride to the airport.

The DART is an energy-efficient, electric cable car that will transport train arrivals at Luton Parkway to the airport, reducing carbon emissions by 70%.

This was part of a visit to Luton Town

Spring Term 2023

January sees the start

of Harpenden Learning

for Leisure’s spring courses.


These daytime classes are open to all

and offer the opportunity to learn

something new in a friendly, informal

environment.  No qualifications are

required to attend; there is no

homework and no exams at the end.  Although each course is run by a qualified, professional lecturer, the aim is to learn just for fun.

The courses are run from the Harpenden Trust Centre in Southdown and the Function Room of the Plough and Harrow pub opposite.  Free parking is available close by at the Co-Op supermarket. 

So if you fancy doing something to keep your brain active in the New Year, and meet like-minded people, why not see what courses we have to offer this spring at: .

New Skatepark in Rothamsted Park taking shape thanks to Harpenden Town Council who have recruited Betongpark Ltd for the design and build.

Harpenden Town Council and local charity Playground Action Rothamsted Committee (PARC) have announced the successful bid by Betongpark Ltd, one of Europe’s industry leaders, following public consultation and a recent tender process for design and build of the Skateboard Park. The new Skateboard Park will have a similar footprint to the existing site but, with modernisation and increased accessibility, it promises to be an outstanding free local facility available to all regardless of age or ability.

The Mayor of Harpenden, Cllr Lisa Scriven, commented “We are impressed by Betongpark’s extensive experience in this field and delighted to update residents on these exciting plans. The redevelopment of the Skatepark as a fantastic community asset is a key priority within the Rothamsted Park Management Plan and a wonderful feature in one of our most treasured green spaces.”

The Skatepark will cost in the region of £250,000; the Town Council has committed £100K to the project and the remainder will be raised by PARC through fundraising initiatives. Completion of the project is expected in 2024, but this is dependent on reaching funding targets.

PARC chair Hugh Roberts commented “We are delighted to again be working towards a much needed facility within Rothamsted Park. This project will benefit a wide-ranging demographic and improve the visual aspect of the Park itself. PARC would like to ask once again for community support towards this initiative. There are many ways that Park users can help, including assisting with fundraising, corporate sponsorship, purchasing an engraved brick or texting to donate (Text SKATE to 70450 to donate £20).”

Further information about PARC’s work and fundraising can be found on their website: