News Round Up  2023

    Scroll down to read all the exciting editorials below


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OR are the numbers duplicated OR are they simply out of date?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

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.’


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.



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

A NEW social housing strategy for St Albans District inc Harpenden

The Council is the biggest provider of social housing in the District having over 4,500 properties. Councillor Jacqui Taylor, the Committee’s Chair, said: “I am delighted we have agreed a new housing strategy which maps the way forward for our future work. “The strategy combines two of our major priorities – providing more social housing in the District and tackling the climate emergency.

It includes five key commitments to tackle the issues of housing need and demand. These pledge the Council to:

Deliver new housing that meet the needs of the social housing register.

Promote sustainability and energy efficiency at its properties.

Ensure an efficient supply of temporary accommodation.

Support the production of a new Local Plan, which identifies land for future housing, to maximise the delivery of affordable housing.

Meet the accommodation needs of vulnerable people.

The strategy, which can be viewed here, provides a guide for the Council’s future housing activities and policies over the next three years.

Anyone wishing to make a comment can do so here with the strategy due to be reviewed later this year when all feedback will be considered.


The district is also surrounded by Green Belt. This presents a challenge when it comes to boosting the long term supply of housing to meet the needs of the residents of the district. The number of new affordable housing properties delivered across the district in the past 3 years is detailed below:

2019/2020. 121 homes.  2020/2021.  158 homes   2021/2022 ,  71  homes

New Council houses in Sandridge built on a former garage site.

March 2023. Harpenden Building Society celebrates its 70th anniversary

Back in March 1953, a year in which the country celebrated the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the first published James Bond novel and the launch of the Royal Yacht Britannia - Harpenden Building Society also began its journey.

During the era of the baby boomers, a group of local business people came together, united a community and established the society. This pioneering group overcame adversity and believed the community deserved support to be able to buy local homes and to save for their future. This vision remains the foundation of the society and this year they will celebrate their 70th Anniversary.

As a local building society, their mission is to help customers achieve their ambitions for the future, by serving their members and to strive to help them secure their financial future so that their dreams and aspirations are made possible.

The society is committed to continuing their support of local charities, events and organisations, which contribute to the quality of life in the communities they serve.  Harpenden believe in giving back to these communities whenever they can.  Over many years, various grants and funding to local charities and clubs has been the cornerstone of the society’s community ethos. 

Also, to celebrate their landmark achievement, they have committed to achieving over 70 hours of employees volunteering, across the year.  There are plans to volunteer at local clubs and charities, some of which have personally affected employees during their lives, and which the society is proud to support its colleagues in providing this care and aid to its community.

Richard Doe, Harpenden Building Society’s CEO added: “We are delighted to mark and celebrate our 70th anniversary this year.  We believe we stand for the same principles and foundations that were vital during our inception back in March 1953.  Our commitment to our members and our local community remains as strong as ever and we are proud of our history of supporting our community – this will continue for many years to come.

We also want to recognise and celebrate our employees and colleagues both in branch and within our head office and we plan to do this throughout the year.”

17 March 2023


The Harpenden Trust has today thanked the local community for its generosity as it announced its annual appeal total of £63,000. Donations to the Harpenden Trust have a big impact and enable its Care Fund to provide financial and practical support to local families and residents, with over 660 visits annually to assist with aspects including food costs, school uniforms and essential appliances.


With increased issues of isolation and loneliness, over the last few years the Harpenden Trust has also enabled befriending for over 90 local residents, 3 outings for 143 seniors annually and coffee mornings twice a week for those wishing to socialise. It has also provided utility grants for 80 local residents per year on low incomes, providing much needed support.

In addition, alongside MIND and local GP surgeries, the Trust has supported over 100 residents across age groups through the Harpenden Wellbeing Hub, running initiatives to support local residents with their wellbeing, including the Frazzled Café at the Eric Morcambe Centre, the Arts on Prescription initiative, the Memory Lane Dementia Café and local youth wellbeing projects covering ages 4-25.

Richard Nichols, Chairman of the Harpenden Trust, said:

“We are so grateful to everyone who donated to our annual appeal. To raise so much is even more incredible knowing that finances are tight for many at the moment, so to see that despite this the community have continued to give so generously to support their neighbours is very moving. The money raised will make a huge difference to so many in need across Harpenden and will enable us to keep running many initiatives supporting the community that make such an impact.”

Lynn Kennedy, Appeal Director at the Harpenden Trust, said:

“Our annual appeal could not happen without the kindness and generosity of not only those in the community who donate but also the many volunteers who make collecting donations possible. I would like to give my thanks to them as well as the many local shops and businesses who support us, both in being drop off points for donations and making us their charity beneficiary.”

The Luton DART, a ground-breaking

transit project,  launched on

Monday, 27th March, bridging

London Luton Airport with

national rail services in under

four minutes. 

Experience seamless and eco-friendly

travel between the airport terminal and

Luton Airport Parkway station, with

direct access to over 60 stations via this

cutting-edge transport solution.

Zoom from London St Pancras International to London Luton Airport terminal in a mere 32 minutes on the ultra-efficient, twice-hourly Luton Airport Express, powered by East Midlands Railway (EMR), or in around 40 minutes on Thameslink's frequent services.

Say goodbye to the old bus service, and hello to the Luton DART! All transfers are included in your rail ticket when you choose 'Luton Airport' as your starting or ending point.

Concessionary bus pass holders, including pensioners, people with disabilities, and companion travellers, as well as Luton Airport staff, can enjoy the Luton DART for FREE. Luton borough residents, you're not forgotten either, with 50% off your travel.

For all these concessionary fares, visit and register at least 72 hours before your trip.

New co-working space at Lazy Bear coffee shop in Southdown!


Fed up with working from home or perched in a busy coffee shop? Then checkout our recently opened co-working space in Southdown inside the Lazy Bear coffee shop!

A bright and airy space with six co-working desks, fast wifi and as much free tea and coffee as you can handle! We’ve even got a separate breakout room in case you need a bit of privacy. Rent a desk by the day, week, month or more! Walk-ins are more than welcome if you need somewhere last minute.

The added bonus? You’ve got an entire coffee shop just downstairs to keep you refreshed; whether it’s a healthy smoothie, an epic milkshake or one of our Mediterranean toasted focaccias or a proper bacon bap!

Lazy Bear coffee shop is a family owned business in Southdown offering freshly baked pastries, muffins, cakes and some heartier lunch options. We pride ourselves on a great atmosphere, cool surroundings and the best coffee in Harpenden (all our beans locally  roasted and we think are perfection!).

Dog friendly, family friendly, pop in for a drink, a bite, a gossip or head upstairs for some privacy to work. 


You can find out more at or email us at

Follow us on insta: @lazybearharpenden

New Music Festival supports up and coming artists

A new music festival taking place in Harpenden on Saturday July 15th has one aim - to support the careers of emerging artists. Harpenden Live features a carefully curated line up of some of the best new artists and bands working around Hertfordshire and the south of England. It will take place in the grounds of Katherine Warrington School from 12 noon to 10.30pm

Harpenden Live features a range of new artists including Harpenden’s own India Arkin who recently signed to HMV’s new vinyl label and ‘Barbara’ a band from Brighton who count Phil Jupitus and Adam Kay amongst their fans after supporting The Divine Comedy on their UK tour in 2022.

Dean Inns said “The UK has one of the best music scenes in the world and having a festival to support new music and supporting those artists who are starting out on their journeys is really important allowing to perform to a broad audience at our family friendly festival’.

The festival also gives the opportunity for local students to play their first ever festival and try out their material such as Sam Clift and emerging singer songwriter from Harpenden’s Katherine Warington School.

Harpenden Live is also an affordable festival – in these difficult times, the festival is designed to be fair and affordable for those coming to watch as well as our performers - it’s about music not profit.

As well as live music, the festival also features a family area, food and drink festival, featuring street food, real ales as well as a gin and Prosecco palace.

More information on the festival and tickets can be found on the website Early bird tickets start from £8 for concessions and £15 and are on sale now.