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OR are the numbers duplicated OR are they simply out of date?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



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.”

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.

Aug 16. Forty-nine new police officers welcomed from different entry routes

Forty-nine new police officers have been formally welcomed to Hertfordshire Constabulary this month – including a former scuba diving instructor, a pub landlord and a secondary schoolteacher!

Three cohorts of student officers – a total of 31 men and 18 women – completed their initial training within days of each other, coming in by two different entry routes, highlighting the flexibility offered for those wanting to start a career in policing.

Family and friends came to passing out parades held last Thursday 10 August, on Friday 4 August and Wednesday 2 August, to celebrate as the new officers were presented with framed certificates by senior officers to mark their achievement.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall commented: “It’s a great delight to welcome them to our police family, as a force that’s putting crime and harm prevention first, we uphold, live and breathe the highest standards and continue to make a real difference to people.

“We now have more officers than we have ever had and the public want to see a strong police service, delivering great results for our communities in Hertfordshire.”

Some 33 of the student officers came through the traditional entry route, the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) for those with minimum educational qualifications and above; and 16 via the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) for graduates with a degree in any subject.

These training programmes are two of four police officer courses available and they attract recruits from a wide variety of backgrounds. The cohorts include an ex-stonemason, secondary schoolteacher, warehouse worker, scuba diver instructor, retail manager, kitchen appliance fitter, insurance underwriter, Housing First Coordinator, pub manager, company director, pharmaceutical technician and sales assistant.

The student officers now begin their first postings with eight based in Hertsmere; eight in Watford; six in Dacorum; six in East Herts; five in Broxbourne; four in Welwyn/Hatfield; four in North Herts; three in Three Rivers; three in St Albans; and two in Stevenage.

Applications are currently being taken for the four different police officer training courses, with something to suit everyone.

If you feel inspired to become a Hertfordshire police officer, visit our police officer recruitment website (opens in a new window) at to find out how to apply and register your interest.

Sept. Home Library Service

from Your Local Library.

A NEW FREE service for

people who are unable to

get to the library.

You can use the service if:

*You have a physical disability which

  prevents you from travelling to a library building

*You have a learning disability or mental health condition that makes it difficult for you to leave home alone

*You're registered blind (severely sight impaired)

*You're frail or in poor health which means you can't get to a library

*You're a carer looking after someone affected by any of the above, and your caring responsibilities prevent you from getting to the library.

How the Home Library Service works.

*The Service (HLS) is delivered by volunteers to customers who have a dedicated Home Library Service account with access to the Hertfordshire and consortium collections.

*A volunteer will have a chat with the customer to gather information around the customers tastes and then select either print books or talking books on the customer’s behalf and bring them to their place of residence.

*When finished the Items will be collected by the volunteer and returned to the Library.

*There are no late charges applied to Home Library Service users – Just a friendly reminder when your books are due to be returned. Access to talking books is also free of charge.

The service can be tailored to work in several ways specific to the needs of individuals, for instance:

*Customers can select items for themselves using our catalogue and have items dropped off and collected by our volunteer.

*Or it could be a combination of both with volunteers collecting items for return when they drop off new books.

Another little-known service provided by the library that may be of some interest to small community groups is their ‘Reminiscence Boxes’ Collection.

This collection can help individuals remember past and shared experiences, the subjects are very varied, examples include A Smelling Box, A Memory Box and a Conversation Starter Box!

It is a free service, and you would request these from your local library.

Browse our catalogue from the link below.

Please contact your local library if you require any further information, or if you know anyone who may be interested these services.

A photo of Deputy Chief Constable Bill Jephson, centre, at the 10 August passing out parade.

A photo of Deputy Chief Constable Bill Jephson, centre, at the 4 August passing out parade.

A photo of Chief Constable Charlie Hall and trainers, centre, at the 2 August passing out parade.

Fit for Purpose

Rotary in Harpenden, well known for

staging the annual Classics on the

Common and Harpenden Quiz of

Quizzes, as well as running several

activities for the benefit of young people,

are extending their charitable work

to improving the living environment

in Harpenden and surrounding villages.

A wooden bench halfway up

Sun Lane has for decades allowed

residents toiling up that steep hill a

chance to rest. As the bench had fallen into disrepair, Rotary in Harpenden have met the cost and installation expenses of a new bench.

Rotary in Harpenden’s President, Hugh Lawrence, said: “As well as providing Sun Lane with a new bench we are paying for an elm tree to be planted on the Common by the Town Council. Dutch elm disease has caused the loss of many of the Council’s elm trees. This new elm is resistant to the disease.

“We are very keen to hear about other such local projects that improve the town’s living environment.”

To read more about what Rotary in Harpenden does for the community go to

Contacting the Police in Non Emergency situations.

A chance for changes and give your views. Harpenden residents can respond to a questionnaire by Oct 15th so David Lloyd our Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire can assess your views.

Maybe the return of a real officer at an

open Police Station in Vaughan Rd.

Read the full story below. with the

link to respond.

Residents are being asked how they contact the

police in non-emergency situations and what

changes they would like to see and why.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for

Hertfordshire, David Lloyd wants to hear

from the public on how they rate contact

with the Constabulary in terms of visibility

and accessibility.

Results from the survey will be used to review the public’s experience of using non-emergency contact channels and use it to help design future services that are attuned to local need. They could also lead to the introduction of new video chat facilities in a private place in a public building.

The survey will enable residents and those who work in Hertfordshire to provide feedback on their preferred way of contacting the police in non-emergency situations that do not require a 999 call, such as when there is no imminent danger, a crime has taken place but is no longer in process, or the matter does not require an immediate police response.

Among the current channels of contact are: the Herts Police website, webchat or police social media platforms, calling 101, emailing the police Safer Neighbourhood Team, or making an appointment to see an officer or PCSO at your home or at a police station.

Respondents will also be asked whether the method of contact they used was their preferred method and to rate their experience.

Mr Lloyd said: “As a firm believer in local policing, I have ensured that a strong neighbourhood policing model has been maintained across the county, with each of our ten districts or boroughs having at least one operational station.

“Some of these have open front counter services, but at all of them appointments can be made in advance to speak to local officers.  While some people prefer face-to-face contact there are lots of different ways to contact the Constabulary including online and by calling 101.

“This survey gives us an opportunity to review our existing engagement channels with communities and ensure that they are best attuned to their needs and continue to deliver excellent customer service. I want to hear from the public to find out how the current non-emergency contact systems are working for them, where it can be improved and what else they would like to see. It should be easy convenient for people to contact the police so officers can listen and respond accordingly.”

“My office is working with the Constabulary to deliver an excellent public contact service for those who live and work in Hertfordshire. Please take the time to complete the survey to help us deliver engagement channels that meet your expectations.” 


The questionnaire can be completed by following this link and it is open until October 15th .