Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018

Funding Fact Sheet

2018 will be the Year of Physical Activity in Hertfordshire – an initiative being led by Hertfordshire’s 10 District and Borough Councils, Public Health Hertfordshire and the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership. The year will be kicking off on January 1^st^.

The aim of the project is to make Hertfordshire, England’s most active county and in doing so, help to shift some of the stubborn inactivity levels to be found across the county. Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018 - HYOPA18 - will also enable us to shine a light on existing programmes and opportunities for our residents to get involved in physical activity and sport.

The project also offers an opportunity for existing organisations to develop new projects and programmes, which can be used to encourage more people in the county to be more active, more often.

Whilst there is no dedicated central funding pot to support such programmes, there are a number of potential funding streams which can be accessed to support those initiatives linked to the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018.

Each of the fund administrators has been notified about what we are trying to achieve and each has indicated that they will be receptive to appropriate, well-written bids which contribute to the HYOPA 18 outcomes.

Moreover, our funding partner, Richard Sutcliffe of Funding4Sport is available to offer advice on any such bids, and, where required, to formulate those bids on your behalf – subject to a small charge. Details of the support available from Funding4Sport can be found at http://www.sportinherts.org.uk/page/funding/funding-support-for-clubs/hsp-funding-offer-6523/

With 1 in 3 of our residents not meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended levels of physical activity and around 1 in 5 (18.4%) doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, we are facing a major challenge if we are to ensure that those residents can live long lives in good health, free from disability for as long as possible. We are calling on all organisations to be part of this exciting initiative.

Overleaf are details of those grant aid funding streams, which may be accessed to support what you are considering delivering, and should you wish to talk through any ideas please feel free to contact the HYOPA18 Project Coordinator Jane Parker on j.parker20@herts.ac.uk who will be pleased to offer advice and point you in the right direction.

Some useful funding streams…

**Herts County Council Locality Budgets
**The County Council through its commitment to localism is seeking to increase the opportunities for local councillors and communities to decide how money is spent in their community. Each elected member of the County Council has £10,000 to spend on worthwhile projects in their community that promote social, economic or environmental wellbeing. Physical activity projects have been supported in the past and proposals that can achieve local benefits may be well received.

Further details http://www.hertsdirect.org/your-council/localitybudgetscheme/membrlocalbdgt/

**Sport England Small Grants - £300 - £10,000
**Small Grants uses Lottery funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sport and become active

Further details https://www.sportengland.org/funding/small-grants/

**Big Lottery Awards for All Small Grants programme £300 - £10,000
**Awards for All is a small grants programme provided by the Big Lottery Fund with the aim of funding projects that will improve the quality of life for local communities.

Grants are available for voluntary and community groups, charities, not-for-profit organisations, and statutory bodies, including schools and town councils, to carry out projects.

Applications may be submitted at any time

Further details https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/awards-for-all-england

**Podium Partners – Crowdfunding
**The Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) and the Hertfordshire Sports Village have linked with Podium Partners to launch this new and innovative crowd-funding service for the benefit of those playing and involved in sport and physical activity in Hertfordshire.

Further details https://www.podiumpartners.org/

**District and Borough Council’s Community Grants and Locality Budgets
**Hertfordshire’s District and Borough Councils operate a range of community grants and locality fund programmes. Further Details of all of these, and area specific funds can be found in our Funding Matters Newsletter, with updates on a monthly basis. This can be accessed via the Herts Sports & Physical Activity Partnership’s website www.sportinherts.org.uk/funding


New Contract for Waste Collection

NHDC is progressing with the new contract for the household waste collection service, jointly with East Herts. The winning bidder was a company called Urbaser who, while new to North Herts are the third largest environmental services provider across Europe. The contract for basic waste collection has been agreed with a more minor part of the contract to be signed. The contract represents a significant saving for Council Tax payers. It is expected that most operatives will transfer their employment from Veolia.

There has been a lot of discussion about the decision of the Council to charge £40 per bin per year for garden waste collection from the 2018 civic year. Residents will be able to share a bin (and its cost) with a neighbour when the volume of garden waste produced does not warrant paying for a whole bin, and can also have more than one bin. The charge for brown bin collection is not expected to fully offset the cost of collection, but will help to reduce the serious revenue deficit NHDC has, with savings of £4.2m per year targeted by 202122.

Food waste will be collected from new, larger, caddies weekly: an improvement in the level of service compared to today. Home composting is a very green alternative to paying for brown bin collection. The Hertfordshire WasteAware Partnership provides home compost bins to Hertfordshire residents at subsidized prices. To order a compost bin call 0844 571 4444 or visit www.herts.getcomposting.com.

NHDC Local Plan - Examination

[]{#bin-collection-over-the-holiday-period .anchor}The Examination in Public of the Local Plan started on the 13th November, the Inspector is Simon Berkeley. The first couple of weeks focus on strategic matters, such as the duty of NHDC to cooperate with adjoining authorities to take housing that they themselves cannot deliver (this especially applies to Luton), and then on the Countryside and Green Belt, the housing mix and the spatial distribution of new housing. Evidence is on the deliverability of the plan and the \‘high level\’ issues: i.e. without any reference to individual sites or the allocations to them.

The allocations to individual sites will be examined in Week 6 of the enquiry, the sites around Knebworth specifically being examined on the morning of Monday 26th February. These sessions are all open to the public and are held in the Icknield Centre, Icknield Way in Letchworth. Full details are on NHDC’s website.

Merry Christmas

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Subscriptions for the Parish News become due again this month. Please encourage your neighbours to subscribe to this valuable resource, the only one of its kind for the village of Knebworth.

Please contact your NHDC councillors if you would like to discuss these or any other matters: Steve Hemingway, steve@stevehemingway.com or phone 01438 940594 (please include STD code when dialling) and Steve Deakin-Davies, stevedeakindavies@gmail.com or phone 07949 435435.

Or be in touch directly with your County Councillor Richard Thake: richard.thake@hertfordshire.gov.uk, phone 07973 157605

Or your Member of Parliament Stephen McPartland: stephen@stephenmcpartland.co.uk, Stephen McPartland MP, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA


Complexities of the Planning Process An On-Going Case

An undecided planning application for a Gypsy and Traveller site at Pottersheath illustrates some of the complexity around the interpretation of national planning policy, as well as the diverse roles of the Local Planning Authority (NHDC), the local Ward councillors, the Planning Control Committee, as supported by the planning officers and the Planning Inspectorate. The law provides for some local autonomy in deciding planning applications, but this often falls short of what those who are most affected would want.

The Pottersheath site is in Knebworth Ward for NHDC and Codicote Parish. It is in the Green Belt and applications to develop it had repeatedly been refused by the NHDC, the Local Planning Authority. Last year it was occupied by travellers, and a retrospective application was made to use it as a site for gypsies and travellers, reviewed by the Planning Control Committee of NHDC in January.

There were a considerable number of objectors, and in my capacity of “member advocate” I objected to the application, as did Cllr Jane Gray, the councillor for Codicote. The Committee refused the application, which went against the recommendation of the officers. This itself is a relatively unusual circumstance: the members of the committee naturally look to the planning officers, who are all professionally qualified, for an interpretation of the complex and extensive canon of planning law. When an application comes before the committee, the officers prepare a report for the committee; in this case the recommendation was to grant the application, albeit for a temporary period.

An appeal was lodged against the decision. As the application included policy aspects, the planning inspectorate decided on a Public Enquiry, rather than the more usual public hearing. NHDC commissioned further work to defend the Committee’s decision, engaged the services of an expert witness to interpret over 1,000 pages of new evidence submitted by the applicant, as well as counsel to present the evidence. Based on this, advice given to the Committee was that the decision made in January could no longer be defended.

However, the expert witness employed by objectors reached a contrary conclusion. At the Committee’s October meeting I, together with Cllr Gray, again supported the objectors, seeking for NHDC to continue to defend its decision at the Public Enquiry. Disappointingly, the Committee decided that it would not make a defence. The objectors were, of course, disappointed by this decision: had this application not been made retrospectively, the personal circumstances of the applicants would not have been taken into account, and, therefore, would not have been able to form the ‘very special circumstances’ required to block inappropriate development in the Green Belt; their expert witness outlines evidence in defence of the decision.

This experience allows us to draw several lessons, which may be borne in mind as other applications affecting Knebworth, such as for The Station Pub, progress through the legal planning procedure:

  • the ‘very special circumstances’ which are needed to justify development in the Green Belt are extremely wide ranging, and certainly include a lack of supply in the NHDC area and may include the personal circumstances of the applicant;

  • a refusal by NHDC is in general not the final step in the determination of a planning application. A well-funded applicant can choose to appeal and have the decision made by a Planning Inspector, who will decide the application on the basis of evidence;

  • the ability to withstand applications for inappropriate development in the Green Belt depends critically on an adequate supply of appropriate sites in the Local Plan

  • when the balance of supply and demand of sites changes in the District, applications which were refused in the past may have to be granted.


NHDC Corporate Plan Approved

The NHDC Corporate Plan was approved at the Council Meeting this month. It has, in addition to specifying how the Council plans to deliver its objectives, a useful set of statistics about the District. In common with most of the UK, the population of the District is getting older, but by a huge relative amount in the case of some age groups. The number of residents who are 90 years or older is expected to increase by around two and a half times by 2037, for example. Inevitably, this will lead to an even greater increase in number of unpaid carers, some of whom are themselves elderly. Around 2,500 residents (out of a total of 131,000) say they already provide 50 hours or more of unpaid care per week.

Access to Social Housing and Help for Homeless

NHDC has a duty to help homeless individuals and families find somewhere to live, even though it handed its housing stock over to North Herts Homes in 2004. Occasionally resorting to bed and breakfast accommodation temporarily although it strives to avoid this. The Housing Options Team are very experienced at helping those who are worried about being made homeless, and work closely with agencies such as Herts Young Homeless and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

NHDC also administers the Common Housing Allocation Scheme (‘CHAS’) and the Common Housing Register jointly with North Herts Homes. This allows people to apply for social housing via a single register, including the homes available through the significant number of housing associations which operate in North Herts in addition to North Herts Homes. To find out more, search for ‘Common Housing Register’ in the NHDC website or call 01438 474000 and ask to speak to the Housing Dept.

**Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan in Public Examination **

The Examination in Public of the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan has started: the first meeting was scheduled for the 21st Sept. North Herts are somewhat behind its southerly neighbour, but the examination of its plan is imminent. The Local Development Scheme states that it should be complete by the end of December.

NHDC Waste & Street Cleaning Contract - Update

Negotiations on the new Waste and Street Cleaning Contract are at an advanced stage. The contract will form the agenda for a joint meeting of the NHDC Cabinet and EHDC Executive Committee on Monday 16th October. For more details see the NHDC website. All Cabinet meetings are open to the public.


Public Consultation on Revoking of NHDC Byelaws

NHDC has reviewed its byelaws, some of which date back to the 19th Century, and have no relevance today. The recommendation is to revoke all existing byelaws with the exception of the 2007 Acupuncture, Tattooing, Semi-Permanent Skin-Colouring, Cosmetic Piercing and Electrolysis byelaw.

In most cases the byelaws, many of which related to enforcement of sanitary practices in commercial premises and to the prohibition of antisocial behaviour in public places have been superseded by more modern national statutes. For example, there is a 1874 byelaw that relates to licencing of ‘Omnibuses, Wagonettes & Stage Carriages and the Proprietors, Drivers and Conductors thereof’.

NHDC are conducting a public consultation on this which ends on 22nd September. Details can be accessed via the website and copies of the survey, council report and the byelaws schedule are available at the NHDC reception desk upon request during normal office hours.

Upgrade to NHDC’s Planning Portal Software

Readers will be pleased to learn that NHDC has upgraded its planning portal software. The system does not look noticeably different, but it seems to be more responsive, and it certainly has had much better ‘uptime’ than previously. It is a pity that the upgrade coincided with the consultation on the Station Pub redevelopment (ref. 17/01622/1). In the end 181 responses were received which, hopefully, will have captured all the valid planning issues that the application raised. No date has yet been set for the Committee meeting at which the application will be decided. Note that it is not possible to appeal against a decision to grant an application, although it is possible to appeal against a refusal.

Some local residents have questioned the need for respondents to planning applications to provide their name and address to NHDC. I have queried this and have been assured that, in fact, responses without an address will still be taken into account. The only requirement is for respondents to provide some contact details, so the officers can get in touch if the response is ambiguous, or if an amendment to the application is received. If you wish to make a representation, you should be aware that your comments will be made public.

Another planning application in Knebworth that readers may wish to consider is the redevelopment of the Chas Lowe site (reference 17/01863/1). The proposal is for the demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of 48 assisted living extra care (Class C2) apartments for the frail elderly, including communal facilities and car parking along with ground floor commercial unit (Use A1, A2, A3, D1 or D2) fronting London Road. The deadline for responding to this is the 6th September.

Please contact your NHDC councillors if you would like to discuss these or any other matters: Steve Hemingway, steve@stevehemingway.com or phone 01438 940594 (please include STD code when dialling) and Steve Deakin-Davies, stevedeakindavies@gmail.com or phone 07949 435435.

Or be in touch directly with your County Councillor Richard Thake: richard.thake@hertfordshire.gov.uk, phone 07973 157605

Or your Member of Parliament Stephen McPartland: stephen@stephenmcpartland.co.uk, Stephen McPartland MP, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA