Agenda item


To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Member of the Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.


Announcement from the Mayor


“Thank you to those who attended my first couple of charity events, an Afternoon Tea in August and a Curry night earlier this month. 


Amazingly, we raised £916 and £881 totalling to £1,797 for my two extremely worthy local charities, the Hatfield Food Bank and the New Zion Christian Fellowship Foodbank, both help with providing emergency food to the people in crisis. 


I sincerely hope that you will be able to come along to my next event, which will be a charity quiz night on Friday 1st of December at Campus West. More details on how to book will be sent out shortly. 


Following on from the successful Youth Awards in March and the Mayors Civic Awards in May, I am delighted to launch the new One Welwyn Hatfield Community Awards 2024.


Welwyn Hatfield has some amazing residents who all contribute to improving the lives of other residents and their communities. The new awards will recognise the breadth of talent and commitment across the borough and will acknowledge and thank the people in our communities that go above and beyond in providing an atmosphere of celebration and pride.


The award categories will cover sport, youth, culture, environment, climate, health, business and many more and we hope that residents will get involved by nominating these local heroes whether they be stars of their local neighbourhood or quiet heroes.  The deadline for the nomination will close on Friday 15 December and the winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony held at Campus West on Wednesday 28 February 2024.

Full details could be viewed on our website.”


Announcement from Leader of Council regarding bus service provision in the borough & knife crime


“We note the recent announcement of the £2 cap on bus fares have been extended to the end of 2024.  But we also note that the residents of this borough may not benefit much from it as there is simply not a decent bus network serving our communities.  I have recently been told that the Bus Service Improvement Plan for Hertfordshire does not identity our borough as an area of focus.  This is extremely concerning, and we know other colleagues from the Joint Administration have also raised concerns previously about the lack of bus service provision in the Borough.  We will therefore be writing to Hertfordshire County Council and the Department of Transport asking for a commitment that the bus network in Welwyn Hatfield will benefit from future rounds of Bus Service Improvement Plan funding and we will invite the Leader of the Opposition to also sign the letter.


I’m sure all involved with this council were as shocked and saddened as I by the death of Elianne Andam on the 27th September, the 15th young person to lose their life through violence this year in London alone.


Just a few days ago, on 4th October, a knife-violence incident in Hatfield resulted in the wounding of a victim and earlier this week just a few miles away another two knife violence incidents saw multiple young people wounded. Our thoughts are will all the victims and their friends and families.


Knife crime really is becoming a scourge in our communities and our country. This Council and this administration is committed to do all it can to reduce knife crime and we commit to working with all relevant partners and stakeholders to try and keep our young people safe.


Our Community Safety Team have been working hard already, engaging with all across our communities, and I know they are intending to begin, very shortly, sending out a regular safety bulletin to schools, community groups and further and higher education institutions across the Borough, which will include updates on knife crime, vaping and similar issues. I’ll be seeking updates on what else we will be doing to reduce violent crime, including knife crime, going forward.

We need everyone in our communities to take violent crime, including knife crime, seriously. Everyone in our community should be able to feel, and indeed be, safe in Welwyn Hatfield. Let’s come together and redouble our efforts to try to remove this scourge from Welwyn Hatfield. Thank you.”


Announcement from Deputy Leader of Council regarding free parking days


“Since taking control, the joint administration has been looking to introduce a number of new initiatives. One of those we have previously mentioned is using targeted lifting of parking restrictions to encourage more people to visit the amazing businesses and retailers that we have in both of our Town Centres. We have worked hard with Officers to identify opportunities, and I am delighted to announce the following:


On Saturday 2nd December, we will be offering free parking in Welwyn Garden City at Hunters Bridge, Campus East Lower, Campus West and Cherry Tree car parks. This coincides with small business Saturday, a nationwide campaign to promote independent and small retailers, and we will be working with the BID to ensure that our business can capitalise on this.


On Saturday 16th December, we will be offering free parking in Hatfield at Kennelwood Lane and The Common Multi-Storey Car Park. We have partnered with local businesses and will be handing out a limited number of adult and children's goodie-bags. There will also be Christmas activities for children.


We will continue to work on initiatives that promote our wonderful and diverse businesses within the borough, and I am pleased to be able to introduce this initiative. I would also like to thank my cabinet colleagues for their support with this.”


Announcement from Executive Member (Community) regarding Big Summer 2023 and Black History Month


“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank members of the public and fellow Councillors for their positive comments on the activities that formed this year's big summer programme of events. I remember just last week, Councillor Birleson and was telling me how much our grandchildren enjoyed the events put on King Joseph Playing Fields. As most Members will know, Big Summer is now in its seventh year and it is a three week campaign hosted by this Council that provides free and low cost activity to the residents of our borough. This year Big Summer ran from 24th of July to the 13th of August and attracted a record number of activities and participants, there really was something for everyone and included arts, crafts and sports activities. In total, there were 314 activities offered across 19 indoor and outdoor locations 13 in Hatfield and 19 in Welwyn.


The activity programme catered for young people aged between five and 19 years old and included basketball football paddleboarding, graffiti, art, kayaking, climbing even DJ and music sessions to name but a few, so there really was something for everyone and it was organised by the community partnerships team, a team which does such amazing work in our borough they worked in partnerships with local groups, clubs and organisations to develop the programme as well as delivered directly delivering 79 activities. In total over 8,000 people took part in the programme, the biggest number to date.


I am sure the whole chamber will want to join me in thanking the team for their work, they really go above and beyond to support our residents and enrich our communities and the positive social value they bring shouldn't be understated.


I just want to end, if I may. Today I attended the first of these councils, black history events, where I got this lovely African print badge and thanks to the exhibitors and all the other Councillors who attended.


I just want to make members and members of the public aware that we have a fantastic event running at Mill Green Museum this Saturday from midday until 5 pm to celebrate 75 years of Windrush, and we have a full day of celebrations of workshops, food activities and a carnival really bringing together the best of community spirits and alongside the Windrush at 75 exhibition, there'll be children's story time, a presentation of Windrush inspired fabrics from artist and printmaker Karen Hamilton-Bannis craft activities and Caribbean themed food from the Middle East, kitchen and so yeah. Thank you very much, and I hope to see as many of you there,


Annoucement from Executive Member (Environment) regarding grass cutting


“In my role as Executive Member for Environment, I want to provide an update about grass, cutting this season. A similar statement will be issued in next week's edition of the Welwyn Hatfield Times. You will all be aware there was a challenging start to the season and there was much feedback from residents and councillors raising their concerns. As a result of this feedback, I've worked hard with officers and a senior management team at Continental Landscapes to drive home the necessary improvements to the frequency and standard of the grass courts. I am pleased to be able to share with you that we have now seen the grass cutting being completed on schedule and that an improvement in the quality of standards has been seen, though there is still much more work to be done, I am confident residents will start seeing improvements.


In the coming weeks, the ground maintenance team will be focusing on winter bedding being planted and the beds being prepared for now, in both Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City's town centre. Over the winter, there will be a focus on leaf clearance and other winter works, as you will know I, as well as the joint administration, have a strong commitment towards biodiversity. While one recent example of my commitment towards this is the planting of 250 square metres of bulbs at Woodall open space, these bulbs are wintered to summer mix and a bee surprised mix. They are pollinator friendly, makes it which are good for biodiversity. I would continue to look at ways to increase biodiversity in our open spaces.


As you may be, where I was delighted that we were very successful in this year's Anglia in Bloom competition, we won two gold Awards for Best Town, Welwyn Garden City and, overall best historical parks and gardens for Danesbury Nature Reserve. I look forward to achieving similar results next year. It was the aim of the joint administration to improve on what came before us and receiving two gold awards this year compared to silver last year is an example of that.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank officers, staff and volunteers for their hard work in driving improvements are delivering these fantastic achievements for the borough. Thank you.”