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  • Article: Sep 25, 2020
    North Herts Council has agreed to provide the necessary financial support to keep the district's swimming pools and leisure centres in Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston open during the Covid pandemic. The reduced number of people using them and the reduced capacity available whilst keeping people safe means that without extra money they could not have continued to operate.
  • Article: Sep 8, 2020

    The county council is currently consulting on a new Speed Management Strategy for Hertfordshire roads. But questions must now be asked as to whether it is serious after an astonishing admission by Cllr Phil Bibby, the Conservative portfolio holder for highways at County Hall. In an email to St Albans Lib Dem county councillor Sandy Walkington, Cllr Bibby wrote 'this does not significantly alter our policy on 20 mph speed limits… In fact, there may be less scope for 20 mph areas/zones…'

  • Article: Jul 29, 2020

    Opposition Liberal Democrats at County Hall have slammed a decision by the Conservative run council to spend an extra £11m that the council has been given for road and footway repairs on new roads instead.

    A few months ago, the government provided increased funding for highways maintenance, increasing the funding for this year for England from £1bn to £1.5bn. Hertfordshire County Council's additional funding is just over £11m.

    The council has decided that instead of using it for what it was intended, it will spend it covering the cost of new roads at the A120,A602 and at Essex Road Bridge in East Herts. This is despite the fact that the council has over £300m in contingency funds for the major schemes.

    This information became public during a question at Full Council last week when the Executive Member for Highways, Phil Bibby, admitted that the money was not planned to be used for what the government had allocated it for.

    Liberal Democrat opposition Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who found out the facts, hit out, " Frankly this is a disgrace and an insult to
    both the government and residents. The government rightly understood that more needed to be spent on highway and footway maintenance and to not do so from what is claimed to be a flagship Conservative authority is an insult to ministers and to all of us who have lobbied for this extra cash."

    "This money should be used to improve uneven and unsafe footways, cut back overgrown paths and cycleways and improve maintenance on our side streets. This was the government's intention. The County council has millions in reserves that it could use to support any extra road building costs - instead, it is saving it for its election year. By all means, ask the government to meet increased costs but we must put our residents first and not new roads. As usual, the Conservatives have got their priorities wrong in the green agenda."

  • Article: Jul 7, 2020

    Herts County Council has missed out on £450,000 of government funding for emergency measures to improve pavements and cycle ways. The council was promised nearly £1.7 million from the government for work that could be done in the next few weeks if it could come up with suitable schemes. Having looked at the council's proposals the government has cut the funding to just over £1.2 million. It is one of 22 councils who have missed out on their full allocation whilst 32 were given everything that they were promised. Hertfordshire's reduction is the third largest in England.