Your Hertfordshire Rural Affairs and Community News Bulletin
Welcome to our June 2022 eBulletin
Covid Infections are up after the Jubilee Celebrations. 1.4m people are infected which is 1 in 45 of the UK population. Two new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are spreading.
Click the Poster above to read more at the British Society for Immunology
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Rural Housing Week 2022 will take place 4-8 July.
The challenges facing housing in rural communities remain significant with rural economies lagging on key metrics such as pay, productivity and infrastructure. The need for levelling up rural areas is both urgent and necessary – the question is how can housing associations play a leading role? With this in mind, the theme for Rural Housing Week 2022 is levelling up rural communities.
An annual campaign to showcase the fantastic work housing associations do in rural communities, Rural Housing Week 2022 is your opportunity to highlight the many ways in which housing associations are working to support the levelling up agenda in rural areas.
ACRE Welcomes New Grant Scheme for Improving Village Halls
National charity says £3 million fund announced by government will safeguard the future of many valued rural community buildings
Timed to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the government has committed to supporting over 100 rural community buildings with capital improvements. This follows in the footsteps of investments made in village halls as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (1897) and King George V‘s Silver Jubilee (1935).
Full details of the application process and the eligibility criteria for village halls wishing to apply for the fund are yet to be released by the government.
In the meantime, ACRE is recommending Halls complete a Short Form to register their interest and be kept informed about developments.
Hertfordshire had more than 560 street parties take place
The highest recorded by a county in the UK and officially making us the Jubilee's street party capital!
Hertfordshire Highways Supports Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
We received a staggering 561 applications for Platinum Jubilee street parties in Hertfordshire, which our team finished processing in just 14 working days! Not only did we process all of these applications in support of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, but we also deferred site works in locations where street parties were planned by asking contractors to make their sites clear and safe for you all. St Albans took the lead for the highest number of street party applications at 84 applications, followed by Harpenden with 41, and Hemel Hempstead with 31 applications.
A Suffolk Phone Box still in use in 2020 At least 1,400 rural phone boxes protected from closing. Ofcom has brought in new rules to protect rural phone boxes from closure.
The UK telecoms regulator said it will stop British Telecom (BT) from closing down phone boxes in areas with poor mobile signals if they are needed by local communities. Ofcom estimates there are at least 1,400 phone boxes in areas without good mobile coverage. This is lower than its original estimate that 5,000 phone boxes would be protected by new rules. But it is unclear how many phone boxes will be protected for other reasons. Ofcom said it would also protect boxes in areas with high frequencies of accidents or suicides, or where calls are being made to services like Childline. It said 25,000 calls were made to Childline in the year to May 2020, and 20,000 to Samaritans. Meanwhile, phone boxes were used to make almost 150,000 calls to emergency services in the same period.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance for autumn covid-19 vaccinations
The JCVI’s current view is that in autumn 2022, a COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to:
• Residents in a care home for older adults and staff
• Frontline health and social care workers
• All those 65 years of age and over
• Adults aged 16 to 64 years who are in a clinical risk group
A plan is currently being developed for how these groups will be managed in the autumn.
Click the Pic to watch Groundswell 2021 Highlights
CDA Herts is with FCN at Groundswell 2022 - The Regenerative Agriculture Show and Conference 22nd & 23rd June Lannock Manor Farm, Weston Hertfordshire SG4 7EE
The Groundswell event provides a forum for farmers and anyone interested in food production or the environment to learn about the theory and practical applications of Conservation Agriculture or regenerative systems, including no-till, cover crops and re-introducing livestock into the arable rotation, with a view to improving soil health.
We are helping local families by funding free HAPpy activity camps, giving eligible children and young people the chance to enjoy free food, sports and craft activities this summer. HAPpy camps are for children and young people who attend a Hertfordshire school and are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. Around 190 HAPpy camps are running across Hertfordshire this summer, with 45,000 free places available from 25 July to 31 August.
Are you looking for simple steps towards a healthier & more sustainable diet? The British Nutrition Foundation's Healthy Eating Week 13-17 June '22 has free guides & resources. Look here for more about Healthy Eating
Cervical Screening Awareness Week 20th - 26th June 2022
Cervical screening can stop cervical cancer from ever developing, but we know that the test isn’t always easy. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is encouraging people to share their tips, experiences, and positive messages about screening. They will be focusing on a few reasons they know screening can be hard and will be sharing different content each day.
Calling all Business Owners and Managers!
Find out how to futureproof your business against COVID-19. The Hertfordshire Better Business for All partnership has produced a simple guide with advice and tips on how to protect your workforce, customers and business from COVID-19 in the future.
Among the attractions will be live music and dozens of market stalls selling takeaway food and drink with plenty of outdoor seating for people to get together. St Albans City and District Council is organising the community event scheduled for Thursday 2 June when the whole country is being encouraged to join together for the milestone celebrations. The Platinum Party will be centred on St Peter’s Street, which will be closed to traffic, and run from 3pm to 10pm.
New Pension Credit campaign
Could you, or someone you know, be missing out on Pension Credit? Pension Credit tops up pension income and can help with day to day living costs. Pension Credit gives eligible pensioners a top up to their state pension and help with heating bills, council tax and possibly a free TV license. More than 1.4 million pensioners in Britain claim it but new figures show many more could be missing out.
Icknield Way Path – A walking route from Buckinghamshire to Norfolk
The Oldest Road in Britain. The Icknield Way is unique among long distance tracks because it can claim to be “the oldest road in Britain”. Extending from the Dorset coast to Norfolk, the ancient route of the Icknield Way consists of prehistoric pathways, old when the Romans came. Dotted with archaeological remains, it survives as splendid tracks and green lanes along the chalk “spine” of England. The Icknield Way Path runs from the end of the Ridgeway National Trail at Ivinghoe Beacon, near Tring, to the start of the Peddar’s Way National Trail at Knettishall Heath, near Thetford, for 110 miles (177 km). The Icknield Way Association looks after the interests of the route as a whole, monitoring any actions that may threaten its integrity and urging improvements to the route for walkers.
Raising the Flag for Pride Month – 50th anniversary
The Progress Pride Flag is flying proudly above The Forum in Hemel Hempstead, and the building will be lighting up with pride colours for the whole of June. We raised the Progress Pride Flag to mark the beginning of LGBTQ+ Pride month. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march held in the UK. It gives the LGBTQ+ Community and Allies the opportunity to celebrate and be proud, but also to give a voice to the ongoing challenges, injustices and inequalities that are faced by the LGBTQ+ community nationally and globally. Pictured Lt to Rt: Strategic Director James Doe, Mayor of Dacorum Cllr John Birnie and Leader of the Council Cllr Andrew Williams.
A Letter to all Rural Parishes in England from the Rural Services network
We know your Parish Council has a vital role to play in enabling the communities you serve and support to not only survive, but to thrive during these increasingly uncertain times. We also know rural services are coming under increasing pressure and we need Rural Parish Councils to get involved in this issue at this time, without a strong collective voice, we risk being left behind.
The Rural Village Services Group (RVSG) is therefore currently being created to help you to deliver improved outcomes for your communities through shared collective pressure, rural knowledge and learning from others in membership.
Membership of the Group is FREE for six months and at a nominal membership fee thereafter.
Rural Affordable Housing Champion Jo Lavis Honoured with an MBE by the Queen
We are very pleased to congratulate Jo Lavis on her very well deserved award. Jo is an affordable rural housing specialist with whom we at CDA Herts have worked extensively over the years. Jo has gathered extensive data and evidence on the topic, and has been a powerful advocate for rural housing and instrumental in aiding rural communities across England.
This week, we launched our 'A day in the life' series, showcasing eight colleagues from across Hertfordshire County Council who embody our 'cleaner, greener and healthier Hertfordshire' vision in their everyday routines.
Hertfordshire has been awarded a further £2.6m from the Department for Transport to provide additional walking and cycling projects across the county. The recent funding is in addition to the £6.4m confirmed in November 2020 to enable residents to live healthier lifestyles by making it easier and safer to walk and cycle. The additional funds are planned to go towards new pedestrian and cycle facilities in Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage, whilst funding from the original award is being used to progress other projects in Buntingford, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Stevenage and Watford, that were consulted on in summer 2021.
Developers of a trial using nappies to make roads say it could mean the surfaces last twice as long. The project is being piloted in Wales, and it could mean fewer nappies are thrown into landfill. Fibre from nappies is added to bitumen glueing together asphalt road surfaces. The Welsh government is backing the project with £180,000 funding, and a stretch of the A487 between Aberystwyth and Cardigan in Ceredigion has already been replaced with the nappy formula. The trial could also help offer a solution to the nappy waste problem, with about 140 million disposable nappies tossed in the bin annually in Wales.
Peat soil fires: Campaigners say England's 'rainforests' illegally burned
Some shooting estates in England burn deep peat moorland in protected areas despite a government ban, say the RSPB and Greenpeace. England's deep peat soils support rare ecosystems and store huge amounts of carbon. Peatland vegetation has traditionally been burnt to create and maintain habitats to raise grouse for shooting. The government last year introduced a ban on burning peat deeper than 40cm in some protected areas of England. Peatlands cover around 12% of the land in the UK and store an estimated 3 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to all the forests in the UK, Germany and France put together.
We have recently added more sites of Biffa operations, which means you may now be eligible for funding if you weren’t before. Take a look by using our postcode checker on the Biffa Award website to see if you meet distance criteria.
Helping households REDUCE SINGLE USE PLASTIC consumption by offering refills for all household, hair & body liquid essentials. Simply Order online. How it works; - Choose your product - Choose the amount (if you are unsure just take a look at the size of the bottle you have at home) - Choose what containers you want us to refill - Choose Click&Collect or Delivery - Pay Let us do the rest.
Alban and Boudica's first chick named Tim has arrived!
Last month, we brought you the news that a pair of Peregrine Falcons (now named Alban and Boudica after a public opinion poll) were nesting at St Albans Cathedral. We've been waiting with anticipation to find out how the first-time parents would fair and we are now excited to bring you the news that one of the eggs has hatched successfully!
To celebrate, we've teamed up with the RSPB St Albans team to set-up a stand each weekend. Telescopes at the stand will get you up close and personal with Alban and Boudica as they raise their young chick. If you're lucky, you might see the chick fledge for the first time or you might be fortunate enough to see the parents do a flying food drop as they teach the young chick to fend for itself! Pop by St Albans Cathedral any Saturday or Sunday between 11am-3pm and our volunteers will be there to help. You can also share your experiences with us on social media using the hashtag #PeregrineWatch
Click on the poster for the Norris & Fisher website
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enabling us & other partners to bring information and support to rural areas on
numerous helpful services.
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CDA Herts Services available to communities in Hertfordshire
Community Garden St Albans - Plots available
Village Halls Advisory Service - part of the ACRE network
Rural Support Networks
Rural Issues Network
Rural Loneliness Forum
Digital Inclusion Project
Rural Affordable Housing Needs Assessments and Surveys
Village Connectors Project
HMP The Mount Play Area
Covid Recovery Ethnic Diverse Project (CRED)
Health Equalities Partnership Programme (HEPP)
Community Energy Network
Management Health Checks
Health & Safety Training, Audit and Risk Assessment
Health & Wellbeing advocacy
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Click the pic to read more about Refugee Week 20 - 26 June