Bricket Wood is special

Bricket Wood has always had a very powerful sense of its own identity. So it was no surprise to see such a large attendance at the 50th AGM of the Bricket Wood Residents' Association last night in St Luke's hall. I counted around 60 in the audience, and they have 1800 members covering 80 percent of households.

My friend Aislinn Lee was there of course as the county councillor for the division. The reports and discussion were a fascinating snapshot of the pressures bearing down on the south of the district, with the threat of the Radlett freight terminal and the imminent start of the M25 widening project being top of the list.There was also a long discussion on roads and verges. The association reported 457 individual pot-holes to Herts Highways last year! This reflects a huge amount of walking by John Drinkwater and colleagues.

Fly-tipping is a perennial problem and there was an interesting discussion on the role of mobile CCTV cameras at black spots. And selfish and thoughtless parking on verges - particularly near Mount Pleasant School at pick-up and drop-off time - is as much of an issue as it is at almost every other school in the district. Some weeks ago Aislinn Lee took me to see the verge parking problem in Mount Pleasant Lane. It is truly bad, and a disproportionate number of the offending vehicles seem to be outsize 4X4s. So when shortly afterwards I attended a conference with the chief executive of Jaguar-Land Rover I asked him whether he felt that he had a responsibility to educate his customers that residential area grass verges are not an off-road test drive facility? I did not get a proper answer of course but I wanted to make the point.

Residents associations like these only flourish thanks to immense work from dedicated local residents. So my congratulations to Laurie Hart and his team, and the way they work so well with elected representatives at all levels.

PS Bricket Wood is special but even they must have been surprised by the way they were described in last year's so-called consultation by the Post Office on branch closures. I quote: "St Albans is a relatively affluent area in Hertfordshire spreading out from the town of St Albans complete with its ancient Cathedral; the seat also includes the town of Bricket Wood in the south." So now you know!

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