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Welcome to a special section of this website focussing exclusively on Hatfield and its surrounding villages. It is supported by a team of community correspondents proud of Hatfield's heritage and determined to bring you special reports, interviews, features, letters, pictures and videos that keep you fully informed of the major issues happening in the town and nearby.

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Editorial:

Town Centre

After a long winter it seems that spring has sprung a bit late. But at least it’s arrived. And arriving too were the builders now in the process of beginning the long awaited start to Phase 1 of the town centre redevelopment. Presently, they seem to be concentrating their efforts on the former Bill Salmon Centre where 19 apartments and five shops are to be built. Four more flats and two shops will also be built at the end of The Arcade.

The Phase 1 development is scheduled to take up to 15 months and, at a cost of £3million, is about one twelfth of the overall scheme costing £40million. It has not yet been announced when Phase 2 will start. Clearly it is going to be a very long process with the developer dictating the pace of construction with their caveat, “When markets improve”.

Charm Offensive

With County Council elections coming in May, opposition parties are aware that the local press have begun their campaign of support for the Conservative’s who rule at Government, County Council, Borough Council and Town Council levels. It started with our MP Grant Shapps hailing the business park on the former BAe aircraft site as a great success. Mr Shapps explained that more people are now employed there than they were when Hatfield manufactured and developed some of the world’s finest aircraft; space rockets and missiles too.

Whilst his figures are debatable, there is no doubt that many thousands of workers – largely unskilled – are now employed there. Of course a very high percentage of these are not what could properly be termed ‘local’ people. Thousands of them are transient migrant workers and thousands more travel here from the previous bases of their companies who relocated to Hatfield eg EE (ex Tmobile) from Borehamwood; Eisai from Hammersmith; Pitney Bowes from Harlow, and now, we are told, the soon to open ARLA depot are advertising many of their 600 ‘local jobs’ in Poland!

To compare the new business park with the old BAe aircraft site is ridiculous. Not one of the new businesses, no matter how large, provides so much as a football team, let alone a social club or meaningful sponsorship to a local cause.

Working practices change, but the aircraft industry provided quality jobs, proper training and apprenticeships, also a plethora of sports and social clubs and it saw itself as a true community partner. Perhaps Mr Shapps would like to comment about this aspect?

Football Stadium For Hatfield?

Hatfield Town FC were forced to leave town six years ago so that they could take up a promotion from the Herts County League to play in the Spartan South Midlands. Initially, they relocated to ground share at Harpenden Town’s modest stadium, because the Spartan League demand that clubs have certain facilities such as floodlights and grandstands etc, but Hatfield, shamefully, provided no ground at all. Our flagship club have since played their ‘home’ matches at the grounds of WGC, London Colney, Hitchen Town, Hertford, Colney Heath, and are now based at Gosling in WGC. But all this could soon change if the University re-open the sports ground at Angerland Common; which they closed to the community nine years ago. It will cost the Uni around £250k to reinstate the now overgrown playing pitches and a further £800k to build a replacement changing room block for the original one they demolished to make way for their large Park & Ride on the site. Although the University have a legal ‘106’ obligation to restore Angerland, it now seems that they will be using this money – and more – to provide a permanent home ground for both Hatfield Town FC and Hatfield QE Rugby club plus their reserves and youth teams.

If this scheme is delivered in a financially fair, non-onerous way, then these clubs have much to be grateful for and due credit should be accorded to the University. We look forward to seeing the details of their forthcoming planning application.

Mike Watts, Community Editor


Neighbourhood Watch:

Burglary- Fern Dells

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Be wary of being offered a cheap bike for sale

8:43pm Tuesday 12th November 2013

Burglary- Fern Dells

More Scam Phone Calls - Brookmans Park

St Albans & Harpenden Review: SOUTH WOODFORD: Meeting to discuss future of neighbourhood watch group

8:37pm Tuesday 12th November 2013

More Scam Phone Calls - Brookmans Park

Attempted Burglary- College Lane

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Neighbourhood Watch – Join Th Club

12:50pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013

Between 2100hrs on Monday 21/10/13 and 0800hrs on Tuesday 22/10/13 offender[s] attempted to break into the rear of properties in College Lane, Hatfield.

News & Views:

Legendary Drummer Mick Underwood to open "The Rock Den's" 2014 gigs

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Mick Underwood's Glory Road

10:22am Monday 9th December 2013

Mick Underwood is one of the stalwarts of the British music scene. With a career stretching

Purple Tree UK Rock "The Den"@Breaks

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Martin Howells

9:21am Monday 9th December 2013

So the stage was set for the final gig of 2013 at "The Rock Den" @Breaks with Purple Tree UK.

Food Hygiene Standards At local Eateries

St Albans & Harpenden Review: E17 Popup Restaurant Project, Chinese New Year Dinner - Spicy Sichuan Meal

9:08am Friday 7th June 2013

My other half is a fussy eater and usually takes some persuading to visit restaurants providing international cuisine due to his concerns over contracting ‘deli belly’ as he calls it. But soon we are to attend a family event at a particular local restaurant. To appease him I researched the borough council’s website regarding food hygiene standards in some Hatfield eateries. Your readers may wish to ...

Shapps Accused Of Voting Against Clean Energy Target

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Grant Shapps at Hinkler Parade in Thornhill

11:56am Thursday 6th June 2013

Environmental campaign group, 38 Degrees, were narrowly beaten yesterday as MPs voted against including a clean energy target in the Energy Bill. If just 12 MPs had voted differently, they would have won. Among those voting against was WelHat MP Grant Shapps who, they claim, "... didn't vote the right way...

Events & Sport:

Beekeeping courses starting February 2014

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Beekeeping courses starting  February 2014

9:02am Monday 9th December 2013

Anyone interested in Beekeeping, then please

Race For Life In The Pink At Stanborough

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Race For Life: Participants warm-up

3:18pm Sunday 9th June 2013

Hundreds of joggers took part in the ever popular 5k Race For Life at Stanborough on Sunday. Girls of all ages took part as the charitable cancer event began, at 11.15am. A sea of mainly pink-topped females either walked, jogged, ran - or even pushed prams...

Hatfield Town lose again!!!!!!!

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Win a last for Hatfield Town FC - Adult Disabled Team

8:35am Friday 29th November 2013

Hatfield went in to the first of three home games in a row having lost the previous three games, conceding a total of 15 goals and only scoring one.

Statement from Lakeside Hammers Speedway

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Heat 4: Robert Mear (blue) and Piotr Swiderski – Vortex Lakeside Hammers vs Kings Lynn Stars – Sky Sports Elite League Speedway at Arena Essex Raceway, CREDIT: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

10:18pm Tuesday 21st May 2013

The Vortex Lakeside Hammers are very disappointed that our meeting tomorrow night at The Poole Pirates has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond this Club’s control. The timing is particularly unfortunate as the team were keen to continue their rich vein of form.


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