Sunday, 27 April 2014

Shoppers and leisure users in St Albans benefit from frozen car park charges

Source - news release from St Albans Council on 25 April 2014

Charges are frozen or reduced for stays of up to three hours from Monday to Saturday at certain St Albans car parks, benefitting shoppers and leisure users.  

On 1 April, St Albans City and District Council introduced a new parking strategy designed to make the most of available capacity at its car parks.  Pricing now varies between its car parks to encourage the use of particular locations by leisure users, workers or shoppers. Tariffs were changed following negotiations with NCP which manages many District Council-owned car parks. 

Benefitting shoppers and leisure users, charges are frozen or reduced for stays of up to three hours, Monday to Saturday, at these NCP-managed, District Council car parks:

• Drovers Way,
• Russell Avenue,
• Bowers Way East,
• Bowers Way West,
• London Road,
• Amenbury Lane, and
• Adelaide Street.

Previously, shoppers and leisure users parking at these locations for three hours on Monday to Saturdays paid £3.60 as they had to use the 2-5 hour tariff band. Now they can use the new 2-3 hour tariff band and pay £3. This gives shoppers and leisure users more flexibility.

Anyone wanting to park for longer than six hours can now use our cheaper, long-stay car parks at:
• Bricket Road North
• Keyfield Terrace
• Gombards
• Townsend Avenue.

Leisure users and shoppers are also able to use the Council-run Westminster Lodge car park free of charge for up to two hours on Monday to Sunday. Parking on Sundays at all NCP-managed, Council-owned car parks and at the Council-run Civic Centre car park will now cost £1 all day. This flat rate compares favourably with Sunday parking costs in surrounding Districts.

At a meeting on Thursday 24 April, Cabinet received a report setting out the key principles behind the new parking strategy. New signage will be introduced to help people find car parks that are most suitable for their needs. We are in discussion with NCP to provide access to a pay by phone service at all Council-owned car parks.

The meeting on 24 April was webcast and can be watched on the Council’s website. The full report on the parking strategy is available in the papers for the meeting at:

St Albans Council to trial new cardboard collection service

Source - news release from St Albans Council on 25 April 2014

St Albans City and District Council is to trial a new cardboard collection service in selected areas to run alongside the current kerbside recycling. The trial follows constructive feedback from residents about the Council’s recycling scheme. The scheme was changed last year with the aim of helping to increase household recycling rates above 60%. 

If the trial is successful, the service will be rolled out across the District and will make it easier for residents to recycle cardboard. Residents will then no longer have to break down large pieces of cardboard to fit into their paper recycling boxes or request a special large cardboard collection service.

At a meeting on Thursday 24 April, Cabinet heard that the Council’s waste collection contractors Amey will test the new service from mid-May until the end of June. The service will involve dedicated cardboard and paper collection vehicles that will be used to take residents’ cardboard and paper on their recycling collection days.

The trial will take place across 12 collection rounds that have yet to be agreed. Once details are finalised, the information will be posted on the Council’s website and residents affected will be notified. Subject to the trial being successful, Amey will roll out the new service across the District during the summer.

The Council is currently running a special post-Easter cardboard collection service until Friday 2 May. This is because it is a time of year when a lot of cardboard is generated, for example from home improvement projects. Residents should put cardboard in their recycling box with paper or flatten larger pieces and stack them alongside for collection on their first recycling day after Easter. Details of waste and recycling collections following Easter are available here.

If residents miss this one-off collection, they can place cardboard in their paper recycling boxes. Alternatively, they can book a special collection for oversized cardboard during their normal recycling week by calling 01727 819285 or email

Last year, the Council asked residents to remove cardboard from green waste as part of its recycling scheme to help increase household recycling rates to above 60%. This is because national standards for compost have tightened recently and the cardboard was contaminating green waste making it unusable as compost. When green waste is contaminated with cardboard, it is rejected by the composting plant and has to be sent to landfill. 

The Cabinet meeting on 24 April was webcast and can be watched on the Council’s website at: The papers for the meeting are available at:

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Museum and Gallery project gets underway

Source - news release from St Albans Council (22 Apr 2014)

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given permission for work to start on the project to transform St Albans grade II* Town Hall into a museum and gallery.

The HLF has pledged £2.8m and St Albans City and District Council £2.25m towards the total project cost of £6.75m. St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust (the Trust) is leading fundraising for the remaining £1.7m, supported by the Council’s museums service and the University of Hertfordshire. The fundraising project is called “renaissance: St Albans”.

Last year the HLF awarded first phase development funding of £282,000 for the project which will see the Museum of St Albans move to the Town Hall. Work could not start on the partnership project until the HLF approved detailed plans for this first phase. The Council will now proceed to appoint a project manager, an architect and an exhibition and interpretation designer. They will develop the designs and long-term project plans needed to support a second-round application to the HLF for the balance of its £2.8m pledge. 

At a meeting on Thursday 24 April, Cabinet will hear that a number of specialist national architects’ practices have shown an interest in leading the design team.

Fundraising is being led by the Trust. A number of donations and pledges have been received, including from both the St Albans University of the Third Age and St Albans Civic Society. The community fundraising programme will be launched in June. 

The Council is working with various partners, including the Trust and the University of Hertfordshire Galleries to transform the beautiful Town Hall into a must-see attraction. The museum and gallery will also provide a cultural heritage resource for the region.

Visitors will be able to discover 2,000 years of St Albans history through innovative and inspirational displays and tour the Town Hall’s court room and prison cells. The Town Hall will also provide space for the University of Hertfordshire’s contemporary art gallery currently located with the Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road. 

The aim is that the Town Hall will become a gateway for exploring other attractions in the City. These include Verulamium Museum, the Cathedral, the Roman Theatre and the medieval Clock Tower. 

The public can attend the Cabinet meeting at 7pm on Thursday 24 April at the District Council’s offices at the Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans. The meeting is also being webcast and can be watched on the Council’s website at:

An update on the museum project is available in the papers for the meeting on Thursday 24 April here.