About 20 local Chells residents, and two local police officers, gathered at the Chells Manor Community Centre, Emperor’s Gate, on the evening of 1 December, to attend the latest in a series of Residents’ Meetings, organized by borough and county councillor Robin Parker, borough councillor Andy McGuinness and borough councillor Graham Snell. The room hire and delivery of a leaflet about the meeting to each door in Chells Division was funded by the Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) Local Community Budgets (LCB) of the three borough councillors and also by the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) Locality Budget (LB) of the county councillor. The total cost was about £450.

“We hold these meetings whenever possible” said Robin Parker “and this is the sixth one we have held in this form. There is no strict agenda and residents can raise any item that they believe to be important with myself as Chair. Since April 2011, SBC stopped holding the former Public Forums and we hope that these meetings give an opportunity for residents to voice matters of concern.”

Topics raised at the meeting were:

  • The forthcoming sale by SBC at an auction of a green space at Marlborough Road.
  • Overflowing litter and dog bins throughout the area.
  • Proposed cuts in bus funding by HCC.
  • The withdrawal by Arriva of the 797 coach service to London.
  • The empty stands for the missing Vehicle Messaging Sign (VMS) near Fairlands Way/Mobbsbury Way junction.
  • The unsigned and dangerous end of the cycle track near Emperor’s Gate on Fairlands Way.
  • Street lights reportedly going out before the 23.45 “earliest time” promised by HCC.“I have or will take up each of these issues with the relevant authorities” said Robin Parker.