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An e-newsletter from the Executive Committee
Chorleywood Residents' Association
March 2021

The Chorleywood Residents' Association e-newsletter is published approximately monthly. Please feel free to forward this email to someone you know who may not be on our mailing list, and gently suggest they subscribe via our website to receive updates themselves.

Mike Stansfield, CRA
This newsletter includes links which look like this to websites and email.  These can be used to quickly move to the relevant content.

Contents

National Census 2021

The National Census Day is tomorrow, Sunday 21st March.  

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) explain here the importance of the census and how everyone can be safely counted in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.  

This will be a digital-first census, which means that we are encouraged to respond online if we can.  The online census can be completed using any device including mobile phones and tablets.  Support is available.  The census can also be completed over the phone, or by using the traditional paper form.

Find out more at www.census.gov.uk

Be scam aware - You will only be contacted about the Census by letter – never text or phone.  When filling in the Census you will be asked for personal information such as your date of birth, your occupation and where you live. You will never be asked to provide your national insurance number or financial details.

CCSG Supporting Chorleywood - One Year On

It’s a year since our CRA colleague Vanessa set up the Chorleywood Corona Support Group, mobilising a fantastic team of volunteers to support Chorleywood as we, and the whole country, faced the harsh reality of the Covid pandemic.  

My goodness, the scale of the CCSG team’s work over the last 12 months is truly breath-taking. Here’s a photo summary of their achievements, as a celebration of the wonderful dedication and support they have provided in these very difficult times ... CCSG in a year (pdf download).  
 
Our heartfelt thanks go to all the CCSG team for all they’ve done, and continue to do, for those in need in our village.  

Jane Tozer, Chairman and all of the CRA Executive team

Neighbourhood Plan Referendum - Vote YES
 
As part of the 6th May elections, residents will be asked whether they support the adoption of the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan. The plan, which was developed by the Parish Council in association with your Residents' Association along with other local organisations, provides specific policies to influence development around Chorleywood and to protect the area from inappropriate or unsustainable development. With the current drive to significantly increase building around Three Rivers District, this plan can provide a vital tool in protecting Chorleywood and its character. More detail on the plan can be found at https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/chorleywood-neighbourhood-plan.
 
We would encourage all residents to take this opportunity to vote "YES" - the more support the plan gets from residents the more seriously Three Rivers District Council will take the provisions of the Neighbourhood Plan when considering planning applications.

Would you like to get involved?

Our Chorleywood Residents’ Association AGM will be held in May, and we'll be inviting nominations for committee members.  Details of the arrangements for the AGM will be provided in the April email newsletter and Spring TCR magazine.

In particular this year we will need a new Secretary because, to the Executive Committee's unanimous regret, David Hiddleston has decided it’s time for him to step down.  CRA Chairman, Jane Tozer, will say more about his excellent support for CRA at the AGM, but meanwhile has asked David for a candidate specification.  
 
Jane says that David gave his usual clear advice, we need someone who is "Tall, handsome, intelligent, visionary, articulate, literate, organised, sense of humour, good listener, computer literate, team player, unflappable and all round good egg!”.  Needless to say he also provided a proper job spec!  If you’re interested and want to hear more about the role please contact Jane at jane@chorleywoodresidents.co.uk.  

River Chess and Sewage
 
We mentioned recently that Thames Water identified significant groundwater ingress points into Chesham's sewers. This extra water, on top of wet weather, adds to the frequency of sewage releases polluting the Chess.  We’re pleased to say that Thames Water recently started work to fix the issue in ten Chesham hotspots for groundwater infiltration. They will work overnight to minimise disruption. 

The River Chess Association believes discharges are happening every day, making nearly 50 days in a row.  A wet spring might beat the 2014 record of 92 continuous daily events.  The River Chess Association are meeting with Thames Water soon, to discuss the situation. 

Meanwhile we’re pleased to tell you our MP Gagan Mohindra fully supports Philip Dunne MP’s Sewage (Inland Waters) Private Member’s Bill, which if passed into law will require water companies to:
  • take steps to stop discharging sewage into rivers in England;
  • set out plans to reduce their reliance on combined sewer overflows (CSOs);
  • publicly report on the number, condition and quality of sewage discharges in CSOs. 
Over 130 MPs have already shown their support for this Bill.  Gagan welcomes any constituents’ letters of support for the Bill, and signatures on any petitions doing the rounds, to help him demonstrate support from his constituency for these important measures.  

TRDC Tree Strategy - Have your Say!
 
TRDC are in the process of updating their Tree Strategy for 2022-2027.  We’re very pleased that they want to hear from stakeholders throughout the process.  You can find a briefing document on the process here trdc-tree-strategy-briefing-document-2021.pdf (pdf download).

We hope many residents will complete TRDC's initial survey, seeking your views on the priorities, which you can open by clicking this link.  This survey closes at midday next Sunday, 29th March.  You can also add extra comments in the box at the end of the survey.   Note there will be a further consultation period, on the draft Tree Strategy, later on in August and September 2021.

Replacement Trees - where are they needed?
 
We were pleased to hear recently that TRDC has approved a motion to plant one native British stock tree for every tree removed by TRDC in the District due to poor health or planning needs, great news!   Meanwhile, the trees in our verges are owned by HCC.  We know that HCC has recently replaced some trees which were removed by HCC in the last few years.  If you know of any other HCC removals which have not yet been replaced, please send both us and HCC Cllr Phil Williams (Phil.Williams@hertfordshire.gov.uk) the location details.

The High Cost of Litter and Doggy Doo!

In Chorleywood, I think many of us would agree that our beautiful Common has been one of the saving grace’s of Covid. Our very own 200 acre Local Nature Reserve and Conservation Area with its rich biodiversity, expertly managed by Chorleywood Parish Council (CPC), is enjoyed by hundreds every day.  It’s therefore a great shame that it's not always treated with the respect it deserves. 
 
With the rapid rise in dog ownership, and with walking one of the few permitted forms of outdoor exercise during the lockdowns, it’s been heartening to see the Common bring joy to so many, but deeply disappointing to see the lack of respect shown by a mindless few.  The increased litter and dog waste have sadly been evident for all to see. CPC spend £10,000 a year on clearing away the dog waste, and clear over 80 sacks of litter/recycling/waste from the Common every week, which include 14 sacks of dropped litter! They provide dog waste bags, available in their office reception area; have provided 15 red dog waste bins and have increased the number of litter bins. It’s actually illegal not to pick up and dispose of dog waste rightfully, punishable with fines up to £1,000. 
 
On behalf of all residents, we ask everyone to please take their litter home, to pick up after their dogs and dispose of waste responsibly. This does not mean tying it to trees/fences or leaving it in bags on the ground, it means putting it in one of the appropriate bins or taking it home with you.

New pavements, but now we need new verges

Residents will no doubt have noticed the resurfacing of the pavement and driveways along Chalfont Lane. Sadly during this process parts of the verges have been decimated. The CRA have been in contact with the contractors, Ringway, who have said they will remove the debris and add new top soil and seed.  The acquisition of top soil is proving problematic, but Ringway assure us it’s in hand.  We will of course continue to monitor the situation to ensure that our verges are made good again.

Residents wishing to report damage to verges or pavements may do so at Herts County Council using by clicking this link

Other good news is that the junction of Chalfont Lane and Blacketts Wood Drive has also been resurfaced.  Residents wishing to report poor road surfaces, potholes, sunken drains etc., are encouraged to do so by clicking this link.

Fuel Merchants back in Chorleywood?

Longstanding, eagle eyed residents may well have spotted the old F.W. & H. Miles Fuel Merchants sign behind the old Peppermill fascia, undoubtedly evoking a little nostalgia. It was a tiny office with some sacks of coal in the window, where you could go and order your coal. There were houses in Chorleywood who depended heavily on these coal supplies, since they did not have heating, only fireplaces.  

The shop then became part of another Chorleywood institution, The Peppermill, which had been established by Pepe and Suzanne Vasquez in 1968. Though we are saddened to see an institution like the dearly loved Peppermill disappear, the memory of Suzanne’s incredible chocolate covered choux buns, stuffed full of fresh cream, will never leave us,

it is wonderful to see our beloved book shop expanding and moving into that space.  Congratulations to Sheryl and her team, the CRA wish them every success in their new home.  Broadband permitting they will be moving into their new home this weekend.  Despite the challenges of 2020, their desire to be able to offer us a bigger and better bookshop never waned. The new shop will allow them to bring us more of what we love, along with the opportunity to host intimate author events and promotions.

To keep up to date with all of the latest bookshop news and offers then please subscribe to their newsletter via their website www.chilternbookshops.co.uk.

Update on Chorleywood Signal Box Project

The signal box project is now in full swing with five meetings to date of the committee, from which a comprehensive administrative framework has been established. Read more on the news page of our brand new website https://www.chorleywoodsignalbox.co.uk/news

Next steps are to fund the refurbishment of inside the signal box and provide safe access from the station, bearing in mind it is situated on a working railway. It is estimated that these works would cost in the region of £15,000. To bring this exciting project to reality the project team are actively fund raising starting with Just Giving (see home page of our website) and applying for grants from local authorities and the lottery. 

We need to preserve these important heritage sites as once they have gone they have gone for ever.

(Picture of "Up Met Goods train June 1934".  Note that the station name back then was "Chorley Wood and Chenies")

Chorleywood House Estate

The “Friends of Chorleywood House Estate” (FoCWHE) are eagerly awaiting March 29th according to their Secretary Tim Venner who says  “This is when our working parties can resume, albeit limited to 6 members.  Mother Nature doesn’t observe lockdown, and nettles and brambles keep on growing despite the restrictions. Current lockdown rules do permit 2 people to exercise in pairs, so during the winter months we have been doing what we can, whilst staying within the law.”
 
Last year, CRA ex-chairman Owen Edis and Tim successfully persuaded TRDC to remove the unsightly and dilapidated fence along the A 404, and replace it with a post and rail.  This gave an excellent view of the jungle immediately behind. Bit by bit this has been removed by FoCWHE working parties, opening up the view across the Estate, and revealing the magnificent rhododendrons which are coming into bud - one reason why more and more people have been visiting the Estate during lockdown. The Council has replaced and updated the information boards, and shortly will be improving the surface of the parking area by the public tennis courts.
 
Spring is a lovely time to visit the Estate.  The wild daffodils are flowering in Wood Walk, and will be followed in a few weeks by the native bluebells.  For more information about the Estate, visit the website at www.Chorleywoodhouse.org.uk.  If you would like to encourage the “Friends” by becoming a member (£5 annual donation), or would like to help with the regular Tuesday morning working parties, just get in touch with Tim (timvenner@aol.com

There will not be a Chorleywood Village Day in 2021

Chorleywood Parish Council has made the decision not to run Village Day this year. The event would possibly be three weeks after the end of lockdown, but if this were extended it would be difficult to cancel the day without losing funds. There is also the potential that the new cricket club development will have started, which would impede access to the site for emergency vehicles.  The parish council will be holding a number of smaller events throughout the summer going into the autumn which will be published shortly.

A glimpse of Chorleywood from 1970

In last month's newsletter I shared a digitized copy of The Chorleywood Newsletter magazine from Spring 1984 and asked readers if they would like to see more from other years.  There were 53 responses, of which the overwhelming majority (49) indicated they were interested.

I was delighted to receive a reply from one of our Resident Reps, Anthony Boswell, who said that he still had some copies from earlier years, including the Newsletter from Spring 1970!  That was issue number 4, and to accompany it was a flyer with details of the 1970 AGM and the Annual Report for that year.  Fascinating reading once again.
CRA AGM notice March 1970
CRA Newsletter #4 Spring 1970

I also received replies from other Residents who have copies from the past, including Fay Caplin who was on the CRA committee and editorial team in the 1990s and 2000s, including a period as editor for the magazine.  Fay has provided me with 29 printed editions in great condition with the earliest from 1988 which I greatly appreciate.  These will be gradually digitised and added to the archive.

There are still editions needed to complete the collection.  You can refer to this Index of Chorleywood Residents Association publications which lists all 105 editions going back to 1968 with the current status.  If you are in possession of any of those that show as blank status, please let me know by emailing mike@chorleywoodresidents.co.uk.  In your email if you could provide details including the issue number (date), condition etc. that would be really helpful, and I will try to respond to all emails received.  

Thanks for your support.

Mike Stansfield, CRA

Chorleywood RSPB - 'Birds Without Borders'

The monthly talks at the Chorleywood RSPB Group, are now held via Zoom and are open to the public.  On Thursday 15 April the subject will be Hungary - A Jewel of Europe. The speaker is Mary Braddock.  She will guide us through the flood plains of the River Tisza, the birds and the wild life that these wetlands support together with the specialties of the plains and surrounding woodlands. This is a fascinating talk about this land-locked country.
 
Log on to the meeting at around 7.30pm. There is a cost of £2.50, payable later. To find out about how to access the Zoom meeting, phone 01923 897885. Technical help is available if you have not used Zoom before. 

‘Lockdown Comedy’ In Aid Of Charity On March 27

Veteran alternative comedian Arthur Smith is headlining an evening of Lockdown Comedy in aid of 
Mission EmployAble, via Zoom on Saturday, March 27 at 8pm. Out of Bounds Comedy is offering the charity two hours of unbeatable entertainment, guaranteed to cheer you up during lockdown.  Tickets £14 per household + £1.50 booking fee available by clicking this link.


Be scam aware - Remember the NHS will NEVER ask for Payment - all vaccines are FREE ; or ask for your Bank details ;  or arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine ;  and will not ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents.  See COVID vaccine scam guidelines (PDF 647 KB) for more guidance.

if you need help with transportation for a vaccination then try contacting Chorleywood Corona Support Group (CCSG) who provide a volunteer driver service.

Quick Links
  • Nominations for the Chorleywood Community Champion Award close on 26th March 2021.  See the CPC Community Notice board for more information and how to make a nomination.
  • Chorleywood Corona Support Group (CCSG) can provide assistance with shopping, prescriptions, running local errands and more.
  • HertsHelp is a network of community organisations in Hertfordshire working together. If you are a family in need of support with food and other essentials, call 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net.
  • If you need someone to talk to, Samaritans provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face. Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
  • Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.   Text: 85258
  • Advice from NSPCC to help you decide when your child is ready to be left alone and how to keep them safe when you aren’t there.
  • The National Garden Scheme have created films of their gardens in order to keep the garden gates open online.  See their website at https://ngs.org.uk/virtual-garden-visits/
Staying Safe
 
One of the best ways of staying informed is by signing up for the excellent OWL emails from Herts Police.  Sign up directly at https://www.owl.co.uk.

Recent alerts include
  • Catalytic converter theft is part of a national crimewave that is sweeping the country. The actual theft can take as little as two minutes to execute, quite often involving someone with a hydraulic trolley jack and cutting through the exhaust with an angle grinder or electric saw which can cause a loud noise.  Anyone seen jacking up a car up in the street like this should be reported to the police straight away.  
  • Money mule scammers using fake job adverts.  Fraudsters recruit innocent people to transfer stolen money overseas using the victim’s bank account. This money has often been obtained illegally and the ‘mule’ is asked to receive the stolen money into their account and told to send the money overseas using a wire transfer service, keeping some for themselves.
  • There is a discount on a call blocker to help block nuisance calls.  Call Blocker V5000 and Call Blocker Shield
Remember that a bank will NEVER contact you to ask you to move money to another account. 

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or www.herts.police.uk/protectyourmoney for advice on avoiding scams.

You can access recent CRA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, and other files of interest, by visiting our website Meetings and Minutes and Other Documentation pages.

Keep in touch with Chorleywood news on Twitter or Facebook

Visit our website or click here to find out the many ways that you can support CRA
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This newsletter is for information purposes and may carry unedited items from other organisations within Chorleywood at editor's discretion and for that purpose only. No direct or indirect support of any items, organisations or views expressed is implied by the Association unless specifically stated.
 
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