Information for residents and visitors

The park

19/06/2020

Over the last few weeks, and particularly the last two weeks since the government’s lockdown measures have been reduced many open spaces across the country have become destinations for people using their re-found freedom and enforced leisure time to relax and to meet with friends. Aldbury has not been immune and with the weather well-nigh perfect for exercise and leisure people are understandably attracted to our village. Recently The Greyhound has been doing a take away service which has been an additional draw but many people are bringing their picnic chairs and setting themselves up around the pond (indeed and in some cases, in the pond!) without even visiting the pub.

While it puts strains on people’s patience and good will –particularly those living in the centre of the village and so most directly affected –we are to a great extent in the hands of the weather (where is the rain when you need it?), the Covid19 guidelines and the good sense and respect of the visitors themselves.

It is to be hoped that with shops open again this week and more people returning to work visitor numbers will fall, and fall further in the near future when pubs and restaurants are allowed to re-open in some form. In the mean time the Parish Councillors has spoken to the authorities and, in addition to the No Parking cones now around the pond to deter parking the police have agreed to make their presence known in the village at the weekend. The police have responded sympathetically to our concerns and believe their greater visibility will have a positive influence on visitors and their behaviour. The Greyhound has without any intervention decided to limit their hours and will stop selling alcohol at all if the circumstances suggest it is appropriate.

It has been suggested that we might seek to make the village the subject of a PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) but this is not practical as it would take many months to petition the various bodies whose agreement would be needed. This will be kept under review if visitor numbers and the consequent intrusion into the welfare of the village do not subside.

The steps we can take, both practical and legal, are limited and we have no immediate powers directly under our control other than seeking the support of those that do. However the Parish Councillors, Dacorum BC and the police are well aware of Aldbury’s concerns and will do their best to reconcile the needs of the village with those of its visitors.