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NEWS

  • Boris Johnson Tory ''Build Build Build!''
    Petition: Feb 18, 2022

    Swathes of our Green Belt and even Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are at risk. Tory Government policy is to ''Build Build Build'' - with little regard to what local residents think.

    The Conservative Government has overruled local councils refusals up and down the country to allow large developments in not only Green Belt, but also AONB, within the last year.

    Already this year the Government allowed a large development in a conservation area in Croxley Green, even admitting it would cause an ''adverse impact''. However the ''public benefit'' of the 160 new houses outweighed harm caused to the village green.

    Unfortunately, our Conservative MP has been near silent on the matter in Parliament despite it causing anxiety to many of his residents. For added measure, he voted to allow water companies to dump raw sewage into the River Chess.

    There is a housing need and new homes, particularly affordable, need to be provided. But this has to be in sustainable locations and not cause widespread damage to countryside where the infrastructure is often inadequate.

  • Cllr Margaret Hofman
    Article: Feb 8, 2022

    The Government Inspector has overruled Three Rivers and approved the Killingdown Farm development.

    It is obviously a massive disappointment the Government have ridden roughshod over residents and the Councils genuine and legitimate concerns caused by this application. The Lib Dem Council listened and refused the application in May.

  • Solar Panels
    Article: Jan 26, 2022

    Lib Dem-run Three Rivers have launched two new schemes which will support businesses to become greener and more sustainable.

    In two complimentary schemes business owners can apply for grants and practical guidance, which will help them become more environmentally friendly and be able to manage the challenges that they face.

  • Re-wilding
    Article: Jan 25, 2022

    A major step forward has been taken by Lib Dem-run Three Rivers Council in its climate change objectives by agreeing to fund a new grassland management plan from April onwards.

    The council already maintains 54% of its grassland as long grass, and agreed in November to cease regular mowing of up to 50% of the grassland it owns, replacing this with hay meadow management, mowing and lifting the grass at least once a year.

  • Cllrs Chris Lloyd, Stephanie Singer and Dominic Sokalski
    Article: Dec 6, 2021

    The British Red Cross site is a community asset that Three Rivers have been working to protect for over three years, writes Cllr Dominic Sokalski.

    Since taking over the Property Portfolio at Three Rivers I have sought to involve Croxley Green Parish Council over the future of the site. I have met with Parish Councillors and listened carefully to their ideas, shared ours, and I have been keeping them up to date on the situation.

    In addition to speaking with the Parish, I have also met with interested residents individually to listen and answer their questions.

    In response to some claims, it is simply not true to suggest that Three Rivers want to ''remove'' a community space. The Council in fact continues its efforts to provide a brand new, and crucially more widely used, community space on the site.

    I used the hall as a child, but since then the British Red Cross have frustratingly restricted use of the current hall for many years. The building itself also now needs significant investment and is in a dilapidated state.

    Three Rivers would like the new hall to be unrestricted so that people of all ages in the community can enjoy it.

    As far as I am aware, there has been no 'offer' from the Parish that would meet the objective of Three Rivers to have a more widely used community hall. It is in fact unclear how the Parish proposal would allow for any community use.

    As I understand it, the Parish requested the British Red Cross assign them the lease for free to allow the Parish to move their entire offices and store their ranger equipment in the current building.

    While I understand the Parish's desire for new offices, it is highly uncertain that the building could be used as office premises (almost certainly requiring planning permission for change-of-use) and not get in the way of enabling a more widely-used community hall - a key objective of Three Rivers.

    Ultimately, the British Red Cross have the lease to the site and control what happens next.

    Three Rivers have been engaged in negotiations for some time to agree the formal surrender of the lease and at this stage both parties are working towards an agreement in principle. It has proven difficult to agree to the terms which meet the British Red Cross's expectations.

    Once agreement is reached, as the site is brownfield, affordable housing would be included on top of the new community hall as a critical step in relieving pressure on Green Belt. Lib Dem-run Three Rivers are fighting to protect as much of our Green Belt as possible from the huge Government housing targets.

    Without using brownfield for housing, the Council is simply ineligible to protect any Green Belt.

    We do not want to risk our Green Belt.

    But we also want to see the site brought back into use to provide the maximum benefit to the community - a new hall, affordable housing or potentially other community uses.

    For me, the proposal of Three Rivers is a win-win. It will provide a brand new and more widely used community hall and crucially help at the margin to protect our Green Belt.

    I was encouraged that over 88% of respondents to our recent Croxley Green Resident Survey support this proposal by Three Rivers, with many adding they've changed their minds.

    From my meetings with the Parish, I asked whether the Parish would be interested in putting themselves forward to run the new hall for the benefit of the whole community. While other community groups have expressed interest, I've not yet had a response from the Parish. I am keen to further discuss this with them.

    Three Rivers and the Parish have increasingly been working well together.

    In particular, our co-ordinated responses to the Killingdown Farm planning appeal. I have been supporting the Parish and Residents Association in their appeal submissions, including recommending they have a joint representative to strengthen their appeal evidence. I was pleased they accepted my advice.

    I really hope this positive and constructive relationship can be built upon to the benefit of the community.

    If you have any questions about the British Red Cross building please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at Dominic.sokalski@threerivers.gov.uk.

  • Cllrs Margaret Hofman and Dominic Sokalski
    Article: Dec 5, 2021

    Croxley's Lib Dem Councillors have met with the local GP leads to discuss options for a new GP surgery in Croxley Green as part of the post-Covid recovery. Currently there are two GP surgeries, Baldwins Lane and New Road, but neither are large enough to provide a full range of services. The NHS has identified Croxley Green as in need of a new GP surgery. Cllr Steve Drury said, "We had been working with the surgeries on potential new sites two years ago, but Covid disrupted that. Now with rapidly growing demand it is essential Croxley has a new GP surgery. We will continue to work closely with the surgeries on potential new sites and lobby the NHS for better funding". Cllr Margaret Hofman added, "I've been registered at Baldwins Lane Surgery for well over 30 years and know how much Croxley needs a new GP surgery. Residents deserve to be able to see their GP and get routine services locally, without needing to travel. We will keep residents updated on the progress and consult where possible."

  • Cllr Margaret Hofman with The Kitchen founder Linda Anderson
    Petition: Nov 26, 2021

    Cllrs Margaret Hofman and Dominic Sokalski have been working with local business owners to request the council make changes to the Croxley Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) to better support shops along Watford Road.

    The Lib Dem Councillors are supporting a petition lodged by The Kitchen owner Linda Anderson requesting Three Rivers add in additional dual purpose parking bays for customers and allow parking for two hours. They are also requesting clearer signage where possible.

  • Tories voting to let sewage dumping continue
    Petition: Oct 26, 2021

    Water companies dumped raw sewage into the River Chess for over 3,000 hours in 2020. Nationally, sewage was dumped into rivers for 3million hours!

    The Conservatives and local Conservative MPs Gagan Mohindra and Dean Russell are letting them get away with it and want taxpayers to pay to fix the problem.

  • Letter correspondence
    Article: Oct 21, 2021

    The Housing Minister has refused to better protect Green Belt following requests by Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper, who represents parts of Three Rivers and St Albans Councils, and the leaders of the two Lib Dem-run Councils.

    The Conservative Housing Minster confirmed they will continue to use outdated 2014 population data, even though recent data would result in a lower housing target. The Minister also refused to stop including a Council's progress towards the housing target when considering planning appeals - including on Green Belt or even on sites in land protected as an Area of Outstanding of Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst and Cllr Matthew Bedford at a threatened field
    Article: Oct 21, 2021

    At the Council meeting on Tuesday, Three Rivers Council backed a motion from the ruling Liberal Democrat group calling on the government to change national planning rules which force the council to build homes in the Green Belt.

    Cllr Matthew Bedford, Three Rivers Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said "Government housing targets are calculated using out-of-date forecasts from 2014, and enforced through the Planning Inspectorate which is an unelected quango. Elsewhere in Hertfordshire, the Planning Inspectorate has given permission for large new housing estates in the Green Belt, despite the harm caused. We want the government to change the rules and we have asked our local Conservative MPs to back us."

  • Cllrs Margaret Hofman, Chris Lloyd and Dominic Sokalski at County Hall with the petition
    Article: Oct 19, 2021

    Herts County Council have unanimously accepted a Lib Dem motion to produce a detailed report into closing Little Green Lane to motorised traffic. This will allow the petition to progress to the next stage, with costings and the type of barrier to be assessed.

    The campaign has had overwhelming resident support and continues to grow. Over 1,300 residents have signed the Lib Dem petition calling for the unpaved parts of Little Green Lane to be protected by having it closed to general motorised traffic.

  • Cllrs Dominic Sokalski, Margaret Hofman and Paul Rainbow
    Article: Oct 3, 2021

    Over 1,200 residents have so far signed a petition calling for Little Green Lane in Croxley to be protected by having the unpaved part of the road closed to motorised traffic.

    Local campaigners say this will help stop the fly-tipping that occurs there and preserve the rural nature of the road and surrounding area for future generations.

    Campaign organiser Liberal Democrat Croxley Cllr Dominic Sokalski said, "We promised during the election to work hard to protect Little Green Lane. I am delighted the petition has now surpassed a thousand signatures and it will have to be considered by Herts County Council at its next meeting on October 19th. We hope the county council will agree our request."

    Fellow Lib Dem Croxley Cllr Margaret Hofman said, "We would like to a say a big thank you to all the residents who signed our petition to get us well over the needed thousand signatures to secure debate at Herts County Hall. The reaction on the doorstep was very positive. Almost everyone we asked, without exception, could see closing the unpaved part of the road to traffic would enhance and protect our environment and green space."

    The campaigners are still collecting signatures and you can sign the petition via the link here.

  • Cllr Margaret Hofman successfully campaigned for Killingdown application to be refused
    Article: May 28, 2021

    KILLINGDOWN FARM APPLICATION REFUSED - RESIDENTS SHOULD BE PROUD

    Three Rivers District Council refused the application to build 160 dwellings at Killingdown Farm in Croxley Green at the Planning Committee on 27 May. Residents should be proud - their huge response and engagement delivered a very clear message. The Lib Dems will work hard to ensure residents concerns continue to be heard and that any development of the site takes better account of its surroundings.

  • Cllrs Chris Lloyd, Stephanie Singer and Dominic Sokalski at the BRC Centre
    Article: May 24, 2021

    Three Rivers District Council committed to retaining a community hall on the Red Cross site

    The Red Cross site was closed to community groups in 2019 when the Red Cross decided it no longer needed it for its own purposes and recognised it needs a significant sum spending to bring it up to modern standards. The Red Cross have over 40 years remaining on the lease.

  • Cllr Margaret Hofman has been pushing for more Green Belt to be protected
    Article: May 19, 2021

    Government plans to develop fields around communities across Three Rivers have been slammed by the Lib Dems in Three Rivers. The Lib Dem Council Group is refusing to propose some sites for consultation suggested by owners for new housing development.

    Government regulations prioritise land on the edge of existing settlements for new building. However Liberal Democrats, who last week retained control of Three Rivers Council with an increased majority, say the pandemic has increased the need for outdoor recreation and leisure easily accessible from people's homes.

  • Cllrs Dominic Sokalski, Margaret Hofman and Paul Rainbow
    Petition: Apr 12, 2021

    The Croxley Lib Dem team are calling for Little Green Lane to be closed to motor traffic, similar to how the local Lib Dems successfully had Rousebarn Lane closed to motor traffic back in the 1990s. This would tackle the rise in fly-tipping there and preserve its rural nature for future generations.

  • Street lights in Croxley Green
    Petition: Mar 25, 2021

    Three Rivers Liberal Democrats have once again called on Hertfordshire County Council to end its policy of turning off residential street lighting at a fixed time.

    Lib Dem Campaigner Paul Rainbow said "We've all been appalled by the abduction and murder of a woman walking alone at night in London. Thankfully such events are extremely rare, but people have a right to be out at night without the added fear of walking in the dark. This is particularly important for women who are made to feel more vulnerable because of the County Council's policy of turning off the lights when people may still be out and about."

  • Cllr Andrew Scarth and Cllr Keith Martin
    Article: Mar 17, 2021

    Comment by Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst:

    I would like to echo the comments made by others on London's Labour Mayor suggestion of a £5.50 "London Boundary charge" on residents in Three Rivers and Herts driving into London. He can expect a serious and widespread campaign against it from Three Rivers Council.

  • Cllr Margaret Hofman has been pushing for more Green Belt to be protected
    Petition: Mar 2, 2021

    The Conservative Government are not listening to residents or to our council. It is clear that the government-imposed housing targets cannot be met without building on swathes of Green Belt.

    The facts

    In 2017-18 Three Rivers's target for building new homes was 180 per year, which Three Rivers were meeting.

  • Cllr Phil Williams at the depot
    Article: Feb 26, 2021

    Lib Dem-run Three Rivers District Council has the highest recycling rate in England, under provisional figures published for the latest year. In fact, three of the top five recycling councils in the country are Lib Dem-run.

    Figures show Three Rivers had a Recycling, Reuse and Composting rate of 64.1%, with a 1.1% increase from the previous year and leapfrogging two other councils to first place.

  • Fallen tree blocking Ebury Way
    Article: Jan 16, 2021

    Cllr Chris Lloyd successfully gets Ebury Way fallen tree cleared, allowing the important cycle and footway to be used.

    Croxley District Cllr Chris Lloyd reported a tree down on the Ebury Way after having to slow down on a run. After work by Cllrs and officers on Watford Borough, Three Rivers District Council and Herts County Council, it was agreed that it was the responsibility of a team at Herts County Council and it was cleared.

  • Petition: Nov 17, 2020

    Rickmansworth Lib Dems are calling on TfL to not delay installing step-free access at Rickmansworth Met Station.

    The consequences of Covid-19 has hit TfL finances hard but the project is a key part of the London Mayor's drive to make the Tube more accessible for all. It was first approved long ago - in January 2018.
    Local campaigner Tom Smith said, ''providing step-free access would make life much easier for those who struggle with their mobility.
    It is really important that the impact of Covid-19 doesn't result in Rickmansworth station step-free access being shelved. It would be hugely unfair to the many residents who depend on step-free access through no fault of their own. Back our campaign by signing the petition below''.

  • Cllr Sarah Nelmes following Covid-19 rules
    Article: Oct 22, 2020
    By Cllr Sarah Nelmes

    Joint statement by the Council leaders in Three Rivers, Hertsmere and Watford.

    Cllr Sarah Nelmes, alongside Watford Mayor Peter Taylor and Hertsmere Leader Morris Bright MBE urge everyone in Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford to pull together to tackle the threat posed by rising Covid-19 cases and to do what is necessary to prevent further restrictions and possible lockdown.

  • Croxley Rail Link Plan
    Petition: Oct 17, 2020

    Sign our petition for the UK Government to restart construction on the Croxley Rail Link

    The UK Government has pledged a 'New Deal for Britain' to deliver vital infrastructure. In his speech on June 30th the Prime Minister set out plans to 'build back better' in the wake of coronavirus and has pledged £5bn to accelerate infrastructure projects.

  • TRDC Food Hub
    Article: Sep 10, 2020

    During lockdown, Three Rivers District Council's food hub provided over 47,000 meals and supported over 2000 people living or studying in Three Rivers.

    This service was launched at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, to support residents affected by the restriction's challenges and hardships of the pandemic and it was closed at the end of July.

  • Cllr Sarah Nelmes
    Article: Sep 10, 2020

    Three Rivers Lib Dems are calling on South West Herts MP Gagan Mohindra to clarify his stance on adherence to international law. Following the Government's decision to introduce legislation which would undermine key aspects of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Three Rivers Liberal Democrat leader Sarah Nelmes said:

  • Cllr Sara Bedford
    Article: Mar 3, 2020

    Government tells Three Rivers to build more houses

    The Conservative Government has told Three Rivers District Council that they have to build 620 new homes across the district every year until 2033. This adds up to around 9,000 homes during the plan period.

    During the last three years, an average of 41% per year, of the Government target, has been built. Unfortunately, this means the Council has been placed "on the naughty step" and is subject to 'presumption'. This means that the council May be unable to reject some plans that do not fit with its own Local Plan, but accord with the Government's policies.

  • Cllr Chris Lloyd
    Article: Feb 15, 2020

    Lib Dem-run Three Rivers is now the 3rd best recycling local authority in england

    New figures show that Lib Dem-run Three Rivers District Council has improved from the 4th to 3rd best recycling local authority across England.

    Commenting on the news, Croxley Durrants Councillor Chris Lloyd said, ''I would like to thank residents for helping us acheive this impressive result. This would not have been possible without the determination and commitment shown by local residents to make Three Rivers a clean, heatlhy, and great place to live''.

  • Article: Jan 13, 2020
    Responding to the publication last month (23/10/19) of the Education Select Committee's report on children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Herts, Sally Symington, said:
    "Children with SEND have borne the brunt of the schools funding crisis. Teaching assistants and other support staff have been sacked. Meanwhile, parents struggle to get the support their child needs as schools, healthcare providers and local councils squabble over who should pay.
  • Article: Jan 13, 2020

    County Council votes to oppose further expansion of Luton Airport


    Hertfordshire County Council has voted to oppose further expansion of London Luton Airport. At a full council meeting on 26 November, the council voted unanimously to object to the proposed expansion plans on the grounds that expansion of London Luton Airport to 32 mppa would result in unacceptable harm to the environment.

  • Merry Christmas
    Article: Dec 25, 2019

    Wishing all those in Three Rivers and beyond a merry Christmas and a happy new year - from all of the Three Rivers Lib Dem team. The best of happiness & health for 2020.


  • Survey: Dec 22, 2019
    22 questions

    We want to hear your views on what you think the council should be doing to make Three Rivers an even better place to live.

    Three Rivers has an amazing communtiy spirit amongst its towns and villages and we want ensure the council always remains community led.

    What are your priorities? What do you think we can improve? Please let us know below.

  • Daisy Cooper MP
    Article: Dec 20, 2019

    Congratulations to Daisy Cooper, the first ever Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans! She gained St Albans from Conservative Anne Main, winning over 50% of the vote with an 11% swing.

    Three Rivers District Council covers parts of three constituencies - South West Herts, Watford, and St Albans meaning we now have our first Three Rivers Lib Dem MP!