Prosecutions for fly-tipping on Bedmond Lane

My husband and I used to run a lot around Bedmond on the weekends and it was the swathes of the fly-tipping we saw that tipped me from thinking about becoming a councillor, to standing for election in 2015. After our 10Ks we’d re-trace our steps in the car with the kids in tow and photograph each dump, plot them on a map and send them to officers at St Albans City & District Council. I think it was us that caused fly-tipping to go from ‘amber’ to ‘red’ on the Council’s monitoring system.


Fast forward three years….I’m on holiday on the the Isle of Wight whilst I type this and have not seen one instance of fly-tipping so far.

Back from a day spinning, walking, go-karting and eating cake I found two pleasing e-mails in my inbox from the Council telling me not one, but two people, have been ‘done’ for fly-tipping on Bedmond Lane.

Sarah Manners of Cutiss Road, Leavesden, has been fined £315 after her broken bed and mattress were found dumped under the M1 motorway bridge on Bedmond Lane, St Albans. She probably didn’t do the dumping herself (a long way to come) nor did she probably intend for her bed to be fly-tipped. The thing is, if you don’t check for a waste licence, you can”t be sure the people taking your waste away have one. We’re all responsible for disposing of our waste legally so please, please, please check your waste clearance people have a license.

Separately Martin Brown, age 26, has been ordered to pay £460 after dumping a box while working on a car underneath the M1 bridge at Bedmond Lane. He was working on the car with a friend on 1st January when he discarded the box, believed to have contained brake calipers. I’m wondering what made him think it was OK to leave his box of waste? What is it that makes anyone think it’s OK to chuck McDonalds bags, fag ends, beer cans and bottles out of car windows? Or drop  a truckload of building rubble and bathtubs on a country lane? Why do people behave like morons and what do their living room floors look like?

I’m going to ponder those questions in the pool now.

Happy holidays and may we all leave the places we visit in a better state than we found them.

Silt removal from Verulamium Park lake

2017_04_19_V P Lake silt extraction

St Albans City & District Council is removing more silt from Verulamium Park lake, at the opposite end to where silt was removed last year, today and over the next week or so. I imagine this comes as very welcome news to many residents and visitors.

It’s a tricky situation though and silt removal isn’t a sustainable solution to what will be a problem for forever and a day….this takes me back to my GCSE biology days….

The lakes are made from concrete (both edging and bases) no more than 1m deep and they support a large population of waterfowl, which in part is maintained and increased through the popularity of feeding by visitors. This has resulted in a great input of nutrient-rich bird droppings leading to a highly eutrophic (an oversupply of nutrients, inducing explosive growth of plants and algae which, when such organisms die, consume the oxygen in the water), heavily-silted water body. In addition, low water levels in the river mean that the lake does not receive any fresh water from the river for months on end during the summer.

Simply put we MUST stop feeding the birds and I think Mary Poppins and Burt would approve.

The Council is working on a longer, sustainable solution driven by the Environment portfolio holder, Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles and you can read about it here. A cross-party working party has been formed (I am part of it) and meets for the second time this coming Monday.

(And in case you’re wondering, the silt’s going to be pumped into a tanker before being taken to a treatment plant near Redbourn for disposal).


Save St Albans Pubs

This week I met with St Albans landlords and my fellow Conservative Cllr Mike Wakely to hear what the publicans wanted to do to save their pubs from destruction by horrific hikes in business rates. I spoke at Full Council last night on this and implored my Cllr colleagues across the political spectrum to spread news of the petition to Government, far and wide. Please click here to sign the petition.

Save St Albans Pubs

Comedy Night for Verulamium at Play

It’s St Valentine’s Day and I’m expressing love and gratitude for the people who have come forward to be part of Verulamium at Play, the charity I have co-founded to raise money for a new play area in Verulamium Park. We have a huge fundraising challenge (get the background on the Council website) and Ye Old Fighting Cocks are the first business to support us financially. I met with Cristo, landlord of YOFC, at the end of last year asking if he thought there was a way to raise money for VaP and help his business at the same time. It turns out Cristo had been thinking about hosting a comedy night with a top notch tasting menu and launching it as a charity fundraiser was a perfect way to road test it.

So here we are, four days away with all the tickets are sold and a promise of £1k from Cristo and the team. Thank you all so much, I am really looking forward to Saturday night and getting closer to reaching our target.

YOFC Comedy Night

Also singing out in praise of Ember Designs, who produced this promotional flyer without charge. Thank you!

Thanks to Waitrose for having Verulamium at Play as one of their three Community Matters charities this month. The conversation with store manager David happened a very long time ago and putting those green tokens in the box is very satisfying! Thank you.

Waitrose Community Matters

Women in politics

Amplifying womens voices

I pushed for a ‘women in politics’ event at last year’s European Local Democracy Week and was thwarted when the two other main parties couldn’t/wouldn’t field a councillor. Determined not to let another party put the kybosh on it again, I made it happen and around eight local women came along to the Beech House for coffee on Monday 10th October. Disappointingly, no other political parties chose to attend.

I also acted as a mentor at the annual “Youth Takeover” of St Albans Council (part of ELDW) along with Conservative Councillors, Salih Gaygusuz, Richard Curthoys, Matt Stephens and Alun Davies. The event inspired a blog post about amplifying women’s voices which you can read on my work-related blog:

I am delighted to accept an invitation by Loreto College to speak at their A-Level awards evening in December.

Jessica Chivers

13 Jerome Drive,
St Albans,

01727 856169

Twitter: @JC4SADC

The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.