As Mr Ailey’s fascinating www.stortfordhistory.co.uk tells us, “in 1670, Bishop’s Stortford’s very first bypass had been created and from then on most through traffic used the new route. It created untold wealth and fame for the inns of Hockerill”. Sadly for residents in the 21st Century the once ‘by-pass’ has, as it soon developed from the end of the 17th century, from then on remained, “a principle through route”. The passage of horses and carts, doubtless some leaving noxious odours to weave themselves into those of Stortford’s tanneries and maltings, must have added to somewhat to the air of Hockerill even when passing traffic was speeded on its way by the revolutionary Hockerill Turnpike from 1744 which, created the ‘motorway’ of the 18th century for 28 miles from Harlow to Stumps Cross, a current M11 junction. Those ‘noxious odours’ have for some time taken on a more deadly form since the development of the internal combustion engine and the lack of a new by-pass to the south east to complete an effective ring road around Stortford. Indeed the County’s own air quality management strategy opens with, “Hertfordshire residents are dying prematurely due to local air pollution”. Read the rest of this entry »
An access guide specifically for Hertfordshire has been created by DisabledGo, a website developed by disabled people for disabled people.
Access guide to more than 1,000 Hertfordshire venues
Hertfordshire County Council commissioned the guide to showcase detailed access information to more than 1,000 venues and public spaces across the county including shops, restaurants, hotels, leisure centres, museums and children’s centres. The access guides gives you all the information you need to plan your journey to and from each venue and also how to get around once you are there. It also has pictures of key features like accessible parking and toilets.
DisabledGo representatives visits all venues before adding them to the guides as they believe that a venue which self-reports its access can often miss, overlook or fail to appreciate the reality of the access it provides. Also, while it may be accessible to one disabled person, it may not be for another, depending on individual disabilities.
To access the guide simply type in a place or a postcode to find out its accessibility and if, for instance, there is a disabled toilet, lift or ramp in the locality.
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said: “This is a fantastic tool to help disabled people in Hertfordshire become more independent.”
The guide was launched last month with an introductory session at Welwyn Garden City Central Information Library. To access the guide go to www.disabledgo.com.
Momentous changes have come upon us in recent months: a Conservative Govt quickly resolving a change of leadership and a new Prime Minister; Her Majesty’s Opposition in a chaotic meltdown, (not good for democracy and definitely not good for the Labour Party); and of course Brexit, – a democratic decision that perhaps even surprised many Leave supporters. Read the rest of this entry »
Having become a global sensation in the few days since it launched – the game “Pokemon Go” has attracted concern around the online and physical safety of players.
If you are a player, or are thinking of downloading, our key advice is to ensure you are aware of how your data may be used and shared, and to be aware of your surroundings when playing.
Other concerns centre on ‘real world’ dangers, with players seeking Pokémon with no regard to the law or their personal safety. Crossing roads becomes a danger when looking for Pokémon, concentrating on your device rather than the traffic. Colliding with other people or objects like lamp posts is also a hazard. Playing Pokémon GO whilst driving is strictly prohibited.
The NSPCC has also warned of the possibility that predators could lure unsuspecting children to ‘beacon’ locations.
Although the game is free to download, attractive in-app purchases can be made as you progress, so take care that your enthusiasm does not run away with you.
Click on the Link below for Get Safe Online’s headline advice.
The plight of unpaid carers has become a much discussed topic and has been highlighted in Parliament at Prime Minister’s Questions. Unpaid carers are people of all ages who look after family, friends or neighbours. As they are often caring behind closed doors, they are providing a vital, if almost invisible, service to the community. Their role often makes them feel isolated and alone. It is estimated that 1 in 3 of us will have a caring role at some point in our lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Hertfordshire County Council wants to hear the views of service-users, their families and carers on options being considered to run day services more efficiently in the future.
We have to make the changes because the amount of money we receive from central government is reducing, so we need to look at different ways of providing support to people that need it and to their carers. The options being considered are those that will have least impact on existing servicer users and their carers and families. Everyone who uses our day centres will still be able to have a place.
- Reducing the costs of catering at some centres;
- Closing each centre for a week each year, which would reduce the amount of money we spend on paying for staff cover;
- Making better use of our centres; and
- Reducing the number of days some centres are open – initially this would only apply to Buntingford – moving from opening four days a week to three days.
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said:
“We are really keen to gather the views of service-users and their families on our proposals, and we’d also welcome any fresh ideas from them about others ways that we might be able to make the savings.
“We want to reassure service-users, their families and carers that everyone with eligible care needs, will continue to receive day services if that is their choice, but the range and type of activities and where they are provided from, are likely to change for some people.
Full details of the consultation are available online http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/your-council/consult/, and we have sent copies of it to all existing service-users and their carers and families. We will also be holding meetings at our centres – dates will be publicised locally. The consultation closes on Friday 19 August and feedback will be shared with members of the council’s Adult Care and Health Panel on Wednesday 7 September.
This month In the blue corner discusses air pollution severe enough that local residents are, “dying prematurely”, (according to Herts County Council’s Air Qulaity Action Plan).
This week (16 – 22 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is relationships. Relationships are fundamental to our health and wellbeing, whether with friends, family or colleagues. In fact, they are just as important as eating well , staying active and stopping smoking.
Positive and healthy relationships encourage personal growth, provide support, reduce stress and can add more meaning to our life. Not all relationships are healthy however, some can be negative, empty and destructive and can lead to stress, anxiety and low mood. Learning how to identify the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship and developing skills to develop new, or build upon the positive, relationships can contribute greatly to improved mental health.
Here are a few tips for building healthy relationships:
- Healthy communication is vital for maintaining relationships – essential skills include: listening, expressing how you feel and accepting the other person’s opinions and feelings (even if they differ from your own).
- Compromise – it can make people feel valued and important
- Manage conflicts when they arise rather than letting them build up
- Try to invest more time in building and maintaining good relationships – this could include getting together with your family more often or not checking your phone as much when out with friends
- If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help from friends, family or professional agencies
For further support and information for all types of relationships visit the Relate website.