President's Message February 2019
In a few weeks’ time the New Local Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for public examination. In advance of its submission, Cllr Mary Maynard, Planning Portfolio Holder at St Albans City and District Council, has kindly agreed to join us for our Business Breakfast on 6th March, to update us on the New Local Plan and the long-term spatial planning strategy for the District from 2020 to 2036.
Local Plans need to be based on proportionate and justifiable evidence. They should be aspirational but realistic, and should plan positively for a community’s needs. Businesses are crying out for more commercial space, but in the right areas. There is a pressing demand for more homes and particularly for more affordable homes. Can our New Local Plan achieve the right balance between the needs of business, the pressure for housing, the provision of community facilities, necessary improvements to transport and other infrastructure, while conserving and enhancing the natural, built and historic environment? Do come along to Bill’s on 6th March to find out more.
I welcome you all to our Business Breakfasts, Speed Networking Sessions and less formal networking opportunities. Forthcoming events include a workshop on “How to present to a live audience with confidence and impact” as part of one of our popular Speed Networking evenings, and a Business Breakfast with Robert Voss CBE, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire: Robert has recently retired after a long and distinguished career in the metal industry, having also chaired the European Federation in Brussels for 16 years. He has a special interest in young entrepreneurs, through his involvement with Hertfordshire Young Enterprise and as a trustee of the Young Person of the Year Charity. He is a Governor of The University of Hertfordshire and is involved in a number of local and national charities. Robert is also keen to support local business. This opportunity to engage with Robert dovetails well with one of our strategic objectives of encouraging and supporting the next generation of business leaders.
Next month I will have been in post as your President for a year. I can’t believe how quickly 12 months have passed. Our AGM, the ‘Hors d’oeuvre’ to our Curry Night at Veer Dhara on 21st March, will give me the opportunity to review our aspirations and achievements over the last 12 months and to set out our strategic plans for 2019/20. I look forward to your company on that evening.