Welcome to the Harpenden Society

Actively involved in Harpenden's future

Photos from the 2019 Election Hustings


Meet the candidates

Monday 17th June, 7.30pm, Katherine Warington School (doors open 7.00pm) 


We have invited the candidates for the new Harpenden & Berkhamsted constituency to a UK Election Hustings to present their views and to take questions from the audience.

Update - this meeting is now fully booked


The event will be live streamed - to connect to the livestream click the following link 



If you would like to ask a question in advance please click here and submit your question.  The meeting chairman will select which questions will be presented to the panel.

Attendees will also be able to ask questions on the night.

Left to right, James Clarke (Rothamsted), Katherine Tate (The Food Teacher) and Jeff Phillips (Chairman, The Harpenden Society).

Farming well and eating well


Exciting new developments in the world of agriculture, driven by new technology, including artificial intelligence, were spelled out by James Clarke, communications and engagement director of Rothamsted Research, at a public meeting on May 16 organised by the Harpenden Society in the lecture theatre of Katherine Warington School.

Under the questioning title 'Can we eat well sustainably?', Mr Clarke asserted that in the next 50 years we will (globally) need to produce as much food as has been consumed over our entire human history. Sustainable farming will be key and that will need multiple solutions, he said, not least because of the effects of climate change, adding that we must reduce the use of chemicals, making their application much more selective, helped by the smart use of robots and drones. A more holistic approach was needed, in order to raise productivity, per acre or hectare, biology had to be made to work in our favour


Following Mr Clarkes presentation and on a complementary subject, Katharine Tate, a Harpenden-based award-winning nutritionist, (The Food Teacher) described how How healthy eating can keep you fit and well, with an emphasis on controlling ones blood sugar level through following a sensible diet, based on a range of nutrients, including a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables.

The above presentations were preceded by the Society AGM, hosted by Chair Jeff Phillips.

Our Newsletter


Harpenden Society members regularly tell my colleagues and me how much they look forward to the quarterly arrival of our newsletter. Many say it has become their primary source of news of whats happening in our town.

Over the last eight years or so, under Alan Buntings editorship, it has broadened its coverage to include not only hard (often exclusive) news but also in-depth features about local enterprises their history as well as their vital place in Harpendens commercial life. As a result of Alans stewardship, the size of the newsletter has increased accordingly, from six to eight and then to twelve pages.

However, Alan acknowledges his advancing age and in consequence, his wish to ease the workload involved where, it should be added, the main challenge is not the writing but gathering the source material that is identifying and researching potential stories.

What we have agreed is that we need find someone to provide what might be termed editorial support for Alan. This could be someone, possibly with a journalistic background or with journalistic aspirations, who would like to help maintain the newsletters role as the flagship of the Harpenden Society.

Interested, but want to know more about the job description? If so please contact Alan on editor@harpendensociety.org  or myself on chairman@harpendensociety.org

Jeff Phillips

Chairman, Harpenden Society

SADC have announced We are carrying out a review of on-street car parking across the District".

The Harpenden Society has reviewed the situation and issued the following comment:

The loss of free parking in the centre of Harpenden with the potential damage to local business and further congested side roads needs to be carefully examined.

The Harpenden Society have been aware of the overall transport issues in Harpenden for some considerable time and commissioned the University of Hertfordshire last summer to produce a report that looked at all the road transport issues that the town faces, including parking. Published in the Autumn it was seen as a guide for the creation of a Transport Forum partnering with HTC and town politicians to investigate further and take actions.

Society Chair Jeff Phillips said, We need to understand the statement from SADC more fully, consider the consequences and make recommendations. These can then be submitted for inclusion in the public consultation which will give all residents the chance to air their views.

The full SADC statement is below.


From SADCs  Chris Traill, Strategic Director for Community and Place Delivery for St Albans City and District Council.

One issue we are looking at is whether it is sustainable to continue to allow free parking in bays given the high level of demand and the resulting pressure on spaces.

Government advice is that on-street parking charges

should be set higher than car parks to encourage the use of car parks to reduce congestion and emissions as well as improve safety.

Charges may deter motorists from taking up spaces for long periods, help cover the costs of our parking services and encourage active travel such as walking and cycling.

We are also looking at the provision of disabled parking in our main high streets and whether there needs to be improvement, focusing not simply on the number of bays but on having the right number in the right location.

When we have drawn up our proposals, there will be a public consultation when residents, businesses, community groups and other organisations can give their views.

All feedback will be considered before the proposals are finalised and any decisions are made.


Finally, we will also be looking at requests for residents in various parts of the District for Controlled Parking Zones to be introduced.

These follow concerns that it has become difficult for residents and their visitors to park in some streets and that restrictions are needed.

There is a process that is carried out before a Controlled Parking Zone is introduced including intensive public consultations.

These are community-led initiatives and will only happen if there is a consensus about the need for change among residents and other stakeholders. 

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