Latest News from Mayor Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor's newsletter 7th December 2022

7 Dec 2022
Peter and Cllr Stotesbury giving trees to residents

Below you will find the top stories from my weekly newsletter. You can sign up to receive these every Wednesday at  

 A New Hope this winter

We are working closely with local charities to support those who are rough sleeping in Watford this winter.

Now that the cold weather is really starting to hit, New Hope will be activating its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol meaning that spaces will be available every night for people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough.

Tackling homelessness is a key priority for me we work constantly with New Hope and other organisations to make sure that we are supporting people who are experiencing homelessness. This emergency protocol is an extra measure that will make sure that no one will need to sleep in the street.

If you are concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in Watford, please call the 24/7 emergency phone line on 0300 012 0168 so that the Outreach Plus team can engage with the person and offer appropriate support.

Government to scrap housing targets  

In my recent Watford Observer column I called for the government to drop unfair housing targets that have led to the Tory towers popping up across the town. I also recently called on our local Conservative MP to back an amendment that would have removed these targets. He decided to defend them instead.

Fortunately, the government disagreed with him and this week announced that they would be scrapping these unfair housing targets. 

I have been campaigning against our unfair housing targets, which are too high, for many years and I am glad that the government has finally made the commitment to scrap them. Of course it is important that we wait to see what replaces them before we celebrate too much.

With the removal of targets, and our newly adopted Local Plan, we should now have more power to say no when proposed developments are not right for us.

Going forward, the government now needs a proper plan for new homes to be built in all parts of the country, with the services and infrastructure needed to create new communities. It was never right to try to force so much development in places like Watford, with residents given too little say.

4000 trees given away

Last Saturday we handed out 4000 trees to local residents in Watford as part of the “Your Tree Our Future” project, a partnership between Watford Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Growing People – a local charity.

These 4000 trees are a key part of my promise to plant 20,000 more trees across Watford over the next four years. Thank you to the residents who signed up to receive a tree – I hope they make a great addition to your gardens for years to come.

Increase in Scarlet Fever and Group A Streptococcus

You may have read in the media that there has been an increase in the number of people who are contracting scarlet fever and Streptococcus A infections – larger than we would normally expect at this time of year.

It is important that we remain vigilant as complications from the illness, which is usually mild, can be very serious. The key symptoms to look out for are:

• a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with
• a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel which is rough to the touch
• On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will still have a rough, sandpapery feel.

Please Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you suspect that you or a family member has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications.

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