Annual report

Our Community


Our Objectives:

  • Promoting inclusive and safe communities
  • Improving public health and well-being
  • Supporting local sport and leisure
  • Promoting local art and culture

Our Achievements:

A ground-breaking event marked the start of construction of a new wet and dry adventure play area in Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City. This purpose-built leisure facility includes a large 600m2 splash park with a paddling stream through the centre. This is surrounded by a nautical themed adventure play area, including a large explorer ship and a variety of play equipment for children of all ages. There is also an outdoor gym and grass sports pitch, providing teenagers and adults with a range of new health and fitness activity options. All of these new facilities are free to use and opened in July 2020.

Big Summer 2019, coordinated by the council, ran in August 2019 and engaged over 5,000 young people in a wide range of free and charged for activities and events to keep them occupied over the school summer holidays. It involved over 300 activities with over 30 local partners helping to deliver the programme.

We are an active partner in the preparation and delivery of the first Hertfordshire Year of Culture which is running throughout 2020. This project has sought to raise awareness and increase participation in local arts, crafts and culture throughout the county by drawing together people from many different clubs, societies and organisations under one banner.

More than 500 Welwyn Hatfield schoolchildren attended the annual primary school games held in the Gosling Sports Park. 16 schools and 32 teams participated in Olympic events including curling, archery, skateboarding, boxing and fencing with each team representing a country which attends the Olympics. This event was run together with the local Schools Sports Partnership.

Over 200 young people, parents, carers and teaching professionals attended the borough's first Positive Youthful Minds conference in October 2019. Held at the Bishop's Hatfield Girls School, over 30 local mental health and wellbeing service providers delivered interactive workshops and talks on managing stress, anxiety and worry, supporting boys with their mental health, and suicide prevention.

Operation Balsam ran again to offer residents greater protection from noise disturbance. Now in its eleventh year extra patrols and an extended reporting hotline went live from 10.00pm to 3.00am. The service, funded by the University of Hertfordshire, is additional to the weekly out-of-hours noise service, Operation Reprise, which continued on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Jim McDonald Centre in Hatfield was given a fresh new look for its 30th anniversary and is now called 'The Hive'@ the Jim McDonald Centre. This thriving community hub has been transformed by an internal redecoration scheme including colourful new signs and murals. It is home to various community groups including the Jimmy Mac's Activity Centre for retired and disabled people, the Hatfield Gateway Club and One YMCA.

It was announced that the Cinema at Campus West topped the Royal Opera House's Independent Cinema League table for 2018-19, which meant it had the best box office results of all 256 venues across the UK that took part in their season of live opera and ballet broadcasts.

Our 2019 pantomime production of 'Snow White' in the theatre at Campus West sold 91 per cent of all tickets available across its 44 school, general and adults only performances, with many shows completely sold out. This means over 11,300 people visited with many leaving good reviews on social media and on our website. The surplus made on this production has been reinvested in Campus West to improve its facilities and services.

Visitors, volunteers, councillors and officers celebrated 40 years of Mill Green Mill and Museum being open to the public at a special heritage open day in September 2019. There was a display looking at the growth of the museum over the past four decades, local craft demonstrators, the famous cream teas and the Mayor was on hand to cut a cake.

People were invited to step back in time at Mill Green's annual Victorian Christmas Fair. There were Victorian street sellers, commercial stalls, a variety of free children's activities around the site, carols in the mill, mulled wine and seasonal food and a chance to visit Mrs Christmas for younger guests. A total of 500 people visited in 2019.

In partnership with Defibrillators in Public Places, new life saving equipment has been installed in Welwyn Garden City town centre and elsewhere in our parks and playing fields. This joins around 30 others which are now fitted and available for use across the borough.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Team has been continuing to keep our communities safe by responding to reports of nuisance and ASB from residents within our borough. They were part of a multi-agency team responsible for closing down 14 properties linked to drug offences and county line activity as well as securing 15 injunctions to prevent persistent or serious nuisance from occurring.

The team also delivered a new initiative of on-line ASB surgeries with the police giving residents across the borough an opportunity to ask questions and raise 'live' issues directly with the ASB Team and the Police. The surgeries were very well attended with more surgeries set up this year.

We have increased the number of bookings on our community buses. We are now transporting more residents from across the borough to events, community centres, shopping trips and trips to the seaside, increasing social inclusion and supporting our older residents to live as independently as possible.

The Mandy Perkins Memorial Award was launched to recognise an organisation, group or person who has gone the extra mile to make the borough a safer or more supportive place for those affected by domestic abuse. It has been set up by the local Domestic Abuse Forum on which she served for many years.