A unified voice at November’s HIDB
With record-breaking attendance, November’s HIDB meeting brought together members new and old – alongside representatives across all 11 of the county’s authorities – to discuss joined-up collaboration across private/public sectors.
The session was an opportunity to thank Cllr Lewis Cocking for his dedication to HIDB over the past year, before he passed the baton of chairing the meetings to Watford’s Mayor Peter Taylor, who opened November’s session.
Peter then handed over to Naisha Polaine, Harlow & Gilston Garden Town’s Director, to hear more about HGGT’s ambitious future-facing plans.
With widespread investment in infrastructure, dozens of new schools, thousands of much needed homes and a wealth of employment opportunities, the Garden Town project is a once-in-a-generation chance to deliver immeasurable economic and social benefits for the region.
The session also heard from Cllr Stephen Boulton, Executive Member for Sustainable Economic Growth at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Cllr Ben Crystal, Leader of East Herts District Council.
Despite the recent political changes, as the new leader, Ben said the council remains determined to work with developers to build homes as close to net zero as possible, whilst striving to achieve a 50% modal shift away from car usage. Stephen added to say there is a vibrant spirit of collaboration and problem solving across the county – with a joined up ambition to see the bigger picture so we can build homes to the best possible quality.
Across all speakers, there was a shared ambition to help make Hertfordshire a sustainable place to live, develop business and for all to enjoy – something which close collaboration via the HIDB can help to facilitate through the delivery of sustainable development.
The workshop sessions that followed our brilliant speakers focused discourse on Herts Growth Board’s Vision and Missions. It is intended that these will guide and steer the focus; better integrate and join up growth related policy, interventions and services; drive efficiency and pave the way for future investment and deals; and complement existing local and strategic plans across Hertfordshire.
Much discussion was had across all tables and the ideas exchanged will be fed back to shape HGB’s campaign.