Grant Shapps’ and Oliver Dowden’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 | Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield News

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PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 December 2017

Pastor Dominic Long. Picture: David Rigby

Pastor Dominic Long. Picture: David Rigby

supplied by Dominic Long

With the presents all opened, the helpings of turkey sinking in, and the holiday disappearing, you may need some inspiration to be able to face up to the prospect of 2018.

Cllr Kieran ThorpeCllr Kieran Thorpe

To help you along, the Welwyn Hatfield Times has spoken to people across the borough and in Potters Bar to find out their New Year’s resolutions.

Kim and Dean Botham, Welwyn Garden City

Dean had a heart attack in 2016 and was saved by the medical skills of their neighbours Brenda Fox and Dawn Mahood.

Isobel Hospice CEO Robin WebbIsobel Hospice CEO Robin Webb

Kim said: “Our resolution is to learn CPR as a family, after what happened to Dean.

“He wouldn’t be here obviously if it weren’t for Brenda and Dawn.

“We see them all the time now, we’re really close.

“We want to get the children trained as well, so they are hopefully able to help someone in the future.

Dean and Kim Botham.Dean and Kim Botham.

“Dean’s so perfect, he’s a miracle.

“Definitely a life worth saving.”

Inspector Sophia Adams, Welwyn Hatfield’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector

Bunty Shah (second from left) with familyBunty Shah (second from left) with family

“My biggest New Year’s resolution for 2018 will be to continue our focus on tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), an issue which is a big concern for local people and can cause a blight on communities.

“The areas mostly suffering ASB include the Town Centre, Woodhall, Howlands, Hollybush, Hallgrove and Peartree in Welwyn Garden City and Manor Parade shops and the Town Centre in Hatfield, and Welham Green.

“Reports include rowdy abusive behaviour and associated drug use, nuisance use of motor vehicles and begging.

“To tackle this we are stepping up high visibility patrols in affected areas.

Eleanor and Dennis DraperEleanor and Dennis Draper

“In 2017, ten people were given significant criminal convictions connected to ASB and we will continue to take this zero tolerance approach into 2018.”

Mike Aston, spokesman for the scouting movement in Potters Bar

“One resolution I have each year is to find more leaders for our scout units, particularly beavers and cubs, because we have a waiting list, that’s the big problem.

Oliver Dowden, MP for Hertsmere. Photo released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.Oliver Dowden, MP for Hertsmere. Photo released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.

“It’s one I make every year.

“I think it’s getting worse somehow.

“Not only the scouts, the guides have the same problem – all find it difficult to find leaders to run them.

“In the last year we have kept some units open that would have closed, but we have had to close at least two units in Potters Bar. “We are always struggling.”

Mayor Lynne SparksMayor Lynne Sparks

Justin Burgess, Director JJ Burgess Funeral Directors and founder of men’s mental health organisation Just One Click Away
“We will be looking at making Just One Click Away into Just One CALL Away with the availability of a 24-hour phone line.

“Following the success of JOCAFest this year, we will be holding another one-day music event on June 16 2018.

“We are assisting Grant Shapps with the paper he is writing on mental health care.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant ShappsWelwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

“We hope to set up a Monthly Men’s Breakfast where guys come and talk or just simply hang out.

“And we are holding an evening with Johnny Benjamin who has made a number of documentaries about living with mental illness and has worked closely with the two princes with the Head Together Campaign.

“Exciting times!”

Former deputy council leader Dennis LewisFormer deputy council leader Dennis Lewis

Oliver Dowden, MP for Hertsmere

“1. Eat less sugar.

“2. Spend more time with my family.

“3. On a more serious political note I think everyone in politics should work hard to try to stop the descent into personal abuse.

Ruth Smith at the Welwyn Hatfield Times Community Awards 2017. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography.Ruth Smith at the Welwyn Hatfield Times Community Awards 2017. Picture: Cathy Benucci Photography.

“I always say when I visit schools that we should remember that our differences with people holding contrary political views are not personal.

“We all want the best for our community and our country.

“We just disagree about how to achieve it.”

Mike Aston. Picture: Tamsin AstonMike Aston. Picture: Tamsin Aston

Dennis and Eleanor Draper, pensioners and marathon runners, Welwyn Garden City

Dennis said: “We hope to stay fit and healthy for a start!

“This year we did so well with publicity with Eleanor being the oldest lady running.

“We were on BBC London, BBC World News. We need a lot to do next year to top this one.

Justin Burgess. Photo: Supplied by Justin BurgessJustin Burgess. Photo: Supplied by Justin Burgess

“I think we raised £5,000 for Isabel Hospice this year.

“I guess we will do three marathons in 2018.

“I’d like to get my time under 30 minutes on a 5K park run – I’m getting near.”

Inspector Sophia Adams, Welwyn Hatfield�s Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector. Picture: Herts PoliceInspector Sophia Adams, Welwyn Hatfield�s Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector. Picture: Herts Police

Dennis Lewis MBE, former deputy council leader, Welwyn Garden City

“What I advise other people to do is make a New Year’s resolution that is a pleasure to break.

“So my first resolution is not to make any resolutions.

“However, I could listen more carefully – and that means getting a new sort of hearing aid.

“We are born with one mouth and two ears and often we act as if it’s the other way round.

“We should all be rather more tolerant to each other, so I am going to be more tolerant.

“I don’t lose my temper very often but when I do, it’s with my computer.”

Dominic Long, Senior Paster, King’s Community Church, Hatfield

“2017 has been an exciting year!

“Going forward, I want to take every opportunity to demonstrate God’s love, bringing hope and joy to those around me.

“In 2018, my aim is to be more grateful (taking time to stop and say thank you), generous (giving my time and resources) and courageous (trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone).

“I want to play my part in making Hatfield a kind and caring place to live and work.

“Personally, I want to ensure I have time to spend with family and friends and maybe even catch up on a box set or two!

Bunty Shah, organiser of Potters Bar Indians

“My New Year’s resolution is to persuade our MP Oliver Dowden to fight to invest more money in street lighting and policing in Potters Bar.

“There are too many burglaries in Potters Bar, and not enough street lighting!”

Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield

“I think there’s one big one for 2018 …

“I’ve fought for years against our hospital services being stripped from the QEII and Welwyn Hatfield.

“We all know the story about how Gordon Brown promised us a super-hospital in Hatfield and then reneged on the deal, instead sending our most important healthcare services to the Lister.

“In 2018, I will therefore launch the “Make Healthcare Local” campaign in which I’ll argue that hospital services should be returned closer to home.

“I have a comprehensive campaign plan written and I’ll be launching it in January, inviting the local community to support the campaign.”

Ruth Smith, Welwyn Garden City-based cancer survivor and 2017 winner of Parent in a Million at the WHT Community Awards

“I don’t really make resolutions any more, I tend to break them!

“I want to try and go on holiday next year, as that is one of the things I wanted to do when I was diagnosed.

“It would be our first holiday abroad as a family, me, my two girls and my mum – we want to go to Spain.

“I want also to do the Race for Life.

“I couldn’t do it in 2017, as that was when I was having chemo.”

Lynne Sparks, Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield

“For me 2018 is going to be a big year of change.

“I’m standing down as councillor which means I will stop being mayor as well in March – so not much time left.

“I’ve been a councillor for eight years so it’s time for a new adventure.

“I will miss being mayor hugely as I do love it.

“So I guess my New Year’s resolutions are making the most of the last few months as councillor and mayor.

“Look after my health and looking forward to what I might do next.

“And of course I’m passionate about the Hatfield Night Shelter that I’ve worked on for the last couple of years with Chris Welsh from Hatfield Fire Station and I want to make sure that it continues successfully and that we have positive outcomes for all our guests.”

Kieran Thorpe, Labour leader for Welwyn Hatfield Council

“To aid residents impacted by Tory Universal Credit changes and fight for a fairer deal for Welwyn Hatfield while stopping smoking.”

Robin Webb, CEO of Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City

“At Isabel Hospice our New Year’s resolution is to be able to help more local people, earlier in their journey, whether that be a cancer journey or any other terminal illness.

“Typically people referred to us are in the last 60 days of life.

“As a New Year’s resolution we’d like to get them involved in all the care services we offer earlier than that.

“With our Living Well with Isabel programme we have seen the real difference that our Feel Good singing sessions, fatigue and breathlessness improvement classes, physio sessions and occupational therapy advice has made to local people living with their conditions.”





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