Vegan market coming to St Albans? Council leader addresses Chamber of Commerce

Alec Campbell and Amanda Foley at the St Albans Chamber of Commerce business breakfast at The Beech

Alec Campbell and Amanda Foley at the St Albans Chamber of Commerce business breakfast at The Beech House. Picture: St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust. - Credit: Archant

St Albans could be getting a vegan market next year, district council chief executive Amanda Foley has said.

Ms Foley was speaking at a Chamber of Commerce business breakfast alongside the authority’s leader, Alec Campbell.

The council has experimented with different kids of market this year, including a vintage market.

Next year, she said, the council will try for a vegan market as well.

Cllr Campbell spoke about creating an economic development strategy, with three priorities.

The first was promoting the district’s strengths; by working with organisations such as Rothamsted Research and Building Research Establishment.

The second was providing more opportunities in the district for school leavers and university graduates so they will be less likely to move away.

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The third is the Local Plan, which is due to be submitted in March and has just completed its Regulation 19 consultation.

When asked how confident he is that the plan will be adopted, Cllr Campbell answered: “One of the key objections [to the last plan] was from neighbouring authorities, so we have worked hard with the South West Herts Group [of neighbouring authorities].

“Hopefully, they will not have any serious objections to the Local Plan.”

Amanda Foley outlined the biggest challenges facing the district council; which are shoplifting, mental health and knife crime, and modern slavery.

On shoplifting, she said: “We are working closely with the police and the Business Improvement District, but it is a challenge.”

On mental health, she said: “We are looking at how we can support employees’ with their mental health and we are looking at how to support residents.”

On knife crime, she highlighted the recent convictions for incidents in St Albans and another crime in Redbourn.

“We are working with schools and Oaklands College to focus on what we can do,” she added.

On modern slavery, Ms Foley said: “We have a number of nail bars and car washes, which have a lot of this type of activity.

“It’s present in St Albans, so we need to do things about it.”

The council is also looking into providing more free parking spaces for one-hour slots, once the authority takes over management of their car parks.