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Four in five give SW Herts a thumbs-up

Last Modified January 26, 2021
Four in five people are happy living in South West Hertfordshire, which includes Hertsmere, according to an online poll exploring people’s views on the area.
Working with the five other councils which comprise the area - Dacorum Borough Council, St Albans City & District Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council - we conducted the poll between February and May last year, in order to find out what is important to the people of South West Hertfordshire. The findings will be used to inform work by all six local authorities to create great places for people to live, work and enjoy, supported by the right infrastructure at the right time.
The “SW Herts – Your Future” poll achieved over 10,000 visits, with more than 600 people indicating that they would like to be involved in any future discussions about the area. By largely using social media, the poll also managed to reach a large proportion of 18-25 year olds, as well as achieving an even spread of responses across all age groups.
Key findings from the polls were:
• Eighty-six per cent per cent of those who took part felt positive about living and working in South West Herts; 
• Nearly 70 per cent of all respondents said that parks and open spaces were their favourite thing with closeness to London appealing to over 60 per cent. However, this wasn’t the case for the younger age groups with 70 per cent of the under 25s liking the proximity to London more. 
• In terms of priorities for improving South West Herts, better health facilities (65 per cent), being able to get around easier (46 per cent) and climate change (36 per cent) were the most popular responses, with better housing choice also appealing to the under 25s.
Further details of the polling can be found here.
These results will be used to inform the emerging work around a South West Hertfordshire strategic plan which will be looking at the long term future of the area. The councils will also be contacting those who expressed an interest in being involved in future work.
Hertsmere Borough Councillor Dr Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder of Planning, said: “This piece of work has enabled us to gain a clearer understanding of the priorities for people living and working in South West Hertfordshire, across a wide range of ages. The innovative approach to the use of social media will also no doubt shape consultation work going forward. 
“Obviously the world has turned upside down since this poll was launched, just under a year ago. However, if you were to ask people the same questions now, I suspect their feelings about their local area will only have been confirmed and strengthened by the pandemic.
“I want to thank everyone who took the time to take part. Your responses will help shape future work around planning for a better Hertsmere and South West Hertfordshire.”
Cllr Chris White, Chair of the SW Herts Member Group said: “It is really encouraging that so many people have responded to this poll and told us what they like about living in SW Herts. It is also important that they have told us what they would like to improve. 
“We will now consider these responses as we move forward as a group of authorities and work towards making the future of SW Herts a great place to live, work and play.”

Posted on Tuesday 26th January 2021

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