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OCTOBER 2019, ISSUE 132 news ...bringing you news,views and opinions every month FREE a MAMMA MIA SUPER SOPHIE TOWN ACTRESS MAKES WEST END DEBUT A Watford born…
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OCTOBER 2019, ISSUE 132 news ...bringing you news,views and opinions every month FREE a MAMMA MIA SUPER SOPHIE TOWN ACTRESS MAKES WEST END DEBUT A Watford born actress is living her childhood dreams after making her West End debut in the hit show Mamma Mia! over the summer. Sophie Matthew, 24, was over the moon when she found out she landed the role of Lisa and first cover to Sophie, the leading character in Mamma Mia! The dream of being on the London stage started when Sophie was a kid and she says it feels amazing to star in a show which is so popular all over the world. She said: “To make my West End debut on such a... CONTINUED ON PAGE 4... To advertise with mylocalNEWS Distributed FREE866065 call 01923 to homes | inwww.mynewsmag.co.uk Watford EVERY MONTH l October 2019 l 1 2 l October 2019 l To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk October 2019 Issue 132 Creative Director Misha Mistry misha@mynewsmag.co.uk Senior Designer Rebecka Fryer 01442 220186 Layout Designer If you would like to ADVERTISE then please call us on 01923 866065 Kim Plater 01442 220188 creative@mynewsmag.co.uk Hello and welcome to the October issue of WATFORDnews. Designer We live in an era where the media megaphone, it seems, has its volume turned up to Amy Pollard 01442 220194 10. In 2019, we don’t consume news, rather it is thrust into our faces via computers, design@mynewsmag.co.uk phones and print media. The pressure to be heard is constant and it has steered us Creative Admin Assistant to produce content that is perhaps punchier and harder-hitting than it would have Sarah Ellicott been 10 or 20 years ago. 01442 220187 artwork@mynewsmag.co.uk Do I regret this changing tide of reporting? I can answer that with an unequivocal ‘no’. Indeed, I believe the drive and determination with which we go about our jobs Sub-editor as journalists is entirely to the benefit of the 16 communities we serve, even if that Tim Green 01442 220184 means treading a fine line on editorial decisions – in reporting the good and the bad subeditor@mynewsmag.co.uk – where it’s very easy to topple over the edge. Reporter In the last month, I admit, I did lose my footing and made an error of judgement Jake Levison with a story we ran. It was a poor call on my part and I am sorry. Thankfully we have 01442 220190 newsroom@mynewsmag.co.uk a very strong cross-section of readers who were quick to remind me to reconnect to the core values that have taken us to the heights we’ve achieved. Junior Reporter Ultimately, I want to have a strong voice, and I love delivering good news; but I also Alex Pearson 01442 220191 know our readers are smart, intelligent and want honesty and integrity. Hopefully newshub@mynewsmag.co.uk those same readers will agree, it’s how you react to a mistake that really counts. Junior Reporter So as I said, it’s a fine line to walk, but bear with me please, I’m regaining my balance. Charlie Reynolds And don’t forget to check out our new look website for breaking local news, views 01442 220189 newsdesk@mynewsmag.co.uk and video reports. Until next time, be nice to each other and especially yourself. Junior Reporter Amelie Gregory Nik Allen 01442 220192 Editor-in-chief newsbase@mynewsmag.co.uk nik@mynewsmag.co.uk Accounts Follow us on social media... Faye Beckwith 01442 220181 @mynewsmagazine @mylocalnews @mylocalnews accounts@mynewsmag.co.uk Accounts & Admin Assistant Kirsty Owen 01442 220182 admin@mynewsmag.co.uk Website & Social Media First Floor, John Dickinson Enterprise Centre, Stationers Place, London Road, Jason Allen jason@mynewsmag.co.uk Apsley, Hertfordshire, HP3 9QU | 01442 257015 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk register with us in store, or online FOR REGULAR OFFERS PAY US A VISIT > 124 High ST, Rickmansworth, WD3 1AD • wishfuldrinkiNG.co.uk To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk l October 2019 l 3 Actress delighted after making her West End debut Written by Charlie Reynolds Continued from cover... ...big and popular show feels amazing. I was a mess when I found out I got it and phoned my parents straight away – we were all so happy. “It is a long process, so finding out I got the role after so many auditions was the perfect result. It has always been my aim to star in the theatre.” Sophie has had to put a lot of work in to be where she is now and was in full time training for three years. ‘I would love to do shows in other Sophie performs eight times a week in Mamma Mia! Photo credit: Brinkhoff & Mögenbu regions and definitely have my eyes set on a world tour’ 2020, a sign of its popularity. Since premiering in London in 1999, the irresistible feel-good musical has captured the hearts of After starting rehearsals in May, Sophie and the millions around the globe. cast have performed in eight shows every week The sunny, funny tale of a mother, a daughter and from when it started in June. three possible dads on a Greek island paradise, Sophie added: “It’s hard work but I love what I do. all unfolding to the magic of ABBA’s timeless pop I have been fortunate enough to have played a part masterpieces, has now been seen live on stage by in two UK tours. 65 million people across the world. “I would love to do shows in other regions and It’s also been turned into two record-breaking definitely have my eyes set on a world tour if it’s movies – Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We possible.” Go Again. The global smash hit musical at London’s Novello Tickets can be booked here for the London Theatre is now extending its booking period from production at www.mamma-mia.com/london- Monday, March 9, 2020 to Saturday, September 19, tickets.php#london-access-dates FREE VALUATIONS - MORE PROPERTIES REQUIRED! 155 St.Albans Road, Watford, WD24 5BD 01923 230010 www.lloydsofwatford.com 4 l October 2019 l To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk Windowless development not set in stone Written by Jake Levison C ontroversial plans to build windowless flats in The Wellstones may not go ahead after alternative plans were approved by Watford Borough Council (WBC) last month. Developer ISE Investments’ initial proposal of 15 flats in The Wellstones in Watford, seven of which would be windowless, was approved by a government planning inspector in July after WBC had rejected it, much to the dismay of local residents and politicians. The Wellstones was formerly an upholstery business Photo credit: Google Maps The 15 flats described in that initial proposal ranged from 16.5sq metres to 22sq metres, prompting Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor to say they and change them in light of cases like this. were “far too small, lack safe fire exits, seven of “This is not a situation I would like to see happening them had no windows at all and they would back on in our town again. Everyone should have the dignity to a very busy service road.” of living in a decent home. But WBC has now approved alternative plans “I think it’s worth noting with the Wellstones case from ISE Investments, which would see the The that WBC did not have the powers to turn down this Wellstones building turned into nine flats rather scheme due to Permitted Development rules. than 15. “This is obviously highly frustrating and a sign that If WBC had rejected the new plan, ISE could have the law must be changed.” appealed and had a government planning inspector A spokesman for ISE Investments told BBC News: overturn the decision again. As it stands, the “We can understand the mayor's comments and developers have yet to disclose which plan they will we appreciate the disconnect between central be going ahead with. and local government in certain planning matters. Speaking about the original plans Mayor Taylor said: Whilst some developers abuse these rights this is “It’s very clear that the law surrounding permitted not our intention. development needs to change. It is not acceptable "As a technical point, windows would be normally that councils are unable to stop poor developments introduced in a further, separate, alterations such as this. I have already written to the Secretary application as required when carrying out this type of State asking him to urgently look at these rules of permitted development conversion." Looking for quality childcare? nurseries in: Croxley Green 01923 604830 Stanmore 020 8954 3599 Rickmansworth 01923 770045 3 month s ol t o p r e - s cho Watford 01923 247800 www.boysandgirlsnursery.com To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk l October 2019 l 5 Young fighter adds to title tally Written by Jake Levison A young Watford fighter showed her mettle by overcoming her toughest challenge to date and securing a new title. It’s lucky that Emilia Azarova, from Lions Watford, is so strong, because she’s got more than a few titles to haul around with her now after winning the IKF English Title at the Legend Fight Series 4 event in Watersmeet, Rickmansworth recently. The 12-year-old, who is ranked number one in the UK in her weight class, competed over five rounds under Muay Thai rules against Newbury’s Leila Whitehouse, who’s ranked number two. In what was Emilia’s toughest test to date, she put her travelling opponent to the sword, winning all five rounds on the judges’ score cards and in doing so, taking her unbeaten status to 14 months and nearly 20 bouts. Sally Lewis, Lions head coach, commented: “We are Emilia has gone unbeaten for 14 months proud of Emilia’s achievements and she deserves everything she works for. She’s such a character at Between them, they finished the evening with a Lions Watford and gets on with everyone.” healthy seven wins and two losses for the local gym. Also competing on the show from Lions Watford For more information on Legend Fight Series, were Asia Mastrogiussepe, Lewis Newnham, see their website legendfightseries.co.uk or for Malachi Mullings, Elliott Ryder, Josh Johnson, Alex information on Lions Watford go to lionswatford. Porter Griffiths, Agnieska Jaron and Ashley Baldwin. co.uk PEST Your local WE PAY CASH professional pest control company PROBLEM? 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SERVICES & SERVICES & OFFERS OFFERS MOT 6 DAYS MOT 6 DAYS A WEEK A WEEK WHILE YOU WAIT * Show this advert when presenting your vehicle to receive WHILE YOU WAIT the free MOT offer To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk l October 2019 l 7 CONVICTED PAEDOPHILE HANDS HIMSELF IN AFTER MANHUNT News Bulletin T he hunt for a convicted paedophile in Watford ended last month as the wanted man handed himself into Watford Police Station. Craig McAndrew, 34, from Newhaven, East Sussex, had been on trial at Lewes Crown Court which started on Monday, September 9, but fled to Watford where he was born and raised. He was charged with 10 offences of sexual assault on multiple occasions against two girls known to him, both aged under 13 between 2016 and 2018 in Newhaven. Eight of the offences were committed against one McAndrew was found guilty of 10 offences of sexual of the girls and two against the other girl. assault on two girls under the age of 13 McAndrew absconded after attending the trial until lunch on September 10 – the trial continued in his born and brought up, he came into Watford Police absence and he was found guilty of all offences on Station early on Monday, September 23 and gave Monday, September 16. himself up. Following a widespread social media appeal, “We think the publicity helped make him decide McAndrew handed himself into Watford Police to do this and our thanks go to our colleagues in Station after being on the run for 13 days. Hertfordshire Constabulary for their support in this Detective constable Julie Nightingale of the East appeal. Sussex Safeguarding investigations Unit said: “He was returned to Sussex and appeared at “Following our news and social media appeal Lewes Crown Court on Monday, September 23 for information on McAndrew’s whereabouts on where he was remanded in custody for sentencing September 20, focusing on Watford where he was on October 25.” Expert Mortgage Advice When was the last time you reviewed your mortgage? Is your current mortgage deal coming to an end? Have you wondered how much you can borrow? If you have any questions, please contact me on 07946 747719 or email joe@prpltd.co.uk www.personalretirementplanningltd.co.uk www.linkedin.com/in/joe-manfredini-14046b100 @PRPEquityAdvice Personal Retirement Planning ltd is Authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority reference 781803. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up your repayments on your mortgage. 8 l October 2019 l To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk Do you struggle to see things as clearly as you used to? At Spire Bushey Hospital, our expert eye specialists offer fast access to the latest medical treatments for a range of eye problems. Come along to our free information evening where leading ophthalmologists, Mr Allon Barsam and Mr Alan Kosmin will be giving expert advice on vision correction and cataract treatments. Vision correction and cataract 23 information evening, 7pm – 9pm Oct Booking is essential so please call or visit our website to secure your place. Book your place today Search ‘Spire Bushey Hospital’ Call 020 8712 4919 To advertise with mylocalNEWS call 01923 866065 | www.mynewsmag.co.uk l October 2019 l 9 Town MP secures £400million for hospital redevelopment Written by Charlie Reynolds R ichard Harrington, MP for Watford announced at the end of last month that £400million is to be granted to redevelop Watford General Hospital. Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP confirmed that the case put forward for total redevelopment of Watford General Hospital has been successful. The £400million redevelopment is to be granted to the hospital to build new emergency and specialist An artist’s impression of how Watford General Hospital will care facilities at the current site on Vicarage Road look after the redevelopment over the next five years. The plans will include a new A&E, a new stand down as Watford's MP at the next election as interventional radiology suite and women and I’ve always pledged.” children’s services, such as general, gynaecology, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust are paediatric and obstetric theatres. delighted with the significant funding boost. Richard Harrington MP said: “Ever since I became Christine Allen, chief executive, said: “We are the MP for Watford in 2010, I’ve been lobbying the delighted that the need for significant funding government for funds to redevelop our local hospital has been met with an investment pledge for our to improve facilities for residents. I’m delighted that buildings and facilities. Our staff have been working the staff at Watford General will now have the full incredibly hard over recent years to raise our financial support and resources that they need to standards of care, but over this time our estate has deliver world-class, specialist care to people in our continued to decline.” community. Phil Townsend, chairman of the trust, added: “I’m “It’s been nine years in the making, and I’m so extremely proud of the team who have worked incredibly pleased that a new hospital will be with our commissioners to achieve this milestone underway for the people in our community before I for our trust, staff and patients.” BACK PAIN? Re He pan w co ith m gi alt ies st hc er a ed re Hip and leg pain • Poor posture • Shoulder and arm pain Arthritic pain • Muscle and ligament strains Visit Osteo 360 for all your aches and pains and their causes! 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