The politician in charge of the council department that has overseen recent blunders including the fiasco over the borough’s welcome sign has admitted: ‘We make mistakes’.
Councillor Terry Douris, cabinet member for planning and regeneration at Dacorum Borough Council, says he is frustrated over the problems that have beset work on the sign, the new food court in Marlowes and the planned revamp of the Water Gardens.
“Yes, we make mistakes but I would like to think we can somehow generate a real sense of pride in Hemel Hempstead and Dacorum, because it has a lot to offer,” he said.
Mr Douris stepped into the role following the shock resignation in May of former mayor Stephen Holmes, who has admitted possessing child pornography, and immediately faced a series of challenges.
The food court has been delayed by problems getting power to the new kiosks while doubts have been raised over £3.5 million plans for the Water Gardens because of EU rules governing waterways and the Environment Agency.
It has taken months to complete the welcome sign on the Breakspear Way roundabout because of mistakes with the bricks. “It’s frustrating but I would rather get it right at the start than some way down the line have to revisit it and do remedial work,” he said.
Concerning the Water Gardens he said: “We are in discussions with the Environment Agency because we would not want the overall plan and the restoration of Jellicoe’s masterpiece to be derailed.”
Mr Douris, a former DJ whose family runs an audio visual equipment hire business, moved to Hemel Hempstead 35 years ago. He got a taste for politics by being a parent governor, getting elected to the borough council as a Conservative in 2007 and Herts County Council in 2009.