Municipal elections in March

Municipal elections are held throughout the Netherlands in March. In Heemstede, residents can go to the polls on no less than 3 days (14, 15 and 16 March). The polls are open from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm. The results will be announced on March 16. So everyone has ample opportunity to vote. You vote for one of the candidates of a political party. In Heemstede, 7 parties are participating in the elections: Het Heemsteeds Burger Belang (HBB), The Association for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Democrats 66 (D’66), GroenLinks (GL), The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), De Labor Party (PvdA) and SamenSterkHeemstede (SSH). All parties have their own ideas to make life in Heemstede more pleasant. You can choose the party that you agree with the most. To give you an idea, you can view the Election Newspaper ( All parties are listed there with their program and there is also a page in which all points of view are briefly and conveniently side by side.

After the elections, the municipal council of 21 councillors will be revealed. Then we also know which party has the most councilors in the city council. Then the municipal councillors start talking to each other and see who they can best work with. This creates a group of parties that will become Heemstede’s Executive Board  (the government) for the next four years. These parties supply the aldermen (comparable to ministers). Together with the mayor, they form the College of Mayor and Aldermen. The parties supplying the aldermen together write a coalition agreement containing the plans they want to implement over the next four years. Examples include the introduction of a speed limit in built-up areas, a ring road around Heemstede, more affordable housing for house hunters and the preservation of many trees in Heemstede. These are all plans, which are in the various party programs.

So go vote in March and choose the party that has the best program for you.


Good news for exam candidates

Graduation students who are going to sit their final year exams this year have heard the good news last week. The exam rules have been eased this year, just like last year. Due to the lockdowns and other consequences of the corona pandemic, this school year has also been different than usual. Exam candidates had to deal with home-schooling this year and the year before, which is why the (new) Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dennis Wiersma, has decided that exam candidates can cross off one subject. However, this subject may not be a core subject (Dutch, English, and mathematics). This is the so-called “Thumb scheme (duimregeling)”: the final mark of the crossed-out subject does not count in determining the result. And as announced earlier, exam students are also entitled to an extra resit, so a total of two resits instead of one.     Other than that, there also will be an extra period, so that students can spread their exams over two periods. For pre-vocational secondary education(vmbo), there is another change in the assessment for the profile course. More information about this can be found on the website of the national government.

However, the Minister of Education, Dennis Wiersma, calls on students to only use the elimination if it is necessary. “It is important to prepare yourself as well as possible for your further education and to pass all your courses. If your marksheet shows that it was not all successful after all, you will be given the opportunity to make use of this scheme, just like last year.”

We wish all exam candidates good luck with the preparations!



Valentine’s Day 2022


It’s February already, and February brings a special day every year, the Valentine’s Day. It falls on a Monday this year. Valentine’s Day is all about love, it is the day when lovers surprise each other with presents, flowers, cards, etc. The origin of Valentine’s Day lies in the third century, it is named after the Christian priest Saint Valentine from Rome. According to some sources, during the time of Saint Valentine, there was an imperial law forbidding soldiers to marry. Valentine thought that love always conquers everything, so he would have married soldiers in secret. When Emperor Claudius II (267-270) discovered this, he beheaded Valentine on February 14. Little is known about the authenticity of this story, which is why some think that this story was made up later. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day has become very popular worldwide in recent years. As well as becoming a commercial success, companies take advantage of the day by launching special promotions and discounts to attract the attention of customers. You can surprise your loved one by buying cards at Hallmark or kaart2go, they have a whole collection dedicated to Valentine’s Day cards around this time of year. For gifts you can have look at drugstores such as Etos, Kruidvat, or Trekpleister, where you can get a great gift within a reasonable price. If you want to go even further, you can check out luxury stores such as Rituals, Douglas, ICI Paris XL, etc. If you are still looking for inspiration, just look around the stores: who knows, something might catch your eye, good luck!




Sad news from Heemstede

On Thursday, January 6, a news circulated on social media that a 17-year-old boy named Sam Hooftman from Overveen is missing. Sam never came home on the night of Wednesday after a party in Heemstede with his friends. The message of his disappearance was widely shared on social media, his mother and brother asked everyone to look out for Sam. According to his friends, Sam left the house on Leidsevaartweg near Heemstede-Aerdenhout station at around 00:40 on his way, but never arrived home. On Thursday, January 6, the day after he went missing, the police as well as his friends, loved ones, local residents and volunteers who joined the group via the social media appeal, searched for Sam.

On Friday 7 January a body was found by the police in the Leidsevaart. Then the heartbreaking news came out: unfortunately, it concerns the missing Sam. The investigation by the police showed that Sam had cycled along the Leidsevaart that night and fell into the water because of a fatal accident and drowned. Sam’s death caused a stir in the Netherlands, but especially in the area where he lived and where his body was found. A sea of ​​flowers arose along the Leidsevaart where Sam had fallen into the water. A petition was also raised by someone who lives near the Leidsevaart, to place long fences along the Leidsevaart to make the road safer. This petition has now been signed more than 25,000 times.

Last Wednesday a memorial tour was held in memory of Sam. Hundreds of people walked along. As a platform, we wish the family, friends and everyone who loved Sam a lot of strength!

P.S. The petition is still active and can be signed by clicking on the following link:




Corona will also remain in 2022!

The new year – 2022 – has started and the editors of Welkom Heemstede, Platform for Integration wishes all readers a prosperous and above all a healthy year.

We will all again have to do a lot to stay healthy and perhaps even more than we did in 2020 and 2021. It is hard to imagine that the corona pandemic has already lasted two years. Recently, a new virus species – Omikron – has even emerged, which is much more contagious than the previous variants.

It is therefore even more important that people get vaccinated. The chance that you will become (seriously) ill is smaller and if you do become ill, it is usually less serious and you hardly ever have to go to hospital. It is true that the protection provided by the vaccine decreases after some time and that is why the health council (a group of very good doctors) advises to take a “booster”. It is almost essential, especially now that the number of infections from Omikron is rising sharply.

On January 7, 25,000 people in the Netherlands were infected again. Although the symptoms of the disease are less severe than with previous variants, these large numbers will still lead to many people ending up in hospital.

Some people in the Netherlands – and also in other countries – say that vaccination is not necessary or is even nonsense. However, most experts find it important and useful. If you don’t trust it yourself, talk to your doctor about it. He or she can give you all the information and wants the best for you. Let’s be careful and look after each other. Stay healthy, then hopefully 2022 will be a good year.


The Netherlands now in a real lockdown

Recently, the fear of the Omicron virus has increased sharply. The virus spreads very quickly. In Amsterdam, it has strongly expelled the delta virus from 5% of the infections to 35% within three weeks. Experiences in other countries show that this displacement is rapidly increasing to close to 100%. Even if the symptoms of this virus are less severe (which is not yet certain), many people will still end up in hospital. To prevent contamination, the Dutch government announced a stricter lockdown on December 18. Catering and non-essential shops must remain closed until January 14. Supermarkets, pharmacies, drugstores, food and clothing banks and gas stations may remain open until 8 p.m. For a complete overview, see:

Schools are closed until January 9. This applies to primary schools, secondary schools and higher and university education. However, emergency care must be available for vulnerable children and children of parents with crucial professions. People should work from home as much as possible, unless that is not possible.

All indoor sports locations are closed. All outdoor sports are allowed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Top sport and swimming lessons for A, B and C diplomas are allowed. Events are not allowed.

Hopefully, the Omicron virus will be contained with these measures. If not, the lockdown will last even longer.


Share your Christmas recipe with LAM

Something different than eating lamb for Christmas…..

As of today, the LAM museum collects festive dishes throughout the country to build the Christmas menu in the Netherlands together. ‘As a food art museum, we make a portrait of the Netherlands based on the favorite dishes of the people who live here,’ says museum director Sietske van Zanten. Through works of art related to food and consumption, the museum at Keukenhof Estate in Lisse allows visitors of all ages to see in new ways.

Sietske van Zanten: ‘A visit to the LAM is like a mini-vacation: you step into another world for a while in which you clear your head and then fill it with new ideas. Food is so much more than the nutrients it contains, it is of special value for instance during holidays like Christmas. You are what you eat. It was remarkable how quickly and enthusiastically everyone responded to this initiative. Thinking of your favorite Christmas dish brings back memories. It is a nostalgic journey through years, places, smells, sounds and precious people.”

Artist Tom Heerschop processed the submitted dishes and anecdotes on a 6 meter long Christmas table in the LAM museum, walled by deep blue walls with starry skies. “The dark blue starry skies symbolize the dark days that we will leave behind after Christmas,” says Tom Heerschop.

The LAM museum has extra opening hours during the Christmas holidays. For more information and tickets:

Everyone can add their indispensable party dish to

preferably with an anecdote or explanation. The results are available for everyone to see.


The Participation Newspaper

 Haarlem-Heemstede-Bloemendaal-Zandvoort: Meaningful work, participating in society, having colleagues, gaining work rhythm, preparing for the return to (working) society. Just a few goals for citizens in the region of Haarlem. To orientate yourself, there is now the Participation Newspaper.

On 24 pages, 40 organizations offer information on how to participate in all kinds of work activities. With 6,000 editions of this newspaper a huge audience can be reached. The newspaper is available free of charge at all library locations, at the four municipalities and at Pasmatch. The newspaper can of course also be viewed digitally and browsed via

De Participatiemarkt follows the four live editions of the Participatiemarkt, the digital edition and the series of podcast interviews. The organization of all these participation services is in the hands of Pasmatch, the Zuid-Kennemerland Library and the municipalities of Haarlem, Heemstede, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort.



Heemstede is accepting extra permit holders

The situation in the world (especially in Africa and the area around Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan) is getting worse for the people there. Many try to flee to Europe. The asylum seekers centers in the Netherlands are running full. As people cannot and in fact are not allowed to stay there, they are allocated to the Dutch municipalities according to a fixed distribution key.

Heemstede is set to accept 15 to 20 extra permit holders on top of the numbers promised earlier. According to Mayor Astrid Nienhuis, this is our moral duty. The municipality is looking for (temporary) housing for the extra status holders. That is not easy because the municipality has no large locations available. All suggestions are welcome and that is why the town hall of Heemstede is organizing an online meeting on 2 December from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm in which residents can put forward their ideas and suggestions. Anyone can register via The town hall is looking for locations that can be used quickly and that are habitable for 15 to 20 status holders without many adjustments.

We hope that many people with ideas will take advantage of this opportunity.