Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Central Bedfordshire Council Daily Digest Bulletin for 16th September 2014

Business seminars and events
Let's Talk Business


Free business clinic - 1-1 sessions available

Organised by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with the Velocity business support scheme, one hour sessions are available for businesses to talk through their plans and ideas with a business advisor.

Date: Tuesday, October 7th

Venue: The Incuba, Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable

Sessions are free to attend but must be booked in advance.  Please contact the Council's Business Support Team for more information, on 0300 300 8272 or email

Meet the buyer

Innovative Management - free management training from the University of Bedfordshire

‘Innovative Management’ is a fully-funded management qualification, supported by the European Social Fund in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council. The programme combines innovative leadership and management workshops and leads to a nationally recognised CMI Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management.

Designed for leaders and managers who wish to develop themselves as innovative practitioners in all aspects of their business, the programme consists of three full day workshops.  Topics covered include staff motivation, managing expectations, routes to market and targeting customers.

Delegates must live or work in Central Bedfordshire and be employed by or own a small business with less than 50 employees (certain post code restrictions apply).

The programme begins on 1 October 2014 at the CPD/Postgraduate Centre, Luton 

To register or for more information, visit the University of Bedfordshire Knowledge Hub.

Experience Beds

Experience Bedfordshire's First Hospitality Sector Surgery

Organised by Experience Bedfordshire, the tourism partnership for Bedfordshire, the event is aimed at all businesses in the hospitality sector and focuses on growing your business through social media.

Date: Friday, 10 October, 9am to 1pm

Venue: Ramada Encore Hotel, Airport Way, Luton LU2 9LF

Amanda Brown of Alterra will be leading a morning of training, covering areas such as raising brand awareness through Facebook and building relationships through Twitter.  Grants4Growth, Yellowstone (web development) and C&C Printers (marketing materials) will also be presenting on the day.  A buffet lunch and opportunities to network will further be available.

To book, visit Hospitality Sector Surgery.

The usual cost of this training is £90 but a discounted rate of  £19.55 (including VAT and card payment fee) is available for members of Experience Bedfordshire, the Chamber of Commerce and start-ups. For non-members the cost is £23.35. 


Velocity Business Growth Workshops


As part of the Velocity programme, a number of free workshops are being held across the South East Midlands area.  The workshops last from 8.45am to 12 noon and cover a range of topics vital to supporting business growth.  


Forthcoming local workshops, to be held at Mitchell Hall, Cranfield, include:

How to build your website - September 25th

Smash your Sales Targets - October 14th

Attracting and Managing Investors - November 10th

A full list of workshops, with dates and venues, and further information, are available on the Velocity website.


Advice from experienced business owners

The Incuba have put together a series of workshops aimed at helping small business owners getting the right help and support.

The workshops begin on September 24th with:

Make your IT work for you, not the other way around (9.30am-10.30am)  and

Brand Planning – Start up to exit plan (11am -12noon)

Workshops are charged at £5 (plus VAT) per business workshop including refreshments or £20 (plus VAT) for ALL SIX Workshops including refreshments and networking opportunities. 

For further information or to reserve a place, contact or call 01582 343 810


First Impressions – Free One Hour Taster Session

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton are pleased to invite employers to a one hour taster session on their ‘First Impressions’ course. 

Lasting impressions are formed within the first few moments of an initial phone call, if that impression is a positive, efficient and approachable one, your whole organisation is seen in the same light.

Join the event to see how Relate can work with your business to provide training to your staff so they give the best First Impression possible.

Venue:  The Incuba,  1Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable

Date:  Tuesday, 14th October 2014

Time:  1030am – 1130am

Registration is essential. For more information contact Relate on 01234 342503 or

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Questions for Central Bedfordshire Council? Contact us

Budget 2015 - still time to have your say
Budget 2015

Budget 2015 - still time to have your say

Every year Central Bedfordshire residents and businesses

are asked
for their feedback on
budget proposals and this year is no exception. Your views are very important to
 want to understand how you feel about what is most important to you and your community.

You can have your say by completing the online questionnaire by 6 October 2014. All the feedback receive

will be reported to Members of the Council as they make decisions about council spending and efficiencies early next year.

United We Stand


United We Stand 

19 September

This new play focuses on the 1972 Builders' Strike and events that led to the imprisonment of building workers Des Warren and Eric Tomlinson.

This production aims to bring the full story of this compelling dispute to life, challenging and entertaining it's audience. 

The play features popular and political songs from the period.

Written by: Neil Gore

Directed by: Louise Townsend

Music directed by: John Kirkpatrick

Townsend Productions are a local group who developed the show at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre and will be touring the UK after opening here.

Prices and booking information

Tickets: £10 and £5 concessions

Call: 0300 300 8125


Friday, 12 September 2014

Gypsy & Traveller Site Plan Withdrawn by Central Bedfordshire Council

by Alan D Winter

Discussion over the proposed withdrawal of Central Bedfordshire Council's Gypsy and Traveller Plan dominated the Council's meeting last night (11 Sept). From Barton-le-Clay, Mr Knight addressed the councillors saying that the council had disregard to listening to 4,000 people in that town. He said the action group did not agree with using the green belt, and that they had found 10 other suitable sites. He went on to invite the council to work with them.

Central Bedfordshire Council: filmed  
Cllr Young (Conservative) agreed to assign an officer to work with the action group to look at these sites.

Barton-le-Clay resident, Janet Nunn, a former CBC Liberal Democrat councillor, addressed the meeting pointing out that the planning inspector had said that it was unclear how the chosen sites had been arrived at. She said that the council had ignored planning guidelines and no exceptional circumstances had been given for the use of the green belt. The Council for the Protection of Rural England did not support the Plan, either. Mrs Nunn suggested that the council's own staff (whistleblowers) had been uncomfortable about working to put sites in the green belt, and suggested that CBC needed to look at integrated sites, such as at Cheltenham where one had been established for more than 40 years.

Cllr Young pointed out that the planning inspector had suggested that not enough sites had been included in the plan, asking for a 3% compound growth rate whereas the council's plan had allowed for just 2% compound growth rate. This would mean finding an additional 60-70 sites to meet a new target. Councillors all around showed support for sticking to a 2% growth rate, and it was suggested that the planning inspector's claim for a higher rate had no precedent.

Later in the meeting Cllr Young was challenged by Cllr Adam Zerny (Independent, Potton) to give the cost of the gypsy and traveller consultations. This Cllr Young  put this at £26,000 for consultants plus other untrackable costs that are inextricably wrapped up in the cost of running the whole council. Cllr Stay (Conservative, Caddington) wanted to know the cost of repetitive questions to officers by certain councillors. Cllr Young replied, " if it was more than £10, it's been a complete waste of money".

Councillors voted to agree to withdraw their Gypsy and Traveller plan for the time being, saying there was insufficient time for them to answer the inspector's questions demanded by him for a meeting on 23rd September, and that it had been regrettable that the inspector had not allowed them more time.

A revised plan will need to be submitted in the future to protect Central Bedfordshire's communities from unwarranted intrusions by illegal encampments.

The meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council was filmed last night by local residents. Unfortunately the sound quality is very poor.

Monday, 8 September 2014

INCUBA: Help your business grow - Essential workshops for SMEs

Advice from experienced business owners

Here at The Incuba, we have put together a series of workshops aimed at helping you the small business owner getting the right help and support in many areas of your business. Whether its getting the right staff to build your business or generating more sales from your website, there's a workshop for you!

So if you are building on that great business idea you've had or want to build on your existing knowledge, the workshops are suitable for all.

September 24th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30: Workshop 3: Make your IT work for you, not the other way around
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00: Workshop 4: Brand Planning – Start up to exit plan

October 29th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30: Workshop 5: Accountancy for Small Business Owners in the Real World
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00: Workshop 6: Top Telephony Tips for Small Businesses

November 26th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30: Workshop 1: Policies, Procedures, Recruitment and the Truth about HR for Small Businesses.
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00: Workshop 2: Turn your website into a sales machine

ONLY £5 (plus VAT) per business workshop including refreshments or £20 (plus VAT) for ALL SIX Workshops including refreshments and networking opportunities. Please contact: 01582 343 810 or email to reserve your place.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent feedback we have received.
"Informative, inspiring… all mixed in with a healthy dose of realism and sound advice. Looking forward to starting up! Thanks to you all"
"Very useful to bounce ideas and help us focus as we move forward as a charity." 
“Very Informative with invaluable practical help"

  /theincuba        @TheIncuba

  The Incuba, 1 Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable, LU6 1AA

Copyright © 2014 The Incuba, All rights reserved.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Houghton Regis Has Got it All Going On!

Classic Car Show takes place on 14th September. Photos: A D Winter
A working group at Houghton Regis Town Council met for a couple of hours last night (3rd Sept) to reflect on this year's carnival event, go over the details of the forthcoming Classic Car Show, and agree some dates for future events.

The group agreed or confirmed the following event dates:

14th September 2014 - Classic and Vintage Car Show, @ The Green Houghton Regis
26th September 2014 - Mayor's Charity Quiz Evening @ Chequers (part of Mayor's events)
1st November 2014 - Halloween Fancy Dress Hunt (Bedford Square - part of Mayor's Events)
25th November 2014 - Celebration of Christmas (Grove Theatre - part of Mayor's events)
13th December 2014 - Santa's Grotto
17th February 2015 - Pancake Race
4th April 2015 - Easter Egg Hunt
22nd May 2015 - May Fayre
11th July 2015 - Carnival with the theme "Summer Vacations"
13th September 2015 - Classic and Vintage Car Show
November 2015 - Celebration of Christmas at Grove Theatre (subject to sponsorship being available)
5th December 2015 - Santa's Grotto
9th February 2016 - Pancake Race
26th March 2016 - Easter Egg Hunt
6th May 2016 - May Fayre

To book stalls (where events have stalls), or for more information about these events, please contact the Houghton Regis Town Council events organiser, - 


Mayor's Quiz Night: 26th September

The Town Mayor of Houghton Regis, Councillor Laura Ellaway is hosting a 'very different' Quiz Night on Friday 26th September 2014 at The Chequers Public House, East End, Houghton Regis,
in aid of her chosen charities!
The event includes a Fish and Chips or Chicken and Chips Supper (vegetarian option available)
Tickets are £10 each. For more details please email the Mayor's Secretary


Halloween Fancy Dress Hunt! 1st November


Tickets for this years's Celebration of Christmas go on sale mid-September available from The Grove Theatre, Dunstable. The performance was a huge success last year and the venue is ideal to hear local children singing. Expected to take part are choirs from six Primary schools, The Chiltern School and Luton Mencap with stage performances from Full House Theatre. The event is made possible by a generous discount from Central Bedfordshire Council on theatre hire, and sponsorship from a local developer. Proceeds from the event goes into Houghton Regis Mayor's nominated local charities, which this year are  Dunstable Army Cadets, Houghton Regis Day Centre, and Kingfishers.


To keep up to date with events in the town find the "Houghton Regis Calendar" and add it to your device, or website.
View the calendar online here:
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