Help for Struggling Sports Clubs During Lockdown

team BEDS&LUTON¹ - the Active Partnership for Bedfordshire and Luton which is part of a local mental/physical wellbeing and leisure charity - have been supporting struggling sports clubs during the lockdown to apply for funding. 
Although gymnastics clubs, swimming pools, gyms and other sports clubs are permitted to cautiously open their doors in July, many will still not be able to reopen to their usual capacities due to social distancing – adding more pressure to their finances after months of closure. Debts have been mounting and fixed costs still have to be paid. 
But team BEDS&LUTON has directly supported local groups and organisations to benefit from over £75,000 pounds of funding via grant applications. More support packages will be made available soon from Sport England alongside the existing joint package that are already available with Crowdfunder. Emergency Funding has also been made available locally through the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. For those …

Central Beds — Landlords Invited to Register For Online Forum

Local landlords are invited to a Central Bedfordshire-wide virtual forum, to hear about new legislation and find out how the council can support them.
Especially important in the light of the current pandemic, the Forum is planned for Wednesday, 29 July, and is designed for local landlords, whether they have one property or more.
With COVID-19 advice from the National Residential Landlords Association, the online event will help local landlords make sense of the new renting landscape. It will also give the private sector landlords the opportunity to ask questions, hear from a specialist and make contacts with other landlords.
Held virtually on Microsoft Teams, the event will run from 6pm – 8pm, with registration opening at 5:55pm.
Vic Daws from the National Residential Landlord Association will present and answer questions on some of the changes in legislation affecting landlords across the country, including coronavirus advice; five-year electrical safety checks; extension of ‘Pause for …

Linmere — AMP3 Consultations

The Linmere developments are taking another step forward with the proposed development of a tranche of land beside the Woodside Link, to the east of Houghton Regis.
The overview contains three potential 'walking/cycling' routes between the Bellcross development site and AMP2, but no main vehicular route. Previous plans showed that potentially a large supermarket site would be included, but the new document indicates only a local centre. Also included are a hotel, a pub, and a primary school.

Initial feedback was provided by readers of our Facebook Page. You can read those here.
These included concerns for a secondary school, although CBC are working on new plans for a secondary school at the nearby Kingsland site.
There are concerns around access to the Bellcross site. Alan Winter, “If I Iived on the Houghton Park estate, I would be concerned as to how a future development on the Bellcross Homes site was going to have access. Potential walking and cycling connections from AMP3 int…

Measures to Improve Hospitality and Eating Out Welcomed by Local MP

VAT to be cut for six months for all businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and attractions industries, including up to 570 in South West Bedfordshire.Public urged to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ with a new voucher scheme to encourage people to support local restaurants throughout AugustThe Chancellor has announced a much-needed boost for tourism and hospitality businesses in South West Bedfordshire, as part of his Summer Economic Update to kickstart the economy post-coronavirus. Andrew Selous MP has welcomed the measures, which will see VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attraction businesses cut from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for six months. The move is designed to support the sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, helping businesses to recover and boosting the number of jobs across the country. Up to 570 businesses could stand to benefit from the measures in South West Bedfordshire. Discount Meals — Eat Out to Help OutAndrew Selous MP is urging lo…

L&D Hospital Mani Car Park Closes From 13 July - Bigger Car Park To Be Built

Parking for visitors and patients at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital will get a welcome boost by the end of the year, as work gets underway on a new four-level car park on the footprint of the existing Lewsey Road car park.
The new car park will double the current provision for patients and visitors, and also provide more accessible parking as well as bicycle parking for patients, visitors and staff.

The new design will also improve the flow of cars, and reduce queuing and congestion on Lewsey Road.
The existing main visitor and patient car park (on Lewsey Road, opposite the main entrance to the hospital), will be closing on Monday 13 July.
Alternative parking will be available on site, in Farringdon Fields, off Calnwood Road. The Trust is reallocating staff spaces for the period.
But overall numbers may be limited so the Trust is asking patients and visitors not to bring their car if they can possibly avoid it, but to be dropped off instead. A new temporary drop-off point will…

Town To Hold A Virtual Carnival Day 11th July

l While we can’t come together to create our usual Town Carnival this summer, Houghton Regis Town Council is still hoping to bring the joy of carnival to you!
Clips and videos from the previous carnival processions will be bolted together so that a programme of events can be assembled for a great big virtual community Carnival. This will be available online throughout the day on Saturday 11th July starting with an Offical Opening from the Town Mayor at 9.55am – The Town Council is hoping that this will be just like the real thing but over the airwaves!
The Town Council want Houghton Regis Virtual Carnival 2020 to be an opportunity to celebrate together, SAFELY, being part of this wonderful community of ours and to mark positively how everyone has been so supportive of one another during these difficult times.
Below is a schedule of events that we know about so far. Full information available from the Houghton Regis Virtual Carnival 2020 Page on Facebook.
Meanwhile, at Houghton Regis News D…

Drugs, Firearms, Cash Captured in Bedfordshire - 24 Arrests

More than 90 kilos of Class A drugs, seven firearms and over £180,000 in cash has been seized in Bedfordshire on Thursday as part of the UK’s largest-ever operation to combat serious and organised crime.
Twenty-four people have been arrested in the county and 11 people charged so far as part of a major coordinated period of action by law enforcement agencies across Europe.
Throughout June Bedfordshire Police worked alongside colleagues from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) to run two intensive days of action against suspected organised crime gangs.
This was followed up today (Thursday) with another wave of enforcement action, with more than 70 police officers and staff involved in warrants across Luton.
The massive breakthrough in the fight against serious and organised crime comes after the takedown of a bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals.
Encrochat offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service, but an international l…

High Staff Sickness Level at Houghton Regis Town Council

A report to the Personnel Committee of Houghton Regis Town Council shows that staff sickness levels have been quite high for the past 15 months.

The report covers the 15 month period from April 2019 to June 2020. It shows a total of 388 sick leave days.
For the period April 2019 to March 2020 office staff had 152 sick leave days, an average of 15.2 days per member of staff. In the same period, the grounds staff clocked up 138 sick leave days, an average of 19.7 days per member of staff.
And in the past three months, April to June 2020 there has been 66 days sickness among office staff, an average of 6.6 days per office staff member. The grounds staff have racked up 33 days sickness from April to June 2020, averaging 5.5 days per staff member. 

The reasons for the sickness are not disclosed in the report.
Also to be discussed is that staff annual leave is allowed to accumulate and be taken in a future year as staff were not booking holidays as normal through the work-from-home COVID-19 pand…

Be Vigilant Against Any Unsolicited Scams

Unsolicited scams are popping up all over the place and we are encouraging you to share this information with your elderly and vulnerable family and neighbours. In June Beds Police dealt with two incidents where a person had contacted a victim and claimed to be a detective investigating their bank and claimed that the people working in the bank are part of the scam. The victim is then told to go and withdraw money from the bank and is encouraged to lie to bank staff about the reasons for the withdrawal. Once the money has been obtained the victim will be contacted again, the fake detective will then declare the cash is forged and arrange for a courier to come and collect the money from the victim. We are urging you not to act on any demands from these calls and instead report it to Action Fraud, our online reporting centre, or by calling 101.
Here are some tips which can help you spot a fraudulent message. 
Police will NEVER ask you to make payments using Amazon Gift Cards or PayPal AND ne…

Life Under Lockdown in Houghton Regis

Houghton Regis Heritage Society has launched a new project to capture people's experiences of what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for people in Houghton Regis.
Many of us have been affected by the pandemic in some shape or form and future generations will no doubt wish to learn all about this challenging time. They will be keen to see what living through a pandemic looked and felt like for those men, women and children whose lives were changed dramatically, almost overnight, demanding bravery, resilience and creativity to get through.
The Houghton Regis Heritage Society is starting a project - Houghton Regis Life under Lockdown 2020 – whereby photographs and other information will be saved in their Archive.
Perhaps you have photographs of your life under lockdown? Have you been sharing photos of the Clap for Carers, your latest dance moves, making NHS supplies, working from home or doing more family activities at home? 
Maybe you have used video conferencing apps like Zoom or Microso…

5 CBC Councillors For Houghton Regis: Have Your Say

New boundaries are being proposed for council wards in Central Bedfordshire.

This stage of the consultation closes on 7 September 2020 The Local Government Boundary Commission wants to hear what residents and local organisations think about the proposals. A 10-week consultation on the proposals will run until 7 September 2020.

The proposals include that the old boundaries of Tithe Farm, Parkside and Houghton Hall are discontinued in terms of areas that ward CBC councillors cover.

Instead, Houghton Regis would be carved up into new wards, broadly similar to now, of Houghton Regis East, and Houghton Regis West. And part of the existing Dunstable Northfields ward would be moved into Houghton Regis West.

Proposed ward boundaries:
Every street east of Bedford Road would be in Houghton Regis East.  Every street south of the High Street from The Chequers to The Kings Arms would be Houghton Regis West. Every street west of Windsor Drive would be Houghton Regis West; every street east of Winds…

Met Office Says We Could Have 40°C Days in UK

Towards the end of the century parts of the UK could see 40°C days every 3-4 years on average under a high emissions scenario, says the Met Office.

Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre have found that by the end of the century extremely high temperatures will be possible.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK is 38.7°C set in Cambridge in July 2019.

By 2100, under a high emissions scenario, the UK could see 40°C days every three to four years, especially if emissions are not reduced in line with the Paris climate agreement.

Lead author Dr Nikolaos Christidis, said “We found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century, with the most extreme temperatures expected to be observed in the south-east of England.”

“Some parts of the south-east between 1960 and 2019 the hottest days of the year have already increased by 1°C each decade. The UK is already on a warming trend when it comes to …
Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter