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Action Fraud Urge More Caution Over Online Shopping Due to Rise in Scams

Reports of online shopping fraud have surged by 30% over the pandemic as many of us continue to shop online in light of current restrictions. Figures from Action Fraud show that criminals conned 17,407 shoppers out of almost £13.5 million over the Christmas period last year, an increase of over 20% when compared to the same period in 2018. Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online, ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers search for bargains and gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas. Top tips to shop online securely this festive season: Where to shop: Making a purchase from an online store you haven’t used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they’ve used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase. Your information: Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for detai

L&D Hospital Helipad Boost From Amazon Team

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The Bedfordshire Hospital Charity’s Helipad Appeal for The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received a £7,000 boost from Amazon in Dunstable. The Emergency Department at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital is renowned as one of the best in the UK and treats over 90,000 people each year. Approximately 25% of patients have life-threatening injuries and require immediate and specialist medical care. The aim of the Bedfordshire Hospital Charity is to construct a helipad at the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital site, helping patients in critical need by allowing them to receive care in the local area, rather than being sent further afield. The hospital has been chosen as the location for the new helipad because it is best placed to transfer patients directly from the air ambulance to the Emergency Department, Stroke Unit and Cardiac Centre. The new helipad will significantly enhance the standard of care already offered by the hospital and make Luton & Dunsta

Leadership Changes at Central Bedfordshire Council

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Cllr James Jamieson, who has led Central Bedfordshire Council since 2011, has announced that he will be standing down from this role in January. In a message to all Members of the Council, Cllr Jamieson explained that he had always intended to make way for a new leader ahead of the next elections at the Unitary Authority in 2023 and that in doing so now, he will be able to devote more time to his role as Chairman of the national Local Government Association. Cllr Jamieson said, “It has been a privilege to be Leader at Central Bedfordshire Council, over the last nearly 10 years. The council has made huge strides in improving services to Adults and Children’s Services and developing our economy.  I look forward to continuing as a councillor to support the new leader, who will build on this strong legacy. “In the context of the national crisis and the significant economic and social pressures which local government is facing as we recover from the pandemic, now is the right time for me to

New Site Being Considered for Houghton Full Body Burials

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Burial space in Houghton Regis was finally exhausted about two months ago. Anyone who lives in the town and now wants a whole-body burial has to go outside of the town. Councillors are to have a feasibility study done into a new site near the Household Waste and Recycling Centre.  The Town Council now only offer internment places on a plot of land at their Cemetery Road site. So where are Houghtonians to have full-body burials in the future? The Town Council have been meeting for years to try to find a solution .  A site at Orchard Close was once considered . Part of the recreation ground there was to have been used, leaving a substantial amount of space left over for recreation. A campaign group was formed to oppose that, and then it transpired that there was a covenant on that land which meant it could not be used for that purpose. Elections were held in 2015 and the new council  withdrew the site in 2015. In 2019 land at Dog Kennel Down was considered. Despite housing development

Work on Houghton Brook Will Help to Stop Floods in Luton

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Houghton Brook flood storage area under construction Some 600 residential and commercial properties along with key infrastructure in Luton is to benefit from improved protection from flooding, thanks to a new flood storage area for the Houghton Brook, currently under construction by the Environment Agency. This £8.5 million project will hold water at times of heavy rain, allowing it to drain slowly and under control into the Houghton Brook – cutting the risk of flooding to people and property along the Houghton Brook and River Lea in Luton. The work is being carried out in response to Luton’s long history of flooding from the River Lea and its tributaries, in particular where the Houghton Brook joins the River Lea around Toddington Road. In 2007, Luton Central Fire Station, the A6, local roads and Wardown Park were all affected by flooding. It will also result in a better environment for people and wildlife that is more resilient to the impacts of flooding and climate change, wi

More than 3,000 knives off the street following knife crime week of action

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More than 3,000 knives are now safely off the streets after being recovered from outdoor public spaces and a number of weapons bins throughout Bedfordshire. This activity was a result of Operation Sceptre – the national week of action aimed at tackling knife crime and to encourage people to think twice before carrying a knife. Taking place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November, we worked with partners to participate in a number of activities, such as weapons sweeps, engaging with retailers and pro-active high visibility patrols in areas most affected by knife crime. Officers from our crime reduction team  emptied 10 weapons bins  prior to the week of action and  found 3,216 blades and 14 firearms . The bins in the north of the county were last emptied in March this year, and the bins in the south were last emptied in October 2019. The bins were emptied again earlier  this week  and a further  223 blades and two firearms were recovered . Officers from the force’s community teams took part