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Showing posts from October, 2012

New Roundabout in Houghton Regis Will Improve Traffic Capacity

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ITS FINALLY HAPPENED! 
After years of traffic light hold ups at Bedford Road/ High Street junction in Houghton Regis, the traffic lights have been replaced (and not for the first time) with a brand new mini-roundabout. It may have been no-go in Houghton Regis today while work was done to take away the traffic lights, but tomorrow should be a completely different story.

Traffic was said to be queuing up down to Portz Avenue at lunchtime today as the old traffic lights were removed and temporary ones were installed. By early evening the old lights and the temporary lights had been removed and a new mini-roundabout was in place.



Works will continue for the next few weeks on footpaths and pedestrian crossings in Houghton Regis Town Centre all requested as part of the planning process in conjunction with the new Morrison's superstore in the town which will be opening soon.

The scheme will include:

A reduction in the speed limit to 20mphImproved pedestrian links with Bedford SquareWider …

Spree of Bus Shelter Vandalism - Houghton Regis

At least three bus shelters in Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis have been vandalised over-night. Workers were out this morning knocking the dangerous breakages out, and sweeping up. Anyone with information about these incidents should contact the police on 101, or alternatively call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/in-your-area/east-of-england/bedfordshire

Archaeological Excavations Houghton Regis

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Trenches are being dug in Chalton parish on the fields north of Lewsey Farm. There's about a dozen there.

This trench is in Houghton Regis, south of Parkside, along what could potentially be the route of the Woodside Connection link road. These archaeological excavations will provide information on archaeology for the environmental statement that will accompany forthcoming plans for the development of the land.

Driver Had £89,000 In Unexplained Cash

M1 JUNCTION 12 to 13: When police officers attended a routine traffic collision, they discovered a vehicle carrying £89,000 in cash. Mark Holt, aged 47, of no fixed abode, but from Buckinghamshire area, admitted possessing or acquiring criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act at an earlier hearing following his arrest on September 29. Holt pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months at Luton Crown Court today (Oct 26).

"Slow Down - Our Daddies Work Here"

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An International campaign is being adopted in Bedfordshire. The ‘Our Daddies Work Here’ campaign encourages road users to remember that every road worker is part of a family. The difference between a ‘near miss’ and a serious or fatal injury to a road worker can often be a matter of seconds or millimetres, as every year over 100 people are killed or seriously injured as a result of working on UK roads. 

Bedfordshire Highways contractors, Amey, are using posters of themselves and their families in the campaign to remind drivers to be more considerate and slow down.
Jon Shortland, Account Director for Amey in Bedfordshire, said: "At Amey we take the safety of our employees very seriously. However, despite our best efforts, there is at least one incident every month where one of our team is injured or abused by an inconsiderate driver. Our campaign aims to emphasise the human side of our workforce and encourage drivers to remember that every road worker is part of a family, who want t…

Houghton Regis Community Lower School

Notices are now appearing in local newspapers explaining that is it proposed to change the age intake of  'Houghton Regis Community Lower School'  from 1st September 2013. Two new classrooms will be required.
The school, in St Michael's Avenue, currently takes children aged 3 to 9 (a lower school), but the new limit will be age 11, making it a primary school. The proposed new capacity will be 315 places, an increase from 225 places. 52 part-time nursery places will remain.
The proposals say that in September 2013 year 4 children will stay on, and become a new year 5. And in September 2014 year 5 children will become a new year 6.
Any person wishing to comment or object may do so within the next six weeks by sending them to The Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Children's Services, Central bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Chicksands, Beds, SG17 5TQ

UTC Open Night Success

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The University Technical College Central Bedfordshire (UTC) opened its doors to prospective students and their parents this month.Young people wanting to know more about studying engineering and product design were treated to demonstrations in the science labs, classrooms and state-of-the-art machine shops.

There will be another open evening on Thursday, November 15 5-8pm in case you missed this one.

Principal Bob Shore said: “It was great to see so many young people and their parents interested in what we do and how we do it. We work hard with our sponsors and partners to ensure students are prepared for the world of work, further education or apprenticeships - but ultimately the test is whether what we’re doing is interesting and stimulating to young people: both those here and those considering their future. And last night certainly proved we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

The UTC put on a real show with experiments in the physics and chemistry labs, from f…

Town Asks CBC to Rethink Over Council Tax

Houghton Regis Town Council tonight sent a message to Central Bedfordshire Council to asking them to consider alternative ways of saving money, instead of making cuts to council tax benefits.

Expectations are that Central Government may reduce its funding to the County by 14 per cent next April.

The Town Council welcome some of the proposals, like protecting pensioners from changes, and withdrawal of discounts for those on council tax benefits. But those proposals that impact on those on Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, receiving Employment and Support Allowance or have low earnings are not supported.

Central Bedfordshire Council are considering making the shortfall up by a variety of methods, including changes made to council tax benefits.

The Houghton Regis Town Council want CBC to look for any alternative ways of recovering the reduction in funding.

Dunstablians 48 Biggleswade 7

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Action from Dunstablians v. Biggleswade at Bedford Road, Houghton Regis on Saturday 20th October.

© A D Winter 2012

Town Centre Management 18/10/12

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Houghton Regis representatives of Town and Central Bedfordshire Councils met on Thursday evening  for a regular Town Centre Management Committee Meeting (TCM).

Members discussed the possibility of transitioning the current limited scope of the TCM to a partnership committee that considered the whole town, and not just the town centre. It was pointed out that similar structures existed in Dunstable, Leighton Linslade, and Biggleswade. Members agreed to await further  information.

The latest crime statistics were discussed and the drop in recorded crime of 22% overall was discussed. ASB in Bedford Square was discussed.

The Town Centre boundaries were discussed. The boundaries were the Co-op site, Bedford Square, and All Saints church. Members voted unanimously to add the new Morrisons superstore site, Roslyn House, The Dentist surgery, and properties on the north side of the High Street between Bedford Rd and Cemetery Road to the Town Centre. Consideration was given to adding Georgina …

A5-M1 Link Gets Approval

First published 12:03 19/10/2012. Updated 17:50 19/10. Updated 12:20 20/10/12.
At long last, the A5-M1 link, has been given the thumbs up, by the Government, the Department of Transport announces today.
The Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities Local Government are minded to accept the Inspector’s recommendation that the bypass should be built. This means that the Secretary of State for Transport is committed to building the road as quickly as possible. A final decision is only dependent on the developers contributing £45 million and Central Bedfordshire Council £5 million. Both these contributions are on track to be made. Work is due to start in 2014 and cannot start sooner as power lines have to be moved next summer when demand is lower, before work can begin.


South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous said “This is wonderful news for the whole of South West Bedfordshire. Traffic jams will be greatly reduced in Dunstable and Houghton Regis and villages like Totternhoe, Ken…

Community Awards: Appeal for More Nominations

Community Awards are open to entries from within a 15-mile radius of Dunstable.  A gala awards evening to be held at The Grove Theatre Wednesday 21st November. More nominations are sort for the community category. Multiple nominations can be accepted, and the same entrant can also be entered for more than one award.

Carer of the Year will be awarded in recognition to the person who has helped to care and provide for someone else who may be vulnerable or in ill health.

Volunteer of the Year will be awarded in recognition to the person who
unselfishly gives their time and energy to a cause, organisation or institution which they feel strongly towards. The criteria is that nominees are unpaid in their voluntary service.

Student of the Year will be awarded in recognition to the student who has
demonstrated academic excellence or has shown outstanding improvement in their academic studies.

www.dunstableawards.co.uk 

Jobless Numbers Fall

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous has welcomed the fall in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in South West Bedfordshire. The number of unemployed claimants in the South West Bedfordshire constituency in September 2012 has fallen to 2,134 a fall of 68 from the figure in August 2012 and the figure is now below the number of claimants at the date of the last general election in May 2010.

Commenting on the figures Andrew Selous said:

“I am pleased to see this further fall in unemployment in South West Bedfordshire. I know that we have more work to do to provide all the jobs that people need locally, but it is good to see more people getting into work. It is encouraging that there are now more people in work than ever before. We still need to redouble our efforts to help all those looking for work to find it through creating the best possible conditions for businesses to grow locally and nationally.”

http://www.andrewselous.org.uk/fall-in-south-west-bedfordshire-jo…

Teenage Victim of Attempted Robbery

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses following an attempted robbery which took place in Houghton Regis on Sunday October 14.

The incident happened at around 6.30pm as the 16 year old male victim was walking along Richmond Drive towards Trident Drive, close to the small bridge. The victim was approached by a group of seven or eight males with one of them grabbing him by the neck and demands were made for him to hand over money and property. The victim was then searched and when nothing was found, he was punched in the face and the group fled towards Wheatfield Road.

Although there was a group involved, there were two main offenders. The first is described as a white male, 16 to 17 years old, around five feet six inches tall, of stocky build, clean shaven, dark hair, clear complexion and wearing a purple hooded top. The second was also a white male, of similar age, around five feet five inches tall and of skinny build.

Detective Constable Jo Bosson, who is investigating the …

7 Till 7 Closure of High Street

Proposed Temporary Road Closure – High Street, Houghton Regis
Reason: Highway works in conjunction with new Morrison’s Supermarket
Lengths affected: From Cemetery Road to Bedford Road.
Date: The closure is expected to take place from the 26th November to 01st December between 1900hrs to 0700hrs. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing. Signs will be erected on site two weeks before commencement of works.
Alternative Route: Proceed in a northerly direction on Bedford Road A5120 to junction. Turn left onto Thorn Road and continue to the A5 to roundabout, take first exit at the roundabout onto Waiting Street A5 becoming High Street. Continue to fourway crossroads, turn left onto Houghton Road A5120 and continue to site vice versa.

Houghton Regis Town Councillor, Alan Winter, "The alternative route has to be on like for like roadsso the traffic cannot go via King Street/Queens Street. I've just been sent this proposal notice. If you would like to comment on …

THE LORD LIEUTENANT OF BEDFORDSHIRE VISITS NEW SHORT STAY MEDICAL UNIT – HOUGHTON REGIS

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South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) was pleased to host a visit from The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis on Monday 15 October.

The Lord Lieutenant, accompanied by the Houghton Regis Town Mayor, Councillor David Jones, toured the Unit and talked to staff and patients at the recently opened Rehabilitation Unit.

Small and focused, with only 16 beds, the Unit is led by a geriatrician consultant and staffed by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, therapists and health care professionals, working closely with local GPs and Social Care teams.

The Unit provides nursing care with comprehensive occupational therapy and physiotherapy for patients who require intensive nursing support for a limited time, with the average length of stay expected to be between 5 and 7 days. This new service offers a step down from hospital, before being discharged home or into further longer term residential rehabilitation services and a step up for patients who need some i…

Proposed Constituency Boundaries

The Boundary Commission for England yesterday revealed revised proposals for constituency boundaries.  Under the proposals Houghton Regis  would be in "South West Bedfordshire CC", and split apart from Dunstable.

The South West Bedfordshire constituency would include Marston, Cranfield, Woburn and Harlington, Toddington, Leighton Buzzard, Whipsnade, Studham, Flitwick, Harlington, and Houghton Regis (total electorate 80,146).

Dunstable would become part of "Luton North and Dunstable BC", and include Bramingham, Icknield (Luton), Limbury, Northwell, Sundon Park, Leagrave, Chalney, Lewsey, Icknield (Dunstable), Dunstable Downs, Watling, and Northfields (total electorate 78,957).

The "Mid Bedfordshire and Harpenden CC" would include parts of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, including such places a s Wheathampstead and Caddington (total electorate 78,055).

But there is much doubt over whether or not the government will proceed with these suggested changes due t…

Community Network Messages

The latest Community Network Messages are available here


Best Wishes, jan
Jan Cooper The Way Working in Partnership Houghton Regis Town Council
Phone 01582 708540 Mobile 07718 220414 E-Mail  theway@houghtonregis.org.uk

New Crossings Proposed

CBC is proposing to establish pedestrian crossings in Parkside Drive, Sundon Road, and Park Road North.

Zebra Crossing Proposals:
- Parkside Drive, 80m north-east of junction with Elm Park Close.
- Sundon Road, 15m south of junction with Easthill Road.

Signalised Toucan Crossing Proposal:
Park Road North - 160m nw of rndbt with Sandringham Drive.

Humped Zebra Crossing Proposal: (rebuild existing crossing)
-75mm high, in Parkside Drive 32m s of junction with Bromley Gardens

Humped Zebra Crossing Proposal: (new crossing)
- 75m high in Sundon Rd, 15m s of junction with Easthill Rd.

Plans can be viewed at the Houghton Regis library. Objections in writing to Transportation manager, Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Avenue, Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7NU or email centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk

Official notices of this announcement can be found in local newspapers.

Recycling Challenge - 60%

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Central Bedfordshire is recycling waste!
Residents are now recycling over 50% of household waste, but now CBC want you to recycle 60% by 2020.


Reusable items are collected by Preen free of charge and go to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people across Central Bedfordshire. Items must be clean, safe and fit for reuse. Especially needed is furniture; white goods such as fridges, freezers, electric cookers; and small electrical appliances, for example televisions (including analogue TVs), DVD, video and CD players, and cooling fans. Collections are made at Bedford Square on the last Friday of the month, or Telephone PREEN on  0844 99 343 99 to arrange a collection or for advice on donating.


LOCAL GLASS RECYCLING:
By the Co-Op, High Street, Houghton Regis, LU5 5QT
Poynters Arms, Poynters Road, LU5 4SJ
Sainsburys, White Lion Retail Park, LU5 4RF

GLASS AND TEXTILES:
Harvest Home, Hillborough Cresent, Houghton Regis,LU5 5NJ

HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES:
Houghton Regis Town Council Offices

Household …

This Week's Decisions

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Decisions affecting Houghton Regis were this week taken by Central Bedfordshire Council's Executive Committee.


The Houghton Regis North Framework Plan was adopted as technical guidance for development management purposes.

When "News Desk" conducted its own poll on this plan during the summer, the top concerns were that "Congestion in the town centre will not be addressed by the new roads" - 26 replies. 14 thought "Too many homes planned", and 8 "Don't know where the jobs are coming from".

We put these findings to the Council's Cllr Nigel Young, the executive member for sustainable communities, strategic planning and economic development.
"I think your survey responses mirror comment on the CBC response page (only 53 responses at 5 public exhibitions). To answer the top 2; I think that the Woodside Link will make a big difference to Houghton Regis High Street as freight will prefer the quick link to the M1 and homes North of Hough…

Traffic Chaos Tonight!

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I have just spoken to Jason from Amey, who is running the operation to resurface Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis.

The works started this morning and will continue over the next four days. The times are 08:00 to 18:00.
The area to be resurfaced is from Windsor Drive junction to Westminster Gardens.
Through traffic is being barred from Parkside Drive, although local road access is possible.

Windsor Drive and Parkside Drive is used by traffic as an alternative rush hour route to using Park Road North and Sundon Road.
Because of the hours of operation of this resurfacing, this alternative route will be unavailable.
This will mean that for Thursday and Friday evenings there will be double the amount of traffic converging from Park Road North onto the Chequers roundabout, Houghton Regis. 
I don't want to sound alarmist, but this is going to have significant impact all down Poynters Road and beyond. 

Therefore, traffic aiming for Tithe Farm and Parkside estates would do better by trying to…

Houghton Regis In The News w/e 2nd Oct

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Here are some of the things that have appeared on our Facebook Page over the past week. To keep up to date, check our Facebook Page every day!


STOP SMOKING IN STOPTOBER
If you are looking for information on how to join Stoptober, please visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober

POYNTERS ROAD LORRY BAN PROPOSAL
Residencies and businesses in the affected area are being advised by Central Bedfordshire Council that they are proposing to introduce a 7.5T lorry ban in Poynters Road, except for buses. Objectors have until 26th October to respond. If you require any further information please contact Gary Baldwin, tel. 0845 3656116 or email gary.NOSPAM.baldwin@amey.co.uk. (delete NOSPAM.)


A5 FUNERAL WARNING
Police in Bedfordshire are warning motorists of possible delays today, Tuesday 2 October, due to a large funeral moiving along the A5 from Hemel Hempstead.

VOUCHER SCAM
Bedfordshire Police Officers were reported as dealing with at least two cases where people have applied to a company for a loan, o…

Houghton Hall Park in Heritage Lottery Fund Bid

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Houghton Regis' Houghton Hall Park is situated west of Park Road North. It was once much larger, extending down to the Luton Road, long before the Woodside industrial estate, and new housing estates for Dunstable were built. To many people, the park is unknown given that it is hidden behind the village green and Houghton Hall.

These days the much shrunken park is mainly used by dog walkers. Parts of it have been given over to football fields, a bowling green, and a managed woodland. Moves are now afoot to turn the Houghton Hall Park into something more than that.

Central Bedfordshire Council and Greensand Trust want to bring the remaining park back into more and better public use. Proposals include creating a heritage exhibition and heritage centre. In February next year a Round One  submission will be placed for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (Parks for People). If successful, a Round Two bid will be made in February 2014. If that is successful, project delivery work will…

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Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter

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