Sunday, 16 December 2012

Latest Planning Applications and Decisions


Consultation Period

A space in Moore Crescent is proposed for building on.

CB/12/03822/FULL - Land adjacent 11 Moore Crescent, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5GZ - Attached house with two car parking bays

CB/12/04264/FULL - Thomas Whitehead Lower School, Angels Lane, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5HH
 - Retention of temporary classroom portacabin (Application 07/1028)

CB/12/04046/FULL - Mobile Home At, Thorn Green Farm, Thorngreen Farm Road, Houghton Regis - Removal of a mobile home, demolition of a barn and erection of a Granny Annex (Resubmission of CB/12/01991)

CB/12/03935/FULL- Houghton Regis Lower School, St Michaels Avenue, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5DH - Internal works to create two classrooms and provision of school offices etc.

Awaiting Decisions

CB/12/04006/ADV - Bierrum House, 105-111 High Street, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BJ - Advertisement Consent: 2 x Banners

Decided

CB/12/03915/FULL - 67 Conway Close, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5SB - Extension to porch to accommodate new entrance and downstairs cloak and wc - Full Application - Granted

CB/12/03259/FULL - 74-76 High Street, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BJ - Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of site to provide 3 No 1 bedroom dwellings and 2 No studio flats - Full Application - Refused

CB/12/03529/ADV - Unit 30 Townsend Farm Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BA - Internally illuminated and non-illuminated signs on building and internally illuminated free standing sign. - Advertisement - Granted

CB/12/03235/OUT - 20 Roman Gardens, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5QR - Outline Planning Permission: Erection of detached dwelling (all matters reserved except access and layout). - Outline Application - Refused

CB/12/03255/FULL - 193 Cemetery Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5DF - Erection of single storey side extension - Full Application - Granted



Wednesday, 12 December 2012

BEDFORD ROAD CROSSING.


grey=old blue=new

Information has been received this afternoon that indicates some interim road improvements at High Street and Bedford Road junction, as well as other parts of the   road scheme. This follows several weeks of letters initiated by Liberal Democrat Central Bedfordshire Councillors for Houghton Regis following concerns over road safety.

A young man is known to have been knocked down, and emergency services attended, shortly after the scheme was introduced.

A significant contribution to effecting change, was the passing back to Bedfordshire Highways, of comments made by members of the public on this Facebook Page.

Cllr Alan Winter, Houghton Regis Town Council's Highways rep, "At the present time, the scheme is only partially implemented, and works are due to restart in the new year. Nevertheless, aspects of safety have been been reconsidered by the highways professionals, and there are promises that before Christmas, these improvements will be made. As I understand it, the crossing will be moved about 4 metres further down Bedford Road, and the roundabout will be realigned."

"Motorists can expect some delay when this work is being done, - sorry - but I do ask that they consider the value of acting before a life is lost on that crossing. I'd like to thank all my councillor colleagues that have helped by using their various contacts to help bring some sense of road safety back to the situation. Thank you Facebookers for your great anecdotes!"

Monday, 10 December 2012

Lorry Ban On Poynters Road and Area?

Central Bedfordshire Council received a large number of representations, both opposed to and in support of the proposed 7.5 tonne weight restriction in this area.


The matter will be discussed at Central Bedfordshire Council’s Traffic Management meeting on 7 January 2013 at Watling House in Dunstable at 2pm.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Town Council Meeting ~ 3rd December.


By Alan Winter. alanwinter.lu5@gmail.com

The Council approved the minutes of the previous meeting of 22nd October. That had been called especially to consider aspects of the proposed CBC changes to Council Tax, and how this might affect people on benefits. The Town Council  passed a resolution supporting the protection from the changes for current pensioners and future pensioners who might claim support; supported the withdrawal of discounts from those with second homes, empty or repossessed properties. The Council did not support "the proposed reductions in council tax benefit which impact on those on Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, receiving Employment and Support Allowance or have low earnings or income are not supported. These households have restricted budgets and any reduction is likely to have a major detrimental impact. Central Bedfordshire Council are urged to 1. consider alternative ways of recovering all the reduction in funding from Central Government; 2. utilize all available sources to publicize the changes as outlined previously to members; 3. actively engage all affected residents." 

The Council received reports from the Policy and Resources Committee (P&R). Among the items recently agreed was to maintain its relationship with The Way. The Way has already been working with the Town Council with existing and voluntary groups to develop their role and scope, and wishes to see this work continue. This will help to provide an effective link between the community, HRTC and Central Bedfordshire Council. A new 3 year contract was agreed, to run to March 2016, and would include a contract to provide Easter and Summer playschemes. In July P&R had resolved to set up a fleet service partnership agreement with Luton Borough Council. A resolution had also been passed to become a partner in the "Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust" which ensures that the free Bobby Scheme service, which is a charity, continues to receive funding.

The Town Council considered a large report on a CBC consultation document on Leisure Strategy. A comprehensive response had been drafted by the HRTC officers. This was discussed, and the officers recommendation was accepted. This included some criticism of general population forecasts, criticism of local levels of transport ownership. It supports measures to increase capacities at existing facilities, encourages the adoption of growth agenda for HR and Leighton Buzzard as a basis for providing modern up to date facilities. A number of other points mentioned cover improvements that would benefit HR, notably, "The Town Council support the immediate refurbishment of the existing pool then the medium / long term development of a new leisure centre with pool as part of the growth agenda."

The Town Council considered reports from the Planning and Licensing Committee (P&L). Of note, the committee objected on 15th October to 2012/03259 Change of use from commercial to three 1 bedroom dwellings and two studio flats at 74-76 High Street, Houghton Regis. "Comments: Object. Over-development of the site. Inappropriate parking arrangement. Traffic issues - further increase in traffic onto a busy High Street. In the light of current trends to rejuvenate high streets as retail and commercial centres, object to the loss of a potential retail outlet. Query whether or not this is a listed building." A further objection was made to an application for a dwelling in Roman Gardens, "Object. Inappropriate development in that area, as it would completely alter the street scene. No indication of the actual design of the proposed building. Suggest some investigation into the deeds of the properties in that area, as it is believed there is a clause in all deeds that prevents the open area land, including gardens, from being built on." A Proposed Weight Restriction on 7.5 tonne HGV on Poynters Road was considered. The Committee resolved "to support the proposals, but suggest that consideration should be given to extending the restriction to include Park Road North" otherwise lorries would use this route as an alternative to the A505.

A proposal to enter into a joint arrangement with Central Bedfordshire Council to house a joint changing room and nursery at Tithe Farm was considered. During discussion it became apparent that the overall cost of the project had not previously been known to town councillors and a request for comparative costs was made. Nevertheless, the Council agreed a minimum expenditure on a feasibility study. Tithe Farm recreation ground is owned by CBC and is under the management of HRTC under a long term lease which expires in 2061. The pavilion is owned and managed by HRTC and is used for sports changing facilities and storage. The existing changing facilities are said to be of poor design leading to vandalism and maintenance issues. Current changing rooms and storage areas are said to be just adequate. Initial estimates for a joint building were put at £600,000 including £50,000 for the car park.

Central Bedfordshire Councillors attended the HRTC meeting to give verbal reports of their activities. Cllr Susan Goodchild said the numbers of children being taken into care was on the rise. CBC were looking at best practice Councils, such as Wandsworth. They were looking at improvements for outcomes for care leavers, helping them to find work. The government were to set up junior ISAs. 
Cllr Goodchild spoke about education. Central Beds was 17th in the table for pupils attending good or outstanding schools. By comparison, Bedford was 11th, Hertfordshire was 53rd, Luton 114th. It was important to do well at Key Stage 2, and Cllr Goodchild said a lot of thanks was due to the heads and parents. In Adult Care and Social Housing, work was in progress on Health and welll being; there was a working group on discharge from hospitals; short stay unit in Houghton Regis was being well used. There was concern around Adults with Learning Difficulties. They had been happier in Dunstable but since a recent move had felt more isolated; Aldwyck were going to set up a coffee shop for them. Crime in Sandringham estate was mentioned, and when quizzed, Cllr Goodchild said she was aware of 4 current separate anti-social behaviour issues, and urged anyone who became aware of issues there to "be a good neighbour" and let officers and the ASB team at CBC know about them. The Baptist Church was holding daily sessions with Adults with Learning Difficulties from 10 until 12.

Cllr Rita Egan mentioned that due to difficulties at CBC, commenting on budget proposals for next year were not yet possible. Cllr Egan, who is disabled, thanked the town for the Houghton Regis Helpers, who she would recommend to anyone, for helping her out while her kitchen was rebuilt. Cllr Egan was due to meet with the new PCC, Olly Martin, this Friday, to discuss policing issues in the town.

Cllr Peter Williams said he had had a lot of reaction to the proposed Parkside Drive link extension. He was due to meet with an officer from Amey, Bedfordshire Highways contractors, Jill Cross on 16 December [Date since changed to 7th]. Cllr Williams spoke about confusion of ownership of part of the car park opposite Hillborough shops.

Cllr David Jones spoke about Youth Services. Houghton Regis Lower school are due to know if their bid to become a primary school is successful on December 17th. Houghton Regis Academy were going through consultation to change form ages 9-13 to 11-18. The D. of E. would decide that outcome. Cllr Jones expressed concern about the Council Tax scheme for next year; it would be uncertain how much HRTC would get out of the request for precept  that it puts in. A task force was looking into housing issues.

Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan

Work is currently underway on the Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire that will set out how Central Bedfordshire Council will meet the accommodation needs of the Gypsy and Traveller Community and the Travelling Showpeople Community up to 2031. 

The site assessment process outlined at Overview and Scrutiny on 10th April 2012 is nearing completion and the draft Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan (including potential sites) is expected to go to Overview and Scrutiny on 28th February 2013 for comment. 

The document will then go to CB Executive and Full Council before it is published in May. Following publication there will be a 6 week consultation period where interested parties will have the opportunity to comment on the Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan.  

Thursday, 6 December 2012

National Cycle Way Route 6

Money from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid is being used to improve this cycle route which runs along Dog Kennel Walk, to Houghton Green, and then broadly follows the route of the brook to Leagrave. New directional signs are to be installed giving the time it takes to get to the destination, rather than the distance. Apparently this is preferred by cyclists.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Police At Town Council Meeting ~ 3rd December


This report, of the Police Report to the Houghton Regis Town Council meeting on Monday 3rd December was written by guest writer, Tracey McMahon.

Joel PCSO attended (all on his lonesome) the TC Meeting on Monday night with an update from the police on local crime. The Sept/Oct [crime] report is 1.1 per cent UP on previous month, but DOWN overall 23 per cent on this time last year.

There has been a decrease in serious crimes, burglaries, domestic abuse, violence against persons etc...Theft is also down, criminal damage is also down, as are robberies. They have put initiatives together, targeting specific individuals, and patrolling specific areas.

Operation PEAK, targets suspects across the whole county, in marked vehicles and with plain clothed officers.

There have been quite a few arrests from this initiative. Over the last 28 days, 4 robberies have occurred involving theft of personal property, the last occurred on 20th Nov. Since then, more officers have been drafted into the area. The last burglary was also reported at the end of November. 

Theft from vehicles is becoming an issue, especially at this time of year, and officers are trying to raise public awareness about this - i.e. don't leave your valuables/Christmas shopping, on full view when you leave your car unattended!

Operation VISION is another new initiative which is being implemented by our new PCC Olly. This is to gain feedback from the public on their needs, and in this area will mainly be targeting the PARKSIDE AREA. Olly himself may even be doing a bit of door knocking himself! [the scheduled date for this is 19th December from 9.30am onwards].

The police are looking into making available FREE light timers for the public, for using to turn lights on/off when properties are empty to give the impression that someone is home. There will also be a programme of property marking, which may be at the White Lion Retail Park, so customers can get their pressies marked as they buy them.

Operation CAPS will address number plate security.

PC's/PCSO's are being directed to stay within/return to the Houghton Regis area when not attending other incidents due to the concerns raised recently by residents.

That's page one of my notes 

Cllr Carrington asked if there were any updates on the recent attacks, and the problem with the bus shelters, the answer was NO.

Mayor/Cllr Jones hiliighted that the bus shelter damage is not just a local issue, as he has seen some damaged over Lewsey Farm, and Leagrave.

Cllr Costello mentioned the property marking and muggings in Houghton Hall ward.

Joel said that extra PCSO's were being deployed from Dunstable and Houghton Regis to address these issues.

Cllr Winter asked if personal attack alarms are available for public issue, the answer was NO, and it was unlikely that they would be. Alan then requested that the Town Council looked into procuring some.

Cllr Williams discussed the crime report recently issued, and asked if the criminals that are being 'targeted' with the new police initiatives are existing criminals in the area, or is it a newly evolving criminal element? It appears that there is a new element of criminals evolving, from groups of young teens that are associating with older teens, ie 16yr olds knocking about with 18-20 year olds that have already been in trouble. Some of those younger teens are the same kids that started out riding the illegal motorbikes and causing a nuisance. They have even targeted one person who is only 12 years old! Some of the newer criminals are also from other areas.

It was suggested that the recent rise in unemployment has impacted on the crime figures.

Cllr Hunting read out Darren's email to him regarding the possibility of using mobile CCTV, and whether the police knew who was committing these recent crimes? Joel said he had no idea about the likelihood of using mobile CCTV as it was above his pay grade (LOL!), and that they had an idea who the 'crims' were, and they are on their 'radar'.

Cllr Roberts commented on a previous meeting, and reminded the council that there had also been a suggestion that there was an element of criminal activity that was being instigated by some people from North London, and that they were trying to become an influence in our area.

Finally, Operator HANNAH was discussed, and the expected incline of reported thefts due to a 'Seasonal Spike'.

I also took a few notes on some other issues, one of which is the crossing by the church. Cllr Williams reported that he is having a meeting on 16th Dec [update: this will now be on Friday 7th] to discuss the possibility of putting an island of some sort (much like there previously was!), to break it up so as to make it a bit safer. Cllr Winter was very concerned that something should be done before someone gets killed!

Outdoor Volunteer Dates


VOLUNTEERS! Dates for your diaries added for January and March for outdoor volunteer activity see http://is.gd/hrdiary

Specifically see the leaflet from The Wildlife trusts at https://docs.google.com/open?id=1m9F6cGW4JlnzawtNR5gmys38ezYv6zIDg1p9GtNJ4paQAvybxFhW5gHRi4qz


HOUGHTON HALL PARK SURVEY


NEWS DESK'S HOUGHTON HALL PARK SURVEY 


 Take our survey.

Currently the main users of this Park are dog walkers. 

There are preliminary proposals from Central Bedfordshire Council and Greensand Trust to create more facilities, including a new building with a café, improve the deteriorating heritage aspects, and make the Park more attractive for everyone to use. 





How should it change to get you to use it more frequently? Maybe you think "leave it as it is". 

Not even sure where it is? The entrance to it is off Park Road North, Houghton Regis. 


So what do you think about these ideas?  Take the Houghton Regis News Desk Survey on Houghton Hall Park. 

Learn about the heritage associated with the Park

Take the Survey

The survey is now closed.
Here are the compiled results:
Q1. How recently have you taken a walk around Houghton Hall Park?

Q2. Are you proud of the open space of Houghton Hall Park?

Q3. Dog walkers are the current primary users of Houghton Hall Park. Are you a dog walker?

Q4. It's being suggested that more people would use Houghton Hall Park if more facilities were provided. Have your say here.

Yes if there were more facilities for children - 3/8/2014 3:20 PM

Not sure that the atmosphere and integrity could be maintained if facilities were added. Dependant on what was installed. -2/2/2014 5:28 PM

Of course they would. As long as parking is free, and the facilities are better then schools etc would start to use the park.- 1/27/2014 3:07 PM

I live on its doorstep so it wouldn't make any difference to me either way- 1/10/2013 11:20 AM

I am happy as is it, I don't think there is a need for anymore facilities. It just need to be maintained/managed as it is.  1/9/2013 9:40 AM

I say leave it as it is, it's a nice open space, perfect for dog walks  1/8/2013 6:47 PM

A cafe would be good. I've heard that some dogs exercised there are dangerous which is why I've not used it for a while. 1/8/2013 6:19 PM

A coffee shop / cafe would be nice with outside seating for us dog walkers 1/8/2013 2:29 PM

Lighting would be good, I do not feel safe. Plus a lot of irresponsible dog owners there. I control and clear up aftee my dog why cant they? 1/8/2013 12:36 PM

yes would be nice to have more there, its a lovely there but a cafe or facilities would be nice too esp in the summer 12/13/2012 8:08 AM

I think it would be a great idea to have more facilities restrooms would be a good idea and I think even a cafe would be good maybe have it is a dog friendly one 12/13/2012 12:32 AM

Don't change it just give some one a job to be park ranger I don't go cause in scared of the youths there . U get abuse and dog poop . A warden would be able to stop all this . and people would feel safe 12/12/2012 9:25 PM

I think that may well be true. However, will it generate enough custom to operate for a sustained period of time? If there is proper funding to keep it going, then this would be a positive I think. It is such a lovely place, it would be nice if more people used it. 12/12/2012 8:03 PM

think a cafe would be nice and benches to sit and watch the wild life 12/12/2012 7:52 PM

New facilities always attract people in however new and innovative features and ideas for the buildings and general decore of the park along with a good service will help to retain number of visitors 12/12/2012 7:52 PM

Yes - cafe, picnic area, events tolook athistory. nature... 12/6/2012 9:34 PM

i agree there should be more facilities it is a lovely site 12/5/2012 9:10 PM

It had never really occurred to me, its just a nice place to take the kids for a nature walk but I always like.a good cafe! 12/5/2012 8:46 PM

I park/playground for children would encourage me to use the park. A public tennis court would be a nice to have. 12/5/2012 8:46 PM

We cycled round it when we were new to the area and went exploring on our bikes. A desgnated cycle path would be great so we don't run into the walkers. How about a pond with seating around it? Introduce pondlife/wildlife in an area? 12/5/2012 8:23 PM

no fine as is 12/5/2012 8:15 PM

It will be sad to lose a FREE facility as no doubt any change will mean a cost to use 12/5/2012 7:59 PM

a nice tea shop/ cafe, there is not many places to just chill with friends with a tea and cake in HR. I had read on the signs about a maze being mowed into the long grass, that would be nice. visitors centre similar to the downs. wild life learning centre or quiet places to watch the wild, such as hides etc 12/5/2012 7:54 PM

More lighting is a must, would like to feel safe walking my digg even on dark winter evenings. 12/5/2012 7:33 PM

Maybe a cafe and toilets 12/5/2012 7:02 PM

Its a good area and if it had some sort of refreshments or cafe, more people would visit especially in the summer months. 12/5/2012 6:55 PM

I agree, more activities should be put on especially for children to have somewhere to go something like stock wood park 12/5/2012 6:50 PM

Cut it back a bit more and add a concrete path with things to look at, statues or kids wodden climbing frame parts as you walk round 12/5/2012 6:29 PM

I think its ok as it is lots of people us it. Could do with some more poo bins. 12/5/2012 6:01 PM

Some sort of natural adventure trail for the kids would be nice..and more nature talks..perhaps a bioblitz in the summer 12/5/2012 5:59 PM

use it to walk the dog only 12/5/2012 5:58 PM

"Facilities" would spoil the only quiet open space in Houghton! Less rambling dogs slobbering all over my kids because their owners are too busy gossiping would encourage me to use it more - especially in the summer when it's a great place for a picnic! 12/5/2012 5:56 PM

Yes if a cafe or park/activites for children whilst families walk dogs or a general family walk.
12/5/2012 5:53 PM

mud scrapers. 12/5/2012 5:12 PM

============
Q5. It's being suggested that a café, study area for schools, toilets, and information point, are all installed inside a new building inside the present Park. Would you be in favour of that?

Yes
66.67% (30)

No
17.78% (8)

Don't know
15.56% 7
Total (45)

============
Q6. It's being suggested that a café, study area for schools, toilets, and information point, are all installed inside a new building inside the present Park. How do you feel about that?

Good idea 7/18/2015 8:43 PM

It doesn't need them 4/28/2015 12:01 PM

This would be most welcome ,it would draw people in to this park. 3/8/2014 3:21 PM

Dependent upon size and how intrusive it would be. Ideally Houghton Hall should have remained within the park to be used as café, museum, education centre etc. 2/2/2014 5:31 PM

Great idea! as long as there are no charges to enter the park then go ahead. 1/27/2014 3:08 PM

good 1/12/2013 2:49 PM

its a good idea but I think the monies could be well spent in improving other areas of Houghton. 1/10/2013 11:27 AM

I don't think it is needed as there are other facilities nearby ie cricket pavilion, library and community offices that could be better utilised. 1/9/2013 9:41 AM

That means that part of the walk area will be taken away to provide that, it's not that large of an area anyway, so using up part of it for a cafe etc is not a good idea. 1/8/2013 6:50 PM

Would help increase footfall no doubt, but would also need to consider parking. 1/8/2013 6:20 PM

Good idea as long as its dog friendly 1/8/2013 2:31 PM

I think it would be vandalised and kids would congregate putting people off, nice idea tho 1/8/2013 12:38 PM

would be nice gives us some thing to do locally 12/13/2012 8:09 AM

I think that's an excellent idea 12/13/2012 12:33 AM

Good we need it but as I said get a ranger to look after it 12/12/2012 9:26 PM

Can only be positive, as long as it is sustained and is built discreetly in the right place. 12/12/2012 8:04 PM

Good but please refer to prior note about innovative building etc... 12/12/2012 7:54 PM

would be nice 12/12/2012 7:52 PM

Awkward. Ihnffucbgdfcyfdbcudfucbfbu 12/11/2012 3:52 PM

good but would need to ensure maintainence and upkeep are considered. - invovle community fromthe start toinstill sense of ownership 12/6/2012 9:36 PM

i think its a great idea and it will help the park a lot but should not be to big 12/5/2012 9:11 PM

No objections, think its a good idea as long as the building is in tune with surrroundings and eco friendly. Use the visitor centre on Dunstable Downs for ideas. Minimise disruption while being built as much as poss. 12/5/2012 8:50 PM

Stick a Costa in the building and people would definitely make use of the facilities there. 12/5/2012 8:48 PM

great idea. Give the place more focus and make people more keen to visit. At the moment it just seems to be a derelect area 12/5/2012 8:26 PM

It would spoil it 12/5/2012 8:16 PM

This would be really great, would def use 12/5/2012 7:55 PM

It would be good and attract more visitors as king as they are properly maintained. 12/5/2012 7:34 PM

Great we would use 12/5/2012 7:03 PM

Good idea, as long as it fits in with the area. 12/5/2012 6:56 PM

And any thing more they can do 12/5/2012 6:51 PM

If a school study area was provided it should be away from the dog walkers as I once had a teacher with a class of children shout at me because my dogs went over to her children who were sitting on the grass. They are there once in a while whilst my dogs are there every day. 12/5/2012 6:47 PM

I think it would be a great idea to attract new people to the park like the downs attracts people with the national trust building 12/5/2012 6:32 PM

Are the council trying to make money by making the carpark bigger and charging for parking. 12/5/2012 6:03 PM

That would be brilliant..bringing the community together more and encouraging the younger ones to care and love the open spaces around them 12/5/2012 6:01 PM

waste of money 12/5/2012 5:58 PM

Absolutely NOT!!!! A building would spoil the peace and quiet of the park - look at the monstrosity on the Downs!  First thing you see as you drive along the top! 12/5/2012 5:58 PM

Yeah im happy with that. 12/5/2012 5:54 PM

don't know 12/5/2012 5:13 PM

Q7. Please indicate your Gender and Age


Q8. Please give your postcode.
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Monday, 3 December 2012

Police Issue Drink Drive Warning

Don't Drink and Drive this Christmas. 


Bedfordshire Police have announced that they will be out in force now until the new year, carrying out breath tests and, where relevant, Field Impairment Tests* (FIT) to all drivers involved in any road collisions they attend. They will be on the looking for any suspicious driving and will stop and check anyone suspected of committing a driving offence, as part of their usual patrols. Police are also working with the Courts and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to expedite some drink drive cases to court during the campaign. Anyone found  guilty could lose their licence before Christmas.


Police advise the following alternatives to drink driving:

Drivers, drink non-alcoholic drinks. Don't risk it by thinking you can get away with having one glass of wine or a pint of beer – you cannot calculate your limit so don’t try to.

• Take it in turns to be the driver on nights out.

• Taxis and buses are possibly more costly than your car in the short term, but think what could happen if you drive and drink alcohol.

If you are found to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs you can face: 

• A minimum of a 12-month disqualification, as well as a fine and/or imprisonment.

• The offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs now carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and a disqualification of at least two years. The legal alcohol limit for driving is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood but there is no failsafe guide to the amount of alcohol that a driver can safely consume. The amount and type of alcoholic drink, the weight, sex and metabolism of the driver all play a part. Any amount of alcohol affects driving ability – a motorist’s ability to judge speed and distance may be impaired, their reaction times may be slowed and their judgement of risk seriously affected.

If you know a drink driver, you can help the police by calling 101 and telling them where and when they drink. If you know someone has been drinking and is about to drive, always dial 999.


Some key statistics from a Department of Transport report:


  • Fatalities resulting from drink and drive accidents increased by 12 per cent from 250 in 2010 to 280 in 2011, and seriously injured casualties rose by 3 per cent from 1,250 to 1,290.
  • 15% of all road accident fatalities involved drink driving
  • The total number of drink drive accidents increased by 1.5 per cent, from 6,630 to 6,730.
  • The total number of casualties involving drink driving rose by 3 per cent, from 9,700 in 2010 to 9,990 in 2011.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

SUNDAY NEWS & WEATHER BRIEF


Another broken bus shelter panel has been reported in Parkside Drive this Sunday morning.

From December 3rd 2012 it will be illegal for scrap merchants to buy metal for cash. Scrap dealers will have to record details of who any payments are made to.

Fraud victims, whether an individual or a business you can contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or going online to www.actionfraud.police.uk


Any community or voluntary organisation which supports and benefits residents of Dunstable is urged to apply for a grant from the Dunstable Town Council. http://www.dunstable.gov.uk/news/2012/oct/community-grant-scheme/


Watch Romulus and Remus at Mead Open Farm's Reindeer Cam from 11 until 5.30.pm until 23rd December at http://www.meadopenfarm.co.uk/reindeercam.htm


Father Christmas can't go shopping this year as shopkeepers are refusing entry to hoodies. Instead he has a team of helpers who have been working all year round without a break. It's not good for his 'elfs; they should have a rest.

+ WEATHER FORECAST

Mon: Rain 9am to 12, sunny pm, high 9°
Tue: Dry day, 5°
Wed: Dry am, wet/sunny pm, 3°
Thur: Sunny intervals am, 3°
More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2646523