Thursday, 31 January 2013

Biggleswade 11 vs 19 Dunstablians

An away match for local rugby team Dunstablians, gave them victory over Biggleswade on Saturday.

Full Match Report ... 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan

Find out more at Central Bedfordshire Council:

Includes one site at Bidwell (CBC map online).


  • 28 February 2013 - 35 sites will be considered at Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee to produce a short list of sites.
  • Formal consultation on the short list of sites in May / June 2013
  • Submission to the Secretary of State – October 2013
  • Public Examination - 2014
  • Inspectors Report 2014
  • Adoption - 2014

Gypsy Traveller Local Plan

Volunteers Wanted at Red House Court

Red House Court is a sheltered housing scheme close to The Green, in Houghton Regis, for over 60s.
It is an extra care scheme with a care team on site.

Events are arranged on a monthly basis and include trips, parties, bingo, meals out, etc.

The Friends of Red House Court are a group of volunteers who organise and run social activities for the residents. The Friends are a very small group and need to recruit more helpers. Some residents need one-to-one assistance to join in. They meet once a month for a meeting which lasts about one hour to organise the program of activities and then on the day of the event to run it.

Do you have the time to help? Please telephone Stephanie or Heather on 01582 865002 for an informal chat or visit.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Over 900 Responses to 'Woodside Connection' Consultation For Houghton Regis Bypass

Central Bedfordshire Council are proposing a new road between the borders of Houghton Regis and Lewsey Farm, towards the to-be-constructed junction 11a of the M1 motorway. If it gets the go ahead the new road will start at the junction of Park Road North, Porz Avenue and  Poynters Road, then head north east, before heading north towards Chalton Cross.

The Council says "The aim of the road is to reduce traffic, especially goods vehicles accessing Woodside Industrial Estate, from the centres of Houghton Regis and Dunstable. A link to Sundon Road provides  a connection from local roads to the M1 motorway."

In a published statement CBC say that the consultation period is now closed, and that they have received over 900 responses, with about 400 people attending one of several public exhibitions, with many comments collected.

The general view was that the local community agreed with the proposed road, but there were some reservations from residents living closest to the proposed road.

In the light of the comments, the council will now decide if they need to make any changes to the proposed plan.

An application for Development Consent is likely to be submitted at the end of February 2013. There will be further opportunity to make representations about the proposal in Spring 2013. In the Summer and Autumn the plan will be subjected to independent examination.

Although the official consultation period is now closed the project team can still be contacted:
Email :
Tel: 0845 365 6131 or 0845 365 6122 or 0845 365 6146
Write: CBC, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TG

 woodside houghton regis dunstable lewsey connection hrn1 consultation CBC bedfordshire

Monday, 28 January 2013

Films At The Grove

GROVE THEATRE: What's On - Film

The Impossible (12A)
30 JANUARY 2013 - 3 FEBRUARY 2013

Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings (U)
2 FEBRUARY 2013 - 17 FEBRUARY 2013

Life of Pi (PG)
6 FEBRUARY 2013 - 10 FEBRUARY 2013

Django Unchained (18)
17 FEBRUARY 2013 - 20 FEBRUARY 2013

Les Miserables (12A)
29 MARCH 2013 - 3 APRIL 2013

hrnd grove theatre dunstable

Friday, 25 January 2013

Accident at East End

Two vehicles were involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon at East End. One lady was taken to L & D hospital with an ankle injury.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Do You Fancy Setting Up a Time Bank ?

Great opportunity for anyone motivated enough to see the potential of putting in some time, to get some time from someone else.

Example: Spend 6 hours wallpapering for someone. Get the time credited to your time account. Get someone else to give you 1 hour cleaning your car. Get someone else to give you four hours gardening. Get someone else to give you an hour to do some shopping. To each their own specialism.

13 February 2013, 10.30 – 15.30 at Rufus Centre
Steppingley Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1AH

Reserve your place by 4TH February 2013

Find out more by clicking here to view, read, and print off (if required)

tags: timebank, time, bank, hrnd, 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Gypsy and Traveller Sites Consultation Later This Year

Central Beds Council will consult formally on their gypsy and traveller plan in May/June 2013.

The representations from the public consultation for gypsy and traveller sites will be considered by the Secretary of State.

This week Cllr Young explained that without a gypsy and traveller plan the council has no control and illegal encampments are likely. CBC are legally required to plan for sites up to 2028, and are planning up to 2031 in line with CBC development strategy.

A "pitch" is for one gypsy and traveller household on average 3 to 4 persons.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Are You Interested in Becoming a Police Cadet?

If you’re interested in a future with the Police, there’s no better way to develop the skills, knowledge and experience you’ll need than joining Bedfordshire Police Cadets. Groups in Luton and Kempston are now accepting applications, for places starting in September 2013.   Police Cadets are united by a passion for serving the community and supporting the constabulary. As a Cadet, you’ll take part in weekly training sessions, featuring a range of exciting activities. You’ll learn fascinating skills as part of a diverse team of people aged 16-18.

Enjoy the opportunity to support Officers carrying out real policing duties at all kinds of public events in Bedfordshire’s towns and villages - from Luton Carnival and Bedford River Festival, through to Remembrance Parades.

Support given to gain recognised qualifications, to help your CV to stand out from the crowd.

Grow in confidence and gain new abilities. You could have the chance to rise through the Cadet ranks, to roles such as Section Leader or Head Cadet. Make a visible contribution to your community, and develop a wide range of valuable talents.

Many Cadets go on to join the Police full-time, or volunteer to support us as Special Constables.  The experiences you have as a Cadet will help to prepare you for success in any walk of life.

For the September intake – you must be 16 years old by the 1 September 2013.

Free Information Evenings for potential cadets and/or their parents/carers.

These will be held at Barnfield College, Luton, on 5 February 2013, and Police Headquarters, Kempston, on 12 February 2013.

Both events start at 6:30pm and are a great opportunity to learn more about being a Cadet.

Book a place in advance. Please either call 01234 842119 or email

Tags: hrnd, police, cadet, bedfordshire, career,

Calling All Carers in Bedfordshire

Are you a Carer in Central Bedfordshire? Then come along to the latest Carers Forums in Priory House, Chicksands on 25 January or Leighton Buzzard on 31 January. These aim to bring local carers together to share experiences and talk to a range of professionals.

A key aim for the forums will be around how carers can access information and services which respond to their particular needs, giving them greater choice, control and independence.

Carers Forums are for ANYONE who cares for a family member or friend living in Central Bedfordshire who is ill, frail or disabled. The regular forums give an opportunity for carers to have their say on important issues, to help develop services for carers, and to monitor the difference being made to carers through the work of the council and its partners.

25 January 2013, 12.30 - 3.30 pm, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Beds. SG17 5TQ

31 January 2013, 6.00 - 9.00 pm, Leighton Buzzard Day Centre, Duncombe Drive, Leighton Buzzard, Beds. LU7 1SD

You can book your place at either of these forums by calling 0300 300 8036 or by emailing

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Busway: Dunstable Houghton Regis (pics)

Behind Arenson Way, Dunstable from Dog Kennel Walk Bridge

Dog Kennel Down Houghton Regis.
Land swaps were agreed for Luton Borough Council to take this land from Houghton Regis Town Council.
The land strip that the old railway ran on from Dog Kennel Walk to the A5, plus a piece of land at Blows Down were handed over to Houghton Regis Town Council.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Big Fine For Selling Un-roadworthy Cars

Second-hand car dealer fined £46,000 for selling un-roadworthy cars.

A successful prosecution by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Public Protection team has seen a Dunstable second hand car business and manager being ordered to pay a total of £46, 670 after pleading guilty to offences in relation to the selling of second hand motor vehicles to members of the public.

Shaah Brothers Ltd, trading as SB Motors, of Tavistock Street, Dunstable, and manager Mr Syed Kamal Shaah of 5A Sundon Road, Streatley, Luton, both pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates Court.

The offences included the selling of un-roadworthy motor vehicles, failing to carry out reasonable pre-sale mechanical/ history and/or mileage checks, obstructing consumers from returning faulty motor vehicles by failing to deal with complaints in an honest and professional manner and/ or imposing administration charges before granting refunds, providing false information in relation to vehicle service history, value, length of MOT and or mileage, and failing to notify consumers about significant vehicle details such as serious faults, log book fees and whether the vehicles had been registered as insurance write offs.

The offences took place between 6 November 2011 and 16 March 2012. One couple purchased a Ford Focus, which they later found out was previously a category C insurance write off, and was missing a hand brake mechanism. Their complaint was not dealt with by the company.

The council’s Trading Standards Service had the car examined by an expert vehicle examiner, who stated that the car had been sold in an un-roadworthy and dangerous condition. Another Ford Focus sold was also deemed to be un-roadworthy and a mechanic stated that it was dangerous to drive.

A different customer who returned a faulty vehicle was persuaded into replacing the vehicle for a vehicle she was told was of the same value. She later found out that her replacement was actually priced at £306 cheaper than her first purchase. On complaining she was told that she could not have a refund without incurring charges amounting to £300.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services said: "Buying a car is a substantial purchase for many people and if things go wrong it can be very stressful for the consumer - especially if they are subsequently treated unfairly by the trader.”

"Whatever the price of the car, consumers should expect that their new purchase is both safe and roadworthy. It is irresponsible and completely unacceptable for car traders to attempt to sell dangerous vehicles to the public."

Trading Standards Manager Jo Borthwick added: "The level of the fine shows how seriously the Courts take such matters. The Trading Standards Service will continue to take action to prevent the sale of potentially dangerous and un-roadworthy vehicles, helping to ensure consumers aren't deceived into buying cars that could be worthless and potentially lethal to drive".

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New CCTV Plan

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive councillors have agreed a new CCTV Plan for the next four years.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services spoke after the meeting. He said: “CCTV is a familiar feature of modern life, but this Plan is about making sure our CCTV service continues to make a real and significant contribution to reducing crime and anti social behaviour in our communities.

“We want the Service to develop whilst still remaining effective and providing value for money. The economic climate is challenging, but we’re looking at ways to make the provision better by using an intelligence-led approach to camera locations, using new technology to add value to what we do and looking to work in collaboration with other authorities and national CCTV providers.”

The Plan also considers the part that Public Space CCTV has to play in Central Bedfordshire as the population and housing provision grows.

The first steps will be taken in April 2013, when a review of incident demand for crime and disorder will be carried out. This will be mapped against current CCTV provision to ensure that cameras have an optimal coverage.

In May 2013, updated procedures will be put in place to determine the criteria for moving any of the four re-deployable cameras the council currently has.

Cllr Spurr added: “Over the last 12 months, council staff have been working hard to audit the current infrastructure and investigate the possibilities of partnership working. It is an ongoing process but one that we think is really important in our duty to protect the public.”

The CCTV Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that any service developments are reflected in the Plan.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Local Council Tax Support Scheme

A new scheme to replace Council Tax Benefit in Central Bedfordshire has been recommended by Executive councillors for approval by Full Council.

The change is needed because the current national scheme of Council Tax Benefit awards is being abolished by the government as part of national welfare reforms. The changes will take place from 1 April.

Central Bedfordshire's scheme has been developed to reflect feedback from public consultation which took place from August to November last year. The council has had to reduce the overall cost of the Council Tax Support scheme by £1.7 million to reflect the reduced government contribution compared to the current Council Tax Benefit scheme. Responses to a consultation exercise,  including 1,689 questionnaires as well as emails and letters and a telephone survey to 500 households, showed that a majority of respondents support the proposals of the council.

Pensioners will have the same level of protection as the current Council Tax Benefits scheme. The new scheme will protect other groups of vulnerable customers such as carers, lone parents with children under five, some disabled people and war widows.

The proposals are that people with capacity to earn will be required to pay at least 25 per cent of the total bill, even if they pay nothing now.

Low income families will be encouraged to earn. When someone gets a job or increases their hours or earnings, less of their new earnings will be taken into account when calculating claims for Council Tax Support.

There will be no Council Tax discount or exemption for owners of empty and second homes. To encourage a reduction in the number of long-term empty homes, there is a proposed charge of Council Tax at a premium rate of 150 per cent on houses left empty for over two years.

Liberal Democrats were the first to raise  concerns about the ability of low earners to pay. The Excecutive therefore proposes a Hardship Fund to make discretionary payments in exceptional circumstances for those really struggling to pay. 

Premiums and Personal Allowances used to calculate entitlement to Council Tax Support will be increased at the rate of inflation from 2014/15.

Councillor Maurice Jones, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources at Central Bedfordshire Council says, "We have worked hard to develop a Council Tax Support scheme that is designed to be affordable and fair and the positive response from the consultation show that the majority of respondents agreed. We are grateful to all of those who took part in the consultation. The feedback we have received has been helpful in ensuring that residents are not unduly disadvantaged within the funding constraints we face.”

The scheme will now go to full Council on 24 January for final approval.

Green Field Sites Around Houghton Regis Set For 5150 Homes

The outline application plans are in for this huge development. There are 216 documents available to view online.

Above is an illustrated Master Plan for Houghton Regis North Site 1 consisting of land on the Northern Edge of Houghton Regis outlined in red.
Other pockets of land outside the red outline area may well be subject to separate building planning applications as these are owned by different property developers.

Scope of the Outline Planning Application

This application is for a new, sustainable urban extension on 262 ha comprising new homes, including affordable homes, open space, a range of employment and shops, new schools and education facilities, health, community and leisure facilities. Details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale are reserved for later determination and all development, works and operations to be in accordance with the Development Parameters.

This is an outline planning application with the details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale reserved for later determination.

Up to 5,150 dwellings (Use Class C3); up to 202,500 sqm gross of additional development in Use Classes: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 (retail); B1, B2, B8 (offices, industrial and storage and distribution); C1 (hotel), C2 (carehome), D1 and D2 (community and leisure); car showroom; data centre; petrol filling station; car parking; primary substation; energy centre; and for the laying out of the buildings, routes and open spaces within the development; and all associated works and operations including but not limited to: demolition; earthworks; engineering operations. All development, works and operations to be in accordance with the Development Parameters Schedule and Plans.

First Step

This outline application represents the first step in designing the development at Houghton Regis North 1. Once the outline permission is granted there will be further design stages which will enable CBC and the local residents to input to and control the design and quality of the proposals.

No Fixed Master Plan

The application is based on development parameters text and plans rather than a fixed masterplan. The proposed development will be built over a number of years. Using development parameters builds in flexibility to respond to changing circumstances over time but within very defined limits. The development parameter plans and text govern the total amount of built development and open space to be provided as well as defining where the main access routes will be. The indicative development programme extends from 2014 - 2031.


Provision for at least 32 hectares of new employment land will be made within the plan period. This will comprise a range of employment uses and be concentrated at the proposed new Junction 11A and along the M1 corridor (shown white above) so as to maximise opportunities for good road access. Smaller pockets of employment land will be located in the strategic allocation within local centres.

The development is estimated to generate up to 2,556 net temporary construction jobs, up to 2,452 net permanent jobs and up to 882 net temporary construction jobs from the construction of the A5-M1 Link Road. Houghton Regis Development Consortium will be providing a contribution to the Link Road, thus enabling the Link Road jobs to be realised. The greater proportion of jobs are likely to be taken up by local people.

Traffic and Movement

Click to View the Related file about Traffic and Movement
Information is given in the documents about the expected traffic movements between the anticipated new build areas. A red route is suggested as the main route through the development which could also be used as a main route for buses, with certain access points restricted to buses only. Cycle and pedestrian routes are also considered.

About Planning

Information about planning is available through the Planning Portal. Any further enquiries contact Customer Services on 0300 300 8307, or email

The Public Consultation Process

Anyone can submit comments or objections to Central Bedfordshire Council. These can be in writing, via the website or by e-mail. Responses must be submitted by 13th February 2013.

Town Council Involvement:

Houghton Regis Town Council is a statutory consultee on all planning applications. HRTC considers all planning applications and makes comments to Central Bedfordshire Council. The Town Council will be considering this application at its meeting of the Planning & Licensing Committee on 11th February 2013. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and is open to the public. It is anticipated that the case officer will be attending the meeting to respond to questions or comments from town councillors.

You are welcome to send your comments to the town council or to attend the town council meeting.
However for your comments to be formally considered you must send them to Central Bedfordshire Council.

Central Bedfordshire Council:

tags: hrnd, houghton regis, development, planning, hrn1

Find more Developments in Houghton Regis here:

Swimming Pool Re-opening To Be Considered

A contract to include a priced option to reopen the swimming pool at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre has been approved by Central Bedfordshire Executive councillors today (Tuesday, 8 January).

Also included is a procurement of a leisure management contract for Flitwick Leisure Centre, Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre and Sandy Sports and Community Centre

Last month the council's Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended that Executive consider reopening Houghton Regis swimming pool with immediate effect with due consideration to financial implications. Executive has agreed that consideration will be given to re-opening the pool once the outcome of the tendering process (with the option of the pool) is complete and revenue impacts ascertained.

After the meeting Cllr Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, said: "We are acutely aware of the importance of Leisure facilities to local residents and their contribution to the health and wellbeing of the local community. This approval for the procurement of a leisure management contract for these leisure centres is a positive step forwards. Pre procurement work has already been used to inform our thinking about future facility development and procurement of an operating partner for these facilities."

The contract will be advertised this month but will not start until the autumn.

Chequers Roundabout Traffic Light Congestion

CHEQUERS ROUNDABOUT: Work at East End, Houghton Regis, is causing daytime traffic jams. Traffic lights are operating on all approaches to the roundabout with only one approach permitted to go at at one time. Works on behalf of Anglian Water are to install a new manhole for connection to Bellcross Homes development and connect to the main drain on the opposite side of the road.  Works are expected to continue for today and the next 8 days between 9am and 3pm.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Learn Where Your Organisation Can Get Funding

Don’t miss this chance to get up-to-date information about local and national funding programmes and to put your questions to the funders:

•         Jonathan Clark – BIG Lottery Fund

•         Stuart Hobley - Heritage Lottery Fund

•         Jackie Brennan - Localgiving

•         Mark West - Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation

•         Date: Thursday 28 February 2013

•         Time: 10.00pm-12.30pm

•         Venue: Bossard House, West Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1DA

To book your place, visit the website or contact Kim Mead, Information and Resources Co-ordinator, by telephoning 01525 850559 or

Think Fathers Survey 2013

Last year Central Bedfordshire Council asked dads across Central Bedfordshire to tell them about their experiences of accessing family services and information, as well as attending activities and events with their children.

The feedback received helped CBC to understand the best ways of letting you know what's available for fathers and their children and how they can make their services easier to access.

They would like your views again to help them understand your needs and how they can enable greater engagement of fathers in their children's lives.

Please take a few minutes to complete this short questionnaire online by 1 March 2013 at:

Or consider who are the fathers you know, or work with in Central Bedfordshire, and pass this leaflet to them to complete the survey online.

Have Your Say on Development Strategy

Help shape the way our towns, villages and communities develop over the next 20 years. Have Your Say.

The draft Development Strategy, setting out how the Central Bedfordshire Council will deliver 28,700 new homes, 27,000 new jobs and the supporting infrastructure to meet demand across Central Bedfordshire to 2031, received unanimous support from full Council on 29th November.

Now, local residents and businesses will have the opportunity to comment on the document before it is submitted to the Secretary of State in May. It will then be passed to an independent Planning Inspector for consideration and could be adopted in February 2014.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Strategic Planning and Economic Development says the area must move with the times to assure a successful future.

"Our priority as a council is to build great communities. We are not changing for changes sake but to make certain that we have homes for residents at all stages of their lives whether they are young people trying to get on the housing ladder, growing families or our elderly population. We need to make that we have a sound infrastructure in place that will ensure good access to jobs, services and facilities such as schools, healthcare and leisure and excellent transport links."

"We appreciate that there are concerns about our local environment but the council is committed to ensuring that we will meet this demand in a way that respects and protects the natural environment and local heritage."

"This is a really exciting time for Central Bedfordshire, with key projects and proposals emerging that will bring major economic benefits and regeneration to the whole area."

The Development Strategy has had input from residents, investors, developers and businesses. Earlier this year around 3,250 comments were made by approximately 330 individuals or groups.

For more information about the Development Strategy visit

The Development Strategy consultation starts today (Monday 7 January) for 6 weeks, ending on Monday 18 February. At this point people will be able to give their feedback on line. Copies of relevant documents will also be available at council customer service centres and libraries.