Saturday, 29 June 2013

29/6/2013 Recent Posts from Facebook

New Disability Hub 

Coming to Downside, for all in South Central Bedfordshire. Expected to be fully operational and welcoming families by early October 2013.


Aged 18-25 years old? A £10 high street voucher is on offer just to hear your experiences of finding work and to listen to your ideas about what could make a difference.
It’s on Tuesday 2nd July at 2pm-3:30pm
At the Young People’s Centre, 
Grove Corner (pictured), 
76A High Street North, Dunstable, LU6 1NF. 

Travel expenses will be paid, There's a free lunch AND a £10 high street shopping voucher to thank you for your time. Please let us know if you have any access needs.

If you can make it and would like to discuss further,
please contact Agnes Fletcher on 07748 333565 or

Funding Opportunities

Latest opportunities for funding ... voluntary and community organisations ... please browse through this latest listing to see if anything might suit your aims ...

White Van Snatch Scare

Scare over suspicious snatch attempt from white van. Similar incident in Houghton last week.

Boscombe Road / Luton Road Roadworks

Boscombe Road improvements - Road Closures are taking place over a number of weekends. Work is scheduled to finish BEFORE roadworks closing Poynters Road come into force.
Details at :

Arriva's New Buses

First published on YouTube on 1 October 2012
Curiously the video shows buses parked up in the old Dog and Duck car park.

A Tweet By Andrew Selous, MP

The tweet was later deleted, but not before it was captured and shared multiple times.

Volunteering Opportunity

Fancy volunteering to work outdoors on the Tuesday 16th July, or Thursday 25th July, in the Houghton Regis Chalk Pit?
Meet on Farriers Way about 10AM until 3PM, helping to remove ragwort.

Please let the organiser know of your intention to be involved:
Becky: 01525 874317 or 07595090776 or email

Similar opportunities are available at Blows Down, Galley and Warden Hills, and Totternhoe Quarry.

Tools and safety equipment are provided, though steel-toe-capped boots and a strong pair of gardening gloves or similar are strongly recommended. 
Tea, coffee and biscuits are usually provided but please bring your own lunch and cold drinks.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Crime Update June


Hillcrest School,  Houghton Regis, was broken into between the 21st and 24th June. An offender has climbed a perimeter fencing; one shed was forced open, the other was left unlocked. A number of childrens bikes and play equipment were taken. Crime Reference J D / 2 2 1 9 1 / 2013.
In Rosedale, Houghton Regis, overnight on Monday 24th June, offender(s) forced entry on UPVC window of a property  in Rosedale; Electrical items were taken. Crime Reference JD / 22413 / 2013.
In Fensome Drive, Houghton Regis, overnight on Saturday 22nd June, a van's lock was forced and a tool box and a jack were taken. Two male suspects were detained and arrested in connection with the offence, and property recovered. Crime Reference J D / 2 2 0 2 8 / 2013.


At the meeting of Houghton Regis Town Council on Monday 24th June, a police report was given. 
  • In the past month 6 house burglary offences were recorded. 
  • On the 15th a burglar was apprehended by the householder in Kensington Close. 
  • 12 'burglarly other' including 4 attempts. 
  • 1 robbery on the 6th May when a mobile phone was stolen in Houghton Road. 
  • 3 thefts of motor vehicles. 
  • 9 thefts from motor vehicles. 
  • A moped was stolen on 3rd June.
  • 3 warnings have been issued to users of motor cycles.
  • 1 scooter was recovered.
  • 162 reported incidents of personal nuisance, and an environmental nature. 60% of these were to do with motor bikes.

Crime Reduction Advice

  • Keep Doors and Windows locked at all times.  Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place out of view.
  • Keep garden tools locked away to avoid them being used to force a door, or window.
  • Dont leave out anything that can be used as a climbing aid, either to reach a window or into a neighbours garden.
  • Keep hallways clear of valuables like keys, handbags and laptop where they may be seen.
  • If your house will be empty after dark leave a light on or set a timer.


If you have information about any crime or suspicious activity please call the Control Room on 1 0 1

Text your message to 07786 200011

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Top Earners At Council Exposed By Councillor

A whistle blowing Independent councillor from Potton yesterday (24/6/2013) used Twitter to report the findings of his research into the sums of money paid to top staff at Central Bedfordshire Council. 
In salary and pensions, Zerny tweeted that Chief Executive Richard Carr collected £221,036 in 2012/13; Edwina Grant collected £186,000; while Julie Ogley picked up £170,000.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Slight Overall Rise on CBC Councillors Allowances

A report from Central Bedfordshire Council shows that the Leader of the Council, James Jamieson, was paid more than £43,450 for 2012/13, which is just shy of £4700 less than the sum of all the allowances paid out to all of the four Councillors for Houghton Regis. Houghton Regis CBC councillors allowances totalled £48,157.
 In all, the Council paid out some £13,000 more to all councillors in allowances than they did last year.

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) Regulations 2001,
 the Council operates a Scheme for the payment of allowances and expenses
for Members of the Council for attending meetings and other official 
duties on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council.
Note 1. Subsistence payments are re-imbursement for actual expenditure in respect of approved duties outside of the Council's area and cover the costs of accommodation and meals within the upper limits.
Note 2. Exec. Member for Children's Services

Note 3. Executive Member for Sustainable Communities - Strategic Planning and Economic Development

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Central Bedfordshire's Mortality

New data comparison shows that the Central Bedfordshire population has a lower premature mortality rate compared to most other parts of the country and is third best in the country for low death rates from liver disease.

The Longer Lives website, showing significant variation in early death rates, has been published to drive public awareness and local action to tackle public health problems. The website, from Public Health England,  allows people to easily access local information on deaths before the age of 75 years. The site compares death rates of major killers, like heart disease, stroke and cancer and shows how it varies across the area and the country.

Each local authority is compared to the national average and for the first time these data are also compared to other local authorities of similar socio-economic status based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2010. Central Bedfordshire has been placed in the least deprived 10% of local authorities in the country. Within this grouping, Bedfordshire also has higher rates of premature mortality from cancer, heart disease and lung disease. Only liver disease shows Central Bedfordshire has a lower rate of premature mortality than all but one area in its comparator group.

Central Bedfordshire Council are helping people to make healthy lifestyle choices like quitting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol they drink, and encouraging them to become more physically active. Efforts are being made to help identify people at risk of cardiovascular disease, and over 10,000 health checks  have been made to help residents reduce risk.

Are you at risk? Should you do more exercise, or perhaps you feel your diet needs to be looked at? What steps will you be taking?

Utility Companies Blamed For Poor Roads

Through April and May, Central Bedfordshire highways inspectors picked up more than 100 instances of defective road reinstatements by utility companies within their area.

Every month inspectors working for Amey, Central Bedfordshire Council’s highways contractor, find examples where utility companies have dug up the road to undertake works but failed to reinstate it properly. Poor reinstatements can lead to road faults developing prematurely, including potholes.

According to a report published by the Local Government Association recently, poor road resurfacing work by utility companies costs taxpayers more than £200m a year, as local authorities are forced to repair street surfaces that have been re-laid by utility companies after roadworks.

The Government allows highways authorities to carry out inspections at a random 30 per cent of utility works, at the utility companies’ expense. Reports from the public of problems with utility trenches are also followed up with an inspection.

When defective utility trenches are found in Central Bedfordshire, the utility company responsible is issued with a formal notice requiring them to return and carry out remedial works. Further inspections are then carried out to make sure the defects have been properly corrected.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, at Central Bedfordshire Council said: "Poor road resurfacing after utility works causes damage to the highway and additional disruption which is totally avoidable if it’s done properly the first time."

"Our highways inspectors are working hard to ensure that the utility companies and their contractors carry out resurfacing to the correct standard first time and put right any defects caused by them. We’re already tackling potholes caused by severe winter weather, and poor road reinstatements simply add to the problem."

On average, inspectors in Central Bedfordshire undertake approximately 400 utility site visits each month, and find between 50 and 70 reinstatements to be faulty.

HRN1 Developments and Those Pylons

A presentation of HRN1, the primary development site to the east and north of Houghton Regis, was recently given to CBC councillors. Among the updates, councillors learnt of expected plans for the overhead power lines. 
The 132KV overhead lines alongside the M1 are being diverted underground around M1 J11A at Chalton Cross.
The 132KV line running parallel,  and nearest to, Sandringham Drive, and then across the old bus link North East towards the M1 is to be diverted underground. 
The 400KV overhead line (pictured here) - that runs in part alongside the edge of Houghton Park Rd, and also parallel to Sandringham Drive, will remain.
The existing 33kV overhead line running parallel to, and midway between Houghton Park Estate (Parkside) and the M1, are to be diverted underground, along part of the line of the new road that will connect Portz Avenue to M1

HRN1 Outline Planning Permission Granted. Details of Planning Application - CB/12/03613/OUT

Friday, 21 June 2013

Opportunity of Funding A Not-For-Profit Group

Funding Opportunity

Are you involved with a not-for-profit group in need of funding?

Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities an even better place to live are now invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality.

People’s Health Trust has just launched Active Communities in Hertfordshire, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Bedford – a funding programme for local people wanting to create fairer places to grow, live, work and age.

Using money raised by HealthCourage through The Health Lottery, People’s Health Trust is looking to invest in projects that support people living in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Hertfordshire, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Bedford.

Active Communities is a funding programme for not-for-profit groups with an income of less than £350,000 a year, seeking investment of between £5,000 and £25,000 a year, for projects lasting up to two years. The projects should take place within a small area for a small group of people, such as 20 or 30 streets or a couple of villages.

John Hume, Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, says: “We’re looking to support ideas designed and run by local people which help create even stronger links and ties within communities. Whether it’s a tenants and residents’ mediation group or a computer skills group for older people, we’re interested to hear about it.”

“Applying couldn't be easier - it’s about local people telling us what would make their local community an even better place grow, live, work and age. It’s an online process with a step by step guide from start to finish.”

The closing date for applications is midday on Monday 15 July 2013.

To find out more about Active Communities, visit

Roadrunners Cricket Club Home Fixtures 2013

Roadrunners Cricket

* Roadrunners play home matches at Orchard Close, Houghton Regis (Map)

June 16 - vs London Saints
June 23 - vs The Vic
July 14 - vs St Johns Fisher
July 21 - vs New Bradwell
August 4 - vs Old Warden
August 25 - vs The Doctors
September 15 - vs Team 4

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Recycling For Houghton Regis

Click to enlarge


Mixed Metal Food & Drink Cans
Mixed Paper (incl Newspapers, Junkmail, Magazines)
Glass Bottles/Jars (Mixed)
All Textiles

Glass Bottles/Jars (Mixed)
All Textiles

Glass Bottles/Jars (Mixed)

Steel Food & Drink Cans
Glass Bottles/Jars (Mixed)
All Textiles
Mixed Paper (incl Newspapers, Junkmail, Magazines)
Drinks cartons

Domestic Batteries

Aluminium Cans
Bricks, Rubble, Concrete
Bulky Garden Waste
Car Batteries
Car Oil
Christmas Cards
Christmas Trees
Display Equipment
Domestic Batteries
Domestic Oils
Fluorescent Lamps
Fridges and freezers
Furniture and Bric-A-Brac
Garden Waste
Gas Bottles
Gas Discharge Lamps
General waste electronics
Glass Bottles (Amber)
Glass Bottles (Clear)
Glass Bottles (Green)
Large Household Appliances
Mixed Paper (incl Newspapers, Junkmail, Magazines)
Mixed Scrap Metal
Paints, Varnishes, White Spirit, etc
Phone Directories & Yellow Pages
Scrap Wood
Shredded Paper
Textiles - All kinds
Window Glass

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

In Loving Memory of Steve Bedford

From Toni Tomlin:  
A friend from Houghton Regis tragically passed away last year, so in a bid to raise money for the Papworth Hospital Charity Accommodation for Families Fund and the British Heart Foundation  a group of 6 lads and 2 ladies (from Houghton Regis/Dunstable) set off on Tuesday from Whipsnade Church, the resting place of our friend, and are walking to Dover. They will be there Friday and will then row the channel Saturday. 
Click here to donate online.

Bedford Road Crossing

The zebra crossing at Bedford Road was moved recently.

The previous pelican crossing was much closer to the junction, and had a pedestrian refuge.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Poynters Road Works From 8 July

Major maintenance works required on Poynters Road

Central Bedfordshire Council  PR 1547    17/06/2013  

Major maintenance works required on Poynters Road

Poynters Road in Dunstable needs major reconstructive maintenance work to prevent areas of the road sinking.

The work will require a full road closure, which will run for 11 weeks from 8 July. Residents and businesses in the area have been informed. Diversion routes will run along the A505 Luton Road, Church Street, Boscombe Road and Porz Avenue.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, explained: “The underlying structure of the road is failing which is causing the road to sink in places. Resurfacing is not enough to fix the problem - top layers of the road need to be stripped back and reconstructed.”

“We completely appreciate that these works will cause disruption and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused. We will do everything we can to minimise the disruption but because this is such a major route for traffic there will be congestion and delays so please do allow extra time for your journeys.”

The majority of the works will run during the school holidays when traffic is lighter and current works on the Boscombe Road/A505 junction should be completed and will help to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Cllr Spurr added: “We’ve set up a webpage, Facebook page and email address so that people can find out answers to frequently asked questions or get in contact with our dedicated Project Manager.”

“At times the work could be quite noisy as we need to reach the lower layers of the road. However, we will only carry out noisy work between 8am and 6pm Monday – Saturday.  Access to houses and businesses will be maintained, with marshals at the end of the road closures to escort residents and customers through the works. If you have any special requirements we will do all we can to accommodate these.”

While reconstruction work is going on, we will also rebuild the pavements, introduce a shared use footway and cycle path, include a new zebra crossing and upgrade the streetlights to more energy efficient and cost effective lanterns.

By rebuilding the road the end result should be a maintenance-free road for approximately 15-20 years.

Find out more at or "Poynters Road" Facebook Page.

Frequently asked questions include how carers can visit or bins be collected and where people can park.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Recommendations For Health and Social Care Policy for Central Bedfordshire

EDITORIAL: Recommendations are one thing, but implementation of them is another issue. Do you think the resources for this are in place? Have Your Say. Comment below.

A report which sets out a series recommendations for how Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), should work together to provide health and social care services for adults and older people in Central Bedfordshire was given the seal of approval by councillors earlier this week. The joint report (Central Bedfordshire Health and Social Care Review) outlines key areas of work for both organisations, with a focus on early intervention, prevention, improving choice and quality and supporting people to live independently at home for as long as possible.

The recommendations include:
* Ensuring that services are designed around the customer, so they have choice and access to high quality services.
* Developing a step up, step down facility for the North of Central Bedfordshire. A pilot of the scheme in Houghton Regis and Dunstable has been hugely successful, providing intensive support to help residents get back on their feet after a stay in hospital.
* Improving dementia care by establishing a quality accreditation scheme and rewarding high quality care homes.
* Investment in a programme of extra care and supported living, giving older residents with care needs a greater choice of accommodation locally.

The report also set out proposals for the future of Biggleswade Hospital. The hospital will remain open and work will begin on looking into extending and improving services there.

Cllr Andrew Turner, Deputy Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing, said:
"Our key focus here is to make sure that residents who need health or social care get the right support, in the right place, at the right time. We’ve got a real challenge here, but we’re committed to working with partner organisations to make things better for our residents.
"I am pleased that the report recommended that Biggleswade Hospital will continue to operate and offer care for local people. It is clear that local people greatly value the services provided there."

Cllr Mrs Susan Goodchild, Liberal Democrat, Houghton Regis, said, "The Short Stay Medical Unit is a pilot initiative with an annual budget of £1.8 m providing 16 beds in Houghton Regis.  It is funded by Health and provided by SEPT.  It is supported by a multidisciplinary team led by a consultant geriatrician and provide short term medical support.  This service has demonstrated positive outcomes and satisfaction among patients and their families/carers and has shown that it can prevent inappropriate hospital admission and facilitate timely and effective discharge.  We must remember, however, that it has not relieved pressure on hospital services because we have added to overall capacity rather than replaced hospital care with community alternatives."

Cllr Mrs Susan Goodchild, added, "Customer outcomes will be monitored throughout 2013/14.  I believe that we are very fortunate to have such a wonderful facility within our community."

Dr Diane Gray, director of strategy at BCCG, said:
“This is the successful culmination of months of joint working with Central Bedfordshire Council. It marks a shift to an integrated, more patient-focused health and social care system. We want to move away from old-style ‘what’s the matter medicine' to a more patient-focused ‘what matters to me’ style of healthcare delivery.”

Do you think these are the right recommendations? How do you think CBC's Department's  will cope living up to these recommendations? Have your say, comment below  using your Facebook login, or other log in...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Luton Airport Bus Services - changes from 30th June

Changes to Luton Airport services.
Starting 30 June 2013 there will be some changes to services that operate to Luton Airport.

Service 61 (Villages and Dunstable to Luton)  There will be timetable changes to Service 61 as well as changes to the route. Service 61 will no longer serve Luton Airport. Service 61 will now terminate at Wigmore Lane, ASDA. This service will also partly replace Service 321 along Lalleford Road. Passengers will be able to connect to Luton Airport using Service A.

Service 757: Service 757 is withdrawn from Luton Airport and will now start at Luton Rail Station. Peak trips will be extended to Luton Estates including Stopsley and Marsh Farm areas. The Service will run up to every half hour, and through the night. Passengers will be able to connect to Luton Airport using Service A. New, excellent value ticket types will be available. 

Service A: A brand new frequent service that will run between Luton Rail Station and Luton Airport, allowing easy access to Luton Airport. Service A will run 7 days a week and up to every 15 minutes, 24 hours. 

Find these and more bus service changes here ...

New Driver Training Course - And Its Free!

Free Driver Training for 16 to 24-Year-Olds

Free driver training is being offered to 16 to 24-year-olds in Central Bedfordshire and Luton to help young drivers stay safer on the roads and reduce the number being killed or seriously injured.

A full day session including five different workshops is being held at the Millbrook Proving Ground on 7 July, with 96 places available for youngsters who live in Central Bedfordshire or Luton. 

The MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses are run by Bedfordshire Police and the Three Shires Driving School, organised by highways contractor Amey and funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council.  Since this young driver training programme was launched in 2010 more than 500 youngsters have participated.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities and Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "Collision statistics tell a bleak story. In Central Bedfordshire and Luton between 2009 and 2011 almost 30 per cent of drivers and 36 per cent of passengers killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents were aged between 17 and 24. Delivering the MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses is part of our commitment to reduce road collisions among this age group."

MORE 16 is aimed at 16-year-olds to provide their first experience of driving. Parents can attend for advice on choosing a driving instructor and guidance when helping their teens practise. A high-speed passenger ride with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as rallying or racing is available to all parents that attend.

MORE Drive offers 17 to 24-year-olds who have already passed their driving test the chance to drive on a skid pan and experience ABS braking systems. It also includes practising emergency stops at speed to demonstrate varying stopping distances.

Rebecca Bailey, who attended the last MORE Drive course, said, "During the recent bad weather my car skidded while I was on a roundabout. Before attending MORE Drive I wouldn’t have known what to do but thanks to the knowledge I gained from the course I could control the skid and drove away safely."

The five workshops included on the day are:

Driving skills
Collision investigation and causation factors
What to look for when buying a used car
Vehicle maintenance
Cllr Dave Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Transportation at Luton Borough Council, said: "MORE 16 and MORE Drive are a great way for our young people to learn new skills and improve their driving ability. It would be wonderful if as many of our young drivers as possible could attend."

The courses are free for 16 to 24-year-olds living in Central Bedfordshire and Luton. All participants must complete an application form prior to attending. To request an application from or for more information on either MORE 16 or MORE Drive, email

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

New Hope For Houghton Regis Swimming Pool - It's Looking Promising!

Supporters of a campaign to save Houghton Regis Leisure Centre, and bring the town's swimming pool back into use, heard some good news last night.

At a meeting of the Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Action Group (HRLCAG) last night, the meeting heard that Central Bedfordshire Council were prepared to put in £150,000 for capital works* on the Houghton Regis pool, provided that tenders for new contracts to run sports centres in Central Bedfordshire, from 1st April 2014, included acceptable proposals for the running of the Houghton Regis Swimming Pool.

The empty swimming pool, now

In 2011 the whole sports centre and pool was threatened with closure, but the community mobilised and the Action Group was formed. Public meetings were called in July and August 2011 demonstrating widespread public concern. The Council relented, and decided to close just the pool from September 2011, and to keep the dry side open. A new contractor took over running of the dry side from April 2012. The campaigners battled on.

After many meetings, and raising of public awareness, the membership figures for the Leisure Centre have now exceeded all expectations. From 40 recorded memberships in September 2011, the membership is now around 2,000. Income for the operating company has exceeded expectations, and the dry-side has had a footfall of over 42,500.

Meanwhile, Prince William recently declared his support for the campaign to make swimming lessons more available for all children at all primary schools in England.In Houghton Regis there is a mixed situation with regard to swimming. Some have simply cancelled swimming lessons, others are having them, but with the crippling burden of high travel costs, and the time it takes for travelling.

 Prince William, "I'm so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools."

Central Bedfordshire Council will set off the tendering process for new contracts to run all of the sports centres at Sandy, Biggleswade, Flitwick and Houghton Regis later this year. The tenderers will be told to include the running of the Houghton Regis Swimming Pool as an option in the seven year contract starting in April 2014. CBC estimate that the running cost of the pool would be between £75k - £100k. The tendering process panel would include 2 members from HRLCAG, with an outcome decision being formally made in January 2014.

* The capital works CBC would be prepared to pay for include replacement of water pumps, filtration mechanism,changing room refurbishment & associated repairs and maintenance

Click here for earlier news items about the Swimming Pool


Monday, 10 June 2013


The Town Mayor's Quiz Evening takes place on Friday 23rd August at the Dunstablians Rugby Club in Bedford Road, Houghton Regis.
Teams of up to six players are invited to take part.
The entry donation is £10 per person which includes a choice of supper. Funds raised will go towards the Town Mayor's charities which are Keech Hospice Care, Hospice at Home Volunteers, Dunstable and Houghton Regis Youth Counselling Service, and Houghton Regis Helpers.
For entry forms or further information, contact Sarah Gelsthorp at the Houghton Regis Town Council.

Last week the Houghton Regis Town Council Community Service Committee awarded funds to :
Parkside 50 Plus Club towards social outings and events.
Recycled Teenagers (an over 60's club) towards a social outing.
4YPUK for a young person's bike renovation project.
ASB Team for a Young persons at risk intervention programme.
Houghton Regis Heritage Society for communication and promotion of the society's aims.
For information about any of the above schemes or details on how to join any of the above clubs, or to apply for a grant for your own group or club, write to the Houghton Regis Town Council.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Houghton Regis will this week visit the Dunstable Sea Cadets Naval Parade on the 12th; and the Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust Dog Show on the 15th being held on the Village Green.

The Mayor for this year is Cllr Peter Williams (left), and the deputy is Cllr Peter Carrington (right).