Sunday, 29 December 2013

2700+ Emergency Calls to EEAST NHS Ambulance Christmas Day

EEAST took over 2700 emergency calls on Christmas Day. The NHS trust service says that calls typically ranged from chest pains, illnesses, falls, choking, assaults and births. Only around 30% of patients attended were life-threatening, including cardiac arrest, suspected stroke, or serious wounds.

Rob Ashford, Acting Director of Service Delivery, said: “Whilst it’s encouraging we’ve seen a slight decrease in the number of calls compared to the same period last year, we’re still seeing an increase each Christmas Day. Our staff are working as hard as ever over the period and I’m proud of all those who have been carrying out lifesaving work for the Trust over the past few days. From our call handlers, to the crews out on the roads, and everyone else - I’d like to say a huge thank you to them all.

“We will continue to be under pressure over the weekend and into next week, with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day typically being our busiest days of the year. So we’re urging members of the public to familiarise themselves with the winter health advice on our website, and to think twice before calling 999 about other options that may be available. 111 is a very useful resource in case you’re unsure about what to do and want to know what health services are available to you over the break.”

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dunstable Rugby Club Fayre - Dec 22nd 1pm - 4pm

Visit Santa: £2.50, Santa Grotto,
Door admission: Adults 50p, Children free

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Who Should Be Able to Apply To The Housing Register? Have Your Say!

Recent changes in housing law, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, have given councils more freedom to determine who can apply for council and Housing Association housing and how applications will be treated.

A draft Allocations Policy has been developed, which proposes a number of changes. The Allocations Policy governs who can apply to the housing register; the size of the property for which a person can apply and the priority for housing that applicants have in relation to one another.

Have Your Say now:

'Priory View' - new name for retirement housing complex in South Bedfordshire

The new scheme to be built on the ‘Dukeminster’ site off Church Street, Dunstable, by the side of the busway, is going to be called Priory View. This was the name chosen by tenants, members of the public and Council staff via an online poll.

Priory View will be the first of several developments for older people which Central Bedfordshire Council will bring to fruition over the coming years. It will offer 83 apartments for affordable rental and shared ownership and will have care and support available on site 24/7. In addition, it will have a number of communal facilities such as a café/restaurant, hair and beauty salon, hobby rooms and a shop. Many of these facilities will be open to the general public.

The contract for the build has now been awarded and the winning contractor, Galliford Try, will start work in the New Year.

Eligible criteria is being worked out for who can apply, but it is intended for single people or couples aged 55+ who may need some support to remain independent. There will be affordable rents and the opportunity to purchase through the shared ownership scheme.

Join the mailing list for Priory View

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

One Return Journey on the Busway Available to Travel Hub Visitors.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Travel Choices Hub in Dunstable is helping festive party-goers avoid drink-driving this Christmas by offering pre-paid tickets for travel with Arriva on Luton and Dunstable Busway services.

The tickets are valid for one return journey on the busway which serves Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton town centres. They can be collected from the Travel Hub in Ashton Square, Dunstable where Travel Advisors can also help you plan your journey.

The tickets can be used not only for evenings out but also for the 'morning after' when revellers may still be affected by alcohol.

According to research by road safety charity Brake, many people fail to understand that they may still be under the influence of alcohol the day after a night-out. One unit of alcohol takes the body an hour to break down. A person drinking three large (250ml) glasses of wine (15% alcohol) in an evening who stops drinking at midnight would not be alcohol-free for 13 hours.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development said: "The busway is a flexible, fast and reliable way to travel to an evening out in Dunstable, Houghton Regis or Luton. This excellent offer from Travel Choices gives residents the opportunity to enjoy the Christmas f
un yet stay safe and within the law."

Monday, 16 December 2013

Two Firearms Stolen from Yew Street, Tithe Farm

Guns Stolen During Houghton Regis Burglary

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information from the public after two firearms were stolen from a house in Yew Street, Houghton Regis on Tuesday, December 10.

The .22 rim fire rifle with a laminate brown wood stock which had a 3-9 x 50 Hawk telescopic sight in a Carlos camouflage sling and an air rifle were taken from the property during a burglary which happened between 4.50pm and 7.50pm when the front door was forced open.

The officer in charge of this investigation, Detective Constable Simon Day, is keen to trace anyone who may have been offered these items for sale or anyone who witnessed someone acting suspiciously in the Yew Street area of Houghton Regis last week.

Anyone with information relating to this investigation can contact Detective Constable Simon Day, in confidence, at Luton Police Station, on 01582 394449, or Bedfordshire Police on 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively you can contact the independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.



The Amazon Toys and Games promotion, with up to 50% off brands including Sylvanian Families, Scrabble, Moshi Monsters, Barbie and many more is now on! 


News from Houghton Regis Heritage Society

Houghton Regis Heritage Society raises the roof….

An amazing night was had by all who attended the first party event staged by HRHS.
More than 100 people turned out at St Vincents Social Club to participate in a 40’s/50’s 
fancy dress (optional) party on Saturday 7th December. Fiona Harrison, 'the voice in a million', entertained them wearing costumes of the period and singing songs from the era.

Many of the guests turned out in fancy dress to add to the atmosphere of the evening. The audience sang and danced, and by the end of the night left with smiles and promises of returning to the next Event.

The HRHS believes heritage can be fun and not just Talks, Museums, and old buildings.
It’s the past and the future they are interested in….Change, preservation, your roots,
even fashion….heritage covers so much.

At the November bi-monthly meeting some awesome tales of life in the fifties and sixties were told by some of the Houghton Regis residents, and of their parents and grandparents before them. The meeting flew by, and the society now wait in eager expectation of more of the same.

The society's next Open Evening will be taking place on Monday 20th of January, at St Vincents Club (7.30pm), and everyone is invited to come along and share their stories.

The society's next event is to take place on the 12th April 2014. This is planned to be a 60’s/70’s Dance, but next time will be at The Memorial Hall, Houghton Regis (opposite The
Green). Please watch for information and tickets for sale for this Event.

To learn more about the fascinating history of Houghton Regis, or the society's activities,  visit the Houghton Regis Heritage website at .

Monday, 9 December 2013

Talking About The Proposed Link Road to Parkside Drive

NOW TRENDING ON Houghton Regis News Desk

Don't just sit there, Help to Watch the Neighbourhood!

Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch 


Neighbourhood Watch is a group of residents who join together to help protect themselves and their properties from criminal activity, to reduce the fear of crime and to improve their local environment. Their primary objective is to look out for one another and report any crime or suspicious activity to the Police. By working together as a group, rather than as individuals, households can employ effective crime prevention measures and achieve safer communities to live in.

Learn about:

• Becoming a member of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)

• How to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Street Scheme

• Role of Neighbourhood Watch Street Coordinators and Members

• Neighbourhood Watch - Working together

• Neighbourhood Watch - Working with partners

• Getting in touch with the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association

Becoming a member of Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) schemes are community initiatives that are supported by the
police but are owned and run by their members. There are many street schemes up and
running in over 40 areas of Central Bedfordshire and you may already be living close to an existing Neighbourhood Watch group.

To find out if there is a scheme where you live, you can contact Central Bedfordshire
Neighbourhood Watch by email at and they will arrange for someone to contact you. If there is a group in your area you will be given details to contact the local Street or Area Coordinator to find out about joining a scheme.

Individual Neighbourhood Watch schemes may have different characteristics, depending on the area in which they are situated, although their objectives will be the same.

How to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Street Scheme 

Anybody in a neighbourhood, however large or small, can set up a scheme. The first step is to speak to your neighbours and find out if they are interested in starting a scheme. The more residents there are who want to get involved, the more successful a scheme will be.

However, not everyone in a street or neighbourhood needs to join a scheme for it to work. It will work as long as there are enough residents to keep an eye out for each other’s properties and to liaise with the police.

In Central Bedfordshire, Area Coordinators have been established to help set up new schemes and to maintain regular contact with existing groups. They can provide valuable assistance and support, as well as additional resources, such as membership packs.

If you and your neighbours want to start a scheme, you should contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association and they will do what they can to help you.

Role of NHW Street Coordinators and Members 

The traditional role of Neighbourhood Watch Street Coordinators is to set up and maintain a scheme within a specific street or neighbourhood. They will also work within their scheme to coordinate NHW activities and ensure that a two-way flow of information is available to all.

This will assist in assuring that everyone is informed on any reported suspicious activity or incidents, on personal safety and property security, and local crime prevention initiatives.

Whatever is decided by the members, the role of a Coordinator does not have to become a burden. Depending on the size of your group, it may be useful to encourage other members to assist the Coordinator and some of the following requirements should be considered.

• Do you need to appoint a Deputy Coordinator ?

• How will you communicate with members (e.g. personal contact, email, telephone or

newsletters) ?

• If you intend to produce newsletters, how often and who will draft them ?

• Do you need to cover the costs of running the scheme (e.g. newsletters, telephone

calls, meetings) and if so, do you need to appoint a Treasurer ?

• Do you need to hold regular meetings ? If so, how often will you meet and where ?

Depending on availability, members of the Local Policing Team may be able to attend scheme meetings and provide additional advice and information on home security and other ways of keeping your neighbourhoods safer.

Neighbourhood Watch - Working together 

Traditionally, Neighbourhood Watch activities have focused on the immediate vicinity of homes, with members looking out for anything suspicious or helping their neighbours as necessary. It is now estimated that around 3.8 million households in England and Wales are members of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

However, more and more schemes are broadening their work to target a range of other problems such as anti-social behaviour, vandalism and environmental issues that directly affect their communities. When links are made with other local schemes and wider associations are formed, the membership can become a powerful voice within a community and can,

• address issues of local concern directly with members of the Local Policing Team;

• become involved in community problem-solving, including taking part in local forums
to determine which problems to target and what actions to take;

• play a more dynamic role in tackling crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour;

• promote crime prevention and home safety;

• adopt additional responsibilities to take specific action on more general community

problems, such as vehicle speeding and assisting vulnerable residents;

• assist the purposes and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch with publicity and

promotion to encourage the recruitment of new members and the establishment of

new Street schemes;

• provide advice, resources and manpower to assist the Central Bedfordshire

Neighbourhood Watch Association. 

Neighbourhood Watch - Working with partners 

Neighbourhood Watch works best where there is a strong relationship between the group
and the local police. The police cannot deal with all the problems and issues arising from crime and anti-social behaviour alone – they need the help of the community.

At a local level, Local Policing Teams will attempt to liaise with Neighbourhood Watch
volunteers on a regular basis to enable a two-way flow of communication and keep
households abreast of issues affecting their local neighbourhood that they may be able to help with. They will either do this through direct contact with PCSOs, the respective NHW Area Coordinators, the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association, or use the “Ringmaster” information and messaging system to share information about recent crimes in the area.

The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to report suspicious events in their area to the
police. This becomes ever more important as police resources are reduced and tasks are
prioritised elsewhere. People really can make a difference to the safety of their community by reporting what they see. Neighbourhood Watch also gives people the chance to get to know and help each other better.

It is anticipated that the recent introduction of a Police and Crime Commissioner, and their associated support group the Police and Crime Panel, will want to establish a close working relationship with the NHW groups in Bedfordshire and their individual Street schemes. There are other agencies and community groups working throughout our County to sustain safer neighbourhoods and Neighbourhood Watch will be represented, wherever possible.

Getting in touch with the Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch Association 

You can contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association at the following email address: 

Or, visit our website at:

Or, call the Neighbourhood Watch Support Officer on 01234 275165 / 842043

December 2013

Latest Planning Applications For Houghton Regis Awaiting Decision

02 / 12 / 2013 CB/13/04186/FULL
Location: Thornhill Lower School, Grove Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5PE
Proposal: Conversion and extension of existing single-storey store into a Breakfast Club Room

18 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/04003/FULL
Location: Houghton Hall, The Green, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5DY
Proposal: New single-storey staff accommodation building (Renewal of planning permission CB/10/03549/REN)

1 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/03956/FUL
Location: 7 & 8 Westbury Close, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BL
Proposal: Change of use from light industrial to gymnasium (D2 class use)

08 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/03879/FULL
Location: Unit F1, Townsend Farm Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BA
Proposal: Change of use to D1 for the purpose of a meeting place for the Kids in Action charity to take part in various activities

25 / 10 / 2013 CB/13/03666/REG3
Location: 33 Westbury Close, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BL
Proposal: Change of use from light industrial to Martial Arts studio (D2 use)

22 / 10 / 2013 CB/13/03357/FULL
Location: Land at former Church of St Vincent, Tithe Farm Road, Houghton Regis
Proposal: Erection of 58 Bed Nursing Home with associated parking and manoeuvring C2 use.

Find these planning applications here:

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Campaign Group Optimistic for Future of Houghton Regis Swimming Pool

In a letter to members, HRLCAG say they are 'excited' and 'confident' about the prospects for the re-opening of the swimming pool in Houghton Regis. Here is the letter, that is in the public domain:

"We are now at a crucial stage in the Tender Process for a new 7 year contract covering Houghton Regis, Flitwick, Sandy and Biggleswade Leisure Centres. Two of our committee members, Bruce Hallam and Christine Clavey are working alongside CBC and will now sit in and assess the Tender presentations on Friday 13th.  A decision will then be made as to who CBC will award the contract to. Following all the legal processes we will have a decision announced during the first week of January. Is the pool included in the bid I hear you asking. It has definitely been included as an option... we are so excited. After campaigning since October 2010 we are almost there.  We know that the council have ring-fenced money to cover the re-opening of the pool and re-furbishing the changing rooms. We just hope that the suggested running costs of the pool are realistic.

"For you to hear the latest news as it happens, we are holding an Action Group Meeting on Monday 6th January at St Vincents Social Centre, Hammersmith Gardens. Please come along not only to hear the news but also to discuss and help organise a “celebration of re-opening the pool” party. Yes, we feel that confident. The proposed date for the party is Saturday 5th April 2014. This is just after the successful management company take over the leisure centre.

"Please, please come along - without you and the support you gave us at the Public Meetings way back in 2011 we would not be in this position now. It was you turning up in your hundreds that forced the council to re-think its strategy. We want you to be part of the celebrations and help decide how we organise it.

"All that remains now is for me, on behalf of the Action Group to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year - hopefully made even healthier by having our swimming pool back!

Good wishes to you all

Publicity Officer, HRLCAG
Acting Membership Secretary.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Car Cruise Revellers Targeted by Police in Foster Avenue, Houghton Regis

Three Section 59 Notices Issued At Car Cruise

Bedfordshire Police have issued three Section 59 notices during another operation aimed at cracking down on nuisance drivers who attend ‘Car Cruises’.

Residents living near Foster Avenue, Houghton Regis, had contacted Bedfordshire Police about a significant increase in the number of vehicles that were attending the industrial area and the drivers who were participating in antisocial behaviour. It was believed that over 100 vehicles would regularly attend the location with some driving in a reckless manner by racing, wheel-spinning, and performing “donuts” along the road.

Last Sunday (November 24) officer attended Foster Avenue as a ‘Cruise’ was taking place and seized two Vauxhall Astra VXRs as the drivers or vehicles had already been issued with Section 59 notices.

On Sunday night (December 1) a smaller operation took place with members of the Local Policing Team and colleagues from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit attending Foster Avenue once again.

Despite far fewer revellers being at the location, three Section 59 notices were issued along with a VDRS (Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme) due to an illegal number plate being on display. Officers also received intelligence regarding motoring offences and those drivers involved – who had left before officers arrived – will be located and spoken to.

Sergeant Linda Wilson of the Local Policing Team in Houghton Regis said: “It appears that people have taken notice and heeded the warnings issued previously by Bedfordshire Police. There were far fewer vehicles at Foster Avenue this weekend and the majority of drivers in attendance were very co-operative and genuinely concerned about the behaviour of others who had attended previously.

“People living near to the Woodside Industrial Estate should not have to have their lives disrupted by nuisance motorists and I hope that this continuing action shows that we are taking these incidents seriously.

“Officers have the power to seize vehicles and have them destroyed when necessary and anyone caught driving illegally could also be dealt with for motoring offences such as driving without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.”

Anyone with information concerning nuisance vehicles can contact Bedfordshire Police on the 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.