Friday, 31 January 2014

Police teams Issue Section 59 Warnings To Nuisance Motorists

Operation Meteor: Nine Section 59 Warnings Issued

Off-road bikers received a shock at the weekend when members of the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Local Policing Teams carried out an operation across Central Bedfordshire to curb the issue of nuisance motorists.

Bedfordshire Police has been encouraging members of the public to help identify nuisance motorcyclists in an attempt to crackdown on the number of people who think that it is acceptable to ride motorbikes, quad bikes, mopeds, scooters or mini-motos in a dangerous way across public land.

On Sunday (Jan 26), a number of those responsible for creating such issues came face-to-face with officers who were assisted by the Priority Anti-Social Behaviour Team, a vehicle examiner and officers from Hertfordshire Police riding off-road motorcycles.

The team issued a total of nine Section 59 Orders to riders and the 11 eleven bikes that were being ridden.

Inspector Jim Hitch of the Central Local Policing Team, said: “Operation Meteor is a long running effort by Bedfordshire Police to combat the nuisance created by all motorists who find it impossible to drive or ride their vehicles in accordance with the law.

“Officers were able to take full advantage of Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 which gives them the ability to stop anti-social motorists and warn them about their behaviour as well as issuing fines and seizing their vehicles.

“What was a major concern on the day though was seeing one rider – who sadly evaded officers – riding his bike with a small child riding pillion who was not wearing any protective clothing or a helmet. We are doing all that we can to identify this individual who clearly had a complete disregard for his or his passengers safety.”

Inspector Hitch added: “One of the issues that we do have is not being able to chase after every single nuisance motorcyclist but by providing information such as names, addresses or where the vehicle may have been previously, we can build up a picture of the offenders and take appropriate action.

“Riders need to realise that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable - not only is it an offence, but it is also extremely dangerous for others. These riders need to understand that if they ride their motorbike in a park or somewhere else that they shouldn’t they will receive a warning or have their motorbike seized and possibly destroyed.

“Anyone caught riding on pavements or roads illegally could also be dealt with for motoring offences such as riding without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.  My message to parents considering buying a motorbike or similar vehicle for their children to use off road is simple: unless you have permission for your children to use it on private land – don’t do it”

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

20mph for Poynters Rd ? Having.A.Laugh

see story and omments

Woodside Posts

16 Nov 2013

Volunteering Opportunity in overseeing policing service delivery in Bedfordshire

Volunteering Opportunity in overseeing policing service delivery in Bedfordshire

Have you got?

An interest in our local policing service
Energy and enthusiasm
A desire to make a difference
Readiness to accept responsibility
Are you happy to ask constructive questions, challenge, listen and learn?
Then you could have what it takes to join as an Audit Committee Member of the Joint Independent Audit Committee of Bedfordshire Police.  

You will:

Oversee governance reporting and ensure quality, good value local policing in Bedfordshire.                                                                                    
Have experience of strategic planning, risk, performance management and be able to work with financial information.  All experiences, including life experiences, will be considered.
Be committed to attending 4-6 meeting per year.
Role commences in March 2014 to June 2016.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 7th February 2014.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 February 2014.

Application packs can be obtained via 01234 842066, or

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Trees Plotted and Proof of Old Wall Found

An exercise was carried out today in Houghton Regis around Houghton Hall Park to identify and plot various trees. And additional work was carried out to uncover proof that a wall once surrounded the kitchen garden by the side of Houghton Hall.

The work was in connection with a Landscape Discovery Day, and a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to note the historical and heritage value of Houghton Hall Park.

Alan Winter, one of those taking part, said, "We were given copies of old maps that had been overlain with modern maps, to help us understand where things might have been. I learnt that the new bowling green pavilion in Moore Crescent was once very likely to have been an orchard, for example. And a large beech tree in the small woodland beyond Moore Crescent goalpost, towards Houghton House, was once at the end of an attractive formal garden. In fact if you look closely in that area, you'll see several exotic plants and trees that look out of place. It would be really nice to get this area looking good again."

He continued, "I was involved in digging near the beech hedge that runs around the "kitchen garden" area. The map showed a line that indicated there might have once been a wall. Digging down, we found evidence to support that. In one corner, the wall was supposed to go diagonally, so I was quite excited to dig a small trench and actually find evidence of this."

The afternoon was spent plotting various trees around the park, estimating their heights, girths, and species.

Another day of activity is planned for next Sunday, 26th  the summer. If anyone else is interested in coming along to help discover the past, please contact in the first instance. Times 10am-3pm, bring a packed lunch. Refreshment supplied.

Do you think children on bikes cycle recklessly? Discuss.

Do you think children on bikes cycle recklessly?

One of our readers has written in, saying,

"Have the children and young adults attending All Saints Academy got a death wish? We recently had to drive down Houghton Road just as it was home time for the school. There was boys on bikes travelling against the traffic in the road instead of on the cycle way, boys doing wheelies in the road, children crossing the road en-mass even when the lights were against them. I'm very surprised there has not been a serious incident along that section of road. It's a total nightmare!"

Friday, 17 January 2014

News Desk - This Week In Houghton Regis 18/1/2014

Moped Rider Injured at Chequers roundabout.

Newport Pagnell Fire Pictures

EVENT 20th : Unemployed and seeking work? Work Skills Open Day from 9:30am Tithe Farm Neighbourhood Centre. 20th JANUARY 2014 : POSTER AND INFO:

Work is scheduled for this month for a crossing over Parkside Drive to Hawthorn Park School.

TWITTERPIC ~ Andrew Selous, MP, tweets that he has asked for more policing

Have your say on Central Beds draft budget for next year. Proposals include not raising council tax & £17million of savings

Ever wondered how long it takes to sell a house in Houghton Regis. Analytical site gives you the answer.

Handgun in Dolphin Drive Attempted Hold-Up

Co-op Robbers Jailed for 26 Years - 1 From Houghton Regis Still At Large

CRIME: Garage Burglary, Westminster Gardens, Houghton Regis. Friday 10th January, between 2:30 and 5:00 p.m. The offender has forced open the door to the garage. A motorbike has been taken. Crime Reference: J D / 1 1 5 4 / 2013


Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are hoping that people will take their old and unwanted clothes to their special collecting points at their Fire Stations. The Fire Fighters Charity stands to raise £220 per tonne collected.

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Central Beds Council Revise Their Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan


Central Bedfordshire Council’s Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee has recommended some changes to the Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan and list of sites.

Councillors met to recommend how many new Gypsy and Traveller pitches will be needed and where they should be.

The committee heard from 12  residents at the meeting (14 January) when they considered the results from last year’s public consultation and a new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA). They discussed making changes to the possible site locations as a result of the feedback.

The committee recommended to Executive a that a compound household growth rate of two per cent  for the Gypsy and Traveller community be used. This would lead to a requirement for or 131 pitches until 2031 for Gypsies and Travellers.

Members of the committee also recommended that one of the shortlisted seven sites be dropped (at Potton) and another swapped for a nearby location between Biggleswade and Dunton, on Dunton Lane. Site 26 in Dunton Lane will replace the nearby Site 55.

Recommended sites and number of proposed pitches on each are:

• Land West of A6, South of Faldo Road and West of Barton-le-Clay – 15 pitches (additional five pitches)
• Land South West of Park Corner Farm and South of Dunton Lane – replaced by Land south of Dunton Lane and west of Dunton - 15 pitches (additional five pitches)
• Land East of Potton Road and South of Ram Farm – removed from short-list
• Land South of Fairfield and West of Stotfold Rd – 10 pitches (no change)
• Land East of M1, Tingrith – 4 pitches (no change)
Land E of Watling Street and S of Dunstable – 9 pitches (no change)
• 1 Old Acres, Barton Road, Pulloxhill – 13 pitches (no change)

Kennel Farm Holdings, to the east of Biggleswade, was recommended separately as a site for accommodation for Travelling Showpeople  (no change).

The six proposed sites equate to 66 deliverable pitches that would meet the need for the first five years of the Plan,  The council’s Executive will consider the proposal on 21 January and it will go before Full Council and then out to full public consultation for six weeks.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development said: “From the new assessment of need, we feel the evidence points towards a smaller two per cent annual growth rate within the Gypsy and Traveller community, so our planning for the future reflects that.

“We’re acutely aware of the significance of this debate for both the settled and the traveller communities but we have a legal duty to provide appropriate accommodation. The committee’s recommendation means we’ll need to provide 131 pitches until 2031.

“We considered the sites in some detail after receiving really useful feedback in last year’s public consultation. The recommended sites will provide 66 pitches. The remaining required pitches will be delivered through “windfall sites”. We will continue to monitor the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites against the requirements we have agreed."

“Now the new suggested list and draft Local Plan will go before Executive and Full Council in January and then will be open for another round of public consultation in February or March. We’ll let people know when that is due.”

If approved, the draft Local Plan and site allocations will then go to the Secretary of State for consideration, along with the results of the consultation. Examination Hearings will then be held where anyone who wants to make representations can have their views heard. Meeting dates and updates will be posted to the Gypsy and Traveller pages of our website –

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tonight's CBC Exec Meeting to Re-Look At G&T Sites

Monday, 13 January 2014

Co-op Robbers Jailed for 26 Years

Wildlife ‘WATCH’ Group for youngsters

Thursday, 9 January 2014

MP Welcomes More Money For Schools

Between 2014 and 2017 schools in Central Bedfordshire will receive £21,219,913. The Government has announced an extra £2.35 billion to create more school places. This is money in addition to the £5 billion already being spent in this parliament.

Link to story

Crime and Police, Houghton Regis

A garage burglary took place in Chelsea Gardens, Houghton Regis between the 6th and 7th January. The offender had cut away the metal in the front door to the garage, and removed two high value mountain bikes. Crime Reference: J D / 7 0 2 / 2014.

A garage burglary took place in Fenwick Road, Houghton Regis between the 2nd and 3rd January. The handle was broken from a door to the garage. Two pedal cycles were taken. Crime Reference: J D / 6 4 1 / 2014.

A burglary took place in Trident Drive, Houghton Regis on 5th January, between 1:30 and 10:00 p.m. A UPVC back door was forced open, a messy search took place, and two plasma TVs, a laptop, jewellery and some money were taken. Crime Reference: J D / 5 8 0 / 2014.

A garage burglary took place in Dolphin Drive, Houghton Regis between the 6th and 7th January. A lock on the door to the garage was forced and a black suzuki motorbike was taken. Crime Reference: J D / 7 1 4 / 2014.

updated 10/1/14 12:44
A garage in Enfield Close, Houghton Regis was forced on 9th January, between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m.The offender has forced open the door to the garage. It is not known of any property has been taken. Crime Reference: J D / 1 0 2 4 / 2014.

999 Will Not Re-charge Your Batteries!

Bedfordshire Police would like to warn mobile phone users not to phone 999 to charge their mobiles.

It is known that a rumour or urban myth suggesting that calling 999 and disconnecting immediately will boost the battery life of a phone has been circulating for some time throughout the country.

Bedfordshire Police wants people to use their phones responsibly and to remember that the 999 emergency number should only be used in an actual emergency where police, fire or ambulance attendance is required immediately.

For all non-emergency policing matters callers should dial 101.

Property Found

A watch and ring have been recovered. Are they yours? Take a look.

Witnesses Sought To Trident Drive Burglary

Bedfordshire Police is appealing for witnesses to come forward after jewellery, computer equipment and televisions were stolen from a home in Trident Drive on Sunday afternoon, sometime between 5pm and 5.30pm

Two televisions, a laptop, an iPad 2, a Windows mobile phone, cash and jewellery including a gold ring with the initials ‘PC’ engraved, a Timex watch and charm bracelet were taken during the robbery.

DC Helen Toms, who is investigating the incident, is keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area prior to the burglary or from anyone who may have seen the offenders fleeing the area soon afterwards.

If you have information relating to this incident, contact DC Toms, in confidence, on 01582 394091, the non-emergency 101 number, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at

Distinctive Bike Stolen 

Bedfordshire Police are asking members of the public to get in touch if they have been offered a distinctive BMX bike which was stolen from outside a Dunstable bowling alley.

The theft took place sometime between 8.30 and 9pm on Sunday December 29 after the victim had left the bike locked up outside Go Bowling in Court Drive, Dunstable.

The bike – a grey framed WeThePeople BMX – had a number of additional parts including blue wheel rims, red handle bar grips, chrome handle bars and BSD engraved wheel hubs making it worth around £1000.

If you have information relating to this incident, contact Wendy Moffatt in the Crime Service Team, in confidence on the non-emergency 101 number, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at

85, Jack Goodchild, former Houghton Regis Mayor, dies

Jack Goodchild, a former Houghton Regis Town mayor, and a former Bedfordshire County Councillor for Houghton Regis, passed away early yesterday morning. He was 85. For many years, to 2009, he was a personal trainer at the local sports centre. He suffered a stroke in May 2009 and had been cared for by his wife, Cllr Susan Goodchild ever since.

Comments and condolences on our Houghton Regis News Desk Facebook Page.

2 School Locations - OBE For Local Headteacher, MBE for Foster Carers

Shirley-Anne Crosbie of the Chiltern School (a school partly on the Kingsland Campus in Houghton Regis, and partly in Beech Road, Dunstable) has been awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours list. Shirley is the Headteacher at The Chiltern School, and the award is for services to children with special needs education.

Dedicated foster carers Derek and Hazell Phillips from Flitwick were both awarded MBEs in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. The couple were recognised for services to children and families after clocking up an incredible 25 years of fostering in Bedfordshire. They have fostered over 25 children and young people during that time making a huge difference to the lives of those who have been in their care.

Following the announcement the couple have been inundated with messages of congratulations from friends, family and many of their former foster children, including one which read:

 "A well deserved MBE to a wonderful couple (and family) for services to children and families in the New Years honours list. A lifetime of letting children into their home and hearts. I can honestly say I don't know which path my life would have taken without Hazell during the dark and troubled stage of my life - which now seems such a distant memory!"

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Free Lunch At Tithe Farm Neighbourhood Centre 8th January

Free lunch at Tithe Farm Neighbourhood Centre 12:30pm to 2pm on Wednesday 8th January. Forum is open to all Houghton Regis families with children under 5 and those wishing to access Houghton Regis Children's Centre Services.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre pool to re-open - SLC Get the Contract

Central Bedfordshire Press Release
For Immediate Release
PR 1810
06 January 2014

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre pool to re-open

Residents’ dreams for a swimming pool at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre are to be realised after a new, innovative leisure management contract for the centre has been agreed by Central Bedfordshire Council.

The Council has developed a Leisure Strategy with the goal of increasing opportunities for local residents to get involved in sports and physical activities. The strategy also outlines the investments and improvements that will be made across all leisure centres in the area.

Following a detailed procurement process, the Council has awarded its management contract for Houghton Regis, Biggleswade, and Flitwick Leisure Centres and Sandy Sports Centre to Stevenage Leisure Limited.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services explained: “As a Council we’re all about making Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work and we know that good leisure services are important to residents.  The new contracts will make sure that high quality services are made available, and that they will offer good value for money too.

Cllr Spurr added: “When we did our £100k refurbishment of the Houghton Regis gym in 2011, the user numbers shot up and people were really impressed with the facility. The swimming pool was the one sticking point and now Stevenage Leisure limited have showed us that it’s viable, it’ll be fantastic to open it again. We’ll also be investing in the pool-side facilities to really make it a great centre. We’ve worked closely with both Houghton Regis Town Council and the Leisure Centre’s Action Group to get to this point and we’ve really appreciated their support and input."

Ian Morton, Managing Director at Stevenage Leisure Limited said: “We are delighted to have retained the contract which we believe is a testament to the hard work, success and dedication of the centre’s staff and management in delivering significant growth in both membership and casual usage. We look forward to working in partnership with the Council to open the pool and improve the health and wellbeing of the community by providing better leisure, health and sporting opportunities for all.”

Clare Evans, Clerk at Houghton Regis Town Council said: “The Town Council are delighted that the contract has been awarded to Stevenage Leisure Limited and that the pool will be re-opened later this year.  We would like to thank Central Bedfordshire Council for listening to the community of Houghton Regis."

Bruce Hallam from the Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Action Group, said: “We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and would thank our members, local Town Councillors, our MP and many schools in the area for their continued support. We are thrilled that the best possible solution has been reached. We can’t wait for the pool to reopen knowing that all sectors of the community will benefit, from the very young to the very old.”


Flashback to 4 January 2011 when Campaigners, Councillors and MP united to petition Central Bedfordshire Council to Re-Open the Pool. Photo: A D Winter

Previously on News Desk: 

11 June 2013

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

More Swimming Posts on News Desk: 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Unemployed? Get on This Skills Course!


Who is eligible to study for a Work Skills course for the unemployed?
1. You must be unemployed, but there is no minimum time restriction.
2. You must be aged 19 or over as at 31st August 2013.
3. You must be in receipt of a state benefit and looking for work.
4. You must have lived in the UK or wider European Economic Area for at least 3 years. If less than 3 years you will still be eligible if your husband / wife, civil partner, parent or grandparent has been a resident for the last 3 years.
5. You must have the Right of Abode to live in the UK  - that is the right to live in the UK without any immigration restrictions.
6. You must live in England now.
7. You must have a Nation Insurance Number.

How much does it cost?

Financially, it costs you absolutely nothing. It will however require a degree of tenacity and some discipline to complete each of the courses.

If it costs me nothing and the job centre doesn’t pay - who does?
The cost of the training is met by the Skills Funding Agency which is part of the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

What topics are covered?

The content of each course varies but units include:
- Managing your Health at Work
- Career Progression
- Searching for a Job
- Applying for a Job
- Preparing for an Interview
- Positive Attitudes and Behaviours at Work
- Working in a Team
- Building Working Relationships with Colleagues
- Managing your Health at Work
- Solving Work Related Problems
- Managing your own Money

How long does the course last for?

Each course is normally completed over four days with 8 hours on each day.  There will also be a small number of supporting tasks to do in your own time.  Depending on the course it will be spread over two, three or four weeks.  Some course may be ‘double programmes’ and will be two days per week for 4 weeks.

What happens if I am struggling with the work required?

Your tutor is always available to offer help and guidance. We pride ourselves on the support offered to candidates to complete the course.

Is the final qualification recognised?

Yes it is. The qualifications you receive are nationally recognised and demonstrate a desire by the recipient to enhance their future prospects and realise their full potential.

Can I do another qualification after this one?

So long as you still meet the eligibility criteria, yes you can.

What is Skills Box?

When you complete certain qualifications with TQ Training, you can earn Skills Box credit. These can be redeemed against a range of training courses and qualifications.   Each relevant course attracts 7 Skills Box credits.  Double courses attract 14 credits. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Gritting - Who does it, Why, and What is it?

In Central Bedfordshire, The Highways Agency is responsible for gritting the A5, A421,A1 and the M1. The Central Bedfordshire Council cover much of what main roads remain.

This pdf file has been produced to explain more.   Gritting - Your Questions Answered


A number of dogs have been taken ill after using Houghton Hall Park in Houghton Regis. Best advice to emerge so far, has been to advise dog owners to prevent their dogs from drinking from puddles.

Sharon Moore commented on Facebook, "Same thing happened in Hampshire and it was found to be fungal tree spore related."


Houghton Regis Town Council are considering the options to provide a new cemetery for the town. The Cemetery Road site is expected to be full within the next five years. Due to low water table within the proposed development area, and other plots of land being snapped up by prospective housing developers, the town's council have limited viable options as to where to locate it. Land at Windsor Drive and Orchard Close are to be assessed, initially, for their viability.

Gymnastics courses for Age 5 years and upwards

Gymnastics courses starting Wednesday the 8th Jan, and Saturday the 11th Jan, also trampoline course starting on the 10th Jan, all 12 week courses, ring for more info (01582)866141.

Closed 1st January 2014, reopens 2nd January 2014.

Find out more:

Central Bedfordshire Lib Dems Reorganise to Exert More Influence on the Council

Bedfordshire's Liberal Democrat Local Parties have restructured themselves. Instead, of the old parliamentary constituency boundaries the new set-up is based on Local Authority boundaries. As a consequence there are now 3 local parties in Bedfordshire: Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.

Richard Kennedy, Chairman of the new Central Bedfordshire Liberal Democrats, explains:
"The Government’s aim to give Local Authorities more responsibility means we need to maintain and further develop a comprehensive overview of the policies and practices of Authorities like Central Bedfordshire Council."

"Our new structures enhance our ability to keep on top of what the Tory administration is about.  It is essential to protect the voters of Central Bedfordshire by exerting more influence on the Council."

"Our new structure ensures we are well-placed to challenge and question the Council whenever necessary.  The residents of Central Bedfordshire need to have a Council dedicated to achieving a strong economy within a fair society".