Monday, 31 March 2014

Wonderland : Meet Alice with Paul and Debbie at The Grove Theatre

In panto this Easter, starring in Alice In Wonderland , at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable, are magician Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, with Steve Hewlett from Britain's Got Talent.

Steve famously made it to the final on the national ITV talent show by including a new Simon Cowell dummy and sending up the impresario. Steve performs in the panto as Tweedledum, with Tweedledee being performed by one of his puppets.

April 18th to April 21st, various performance times.

Hilborough Crescent Blood Found on Car

Police have today confirmed that they were aware of a vehicle with a smashed windscreen, and blood on the same vehicle, that was parked in Hillborough Crescent on Saturday. A male was arrested.  Highways were contacted in relation to cleaning any blood from the paths and road surface surrounding the vehicle.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

"Bidwell West" Developers Lay out Their Plans

This week consultants representing a development consortium laid out their plans for building new homes to the north west of Houghton Regis at two consultations held at All Saints Academy.

"Bidwell West" is the working title for the new development area that covers the Thorn hamlet and land west of the Bidwell hamlet, in Houghton Regis. When active, the developers website at should give more information.

View from quarry edge towards the Blue Waters wood land. (Click or tap to enlarge).
Developers plan to keep the foreground of this area as a country park, with playing fields to the east of the sewage works (off the left hand edge). 

A new road would sweep around the edge of Blue Waters woodland and then cross the hillside towards Plaiters Way. 

If you visualised this picture cut into four, then they would build in the top right quadrant, and the top left quadrant (except for Blue Waters woodland). The left and right lower quadrants would be kept as open space, with the potential for a visitors centre for the Wildlife Trust to continue to manage the quarry from, and additional land. The proposed visitor centre could also provide a revenue stream to help the Wildlife Trust.

This next picture is taken on the Icknield Way, from the north west corner of the Blue Waters woodland.

View towards Thorn Road (top right) and sewage works(top left)
The Icknield Way runs across this field towards the Thorn Road (although you would be forgiven for not being able to see a footpath). The developers would build on most of this land, with land very top left would be preserved for formal gardens and recreation.

If you are logged into Facebook, you may add your comments on the Facebook post below, or alternatively leave comment on Blogger. More pictures are on Facebook.


Houghton Trading have announced that extension and refurbishment work at the former Dog and Duck Pub starts on Monday 31st March 2014. When opened, they hope the new venue will provide a much needed, good quality, local family Bar and Restaurant with a mixed menu cuisine to cater for most taste buds.

The company have appointed reputable contractors from, C Woods & Sons (Luton) Ltd established since 1965. The building and refurbishment works are expected to last about 26 weeks.

Project managers are CCH Project Management and Cliff Herring will overlook the project. Disruptions are hoped to be kept to a minimum, to provide safety for the constructors and to  work within the fencing most of the time. There will be security on site including CCTV.

Nisa Local stores have supported Houghton Regis over the years, and hope to add more value to the community of Houghton Regis in the future.

Poynters Road, Dunstable: 2 way lights 31 March - 2 April, Affinity Water

Poynters Road, Dunstable, Central Bedfordshire
31 March — 02 April
Delays likely Traffic control (two-way signals)
Works location: 124, Poynters Road, Dunstable, Central Bedfordshire...
Works description: Communication Pipe - Replace Working In The Footway - Section 58 Not Affected...
Responsibility for works: Affinity Water
Current status: Advanced planning

Friday, 28 March 2014

SNAP Need Your Knowledge to Help Special Needs and Disabled Youngsters Reach Their Potential

How can children and young people reach their potential?

SNAP (Special Needs Action Panel), the Parent Carer Forum for Bedfordshire, and Central Bedfordshire Council want to listen to families views on their experiences and find new ways to enable children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) to reach their potential.

In order to help shape the future provision, they need to hear from as many families as possible who have insight on this topic. People can fill out the survey online at

A version of this survey has already gone to families of children in special schools and specialist provision and to parents of children with SEND in mainstream schools.

The survey needs to be completed by Friday 4 April.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"74% of residents feel safe when outside in their local area after dark" - Community Safety Panel

Reducing domestic burglary and cutting down the number of victims of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse are top of the list for Central Bedfordshire’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in the coming year.
Central Bedfordshire Council is part of the CSP and its Executive Committee considered on Tuesday (18 March) the successes and challenges of the past year as well as the focus for 2014-15.

The CSP plan sets out how, over the next twelve months, the partnership will tackle safety issues that are consistently identified by the public as high priorities when consulted through surveys and awareness raising events.

The Council are keen to get the right level of policing and are working with the Police and the Police Commissioner Olly Martins, to ensure they develop constructive and effective ways of policing Central Bedfordshire.

The CSP works with local residents to ensure that it understands the safety problems in the community and sets clear priorities to meet identified needs. It includes members from the police, council, health services, probation trust and fire and rescue services. By working together they are successfully dealing with complex community safety and crime problems and promoting public confidence in the services they offer, helping to keep residents safer in their homes and on the streets.
Working together has resulted in:
74% of residents feeling safe when outside in their local area after dark, which is a 4% increase on the results from surveys carried out in April 2013

95% of residents feeling safe during the day in Central Bedfordshire

a significant increase in the number of peer mentors providing support and mentoring for those who have a substance misuse problem in Central Bedfordshire

an increase in venues within Central Bedfordshire where clients can access support for their substance misuse issues.

Improved used of Pub watch, a night time economy initiative aimed at reducing alcohol related violence and anti social behaviour. This is achieved by banning perpetrators within all pubs signed up to the agreement. Thus far, it has implemented 40 bans across Central Bedfordshire with most notable success in the Biggleswade and Sandy area with a total of 27 bans

A partnership approach to metal thefts has been taken over the past 12 months and as a result heft of metal has reduced by 16% in Central Bedfordshire

For further information visit

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bedford Road, Roadworks

A5120 Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Central Bedfordshire
23 March — 25 March
Delays likely Traffic control (two-way signals)
Works location: 22
Works description: Replace Manhole Cover In Highway - S81 Originators Name:A?Andy Harmona?A?...
Responsibility for works: Anglian Water
Current status: Advanced planning

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Police Seize Motorcycles in Weekend Operation

Operation Meteor: Quad Seized

The sun was out at the weekend and so were Bedfordshire Police as they continued their crackdown in 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 clampdown 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 (Mar 16), a number of those responsible for creating such issues came face-to-face with officers from the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Local Policing Teams who were assisted by the Priority Anti-Social Behaviour Team, a vehicle examiner, the Special Constabulary and three motorcycle officers from the Roads Policing Unit.

The teams started the day in the Sewell Lane and Totternhoe Knolls area of Houghton Regis where a number of bikes had been spotted and attempted to make off. One rider was stopped and he was issued with a Section 59 (S59) notice. Officers then followed and stopped two further bikes which attempted to make off and both riders were issued with S59s, and an air rifle was also seized.

The team then moved on to Tithe Farm Road following numerous reports that a quad and an off road bike – being ridden by someone without a crash helmet - were causing a nuisance in the area. The quad was located in a garden in Leaf Road and seized as it was suspected to have been stolen.

Sergeant Linda Wilson of the Central Local Policing Team, said: “It seems that the warm spring weather meant that nuisance motorists were out in force in Houghton Regis on Sunday but I am delighted that we have been able to disrupt their plans and make a positive impact on the local community.

“While we may have seized one vehicle and issued a number of S59s, it was more pleasing that so many members of the community came forward and spoke with us about the issue and offered further information about those responsible. 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 and we will be using this information when we next run the operation.

“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.”

Sergeant Wilson added: “One of the issues that we do have is not being able to pursue 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 101.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Police Advise: Please Lock Up Your Vehicles!

Lock vehicles - Set alarm - Never leave anything on display

Bedfordshire Police are asking residents to ensure they lock vehicles after recent thefts where vans in particular were targeted.

Thieves broke into vans to steal power tools, sat nav's, parts and even loose change leaving vehicle damage in the process.

Replacing lost mobiles and bank cards is a real nuisance and can be avoided by emptying contents from your vehicles.

Here are some top tips:

use a steering wheel lock, alarm or both!
leave a sign that says no tools are left inside your van.
use strong boxes that fit in the back of your boot for loose tools/items that can easily and quickly be removed.
check insurance details - home contents policies sometimes do not cover sat nav systems as classed as vehicle accessorries.
mark your property and register it on 
If you have information regarding a vehicle crime, contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers

Thursday, 13 March 2014

First there was HRN1, Now there is HRN2 - Another 1,850 New Homes

You've heard of HRN1 - 5,150 new homes for the north and east of Houghton Regis, for which outline planning permission has been agreed?
Now there is HRN2  to get used to. This is basically an overall plan for land bordered by the A5, The Quarry, Plaiters Way, Bedford Rd and both sides of Thorn Road up to the edge of the A5-M1 link road.
Developers for this scheme have now entered into a Planning Performance Agreement with Central Bedfordshire Council with the intention of submitting an outline planning application in early April.
The Bidwell West Consortium's scheme is expected to provide about 1,850 new dwellings, 2.6 ha employment development with a 1.9 ha local centre, a new lower school, and associated infrastructure.
In advance of the planning application, various consultation exercises  are now planned. A public consultation event is to be held at:
All Saints Academy
Houghton Road
On the dates of:
Friday 28th March: 16:30 - 20:00
Saturday 29th March: 10:00 - 14:00
CBC Officers and representatives for the developers will also be available during the public event.
If you are unable to attend you can view the proposals at or contact Mike Jones of DLP Consultants on 01234 832740 or by email at

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

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Next Community Grants Application Deadline – 17 April 2014

Community Grants of up to £15,000 can now be applied for by small third sector organisations.

The grants are for projects supporting people from the hardest to reach communities, and individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage to access employment and skills provision.

The grants are co-financed through the European Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency.

To obtain a Community Grants Information Sheet and Application Form, please visit the Community Grants Applications page on the TCHC website.

Please read the Information Sheet before applying for the grant.

The deadline for submission is 17 April 2014 at 5pm.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Park Friends In Look For New Friends - Houghton Hall Park, Houghton Regis

Become a ‘Friend of Houghton Hall Park’
The Friends of Houghton Hall Park are a sociable group of dedicated volunteers who would like to broaden their work and would like to encourage more people to get involved in helping to shape the future of the park. The group will be holding regular meetings which will provide an opportunity to discuss how the park is improved and how we develop a range of events and activities that attract more people. For more information, please contact Adrian Spray ( or Alexe Rose ( Tel: 01525 234260)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ready Set Go, in the Houghton Regis Pancake Race 2014 !

Ready Set Go, in the Houghton Regis Pancake Race 2014 !


Pancake Races were held in days gone by in Houghton Regis, but not for many years has one been organised by the local council. So, it was a great surprise to everyone that the event could be revived and turn out to be such a great success.

Despite weeks of inclement weather, Shrove Tuesday 2014, turned out to be a really nice day for the time of year; the sun was shining and this helped put everyone in great spirits.

Houghton Regis Town Council staff showed a flipping good turn of speed.

Teams from local schools were invited to participate, and several teams of adults, including some in fancy dress also had a go at charging down a lane in order to get their team across the finishing line in the shortest time.

Nisa Local entered teams.

The Childrens Society did their bit.

Leighton Buzzard's Town Crier was borrowed for the day, in full colourful attire, and started the teams off with a bell that originated from the old Houghton Regis Parish Council.

Town Mayor, Peter Williams presided over affairs and went on to present prizes.
The winning teams were as follows:
 ·        Years 1 and 2 – Houghton Regis Primary School
·         Year 4 Thornhill Primary School
·         Years 4 and 5 Houghton Regis Primary School
·         Houghton Regis Academy Team ‘D’
·         Nisa Team ‘B’
·         The Recycled Teenagers Team ‘B’

Recycled Teenagers; = made a point of explaining that the lady on the right was 89 !

Local town councillors line up for the off! Robin Hines, Alan Winter, Peter Williams, Pete Carrington

The overall winners were Houghton Regis Academy team D who were the fastest overall. Each participant was given a goodie bag which included a packet of Pancake Mix!

Regis the Lion added a comedic element to the racing! (a bit shorter than the last time I met him/her !) With apologies to teams not pictured. Maybe, next time!

Have Your Say on the Future of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) Consultation

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service wishes to consult about possible options for changes to their services over the next four years to 2018. They need to make substantial financial savings and ‘staying the same’ is simply not an option. This important consultation concerns residents, businesses, public and voluntary agencies and their staff, and they welcome all views on the options (even if they do not specifically affect areas in which you live or work).

This is your opportunity to help shape the future of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Everyone aged 16 or over can take part, as can representatives from business, public and voluntary organisations and our own staff - your views will help us deliver better and more cost-effective services for the future.

Next steps: The short 5 minute survey must be completed by Sunday 4 April 2014.

Click on the consultation called Bedsfire: Community Risk Mgmt Plan Survey 2014:

To complete a paper version of the survey (which you can return to us by Freepost), please contact our Engagement and Partnership Officer Sharon Webster on 01234 845180 or

If your friends and family would like to be involved, please be kind enough to forward this message to them.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Mopeds Help Youngsters Get Around

Magnificent seven helped by Wheels2Work

Seven young people helped by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Wheels2Work programme, recently came together in Flitwick.  They have all been loaned mopeds from Wheels2Work, a scheme run by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and funded by Central Bedfordshire Council.
The scheme is open to anyone of working age living in Central Bedfordshire but is targeted, in particular, at 16-24 year olds within Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard who are struggling to get to education, training or work because of transport barriers.
The young people all received the loan of a 50cc scooter for up to nine months under the scheme. The group make a range of journeys, including travelling from Harlington to Central Bedfordshire University Technical College in Houghton Regis and travelling from Ampthill to work in Potton as an apprentice veterinary nurse. 
The group came together for a regular service at Flitwick Motorcycles and took the opportunity to show off the mopeds and protective equipment they received through the scheme.  There was also the chance for the participants to update their personal sustainable transport plan in preparation for the scheme finishing. The event was organised by Chris Bland, Project Coordinator at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.
Student Nathan Marshall from Houghton Regis, who is studying A levels at Luton Sixth Form College, was one of those attending the event.  He said: ‘Before I joined the scheme I was struggling to find a sustainable way of getting to college. Having the moped changed everything. My journey time was cut to just half an hour. I was also able to travel more easily to my part-time job at Phones4You and gained greater independence.’
‘The scheme has made an amazing difference to my life. ’I’d recommend it to anyone – in fact I do!’
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development said:
‘Wheels2Work is a valuable scheme, helping residents access education, training and employment opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to them.  Each of the young people on the scheme has been enabled to make the most of their potential, which is good not only for them but Central Bedfordshire as a whole.’ 

Family United Network Parent 4th Annual Conference 8 March 2014

Family United Network Parent 4th Annual Conference 

This year’s conference has been organised based around feedback received at the last conference and improving the focus on Parent Participation. The aim is to offer parents\carers the opportunity to learn about changes to services, to contribute their knowledge and experiences and to learn about specific topics to support the family.

FUN will be offering a selection of FREE workshops including: Sleep, Wills & Trusts, Puberty & Adolescence and Managing Challenging Behaviour. All of these workshops have been carefully selected from the last conference evaluation.

Helen Redding (Assistant Director School Improvement Children's Services) will join the conference to de-mystify, in a parent\carer-friendly way, what the Local Offer is and what it really means to families.

•         Date: Saturday 8 March 2014 

•         Time: 9.00am-2.30pm 

•         Venue: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford. MK43 0PR

A wide range of organisations will be marketing their services and throughout the day you will have the opportunity to talk to a variety of professionals about your individual needs.

Alternatively e-mail to book your place stating clearly which workshop you will be attending and  any dietary requirements