Monday, 30 June 2014

Hillborough Raiders at Bookies - Do You Recognise These Men?


fficers investigating the attempted robbery at a bookmakers in Houghton Regis have released CCTV stills of three men they need to trace in connection with the incident.

The incident happened on June 19 at approximately 8.55pm when the three men entered Ladbrokes on Hillborough Crescent.

The men ran towards a member of staff who managed to lock herself in to a secure room. The men then left the scene empty handed.

Detective Constable Matthew Shepherd, investigating, has released these pictures in a hope that someone can help identify those involved.

Anyone with information about this crime can contact DC Shepherd, in confidence, at Luton Police Station, on 01582 394448, 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.


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A large amount of power tools have been taken from a garden shed in Fensome Drive between 9:00 p.m. on the 26th and 3:45 a.m. on the 27th June. The offender has used a wheelie bin to climbed over the side gate and access the rear garden. The shed door was been removed from the hinges. Crime Reference: J D / 2 4 6 9 0 / 2014

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. Any group of two or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK. 

To be nominated the group should have been running for at least three years and do work that provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community; is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it; and is run locally. Winners of the award receive a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party. 

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee. The committee makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office, which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval. Is there a group in your area that deserves such an accolade? The application form to nominate a group for an award in 2015 can be found at Nominations for 2015 must be received by 30th September 2014.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Take on the commuter challenge!

From Monday, 30 June to Friday, 18 July, Central Bedfordshire’s Travel Choices will be challenging employees in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard to use sustainable ways of travelling to work such as cycling, bus or car share. Teams can sign up on the Commuter Challenge website and accrue points for each journey they make. There will be exciting prizes to win on both an individual, team and company level including return travel to Paris, cycle shop vouchers, a Kindle, gym passes, eco driving lessons, and many local discount vouchers

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Ringmaster - County - Man Assaulted and Stripped Naked During Houghton Regis Attack

25 June 2014
Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 19 year old man was left needing 20 stitches after he was attacked in a Houghton Regis Street last week (June 17).
The incident happened at around 11pm as the victim was making his way home following an altercation with his ex-partner. As the victim walked along Copperfield Close he was approached by three offenders who assaulted him before stripping him naked and leaving him in the road.
The victim called the emergency services and was taken to hospital where he required 20 stitches to his mouth – ten inside and ten on the outside. He also lost a number of teeth during the attack.
PC Lavern Charles, who is investigating the incident, is keen to speak with anyone who was in the area at the time of the assault and may have seen the offenders or the incident taking place.
The first offender was a black male, in his early 20s, 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build. The two other offenders were both white and in their mid-20s.
Three people have been arrested in relation to this incident and released on police bail.
If you have information relating to this incident, contact PC Charles, in confidence, on 01582 394176, the non-emergency 101 number, or text information to 07786 200011.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at
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Houghton Regis Parliamentary Exchange

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative)
Is the Exchequer Secretary aware that a partnership between the Government, Central Bedfordshire council and developers is leading to the construction of 5,200 houses north of Houghton Regis and the provision of a bypass, for which we have waited 60 years, as a result of a £45 million contribution from the developers? Is not that the way to get construction going?

David Gauke (The Exchequer Secretary; South West Hertfordshire, Conservative)
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. It is as a result of this Government’s long-term approach to the economy that we will see significant increases in infrastructure over the years ahead.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 24 June 2014, c181)

Central Beds Roads Are Among the Best in The Country

The latest figures released in spring 2014 showed that 2 per cent of main roads in Central Bedfordshire needed repair compared to national figures of 6 per cent for A roads and 8 per cent for B and C roads. Just 6 per cent of unclassified roads needed repair compared to 17 per cent nationally. The latest assessment of road conditions in Central Bedfordshire shows a continued improvement from previous years.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


A verbal police report to Houghton Regis Town Council last night (24/6/2014) told of ups and downs of crime levels in the town.

Sgt Linda Wilson told of increases in vehicle crime, up from 15 to 28, burglary other up from 15 to 28. Robberies to the person were at 0, and domestic burglaries were down. Comparing the current period with the 5 year trend average, crime is on the downward slope. Calls about anti social behaviour nuisances including Bedford Square had fallen from 139 to 91 compared to the same period last year, and calls about transport related events were down 5 to 48.

Operation Meteor was a scheme to combat nuisance off road bikers, and Bedfordshire Police had borrowed police bikers from Herts Police to help with this problem. Operation Reservation is a scheme to combat nuisance drivers, particularly in the Foster Avenue and Porz Avenue area and has operated on two consecutive Sundays this month. On the Sunday just gone police had served 17 traffic orders, and 2 orders for possession of cannabis had been issued. The Operation had taken a zero tolerance approach using 7 cars and police dogs.

Operation Hana is a scheme funded by the Town Council to provide more police hours for the town. Two arrests had taken place recently; 1 was for a person wanted for fraud, and one was for a minor stabbing incident.

Councillors thanked the officer for her report and for the police taking action on Sundays against noisy speed-trial drivers.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Tennyson Avenue/Milton Way Planning Applications Are Back Again

1. Application No: CB/14/02334/FULL

An application for planning permission in respect of Land North of Tennyson Avenue between 97 and 119, Tennyson Avenue, for Erection of 6 no. 1 and 2 bed apartments, landscaping and parking has been submitted. Please go to:

Should you have views regarding the proposal, these should be placed in writing to Central Bedfordshire Council as soon as possible or by email to and by no later than 09 July 2014. You can enter your comments online at:

By entering the application reference 14/ 02334, click Application Number and scroll down to Public Representations.

(Resubmission of CB/14/00858)

2. Application No: CB/14/02302/FULL

An application for planning permission in respect of Land rear of Milton Way, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5U, for full planning application for the development of land for residential has been submitted. Please go to:

For consultees unable to access documents via the website, we can provide a hard copy for your


Should you have views regarding the proposal, these should be placed in writing to Central Bedfordshire Council as soon as possible or by email to and by no later than 09 July 2014. You can enter your comments online at:

By entering the application reference 14/ 02302, click Application Number and scroll down to Public Representations.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

What Makes A Dog Owner Responsible?

Whatever you may think about people who own dogs, Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for your views on introducing a series of Dog Control Orders that would help promote responsible dog ownership in the area. 

The Orders cover a number of offences, including fouling, dogs on leads, areas where dogs are not allowed and people taking more than the maximum numbers of dogs onto these areas. The consultation runs until 28th July.

Cllr Amanda Dodwell, Deputy Executive Member for Community Safety explained: “We know that the vast majority of dog owners are caring and considerate, but the few that aren’t have an enormous impact on others. One of the key areas we want to tackle is not cleaning up after your
dog – not only is it very noticeable and unpleasant, it also has potential health implications. And
those using our countryside sites and footpaths have told us that dog fouling is one of the biggest
problems for them.”

Dog Control Orders provide for the following five offences:

a. Failing to remove dog faeces; 

b. Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;

c. Not keeping a dog on a lead;

d. Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded; or

e. Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.

Cllr Dodwell added: “We want to strike a balance between the interests of those in charge of
dogs and those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people to have
access to dog-free areas and the need for those in charge of dogs to have areas where they can
exercise their dogs.”

“We hope lots of people will share their views in this consultation so that we can take the best
possible approach going forward. We know residents value Central Bedfordshire as a great place
to live and work and these Orders could be an extra step in keeping it so.”

You can have your say online at from 20 June or
by completing a questionnaire which is available to collect from the Council Offices at Watling
House, Dunstable or Priory House, Shefford, or can be requested by phoning 0300 300 5639.

Completed questionnaires can be sent back using the freepost address on the form.

The Dog Control Orders have already been considered by Town and Parish Councils and those
results, along with public consultation feedback, will be considered by Officers and Dog Control

Orders issued as appropriate. Any orders made will come into force in October 2014.

Signs will be erected to advise those in charge of dogs of the relevant restrictions in their locality. Enforcement would be carried out by authorised Council officers, dog wardens, and countryside site managers and park rangers.

Dog Control Orders provide exemptions in particular cases for registered blind people, deaf people, and for other people with disabilities who make use of trained assistance dogs

Bell Tower To Open Up On June 22nd - All Saints Church Open Day

On 22nd June all churches in the Diocese will be open as part of The “Living Gods Love” initiative. It provides an excellent opportunity to welcome visitors into the Church and build upon the ministry of welcome. All Saints’ Houghton Regis will be open from 8.30am until 4.30pm. 

Stalls and refreshments will be available. And for the more venturesome, the Bell Tower will be open, weather permitting. 

Any homemade cakes will be very welcome, also any offers of help for the day.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Projects and Opportunities 20/6/2014

Please find below this weeks’ links for projects and opportunities,


Date of next community network meeting is 10th July at 5p.m.

Are You Going Solar? MP Praises 158 Sandringham Drive Homes for Having Solar Panels

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative)
I congratulate the Minister on the significant expansion of solar on his watch and not least on the fact that every one of the 158 new properties in Sandringham drive in Houghton Regis has solar panels on the roof, really benefiting tenants. However, many more people want to benefit. What can the Minister do to help with the affordability issues that people face?

Gregory Barker (The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)
First and foremost, through our reforms we have helped to drive down the cost of solar. When we came into government, the cost of a typical domestic set of panels was close to £15,000. It is now available, say from Ikea, for under £5,000. Financing packages are available that will finance almost the whole cost, but I am also keen to open up the green deal to allow the FITs income to be taken into account for the golden rule. That will have a transformational effect, making solar available to pretty much everyone.

Citation: HC Deb, 19 June 2014, c1255

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Bedfordshire Police launched Operation Reservation
in our area
at the weekend
in an attempt to prevent a car cruise from forming on the night of Sunday 15th June.

Officers stopped vehicles resulting in two arrests – one for Possession With Intent to Supply drugs, and one for drink driving. Three drivers were reported for having no insurance; one driver was reported for driving while disqualified, three vehicles were seized; five drivers were reported for having defective vehicles, and a further driver was reported for excessive speeding.

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

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

Inspector Hitch added: “We are unable to chase after every single nuisance driver, 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.

“Drivers and 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.”

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

Monday, 16 June 2014

Shoppers Parking Problem in Hillborough Crescent

Local upset has been caused by a pub in Houghton Regis suddenly employing the services of a private parking company. The Harvest Home in Hillborough Crescent has put up large signs saying that if anyone parks there without a permit, they could be liable for a fine of up to £100 a day.


Parking permits are available to customers of the pub, or to anyone who purchases a permit from them. The car park of the pub has previously been used by shoppers visiting a parade of shops opposite. There is a layby outside the shops, restricting parking to 20 minutes, but this is frequently full. Now, the shoppers risk a fine for parking in the pub car park, or a fine for parking on double yellow lines on the road.

The landlord claims that too many people were abusing the car park, changing engines in them, or even parking there and going on holiday.

HRND has been passed emails showing a growing agreement between the landlord of the pub and a senior shop owner, but these are confidential. Let's hope they resolve this soon for the benefit of all.

Link to Facebook discussion:

Friday, 13 June 2014

HR Network Project and Opportunities 13.6.2014

Please find this weeks’ link for projects and opportunities,

Zebra Crossings Coming to Court Drive, Dunstable, This Summer

Three zebra crossings are to be installed at Court Drive Dunstable, this summer, during the school holidays. They will replace the existing courtesy crossings.

A survey has shown that a controversial road scheme in Dunstable's theatre and shopping zone only has a 62% approval rating for improving the look of the area, and 44% disagreed that traffic had slowed down. So, this summer a local Council is to spend more money making more adjustments to try to improve the situation.

More than a thousand Dunstable residents took part in a survey as part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s review of the scheme. 

Those surveyed said the present scheme:
Improves the look of the area (62%)
Reduces speed (61%)
Improves traffic flow (68%) 
Encourages visitors (62%)
More than half (56%) agreed that traffic had slowed down, although official speed monitoring confirmed that average speed actually dropped to 22mph.

The public survey showed that courtesy crossings that had been removed by the scheme were a big concern, and for motorists, the delineation of lanes.

This summer the Council will make improvements including: 

Making three of the most popular courtesy crossings conventional Zebra crossings giving priority to pedestrians.
Tactile paving in the areas and on these crossings will assist blind and visually impaired pedestrians.
A red surface will be put down for a bus lane.
There will be clearer signage about parking.
Improved clarity for drivers approaching the Asda roundabout from the east.
Give way lines at the Kingsway and College Drive junction.
Pedestrian friendly gully grate covers.
These improvements will be implemented during the school holidays in order to minimise disruption.

Garden Set Stolen From Houghton Regis Home

An entire garden furniture set was stolen from a home in Houghton Regis overnight 12/13th June. The owners, who live in Longbrooke are said to be devastated. If anyone has any information please contact the police. [from a reliable source]

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

DELAYS M1 Northbound on the 12th June

Drivers are warned that a slow-moving vehicle with an abnormal load will be travelling from Southampton to Nottingham on June 12th via the M3, M25 and M1. It will start at 10am and will travel at about 30 mph, accompanied by police.

Incuba - Workshops Helping Businesses in South Bedfordshire

June 25th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30: Workshop 1: Policies, Procedures, Recruitment and the Truth about HR for Small Businesses.
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00: Workshop 2: Turn your website into a sales machine

Sept 24th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30Workshop 3: Make your IT work for you, not the other way around
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00Workshop 4: Brand Planning – Start up to exit plan

October 29th - Wednesday
9.30 - 10:30: Workshop 5: Accountancy for Small Business Owners in the Real World
10.30 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments
11.00 - 12:00: Workshop 6: Top Telephony Tips for Small Businesses

ONLY £5 (plus VAT) per business workshop including refreshments or £20 (plus VAT) for ALL SIX Workshops including refreshments and networking opportunities. Please contact: 01582 343 810 or email to reserve your place.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent feedback we have received.

"Informative, inspiring… all mixed in with a healthy dose of realism and sound advice. Looking forward to starting up! Thanks to you all"

"Very useful to bounce ideas and help us focus as we move forward as a charity."

“Very Informative with invaluable practical help"

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Distraction Robbery Warning

Police are warning people to be aware to the possibility of a
distraction robbery. 7 incidents of this kind have been reported recently in Luton/Dunstable/Houghton Regis area.

Bedfordshire Police is also reminding residents not to allow unexpected visitors into their homes and follow these tips:

Shut and lock the back door before you open the front – these offenders often work in pairs. 
All police officers, immigration officials and utility staff carry ID cards. Make them show the card, and then use the number in the phone book to call the relevant company and check that they are a genuine member of staff. Make sure they wait outside while you do this. 
Always stay with the caller while they are in your home. You should be suspicious if they want to look round on their own. 
Never show anyone where you keep valuables. Do not keep large amounts of money in the house – even if you think it is well hidden. 
If you are at all suspicious of the caller, DO NOT LET THEM IN. Lock the door and call the police.  

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

"Random, Pointless, Vandalism" Blamed for Slashed Tyres

Three non white males on pedal cycles are being blamed for a tyre slashing spree in Houghton Regis.

Youths were chased off by a nearby resident after being caught slashing tyres in the Milton Way area of Houghton Regis late on Sunday evening. 

Around 10 vehicles parked in Milton Way, Sandringham Drive and Evans Close were damaged on Sunday. Eye witnesses reported seeing three teenage boys near one of the damaged cars, who ran away when they challenged and attempted to chase after them.

The three youngsters are described as black, aged 14 – 15, one wore a red tracksuit, one wore a blue tracksuit and another dressed in a grey tracksuit.

Anyone with information relating to this incident can contact Bedfordshire Police in confidence on 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Police say they don’t appear to have a motive at the moment, and that the act was "just pure random pointless vandalism which has not happened to this extent before." Investigative leads are being followed up.
If residents notice any suspicious behaviour late in the evening near other cars call the police straight away.