Showing posts from August, 2014

Art Town - ImagiNation screenings


Arriva's New Services for Houghton Regis

New bus services for Houghton Regis are set to start on 31st August, a spokesperson for Arriva has said. The company's earlier plans ( see item ) to stop the 38 serving Parkside and Tithe Farm have been scrapped. The earlier plans were changed after readers of Houghton Regis News Desk complained about hardships that people would have had to endure in getting to places like Wheatfield Road surgery, the L & D hospital, or to local Academies.    The new 38/39/38A timetable can be downloaded here .  The new "A" timetable can be downloaded here . In summary: A – remains the same route, improved evening service on Mondays to Saturdays with buses running every 30 minutes.  Late night journeys to the airport arriving after 11pm have been removed but the link from the station can be made using 757.  Direct journeys back to Houghton Regis from the airport can be made Mon-Fri starting at 05:10 through to 23:12.  Direct journeys from Houghton Regis to the ai

Flytippers Warned of Serious Fines If They Continue

Bromley Gardens, Houghton Regis Flytipping in Bromley Gardens, Houghton Regis has become a serious problem according to some local residents. A concerned resident has said, "W e have repeated rubbish dumping by the garages near my house. Almost weekly a large collection of rubbish appears and is seems to be added to by the residents. A van appears to collect it once it's reported, but it's an eyesore, and is dangerous in the meantime." A Luton man was successfully prosecuted by Central Bedfordshire Council under the  Environmental Protection Act 1990 earlier this month { details  link* } and had to pay over £1200 in fines and costs. A statement on Central Bedfordshire Council's website states: "Fly-tipping is a serious environmental problem and can pollute the land it is on and any nearby waterways. Flytips make an area look neglected and spoilt, they also attract vermin such as rats and other pests. The sooner we hear from you on 0300 300 8302, the b

Dunstable School Closures Confirmed

Dunstable's Ashton and Streetfield Middle Schools will close in August 2016, and Brewers Hill Middle School will close in August 2017. The closure of the three schools will happen on a phased basis in a way that ensures the least possible disruption to pupils. Central Bedfordshire Council’s proposals to close each school were as a result of the falling pupil numbers in each of the schools. Parents who have concerns relating to school admission issues can contact the Council’s Admissions Team on 0300 300 8037 or by email to

Charity Warns At Lack of Access For Disabled Tourists

Vitalise, which provides short breaks for disabled people and their carers, asked the top 100 tourist destinations as rated by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions to provide information about their accessibility, receiving just 52 replies. Of those that responded 63% admitted they were not fully accessible to wheelchair users;  25% had no disabled car parking spaces ; 25% did not advertise the information on their websites. Vitalise has previously asked  for funding from Houghton Regis Town Council. In March 2012, they were turned down as members were concerned that the amount requested would only benefit a small amount of residents. If you live in Houghton Regis, have you used Vitalise for a carer's break, and how would you rate their service? Learn more about Vitalise ... 

Gypsy and Traveller Plan Withdrawal

Central Bedfordshire Council have become frustrated with the Government's process for getting their  Gypsy and Traveller Plans approved, and may even consider withdrawing them, a senior Conservative councillor has said. A series of public consultations scheduled for next month are to be cancelled. The Council's draft plan has provoked a series of challenges and questions from the Planning Inspectorate.  It has been suggested that the consultation may have been insufficient, and the approach to measuring and providing for need is in doubt.. Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning said; “We submitted our plan in good faith, believing our Plan to be sound and expecting the Examination of it by the Inspector to result in it being approved.  It appears, however, that we were wrong.  Despite being further along the process than the overwhelming majority of Councils and proposing more pitches than any other, the Planning Inspector tells us that we haven’t done

ESOL for Integration

ESOL for Integration Under the Big Lottery Project the PBIC offers a pre Entry level ESOL course:  ESOL for Integration. The course aims to: • Develop basic ESOL skills • Teach essential facts about living and working in the UK • Encourage further learning The course programme is delivered over 36 hours and depending on learner needs, addresses several subjects which include: 1. General Knowledge of Great Britain 2. Local Community 3. Education 4. Police and traffic regulations 5. NHS 6. Housing 7. Employment 8. Home Office 9. Inland Revenue 10. Self employment Where possible, representatives of various organisations are invited to sessions to allow our learners to ask questions and discuss differences between Polish and British systems. Our bilingual tutors support them in these discussions, interpreting where necessary. Their knowledge of Polish culture will allow them to encourage students to compare the Polish and the British realities and to bring out the significance o

Free Courses for Young Drivers on 7th September

Sunday 7 September is the next opportunity for a free driving course aimed at 16 to 30 year olds. The aim is to improve knowledge, driving skills, and to reduce road casualties. Millbrook Proving Ground is the location. MORE 16 is designed to give 16-year-olds their first experience of driving. For parents who attend, a high-speed passenger ride with a professional Millbrook driver is available, and advice is also given about choosing a driving instructor and how to help teenagers when practising. MORE Drive is for 17 to 30-year-olds who have already passed their driving test?. Drive on a skid pan, experience ABS braking systems, practice emergency stops at speed. Workshops are available covering driving skills, maintenance, distractions, and safety. These will be run by the local authorities, Bedfordshire Police and Three Shires Driving School. Drivers from other areas can attend for a fee of £60. To request an application form email M

Former Dog & Duck Starts Staff Recruitment

How the former Dog & Duck used to look The former Dog & Duck public house is being rebuilt and refurbished by new owners. The building is located in Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis. The owner, director Kishor Patel of Houghton Trading Ltd, is looking to fill vacancies in a number of positions. When opened the new facility is expected to offer a mixed menu including English, Italian, Mediterranean Grills and Asian dishes catering for varied tastes. A Bar Manager is sought who can effectively build a team to manage the new Bar/Restaurant. An experienced Head Chef is sought to work alongside the director and Bar Manager, and several bar staff will be required to help out. Download Vacancy Notes

Council's £350k Energy Savings

CBC  has reduced its carbon footprint by 17 %   in just one year,  according to its latest  Green House Gas report . This CO2 saving equates to a total reduction in energy bills of just over £100,000, and a reduction in school energy costs in the region of £250,000. C entral Bedfordshire Council's  Climate Change Strategy  aims  to reduce its carbon footprint by 35 %  by 2016. S olar panels, new lighting schemes and boiler controls  have been installed in its offices .  A utomated metering systems  are  better  regulating  the energy , and s chools have had advice on how to  better  manage their energy use .

BBQs - "Allow Coals to Heat Up - It's Not Instant Like a Cooker" - Fireman's Warning

"Lucky escape" is how a local fire brigade are describing two incidents last week where petrol has been involved with barbeques. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) attended an incident in Kempston, where local residents had attempted to put petrol from a can onto a lit BBQ. The fuel ignited and spread back to the can, and the occupier threw the flaming can across the garden, setting fire to the plastic patio furniture and a fence. Later, in Bedford, a badly maintained BBQ fell over onto a nearby can of petrol. Each time BFRS were called but the fires were out on arrival and there were no injuries. Watch Commander Dave Wright, from White Watch at Kempston Fire Station, who attended both incidents said: “Regardless of how difficult it may be starting a BBQ, or getting it going, you should never, ever use petrol. Or even have petrol anywhere near the BBQ. Petrol fumes are explosive and can ignite instantly. The consequences could be fatal." “When lighti

Sundon Road Closure Weekends

New dates for the closures of Luton Road & Sundon Road, Chalton have been announced for UKPN diversionary works associated with A5 – M1 link road. Luton Road             00.01am Saturday 9th August – 23.59pm on Sunday 10th August 00.01am Saturday 16th August – 23.59pm on Sunday 17th August Sundon Road 00.01am Saturday 30th August – 23.59pm on Sunday 31st August 00.01am Saturday 6th September – 23.59pm on Sunday 7th September

169 New Homes By Taylor Wimpy off Bedford Road

A full planning application to develop land between Bedford Road and Churchfield Road has been submitted for Taylor Wimpey. 169 homes are planned in all, together with a new roundabout junction on Bedford Road. The land is an open arable field with three public footpaths crossing it.  MORE DETAILS: Should you have views regarding the proposal, these can be sent to Development Management, Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ or by email to and by no later than 26 August 2014.


Plans for up to 65 new homes off Bedford Road, Houghton Regis have been submitted.  The land proposed to be developed is constrained by a concrete path (Chiltern Way) that leads to Bluewater Nature Reserve on the northern edge, by the old Red Lion pub to the east, and by Bankside Close and Plaiters Way open space to the south. The land has been used as a paddock for horses. If approved, about 3.18acres of the 7.83acres site would be left as open space. Up to 65 homes would be built, with a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms. 64 people attended a public exhibition at Dunstablians Rugby Club on 20th May this year.  There will be opportunity for the development to link to existing open green space all around it.  Access to the site would be from Bedford Road, 70m north of the Red Lion pub car park access. Of particular concern is that access to the site would be near a right hand bend on Bedford Road in a 40mph limit area. During the past 5 years 3 serious accidents and four

So, What Is Silver Line? And Who Can Use it?

The Silver Line is a confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK open every day and night of the  year. Specially trained helpline staff: • Offer information, friendship and advice • Link callers to local groups and services • Offer regular befriending calls • Protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect About the Silver Line Helpline 0800 4 70 80 90 More than half of all 75 year olds in the UK live  alone and one in ten suffers “intense” loneliness but is reluctant to ask for help. In a poll conducted to mark the  national launch of The Silver Line in November 2013, 9 out of 10 older people told researchers that “a chat  on the phone” is the most helpful solution when they feel lonely but 1 in 4 older people say they never or  seldom have someone to chat to on the phone. Who is it for? The Silver Line is a helpline for older people – the Silver Generation. There are no strict age limits but most people  spoken to are over 65.

Stakeholder Forum: Patients speak up on hospital models

More than 85 local patient representatives, carers and clinicians met in Bedford this week at the BCCG Stakeholder Forum for a progress report on the Healthcare Review. Read more ...

Council Tax Bands: New Scam Tries to get Your Bank Details

Central Bedfordshire Trading Standards are warning residents about a council tax scam, following a number of reports of telephone and doorstep callers operating in the area. Callers claim a property is in the wrong council tax band, that you are paying too much, and may be entitled to a refund. But then go on to try to charge an advance fee for challenging your Council Tax band on your behalf, but not actually doing any work for you. They may even say they are from the local Council Valuation Service and insist on asking for your bank details. Town councillor, Alan Winter, Parkside Ward, Houghton Regis said, "The valuation service do not charge you to challenge your council tax band, it is a free service. No one should ever give out their bank details or passwords unless they are absolutely sure that they know what the information is to be used for, and never pay advance fees to strangers. " Trading Standards advice is to end the telephone call or ask the person to leav

£1.365m From the Government To Fund Improvement Schemes in CBC's Local Transport Plan.

The Government has allocated £1.365m to fund improvement schemes in the  Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Transport Plan. The Council will base proposed schemes on transport studies and consultation with residents and local councillors.  The national integrated transport budget has been cut by 40%. Executive councillors at CBC argue that because of CBC’s historic performance and the improvements it has implemented have made a difference, CBC will actually receive around £300,000 more than if the Government had applied a straight 40 per cent cut. 

Break-ins Reported

Date and Time: Between the 1st of August and, the 2nd of August.  Incident Details: Two incidents occurred during this time period.  The first in Hammersmith Gardens, between 9:00 a.m. on the 1st of August and, 6:30 p.m. on the 2nd of August. The offenders gained access to the rear garden. They have attempted to forced open a window. They have reached through the window to unlock it, and have climbed through. A search was made. Various items have been taken. The second in Fenwick Road, on the 2nd of August between 10:30 a.m. and, 2:00 p.m. The offenders have gained access to the rear garden. They have smashed a kitchen window to gain entry. A messy search was made. Various items have been taken. Crime Reference: J D / 3 0 0 4 9 / 2014. and, J D / 3 0 0 4 1 / 2014.  Crime Reduction Advice: Make your boundaries difficult or impossible to climb over. Keep doors and windows locked at all times. Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in

Improvements to Court Drive Expected to Start Today

Work is due to start on Monday, 4th August to take action designed to address public safety concerns about Court Drive in Dunstable. Following an independent survey, the Central Bedfordshire Council will be working to: Turn three courtesy crossings into conventional zebra crossings. Adding tactile paving on the zebra crossings. Make the bus lane visually clearer by laying down a red surface. Adding clearer sparking signposts. Make small changes to the Kingsway and College Drive junction. Some traffic delays are expected with this work, as temporary two-way traffic lights will be put in place. The work has been scheduled during the school holidays to minimise disruption, and could take up to eight weeks working Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm. More detail and any updates can be found on CBC's website at

What's on in August

Houghton Regis Art Town August Activities 2Faced Dance Company perform Two Old Men at Houghton Regis Village Green as part of National Play Day on Saturday 2nd August Two Old Men is the new outdoor show created and danced by critically acclaimed  2Faced Dance Company, featuring their trademark fusion of break, street and contemporary dance. Two Old Men is twenty minutes of adrenalin fuelled, heart in the mouth acrobatics that will leave you wanting more. Performing three times as part of National Play Day, with a one-off breakdance workshop, the UK and internationally touring dance company will impress young and old alike. Keep a look out for the pair during the day - no need to book! This is a FREE outdoor performance for all ages. Join us for our Summer Creative Sessions, at Bedford Square Com