Thursday, 28 August 2014

Art Town - ImagiNation screenings

News from
Full House Theatre

ImagiNation Premieres

It's almost the start of a new school year but don't worry we have more great activities for young people lined up for September, including these amazing film screenings of the work we've done with Houghton Regis, Kempston, and Luton ImagiNation projects!



To know more about what's going on and what's happened visit our blog for the latest news here


Houghton Regis screening

Join us this Friday 29th August for a very special screening of the ImagiNation project 7pm - 8pm in Houghton Regis Library. Popcorn will be provided!

Kempston screening 

On Wednesday 3rd September at 6:45pm you can join us at Kempston Library for an evening of movie magic as we take a look at the work created by the ImagiNation project in Kempston! No need to book, just turn up!

Luton screening

Keep Saturday 13th September free in your diary so you can make this screening at Wardo
n Park Museum 3:30pm - 4:30pm, Popcorn will be provided! So why not bring yourself and a friend to this great afternoon celebrating the achievements of some very talented local young people.
For more info contact
01234 838138 / 077 6503 0063
Copyright © 2014 Full House Theatre, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Full House Theatre
Middle Farm
Northill Road
Cople, Bedfordshire MK44 3UA
United Kingdom

Thursday, 21 August 2014

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 airport can be made Mon-Fri starting at 05:22 through to 22:30.
Weekend journeys are also possible, starting at a slightly later time.

37 – Withdrawn

38 – continues as now Monday – Saturday daytimes on a 30 minute frequency but no longer serves the Dog & Duck loop on any journey

38A – will operate Monday to Saturday evenings (roughly, after 8pm) and Sundays and will omit Parkside and Tithe Farm Road.

39 –  new route which will interwork with the 38.  39 will operate every 30 minutes between Dog & Duck, Parkside and Luton.  The 39 will not serve Dunstable.

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, "We 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 better."

Download the Keep Britain Tidy leaflet (pdf file) about the law and flytipping. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

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 ... 

Friday, 15 August 2014

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 enough. In view of this, it is with enormous frustration and regret that we have to consider withdrawing our plan.”

The Planning Inspectorate will be writing to the 2,400 people who took part in the consultation to advise them that the Examination hearings that had been scheduled for next month will be cancelled.

If the Plan is to be withdrawn, a decision would be made at full Council in September.

Cllr Young added, “As we reconsider our position and our approach, we can only hope that there is some reflection in Whitehall on whether the existing requirements and inspection model are ever likely to result in plans that can realistically be delivered.”

Central Bedfordshire and all other Councils are required under planning law to develop a plan for providing sites for Gypsies and Travellers.

The Council must balance the needs of Gypsies and Travellers with the representations of the settled community.

Central Bedfordshire have undertaken a long process of development and consultation,and submitted a Plan to provide 131 pitches across the area to the Planning Inspectorate. The Plan had a lot of opposition from places like Barton where a large number of pitches were proposed.

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 of both.
During the first session, after completing the initial assessment form, the learners complete a suggestion form in which they can express the topics that they feel are more relevant and useful to them.
The tutor will then incorporates their needs into the programme. This is what makes the course unique and fully responsive to the learners’ needs. Most of the course activities are based on real life situations using authentic materials and it also incorporates the use of Oxford University Press publications – New English File and Skills for Life ESOL workbooks.
For detailed information, please call: 01234 328100 or email:
ESOL for Integration
PBIC oferuje (pod projektem Big Lottery) kurs języka angielskiego – ESOL for Integration
Celem kursu jest:
• wypracowanie podstawowych umiejętnosci ESOLa
• zapoznanie z podstawowymi faktami dotyczących życia i pracy w Wielkiej Brytanii
• zmobilizowanie do dalszej nauki i rozwoju

Program kursu obejmuje 36 godzin lekcyjnych. Zajęcia są dostosowane do potrzeb uczniów i obejmują takie zagadnienia, jak:
1. Generalna wiedza o Wielkiej Brytanii
2. Lokalna społecznosć
3. Edukacja
4. Policja i zasady ruchu drogowego
5. Służba zdrowia
6. Zakwaterowanie
7. Praca
8. Home Office
9. Urząd Skarbowy
10. Samozatrudnienie
W miarę możliwosci – na zajęcia zapraszani są przedstawiciele lokalnych organizacji. Uczniowie mają okazję zadawać im pytania i dyskutować z nimi o różnicach pomiędzy polską a angielską rzeczywistoscią. Nasi nauczyciele służą pomocą translatorską.
Podczas pierwszej sesji uczniowie wypełniają formularz oceny wstępnej (the initial assessment form) oraz specjalny document (suggestion form), w którym mogą zasugerować, jakie zagadnienia (dotyczące życia w Wielkiej Brytanii) interesują ich najbardziej. Dzięki temu nauczyciel może dostosować program zajęć do potrzeb uczniów.
Nasi nauczyciele korzystają z lokalnych pomocy naukowych, publikacji prasowych Oxford University oraz podręczników do nauki języka angielskiego New English File and Skills for Life ESOL.
Po szczegółowe informacje prosimy dzwonić pod numer: 01234 328100 albo wysłać email z zapytaniem na adres:

Thursday, 14 August 2014

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

MORE 16 and MORE Drive half-day courses are funded by Luton and Central Bedfordshire Councils.    

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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

Monday, 11 August 2014

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.

Central Bedfordshire Council's Climate Change Strategy aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 35% by 2016.

Solar panels, new lighting schemes and boiler controls have been installed in its officesAutomated metering systems are better regulating the energy, and schools have had advice on how to better manage their energy use.

Friday, 8 August 2014

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 lighting your BBQ, allow time for the coals to heat up.  Barbecuing is not an instant process, like turning on a cooker. Don’t place people’s lives at risk by forgetting about the dangers of putting petrol on or near a fire.”

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

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. 


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 slight accidents have been recorded in this road and these are itemised in the plans. Developers have addressed this concern by proposing to reduce the speed limit to 30mph, and by the use of road narrowing painted markings near the access area.

New bus stop posts and flags would be provided on Bedford Road in both directions adjacent to the site.


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.

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. 

Are All Calls Free?
The Silver Line Helpline is free to callers. Individuals can ring the service independently or can be referred by staff, family, friends or carers. It relies on charitable donations from organisations and individuals who care about the welfare and safety of older people to fund this vital new service.

Are all calls confidential?
The Silver Line is a confidential helpline. Callers are free to express their feelings and describe their lives honestly, and can trust us to respect their privacy.
In cases of abuse or neglect, with the callers’ permission, we will involve specialist safeguarding organisations such as Action on Elder Abuse or Social Services.

Silver Line Friends and Silver Circles
If callers would like to be put in touch with Silver Line Friends, they can receive a regular weekly friendship call or email. Or they may like to join a Silver Circle and take part in a regular group call on subjects that interest them.

Silver Line Friends are volunteers who have contacted The Silver Line because they enjoy talking to older people. They are vetted and trained, and work in pairs for safeguarding and support.

Silver Line Forums
For those who want to connect online with others who have similar experiences, there are forums on a wide range of subjects that you can contribute to.
For more information on the service and how Central Bedfordshire Council will be working with The Silver Line please contact Victoria Clout –

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.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

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 leave. You can report any suspicious callers to their hotline on 03454 040506.

Council tax bands can be checked free of charge by contacting a local valuation office ( or by carrying out a simple check on the VOA website

For Central Bedfordshire, email or write to:
Non-domestic Rates Central
Valuation Office Agency
2 Broadway
Broad Street
B15 1BG

£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. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

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 a safe place out of view.

Keep hallways clear of valuables like keys, handbags and laptop where they may be seen.

Check that side gates are locked.

Keep bins, ladders and garden furniture locked away.

Fit Window Restrictors to fan light windows.

If you have information about any crime or suspicious activity please call the Control Room on 1 0 1

Text your message to 07786 200011

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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

Friday, 1 August 2014

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
 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 Community Centre, from Monday 18th to Thursday 21st August, 2-5pm

Houghton Regis Art Town and 4YP are coming together for four days of free art, drama, dance, photography and music workshops for anyone aged 14-19 years old. With street dance. lyric writing and art workshops, there is something for everyone.

We'd also love to hear from anyone who wants to volunteer and learn how to run their own workshop or get leading their own project.


Full House Theatre Need your support! 

Art Town is produced by local charity Full House Theatre Company. Full House deliver a range of projects including taking two shows to Edinburgh Festival Fringe and we need your help!

We are still fundraising for our project and asking for donations, so if you think you can help, please click here and donate what you can. 
Copyright © 2014 Full House Theatre, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Full House Theatre
Middle Farm
Northill Road
Cople, Bedfordshire MK44 3UA
United Kingdom