Saturday, 28 November 2015

Events for the Christmas Period at Dunstable Downs


Christmas Wreath Making

Chiltern Gateway Centre, on Dunstable Downs
Fri 04 Dec 2015 10:00 - 12:00
Sat 05 December 2015 10:00 - 12:00
11 December 2015 10:00 - 12:00
12 December 2015 10:00 - 12:00

Make wreaths with materials sourced from the local area.
£25 per person including a hot drink and mince pie.
Why not join us for lunch afterwards?
Booking essential ~ Call 01582 500920
dunstabledowns@nationaltrust.org.uk
Dogs are not welcome at this event.



Christmas Tree Dressing Day

Chiltern Gateway Centre, on Dunstable Downs
Sun 06 Dec 2015 ~ 11:00 - 15:00
Help dress their Christmas tree, cut from the beautiful and well-managed Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. Write a wish to hang on the tree or make your own decoration.
Booking not needed.
Assistance dogs are welcome.


Family Walk

Chiltern Gateway Centre, on Dunstable Downs
Sun 06 Dec 2015 ~ 14:00 - 15:30
Grab your wellies and join the Rangers for a family walk. Complete some of the '50 things to do before you're 11 3/4' on the way and collect stickers and scrapbooks when you get back.
Booking not needed.
Dogs are not welcome at this event.



Breakfast with Father Christmas

Chilterns Gateway Centre, Dunstable Downs.
8 December 2015 10:15 - 12:00
10 December 2015 10:15 - 11:00
14 December 2015 10:15 - 12:00 Sold out
16 December 2015 10:15 - 12:00
18 December 2015 10:15 - 12:00
Enjoy a delicious breakfast with Father Christmas and his elves in the View Café on Dunstable Downs. Place a wish on the Christmas Tree, receive a lovely gift and a certificate to prove you met Father Christmas.
Booking essential. Call 01582 500920. dunstabledowns@nationaltrust.org.uk
Admission Price: Child £7.00
Assistance dogs are welcome.



Regiment Fitness 3K "Jingle Jog"

12 December 2015 11:30 - 12:00
Come and join Regiment Fitness on a fun and festive 3K Jingle Jog! Get in the spirit on race day by dressing up in a festive costume. The Jingle Jog is all about having fun, getting dressed up and having a great time with the family.
Booking essential. contact@regimentfitness.co.uk / Call 01582 658569
Admission Price, Child £5.00, Adult £10.00



Carol Singing at the Downs

Chilterns Gateway Centre, Dunstable Downs.
Sun 13 Dec 2015 ~ 14:30 - 15:30
Bring your Christmas cheer and be of good voice, join with the local Salvation Army choir for traditional carols.
Booking not needed.
Dogs are not welcome at this event.
dunstabledowns@nationaltrust.org.uk Call 01582 500920


Boxing Day 'Burn Off Christmas' Walk

Chilterns Gateway Centre, Dunstable Downs.
Sat 26 Dec 2015  ~ 11:00 - 12:30
£2.50 car parking charge for non- National Trust members. National Trust members park for free.
Join the National Trust Rangers for a breath of fresh air on this one and a half hour walk.
Booking essential. dunstabledowns@nationaltrust.org.uk - Call 01582 500920
Admission Prices: All £2.00


New Year's Resolution Walk

Chilterns Gateway Centre, Dunstable Downs.
Fri 01 Jan 2016 ~ 11:00 - 12:30
Join the National Trust Rangers for a breath of fresh air on this one and a half hour walk.
Booking essential. Call 01582 500920. dunstabledowns@nationaltrust.org.uk
Admission Prices: All £2.00
Car parking charge of £2.50 per car, free for National Trust members.

By road

on B4541 west of Dunstable. Sat Nav: use LU6 2GY (or LU6 2TA for older equipment)
Google Map Link. 
Parking: Dunstable Downs, off B4541 (pay and display); Whipsnade crossroads (Whipsnade Heath), junction of B4541 and B4540
More information: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunstable-downs-and-whipsnade-estate/whats-on

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Duster the Dog Helps Buster da' Illegal Cigs

Duster helps with tobacco operation    

Super sniffer dog, Duster, has been helping Central Beds Council's trading standards team target rogue traders recently.

With Duster’s keen nose, three shops were found to be selling illicit tobacco products. In total, 402 packets of cigarettes and 81 tobacco pouches were discovered.

The operation, involving Central Beds, Bedfordshire Police, HMRC and Wagtail (which provided the sniffer dog Duster) targeted a number of shops across Dunstable and Houghton Regis suspected of selling illicit cigarettes and other tobacco products.

It was the first time that a sniffer dog had been used as part of an operation to target people selling illicit tobacco across Central Bedfordshire.

Anyone with any information should email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8307.

Government Respond to Beds Police Petition

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/110333?reveal_response=yes

Friday, 20 November 2015

Central Bedfordshire Development Strategy Withdrawn

Central Bedfordshire Green Belt To Come Under More Pressure to Find Space For More Houses


photo: A D Winter
Last night Central Bedfordshire Council unanimously voted to withdraw the current Development Strategy, ending four years of work, after a government inspector had criticised the councils failure to build enough houses to help meet Luton’s need.

The local planning situation had changed following a report from the Office for National Statistics which had published new population projections. This had led to the current Development Strategy and the subsequent Allocations Local Plan being out of date.

The Secretary of State had confirmed that he would not call-in the Houghton Regis North 2 application, leaving the Council free to grant planning permission for this proposal, which was given in July 2015 subject to a legal agreement. Earlier this week, the S.106 legal agreement was completed, and consent was issued. Documents relating to the application for 1850 homes on land north of the Houghton Regis Chalk Quarry, west of Bedford Road, can be found here.

Because of the ending of the current Development Strategy, the Council will now have to find more sites to build thousands more homes within the authorities area, both to meet Luton’s need, and to accommodate its share of the new population projections since the last plan was started in 2011.

The new Development Strategy is expected to go out for consultation next Autumn and will identify sites for housing, employment, gypsy and traveller sites, and infrastructure, and is bound to put significant pressure on the Green Belt within Central Bedfordshire .

If the Council fails to have a suitable plan in place by early 2017, the Government will consider imposing a team of inspectors to make the planning decisions on its behalf.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Olly - Please Sign to Save Our Police - Will It Be 25% or 40% Cuts ?

Olly Martins, the PCC for Bedfordshire Police wants people to keep signing a petition.

HRND editor, Alan Winter, put it to Olly Martins that this video may not now be relevant as the government had admitted making a hash of the calculations?

Instead of agreeing, Mr Martins replied,

"The revised formula wasn’t going to give us a fairer allocation before the spending review hit us, hence the video. Now the government isn’t introducing the new formula yet, but we’re still in the same position – no fairer allocation before the spending review hits. So we need to find savings of between £21million and £29million depending on whether the cuts are 25 or 40%. That’s worse than the assumptions we were making that persuaded me to trigger the referendum!"



Save our Police from ATP on Vimeo.

Save Our Police

petition.parliament.uk/petitions/110333

athinplace.co.uk


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Bank Could Become A Café & Extended Poundstretcher to Open Soon

The National Westminster Bank in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis is set to close on November 18th. An application has been put in to Central Bedfordshire Council to change the former bank in Tithe Farm Road into a cafe or restaurant.

The bank have said that they only had 59 customers and that transactions had fallen by 34 per cent since 2011. An arrangement has been made with the Post office for customers to check balances and make withdrawals there.

A document in the application states, "The planning application has been submitted simply to establish whether the principle of the proposed change of use to a Class 3 (Restaurant/Cafe) is acceptable in this location."

In 1997 there was a refusal for a change of use. "SB/97/00492 CHANGE OF USE FROM BANK TO CLASS A3 (FOOD AND DRINK) - Refused.
Conditions or Reasons:
1) 1. The unspecified nature of the proposed uses, within Class A3 of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 would, if conducted within the application premises, be likely to give rise to unacceptable nuisance to nearby residential properties by reason of noise and general disturbance. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policy BE11 of the South Bedfordshire Local Plan."

Comments on the latest planning application could be sent to the case officer, mathew.brown@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Details can be found by going to http://is.gd/cbcplanning and searching for 15/04201 .

How to Object to Planning Applications: Guide Book (pdf)


Meanwhile, Poundstretchers redevelopment of the former Tesco Express continues apace. The new larger Poundstretcher will enable the store to offer a wider range of products. The existing Poundstretcher store is due to be refurbished once the new side is operational. They are thought to be opening later this month.
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Bank Could Become A Café & Extended Poundstretcher to Open Soon http://www.hrnd.co.uk/2015/11/bank-could-become-cafe-extended.html
Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Councillors to Consider Grant Applications

Mayor and Town Clerk.


On Tuesday, Town Councillors meet to decide how to divvy up money allocated to their grants funds.

Remaining in the Small Projects Grants fund for 2015/16 is  £4,300, but only one applicant has come forward for £500 to replace specialist indoor play equipment.

Under Large Project Grants (£501 & Over), a total of £33,800 has been requested. If all the applications are approved, councillors will need to budget these costs for 2016/17, and could affect the level of Council Tax. Three organisations have applied - Houghton Regis Memorial Hall Fund (to enhance stage presentation and facilities),  Dunstable & Houghton Regis Sea Cadets (to replace an outboard engine for their Unit safety boat), All Saints Parish Church Houghton Regis. The largest request is from All Saints who are requesting £26,000 towards their budgeted total costs of £37,858. A church representative will attend the meeting to explain their application to the Council.

Remaining in the Key Partner Grant fund is £18251, and this is recommended to be divided between applicants who annually depend on funds from the Town Council: Dunstable & District Citizen Advice, SORTED, Keech Hospice Care, Voluntary & Community Action South Beds, and South Beds Dial A Ride.

Meeting: Tuesday 10th November.
Agenda: http://www.houghtonregis.org.uk/useruploads/documents/Agendas/Comm%20serv/151110.pdf

Update: 10 Nov 2015

At tonight's Community Services Committee, councillors agreed grants.
£500 goes to Special Needs group, SNOOSC to help them pay for specialist play equipment which will help support children and young adults.
£2700 goes to Houghton Regis Memorial Hall Fund to enhance the stage and presentation facilities.
A token amount goes to All Saints Parish Church towards the £26,000 they requested for much needed repairs to the church. Councillors understood the plight of the church, whose fabric has deteriorated and promised to look at other ways in which they could help meet the budgeted costs.
A further sum of £18251 was granted to Key Partners, who annually depend on funds from the Town Council. Each provides a level of service to residents in the town. Dunstable & District Citizen Advice, SORTED, Keech Hospice Care, Voluntary & Community Action South Beds, and South Beds Dial A Ride.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Are You Happy With Progress On Tree Work?

Trees. Are you happy with the progress being made to tackle tree issues in Houghton Regis? Here: an overgrown tree in Tennyson Avenue| https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/709856

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Bishop of Bhagdad Invited ISIS to Dinner

... and was told, if they came they would chop his head off!

Fascinating interview on BBC Three Counties Radio this morning. Featured the Vicar of Bagdhad who says he invited ISIS round for dinner. https://soundcloud.com/thejvsshow/jvs-and-the-vicar-of-bagdhad

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Parking For Dunstable Shops To Get Dearer

Parking for Dunstable shops to get dearer in the new year ...

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Porz Avenue/Poynters Rd Roundabout Closure

According to roadworks.org works are still scheduled for this coming weekend which look to be closing traffic at Poynters Rd/Porz Avenue roundabout. Diversions are also shown on the website.

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Tuesday, 3 November 2015




Porz Avenue/Poynters Rd Roundabout. A closure is expected to take place from 2000hrs on Friday 6th November to 2359hrs...

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Olly Martins: I'll Get More Money For Beds Police By Switching M1 Cameras on All Day.

Police Forces are looking at alternative ways of raising money. Olly Martins says, "the initiatives I'm now looking at...

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lidl's Apply for Permission for a Supermarket in Luton Road, Dunstable

Lidl, whose nearest stores are at Leagrave, and Luton town centre, are applying for permission to build a store on Luton...

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A5-M1 Link Local Roads New Layout From 6 November 2015

A new section of road connecting Luton Road and Sundon Road opens this weekend, in advance of further M1 junction 11a...

Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Monday, 2 November 2015

Fraud Squad Fine Council Tax Benefit Cheat - £1830 to Repay + Fines & Costs


Central Beds Council fraud squad investigations have uncovered a woman in Sandy who was overpaid £1830 in council tax support because she had wrongfully claimed that her husband was not working. The woman now has to pay fines and fees of £640, as well as having to repay the overpaid council tax support benefit.

Councillor Richard Wenham, Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said: “Although Mrs Butler acknowledges that what she did was wrong, the fact is that by failing to declare her husband’s work, she was illegally claiming council tax support.

“Any fraud takes away money from others who genuinely need it, which is why we will always take action if we suspect any wrongdoing.”

Anyone who suspects that someone is fraudulently claiming benefits can call the council’s confidential 24-hour fraud hotline on 0300 300 5557.

Any residents who want information about paying their council tax or to find out whether they are eligible for council tax benefit can call the Money and Benefits Helpline on 0300 300 8306.