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Showing posts from January, 2016

Aldwyck Housing Group donate bikes to local charity

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Aldwyck Housing Group has donated five bikes to charity Sue Ryder, to celebrate the launch of their new bicycle donation drop off points around Luton. One adult bike and four children’s bikes were donated by Caretaker Darren Brown, and Head of Housing, Tony Campbell, to the collection point at Lewsey Community Centre in Luton. All bikes donated will be sent to HM Prison The Mount, to be refurbished as part of the Sue Ryder Prison Volunteer Programme (PVP). The average resale value of an adult bike sold through one of the charity shops is £45, with children’s bikes averaging £15, which will help to help continue their essential end of life services in the local area. A regular supply of bikes helps the charity move closer to achieving the £250,000 target needed to keep their doors open and the services operating every month. Tony Campbell, Head of Housing at Aldwyck Housing Group, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to make this donation of bikes to Sue Ryder to help them co

Aldwyck residents working towards AQA in youth work

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Aldwyck Housing Group is helping young volunteers to complete an AQA learning scheme titled 'Young Workers: Introduction to youth work'. The educational session was held on Friday 22 January by Aldwyck's Community Involvement team at Sandringham Hub in Houghton Regis.  Seven young people aged from 11 to 17 years old attended the session to complete the AQA qualification. The group completed 3 of the AQA outcomes including; participating in five team building activities and five ice breaker activities. They also looked at ten issues facing young people in today's society including smoking, drugs, mental health and racism. To complete the qualification the young residents will also be planning a craft club, describing what teamwork means and completing a minimum of 20 hours placement in a youth work setting. The next session for Aldwyck volunteers will be held on Friday 19 th  February from 5-8pm at Sandringham hub. For more information on Aldwyck's Community Involvem

New Business Growth and Support Scheme Fund Launched by Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council has launched a new £50,000 Business Grants and Support Scheme targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises. The scheme runs on a first come, first served basis and ends on March 31. It offers support of up to £5,000 per business in three areas: Empty Property Business Rates Offer Early Pre-Application Planning Advice Public Protection Food Hygiene Training and Coaching Programme For a business to qualify for support from the fund, it will need to demonstrate that it meets with the criteria and is based within Central Bedfordshire, or is in the process of relocating into Central Bedfordshire. For further details or to make an application e-mail Jeff Caiger or visit the Be Central Bedfordshire website

Brethrens Meeting Room and Car Park Comes Up For Sale

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Brethrens Meeting Room and car park are on the market and potentially could be redeveloped. The site is off Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, opposite Roslyn Way, and adjacent to another site currently being developed for housing by Taylor Wimpey. Tenders are invited before 26th February 2016. According to the vendors details, the present building is a single storey detached building and used as a place of worship under D1 Use Class. The site has full access from the highway with the majority being surfaced and used as car park for the Gospel Hall. The plot measures approximately 1.83 acres (0.74 Ha). The Gospel Hall seats approximately 650 people in an octagonal design, the main hall has suspended ceiling with recessed lighting, air-conditioned and carpeted throughout. The premises benefit from 3-phase power, an alarm system and gas fired heating. To the rear of the site is a large car park that has spaces for approximately 140 vehicles. Pictures and particulars at lsh.co.uk  or

Town Council Community Services to Look To Improve Community Transport

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Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race: One of the Community Events from HRTC Community Services Committee The Community Services committee meeting of Houghton Regis Town Council took place on Monday. The meeting was short of two designated Labour councillors. Dave Ramsey from Groundwork attended and told the meeting that 2YP were now incorporated into Groundwork and were continuing to run a Youth Club at the Bedford Square Community Centre on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6pm-8pm. Mr Ramsey also mentioned that they wanted to do some outreach work. A brief review of budget was conducted and a budget for 2016/17 was recommended for approval to Town Council on 25th January 2016. The committee approved the cleaning specification for the Town Centre toilets and asked for quotes to be sought to renew the contract. Councillors suggested that perhaps on special occasions the toilets, which were kept in an exemplary manner, could be open for longer hours. In a discussion about Bedford Sq

Local Investment By Council While Budget Is Squeezed - Have Your Say!

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Councillors at Central Bedfordshire are looking at their budget for 2016/17 that will affect our Council Tax. Up to £278million is budgeted for capital projects over the next four years from external and council funding. Major projects being proposed across Central Bedfordshire include £75.3million on new school places,  £41.8million on highway schemes,  £8.5million on the ongoing upgrade of all tidy tips including a new site at Thorn Turn, near Houghton Regis,  £9.5million on providing disabled facilities grants,  £4.6million on improving care home provision,  £7.6million on rolling out superfast broadband to more homes and  £4million to improve our market towns. £13.4million on redeveloping Dunstable Leisure Centre and expanding provision to accommodate other services including a new library,  £806,000 will be spent on regenerating Houghton Hall,  £18million of external funding will be spent on Woodside Link to connect Houghton Regis to the new motorway junction

Dog Kennel Walk Now Safer After £250,000 Investment

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Work by Central Bedfordshire Council, alongside Dunstable and Houghton Regis Town Councils has helped to make a hotspot for robberies much safer. In 2012 more than £250,000 was invested in the scheme to make Dog Kennel Walk safer and more attractive. State-of-the-art CCTV surveillance cameras were installed, and the Community Safety Partnership facelifted a number of areas by removing graffiti, litter and overgrown plants. The path runs from Cemetery Road in Houghton Regis, to the A5 at Dunstable, passing Grove Park Gardens. The number of recorded crimes has dropped by 80% and usage has also increased. Central Bedfordshire Council's Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Dog Kennel Walk is one of a number of walking and cycling routes within Dunstable and Houghton Regis that has benefitted from substantial investment to provide people with travel choices. It is great to see this has resulted in a massive drop in reported crimes. “Although nuis

Houghton Regis' Aldwyck Involvement Team shortlisted for ‘Team of the Year’ award

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Aldwyck Housing Group’s Community Involvement team have been shortlisted for the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Awards 2016. The Community Involvement team, based in Houghton Regis, have been shortlisted for the ‘Team of the Year’ award in the Central Region. Rhys Evans, Hafi Rahman, Jessica Hall and Amy Eckersley, all members of the team, have been recognised for their excellent methods of tenant involvement in the community. The team have worked to support tenant involvement and empowerment across Luton on projects such as the Service Delivery Committee and Local Action Groups. The TPAS awards showcase the compelling and inspirational success stories of tenants, landlords and contractors working together. They celebrate the people, ideas and organisations that shape the tenant involvement work of tomorrow. For more information on Aldwyck’s Community Involvement Team and the work they do, please visit www.facebook.com/AldwyckCommunity .

Up to 11 Jan 2016: Houghton Regis Facebook Archive

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CBC Set to Outsource Legal Services Among Its Plans to Make £35m Efficiency Savings

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Watch live or watch a recording Legal Services A report to Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Committee on Tuesday this week, sets out the background case for moving to an outside provider for legal services. A number of reasons are cited for this move, not least the need to save money. Legal issues affecting local authorities are wide ranging, and increasingly the Council has had to hire outside experts with the right specialisms and these come with high markups for profit. A new outside provider will be able to call upon a wider base of skills. Neighbourhood Plans The Council also recognises that a number of Neighbourhood Plans will be formally submitted in 2015/16 and in the future and is expected to formalise staffing arrangements to help these. Report Draft Budget The biggest issue on the minds of Councillors will be its draft budget for 2016/17. A report to the Council states that "the loss of Government funding support is 94% over the life of the Med

Police Force Collaboration Will Save Money

The Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary are coming together as BCH. The BCH Firearms and Explosives Licensing and BCH Human Resources units both launched on 1 December and is expected to save the three forces a total of £4.5m over the next three financial years. Criminal Justice, Custody, ICT, Information Management and Public Contact, are expected to collaborate in 2016/17, saving a further £10m over a three-year period. Beds PCC, Olly Martins, said, "The government has announced a grant cut of £400,000 to Bedfordshire Police for 2015/16. Due to cost and pay pressures Beds Police need to make further savings of £5.8million. Tri-force collaboration therefore has a vital role to play in enabling us to balance the books without making further reductions to frontline policing strength."

Houghton Hall Park Transformation

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Work begins in Houghton Hall Park at the beginning of January. Some excavation of the site for the café begins on the 5th. A site compound will be going up near the Bowls Pavilion. There will be bigger changes in the Spring. To keep up to date Like the " Houghton Hall Park " Facebook Page. Houghton Hall Park is a 17 hectare urban public park within walking distance of the town centre. It is owned and maintained by Central Bedfordshire Council and Houghton Regis Town Council. Houghton Hall Park is a green-lung of Houghton Regis, and is valued by local residents as a place to exercise dogs, and as part of the areas heritage. The Park was awarded a £215,000 Parks for People grant jointly funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. This money was used to win a further tranche of £2.196m  to rejuvenate the area. Houghton Hall House and its outbuildings are visible across the Village Green, The Hall was built in 1700 and is currently in private commercia

North Chilterns Chalk volunteer programme for Jan to March 2016

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All tasks start at 10am and finish between 3 - 4pm, but you may leave earlier. Tools and equipment are provided, though steel-toe-capped boots and a strong pair of gardening gloves or similar are strongly recommended. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided, but please bring your own lunch and cold drinks. Please let Esther or Richard know if you intend to come along: come along: Email: toddington@wildlifebcn.org or phone 01525 874317 or staff mobiles: Blow’s Downs, Galley & Warden Hills and Bradgers Hill: Esther Clarke 07540 669907 Totternhoe Quarry & Houghton Regis Chalk Pit: Richard Knock 07872 418279 www: wildlifebcn.org Facebook: /wildlifebcn and /wildlife north chilterns chalk Twitter: @wildlifebcn

Houghton Regis News Review 2015

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153286130342944.1073741865.290257647943&type= 3 2015 In January Taylor Wimpey sought approval to build 169 homes off Bedford Road.  Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) were awarded almost £2.2m by the Parks for People programme, a joint initiative between the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund. The scheme will support Houghton Hall Park Renaissance and Renewal Project which aims to restore the vitality of the historic Houghton Hall Park.  Work to prepare for main construction of the A5-M1 Link Dunstable Northern Bypass was started. It was revealed that CBC were looking to prepare a scheme for sheltered housing on the former Co-op site. Pizza delivery drivers were being targeted by thugs in Houghton Regis. The Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Action group held a winding-up meeting after their successful campaign to keep the local sports centre open. There was a big discussion on our social media about Off-Road Crosser Bi

Up to 31 Dec 2015: Houghton Regis Facebook Archive

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