Showing posts from June, 2016

Town Councillors Unhappy With Organisation of Market Town Regeneration Fund

At Monday night's Town Council meeting the main topic up for discussion was going to be the Market Town Regeneration Fund . This was supposed to have been a pot of money from Central Bedfordshire Council that local Town Councils could bid for, provided they could find funding to match it. Houghton Regis Town Council scrabbled their staff and councillors into extra meetings to do what they could to put together a shopping list of enhancements that they would like to use the money for. The funding criteria  was that the projects would be deliverable, showing a clear vision of business, economic, social and cultural impacts and good return on investment. As the successful bids began to be announced it became clear that some Towns had put in bids for things such as a Splash Park in Dunstable, and a Heritage Trail in Ampthill. It could be argued that provided such things were in the town centre areas, then they could increase footfall to the town centre and thus regenerate them.

Local Library Opening Hours To Be Cut - Have Your Say

Library opening hours consultation The Library Service in Central Bedfordshire has been asked to make efficiency savings of £85,000. This means that overall the service will be reducing its opening hours by 30 hours a week. As part of the proposed changes the Library Service is also trying to find ways of opening libraries to communities outside normal opening hours so as to make the best use of the buildings. This includes evenings and weekends. Buildings could be used for activities such as health advice sessions, local meetings, or adult education. This is part of the council’s objectives in the Five Year Plan to foster self sustaining communities and support people to help themselves and others. These proposals mean that no library in Central Bedfordshire will be closed. All libraries will retain professionally paid staff. A consultation is open now until  5 September 2016 and members of the public are asked for their opinions. Among the proposals, Dunstable (main lib

Zookeepers Trumpet Arrival of A Baby Asian Elephant

Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are trumpeting the arrival of an exciting new addition, a baby Asian elephant. The pint-sized pachyderm was born on Friday 10 June, just in time for the nation’s celebrations of HM The Queen’s official 90th birthday. In recognition of her regal birthdate, keepers have given the youngster a moniker fit for a monarch, and named the five-day-old calf Elizabeth, after HM The Queen, who is also Patron of the conservation charity which runs the Zoo. Born to 17-year-old Karishma following a 22-month gestation period, and weighing in at a hefty 130kg, the young female joins a herd of ten Asian elephants at the 600-acre Zoo in Bedfordshire. Arriving slightly earlier than anticipated, Elizabeth’s mum Karishma had showed no signs of going into labour, so lead keeper Darren Fellowes was surprised to find the new addition getting to know the rest of the herd when he arrived at work in the morning. ZSL’s assistant curator of elephants, Lee Sambrook said:

Andrew Selous, MP - One of the Most Responsive MPs

South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, has ended up as the 10th most responsive MP in the country according to a new survey by Write To Them. The website, , sent 90,175 messages to MPs in 2015–16. 50,852 people answered their feedback survey about their MP’s response. The website helps members of the public contact an MP or councillor. It reports that Andrew Selous MP answered 91% of survey responses, answering 58 out of 64 survey queries, and 132 messages sent to him. That contrasts with Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South, who came in 242nd place, answering 57% of surveys, or 27 out of 47 surveys sent, and 72 messages. Kelvin Hopkins, the Labour Luton North MP, ended up in 557th place, answering just 28% of surveys or 15 out 54, and 77 messages sent to him. But Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire had one of the worst records of all. She did did not accept any messages via The full results can be found at h

Boundary Review 2018 - What Works Best For Houghton Regis?

Would you choose S1, S2, or S3 to be the Parliamentary seat arrangement? 13/9/2016 - S3 is the designated suggestion for Houghton Regis. Do you like this? Or not like this? Have your say at  The Boundary Review site Parliament has specified that the 2018 review must reduce the number of constituencies, and therefore MPs, in the UK, to 600. It has asked The Boundary Commission , as an independent and impartial body, to consider where the boundaries of the new constituencies should be, ensuring that every new constituency has roughly the same number of electors; no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507 What new distribution of Parliamentary seats would work best for our area? Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on  Sunday, 12 June 2016 13-9-2016 - BBC -   Boundary review: New constituencies for the East

Empowering Employment - Make Sense of Your Money - Skillsmax

Skillsmax - empowering employment A new training programme to help those who need additional support in making sense of how they will manage financially when moving into work. This programme is for 2 days per week for 5 weeks starting on Monday 27th June Find out more by dropping into Skillsmax 13th or 20th June – 11am until 1pm   Bank notes Making sense of personal budgets when moving into work How to compile a Pros and Cons list when moving into work Understanding In Work benefits Increasing budgeting skills Access to organisations available to help with saving money Increasing awareness of financial scams Increasing understanding of legal rights relating to personal finance Use of ICT tools for budgeting Better off calculations when moving into work. The programme is for 2 days per week for 5 weeks : 10am – 3pm At Skillsmax Support Centre – The Courtyard, 42b High Street North, Dunstable Every Monday and Tuesday Programme Begins – Monday 27th June Contact - Lynne Johnson : 07870581

Whipsnade Zoo To Scrap Disposable Water Bottles

  Zoo marks World Oceans Day by scrapping single-use plastic water bottles   ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is ditching plastic water bottles, as part of a new campaign led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to protect the world's oceans from the growing threat of plastic pollution.   In celebration of World Oceans Day on Wednesday 8 June 2016, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will be switching to brand new 'water in a box' and encouraging visitors to re-fill their reusable drinks bottles.   Between 5.5 and 14.6 million tonnes of plastic entered the ocean in 2015, and frightening estimates suggest that – at current rates – by 2025 they will contain a tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo wants to reverse this terrifying prediction, with 'Lose your Bottle!' – a project to raise awareness of the threat of plastics to our oceans.   Used just once, often for less than ten minutes, disposable plastic drinking water bottles account for a

Care Quality Commission in Praise of L&D Staff in Positive Report

 Statement from Pauline Philip, CEO at the L & D Hospital on the recent published Care Quality Commission report on the L & D.   Overall a good report from the CQC which is good news for all patients, present and future, at the L & D. "I am writing to let you know that today the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its report into care provided by our Trust and awarded an overall rating of 'good', with some areas rated as 'outstanding'. Our Summit will be held next Friday and we very much look forward to seeing you there."   "We are delighted to receive such a positive recognition from the CQC. The report is an acknowledgement of the tremendous commitment and hard work shown by our staff and partners consistently over many years."   "The publication of the report follows a planned inspection by the CQC of the Luton and Dunstable Hospital from 19 - 21 January 2016, with further unplanned visits taking place on 27 January and 4 Febr

New Police data published for April 2016

Here is a brief summary of the crime information for the past two months: March 2016 April 2016 All crime 711 697 Anti-social behaviour 289 314 Bicycle theft