Friday, 28 October 2016

Results for an Election of a Parish Councillor for Houghton Regis (Part) Houghton Hall

Results for an Election of a Parish Councillor for Houghton Regis (Part) Houghton Hall
27th October 2016
WELCH Tim, Liberal Democrats, 299
WINTER Alan, Editor Houghton Regis News Desk, 153
HILLYARD Beka, Community Independent, 131
Turnout 9.57%


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Blockade of Houghton Regis: Porz Avenue Roundabout Closure & Bus Services

Blockade: noun, "an act or means of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving."

Planned Road Closures:
Bedford Road is planned for 10/10/16 – 21/10/16
Poynters/Porz is planned for 22/10/16 – 30/10/16 A huge number of yellow signs are going to be in place to warn people of the closure well in advance of the roundabout, as well as the usual red ROAD AHEAD CLOSED signs.
Thorn Road is planned for 24/10/16 – 28/10/16 EVENINGS ONLY 21:00 – 06:00
Bedford Road is planned (again) 31/10/16 – 05/12/16

Walking Routes
During the Porz Ave roundabout closure (22-30 Oct) there will be a signed footpath diversion next to the roundabout to get to Wheatfield Road. Pedestrians can then cross on Poynters Road to get to Porz Ave. For noise reasons, the contractors say this work cannot just be done at night.

L and D Hospital Access
Via the A bus service from Houghton Regis to Stanton Road bus stop, but it is a 700m walk.


Woodside Link Notices


For all enquiries regarding these works please contact the Woodside Link team on their Facebook Page, by phone to 0300 300 5289, or by email to woodsidelink@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Temporary Bus Services October 2016

BUSWAY NEWS DESK·FRIDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2016

A and Z Service
The Porz Avenue roundabout will close 22-30 Oct 2016.
An emergency schedule is being applied to Routes A and Z for the 9 day duration, whereby Route Z is diverted from Tomlinson Avenue to the Wheatfield Surgery turning circle and Route A is extended from Go Houghton over Route Z to Sandringham Drive / Milton Way.

see bus map above.

Service A Sandringham Drive - Parkside - Houghton Regis - Dunstable - Luton Station - Luton Airport
Monday to Saturday (during Porz Roundabout closure ONLY) operating 22nd -30th October 2016 ONLY
Download schedule pdf file

E BUS SERVICE
Due to the temporary closure of the A5120 Bedford Road in Houghton Regis, the Centrebus E busway service will be operating on a diversion from Monday 10th October.
The service will operate along the busway, before taking Blackburn Road, Townsend Farm Road, the A5120 and turning right onto Watling Street (A5). The service will then operate along the A5 until Hockcliffe Road, where it will continue along Toddington Road and Leighton Road. During this time the service will start and finish from Toddington Green, but will be unable to serve Morrisons. see map: http://www.centrebus.info/Pages/DisruptionNorth.aspx

Centrebus Operations Team will be closely monitoring the delays and will work hard to minimize any disruption.

Centrebus would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this service diversion and thank our customers for their patience during this time.


Other buses

The 169 will operate into Houghton Regis but will incur some delays due to the diversion.
The 38A, 42 will operate directly into Dunstable, as they will be unable to serve Houghton Regis. Arriva have agreed that customers on the 38A can transfer with a valid ticket/pass onto the A service directly to Houghton Regis.
Customers from Houghton Regis wanting the 42 to Bedford will need to travel to Dunstable to catch the 42, or go to High Street North.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Kingsland Site: A promise of Public Consultation Starting in January 2017


By Alan Winter

At last night's Town Partnership meeting, an update on the Kingsland* site was given by an officer from CBC. He  reported that currently the Council were exploring what outcomes they wanted from the scheme, what outcomes the Legacy project could deliver, and that it was still very early days as to what the final plans might look like.

The officer was at pains to stress that there would NOT be 12-15 storey blocks of apartments on the site, as had recently been depicted in a recent Guardian newspaper article. The Legacy project was hoping to deliver many schemes across the country, he said, and the scenes in the article were more representative of central city centre locations.

By about January 2017 there would be some public consultation on what local people would like to see happen at the site, he said. Following on from that, it might not be until the end of 2018 that any plans for a development might be unveiled, by which time Dunstable Leisure Centre's £20 million rebuild scheme should be completed, so there would not be two leisure centres closed in South Bedfordshire at the same time.

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Susan Goodchild highlighted the process Houghton Regis Central went through to develop a scheme that would be acceptable within Houghton Regis to go onto the former supermarket site in the High Street. Cllr Goodchild told the meeting of assembled Town and Central Bedfordshire Councillors, and representative officers from CBC, that she would hope for nothing less than this exemplary example of partnership working in the consultation process for the Kingsland site.

*The Kingsland site is situated in Parkside and includes academic, leisure, and private buildings. The site was used in 2015 for a cross country cycle race (see item).

Cyclo-cross happened on the Kingsland site, Houghton Regis in 2015. Organisers had hoped to use the site again.
More pictures ...


A campaign was run a few years ago to Save the Houghton Regis Leisure Centre, part of the Kingsland site, resulting in the Leisure Centre staying open, the swimming pool being refurbished, and footfall increasing under new management. (see this link).

FURTHER READING


Monday, 17 October 2016

Highways and Transport Report


In a Highways and Transport report to a Houghton Regis Council Committee* on  17 October 2016, it is mentioned that the A5120 Houghton Road was resurfaced, and that a resurfacing scheme for the High Street has been programmed for 2017/18.

33 potholes have been repaired since the middle of July, 9 more to be done.

Bridgette, from their school crossing patrol team was nominated for a Pride of Houghton Award earlier this month.

A new real bus time display is now on Houghton Road,  adjacent to Townsend farm Road. A new bus stop and flag are in Sundon Road after an accident destroyed the previous one. Improvements to a bus stop flag and cases had been made in Blackburn Road. A real time display was a possibility they are looking into for the shelter opposite Morrisons.

But vandalism of bus shelters in Houghton Regis had continued, and 4 large glass panels had been replaced with perspex recently.


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Best Bar None Awards: Vote Now For Your Favourite

Go Houghton - one of last year's winners
Which venues will be receiving the ‘cheers’ at this year’s Best Bar None awards?

That’s up to residents who are being asked to vote for their favourite licensed premises across Dunstable and Houghton Regis and Leighton-Linslade.

Best Bar None is returning to Central Bedfordshire for a third year. The success of the inaugural awards covering Dunstable saw the scheme extended to Houghton Regis in 2015. And this year it also takes in venues across Leighton-Linslade.

In total, 22 venues have been accredited to the scheme after being visited by an independent assessor.

All of them are now in the running for two separate prizes – the overall award, approved by a panel of independent judges, and the People’s Vote prize, chosen by residents.

The People’s Vote is now open and will run until Sunday, 27 November, with the winners announced at a ceremony two days later at the Grove Theatre, in Dunstable.

The venues include last year’s overall winner, Dunstable Leisure Centre, and the People’s Vote winner, Go Houghton:

Dunstable and Houghton Regis: Bird in Hand; Club Cookies; Creasey Park Community Football Club; Dunstable Leisure Centre; First & Last; Froth & Elbow; Gary Cooper; Grove Theatre; Highwayman; The Old Sugar Loaf; White Lion; Go Houghton; The Kings Arms; Old Red Lion.

Leighton-Linslade: Black Lion; The Conservative Club; The Dukes; Golden Bell; Hare Inn; Lancer; The Stag; Swan Hotel.

If you need an extra incentive to vote then there are £50 and £25 shopping vouchers to be won courtesy of sponsor Leighton Buzzard Brewing Co.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “It is amazing how quickly the profile of Best Bar None has been raised across Central Bedfordshire – and that is testament to the organising Community Safety Partnership.

“People can have confidence visiting any of the shortlisted premises as they have undergone a rigorous assessment process to show that they are meeting high standards to ensure that visitors have a great night out.

“So why not give them a pat on the back by nominating them in the People’s Vote?”

Best Bar None is a national scheme which aims to make towns and cities great places to go out by making pubs, clubs and leisure venues even more welcoming places for visitors.

That means everything from making sure that customers and staff are safe to ensuring that tables are clear of dirty glasses and toilets are clean.

So, Best Bar None is win-win for everyone: customers get a better night out, towns and cities become more vibrant places as people want to go there and that has economic benefits for pubs and clubs there.

To vote for your favourite venue, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/bbn-vote

And for more information about the scheme, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/bestbarnone


Dunstable Leisure Centre - one of last year's winners

All Saints Churchyard Wall Rebuilding

All Saints Churchyard wall - being partially rebuilt. Photo: A. D. Winter

Work is currently being done to repair a leaning churchyard wall in Houghton Regis.

All Saints Churchyard is  officially a closed one. This means that no further interments in new plots are permitted, and responsibility of its upkeep and maintenance has been passed to Houghton Regis Town Council.

In February 2012 the Town Council were informed of a pronounced lean of All Saints churchyard wall at Bedford Road. Options to either totally rebuild the leaning section, put in restraining posts and framework from the rear, or buttresses to the front of the wall were all considered.

The Bedford Road section of the churchyard wall was subsequently monitored for movement by an Architecture and Design company employed by the Town Council.  The churchyard wall was sagging outwards due to the pressure from the earth within. The Town Council then decided to budget for the work over the next few years.

Towards the end of 2014 architects submitted a report which expressed concerns about the increased movement in the curved section of the wall.  A company of structural engineers was called in to inspect the wall and provide advice on how best to rectify this ongoing problem.

It was advised, and subsequently agreed by Town Council, that the most cost effective solution would be to dismantle and re-build the wall from the first pier on the straight portion of the wall around to the entrance gate.  The re-building was to be done in keeping with the historic nature of the wall, using the existing bricks if practically possible.  Invitations to tender for the work were sent for and the cost was put at between £32k to £62k.

A contract for the work was reported to have been awarded in June 2016.

  31/10/2016. Photo: A. D. Winter

Monday, 10 October 2016

Road Closures and Temporary Bus Services Affecting Houghton Regis Toddington Dunstable during October


ROADWORKS
The A5 Roundabout at Thorn Road is now live, enabling entry from north and south into Thorn Road.

Bedford Road will be closed from 10th – 21st October, Jnc Of Roslyn Way To Rear Of Old Red Lion Pub. Diversion shown above.

The Porz Avenue roundabout will close 22-30 Oct. The constructors advise us that this will be a 24/7 closure both ways until completion due to the difference in road heights. Diversion above. Enquiries to CBC Woodside Link team at 0300 300 5289 or to their Facebook Page at  https://www.facebook.com/Woodside-Link-1574087456174748/

Bedford Road will again be closed from 31st October until the end of November for building new junctions, a roundabout at the junction of Bedford Road and Aylesbury Drive, and installation of all utility apparatus collaboratively. Work includes excavation in footway and carriageway to lay gas and electric mains (19 Sep - 18 Nov). Please continue to give the Old Red Lion your custom, even if you do have to drive around or walk a bit further. Specific local queries could be emailed to streetworks@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Chaul End Road - Closed until 23 Oct.

Resurfacing of East End, next to the village green, has been put on hold until next financial year due to the amount of works in Houghton Regis at the moment.

More at http://roadworks.org

Due to these works, arrangements have been made for temporary bus services A, Z, E, 38A, 42, 169 during October.

Temporary Bus Services October 2016
BUSWAY NEWS DESK·FRIDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2016

A and Z Service
The Porz Avenue roundabout will close 22-30 Oct 2016.
An emergency schedule is being applied to Routes A and Z for the 9 day duration, whereby Route Z is diverted from Tomlinson Avenue to the Wheatfield Surgery turning circle and Route A is extended from Go Houghton over Route Z to Sandringham Drive / Milton Way.
Service A Sandringham Drive - Parkside - Houghton Regis - Dunstable - Luton Station - Luton Airport
Monday to Saturday (during Porz Roundabout closure ONLY) operating 22nd -30th October 2016 ONLY
Download schedule pdf file

E BUS SERVICE
Due to the temporary closure of the A5120 Bedford Road in Houghton Regis, the Centrebus E busway service will be operating on a diversion from Monday 10th October.
The service will operate along the busway, before taking Blackburn Road, Townsend Farm Road, the A5120 and turning right onto Watling Street (A5). The service will then operate along the A5 until Hockcliffe Road, where it will continue along Toddington Road and Leighton Road. During this time the service will start and finish from Toddington Green, but will be unable to serve Morrisons. see map: http://www.centrebus.info/Pages/DisruptionNorth.aspx

Centrebus Operations Team will be closely monitoring the delays and will work hard to minimize any disruption.

Centrebus would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this service diversion and thank our customers for their patience during this time.


Other buses

The 169 will operate into Houghton Regis but will incur some delays due to the diversion.
The 38A, 42 will operate directly into Dunstable, as they will be unable to serve Houghton Regis. Arriva have agreed that customers on the 38A can transfer with a valid ticket/pass onto the A service directly to Houghton Regis.
Customers from Houghton Regis wanting the 42 to Bedford will need to travel to Dunstable to catch the 42, or go to High Street North.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Pride of Houghton Awards 2016


Pride of Houghton Awards took place on Saturday evening at the Memorial Hall in Houghton Regis in front of a sell out audience.

The Pride of Houghton Awards are organised by Houghton Regis Town Council to celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our town a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages.

Their achievements are inspiring for these are just ordinary people, they are truly extraordinary. The winners were whittled down to a shortlist, from which the judging panel chose the award winners.




  • The Individual Award was sponsored by Perfect Profiles and went to Lacey Ball.



  • The Local Group Award was sponsored by D & I Family Butchers and went to YAWN (Young Adults With Needs).



  • The Community Facilitator Award sponsored by the Town Council went to Irene Carpenter.



  • The Carer Award was sponsored by Zebra Properties and went to David Coskeran.



  • The Young Person Award was sponsored by the Town Council and went to Harry Backhouse.



  • The Local Hero Award was sponsored by the Town Council and went to Sarah Pyatt-Beer





  • The Local Business Award was sponsored by Snakes & Ladders and went to Helen Garrett (Creative Creations). 



  • The Lifetime Achievements award was sponsored by Snakes and Ladders and went to Bridget Lanceley





Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Eating Disorder Support Group

Carers Eating Disorder Association Support Group.
Meeting on every first Friday of each month.
Get more details about our new support group at the DRC by emailing  here: cedaluton@gmail.com
Does someone you care about have an eating disorder?
Are you affected by their difficulties?
Would you like to meet with others to share experiences and strategies?
Come along to enjoy a cuppa, have a friendly chat and learn more about the support group. We share information and support each other in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

For full details see the DRC website here:
http://drcbeds.org/peer-support/eating-disorder-support-group-carers/

Monday, 3 October 2016

Asda present £200 to Houghton Regis Helpers


alanwinter.lu5@gmail.com

Dunstable's Asda store manager, David White, today presented a cheque for £200 to Houghton Regis Helpers.

The store run a grants scheme whereby they allocate funds every three months to three worthy charities within their catchment area. When shoppers are served at the check-outs they are given green tokens which can be placed in collecting boxes at the front of the store. The charity with the most tokens receives a grant of £500, and the other two receive £200 each.

For this month, through to the end of December, the tokens will be used to allocate funds that will be used locally for Multiple Sclerosis, British Red Cross, and Dunstable Street Pastors.

More about the Asda scheme at https://www.asdafoundation.org/applying-for-funding


More about Houghton Regis Helpers ... http://www.houghtonregishelpers.co.uk/ or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/316615075047027/

Sunday, 2 October 2016

What's In A Name? - Street Names for Taylor Wimpey site off Bedford Road


alanwinter.lu5@gmail.com

Back in June 2015 the Town Council were asked to consider a range of new names for roads on the Taylor Wimpey  "Regent's Place" new estate off Bedford Road in Houghton Regis.

As duck farming was once a very busy business in the Bidwell area, the theme of ducks was adopted and the councillors came up with a bunch of associated names. Subsequently, some of these names have now been approved by the developers.

The first new homeowners are due to move in in October/November this year. Prices will range from around £260,00 for a two bedroom house to around £460,000 for a four bedroom house.

Aylesbury Drive (the main thoroughfare),
The Aylesbury duck is a breed of domesticated duck, bred mainly for its meat and appearance. It is a large duck with pure white plumage, a pink bill, orange legs and feet. (Wikipedia)
Aylesbury duck. Source: Wikipedia. This item is in the public domain.

Orpington Rise
The Orpington or Buff Orpington Duck is a breed of domestic duck. It is a dual-purpose breed used for meat and egg production. It is capable of laying up to 220 eggs a year. (Wikipedia)
Orpington duck. Source Wikipedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

Watervale
This is an oddity as there is little information about the Watervale online. The most repeated information says that this duck originated as recently as 1988 from a pair of Cayugas, South Australia, by Mr Holder of Watervale. http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/14E01A11.pdf


A pair of Watervale ducks, courtesy of "I Like Big Ducks" on Facebook


Pintail Croft
Slightly bigger than a mallard, these long-necked and small-headed pintail ducks fly with a curved back pointed wings and a tapering tail, making this the best way to distinguish them from other ducks in the UK.
Pintail: some rights exists

Shelduck Field
The common shelduck resembles a small short-necked goose in size and shape. It is a striking bird, with a reddish-pink bill, pink feet, a white body with chestnut patches and a black belly, and a dark green head and neck. The wing coverts are white, the primary remiges black, and the secondaries green (only showing in flight) and chestnut. (Wikipedia)
Shelduck. Source Wikipedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.


Abacot Grove
The Abacot Ranger is a breed of domestic duck, initially known as the Hooded Ranger and as Streicherente ('Ranger Duck', in Germany). A utility breed, originally developed for eggs and meat, it is popular for exhibition and egg production today.
Abacot duck - picture source unknown, appears on several websites.



Gressingham Meadow
The Gressingham Duck was named after the village of Gressingham, having been first bred there in 1980 from a cross of mallards and Pekin ducks. However, the exclusive right to breed Gressingham Ducks was bought by Gressingham Foods in 1996, and the ducks they now produce are all from their farms in East Anglia.

With lots more developments to come around Houghton Regis, a report to the Planning and Licensing Committee in June 2015 suggested that councillors and the public should be invited to come up with themes for groups of associated roads. Have you got a suggestion? Comment below.