Friday, 25 November 2016

No More Funding For Gluten Free Foods or Over-the-Counter Prescriptions on NHS

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body takes decision on three locally commissioned services

At a meeting on Thursday 24 November, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (BCCG) Governing Body took a decision on the future of three locally commissioned services: specialist fertility treatment, gluten-free foods and over the counter medicines on prescription.

After considering the wide-ranging feedback from members of the public and support organisations, the Governing Body voted,
- in favour of the proposal to no longer fund gluten-free foods and over the counter medicines on the NHS in Bedfordshire,
- to continue to commission specialist fertility services in line with BCCG’s current policy.

The decision was made following a 12-week public consultation that took place over the summer, attracting more than 1,000 responses, on whether gluten-free foods, over the counter medicines and specialist fertility services should continue to be provided by the NHS in Bedfordshire.

Dr Alvin Low, Clinical Chair BCCG and Clinical Lead for the consultation said:

“At Bedfordshire CCG we always put the voice of clinicians and patients at the heart of what we do. We have used the consultation period to ensure that we heard views from the public, patients, clinical staff and support organisations - and those views have genuinely informed our decision making.

However, the case for change that accompanied the consultation remains, we still have more demand on our budget than we have budget to spend. We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to live within our means, and we will regularly review the services that we offer to ensure they best meet the needs of the entire population of Bedfordshire.”

The CCG’s existing policy on funding for specialist fertility treatment was developed in February 2015. Under the policy, the CCG currently, routinely commissions the following treatments as appropriate for couples who meet evidence based criteria:

·        Under the policy, the CCG currently, routinely, commissions the following treatments as appropriate for couples who meet evidence based criteria:
·        1 cycle of IVF, with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
·        Surgical sperm removal
·        Up to 6 cycles of donor sperm insemination with intrauterine insemination (IUI)
·        Treatment using egg donation
·        Egg, sperm or embryo cryopreservation for men and women undergoing cancer treatment which is likely to cause infertility
·        ICSI with or without sperm washing for men who have a chronic viral infection (primarily HIV) and whose female partner does not.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Cold Weather: Local Churches to Provide Meeting Point For Homeless

Local churches are to provide manned assembly points in Dunstable and Houghton Regis when the weather is very cold.

Very cold means, "whenever the forecast is for 3 or more nights of sub-zero temperatures".

The assembly point in Houghton Regis will be Jewels in Bedford Square. It will be open from 7.30pm until 9pm during the evening for any homeless to gather. They will be provided with a hot drink at a minimum. At the end of that time the homeless will be taken by taxi (provided by Central Bedfordshire Council) to NOAH's shelter in Luton for the night. NOAH will then arrange taxis in the morning to return the homeless to Dunstable and Houghton Regis.

Fire - Brentwood Close

The combined quick action of Bedfordshire Fire Fighters and a closed door averted a potential fatality at a serious fire last night (Tuesday 15th November) in Houghton Regis.

Fire crews from Dunstable and Toddington were called to the blaze at a terraced bungalow in Brentwood Close, Houghton Regis at 20.50.  They were alerted by passers-by who noticed that the property was alight.

Fire Fighters reached the property within six minutes and tackled the fire which resulted in significant fire and smoke damage.  The crews discovered that there was a woman suffering from smoke inhalation, in the bedroom.  The closed bedroom door had protected her from the worst of the fire and smoke.  Fire Fighters quickly rescued the casualty and handed her into the care of the Ambulance Service who then took her to hospital where she is recovering.

Group Commander Ade Yule said:  “This was potentially a fatal situation as a woman was semi-conscious in her bed due to smoke inhalation when the crew found her.  The closed door to the bedroom could have saved her.  We advise making closing internal doors part of your home fire escape plan.  Doing this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Also install and check smoke alarms in your home.”

The incident was closed at 21.58 and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Do We Still Need Our Phone Booths? Consultation Now On

BT is proposing to remove 80 payphones in Central Bedfordshire.

The removal concerns payphones identified by BT as unnecessary, whilst retaining public payphones that are still in use or have been categorised as providing a social need.

An initial Object or Agree comment has been added by Central Bedfordshire Council following a local parish council consultation, and now they want public feedback on the booths to be removed or kept. You can download the full list here, but for local convenience we've listed some here.

The following are under threat of removal:

Houghton Regis:
Junction of Tithe Farm Rd, Leaf Road
Junction of Windsor Drive, Lowry Drive
Outside shops at Hillborough Crescent
Opposite number 2 Neptune Square

PCO Chiltern Road, LU6 1HP
Appleby Gardens, Langdale Road, LU6 3BT
P O Forecourt, Luton Road, LU5 4JW
PCO Coombe Drive, LU6 2AE
O/S Maidenblower Lodge, Chalk Hill, LU6 1RR

Eaton Bray:
Jcn High Street, Knights Close, Eaton Bray, LU6 2DS
Near High Street, Wallace Drive, Eaton Bray, LU6 2DF

Jcn Wingfield St, St Marys Close, Tebworth, LU7 9QF
PCO Wingfield Road, Tebworth LU7 9QQ

Outside shops, Lincoln Way, LU5 6NA

You can find out more, and how to have your say here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Beds Fire & Rescue Warn Against Buying Cheap Electrical Goods

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are alerting people about the dangers of buying cheap electrical goods online in the run up to Christmas this year. The Fire Service wants people to be aware of the fire risks of using fake electrical goods and chargers.
According to Electrical Safety First the number of counterfeit and sub-standard electrical goods sold online has increased considerably in recent years with the most common fakes being for popular and sought-after items. The number of fake mobile phones seized has risen by more than 50% with other top electrical fakes including hair straighteners, e-cigarettes chargers and games.
Worryingly, research by Electrical Safety First has shown that:
24% of people have knowingly bought a counterfeit product
21% would consider buying one in order to save money
16% do not think counterfeit products could put them at risk.
However, these fake goods often contain faulty parts that can cause products to overheat and catch fire. With products left charging overnight or on beds, and sometimes under pillows, a small spark can cause a major fire within minutes.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service advice is to stick to reputable retailers both on the High Street and online and have a look at Electrical Safety First's online Safe Shopper's Guide for advice on shopping safely online.
You can download the Safe Shopper's Guide here 

Best Bar None Now Includes Leighton Linslade Venues

We'll raise a glass to that… The Leighton Buzzard Brewing Company is helping to promote this year's Best Bar None awards with a commemorative beer.

The awards scheme is running in 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.

To tie in with the People's Vote prize, you can now enjoy a special Best Bar None ale.

It's available at some of the shortlisted venues, and will also be available at the presentation evening on 29 November.

Best Bar None is a traditional bitter – and if you find it at the bar then you can vote for your favourite venue directly by scanning the QR code on the pump clip.

More than 1,250 people have already had their say – but we haven't called time yet: you've still got until Sunday, 27 November to vote.

The winners will then be 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 the brewery, which is also sponsoring the event.

Brewer Jon d'Este-Hoare said: "I decided to sponsor Best Bar None because it's my target audience – people who go into licenced premises; and hopefully because they are accredited they are the better licensed premises in the area as well.

"As a local brewer our trade relies on good relationships with pub landlords and through them with their customers. To know that Best Bar None encourages landlords to run their businesses in a way that ensures customers get the very best service is a benefit to us all.

"The beer that's available for Best Bar None is my biggest selling beer, Cuckoo Ale. It's a really nice 3.8 per cent bitter made with English hops and English malt. Nothing too hoppy and nothing too malty – just a great beer that hopefully customers of Best Bar None will enjoy drinking."

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

And for more information about the scheme, visit

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Works on Bedford Road, Houghton Regis

A total closure of Bedford Road to through traffic throughout November, until 5th December is contributing to long waits in vechicles on surrounding roads.

But, when completed, utility trenches will have been built to supply new development sites, a couple of mini-roundabouts and a couple of zebra crossings will have been installed, as well as red-raised paved traffic calming strips and a new footpath on the eastern side of Bedford Road.

Although the work is due to end on 5th December, more works are envisaged in the new year to finish the task of taking the footpath further up Bedford Rd, towards the town centre.

Documents and Plans 1
Documents and Plans 2
Documents and Plans 3
Public Notice

Photos: © A D Winter  - Click to enlarge.

New footpath going in to serve the Taylor-Wimpey Regent's Place site.

Road closed. Access for properties and pedestrians at all times.

Pedestrian access around the works.

Utilities trench near Old Red Lion

Scraping off the old surface

New crossing

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Taylor Wimpey Regent's Place Videos

Videos released by Taylor Wimpey feature new homes development off Bedford Road, Houghton Regis.

Regent's Place is a stunning development of new build homes in Houghton Regis, with a tranquil setting on the fringes of this popular Bedfordshire town. Our new homes are located off Bedford Road within walking distance of the town's many amenities.

The Ashton - Taylor Wimpey Regents Place, Houghton Regis

The Lydford - Taylor Wimpey Regent's Place, Houghton Regis

The Langdale - Taylor Wimpey Regent's Place, Houghton Regis

Developments in Houghton Regis