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Showing posts from March, 2017

£1million new homes kick-start boost for Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Sandy

Central Bedfordshire Council has been awarded almost £1million of Government funding to help kick-start regeneration on housing estates in Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Sandy and speed the building of new homes over the next three years.
The grant comes as part of £32million awarded nationally to over 70 organisations and marks a significant success for Central Bedfordshire, and the South East Midlands LEP area. Compared to other much larger local authorities, including those in cities, Central Bedfordshire has punched well above its weight to win this funding and its award highlights the Council's commitment to maximising opportunities to bring central Government funding to the area, for the benefit of its residents.  
The grants come from the Department for Communities and Local Government Estate Regeneration and Homes and Communities Agency Large Site Acceleration Funds, announced by Minister, Sajid Javid, this week. The money will be targeted on estates in the market towns of Du…

Spring Edition of the North Chilterns Chalk Newsletter

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Here's the link: Wildlife Trust Letter April 2017 ​ ​​










​Football fans in Luton asked to Sign for Life as part of organ donation campaign

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Football fans in Luton are being urged to blow the whistle on organ transplant waiting lists, as NHS Blood and Transplant teams up with more than 45 sports organisations from top Premiership clubs to grassroots squads, including Luton Town Football Club. The Sign for Life campaign asks supporters across the country to think about organ donation and to be inspired by their club to score another name on the NHS Organ Donor Register as well as tell their family they want to be an organ donor.


Right now there are around 6,500 people waiting for a transplant across the UK, including 20 people in Luton. On average three people die every day in the UK because of the shortage of organs available. This situation needs to be shown the red card.


One organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people. The goal is to get more fans, their families and friends signed by the NHS Organ Donor Register and talking about organ donation. If more families agreed to donate their loved one'…

Have Your Say on ​Parking in Central Bedfordshire

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​ Central Bedfordshire Council is proposing to introduce a new set of policies that set out a framework for how it will provide for, manage and make decisions about parking, whether that's parking for residents, shoppers or commuters.

A well planned and managed approach to parking can help make our towns and local communities better places to live, work and visit. Central Bedfordshire Council is therefore asking people to have their say on how the authority manages parking and the priorities that it should be focusing on.

The Council has been considering the current need for parking, and is also looking ahead to understand what the region will need in the future, and so is consulting on its draft strategic approach to parking.

Central Bedfordshire households have a higher than average number of cars or vans, which is why parking is such an important issue. There were 157,000 cars or vans in Central Bedfordshire at the time of the 2011 Census, and 47% of households owned two or mo…

Sales Office Opens At Kyngshouton

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Persimmon are building a collection of 62 homes with 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms off Bedford Road, Bidwell, Houghton Regis. The project is known as  Kyngshouton*, although the main cul-de-sac road will be known as The Baulk, with a smaller off-shoot cul-de-sac to be known as Piggotts. The homes are being sold on a 999 year lease, with ground rents starting at £150 a year, plus annual  service maintenance charges.

Prices for the first homes have been released, ranging from £299,950 for The Hatfield, a 3 bedroom end terrace with 2 parking spaces, to £405,000 for The Warwick, a 5 bedroom detached home with 2 parking spaces.

A Help to Buy scheme is available, although applicants will need to fund at least 80% of the purchase price by means of a conventional mortgage, savings, and deposit where required.

Reservations will require £1,000 deposit.

The showroom is now open Thursday to Monday 11am-6pm. Telephone 01582 864136


* If you've lived in the town for many years but have not ventured down …

Neighbourhood Survey Reveals Answers From Less Than 40

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At the Houghton Regis Town Council Planning meeting on Tuesday 28th March, there are a number of minor plans to be discussed. They will also review a summary of responses to the Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire. Here are some of its highlights:

◘  Within the town centre people prioritise health facilities, banks and entertainment, ahead of takeaways, pubs and clubs, and hotels.
◘  Teenagers are seen as the highest priority group for facilities.
◘  In making the town safer to live in 'local police presence' was selected as most important, followed by more cctv, better lighting, and alternative activities for young people.
◘  People thought the type of work needed in the area should be manufacturing, technology, and office.
◘  People thought it 'Very Important' to protect heritage assets and green spaces around the edge of Houghton Regis.
◘  On sustainability, solar panels and waste processing were thought as 'very important' to be encouraged in the parish.
◘  T…

Would You Be A Special Constable? Meeting April 3rd 7:30pm Dunstable Police Station

Bedfordshire Police's next information evening for would-be Special Constables will be held on Monday 3 April at Dunstable Police Station. From 7.30pm, members of the public who are interested in volunteering with the force will have the chance to hear more about the Special Constabulary from serving Specials. The information evening will also cover the application process, from completing an initial application form through to the training received by successful applicants. The Special Constabulary is the UK's volunteer police force. Specials work closely with full time Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO's) both to patrol Bedfordshire's rural and urban communities, and volunteer in specialist units. After completing their initial training and once they have taken their oaths, Specials have a further two years of on-the-job tuition and support from experienced colleagues before they become independent. Special Constables must be over 18 and able t…

Mums & Buggies Activities in Houghton Hall Park

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Mums & Buggies activities in Houghton Hall Park.

Held on Wednesday 1.30pm and Friday 10.00.

"Buggy Exercise is an outdoor fitness class for parents/carers and their buggies. Classes involve power walking, non-compulsory jogging and resistance exercises. People are encouraged to work at their own levels. Please bring a mat to this class."

Officially you need to book up at:  https://www.ourparks.org.uk/borough/houghton-hall-park

Local Charity News

CVS Email Update  |  22 March 2017




Central Bedfordshire Village Halls & Community Buildings Survey 2017 - Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and Central Bedfordshire Council are carrying out a survey to help inform future investment in community facilities and the provision of support services, as well as enabling an up-to-date directory to be produced. A full report analysing the findings will be produced and made available online. Click here.

EVENTS AND COURSES The next Bedford Community Network event is on Tuesday 28 March (from 5.30pm) in the Council Suite at Borough Hall. The theme of the event is ‘Using Social Media, Avoiding Cyber Crime’. Booking is now open. Click here.

The next Bedford as One event is on Monday 3 April (6pm-8pm) at The Place, Bradgate Road, Bedford. The event will be looking at the emotive topic of death and bereavement. For more information click here.

Parenting a child with Autism or Social Communication Disorder - An evening lecture for parents and…

Thomas Whitehead Primary School Pupil Wins Bike In Santa Challenge

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On Friday 17 March, Edrienne Skrabala, aged 11, was announced as the lucky winner of the Santa challenge held over Christmas.

Skrabala from Thomas Whitehead Primary School in Houghton Regis was presented with a brand new Frog bike for the amount of amazing journeys she covered during the Santa challenge.

The bike was presented at a special assembly by June Salter, class teacher and Derek Smulders, Bike It Officer. Skrabala was delighted with her prize saying: “I am so pleased to win this amazing bike.”

The very successful challenge saw over 10,000 children taking part across Central Bedfordshire to make a virtual trip to cover 2,000 miles and reach Lapland by foot, cycle or scooting.

The challenge organised by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with sustainable transport charity Sustrans, aims to encourage more people to get healthy through making journeys by foot, cycle or scooting while reducing congestion on the road and improving the environment.

Derek Smulders, Bike It …

Tesco Bags of Help Funding Scheme Will Help Community Groups

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The 5p carrier bag charge at Tesco stores is being used for grants to improve local parks, hold community events, support sports groups and more. The grants are managed by the community charity Groundwork UK.

You may already have heard that even more community groups across the UK are able to bag some cash for their projects. The Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme application criteria has opened up to allow for more communities to receive funding.

As well as continuing to fund the development of and activity in outdoor spaces such as allotments and community gardens, grants will now be available to fund the purchase of items such as sports kits, camping equipment, spades, litter pickers or specialised medical equipment.

Funding is also available for improvements to community buildings, for example a scout or guide hut, church or village hall or sports changing rooms. Groups looking to hold seasonal events and activities such as a Christmas lights switch on can also apply.

These are ju…

New Constituency Boundaries - Have Your Say By 27th March

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"Luton North And Houghton" - You have until 27th March to comment on the views put forward. ◘  The new draft constituencies for Parliamentary elections lump 'Houghton'  in with Luton North. The new boundaries would only affect the MP you vote for. It would not affect who you pay your council tax to, or your address.

◘  Notionally, pundits reckon the two enlarged Luton wards would go to Labour.

◘  The Boundary Commission proposed these new constituencies to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 from 2018.

◘  'Bedfordshire South West' would continue as 'South West Bedfordshire' with new boundaries.  Houghton Regis, Sewell, Caddington, Studham, Whipsnade, Kensworth, Holywell would no longer be represented by the Bedfordshire South West MP (currently Andrew Selous)

◘  https://www.bce2018.org.uk/ lists comments made by local people during the consultation. None of the 14 comments from Houghton Regis side favoured the merger with Luton North. The majori…

Enjoy a Big Lunch with The Great Get Together! #TheBiglunch

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Get together with your neighbours for a weekend celebrating community, commonality and connections 17-18 JUNE 2017
The Big Lunch is a simple idea from the Eden Project: that as many people as possible across the UK have lunch with their neighbours annually on a Sunday in June in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This year The Big Lunch, held on Sunday 18 June, forms part of The Great Get-Together weekend: a partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation aiming to get communities to come together to celebrate connections and commonality.

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of communities, with millions of people taking to their streets, gardens and community spaces for lunch.

A Big Lunch can be anything from a simple get-together with neighbours in your backyard to a full-blown community event in a street closed to cars for the day.

Often a Big Lunch starts with a small group of friends and neighbours with an idea to get people together …

Park Manager for Houghton Hall Park

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Houghton Hall Park is a 17 hectare publicly accessible park located centrally within the town of Houghton Regis. Thanks to an exciting Parks for People project, the park is undergoing large-scale restoration, and a new position of Park Manager is being created. 
Extensive landscape restoration works took place in 2016 which included the recreation of the original formal and kitchen gardens. Works are continuing with the construction of a new visitor centre, installation of play facilities and a host of community events.
An experienced Park Manager is now sought to manage Houghton Hall Park. This includes the new Visitor Centre (currently under construction) which will feature a café, meeting rooms, interactive heritage area, retail area and office. The Centre will operate seven days a week and host regular evening events. The Manager will manage the new park team (Head Gardener and Activity Officer) as well as volunteers. Together, they will make sure the Park is financially sustainabl…

The Future of Townsend Court

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You may have heard people talking about Townsend Court.

The unit is topic of discussion at CBC Overview and Scrutiny meeting on Monday 20th March, from 10am at Chicksands.

The following notes are cribbed from a 3 page detailed report:

Townsend Court currently provides acute care for older people who need support because their symptoms have become more challenging in either their home or care home. They get 24 hour nursing care, and usually stay in Townsend Court for between 1 and 3 months.

Anyone still a patient when the unit closes will need to be transferred to Fountains Court in Bedford. This is a 26-bed acute assessment unit for older people with mental illness that provides both treatment for functional illnesses such as depression and specialist dementia care.

Townsend Court will continue to be used.

By the end of March, East London Foundation Trust will transfer female inpatients from the current premises of Keats Ward at Weller Wing, Bedford Hospital, to Townsend Court in Hou…

New Community Orchard Planting - March 8th

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A new Community Orchard is to be planted out by volunteers, created as part of the public art scheme for Woodside Link Road, on Wednesday 8 March, 10am - 4pm.

The planting day will be open to all, and 60 apple, pear, plum, mulberry and cherry trees will be planted in working parties of 2-3 people guided by an expert. The trees will be labelled and the volunteers who have planted the tree will be acknowledged on the label.

The organisers say that the site will be made safe and the ground will be prepared so digging won’t be too hard.

Volunteers will be provided with spades, hot chocolate and biscuits on the day. Any volunteer is asked  to bring warm and waterproof clothing and wellies. Also, to bring along anyone who may be interested in joining in.

The orchard, will be located off the public footpath at the back of the Wheatfield Road surgery, linking to Frogmore Road.

Advance notice of intention to attend would help with catering. Please email Julia.Scott@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

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Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter

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