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Showing posts from January, 2018

Local Plan — Needs To Be More Provision For Real Affordable Housing

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Central Bedfordshire Council expects the Homelessness Reduction Act to increase the number of cases that they will have to deal with by 80%.  This news was gleaned by Antonia Ryan, the Leader of the Labour Group on CBC.  The government will provide some money to the council in order to help with the additional costs but nowhere near enough.


In the last year, there has already been a more than doubling in the number of cases coming to CBC for help.  They blame this on an increase in private rents to unaffordable levels and cuts to benefits.  It is telling that in previous years anyone with rent arrears was almost always deemed to be ‘intentionally homeless’ and so ineligible for help.  Now it is accepted that low wages, high rents and inadequate levels of benefit mean that people can get into arrears despite their best efforts.  Consequently, council officers have to spend time investigating such cases in detail.  Currently, CBC is advertising for additional staff to deal with this mat…

Land South of The Bungalow- Outline Permission Sought for 35 — 50 Homes

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A plot of land at Bidwell comes up for a planning decision at the end of the month. Houghton Regis Town Council have objected to it. This field is on the northern side of the concrete track that goes up to Blue Waters woodland, and beyond to the former A5 at Chalk Hill.



CB/17/02512/OUT application link.
Meeting at Development Management Committee link.

The field is described as "Land South of the bungalow, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 6JS". It is an undeveloped 1.5ha field, adjoining the larger HRN2 site which already has outline planning permission for up to 1850 homes.

Like all the fields in the area, the application site lies within the Green Belt as we know it now. Until Central Bedfordshire's Local Plan is accepted, at the earliest in the late summer, then the land remains inside the Green Belt. However, the planning authority's officers at CBC regard the provision of housing here as acceptable as very special circumstances can be demonstrated.

Th…

Vulnerable Adults May Have To Pay For Council's Money Management Service

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Central Bedfordshire Council is giving the public the opportunity to share their views on proposals to change its current Money Management Service.


Most councils offer a Money Management Service to residents who are unable to manage their own finances and do not have a suitable person to do it on their behalf, despite not being required by law to do so.


Central Bedfordshire Council currently offers the service for free. However, requirements by Central Government has led to increases in costs and new charges by banks have added to the costs, which mean it is no longer sustainable to continue providing the service for free.


There is also a growing demand by vulnerable adults for the service which cannot be currently met.


The council is proposing to introduce a small affordable charging scheme to cover the costs of delivering the service and enable it to be expanded to meet the increasing demand and need of the service.


To assess the potential impact of the proposals a public consultati…

Volunteers Wanted by Cat Protection Saturday 20 Jan, 10am - 2pm

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On 20th Jan Cats Protection will be holding a volunteer recruitment day.

They are looking to recruit new volunteers in Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis to help cats in these areas. There are many roles available.



We need volunteers! Dunstable Library, Saturday 20 Jan, 10am - 2pm


Cats Protection are looking for new volunteers to help us with several roles in Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis. Come along to meet some of our team of friendly volunteers and find out more about volunteering. Here are just a few of the ways in which you can help:
Comunity engagement volunteer, publicity volunteer, welfare team leader, homing team leader, drivers, Trap Neuter Return volunteer, leaflet distributors
Full training and support will be provided. If you're interested in any of the above roles, or would like to discover other ways to help our local cats, pop along to Dunstable Library (Vernon Pl, Dunstable LU5 4HA) on Saturday 20th January between 10am - 2pm to find out more.

For further i…

War On Fly-Tipping — Government Consulting On New Fixed Penalty System

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When you give your household waste to someone to get rid of, how do you know they are not going to fly-tip it somewhere? Only a licenced waste carrier should be used. Now the government is consulting on some new ideas to make householders aware of their responsibilities, and introduce a fixed penalty system.

You can check if a carrier is licensed by checking on the Environment Agency’s website.

The government want to know what you think about proposals to reduce crime and poor performance in the waste sector.

They are looking to do this by enforcing more appropriate competence standards for permitted waste site operators. And they're also proposing to make changes to waste exemptions to prevent them being used to hide illegal activity.

The government are also asking your views on best ways to improve householder awareness of their waste duty of care. As part of this, they are proposing the introduction of a fixed penalty for householders failing to pass their waste to authorised …

Bedfordshire Police Want An Extra £1 a Month From Band D Council Tax Payers

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News Release form the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, Kathryn Holloway

Since 2010 the Government has continuously reduced the amount of national funding for Bedfordshire Police and to date, as your Police and Crime Commissioner, despite a successful on-going recruitment campaign which has helped to hold service levels against a picture of ever-increasing demand, I have been given no facility, until now, to uplift the total number of resources available to respond to victims of crime and protect the people of Bedfordshire.

As a result, the force now has 140 less officers than it did in 2010.

When we take into account the demand, complexity and the landscape of policing (which is significantly different to 2010), I am sure you will understand why I have taken the decision to raise Council Tax by £1 per month for the next 24 months, which will cost the total of £24 pounds per Band D household in Bedfordshire to increase the number of police officers by at le…

Time, Now, To Have Your Say on up to 20,000 Extra New Homes

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A public consultation begins today on a forward housing plan for Central Bedfordshire. The consultation will run until 22nd February. After this, the Plan will go to an independent inspector to decide whether to either accept or reject the plan.

Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Plan could deliver up to 20,000 extra new homes and 24,000 new jobs up to 2035.


The proposals were voted on at a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council yesterday (10th January 2018). You can watch that meeting online which includes comments made by members of the public,  objectors mainly from the east of the authority's area concerned about the allocations for their areas, or on the soundness of the Plan. To see the debate about the Local Plan click on section 9 or go to 54 mins into the webcast. You can also see the public comments from the beginning of section 4 (6 mins in).

In August 2017 CBC carried out a public consultation on its controversial draft Local Plan for housing which received a h…

Warrant Issued For Man's Arrest After Non-Attendance At Court Over Fly-tipping Charge

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A warrant was today ordered to be issued by Luton Magistrates Court for a defendant resident in Houghton Regis. The defendant was due in court today but failed to appear.

The court heard from the prosecution that the allegation concerned depositing without a permit waste on land on August 25th last year. The prosecution said that the defendant had requested an 8-week adjournment as he had not been provided with sufficient evidence. The court heard that a series of email correspondence between the defendant and the Central Bedfordshire Council officer had taken place and CBC were opposed to an adjournment.

The court was further told that the defendant had admitted taking rubbish bags to Houghton Regis Town Council, and also admitted under interview that he had. The prosecution argued that the defendant needed to take things seriously and requested that a warrant be issued.

The bench agreed that a warrant not backed by bail should be ordered.

UPDATESEx-Houghton Regis Town Council candi…

Lidl to Create 1,000 Jobs On HRN1 Site At Chalton

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The Lidl supermarket chain has exchanged contracts with Houghton Regis Management Company for land within the HRN1 development. The consortium Company includes Aviva Investors, LIH and the Diocese of St Albans.

Lidl have announced intentions to build a new depot in the HRN1 area which could see the creation of up to 1,000 new jobs. Lidl UK said it was part of its plan to invest £1.45bn in Britain in 2017-18.

The warehouse would fall in the Chalton Parish area, within Toddington ward of Central Bedfordshire.

The one million square foot warehouse on the 58-acre (23-hectare) site will be its 16th in Britain.

Lidl, which is based in Germany, has more than 690 stores in the UK.

Ingo Fischer, Lidl's board director for expansion and development in the UK, said: "We are committed to the continued investment in our operations and infrastructure to support our growth. With five new stores opening in the next two months alone, and further store expansion and development plans in place …

Cheering Volunteering Will Be Back For 2018

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Central Bedfordshire's Cheering Volunteering Awards are returning next year, with the fourth annual awards and celebration evening taking place on Tuesday, 5 June 2018.

It will again be held at the Grove Theatre, in Dunstable, and is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the work of volunteers across Central Bedfordshire.

You will be able to nominate people or groups for six different awards, including a new category for 2018: sports volunteer.

Nominations will open on Monday, 8 January 2018 and you’ll then have almost three months to nominate in as many categories as you like. But you can’t nominate the same volunteer in more than one category.

We’ll also have a link to the Inspiring Volunteering grant application form from Monday, 8 January 2018.

There’s a total funding pot of £5,000 available for projects which encourage volunteering or kick-start new activities involving volunteers.

Grant awards will be made from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £1,000.

Councillor Carole Hegle…

Spending Cuts Ahead if 6% CBC Council Tax Rate Increase is Approved

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With cuts to funding from central government and increasing costs of some services the Central Bedfordshire Council is proposing to

cut its spending by £13.8million through a range of proposalsincrease council tax by 3% specifically to help pay for adult social care services, andincrease council tax by up to 3% to pay for other services
It is planning to spend £190million on public services, well over half of which will be spent on adult social care services (£76million, 40%) and children services (£38million, 20%) with the rest funding services like roads and transport, refuse collections, libraries and leisure as well as the cost of running the council (£76million).

The amount of money coming in from the government to help fund services is reducing significantly. In 2018/19, the council will receive half the amount of government grant that it was allocated in the previous year and by 2019/20 this grant funding will disappear altogether.

Previously, local councils were given addition…

Is A Path You Use About To Disappear? Get it Registered!

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2026 The current cut-off date for adding historic paths to definitive maps.
Is your path disappearing?

There are just 8 years left to apply for your old paths to be recorded. Unrecorded paths, subject to some minor exceptions, will be extinguished on 1 January 2026 at the stroke of midnight. New Year's Day 2026 will be the last day such unrecorded paths can be used by right."

In a Gov.uk 2012 press release the government said, "All unrecorded footpaths and bridleways created before 1949 cannot be recorded after 1 January 2026. This ‘cut off’ date by which to claim these historical rights of way was set in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000."

"As well as making it easier for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to protect unrecorded rights of way, the proposed system is expected to save almost £20 million a year by cutting needless bureaucracy. "

"No changes are being made to the protections for rights of way; rather proposals have been made to ma…

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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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