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Showing posts from March, 2019

Homelessness: Help Improve Services By Sharing Your Experiences

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Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for people who have experienced homelessness or the threat of homelessness and used their services to give feedback about their experience to help improve the support offered. You may have spoken to someone in the council’s Housing Options team, had an assessment or used the triage service - if so, they want to hear from you.

There are many reasons why someone might become homeless, it could be as a result of a relationship breakdown, a landlord selling the property they are renting or the loss of income and no longer being able to afford the rent or mortgage.

When most people think of homelessness they think of people sleeping rough on the streets but there are also people that do not have a permanent place to live that are not so visible. Many people ‘sofa surf’, that is they sleep on a friend’s sofa in order to avoid sleeping on the streets.

Helping people get back on their feet isn’t always just about providing accommodation, it can include …

Nominate a Volunteer For Cheering Volunteering Event

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The nomination deadline for this year’s Cheering Volunteering event is fast approaching; applications will close at midday on Monday, 8 April 2019.

This year will mark the fifth Central Bedfordshire Cheering Volunteering event to say thank you to those who give their time to help others. It is run by Central Bedfordshire Council, in partnership with the Volunteer Centres as part of Central Bedfordshire Together. The event is a great way to show our appreciation to volunteers.


Sponsored by Biffa, Pro Logis, Grand Union Housing, Weir, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Ringway Jacobs, the Grove Theatre will host the awards evening on Tuesday, 4 June.

Seven awards were presented on the night last year, with winners ranging from fundraisers for the Road Victims Trust to Friends of Houghton Hall to Leighton Buzzard Hockey and a men’s weight-loss coach.

For this year, there will again be seven awards presented:

Young Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer Group of the…

Planning Application Submitted For New Road

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Central Bedfordshire Council has put in a planning application for its proposed M1 to A6 Link Road. The new strategic link road would run from the A6 Barton Road to junction 11a of the M1 motorway, joining up to the A5-M1 Link Road, to provide a strategically important east-west link. Subject to planning approval and securing funding, construction could commence in 2020. It is estimated that construction will take two years.


The existing A6 road has approximately 26,000 vehicles on it each day. The new link road would help to relieve current congestion and improve safety on the A6 into Luton, as well as ease traffic on the local village roads used as rat-runs, such as Lower Sundon, Upper Sundon and Streatley. There are also a number of suggested upgrades to the local footpaths, cycleways and bridleways.


The new road would be 2.75 miles (4.4km) long and could create part of a northern bypass for Luton. The submitted layout is a mixture of single and dual carriageway, with a 50mph spee…

Labour Manifesto for Central Bedfordshire - Elections in May

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Labour have issued their manifesto for Central Bedfordshire.

The Labour Party say in their 2019 Manifesto that they will prepare the way for the Council to be working with a progressive Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn. Labour are planning to contest all wards in Central Bedfordshire. You can download a full copy of their manifesto here.

_____ Elections for Central Bedfordshire Council take place on 2nd May.  You can only vote in local elections on Thursday 2 May if your name appears in the register of electors and if you are aged 18 or over on polling day. The deadline to submit application forms to register to vote is midnight on Friday,12 April. You can register to vote online and it only takes a few seconds.
_____



The Labour Party manifesto emphasises that all of its pledges and policy commitments will be dependent on a Labour Council being prepared to make tough but fair political and financial choices.

The manifesto says they will seek to involve local people in its decisi…

CBC gets government funding to clean up high streets

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Central Bedfordshire Council has this week heard that it is to receive just over £49,000 of government funding to help clean up the High Streets and pavements in its town centres.

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The money will be used for pavement repairs and cleaning, to ensure that Central Bedfordshire’s High Streets are repaired where needed and look their very best to help encourage shoppers and visitors back into our town centres.”

“Over the last few months, the council already had a programme of activities to tidy-up and clean pavements in five of our town centres. This additional money means we can continue this work.”

Since December last year, the council’s team has been tidying up the town centres of Sandy, Biggleswade, Leighton Buzzard, Shefford and Houghton Regis.

A steam-cleaning machine has been hired to lift all dirt, grease and chewing gum from the block paving in the towns without using chem…

CPRE - concerns over million new homes for Bedfordshire

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Public fears for countryside and environment over devastating Oxford-Cambridge development plan

Protection and improvement of the environment and the provision of social housing are top priorities for local residents over plans for Ox-Cam Arc

Three quarters (75%) of residents living in Bedfordshire believe that plans for major new development across the Oxfordshire-Cambridgeshire region will lead to damage of the local countryside and environment, according to new public polling published today (21 March) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) [1]. CPRE Bedfordshire has repeatedly raised concerns about the democratic deficit associated with these plans and the lack of public debate and consultation. The poll results show that 67% of respondents hadn’t heard of or weren’t sure they had heard about the growth corridor strategy. The poll, which was carried out by research company Survation on the behalf of the countryside charity, interviewed 1,500 residents across five counties (Ox…

Theft from Gardens — Police Warning

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Open Letter To All Gardeners During the Spring, Bedfordshire Police sees an upturn of theft from gardens and allotments as gardeners get to grips with tidying up winter growth and preparing for the new growing season.  Tools and lawnmowers are often the target but, even if nothing is stolen, damage is caused and is inconvenient and expensive for the victim.

However, as all experienced gardeners know, there is just as much work to be done when Autumn approaches and, again, all your tools will be in constant use.  Unfortunately, for the allotment holder, nature is against them as the days rapidly get shorter, the weather worsens and the allotments are less frequented over the winter.  This leaves your tools and equipment unattended for long periods of time and the gap between the crime and its discovery can be anything between a day and a fortnight.


Shed and container security is all important, therefore.  It is worthwhile giving your allotment a “health check”:

Check your locks and bo…

Council urges residents not to lose their vote

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Central Bedfordshire Council is encouraging local residents who have not yet registered to vote to have a say on who represents them locally by going online now to register. However, residents don’t need to register separately for every election, and will only need to register again if they’ve changed address, name or nationality since voting in the last election.

You can only vote in local elections on Thursday 2 May if your name appears in the register of electors and if you are aged 18 or over on polling day. The deadline to submit application forms to register to vote is midnight on Friday,12 April. Anyone not registered can do so at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Poll cards will be delivered at addresses across the Central Bedfordshire Council area from 5 – 9 April, with postal votes being sent out from 8 April for Council Ward elections and 15 April for Parish elections. If you do not receive a poll card, you may not be on the electoral register for the address where you live. An…

Local Schools Win Grants through Soft Drinks Industry Levy

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Healthy Pupils Capital Fund
Central Bedfordshire Council were allocated £171,061 from the Department for Education from the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF) in the 2018/19 financial year. CBC's public health team match funded that grant, meaning the total amount available was taken up to £342,122.

The HPCF was provided from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and was intended to be put towards projects which improve access to facilities for physical activity, healthy eating and wellbeing and medical conditions.

Schools could bid for funding and CBC had 95 bids submitted in total.

The bids were put through a rigorous assessment process, being scored on many factors, including how well they met the intended outcomes of the fund, how well they linked to existing plans to promote health and wellbeing, such as the health and wellbeing self-review, or cluster plan, and how well public health and deprivation data supported the need for the projects identified.


Successful bids were:


Academy o…

CBC's Kirsten Scoops National Apprentice of Year Award

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Kirsten Moore, a first-year apprentice in the local authority’s Public Health Stop Smoking Team, has triumphed to become joint-winner of the PPMA* Apprentice of the Year 2019.

Kirsten, who has been at the council for nine months and lives in Lidlington, entered the national competition to ‘take her out of her comfort zone and to push herself’. Those shortlisted were invited to attend a two-day assessment process at the University of Warwick, where Kirsten and 15 others were put through their paces.  Tasks included public speaking, timed group challenges and problem-solving with fictitious scenarios (like how to deal with your line manager if you’re about to miss an important deadline).


Kirsten said of her experience: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet other apprentices from around the country, all working in the public sector and felt privileged to represent Central Bedfordshire Council. As someone who isn’t naturally keen on public speaking and quite shy about meeting new peop…

Houghton Regis & Area Crime Statistics January 2019

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By Alan D Winter.

The latest crime statistics for the area have been released on the Police.uk website, and with additional neighbourhood area maps supplied by Houghton Regis News Desk, you can now compare the data for your area, with your neighbours.



The figures below show a comparison of crime types in Houghton Regis between February 2018 and January 2019.There were 114 anti-social behaviour incidents in the sparsely populated areas of  Bidwell & Sewell. Almost 20% of reported crime in Houghton Regis is violence and sexual offences. Burglary makes up 11% of all crime. Another 11% is vehicle crime. Criminal damage and arson makes up 10% .





◘ Houghton Regis Dunstable Area Crime January 2019 
◘ Houghton Regis


◘ Tithe Farm

◘ Parkside
◘ Houghton Hamlets


◘ Churchfields
◘ Manor Park 

◘ Industrial parts of Houghton Regis

◘ Bidwell and Sewell

Vote Before March 19th to Have Your Vote Counted!

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Your own space and a ready-made community. Freedom to be independent and access to care and support if you need it. A safe and secure place to live and links to the local community.

See voting link below to vote on your favourite name from the shortlist by 19 March 2019

All this will be possible for the over 55s when the landmark independent living scheme in Houghton Regis is built. Last week, a ground-breaking event marked the start of works on the former Co-op site in the middle of Houghton Regis town centre.



Attended by representatives of the community, council and contractor Galliford Try Partnerships, the event highlighted the vision for the new development planned for the site.

Work is now underway on the new independent living scheme, that will provide 168 independent living apartments for over 55s, alongside a public restaurant, bar and café, shops and health and beauty treatment rooms.

The shortlist of names for the building, as suggested by the local community, was also annou…

The Graffiti of Houghton Regis

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by Alan Winter
Graffiti might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's been around since the time that man picked up a coloured rock and discovered he could make a mark on a cave wall.

It certainly doesn't always appeal to passers-by or officialdom, especially if the graffiti is judged to be unsavoury or using profanity.

Back in 2017, these locals were seen whitewashing a wall in an alleyway running between Sundon Road and Dalling Drive (St Andrew's Lane), doing a favour for a local resident after some graffiti had appeared on the wall and officialdom had apparently asked for its removal. Since then, Houghton Regis Town Council has invested in equipment and chemicals that can tackle unwanted graffiti. The groundstaff employed by the council has more capacity to deal with unwanted graffiti during winter months.

 The Town Council are not strangers to graffiti, having organised graffiti events, like this one in the summer of 2018, with Houghton Regis Youth Council, where ch…
Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter

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