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Showing posts from May, 2019

Beat The Rush And Reserve A New Home At Thorn

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While not everyone has the courage or confidence to buy a new home from the plan – there are huge advantages to cherry-picking a property before the first bricks are laid. Work at Linden Homes Midlands’s latest development is underway at Thorn, Houghton Regis, where the Buckwood Leys development is being built. Viewed from the edge of Houghton Regis Chalk Pit The homes are being built at the development close to Thorn Road, offering a mix of three and four-bedroom home in a range of designs with 26 planned for the first phase of the development. A sales and marketing suite is already open at the development giving visitors the opportunity to see just what Buckwood Leys has to offer. The fantastic four-bedroom Kempthorne; with its extensive living room and kitchen/dining area complete with two sets of French doors to the garden – will also be opening its doors as a view home. A ground floor study is perfect for those working from home. The spacious first floor comp

State of SSSI Marl Lake at Houghton Regis Chalk Pit (2019)

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Photographs I took this weekend show the further decline of the SSSI Marl Lake in Houghton Regis Chalk Pit. As the water dries up it also presents further opportunity to clear up discarded rubbish and fly-tipping. If only there was a management team capable of managing it. Although it was managed up until 2017 out of funds provided by Bovis Homes development at Lake View, new funding from other developments has yet to come forward. Above: A scene in 2014, Below, the reed beds dried out in 2019 and entry by foot is easily made to capture this shot showing the shrunken lake.  In the comparison below see the difference 4 and a half years has made. The water level used to be up to the trees on the far side, and on the near side the bank, too, has been left exposed. Top: May 2019, Bottom Nov 2014 Meanwhile, other deterioration is taking place around the chalk pit: Man-made steps are eroding, having been vandalised, and there was evidence that a

HRHS Launch Archive Photo Site for Houghton Regis

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A new website was launched today at the Visitor Centre in Houghton Hall Park. A gathering of interested people heard from David Hill and Roger Turner of the Houghton Regis Heritage Society as they unveiled a new Web Picture Archive. A First For Houghton Regis - A Web Picture Archive The website at  https://hrhsarchive.org.uk/   contains a wealth of old photographs of Houghton Regis, the village, and later as a town, grown up. The site is made up of a series of collections, the main one being the Pat Lovering Archive. This is a valuable collection by a lady who had photograph books published about Houghton Regis. Chairman David Hill explained, “The Heritage Society was very keen to bring Pat's collection to a wider audience online, enabling visitors to not only look at the images but to order digital downloads of many. Great care was taken to protect copyright ownership of the photographs on the site, so viewing them online is restricted by a large watermark. Wh

Bond Theme Party As GO Houghton Celebrates 4th year

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Ah, Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you! That was the phrase of the day at the 007-themed fourth-anniversary party at GO Houghton last week. Owner of the premier bar and restaurant, Kishor Patel, this year turned the Houghton Regis venue into a Casino Royale to celebrate another thriving year for the venue in Parkside Drive, in Houghton Regis. The anniversary party was held to say thank you to guests, team members, suppliers, associates, family, and friends for their support. Mr Patel said, “We are all about creating great memories for our customers. Every year for our anniversary party we do something memorable. Last year we went to the Wild West, this year our guests were dressed to impress.” Mayor of Houghton Regis, Cllr M S Kennedy  Among those VIPs to cross the threshold and receive a red carpet reception was the newly elected Mayor of Houghton Regis, Martin Kennedy. Kishor Patel as a gambler in Go Houghton decked out as Casino Royale for the night “The me

Councillors considered land at Dog Kennel Down for a Cemetery

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The first meeting of the newly elected Town Council's New Cemetery Working Group takes place next Tuesday on 28 May 2019 at 6pm The previous meeting on 23 April 2019 shows that the Triangle of land Dog Kennel Down and the Busway was considered.  Councillors were advised by consultants that  “all of the sites are situated on the same geological sequence and therefore carries similar risks with regards to groundwater contamination from cemeteries. If a sufficient thickness of head soils was encountered on site, the risk may be reduced." Land at Dog Kennel Down towards Blackburn Road Google Maps  - current cemetery on the right, Dog Kennel Down on the left. In 2014 a report contained an investigation and flux model which highlighted that the risk of contamination into the underlying groundwater table could be mitigated, but that the Environment Agency(EA) may require the installation of groundwater monitoring wells. EA regulations now regulate for stricter co

Parents and pupils to stride out during Walk to School Week

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Schools throughout Central Bedfordshire will be getting active on their way to school during ‘Walk to School Week’ (20-24 May). Children and their parents are being encouraged to swap four wheels for two feet by taking part in the five-day walking challenge. Walk to School Week is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils across the UK expected to take part. Central Bedfordshire Council will be supporting local pupils by supplying a number of classes with Walk to School Week resource packs. Through fun wallcharts and stickers, children will find out how walking can benefit the whole community, as well as improve their individual wellbeing. Pupils will learn the importance of walking to school and collectively create the most walkable street imaginable. Every pupil who takes part in Walk to School Week will be rewarded with a celebration badge. Steve Lakin, Strategic Transport Manager and Highways Development Managemen

Executive Members for Central Bedfordshire Council confirmed

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Conservative Cllr James Jamieson (Westoning, Flitton and Greenfield) was elected leader of Central Bedfordshire Council for the next four years last night. There was a challenge from opposition councillors to debate this important position but they were told "we don't need to [debate this]".  - see video. COUNCIL - Thu, 16th May 2019 - 6:30 pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting Listen to Cllr Jamieson's comments: COUNCIL - Thu, 16th May 2019 - 6:30 pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting Cllr Brian Saunders, who topped the poll for Stotfold and Langford, is the new Chairman. Cllr Gordon Perham was elected as Vice Chairman. Cllr Brian Saunders takes over the role from Cllr Fiona Chapman MBE, who held the position for the last two years but lost her seat in Flitwick in this May's elections . Cllr Chapman was thanked for awareness raising for her chosen charities, ABF The Soldiers Charity , Bedfordshire Crimebeat , the MS Society

Thornhill Primary School Expansion

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Central Bedfordshire Council has given notice of its intention to expand Thornhill School in Grove |Road, Houghton Regis. There are plans to  increase the capacity of the school from 210 to 630 places. There would be two forms of entry (60 places) per year group from 1 September 2021. A piece of land has been secured from the developers of Linmere who have plans to build 5,000 new homes around the north of the town. 80% of the 15 responses received during the preliminary consultation, via the council’s on-line response facility, either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal. 13%% of responses strongly disagreed with the proposal. 7% neither agreed nor disagreed. The total cost for the proposed expansion of Thornhill Primary School is estimated at £8.3 m. The new build that would be provided has still to be agreed but it would consist of sufficient classroom space to accommodate the additional children plus space for the required support facilities. In addition to st

Meet the CBC Councillors for Houghton Hall

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l When this pair of ladies, Susan Goodchild and Yvonne Farrell won seats on Central Bedfordshire Council last week in Houghton Hall ward lots of Congratulatory messages were posted to Facebook. On the Central Bedfordshire Liberal Democrats Page, wife of a returning councillor to the Town Council, Patricia Jones, wrote “You two are ‘superheroines.’ My ‘rain dance’ proves it. Ha, ha.” So that was the secret of their success? The win was perhaps more remarkable for Yvonne since she only won her seat on the Town Council by 8 votes to the Labour candidate Alex Butler in 2018. This time, the result was more astounding, albeit for a different Council, as Yvonne left Mr Butler trailing by almost 300 votes. And Susan Goodchild, as an original Central Bedfordshire Councillor, is set to continue her work at the Council for another 4 years. Yvonne Farrell was born and raised in the local village of Sharpenhoe, the daughter of a farmer. She has, however, lived in Houghton Reg

Selous Asks About Pension Penalties Causing GPs To Leave the Profession

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Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire “Our GPs are a very special group of public servants, and it is good news that we have recruited them in record numbers over the last two years. Will the Prime Minister do everything she can to make sure that we look after their job satisfaction, and specifically to help them with the pensions penalty that some of them face in their mid-50s, which is driving some of them out of the profession?” Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party “I thank my hon. Friend for his comments about GPs. They are indeed a vital part of our NHS—they are the bedrock of our NHS—and that is why, as I indicated earlier in response to the Leader of the Opposition, I think it is so important that the long-term plan includes extra investment in primary and community care. The new, historic five-year contract for general practice announced in January was developed in partnership with the BMA, and it will provide greater certainty

Houghton Regis & Area Police Crime Map Latest Data

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Comparison of crime types in this area between April 2018 and March 2019 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. Overall Stats:  See details Houghton Regis:  see detailed stats Tithe Farm:  see detailed statistics Parkside:  see detailed statistics Houghton Hamlets:  see detailed statistics Churchfields:  see detailed statistics Manor Park:  see detailed statistics The industrial part of Houghton Regis:  see detailed statistics Bidwell and Sewell:  see detailed statistics Dunstable:  See detailed statistics   North East Dunstable:  See detailed statistics    North West Dunstable:  See detailed statistics South East Dunstable:  See detailed statistics    South West Dunstable:  See detailed statistics   

Town Council : External Investigator Report Over Community Worker Contract

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An external investigator report into matters surrounding the Houghton Regis Town Council's engagement and subsequent extinguishment of a contract to supply Community Services has turned up some extraordinary findings. What About Youth? Ltd was engaged by the Town Council to supply services in 2011, in keeping with the Big Society ethos of the government of the day. Happy with results, the Town Councillors further agreed in 2013 to continue with the engagement for a further 3 years to 2016. However, the relationship between the Community Worker and the Council became strained in 2014-15, and acting appropriately on pressure from the community, in March 2015, the Council members called for the termination of the arrangement with one month's notice. Over subsequent years the contracted person employed by What About Youth? Ltd came to claim damages for early termination of the arrangement to provide work and the Town Council was eventually advised by its legal ad

Public Art Scheme Will Celebrate Chiltern Way & the Icknield Way

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A public art scheme has been commissioned by Taylor Wimpey referencing the Chiltern Way and the Icknield Way for their 'Regency Place' (aka Aylesbury Drive) development at Bidwell in Houghton Regis. Kay Aplin, an architectural ceramicist specialising in public art, large-scale wall-based installations, founder of The Ceramic House, Brighton, has been commissioned to produce a series of prototypes of ceramic plates for public artwork to complement the Icknield Way and the Chiltern Way that run close to the Aylesbury Drive site. For 24 years Kay Aplin has been forging a successful career in architectural ceramics. During this time she has had many commissions around the UK and internationally, producing a distinct range of public realm artworks that have stood the tests of weather and time. Kay also creates large-scale ceramic installations for galleries and commissions for interiors and gardens. On Instagram Kay Aplin , has been showing off some of the works in