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Showing posts from October, 2019

MP has No Confidence in Greenwood Academies Trust

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Local MP Andrew Selous has taken to Facebook to express his disappointment with Greenwood Academies who are running Houghton Regis Academy. He wrote, “I have spoken to a number of children at Houghton Regis Academy and I am appalled at the bad behaviour in the school and the disruption to lessons which has caused a number of teachers to leave. I have had no satisfactory response from Greenwood Academies Trust on what action they are taking to improve matters and I have made my dissatisfaction very clear to the Department for Education and directly to the Regional Schools Commissioner responsible for Academies Trusts in our area, Dame Kate Dethridge. The Department for Education have told me that they are arranging an emergency meeting tomorrow with the Academy and Central Bedfordshire Council officials. I understand they will also be getting urgent expert advice about the running of the school and will be fully reviewing the management of Greenwood Academies Trust. I am as

M1-A6 Link Road - Objectors Step Up Their Concerns

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by Cllr Mary Walsh (Independent, CBC) The Secretary of State has refused to consider the application for the M1 A6 Link Road, proposed to be built through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Green Belt of Bedfordshire. The Secretary of State is leaving the decision on the A6 M1 Link Road to be taken by CBC, as he considers it a local matter.  In doing so he appears to have shown complete disregard for the protection offered to this wonderful and irreplaceable landscape within the Government's own National Planning Policy Framework. He also disregards the opinions of the Chilterns Conservation Board, the Woodland Trust, the Chilterns Conservation Society, CPRE (Bedfordshire), Natural England,  Luton Borough Council plus many, many others including individual residents. National Asset In saying that this is a decision to be taken locally, he appears to forget this is a national asset , valued by many beyond our borders and not lightly designated

Why Selling Fireworks to Under 18s Is A Big Mistake!

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s public protection team will be visiting over 40 retailers to ensure that the public aren’t being sold dangerous fireworks. Officers will be inspecting retailers’ premises to ensure that the fireworks are being stored safely and securely, away from possible sources of ignition and damp. A number of other checks will be carried out to ensure retailers are behaving responsibly and complying with the law, including checks to confirm that the retailer has the required registration or licence to legally store and sell fireworks and that the fireworks conform to relevant safety standards. Retailers will also be reminded of the age restrictions that apply to the sale of fireworks: those under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy fireworks or handle them in a public place. Fireworks should only be purchased from reputable suppliers and the public are advised to steer well clear of buying fireworks from markets, car-boot sales or street sellers. Fire

Top Tips For Van Owners

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A Crime Reduction Officer has put together some top tips for van owners as the Force continues to receive reports of break-ins to vans in the southern area of Bedfordshire. With dark nights upon us some of these tips could prove invaluable to van owners. Top Tips Leaving items on show is an invitation - please don't do it. Remember to remove power leads, Sat-Navs, mounts dash cams, wallets, keys, coats and even bags! Never leave expensive items in your unattended vehicle. Keys and ignition fobs should be kept safe, out of sight and reach  – a common way to steal a car or van is to take the keys or ignition fob, either when left in the vehicle or from your home through burglary. If your key or fob is fitted with an electronic chip store it in a Faraday pouch. Always lock and close the windows of your vehicle when unattended. An unlocked vehicle is the easiest to steal from. When away from home, consider using a Park Mark approved car park. See www.parkmark.c

Thorn Road — New Bellway Housing Development Opens its Doors

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A new housing development has opened to the public on the edge of Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire. Bellway is building a range of homes at its Brambleside development – which forms part of a new neighbourhood being built to the west of Bidwell – and is progressing well with the first phase of construction, comprising 165 two, three and four-bedroom homes. A sales office opened on site earlier this month and the first plots have been released for sale, with prices starting from £266,995. Bellway Northern Home Counties Sales Manager Shirley Macleod said Brambleside would form part of an exciting new residential community in this popular and well-connected town. She said: “We’re already finding that many of our enquiries are from people who work in London – we’re only six miles from Luton railway station here, and then London St Pancras is only a little over half an hour away. “People looking to move out of London are telling us they would get twice as much house for their

3rd November - Free Fireworks Show In Houghton Regis

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The sky will be light up on Sunday 3rd November at the Houghton Regis Fireworks Display, which is taking place at Tithe Farm Recreation Ground. This will be the 4th time that the Town Council has hosted this event and is set to be a sparkling occasion. Entrance to the Recreation Ground will be via Hillbrough Crescent, and gates will be open from 4pm, ready for the Fireworks Bonanza to begin at 7pm. The display is free to watch, and once inside the grounds, there will some food retailers and fairground style rides for younger children. The Town Council say that the event will be carefully managed and fully staffed to make sure everyone enjoys themselves, stays safe and that there is minimal disruption to local residents. 2017 Houghton Regis Fireworks If you would like to know more about the planning and management of the event please contact the Town Council  on 01582 708540 or email info@houghtonregis.org.uk . If you have news for Houghton Regis, please s

Help to Buy Scheme Deadline Looms for Bedfordshire Home-Hunters

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Looking to get financial help with buying a new home in Bedfordshire? Then act soon – or you could miss out. That’s the advice from Ben Smith, Regional Director for housebuilder Ashberry Eastern Counties, which is based in Huntingdon and is currently building new homes at Chalk Fields in Bidwell and Sycamore Avenue in New Cardington. The Government’s current Help to Buy scheme will end in March 2021 and although it’s being replaced with a new version of Help to Buy, the new scheme will be much more limited than the offer that’s available now. At present, Help to Buy allows first-time buyers and people with a home to sell to purchase a new-build home with a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage. The remaining 20 per cent of the price is provided by the Government in the form of an equity loan, which is interest-free for the first five years. Ben said: “There are good financial reasons for all new house buyers to take advantage of the current Help to Buy scheme whi

Independent CBC Councillor Questions Rise in Unaccounted For Expenditure

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By Cllr Adam Zerny, Central Bedfordshire Councillor COUNCIL ALLOWS ITSELF TO SPEND £150,000 WITHOUT DETAILED BUSINESS CASE . uk inflation calculator Until now, before Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) spent more than £60,000 on capital expenditure (actual solid things as opposed to running costs) it was obliged to produce a detailed business case. Which makes sense doesn't it. If anyone in your company was advocating spending that sort of money on a new building or new machine, you'd expect a well-researched financial argument for it. At CBC's General Purposes Committee yesterday, councillors voted to increase the amount the Council could spend without a detailed business case, from £60,000 to £150,000. How did CBC justify it? The Council said it was "simply trying to bring the policy up today (sic), given that over the years inflation has eroded the value of money significantly" adding it felt there was only a "marginally increased ri

'Green Belt' Beauty Salon At Bidwell Refused on Appeal

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An Inspector has declined on appeal an application for a beauty salon at Bidwell siting 'inappropriate development within the Green Belt ' The beauty salon would have been at the red shaded place in Bidwell Link to this map Can a planning application be turned down on planning grounds if it is surrounded by new housing and planned new housing? ------ CB/18/04256/FULL Location: Highfield House, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 6JP Description: Erection of a detached building to be used as a beauty salon Consultation Start Date: 16 / 11 / 2018 Application refused 11 January 2019 ---- This application was refused by Central Bedfordshire Council and subsequently went to Appeal. The Inspector refused the application on Appeal, concluding that the "proposal would constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt and would cause harm to the openness of the Green Belt. The scheme would also have a detrimental impact on the living condit

Upper Thorn Green Development - 160 Homes

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A Reserved Matters application will be discussed at Houghton Regis Town Council Planning Committee on 21 October 2019.  Following Outline CB/15/00297/OUT (1850 dwellings and mixed class use) this new application looks at matters for access, landscaping, layout and scale for 160 dwellings on phase CA2 at Upper Thorn Green. The plots being considered are outlined in yellow below. The Design and Access submission for this application states that the application site consists of four irregular shaped land parcels, approximately 7.4 hectares (18.3 acres) in size, which are located approximately  1½ kilometres north of  Houghton  Regis town centre. View from Upper Thorn Green towards Houghton Regis Chalk Pit The site is predominantly arable land and is generally flat with a gentle south-east facing slope. Access is currently taken from Thorn Road which leads into the site from Bedford Road.  The new A5-M1 Link Road runs to the north of the Bidwell West development and

Increase In Theft From Motor Vehicle Offences

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By  PC ANDREWS, Dunstable & Houghton Regis Community Policing Team Dear Resident of Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Surrounding Villages. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in Theft From Motor Vehicle offences, whereby trade vehicles and work vans are being targetted. Most - but not all -  of these offences are taking place between 8pm and 10pm, with windows being smashed or sliding doors being ripped open. Victims of these offences are losing hundreds if not thousands of pounds of expensive tools, some of which are crucial to their work. Please, if you own any vehicle, do not keep any valuables inside. Especially in plain sight. Unfortunately, these opportunist criminals do not give thoughts to who their actions will effect, so please do your best to avoid becoming one of their targets. If you see any suspicious behaviour, be that people looking through car windows or trying door handles, to vehicles driving very slowly along your road or cul-de-sac, then pl