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Showing posts from June, 2020

Knifepoint Scooter Robbery in Houghton Regis

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Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information after a man had his electric scooter robbed at knifepoint by a group of teenagers. 
The scooter, which is worth around £1,500, was stolen during an incident in Sewell Lane, Houghton Regis, at around 6.30pm on Friday 12 June.

The victim was approached by four teenage boys, and when he refused to let them have a go on the scooter, one of the youths pulled out a knife, before they made off.

The four suspects are described as white, between 15 and 17 years old and all wearing dark coloured shell suits, three of them were on bikes and one was on foot.

The boy who was in possession of the knife is described as 5’8”, skinny and wearing a grey shell suit top with black Adidas tracksuit bottoms.

One of the other suspects was also around 5’8” tall, had an eastern European accent and was wearing a top with the word ‘Duffer’ written on it in white letters.

Another of the group is described as around 5’6”, with short shaved hair, chubby build…

New Evidence Available: Further Public Consultation Period for Central Bedfordshire's Local Plan

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Following the public Examination of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Plan last summer, the Planning Inspector asked the local authority a number of questions.

In order to address these questions, additional evidence has been submitted to the Inspectors and is now available on the Council’s website for comment.

The additional evidence consists of:

a supplementary Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and non-technical summary3 technical papers on housingemployment and transportSundon Freight Interchange Alternative Site Assessment5 additional evidence documents that have informed the work (see all current documents available for consultation)
All comments will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectors to assist their deliberations and any changes they recommend to the Local Plan.

Cllr Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration said, “This is an important step in moving the Local Plan forward to adoption.

“Adoption of our Local Plan is one of our highest priorities becaus…

Community Groups Can Have Extra Cash Through Their Councillors

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Your local CBC Councillors are to be given extra funding so that they help local groups in their area affected by the impact of COVID-19.

Each year, as part of the Ward Councillor Grant Scheme, Councillors are given £2000 which they can allocate to groups in their area which aim to improve the lives of local people.

At a meeting on Tuesday 16 June, the Council’s Executive agreed a proposal to extend the existing Ward Councillor Grant Scheme and allocate an additional £1000 to each Ward Councillor. This is to enable them to support local groups that are dealing with the direct consequences of the current public health emergency. Unlike the existing scheme, bids for the additional funds do not require match funding.

Executive Member with responsibility for Communities, Cllr Tracey Stock explains, “Many local voluntary and community groups, both new and well established, have stepped up to help as part of their response to the pandemic, playing a phenomenal role in their parishes, villa…

Feasibility Study On Kingsland Site Being Done By CBC

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Feasibility of the Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Study was brought up at 1:14:44 by Councillor Susan Goodchild, at today's Executive meeting.

At 1:22:36 Cllr Wenham confirmed it was the feasibility study for the whole Kingsland Site at Houghton Regis. It's early days yet, but they are looking at all aspects.

Watch and listen below.

Executive - Tuesday, 16th June 2020 at 9:30am - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting


If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Flexible School Starts Warmly Welcomed by Local MP

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South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous has warmly welcomed the Government’s decision today to allow primary, lower and middle schools the flexibility to invite back an additional year group if they want to. The Government guidance released today states,


“Where schools have the capacity, they may choose to welcome back additional pupils. It is up to schools to decide which pupils to prioritise, based on their knowledge of their children and communities. They may choose to welcome back pupils in another year group. Where middle schools choose to invite year 8 pupils back, they should be confident they can manage this within the strict measures we have asked primary schools to adopt (including no more than 15 in a class, and consistency of these groups).”

Andrew Selous said “I am delighted that the Government has given headteachers this flexibility. A number of teachers and parents have written to me asking for this flexibility, particularly in respect of the three tier schools and I a…

Bedfordshire Teenager Sentenced For Five Years After Gun Found in his Bedroom

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A drug dealer who had stored a gun in his bedroom has been jailed for five years.
Umar Javid, 19, of Hastings Road, Kempston, had pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition, two charges of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of cannabis.
It was reported to police earlier this year that Javid was believed to be in possession of a firearm.
In April armed officers recovered a gun from Javid’s bedroom and established that it was a blank-firing weapon that had been converted into a viable firearm.
Prior to this, on 21 June last year, Javid was arrested when officers stopped a vehicle in Bassett Road, Leighton Buzzard.
He was captured as he dropped cling-filmed packages containing Class A drugs while he attempted to run away from police.
He also had a small amount of cannabis in his possession as well as a mobile phone, which when investigated indicated he was involved in dealing drugs.
Javid appeared at Luton Crown Court on Monday (8 June) via vi…

House of Commons: Zoos, Aquariums and Wildlife Sanctuaries: Reopening

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– in the House of Commons at 3:16 pm on 11th June 2020. Listen to Andrew Selous in debate in Parliament.tv
Andrew Selous:“I congratulate both my hon. Friend Andrew Rosindell and Christian Matheson on their fantastic speeches. It is a testament to how important this issue is that the Chamber is this full on a Thursday afternoon.
“When people ask me where I am the Member of Parliament for, I normally say Whipsnade zoo, because it is by far the best known part of my constituency. It occupies 600 stunningly beautiful acres of the south Bedfordshire countryside and it is a part of the Zoological Society of London, which is joined with Whipsnade zoo, so London zoo and Whipsnade zoo are both part ZSL, the same organisation.
“I wish to start with a big thank you to the Minister. I have said on a number of occasions that her Department, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has been—if I can put it this way—on the side of the angels in this debate. It has been standing up for zoo…

Celebrating Bedfordshire Carers

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Central Bedfordshire Council is recognising the work of carers and the significant impact they make to the lives of those they look after as part of Carers Week (8 to 14 June).

The week aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Adults, Social Care, Housing Operations (HRA) and Customer Services, said: “We want to highlight how important carers are and the valuable role they play within our communities. Especially during this lockdown where many of our carers have faced increased challenges and taken on more caring responsibilities for relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older.

“Despite all of this our carers continue to do an amazing job. We also want to recognise our younger carers who l…

Zoos Allowed To Reopen - 100,000 Signatures in a Day!

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Zoos in England are to be allowed to reopen their doors to visitors from 15 June 2020.. Also permitted to reopen will be outdoor attractions where people stay in their cars, such as safari parks or drive-in cinemas, and takeaway food services.
But some things will have to remain closed like aquariums, reptile houses, other indoor exhibitions, cafes, and gift shops.
The news was embargoed until 22:30 Tuesday 9 June, reported The Independent
Earlier in the evening, a petition that had just 111 signatures at 10am on the morning of 9 June, was on course to get 100,000 signatures by 10:30pm. At 100,000 signatures Parliament would have had to consider debating it.
The 100,000 signatures were actually reached just after 11pm, with over 1,000 signatures coming from South West Bedfordshire, Andrew Selous' constituency where ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is situated.

Map source: parliament.uk


If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Flappy Birthday: Live Lockdown Party To Celebrate Sealion's First Birthday

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ZSL Whipsnade Zookeepers mark sea lion’s first birthday with a lockdown party – and you’re invitedZookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are hosting a FB live birthday party for the colony of sealions, as part of the fundraising appeal to save the iconic zoo.

The sealions (and zookeeper Alex) have already helped to raise thousands for the conservation charity through live talks from the sealion pool, so keepers thought a live birthday party would be a great way to drum up support.
As zoos up and down the country remain closed, while furniture stores, off-licenses and car showrooms open, the conservation charity behind Whipsnade is appealing to the public for support and donations.
Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are throwing a party for sea lion Maui’s first birthday during lockdown - and you’re invited to join the celebrations as they’re broadcast live on the zoo’s Facebook page.

Join In Celebration Birthday Party!On Wednesday 10 June at 12pm, you and your whole family can celebrate with the Zo…

Andrew Selous in Whipsnade SOS: Petitions Available

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9 June 2020: Following the publication of this article, the Parliamentary Petitions Team have highlighted two petitions can be signed.

You may wish to support these petitions:

Allow Zoos and Wildlife attractions to reopen with social distancing in place

Provide financial help to zoos, aquariums, & rescue centres during the pandemic:


Local MP, Andrew Selous says on his online blog, “For weeks now I have been in almost daily contact with Dominic Jermey the Director-General of the Zoological Society of London which owns Whipsnade Zoo and with the Government to try to get Whipsnade reopened .”
The MP believes that “ZSL remains capable of continuing its outstanding global conservation work and higher education research work, both of which have never been more necessary.
“ZSL is so much more than London and Whipsnade zoos. The work it did on the Dasgupta Review played an important role in getting COP26 to the United Kingdom. ZSL has helped the Treasury understand the value of nature to the …

Take Part in Neighbourhood Watch Week (7th - 13th June 2020) #LetsStayConnected

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This weekend is the start of Neighbourhood Watch Week (7th - 13th June 2020) in which we are encouraged to celebrate our neighbours. 
Here's a folding card - you might print out and post. (Download pdf file here).
During Neighbourhood Watch Week hopefully, you find ways to celebrate the neighbourly connections made in past and recent weeks. This can be by joining in with the Big Virtual Lunch weekend activities, displaying a poster in your window, gifting a postcard to a neighbour, or entering a competition.
To find out more information including details of the competition please visit ourwatch website. The competition provides an opportunity using cartoons to express what neighbours mean to you. 
Please share this with your neighbours and join in.
Facebook Live QuizAnd, there's a Facebook Live Quiz to be hosted by our CEO, John Hayward-Cripps, on Friday 12th June at 7pm. To find out more see Ourwatch Facebook Event page: facebook.com/events/551427478871731/ or take part simply vis…

Residents To get Cycling and Win £500 Towards A New Bike

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It’s great to see more people having a renewed interested in getting out on their bike during the lockdown. Riding a bike gives you the chance to not only exercise and get some fresh air, but to discover new places in your local area. If you haven’t been out on your bike yet, there is now even more on offer to encourage you to.

Central Bedfordshire Council is working alongside Love to Ride this Bike Month to get more people to choose cycling as part of their daily travel and exercise and encourage others to try it too.

To be in with a chance to win £500 towards a new bike sign up to the Love to Ride free event. It doesn't matter if you ride every day or haven't been on a bike in years, you just have to set yourself a goal and achieve it – it’s that simple.

And, if you win, Love to Ride will also give £500 to either the Bikes for Key Workers or the Community Support initiatives so you could be giving back to others at the same time as winning yourself.

Cycling is a great way to …

Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery in Houghton Regis

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Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery in Houghton Regis.
On the 2 June (Tuesday), at 4:30am, a man was leaving Kirton Way in Houghton Regis when he was approached by two men. One man was on a pedal bike and stopped in front of the victim’s vehicle and a second man was drinking a bottle of beer. The men threatened the victim and stole his car before driving off in the direction of Parkside Drive. The vehicle was later found on Poynters Road, Luton.
On 30 May, a man was getting into his car in Halleys Way, Houghton Regis, when two men approached him, threatened him with baseball bats and attempted to take his vehicle.
In both offences the offenders are described as white with brown hair, approximately 5’ 5’’, but one was stockier than the other. 
Detective Constable Mandy Godfree, investigating, said: “We are asking anyone who may have seen anything to come forward, as these incidents have been terrifying for the victims involved.
“We are also asking residents in Houghton Re…

May - Sunniest Calendar Month On Record in England

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May has become the sunniest calendar month on record in the UK

It has been the sunniest Spring on record for the UK and all the home nations and the driest May on record in England.

Spring 2020 headlines
626 hours of bright sunshine were recorded in Spring 2020 for the UK and have exceeded the previous high (555 hours, set in 1948) by over 70 hours. Spring 2020 also exceeds the sunshine amount for most summer seasons, with only three summers being sunnier (1976, 1995, and 1989).The figure for England is even higher. Spring 2020 recorded 696 hours of sunshine, exceeding the previous record set of 594.3 hoursAll UK countries have recorded their sunniest spring on record in series stretching back to 1929It has been the eighth warmest spring on record for the UK, with both England and Wales having their fifth warmest spring on recordIt has been the fifth driest spring for the UK overall, but some counties in north east England and eastern Scotland have recorded their driest spring in a rai…

#VolunteersWeek2020 CBC Take Part In National Week of Appreciation for Volunteers

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Central Bedfordshire Council is joining in with National Volunteers’ Week* 2020 by saying ‘thank you’ to volunteers throughout Central Bedfordshire who have stepped up to make a difference to others.

Cllr Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing and Communities, said: “This year, more than ever, people have come together to help out their neighbours and their wider communities. Local volunteers have been amazing.

“Many have never volunteered before but, following a request for volunteers to help during the coronavirus emergency, the response has been incredible.

“The 44 Good Neighbour schemes across Central Bedfordshire that provide day-to-day practical support and companionship for our more vulnerable and lonely residents is just one example of the many ways in which volunteers are helping others.

“I’m aware of many groups that are making a difference in their communities. I’m volunteering for a support group in my Ward, taking calls from shielded residents who need …

Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Bedfordshire Winners 2020

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Buckingham Palace has today announced The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service winners for 2020 and HM Lord-Lieutenant¹ of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, is delighted that four voluntary organisations in Bedfordshire have been recognised.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Nationally, 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups have received the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them. The following Bedfordshire organisations have been successful. More information on the winners and the Award can be found at https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-fo…
Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter