Showing posts from September, 2020

Cheering Volunteers 2020

Central Bedfordshire Cheering Volunteers will be held virtually. Please Make your nominations. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 20 November. For 2020, the Central Bedfordshire Cheering Volunteering Awards and Celebration will be virtual – but the recognition will be real. The awards, organised by Central Bedfordshire Council, working in partnership with the Volunteer Centres as part of Central Bedfordshire Together, is our chance to say thank you to those who give their time to help others. Sponsors will be  Ringway Jacobs , Pro Logis , Grand Union Housing , Jeakins Weir and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue.  The awards are devoted to recognising and applauding the efforts of volunteers across the area. This year a special COVID-19 award has been created and nominations are invited for individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to support their communities, and particularly vulnerable residents through the pandemic. Another special award for 2020 is The Captain Sir Tom Award fo

£1.3m Tithe Farm Recreation Ground Sports Project

Houghton Regis Town Council has been developing a scheme of improvement for Tithe Farm Recreation Ground at a provisional cost of £1,350,000 A report to the Environment and Leisure Committee last week told councillors that so far the project comprises: an all-weather pitch,  new changing rooms and car parking on Tithe Farm recreation ground  The project is being developed and progressed in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and the Beds Football Association (Beds FA). Funding for the project is likely to come from the Town Council, CBC and the Football Foundation. The council has appointed a Bid Consultant and a Design Architect to support the project development. Issues have arisen.  The land needs to be registered with the Land Registry. And across the site, there is an Anglian Water foul sewer. Options are being considered to either design the scheme around the drain or to work with Anglian Water to ensure there is access should it be required. Provisional funding c

Council Approves Sustainability Plan

Last Thursday's full meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council adopted its new Sustainability Plan aimed at making the council carbon neutral by 2030. The detailed plan outlines a ‘road map’ developed jointly by officers and elected members and it commits the council to lead by example by investing in sustainability while encouraging and working with others – residents, businesses and key partners - to do the same. It follows a July 2019 climate action motion which was also supported by all councillors. Cllr Steve Dixon, Executive Member for Transformation and External Partnerships said, “We’ve deliberately called this a plan because that’s exactly what it is. Clearly defined steps towards our carbon neutral goal." Members will be given annual progress reports in late spring with success measured against a detailed survey of the current council carbon footprint. Added Cllr Dixon, “We are going to appoint a Sustainability Lead to co-ordinate our work and provide expert advice, wo

Council Goes Into Private Session to Discuss new CBC Chief Executive's Renumeration

Following an extensive recruitment process, Central Bedfordshire Council has confirmed the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Marcel Coiffait. Council - Thursday, 24th September 2020 at 6:30pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting Cllr James Jamieson moved a motion 'to seek approval of the appointment of a Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) for Central Bedfordshire Council, in accordance with the recommendation of the Appointment Sub Committee.' 1.approve the recommendation of the Appointments Sub-Committee held on Monday 21 September 2020 to appoint Marcel Coiffait to the post of Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) of Central Bedfordshire Council; 2.note the constitutional requirement that the Head of Paid Service is also the Council’s Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer; and 3.appoint the Democratic Services Manager, Brian Dunleavy, as the Deputy Electoral Registration Officer. Cllr Snelling (Liberal Democrats) seconded the motion.

Community Spirit Shines Through the Pandemic

Members of Central Bedfordshire Council unanimously supported a motion of appreciation for volunteers and voluntary organisations across the area, at a meeting of the full Council on Thursday night. Dozens of neighbourhood groups, as well as more established voluntary and community organisations, have been crucial in helping residents through the challenges of the pandemic and particularly those who are the most vulnerable. Council - Thursday, 24th September 2020 at 6:30pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting The following motion was put to Council by Cllr Adam Zerny, Leader of the Independent Network at Central Bedfordshire Council and was unanimously supported: “This Council wishes to express, publicly, its deep gratitude to Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire, Community Action Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the dozens of other volunteering organisations and neighbourhood groups around Central Bedfordshire which made such an incredible effort duri

123 Grants and over £616,000 Distributed Through BLCF

In their Autumn newsletter the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) report that after 16 weeks of grant applications and panel assessments 123 grants were awarded with over £616,000 distributed across Bedfordshire.     Awards have been made to support a spectrum of needs including, the purchase and delivery of essential food and hygiene parcels,  technology requests to enable services focused on mental health, domestic abuse, dementia and bereavement to continue by operating from home,  projects focused on the young and older members of our community to ensure they are still able to engage in social activities albeit often delivered via a virtual platform. BLCF*  has received requests for help on a practical level (rents and bills) and also from small organisations seeking advice on how best to proceed in these unknown times with issues around HR, fundraising and legal governance. BLCF  has changed, too, to adapt to the "new normal", and with new government fund

Council Leader's Guide to Spotting Covid-secure Venues

CBC's environmental health team have produced a guide on what to look out for during the pandemi c This article has been withdrawn. Please refer to: - GOV.UK - CBC   If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Go Houghton Restaurant to be Sold

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  It is with deepest regret we announce that we have taken the decision to sell Go Houghton Bar & Restaurant. This was one of the hardest business decisions we have had to make and one which was not taken lightly. There were a number of factors outside of our control which have made us make this decision. Our foremost priority was to secure the jobs of our fabulous team at GO and we have achieved that by selling the business to a new restaurant operator which allows the staff to transfer with the business. The new operator has exciting plans for the new site, and we hope you can all support them and the team going forward. We would like to say THANK YOU again to our entire team and all of our amazing customers for the fabulous journey over the past 5 years, without you, none of this would have been possible. The full announcement can be found on the below image. For any queries, please contact Best wishes Kishor Patel Click For Your Face

A New Secondary School For Houghton Regis

Artist impression of the final look of sports block and teaching block Report by Alan D Winter CBC has agreed to forward fund a new school so it can be built for September 2022. 1,120 secondary school places are proposed with a sixth form.  To  meet the need from housing development this will be expanded to  1,850 places as this is built. The school will meet the need for secondary school places for the local community and will be run by a new academy  at the Kingsland site in Parkside, Houghton Regis.  The plan includes a 220 place sixth form to be completed by July 2022. The wider site is already occupied by a Houghton Regis Secondary School that currently accommodates around 269 pupils. In recent years this has become less active and is due to close before the new school opens. This proposal has been developed in tandem with the housing developer Barton Wilmore to ensure that the appropriate links between the two are in place upon completion. The proposed new school would initially

Residents Praised For Recycling Efforts During Recycle Week

You thanked Central Bedfordshire Council's waste collection crews during the lockdown, with pictures, cards, presents and friendly waves and now CBC want to thank you for continuing to recycle as much as possible during the pandemic. Despite all that has happened this year we are lucky to live in an area that is full of fantastic recyclers. What and how we recycle really matters. Recycling just one item rather than throwing it in the general rubbish bin means that it will be dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way and means that materials can be reused for a longer lifespan. As part of Recycle Week , which runs from 21-27 September , the council wants to help people recycle more by knowing which items can be recycled. Recycling at home is something everyone can do to help protect the environment and planet. Here in Central Bedfordshire we want to help residents to recycle right and that’s why we’ve created a short video to show examples of some plastics which can and c

Salvation Army Fundraising

Normally at this time of year, Salvation Army (SA) members, friends and volunteers, would be knocking on doors around the country, standing on the High Street, outside supermarkets and railway stations, asking people to give towards their public, annual ‘Big Collection’.  100% of the funds raised from the SA's public and street collecting go directly to help people in need - people who are homeless and older people and the funds also support their  Family Tracing Service , their  employment services , their  drug addiction  and  rehabilitation services  and so much more.   To keep everyone safe this year, SA are looking at different ways of raising funds in the communities where they work. However, the help that The Salvation Army gives, carries on and is needed more than ever. One example of this wonderful work is Jack’s story.    Jack became homeless after his wife died and he had a complete breakdown. Sleeping rough, he lost all hope and self-respect. But when he was referred to

Act With Caution If You Ever Receive A Suspicious Email

Trading Standards in Central Bedfordshire are warning residents to be wary of any suspicious emails regarding payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice or Penalty Charge Notice. One such email that has come to their attention, gives the impression it has been sent by the “HM Courts & Tribunals Service”, when in fact the email appears to have originated from Brazil. The email claims the notice has been sent to the resident as the registered keeper of a vehicle that was used in an area where a charging scheme applied. The email instructs the resident to click on a link to pay the penalty of £25 before a specific date, otherwise, the penalty increases to £100. The email then claims if no payment is received within 28 days, the outstanding payment will be registered as a debt at the County Court. This email is a SCAM! If you ever receive an email you suspect may be a phishing scam, please forward it to and delete it from your computer. Do not reply to the sender and do

Latest Figures: Government Support for Self-employed South West Bedfordshire

·       4,200 self-employed people in South West Bedfordshire have received support through the second grants available through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme ·       In total, more than £160 billion of Government support has been provided to help individuals and businesses in all parts of the UK New statistics showing the huge Government support to self-employed workers in South West Bedfordshire have been welcomed by local MP Andrew Selous. 4,200 self-employed people in South West Bedfordshire have accessed £12,300,000 worth of Government grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’s second tranche. These grants do not need to be paid back and will help to cover lost earnings. This is in addition to the support given to self-employed workers through the first grant – worth £17,900,00 in South West Bedfordshire. Self-employed people have had six months of income support during the coronavirus pandemic – one of the most generous schemes in the world. A first gra

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service goes to the Volunteers of Keech Hospice Care

Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire presents The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Volunteers of Keech Hospice Care Photo: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss with Liz Searle, Chief Executive of Keech Hospice Care On Wednesday 16 September, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis, made a socially distant COVID-19-friendly visit to Keech Hospice Care to present the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to its volunteers. 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 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups. Keech Hospice Care provides free specialist care to adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire and children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire an

Ashberry Homes New Showhome Open At Bidwell

The doors to a new showhome have been opened at a housing development in Bidwell. Housebuilder Ashberry Homes is building 88 one, two, three and four-bedroom homes alongside public open space at Chalk Fields, off Thorn Road. Aerial view of developments at Thorn Road, Bidwell, Houghton Regis The development is part of a new neighbourhood to the north of Houghton Regis, just two miles from the centre of Dunstable. It will provide up to 1,850 new homes when complete. House-hunters can book a one-to-one appointment with the sales team to visit the new four-bedroom Crawley showhome, with safety measures in place. The showhome is spread across three storeys and features an open-plan kitchen/dining room, a living room overlooking the garden and an en suite shower room and dressing room to the master bedroom on the top floor. Rhiannon Jones, Head of Sales for Ashberry Homes Eastern Counties, said, “With building work on the homes at Chalk Fields progressing well, we felt it was the ideal time

Additional Funding For L&D Hospital Announced

Luton and Dunstable Hospital to receive £5.7million to upgrade A&E facilities ahead of winter. Part of £450 million provided by the Government to upgrade A&Es this winter. Luton and Dunstable Hospital is set to receive an additional £5.7million in order to support Accident and Emergency capacity ahead of the winter months. The news has been welcomed by South West Beds MP, Andrew Selous.  The £5.7 million will be used to expand and upgrade A&E facilities at the hospital, ensuring they have enough space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control.  The funding will be used for the expansion of the department to incorporate current Same Day Emergency Care and children’s assessment unit areas, with the temporary relocation of minor injuries.  It is  part of £150 million  to be  shared  across  25 A&Es , with the money being used to expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles. It is on top of the £300 million provided by the Go

New TV Documentary to Feature Whipsnade Zoo

l A new behind-the-scenes documentary will air on ITV – 24 September and 1 October, 9pm A lioness with a mystery illness, an agoraphobic camel and a sea lion colony prepping for a cross-country move are just some of the stars of a brand-new documentary, airing on ITV this month. Watch the tv documentary preview 'London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year ' is a new fly-on-the-wall series filmed at Whipsnade Zoo and the London Zoo during the nationwide lockdown. Episode one airs at 9pm on Thursday 24 September, with the second airing at the same time on 1 October.    ZSL, the international conservation charity behind the two world-famous Zoos, granted exclusive access to film company October Films within days of the lockdown being enforced. The team were on-site filming right through to the Zoos’ emotional reopening days on 15 June. The cameras followed the Zoos’ teams as they dealt with the highs and lows of zoo life in the face of a global pandemic. The filming captured how

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