Showing posts from October, 2020

Barratt Homes to Build 300 units at Linmere Houghton Regis

Barratt Homes is set to build 300 properties at Linmere, featuring a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed homes and work is due to start this year.
Situated north of Houghton Regis, Linmere’s collection of leafy and walkable neighbourhoods is set to be a new centre for South Bedfordshire. On behalf of its consortium partners, Lands Improvement is leading on the development of Linmere, which will ultimately deliver up to 5,150 homes, 1.25 million sq. ft of distribution and up to 1 million sq. ft of retail, office and leisure development, together with associated open space, schools and community facilities.

Barratt Homes’ development sits within the largest plot at Linmere, and will include a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, with a number available on Affordable Rent and Shared Ownership schemes. Sizes will vary from c.450 sq ft to c.1500 sq ft, catering to first home buyers and families.

Work will begin on this site this year.  Once complete, residents will benefit from over 190 acres of green sp…

COVID-19 : An Extra £2.56m for CBC For Vital Services

Central Bedfordshire Council is to benefit from extra £2.56m in funding announced by the Government making an extra £24.25m funding since the pandemic began.  The Government has announced an additional £900m for local councils, out of which £2.56m will go to Central Bedfordshire Council.
Andrew Selous MP is among those welcoming this news. 
South West Bedfordshire also stands to benefit from a further £100 million which will be used to establish a new fund to support council leisure centres that are most in need, in recognition of the ongoing challenges many local authority leisure centres are facing.
Local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services.
Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said, “Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost i…

CBC Prosecutes Local Shops Over Drink Sales To Children

Shop owners were hit by hundreds of pounds in fines and court costs after Central Bedfordshire Council sent under-age volunteers to buy alcohol – one as young as 13.

Back in June 2019, Kajan Navaratnam, of Bedford Square Newsagents, Houghton Regis, sold a can of Stella Artois to a 17-year-old.
No ID was asked for, the volunteer wasn’t asked his age or any questions at all.  Following the sale, a trading standards officer went into the shop to discuss the matter.
While looking behind the till she discovered a quantity of illicit foreign-labelled tobacco he claimed was for his personal use.
Trading standards carried out two further test buys in September and November 2019 with underage buyers. In the second test, Navaratnan sold a bottle of Echo Falls Summer Berries wine to a 13-year-old. 
In court, Navaratnan admitted one count of selling tobacco products illegally under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and one offence of persistently selling alcohol to children contr…

100th Cannabis Factory Intercepted By Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police Force has dismantled a large scale cannabis factory – the 100th  discovered by Bedfordshire police since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. The factory was discovered in a commercial building located in an industrial estate near Shefford. The number of cannabis factories discovered by the force this year is up by more than 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Officers executed a warrant at the address yesterday (Monday). Seven separate units were found to be modified to accommodate large scale cannabis cultivation. 

The building was insulated and fitted with extraction systems to avoid detection from things like heat detection technology.
Weapons including a starter pistol were discovered by police at the address, while there were also signs that people had been living and working at the farm.
Cannabis is, by weight, the most seized drug in Bedfordshire. Research led by Bedfordshire Police last year suggests that around £59 million is spent on cannabis…

Suspension of Council Garden Waste Collections

A break for all garden waste collections for the winter in Central Bedfordshire Once again there will be a winter break for all kerbside collections of household garden waste across Central Bedfordshire.
The collections will be suspended from Monday, 7 December 2020 until Friday, 26 February 2021 inclusive. Residents are encouraged to check their last collection date for their area, which will be either the week commencing Monday, 23 November or Monday, 30 November. The collections will resume again on Monday, 1 March 2021. All other waste collections will operate as normal during this period. 
Throughout these months, only very low volumes of garden waste are collected, and it is therefore not cost effective to provide the service during these months.
During the break in service, garden waste can still be recycled at the council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. These are open seven days a week from 9am - 5pm, including bank holidays.  Certain restrictions due to Covid-19 may be in op…

£61.7m Business Bounce Back Loans Welcomed by Selous, MP

Andrew Selous MP welcomes latest figures showing support for businesses in South West Bedfordshire
2,109 Bounce Back Loans worth £61,698,326 have been offered under the Bounce Back Loans Scheme in South West Bedfordshire.
Also in South West Bedfordshire, 88 loans worth £21,171,666 have been offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
In total, more than £200 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 businesses in South West Bedfordshire have been welcomed by local MP Andrew Selous.
Businesses across South West Bedfordshire have benefitted from £82,869,992 worth of loans since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. This includes 2,109 Bounce Back Loans – 100 per cent government-backed loans which are interest-free for the first 12 months – worth £61,698,326. The scheme ensures that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get fina…

What Do Think About Countryside Sites Operated by CBC?

Central Bedfordshire Council is undertaking an online survey about their countryside sites and is asking residents and users for their views. This is your chance to have your say on countryside sites across Central Bedfordshire.

The council wants to provide countryside sites that are great places for the local community to enjoy, exercise, relax, and play, so they are asking the public to feedback what they think about the sites.
The survey covers topics around cleanliness and maintenance of this site, wildlife and conservation projects and the range of visitor facilities and/or events that are available.
The council is asking anyone that has visited one of their sites to complete the survey and to tell them their thoughts about how it could be improved.
The survey will take no longer than five minutes to complete and your feedback will help the council manage the sites to meet the needs of the community. 
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, the Executive Member for Community Services for Central Bed…

Green Flag Accreditation for Local Parks - Including Houghton Hall Park

Houghton Hall Park is one of several parks in the area to get a Green Flag Award in 2020.

The UK’s National Green Flag Awards 2020 was delayed this year due to Covid-19 and while staff and volunteers dealt with challenges that went along with huge numbers of additional visitors. 
Amongst these, Central Bedfordshire has secured its first-ever full Green Flag Award for Rushmere Country Park.

The award winning parks can be found on this interactive Green Flag Map
Close to Houghton Regis, Green Flag Award winning open spaces include:  Studham Common - Green Flag Award WinnerHoughton Hall Park - Green Flag Award WinnerGrove House Gardens - Green Flag Award WinnerPriory Gardens - Green Flag Award WinnerDunstable Cemetery - Green Flag Award Winner
More winners - see Green Flag Map
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, set…

Crossers Spark Concern For Safety At Blue Waters Woodland

A distressed user of Blue Waters Woodland and pathway to the woodland has written to Houghton Regis News Desk to raise awareness of a problem with off-road bikers. Below is the content of the complaint received by Alan Winter at HRND. The writer did not wish to be identified. 
After receiving this, the resident was asked to make Houghton Regis Town Council aware so that they could bring it to the attention of their Combatting Crime Committee. The Council can direct some policing activity out of Op Hannah funding, a special contribution that the Council makes to Bedfordshire Police. Since then, a spokesperson for the Town Council has acknowledged that they have been made aware of the complaint and intend to discuss it at their next meeting.
Additionally, the content has been passed to Bedfordshire Police through the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office asking for it to be brought to the attention of the local policing team, and to the attention of their off-road bikes team for cons…

Green Flag Award for Rushmere Country Park

Rushmere Country Park is celebrating its first Green Flag Award
The park joins 2,061 green spaces across the country receiving this international quality mark
Today, parks and green spaces across the country will be raising their Green Flag Award with pride in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep.
Among them will be Rushmere Country Park in Heath and Reach, near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, which is raising a Green Flag Award for the first time.

Above: Greensand Trust Trustee Sally Hunt and Howard Hughes, Active Lifestyles Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council pictured at Rushmere Country Park with the Fairy King.
Tonight as darkness falls, Rushmere Country Park will be joining buildings and landmarks across the country, including the White Cliffs of Dover, the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Salford’s Media City, going green for parks to celebrate Rushmere Country Park’s Green Flag Award success b…

Houghton Regis Chalk Pit Maintenance Money Now Available

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) has received a total of £327,424.36 from the developer of Bidwell West/HRN2 for 'Quarry Maintenance'.  
The latest CBC Section 106 Parish Report of Houghton Regis (06 October) indicates money received on 28 September from the developer for Quarry Maintenance to meet the first and second funding thresholds of £163,712.72 each.  
A spokesman for Central Bedfordshire Council said, “The council is currently in contact with the owners of the site concerning options for how the future maintenance funding will be administered. Once this is confirmed and the management arrangements agreed, more details will be made available.”
Funding was previously available to maintain the chalk pit for a period of 5 years from the Bovis Homes development at Lake View but this has since expired. 
It is important to remember that the Chalk Pit is privately owned, and there is no official public right of way except on FP1 in the south running between High Street North an…

Central Beds Council to Build Its Own Houses

Central Bedfordshire Council's very own house-building company has taken another step forward today as its business plan was agreed at an Executive Committee. 
Today (Tuesday 13 October), Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive agreed a business plan for a new council-owned and run development company - New Vista Homes.

Executive - Tuesday, 13th October 2020 at 9:30am - Central Bedfordshire Council WebcastingThe initial focus is to develop land owned by the Council and deliver 250 homes over the next three to five years.  
New Vista Homes is a development company with a difference. As it is council-owned it will focus on providing high quality, well-designed homes that are needed locally, addressing gaps in the market. 
Councillors Ghent and Hegley are directors of the company and took no part in the discussion at the Executive Meeting. They will not gain financially from the project.

They will build, for example, homes to rent, accessible homes and homes for older people, alongside m…

Councillors Criticised in SEND Petition Presented to CBC

Central Bedfordshire SEND Action Group has presented a petition to Central Bedfordshire Council's Executive Committee, today, 13 October. The address to the committee and the response of the Executive member, Councillor Sue Clark, can be heard below. A written response to the petitioners was promised.
Afterwards, Councillor James Jamieson spoke up for Councillor Clark and Councillor Dodwell expressing his belief that the councillors were determined to get things right for SEND.

WATCH :Executive - Tuesday, 13th October 2020 at 9:30am - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting

The Petition[link to source] We the undersigned petition the council to We believe that Cllr. Sue Clark and Cllr. Amanda Dodwell, Executive and Deputy Executive Members for Children's Services, have failed to understand the depth of the SEND crisis, and we have no confidence in their abilities to turn around their department. We the undersigned ask the Leader of the Council to dismiss both Cllrs. Clark and Dod…

CBC Draft Proposals Confirms The Need to Replace Houghton Regis Leisure Centre

Central Bedfordshire Council has identified the need to replace Houghton Regis leisure centre. Council now seeks your views over leisure facilities and on being active.
Central Bedfordshire Council is consulting residents, businesses and organisations over its draft leisure facilities and physical activity strategies.
Among the draft proposals are: 'a new swimming pool in Houghton Regis, with a 25m x 8 lane main pool, plus a teaching/ learner pool of 17m x 10m. The new pool is modelled to open in 2023, and on the same site as the existing Houghton Regis Leisure  Centre and the existing centre would close.' 'opening a new 6 badminton court sized sports hall in Houghton Regis in 2023, at the Kingsland site.' The  Council are already engaged with  Sport  England,  adopting this approach towards the potential re-development of Houghton Regis. On being more active, the consultation documentation points to the Council's redevelopment and investment in Houghton Hall Park.

Veolia Appointed to Collect Residents Back Bin Waste

Contracts for residents’ black bin residual waste collections are coming to an end.  Central Bedfordshire Council has decided to join-up with Bedford Borough Council and awarded the work to Veolia.
Veolia represented the best option in terms of quality and price, as part of the contract, they are, over time, intending to treat waste at the energy recovery facility at Rookery South.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire’s Executive Member for Community Services, said, “The facility at Rookery South was approved by the national government in the face of strong opposition from both local people and both councils.
“But in awarding the contract we were also aware that Rookery South’s operator, has started to allocate the waste disposal capacity to various waste producers, such as local authorities, and waste could be brought into Bedfordshire from further away.
“Using a local facility means that waste that we collect uses this capacity rather than sending it to facilities further away. Its l…

Bedfordshire Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020

HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2020 has been announced and includes 18 Bedfordshire recipients. 
The publication of the list was delayed to take into consideration additional recipients whose award has been made based on their exceptional contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have been successful are as follows:
Knight Batchelor
Geoffrey MULGAN (Luton)
For services to the Creative Economy
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Catherine ATKINSON (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Data Science
Jacqueline FLETCHER (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Wound Care Management
Professor Simon POLLARD FREng (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Environmental Risk Management
Dr Vaughan SOUTHGATE DL (Bedford)
For services to the community in Bedfordshire

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Melanie BECK (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to the community during COVID-19
Manvir HOTHI (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Social Care particularly during COVID-19

Big Wild Walk With Wildlife Trusts BCN

This half term Team BCN are aiming to walk 300,000 steps. Brave team members will wear step counters and share their step count each day as well as updating us on what wildlife they have seen. 
Think you can keep up? Challenge yourself or your team to walk like a Reserve Officer, match or beat our daily steps. But be warned, it might just get competitive! 
Sign up to the Big Wild Walk
Or if you are feeling a little less mountain goat and a little more sleepy dormouse, why not sponsor the BCN team instead? Even £30 can help us make a big difference for local wildlife.
Sponsor Team BCN

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Houghton Regis local news, events, council news, going on in Houghton Regis and nearby villages, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter


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