Showing posts from January, 2021

Selous, MP, Wants Employers to Sign Up to £2 billion Kickstart Scheme

Andrew Selous MP calls on employers in South West Bedfordshire to join thousands of businesses signed up to the landmark Kickstart Scheme The Government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme is creating thousands of new jobs for young people across the UK as part of its Plan for Jobs. Since it launched in September, more than 120,000 Government-funded Kickstart jobs have been created for 16-24-year olds on Universal Credit.  As the Government makes it even easier for businesses of all sizes to join, so employers can directly apply for any number of placements, Andrew Selous MP is urging companies across South West Bedfordshire to sign up. Andrew Selous MP has welcomed the Government’s plans to make it even easier for employers of all sizes to join its flagship £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, which has already created more than 120,000 Kickstart jobs across the UK.  The Government’s Kickstart Scheme is designed to give young people at risk of long-term unemployment a future of hope and opportunity

Concern Over New Flight Paths That Will Come Close to Houghton Regis

COUNCILLOR WHO DISMISSED FLIGHT PATH CONCERNS AS 'NIMBYISM' KNEW OF PLANS A YEAR BEFORE OTHER COUNCILLORS WERE TOLD by Cllr Adam Zerny , Leader of the Independent Councillor Group at Central Bedfordshire Council Leighton Buzzard councillor who called Potton residents NIMBYs knew about flight paths consultation a year before other councillors. Airport insists telling two councillors amounts to informing the Council. Flight paths consultation ends in just eight days - Have your say before it's too late! News of the proposed new Luton flight paths came out of the blue last September. The changes would see big increases in the volume of low-flying flights heading over Potton, Biggleswade, Arlesey, Stotfold, Wrestlingworth and many other towns and villages in Central Beds [1]. One of the key issues raised by residents and councillors alike when Luton Airport's consultation began in November 2020 was that there had seemingly been no prior notification of changes to flight pat

CBC Create 23 New Community Safety Roles

Central Bedfordshire Council has introduced 23 new roles within their community safety team to assist in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across the area. The new officers will also be tackling issues around anti-social behaviour like graffiti, shoplifting, street drinking and also environmental crimes such as fly-tipping, dog fouling, littering and noise issues. They are part of a wider community safety team that help improve local communities across central Bedfordshire.  Together, the team will be undertaking regular patrols and visits towns and villages to talk to residents and businesses about any issues that are affecting them and what could be done to make their lives better. The team are able to respond to issues faster, and are able to share local intelligence with the police. During the current pandemic officers will also be undertaking regular checks to ensure businesses and the public are adhering to government COVID-19 guidelines and offering advice and support whe

CBC to Send COVID-19 Stewards to Houghton Hall Park

Central Bedfordshire Council has employed 16 COVID-19 stewards to support businesses and the public in increasing understanding of COVID-19 public health measures, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings in appropriate settings and hand washing. The stewards are undertaking patrols across Central Bedfordshire to engage, explain and encourage best practice and promote the national guidance around COVID-19. The stewards have no enforcement powers, but they will gather intelligence and information on potential COVID-19 regulation breaches and feedback to the relevant officers in the Council to support further investigation and possible enforcement. They will also report incidents to Bedfordshire Police. At the Houghton Regis Partnership Committee on Tuesday 26 January, CBC Councillor for Tithe Farm, Patrick Hamill, said he had noticed large numbers of people taking their exercise in the Park and was concerned that they were not social distancing enough. The officer representing

CBC in Negotiations to Have the Houghton Regis Chalk Pit Managed

In a report to the Houghton Regis Partnership Committee this evening, councillors will learn of progress to manage the Houghton Regis Chalk Pit. Last October, News Desk reported that the 'Houghton Regis Chalk Pit Maintenance Money [was] Now Available'. Last September, money was received by Central Bedfordshire Council from the developer for Quarry Maintenance to meet the first and second funding thresholds of £163,712.72 each.   The Town Council's Partnership Committee will meet online  tonight (26th January) at 7pm via Microsoft Teams where they will receive this report in the town's Partnership agenda  which says,  “Houghton Regis Chalk Pit is a privately owned site and with the exception of Footpath 1 there is no official public right of way. [Footpath 1 - see redline on map below] “Under the terms of a licence agreement with the site owners, the Wildlife Trust managed the site with funding provided via a S106 agreement. The conditions required the production of a ma

Confirmed - Parkside By-Election To Take Place In May

update 25 January - The CBC website has been updated today and now reads, “If you want to stand as a candidate in this election, please email for a nomination pack (these will be available from 1 March 2021). Nominations can be received from 30 March 2021 to 8 April 2021. We advise you to contact us for a pre-check of your nomination paper. ” If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Have You Registered For the 2021 Elections?

Luton and Central Bedfordshire unitary authorities are next due to hold whole council elections in 2023 , and every 4th year. An election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire Police takes place on 6 May 2021 . This election was due to take place in 2020 but the government postponed it due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other elections that were postponed from 2020 should also be taking place. That would include a bye-election for Parkside ward of Houghton Regis Town Council . At the present time that bye-election is suspended until further notice. See notices about this bye-election . **update 25 January - The CBC website has been updated today and now reads, “ If you want to stand as a candidate in this election, please email for a nomination pack (these will be available from 1 March 2021). Nominations can be received from 30 March 2021 to 8 April 2021. We advise you to contact us for a pre-check of your nomination pa

Rogue Plumber Ordered To Repay Proceeds Of Crime

Central Bedfordshire Council’s financial investigation team has successfully obtained a confiscation order at Leicester Crown Court of over £1.4m, including assets of £88,000 and £42,000 victim compensation, after a rogue plumber was convicted of fraud last year. The Council's investigator team presented a report to Leicester Crown Court earlier this month after  Russell Canfield  and seven others were convicted of fraudulent trading. This report outlined the overall criminal benefit made from various offences and identified any assets that could be confiscated. As a result of this work, the council receives 18.75% of the money recovered from the investigation, which is then invested back into Central Bedfordshire Council services. This case was significant as it was part of an investigation shown on BBC Watchdog that saw 157 people scammed into giving up their own money. If the money is not recovered within three months, then Russell Canfield will receive a one-year extension to h

Linmere Moves Forward as Plans For 1200 New Homes Are Submitted

The plans for Area Masterplan 3 have been submitted to CBC for consideration. Area Masterplan 3 (AMP3) is the latest phase for the Linmere development. AMP3 is aiming for 1,200 new homes between the Woodside Link and the currently vacant land ("Shanley land") next to Houghton Park estate in Parkside, Houghton Regis. These 1200 homes form part of the outline permission granted in 2014 for 5150 homes (the HRN1 scheme, now renamed Linmere). AMP3 will also include new parks, open space, commercial and community facilities, primary school, hotel and pub on site. Average building heights will be between 2.5 and 3 storeys with a landmark building at 5 storeys to respond to the gateway approach from Woodside and Sundon Link. A press release issued yesterday by the developers says, “The Houghton Regis Management Company (HRMC) hosted a programme of virtual online consultation throughout July and August 2020. We received a total of 28 feedback forms, 10 emails, 25 calls with members of

Leighton Buzzard Party Organisers Breached COVID Regulations — Fined £10,000

The public are being warned of the consequences of attending large gatherings during lockdown after the organiser of a New Year’s Eve party attended by dozens of people was issued with a £10,000 fine. Bedfordshire Police have published an open letter to anyone looking to attend large gatherings such as parties, protests or funerals which breach the existing regulations, warning that officers will take enforcement action to disperse large groups of people. The fresh call comes after the action was taken against the organiser of a party at a location near Leighton Buzzard.  On 31 December officers called to the site had found a marquee with a number of tables and chairs, a small dance floor and four speakers. The organiser was spoken to and given words of advice. When officers returned later they found around 50 people in attendance. Police were able to bring the event to a close and disperse the attendees. After reviewing the evidence, officers have now issued a £10,000 fine to the mai

Andrew Selous MP welcomes Government plans to tackle violence against women and girls

The views of women and girls across South West Bedfordshire are being sought to help shape government strategy to tackle violence and abuse. The Government is updating the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and has launched a nationwide Call for Evidence in order to ensure that those who have lived experiences of abuse and violence, and the views of members of the public are at the heart of plans to stop these harmful crimes. The Call to Evidence runs until February 19. The government has already taken a number of important steps in this area, including strengthening the law on crimes such as stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, but there is more to do. There have already been many responses, shining a sobering light on the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society. But this information is also absolutely invaluable in shaping the most effective policy to fight the scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls. That is why Andrew Selous MP is urging th

Conservative PCC Candidate Festus Akinbusoye welcomes new Criminal Justice Bill

Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce new legislation that will make it a criminal offence to intentionally set up a camp or trespass on private land. The Conservative PCC Candidate welcomes this. The legislation will give police the power to fine those who break the law up to £2,500 and lays out the possibility of a three-month prison sentence. Currently, landowners face legal battles and court costs to evict travellers from their sites because trespass is only a civil offence. Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire’s Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate welcomed the news, saying, “There’s been a long-standing review into how to deal with the issue of illegal encampments and trespassing in England and Wales. This is a matter of real concern here in Bedfordshire,” he said. “We’re now coming in line with the Republic of Ireland, which introduced the same law back in 2002. This is the fulfilment of a manifesto commitment and I’m fully behind the government's strong a

'Tails from the Zoo' - Bedtime Stories To Be Read by Zookeepers

ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos announce virtual bedtime stories – read by keepers behind zoos’ closed doors. Weekends from Saturday 16 January to Sunday 21 February    Once upon a time there were two wonderful zoos full of wonderful animals, and zookeepers who worked tirelessly to care for them and teach their visitors all about wildlife.  Then an unwelcome villain forced the zoos to close their doors…so the heroic zookeepers found a way to help their animals and bring the zoo to the people…  Zookeepers at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos have swapped their brooms for books to launch a series of virtual bedtime stories – in a bid to keep their beloved animals in touch with their youngest fans during the nationwide lockdown.  The Tails from the Zoo will be available to watch online on the Zoos’ official Facebook pages each weekend from Saturday 16 January until Sunday 21 February, with a different animal-inspired story told from the two zoos’ most popular exhibits every Saturday and Sunday

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