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 said that she hoped the stewards would visit the park and explain to people the reasons for social distancing.

The new stewards, who are working from 9am to 9pm seven days a week, will be undertaking visits in Biggleswade, Sandy, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable, Ampthill, Flitwick, Shefford and Houghton Regis. 

The stewards will be wearing video cameras on their bodies and high visibility jackets to identify them as Council COVID19 stewards.

Officers from CBC's public protection and community safety teams will also be continuing to undertake regular patrols and visits to businesses across the whole of Central Bedfordshire, to ensure everyone is adhering to government guidelines and offering advice and support where needed.

The stewards are being provided through a contract with CYS Security Ltd and have been hired initially for 12 weeks, starting from 11 January 2021.

Anyone who has concerns about businesses not complying with the measures set out, should email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk with the subject ‘COVID Business Compliance’. Reports will then be investigated by the appropriately delegated officers.