Showing posts from February, 2021

CBC Has Decided Your Council Tax 2021/22

Central Bedfordshire’s Council has agreed its annual budget, which confirms a range of service investments, infrastructure projects and efficiency measures for the financial year ahead. Council - Thursday, 25th February 2021 at 6:30pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting Report by  Alan Winter The CBC budget for 2021/22 includes the application of an Adult Social Care Precept , which will see a 3% increase in Council Tax specifically to fund adult care services and a general increase of 1.95% to contribute towards funding CBC's other pressures, for example in Children’s Services. In recommending the budget proposals to the meeting of the full Council, the Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr David Shelvey, explained, “The increase in council tax is not a decision we take lightly but even with the £10.7million of efficiencies planned for next year we still have a large gap in funding that otherwise could have resulted in service cuts. “We must protect our ser

Bidwell Plan for 4 Chalet Bungalows

Approximate application site off Bedford Rd. (Map - Google) A 'behind the houses' plot of land has again been proposed for building work. Access to the site would be via a new road opposite the Red Lion in Bedford Road, Houghton Regis. Outline planning permission is being sought for the erection of 4 Chalet Style bungalows. The bungalows are mostly semi-detached with one unit to the far end of the site being detached. All units have private amenity space and parking, as shown on the layout plans. New landscaping is proposed within the site as demonstrated on the submitted landscaping plans. The proposal will provide a safe and attractive environment for future occupiers. The site, as with the rest of the Houghton Regis North Area, is within Green Belt, but this is due to be rolled back to the line of the A5 dual carriageway. The Design and Access statement concludes, “The proposal for Chalet style bungalows sits harmoniously within the surroundings and consideration has bee

PM's Roadmap: Step Two for Zoo & Library Reopening

The Prime Minister has set out on 22 February his roadmap for reopening businesses in the UK. Step One The Prime Minister  told the House of Commons , “Step one will happen  from 8 March  ... pupils and students in all  schools and further education  settings can safely return to  face-to-face teaching , supported by twice-weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils ... people will also be able to  meet one person from outside their household for outdoor recreation ... we are advising the  clinically extremely vulnerable to shield at least until the end of March . “...  on 29 March , ... it will become possible to  meet in limited numbers outdoors ... so the  rule of six  will return outdoors, including in private gardens, and outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted ...  Outdoor sports facilities , such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools, will be able to reopen, and formally  organised outdoor sports will resume , subject to guidance

PCC shares pathways to support victims during LGBTQ+ History Month

Bedfordshire’s PCC, Kathryn Holloway, is marking LGBTQ+ History Month by sharing opportunities for support within the county. The PCC’s victim support service Signpost can offer those who have experienced crime - including hate crime as a result of their gender or sexuality - access to trained Victim Care Coordinators to help provide support from specialists working in the specific area of LGBTQ+ related crime, as Galop’s Hate Crime Report (2016) revealed that eight in 10 of their respondents had experienced anti LGBTQ+ hate crime and hate speech online in the last five years across the UK.  “This is a truly offensive fact that shows how very far we have to travel before we offer equality in life and fair, non-abusive treatment to all LGBTQ+ residents in this and other counties. “I want all communities within Bedfordshire, without exception, to have appropriate support and access to well trained individuals who are familiar with their needs when it matters most, especially if experienc

New Arrival Routes Consultation — Results Now Being Analysed

Almost four months of public consultation regarding proposed changes to arrival routes into London Luton Airport (LLA) have now ended. The consultation ran from 19 October 2020 to 5 February 2021. More than 2,400 responses were received from MPs, councils, airlines, flying clubs, the military, community groups and individual members of the public. These responses are now being reviewed, analysed and categorised, to help inform the final proposal to be submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The joint consultation, co-sponsored by London Luton Airport and air traffic control provider NATS, consulted on two options to simplify and modernise the arrival routes for flights into the UK’s fifth busiest airport and segregate them from Stansted’s, ensuring safety. While the consultation is now closed, the virtual exhibition, which contains all the information, details and maps about the proposals, is still available to browse or revisit. Once all responses have been scrutinised, Londo

Councillor's Bid for a Family Focused Outside Gym

Due to housing development in Houghton Regis, Labour in Houghton Regis say the town is now owed a reasonable amount of investment. Parkside Ward's Labour councillor, Cllr Antonia Ryan, has put in an amendment to Central Bedfordshire Council's Annual Budget to request this happens as soon as possible. The amendment will go before the Council meeting on 25th February and reads, “There has been a high level of housing development in Houghton Regis over recent years and this has resulted in a large contribution of approximately £1million to the New Homes Bonus received by this Council. Houghton Regis is the most deprived area of Central Bedfordshire and is yet to see any benefit to the land they have lost. I strongly believe some of this money should be reinvested in the communities in which that housing growth has occurred. I therefore propose to use a portion of this funding to pay for a family focused outside gym in the Parkside Ward. This amendment identifies in full

Garden waste collections to resume in Central Bedfordshire

Central Bedfordshire Council will be recommencing its garden waste collections from Monday, 1 March 2021.   With spring just around the corner, the Central Bedfordshire Council are really pleased to be restarting the garden waste collections.  With warmer weather and the opportunity to get out in the garden, it will bring some light relief to get out for some fresh air for gardening spruce up.  The council are providing residents with further information about their recycling options.  This includes ‘ what stays in and what stays out ’ of their garden waste to help them to continue with their great efforts in supporting recycling within Central Bedfordshire.  Cllr Ian Dalgarno, the Executive Member for Community Services, said: “Residents are encouraged to read the tags that are currently making the rounds and being attached to their black bins, it will give them all the information they need to know, including what stays in and what stays out of their garden waste.  They’ll be he

Pandemic Means Councillors Don't Have an Urgent Need For New Offices

Houghton Regis Town Councillors met virtually on the Monday, 15th February, to keep alive their 'New Office Sub-Committee'. But now councillors have gotten used to having their meetings online, and with the pandemic still in full swing, there seemed to be no mood to take any urgent action. A report to the committee explained, “As Covid restrictions have continued, to date no member of staff has applied for flexible working. This may change as and when office working can resume. General feedback from staff appraisals showed support for a hybrid of office / home working. Legislation enables a council to meet remotely until 7th May 2021. At the present time, the government have indicated that they are not considering extending this. Due to the recent works on the offices, in particular the replacement floor, it is considered that the current offices are suitable to continue to use in the short term at least. ” If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it

Council distributes to over 5,000 children with food and fuel bill support this half term

Central Bedfordshire Council has distributed food vouchers to the families of 5,560 children this half term, along with additional support to help them with their winter fuel bills. Following the success of the voucher scheme that the council ran during the Christmas holiday period, it has again supported families in need by providing a £15 supermarket voucher during the February half term for each child eligible for free school meals. It has also provided an extra £10 per child to help these families meet the costs of winter bills. The support is being provided as part of a £587,000 winter support package, announced in December, to help families and vulnerable individuals in Central Bedfordshire who are struggling with the cost of food, bills and other essentials over the winter months. The funding, which is part of a £170 million national scheme from the Department for Work and Pensions, aims to support people facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund has also bo

Lidl Apply To Build Store on Houghton Road

Lidl are applying for full planning permission to build a new store between Houghton Road and Blackburn Road in Houghton Regis, currently a brownfield site, creating 40 jobs. The company recently opened a store on Luton Road, Dunstable, and another store is planned for the Linmere development en route from the M1 motorway. The proposal briefly comprises: • a  new high quality  A1  Lidl foodstore with a  gross external area of  2,382 sqm and a net sales area of 1,414 sqm. • 125 car parking  spaces  (including 10  disabled spaces,  10 parent and child and 2 electric vehicle spaces) • an attractive hard and soft landscaping proposal HGV site access would be via Blackburn Road, with customer entrance on Houghton Road. Full Plans are available on the CBC Planning Portal under   CB/21/00435/FULL Go to search for CB/21/00435/FULL. If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

£470,255 for Central Bedfordshire to help support victims of domestic abuse

Central Bedfordshire is set to receive £470,255 to help fund a new duty to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation.   A total of £125 million has been allocated to councils across England to support domestic abuse victims and their children. This new funding is part of the Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Bill and package of comprehensive support for victims. Domestic abuse victims and their children living in Central Bedfordshire will be able to receive more support thanks to extra Government funding. The extra money will help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation, including advocacy, counselling, and therapy in safe locations such as refuges or specialist safe accommodation, where victims and their children can go to get away from their abusers. In total, councils across England will receive £125 million. Central Bedfordshire will receive £470,255. Under a new duty, councils will be requi

£25k donation helps CBC buy bikes or scooters for looked after children

Thanks to an anonymous donation, specifically for looked after children, Central Bedfordshire Council has been able to gift bicycles and non-motorised scooters to over 70 children and young people. A generous donation of £25,000 has allowed CBC social workers, together with families and foster carers, to apply for £250 per child to help pay for a bike or scooter, along with safety equipment. The scheme started in October 2020. So far, 72 children across Central Bedfordshire have been able to make the most of it. Each application is considered by CBC's Children’s Services Resources Panel. Once a grant has been agreed (and where COVID-19 restrictions allow) social workers go with the child and their foster carer or family so they can choose their bike or scooter. One social worker who successfully applied for a grant on behalf of a child said, “We went to Halfords and he chose his bike, helmet and bike lock. He was so happy and he said that he wants to ride his bike to school! This h

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