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Showing posts from September, 2021

Get Involved: Houghton Hall Park Constituted Friends Group

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The team at Houghton Hall Park are looking to set up a Houghton Hall park constituted friends group and would welcome your involvement as local residents who enjoy using the parks facilities. By initiating this group it will form an independent constitution to vote in its own committee members deciding on aims and objectives on topics such as advancing the parks development by improving wildlife habitats, enhancing community engagement by educating people about conservation and heritage projects. They will help organise events and network with like-minded groups in the area   Money raised will be for the benefit of the park including education, learning opportunities and development of skills.   The meeting will be held at Houghton Hall Park from 10am – 11.30  on Thursday 7th October and chaired by Steve Halton, Senior Countryside Officer. Nominations for the management committee will be elected for positions : Chairperson, treasurer, secretary, and vice chairperson   The committee

Ben from Houghton Regis is Fundraising for RAF Benevolent Fund

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Ben Palmer, an  RAF veteran from Houghton Regis, is to take part in the London Marathon this Sunday, and his chosen charities are the RAF Benevolent Fund and SSAFA. Ben writes on his fundraising page ,  “I am running this year's London Marathon and hoping to raise funds for some great causes. I consider myself lucky to not have needed the assistance of one of the many charities that offer invaluable help to service leavers, but there have been times when it was close, and I am comforted to know these organisations exist. The RAF Benevolent Fund and SSAFA offer all types of support to serving members, veterans and their families, but this help does require funding, so if you could please support me to support them that would be amazing.” The RAF Benevolent Fund provides a range of support aimed at serving and former RAF personnel and their dependents. This includes welfare breaks, grants to help with financial difficulty and getting about inside and outside the home, specialist

Houghton Regis Health Hub A key Aspiration: But Funding Not Yet Identified

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An exchange of words in Central Bedfordshire Council last Thursday has highlighted that whilst a Health Hub in Houghton Regis is an aspiration, the funding for one has not yet been identified. Following the meeting, Cllr Toni Ryan, Parkside Houghton Regis representative wrote on her Facebook Page ,  “TORIES TELL RESIDENTS: WE HAVE "NO IDEA" HOW TO FUND HOUGHTON REGIS MEDICAL HUB! “Residents have raised concerns with me about the current waiting times at GP surgeries. So I took the issue of funding and timescales for the new "medical hub" to the highly paid Tory Councillor who is responsible for the project, Cllr Eugene Ghent.  Rather than providing a detailed answer he said, "I have no idea". NHS Bedfordshire had already alerted me to the fact that at this point in time, no capital funding had been secured for this project. More worryingly, our doctors are currently managing unprecedented demand due to Covid, and with the expected housing growth of some

Foster carers have roar-some time celebrating their year of hard work

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L to R-, Sandra and Tim Thorne, and Councillor A Dodwell Central Bedfordshire Council welcomed fostering families, on Sunday 19 September, to their annual Celebration of Fostering event at Woburn Safari Park.  The event is an opportunity to thank all fostering families for their valued service to fostering and a chance to celebrate those families due to receive long service awards. After a tough year of COVID-19 restrictions, a great day was had by foster carers and their families.  They enjoyed a well-deserved day of fun, visiting the wonderful animals in the park, socialising with other families, and enjoying a picnic in a safe environment. Amongst the 84 guests, 15 awards were given for long service to fostering - who collectively have been fostering for an amazing 170 years between them.  The dedication and exceptional work of all foster carers, helps to give children in Bedfordshire a stable and loving home which they may not otherwise have had.  An extra special award was give

Enjoy some family fun in Houghton Regis with The Puppet Van

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Houghton Hall Park Sat 2 October at 11.30am and 2pm Catch The Puppet Van in Houghton Regis on Saturday 2 October and enjoy a fun family theatre experience in the park. The Lost Colour is the first custom-designed show for The Puppet Van. This vibrant joyful explosion of colour is an energy fuelled physical show full of clowning, puppets, and paint. The show has its roots in the history of pigment making and follows a loveable independent artist up against a huge corporate pigment making conglomerate. Come prepared for British weather and bring your own chair or blanket to sit on.  The show last 20 mins with performances at 11.30am and 2pm. It is suitable for all the family and ideal for children aged 5+. Audience feedback from previous shows include: “We really enjoyed it please do more x My 6-year daughter loved the show. She said it was awesome. So much so that we returned for the next show. The content of the show entertained all the family (ages 2 1/2 to 66) and we all had

Council commits to adopting a care experienced young adult leavers covenant

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At Thursday night’s full council meeting, councillors passed a motion agreeing to investigate the creation of a council covenant to support care leavers for whom the council, as a whole, has responsibility. In Central Bedfordshire, there are around 280 care experienced young adults aged 16 to 24. The Council wants the very best for our care leavers who are a uniquely vulnerable group and, who face specific challenges as they enter adult life and as their corporate parents, the council wants to work in a coordinated and effective way to give them the additional help they need. The move from being a looked after child to a young person leaving care is a uniquely critical time in a young person’s life and the council wants to make sure that they have all the support available to them that many of us take for granted. Cllr. Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education & Children said, “For young people who have grown up in the care system, leaving care and taking their first

In Stoptober Will You Ditch the Cigs for 28 Days?

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Central Bedfordshire Council is encouraging residents to support their family, friends, and colleagues this Stoptober, to help them to ditch their cigarettes for 28 days (starting 1 October), to experience the physical and mental health benefits that quitting smoking brings. Smoking remains one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable illness and death in the UK, killing on average 78,000 people each year. The campaign to encourage people to support others during Stoptober comes following a recent survey of ‘The Stop Smoking Service’ users (in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford and Milton Keynes). It found that residents: Said the ‘human element’ in quitting is core and that the role of emotional support from others is very important Felt the positive effect of seeing others, like them, quitting successfully Were worried about their lack of willpower around friends and family who smoke Someone who quits smoking for the 28 days of Stoptober is five times more likely to stay smoke

Over 150 people attend Council’s online exploitation conference

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Over 150 people attended an online conference yesterday (21 September) to learn about the signs of different types of exploitation including cuckooing, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and forced labour. Organised by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Safer Communities & Partnership Team, attendees heard more about different types of exploitation and how different agencies help safeguard vulnerable people. Among the speakers were the St Giles Trust, who spoke about their SOS+ initiative in schools, to help prevent young people getting involved in gangs, crime and serious youth violence, and the National Crime Agency who spoke about her role in partnership working to support partners to tackle cuckooing and exploitation. The Council’s Adult Services team also attended and talked about how they work to safeguard some of the most vulnerable people in the community and prevent them from being exploited by criminals. Sergeant James West from Bedfordshire Police spoke at the event to highl

Wildlife Trusts BCN in discussions to manage Houghton Regis Chalk Pit

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All Saints Academy, centre, above the Marl Lake. High Street North, Dunstable top right. Photo: M Murphy Central Bedfordshire Council has been in discussions with the Wildlife Trusts Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Northamptonshire (Wildlife Trusts BCN)  regarding the management of Houghton  Regis Chalk Pit. A Section 106 agreement is in place with developers at Bidwell West to provide capital funds to help manage the Chalk Pit. According to the July S106 Parish Report for Houghton Regis CBC is now holding over £820,000 for 'Quarry Maintenance' *. A council spokesperson said,  “ Under the terms of the S106 agreement the former quarry will remain in private ownership, with the Council responsible for arranging use of the funds received from that agreement to manage the site. “ Officers have now undertaken a site visit with  Wildlife Trusts BCN who was previously engaged to manage the site directly by the owner. Following this, we have started a discussion with the Trust on terms

Garden Waste Collection to be done in October

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Central Bedfordshire Council are pleased to confirm that they will be undertaking a garden waste collection during a two week period in October. This collection will clear the backlog of waste in resident’s garden waste bins before the winter period*.    The Council’s contractor, FCC, have been unable to collect household garden waste since late July due to the national shortage of LGV drivers. The available drivers have been prioritising collecting black bins, recycling and food waste from 120,000 properties each week.    Garden waste will be collected between 18th October and the 30th of October. To facilitate this, drivers are being redeployed from the usual food waste collections for two weeks. Food waste will not be collected during this time.    During this two-week window, residents are asked to place their garden waste bin or their two council issued bags by their kerbside from 7am, on the day they normally have their recycling collected.    To further help Central Bedford

Apply for A School Place for September 2022

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Applications are now open for children who are due to start school, or transfer to middle, secondary or upper school in September 2022. Children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 are due to start school in September 2022. Parents applying for their children to start either a lower or primary school must apply before 15 January 2022, even if their child already attends a nursery or pre-school on the school site. Parents applying for a place for their child at a middle school must also apply before 15 January 2022, even if the child already attends a feeder school and lives in the catchment area. The deadline for applications for young people transferring to a secondary or upper school in 2022 is 31 October 2021. How to apply To apply online, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/admissions . Alternatively, paper application forms are available from Central Bedfordshire Council’s School Admissions team. Call 0300 300 8037 or email admissions@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk .

Lidl Get Approval for Second Houghton Regis Store

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A new store for Lidl is to be built between Houghton Road and Blackburn Road in Houghton Regis. Planning permission for the store was actually granted in July. Lidl GB’s Regional Head of Property, Jason Buckley, said, “We are delighted to have received planning permission for this store. This would mark our second store for Houghton Regis and it will be fantastic to serve even more of the local area with our fresh, quality, great value products in the not too distant future. We very much look forward to breaking ground and getting started on construction in due course”. The new store will create up to 40 new jobs. In all, there will 1,410m² sales area, an in-store bakery, customer toilets, parking for cars and bicycles, and electric vehicle rapid charging facilities. Opening hours will be restricted to 7 am to 10 pm Mondays to Saturdays including bank holidays and 9 am to 5 pm on Sundays. There had been concerns over access to the site. Permission has been granted so that t

Phoning Your GP: Selous Takes Up GP 'Abuse' Concerns

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What to do when you're frustrated at not being able to get through to your GP surgery In an exchange in Parliament yesterday (14th Sept), Andrew Selous MP took up concerns that GPs are receiving abuse when their clients cannot get through to them at the surgery on the telephone. Sajid Javid Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said that people who were having problems getting through to the surgery should contact the clinical commissioning group. Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, “Covid has been tough for all health professionals, so will the Secretary of State wholeheartedly condemn the abuse that some GPs have been suffering recently? If vulnerable people are unable to get through on the telephone to their surgery, should it be the clinical commissioning group or the Department that steps in to try to sort that out?” Sajid Javid Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, “I join my hon. Friend in condemning anyone who gives abuse to our fantast

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