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Showing posts from April, 2022

Rapist from Houghton Regis jailed for six years

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A man has been jailed for six years after admitting to two rapes of the same woman. Patrick Gallagher, 29, of Enfield Close, Houghton Regis, pleaded guilty to the two attacks in August and November 2019. In the first incident Gallagher continued to rape the victim even after she repeatedly told him to stop, while on the second occasion she woke up to find Gallagher raping her. Immediately after the second incident the victim called a friend to stay in her home as Gallagher refused to leave. A victim impact statement read out in court said the victim had suffered significant trauma as a result of the incidents, which continues to this day. At Luton Crown Court Thursday, Gallagher was sentenced to three years in prison for the first offence and six years for the second . The sentences will be served at the same time.   DC Hayley Carroll, from Bedfordshire Police’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team, said: “Gallagher’s behaviour is absolutely despicable. “He has committed

1,300 children signed up for CBC's funded Easter activities

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Hundreds of children across Central Bedfordshire took part in fun, free activities during the Easter Holidays as a result of the Central Bedfordshire Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.  The Council worked with providers including ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Creative Buzz, Bedford Blues Foundation and Woburn Safari Park, funding activities over the holidays for children eligible for free school meals.  Goats at Woburn On offer were activities ranging from holiday clubs, sports clubs, arts and crafts activities as well as days out at Mead Open Farm, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Safari Park. All the activities offered by the HAF programme are inclusive, so suitable for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Children who attended activities were provided with snacks throughout the day, and a healthy lunch. Children at Whipsnade As well as continuing to work with organisations that have supported the HAF programme previously, a number of new providers si

Further good news on Bedfordshire Police figures

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Further good news on Bedfordshire Police figures Information published by the Home Office yesterday shows that Bedfordshire Police now has a record 1411 police officers, with this being an increase of 134 since September 2019. This is the highest number of police officers in Bedfordshire in the last 20 years. Commenting on the figures, South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous said, “It is excellent to see the increased number of police officers in Bedfordshire Police. As always, I will be taking a very keen interest in where these additional officers are deployed, and we do need to make sure that there is a fair coverage across the county with towns like Leighton Buzzard, Linslade and Dunstable and Houghton Regis receiving an appropriate share. I am looking forward to, in particular, the establishment of the new police hub in Leighton Buzzard once Bedfordshire Police have found a suitable location.” Patrick Hamill , the local Independent candidate at the last set of Police and Crime C

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Trail Comes to Houghton Hall Park

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The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Trail When: Starts Saturday 30th April until Sunday 12th  June Time: 10am Cost: Free! As part of local plans to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, from April 30th until June 12th, Houghton Hall Park has teamed up with High Street Safari to run a free story trail. This innovative experience lets the family choose what happens in the story.  Anyone with a smartphone is able to take part for free. Players will not only discover cute characters along the route, but they also get to see them burst to life in augmented reality and take selfies and record videos with them! The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Trail is located at seven stops around the park. Families will be guided on their trip by Sir Barnaby Beacon as he visits seven memorable and magical friends, like Charlie Crown or Theadora Throne, who have come to life from Buckingham Palace and gone on a trip to see Houghton Hall Park. The trail takes about forty-five minutes to complete but can

Local MP supports Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

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Andrew Selous MP supports Bowel Cancer Awareness Month Andrew Selous MP, MP for South West Bedfordshire, is supporting Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this year and attended a Parliamentary drop-in event at Westminster, hosted by Bowel Cancer UK. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK with nearly 43,000 people diagnosed every year. That means every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with the disease. Sadly, more than 16,500 people die from the disease each year, making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it shouldn’t be as it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops. New findings released by Bowel Cancer UK for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month have revealed that more than four in ten (45%) people in the UK cannot name a single bowel cancer symptom. Early diagnosis is essential to improving bowel cancer outcomes and

MP Selous Speaks out on Ukraine: “Being sanctioned by Russia is a badge of honour”

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South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, has said that he regards being sanctioned by Russia for speaking out against their invasion of Ukraine as a badge of honour. On the 31st of March, Andrew Selous welcomed the sanctions placed on Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, known as the Butcher of Mariupol, for masterminding the shelling of civilian areas in Mariupol. He had previously done the same to Aleppo in Syria. Speaking today Andrew Selous said, “I would have been outraged if I had not been included on the list of MPs sanctioned by Russia. It was my duty to speak out against this particular general who was responsible for many civilian deaths in Aleppo and who has now killed many more civilians in Mariupol. I also called for sanctions to be extended much further down the Russian chain of command and to be applied to all officers who have committed war crimes in Ukraine.”

Andrew Selous MP backs Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign #AllThingsEqual

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South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, has pledged his support to children and young people with vision impairment through Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign.  Matt Western MP talking into a microphone at a wooden podium. He is in front of an orange branded Guide Dogs banner. At a Parliamentary event hosted by the charity Guide Dogs, Andrew Selous met children, young people and their families to talk about the challenges they face in the education system.  Recent research conducted for Guide Dogs found that 69% of teachers lack confidence that they have the right skills to support disabled children, including those with a vision impairment, to reach their full potential.  This is reflected in outcomes for children with sight loss, who are significantly behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.  Lauren standing at a wooden podium with the House of Commons logo, talking into two microphones Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign is calling for greater recognition of v

Bark Run Coming to Houghton Hall Park

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Bark Run* When: Sunday 22nd May Time: 10am to 3pm Cost: £12 per person ** NB THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED ** On Sunday 22nd May Houghton Hall Park will be holding its very first Bark Run! This will be a 2km run or walk you can do with your dog, it will take place in the magnificent park which is a firm favourite of our four-legged friends!  There will be five different times throughout the day you can take part.  The fun course will include a few obstacles for you and your dog to enjoy. When you have finished you will be rewarded with a fantastic medal with a special tag you can attach to your dog’s collar. Get your dog walking friends together and enjoy a great day out, all fitness levels welcome! Spectators are welcome and there will be some doggy and craft stalls for you to enjoy. Entry costs £12 per person, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, both adult and child will require a ticket, one dog per entry i.e. one person cannot run with more than one dog. Book on the Hought

Andrew Selous' Monthly Newsletter for April

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April - Monthly Local Newspaper Article by Andrew Selous', MP,  South West Bedfordshire Ukraine I am conscious of how much effort there is across many government departments to help Ukraine in its time of need. I have called in Parliament for more Russian service personnel like General Mikhail Mizintsev, ‘The Butcher of Mariupol’ to be sanctioned. Our support for Ukraine must remain unwavering. Household Support Fund I was pleased to see Central Bedfordshire Council was allocated a second tranche of just under £1.5 million for the household support fund to help with energy and other costs. So far it has helped over 9,000 households with heating and other bills and issued 12,000 supermarket vouchers. Local Bus Services There were three further grants to our area in recent days with Central Bedfordshire Council receiving £3.7 million to support local bus services and I’m very excited to see the work which Arnold White is doing to help electrify our local bus fleets. A big

CBC to consult on its Statement of Community Involvement in Planning Matters

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A six-week consultation on the  Statement of Community Involvement  will begin at 10am on Tuesday 19th April 2022, with the deadline for comments being 10am on Wednesday 1st June 2022. Background Central Bedfordshire Council is required to prepare and keep an up-to-date Statement of Community Involvement which sets out their approach to consultation and engagement during plan-making and in relation to planning applications and explains how residents, businesses and other organisations can get involved in the planning process.  The Statement of Community Involvement has been updated to make sure it covers all areas of engagement in the planning process, and to reflect further changes to national planning legislation relating to Covid-19. Particular effort will be made to get seldom heard groups to engage with the consultation.  Download the Statement of Community Involvement here . Details of the Consultation The consultation will run for six weeks from 10am on Tuesday 19th April 2022 u

Central Bedfordshire to gain £4.9m funding to help local communities grow and thrive.

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Central Bedfordshire Council has been allocated £4.9million from the Government to help local communities grow and thrive.* Central Bedfordshire Council will receive £3.5million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund  which is designed to build pride in where people live and increase life chances across the UK. The funding will support local people to gain high-quality skills, important training and ultimately rewarding jobs by investing in targeted local initiatives which promote employment opportunities, innovation and productivity. The funding will help address challenges faced in town centres and communities in Central Bedfordshire. It will enable the council to identify and fund improvements in places where people live and support individuals and businesses. The intention is to enhance the things that matter most to local communities, foster local pride and offer opportunities to all. The council has also been notified of an indicative allocation of £1.4million from the Government’s 

Clean Sweep as 250 Volunteers Take Up The Litter-Picking Challenge

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250 volunteers support the Great British Spring Clean The Great British Spring Clean was a big success – and Central Bedfordshire Council would like to thank every one of the 250 litter pickers who turned out to join the annual campaign. The council supported an incredible 18 groups of litter pickers during the two-week period this year. Groups covered a variety of areas within Central Bedfordshire from Fairfield in the north to Billington in the south. The groups included charities, community groups, schools, a climate change group, and Town and Parish councils and they all made a real difference tidying up their communities The Council’s Community Engagement and Environmental Services teams worked together to provide groups and town and parish councils with handy litter grabbers, bags, and sturdy hoops to hold the bags open, and the council’s waste collection contractor, FCC Environment, collected waste from pre-arranged locations. Streatley litter-pickers Participants were enc

All Saints View, Houghton Regis, Phase 2 to start soon

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Local Councilors last week toured All Saints View (ASV) with Vistry Partnerships Project Manager, Mark Doyle. Vistry Partnerships  has the £33m contract with Central Bedfordshire Council to build the independent living development between the High Street and Clarke's Way in Houghton Regis.  When completed, the development will include 168 one and two-bedroomed apartments, as well as community space, a restaurant, retail opportunities and care and reablement facilities.  The Red House Now - The Red House facing The Green. The site of the adjacent Red House building (Grade II listed) is also included in the overall scheme and steps will be taken to preserve it.  See the listing on  Historic England website . Below see artist's impression of how the Red House will look following demolition and Phase 2 ASV rebuilding works. Future view. Why demolish Red House Court?  The  demolition of Red House Court (RHC) , a neighbouring sheltered housing scheme, will soon be taking place. Resid

Council outlines support for families this Easter

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Central Bedfordshire Council is supporting families of children eligible for Free School Meals over the upcoming Easter holiday period.  More than 7,000 supermarket vouchers, each worth £30, have been issued to help these families with food costs. The vouchers are being funded by the Household Support Fund, which was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions in November. The funding has also been used to support a number of partner agencies who support vulnerable households in Central Bedfordshire. During the Easter holidays, the Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme will also return, offering free holiday activities to children entitled to free school meals. The HAF programme is designed for children and young people aged five and upwards, so they can get involved in activities including crafts, performing arts, sports, games and holiday clubs. Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), Central Bedfordshire Council is working with providers across Central B

Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: HM Lord-Lieutenant’s Presentation of Certificates of Meritorious Service

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HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire with St John Ambulance personnel At a special ceremony held at The Army Reserve Centre in Bedford, by kind permission of Colonel Ray Wilkinson QVRM TD VR DL, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, presented five Lord-Lieutenant Certificates for Meritorious Service for exceptional service by non-commissioned members of the Reserve Forces, Adult Instructors of the Cadet Forces, and Civilians employed with units or holding recognised unpaid posts. The Lord-Lieutenant was supported at the ceremony by Cadet Staff Sergeant Chloe Bezer (Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force), Cadet Sergeant Matthew Brewer (Bedford Modern School Combined Cadet Force), Leading Cadet Cameron Moore (St John Ambulance) and Drill Cadet Lukas Wescott (Bedfordshire Police). Invited guests included Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force Commandant Colonel Andre Clark, Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, President of St John Ambulance Anthony Duggan OBE, Cha