Archives of Eaton Bray News for the Category/Tag Council.
Skip navigation

Archived News - Council

Temporary Road Closure - Moor End, Eaton Bray - December 2018

Central Bedfordshire Council logoProposed Temporary Road Closure – Moor End, Eaton Bray

Central Bedfordshire Council have a request for a Temporary Road Closure at the above location to facilitate pre-surface dressing to take place safely.

The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a 12 month period.

If you have any observations you wish to make please let the Streetworks Team at Central Bedfordshire Council know as soon as possible.

Road:
Moor End, Eaton Bray
Application from:
Darren Smith – 0300 300 4000
Reason:
Pre-surface dressing
Length affected:
From High Street to County boundary
Date:
The closure will be in place for 2 consecutive days between Saturday 1st December 2018 and Monday 31st December 2018between the hours 0800-1800
Diversion Route:
High Street, Leighton Road, Eaton Bray Road, Northall Road, High Street

CBC 6845 - Diversion route during temporary road closure


Temporary Road Closure - Totternhoe Road, Dunstable - December 2018

Central Bedfordshire Council logoProposed Temporary Road Closure – Totternhoe Road, Dunstable

Central Bedfordshire Council have a request for a Temporary Road Closure at the above location to facilitate pre-surfacing patching/ surface dressing and resurfacing to take place safely.

The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover an 18 month period.  Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make please let the Streetworks Team at Central Bedfordshire Council know as soon as possible.

Road:
Totternhoe Road, Dunstable
Application from:
Central Bedfordshire Council Highways – 0300 300 8049
Reason:
Pre-surfacing Patching/Surface Dressing and Resurfacing
Length affected:
From junction Tring Road to junction Marina Drive
Date:
The closure will be in place for 2 days between on 1st December 2018 and 31st December 2018. Confirmed dates will be circulated nearer the time
Diversion Route:
Head south towards Tring Road/B489, Exit the roundabout onto Tring Road/B489. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Harling Road. Turn right onto Dunstable Road. Continue onto Church Road, Turn right onto Dunstable Road, and vice versa.

CBC 6842 - Diversion route during temporary road closure


Planning Application for 120 dwellings, Bower Lane

Planning Application for 120 dwellings, Bower Lane, Eaton Bray

 

EATON BRAY PARISH COUNCIL

Planning Application

Location: Land at Bower Lane, Eaton Bray, Beds

Description: Residential development of up to 120 dwellings

Consultation Period Expires: 17th October 2018

To comment, please click on the link below:
http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/PLANTECH/DCWebPages/acolnetcgi.gov?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeResultDetail&TheSystemkey=610798

 


Planning Application for 12 affordable homes, Land at Park Farm, Northall Road

Please be aware of the following Planning Application and Public Exhibition which have been brought to the Parish Council's attention:

Planning Application:
(1) CB/18/02897; Land at Park Farm, Northall Road
Erection of 12 affordable homes

CBC link:
http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/PLANTECH/DCWebPages/acolnetcgi.gov?ACTION =UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeResultDetail&TheSystemkey=610387

Public Exhibition:
(2) By Optimis Consulting on behalf of Taylor French Developments/Settle
Development of land at Bower Lane, Eaton Bray
Consultation date: Wednesday 19th September 2018, 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: The Coffee Tavern, High Street, Eaton Bray

Public Exhibition, 19 September 2018, 3-8pm


Temporary Road Closure - High Street, Eaton Bray - November 2018

This article was published in September 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council logoProposed Temporary Road Closure – High Street, Eaton Bray

Central Bedfordshire Council have a request for a Temporary Road Closure of High Street, Eaton Bray to facilitate the resurfacing of the carriageway to take place safely.

The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a 12-month period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make please let the Streetworks Team at Central Bedfordshire Council know as soon as possible.


Road:
High Street, Eaton Bray
Application from:
Central Bedfordshire Council Highways – 0300 300 8049
Reason:
Carriageway Resurfacing
Length affected:
From junction Medley Close to the junction Northall Road
Date:
The closure will be in place from Monday 5th November until Friday 9th November 2018, between 09:00 – 15:30, closure will be lifted daily
Diversion Route:
Head south-east on Bower Lane towards Moor End, Turn left onto Dunstable Road. Continue onto Church Road. Turn left onto Castle Hill Road. Turn left onto Eaton Bray Road. Continue onto Totternhoe Road, Turn right onto Northall Road and vice versa

Consultation: Central Bedfordshire Council

This article was published in June 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council logoCBC is carrying out a Community Governance Review consultation, which is a review of local governance - this is a review of town and parish council arrangements. The proposals put forward would have an impact on Eaton Bray Parish – the Parish Council currently have nine Parish Councillors, who carry out duties for and on behalf of the parish however CBC are proposing to reduce this number to only seven, which would have an impact on the ability of the Parish Councillors to carry out their current roles.

Eaton Bray Parish Council has responded to the consultation as follows ... "The Councillors raised concerns regarding the proposal to cut the number of Parish Councillors from nine Councillors down to seven. Due to the large amount of workload/duties carried out by the Parish Councillors [on a voluntary basis] they feel it is very important to maintain the quota of nine Parish Councillors for Eaton Bray Parish Council - to ensure the smooth running of the Council and to be able to give residents the help/support they need."

To ensure the continued work by the Parish Council, we ask if you can spare a few minutes of you time to go onto the consultation page and have your say.

The Consultation runs until the 6th July 2018.

Thank you.


Emergency Road Closure

This article was published in June 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council logoCentral Beds Council will be repairing a series of defective patches and areas of rapid deterioration of the carriageway at various locations around the county. Urgent patching of these areas will be carried out under a road closure in order to prepare for the surface dressing schedule at the end of June/ beginning of July'

Eaton Bray will be affected on 21st June 2018 with a road closure of B489 Icknield Way to fix Joint at RAB at Harling Rd Beds county border sign.


Andrew Selous MP - Village Surgery - 29 May 2018

This article was published in May 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Andrew Selous visit - 29 May 2018


Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan Consultation

This article was published in January 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council logoConsultation on the local plan began at 10am on Thursday 11th January 2018 for a period of six weeks until 5pm on Thursday 22nd February 2018.

In accordance with Regulation 19 of The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Act 2012, CBC is publishing its Pre-submission Local Plan and are inviting you to express your views by taking part in the consultation.

All of the documents are available to view from 10am on Thursday 11th January on-line and at the Council Offices in Chicksands (opening times from 8:30 to 17:00 Mon -Thurs and 8:30 - 16:00 on Friday).   In addition, the Local Plan will be available to view at the Customer Service Centres in Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard, and the main libraries across Central Bedfordshire  (opening times vary).

It is important you have your say now because only the comments (representations) submitted during this consultation will go forward to the independent Planning Inspector to review before the Public Examination on the Local Plan.   In addition, only those who have made a comment can speak at the Public Examination sessions.

During the consultation, you'll be able to submit feedback online by the following centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning/policy/local-plan/overview.aspx
or in writing to CBC at:  Local Plan, Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TQ


Central Bedfordshire Council's consultation on school admission arrangements for 2019/20

This article was published in October 2017. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council logoCentral Bedfordshire Council has launched their consultation on school admission arrangements for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools for the academic year 2019/2020.

Full details of the consultation and the response form are available at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

Source: School Admissions Team, Central Bedfordshire Council


300 More Houses in Eaton Bray

This article was published in December 2016. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Beds Council will publish the draft version of their Local Plan in December 2016.. This will set out the additional development, in 3 categories (residential, employment and traveller sites), that they are looking to implement by 2030.

Landowners in Eaton Bray have submitted a greater acreage of sites than all the other villages in the near vicinity combined. Eaton Bray Parish Council have been advised by CBC that they expect 150-300 more houses to be built in Eaton Bray.

Given that there are currently just under 1200 dwellings in the village, 300 more would be an increase of 25%. All the proposed sites lie in the area from Bower Lane to The Rye inclusive. Residents need to consider the impact on:

  • Roads and traffic
  • Foul and surface water drainage
  • Capacity for additional electricity and gas supply, water supply, telephone and broadband connections
  • School places and GP services
  • The consequent effect of all the above on property values

Anyone who objects to these proposals should:

  • Lobby their CBC Ward Councillor, Ken Janes (01582-601317)
  • Lobby EB Parish Council
  • Attend a CBC meeting on 26 January 2017 2.30 to 7.30pm, venue to be advised
IDSite AddressSite Size (hectares)
ALP072 Land to the rear of Great Green Farm, The Rye, Eaton Bray 5.7079
ALP103 Land to the rear of Bower Lane, Eaton Bray 8.0744
ALP192 Land adjacent to 25-57 Bower Lane, Eaton Bray 0.573
ALP423 Land east of Northall Road, Eaton Bray 15.8583
ALP464 Westrope Brothers, 17 The Rye, Eaton Bray 1.0251
ALP478 Doolittle Meadow Farm, Harling Road, Eaton Bray 8.3729
NLP013 Park Lane, Eaton Bray 1.4189
NLP204 Land at Northall Rd, Eaton Bray LU6 2BQ 20.29
NLP250 Bower Lane, /Dunstable Road Eaton Bray LU6 1RB 2.15
NLP300 Land south of Bower Lane, Eaton Bray LU6 1RB 9.8302
NLP316 Land adjacent to The Meads, Eaton Bray LU6 2DS 12.1926
NLP483 Land off Eaton Park, Eaton Bray 2.691

Proposed Temporary Road Closure - B489 Icknield Way, Eaton Bray

This article was published in September 2016. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I have a request for a Proposed Temporary Road Closure at the above location to enable Carriageway Lining works to be carried out in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

The alternative route for this closure is as in the details below and will be signed accordingly. The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order has been made to cover a twelve month period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

Proposed Road Closure - Tring Road/B489
Click for larger version

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Network Co-ordinator


Road: B489 Icknield Way, Eaton Bray

Application from: Geoff Parrott Central Bedfordshire Council- 03003008049

Reason: Carriageway Lining Works

Length affected: From Springfield Road to Dagnall Road roundabout

Date: The closure is expected to take place from 0900-1530 on Tuesday 13th September 2016.

Alternative Route: Head north on Icknield Way/B489 towards Icknield Way/B489, exit onto Whipsnade Rd/B4541, exit onto B4540, Turn right onto Dagnall Rd/B4506, turn right to site and vice versa.

The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works requiring the Order have been completed.


Proposed Temporary Road Closure - High Street, Moor End & The Orchards, Eaton Bray

This article was published in June 2016. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL
(ST MARY'S VILLAGE CARNIVAL, THE ORCHARDS, HIGH STREET AND MOOR END, EATON BRAY)
(TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2016

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council intend not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle, except a vehicle being used for fire, police or ambulance purposes in an emergency or any vehicle engaged in the event, from proceeding along the lengths of The Orchards, High Street and Moor End, Eaton Bray which extends for their entire length.

This temporary closure is required to facilitate the holding of the St Mary's Village Carnival and shall apply to such extent as may from time to time be indicated by the appropriate traffic signs.

The event will take place on Saturday 2nd July 2016 between 11.30 am and 1.30pm

There is no alternative route.

The proposed Order will come into operation on 2nd July 2016 for a period of three day.

For further information please contact Eaton Bray Parish Council, tel. 01525 221464.

 

DATED 15 June 2016

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG17 5TQ

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Cheering Volunteering in Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2016. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Cheering Volunteering in Central Bedfordshire Awards and Celebration Evening


Health & Wellbeing for Young People in Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2016. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Health and Wellbeing Event for Young People


Proposed Temporary Road Closure - Stanbridge Road, Totternhoe

This article was published in December 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Road: Stanbridge Road, Totternhoe

Application from: A Plant Lux Traffic for BT – 0370 050 0792

Reason: To replace damaged telegraph pole

Length affected: From Knolls View west to C228

Date: The closure will take place on 18th January 2016 09:30 hours to 15:30 hours.

Alternative Route: Proceed south on Castle Hill Road. Turn right onto Eaton Bray Road, turn right onto C228 to the junction with Stanbridge Road and vice versa.

Road Closure - Stanbridge Road - 18 January 2016


Your Neighbourhood Development Plan

This article was published in December 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

We have completed 3 months in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan (NP) and are now in the "Evidence gathering and Consultation" phase.

Help Needed

We would like everybody in Eaton Bray to help decide the direction that our Neighbourhood Plan should take, please consider these 4 questions:-

  1. What do you like about Eaton Bray?
  2. What don't you like about Eaton Bray?
  3. What do we want in Eaton Bray or What do we need to improve?
  4. What do we want to preserve?

Please send your suggestions / comments regarding Planning Issues only to "The Clerk, Eaton Bray Parish Council, 20 Good Intent, Edlesborough, LU6 2RD.

Email: clerk@ebpc.co.uk - Website: www.ebpc.co.uk

The Steering Group will be reporting progress through the Focus Magazine so that residents can keep up to date. If you would like your voice to be heard, please feel free to attend the next Steering Group meeting. Meetings are generally planned for the last Monday of the month at 19.30 at the Coffee Tavern, Eaton Bray; however due to the Christmas break the NP Steering Group will be held on Monday 11th January 2016.


Your Neighbourhood Development Plan

This article was published in November 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Since April 2012 communities, such as the villagers of Eaton Bray, have been able to lead future planning of their local area through Neighbourhood Development Plans if they receive a 50% yes vote in a public referendum.

Eaton Bray Parish Council set up a Steering Group of Eaton Bray residents to draw up and write a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The Group has met twice to establish the way forward and as a result chosen three main areas to concentrate effort on with smaller focus groups, and those are as follows:

Community Facilities

Covering a diverse range of subjects from inside and outside recreational spaces to village events, and anything in fact that helps to maintain and grow a community spirit.

Environment

Includes; green spaces, green belt, and diversification of existing and new green space, ecology and sustainability.

Site analysis

Encompassing existing and planned housing and developments, monuments, businesses, shops, etc. Design and development of spaces will include the relationship of space and properties occupying it.

The NP is not going to be just a building and planning guideline strategy document, but will also encompass many other criteria that will serve to help to put some heart back into the community. It is not yet clear exactly how long this project will take but is likely to be around 12 months before the NP is put forward for approval by Central Bedfordshire Council and followed by a referendum so that all the residents of Eaton Bray can approve the Plan.

The Steering Group will be reporting progress through the Focus Magazine so that residents can keep up to date. If you would like your voice to be heard, please feel free to attend the next Steering Group meeting. Meetings are planned for the last Monday of the month (excluding Bank Holidays) at 19:30hrs at the Coffee Tavern, Eaton Bray.


Introduction of Disabled Person Parking Space - Cantilupe Close

This article was published in October 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL PROPOSES TO INTRODUCE DISABLED PERSONS' PARKING SPACE IN EATON BRAY

Reason for proposals: The proposed Order is considered necessary in the interests of improving parking facilities for disabled persons. The proposed disabled parking space is in a residential street where blue badge holders frequently experience difficulties parking close to their home.

Effect of the Order: To introduce a Parking Place for Disabled Badge Holders at the following location in Eaton Bray:-

  1. Cantilupe Close, Eaton Bray, north side, outside no.16 Cantilupe Close from the far eastern end of the constructed parking area extending in a westerly direction for approximately 4 metres (parking space marked at right angles to the road).

Further Details may be examined during normal office hours at the address shown below or tel. 0845 3656000.

Comments should be sent in writing to the Transportation Manager, Central Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annexe, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk by 6 November 2015. Any objections must state the grounds on which they are made.

Order Title: If made will be "Central Bedfordshire Council (Bedfordshire County Council (District of South Bedfordshire) (Civil Enforcement Area and Special Enforcement Area) (Waiting Restrictions and Street Parking Places) (Consolidation) Order 2008) (Variation No.*) Order 201*"

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ

8 October 2015


Andrew Selous MP - Village Surgery - 30 September 2015

This article was published in September 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Andrew Selous, 30 September 2015

Andrew Selous MP Village Surgery
Wednesday 30th September 2015 11.30am-12noon
The Coffee Tavern Eaton Bray
No appointment necessary


Central Bedfordshire Community Infrastructure Levy Draft Charging Schedule Publication Consultation

This article was published in July 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council is publishing the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule from Monday 13 July 2015 for a period of six weeks until Monday 24 August and are inviting you to express your views by taking part in the consultation.

CLI Draft Charging areas

Have Your Say

The easiest way to have your say is online via our website at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning/strategic-planning/cil.aspx.

You can also email your response form to LDF@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk, or by post to Freepost RSJS GBBZ SRZT, CIL Consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TQ.

The documents have been made available to view at the Council Offices in Chicksands and Dunstable (opening times from 8:30 to 17:00 Mon -Thurs and 8:30 - 16:00 on Friday) and the main libraries across Central Bedfordshire (opening times vary).

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a planning charge, introduced by the Planning Act 2008 as a tool for local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area. It largely replaces the use of section 106 agreements and came into force on 6 April 2010 through the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010. It is a tariff that is calculated per metre of net additional floorspace on new development although a number of exemptions apply. The Draft Charging Schedule sets out the proposed rates by area and use for Central Bedfordshire.

Publication stage

This is a formal stage of consultation and the comments made (or representations) will be considered by an independent Planning Inspector. We initially consulted on the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule in January 2013 so this is an opportunity for people to comment on the changes that have been made to the proposed CIL charging rates as a result of the last consultation and as a result of refreshed viability evidence.

A number of supporting documents including the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and Viability Study are being published alongside the CIL Draft Charging Schedule document.

If you have any queries about the Community Infrastructure Levy, please contact the Strategic Planning Team by phone on 0300 300 4353 or email LDF@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


Election Results 2015

This article was published in May 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Parliamentary Constituency: South West Bedfordshire

Andrew Selous won for the Conservative Party.

Turnout: 65%

 

Ward: Eaton Bray

Ken James won for the Conservative Party with 1,225 votes.

Ruth Archer (Independent) came in second with 943 votes.

Isaac Chikwakwanyi Sibiya (Labour Party) came in third with 242 votes.

Turnout: 72%

 

Parish Council: Eaton Bray

The seats were uncontested, and so the following were duly elected Parish Councillors for Eaton Bray:

Joan Conner, Mike Simkins, Phil Spicer, Mark Tomkins, Lorna Tribbick, Glenn Wigley, Richard Windmill

 

Police & Crime Commissioners Referendum

Voters were asked: Do you want the Beds PCC to increase the amount it charges by 15.8%?

The results were:
Yes: 42,682
No: 91,716

Turnout: 65.76%

See Statement from Olly Martins about this result.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Application for Designation of a Neighbourhood Area

This article was published in April 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireThe Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, Part 2, Section 5

Notice is hereby given that Central Bedfordshire Council has received an application from Eaton Bray Parish Council to designate the parish as a 'Neighbourhood Area'.

A successful designation will mean that the Parish Council can proceed to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan together with the community, if they wish to do so. If a plan is produced in the future, the Council will seek comments on its content at the appropriate time.

Details of the application and map showing the extent of the proposed designation area are available to view on the Council's website: Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Plans

If you have any objections to the extent of the area only, please send them by email to LDF@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or by post to:

Development Plan Process Team
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Monks Walk
Chicksands
Shefford
Bedfordshire
SG17 5TQ

Comments should be received by Friday 12 June 2015


Would you like to have a say in the future of our village?

This article was published in April 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Neighbourhood Plan

Eaton Bray Parish Council are considering the need to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan document to set out the Village's wishes in terms of infrastructure, facilities and future development.

The Government and Central Bedfordshire are encouraging parishes to set out Neighbourhood Plans that demonstrate how communities would like to improve the villages and their surroundings in the future. It will also help provide some protection to this village when it comes to unwanted over-development and support the need for infrastructure improvements.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? Put simply, it is a document that describes the desired plans for a village over a 5-10 year period and contains the areas that village residents feel are important and specifies what the majority wants.

It covers topics such as housing and development, schooling and amenities, environmental protection, transport and highways, to name but a few.

The document is something that would require a great deal of consultation with everyone in the village, planning and work to bring it all together. The challenge, once the village has agreed its content, is then to have CBC approve it. Once approved, it means that it provides some protection against the things we don't want in the village and support towards getting the things we do.

It is worth noting that the Plan is not something that is a clandestine way to get property building through and over-develop the village or to try and pass unwanted schemes in the village without consultation. Quite the opposite.

We think the best approach is to first see if having a plan for the village is something that we, as a village, all want. There are a lot of positive reasons for having a Plan, most notably protection from Government schemes being imposed upon us without our consent, along with finding out what ideas residents have for the village.

What happens now? We would like to hear from everyone in the village to see if everyone thinks it's a good idea to have a Neighbourhood Plan. Once we have consulted the village, it will indicate whether this is something that we should then action, setting up a working group to manage the project and starting the next stage of actual consultation.

Should you feel that, like our other neighbouring villages, we too should have a Neighbourhood Plan, we'd like to hear from you. Equally, we'd also like to know why you think we should not have one.

If you would like to know more about what a Neighbourhood Plan is, you can find out more on the website set up for parishes and town councils to: What is Neighbourhood Planning?.

Please visit our website, email or write to us with your views.

Source: Eaton Bray Parish Council


Proposed Temporary Road Closure - Bower Lane, Eaton Bray (21-22 July 2015)

This article was published in April 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I have a request for a Temporary Road Closure at the above location to enable Patching works to be carried out in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

The alternative route for this closure is as in the details below and will be signed accordingly. The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a twelve month period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Network Co-ordinator


Road: Bower Lane, Eaton Bray
Application from: Amey for CBC – Charlotte Dunham - 03003008049
Reason: Patching Works
Length affected: From Moor End to Dunstable Rd
Date: The closure is expected to take place for 2 days from Tuesday 21st July to Wednesday 22nd July 2015 from 0800-1800.
Alternative Route: Head northwest on Harling Rd toward Dunstable Rd, Turn right onto Dunstable Rd, Continue onto Church Rd, Turn left onto Castle Hill Rd, Turn left onto Eaton Bray Rd, Continue onto Totternhoe Rd, Continue to site and vice versa.

Bower Lane Temporary Road Closure - 21-22 July

NB. The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works requiring the Order have been completed.


Proposed Temporary Road Closure - High Street, Moor End & The Orchards, Eaton Bray

This article was published in April 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I have a request for a Temporary Road Closure at the above location to enable the carnival procession to go ahead in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

The alternative route for this closure (Moor End & High Street) is as in the details below and will be signed accordingly. There is no alternative route for The Orchards.

The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a 3 day period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Network Co-ordinator


Road: High Street, Moor End & The Orchards, Eaton Bray
Application from: Eaton Bray Parish Council – 01525 221464
Reason: Carnival Procession
Length affected: For the full length of High Street, Moor End & The Orchards
Date: The closure is expected to take place on Saturday 4th July 2015 between the hours of 1130-1330hrs.
Alternative Route (High Street & Moor End, no route available for The Orchards): Continue along Dunstable Road leading to Church End, turn left onto Castle Hill Road proceeding onto Stanbridge Road turning left onto Totternhoe Road and continuing until the High Street and then visa versa.

Temporary Road Closure - 4 July 2015 - Carnival Procession

NB. The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works requiring the Order have been completed.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council, Streetworks


Temporary Road Closure - C228, Eaton Bray

This article was published in April 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL

I have a request for a Temporary Road Closure at the above location to enable Patching and kerbing works to go ahead in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

The alternative route for this closure is as in the details below and will be signed accordingly. The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a four month period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Network Co-ordinator.

Road: C228, Eaton Bray
Application from: Amey for CBC – Alan Trille - 03003008049
Reason: Patching and Kerbing Works
Length affected: Junction of Stanbridge Road Totternhoe to junction Eaton Bray Road, Honeywick Lane, Toternhoe Road
Date: The closure is expected to take place for 3 days from Wednesday 24th June to Friday 26th June 2015 from 0800-1800hrs
Alternative Route: Head northeast on Eaton Bray Rd toward Castle Hill Rd, Turn left onto Castle Hill Rd, Castle Hill Rd turns slightly left and becomes Stanbridge Rd and continue to site and vice versa.

C228 Temporary Road Closure

NB. The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works requiring the Order have been completed.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council, Streetworks


Draft Council Budget - Have Your Say

This article was published in January 2015. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAt the end of February, Central Bedfordshire Council will decide spending on local services such highways, care services, refuse collection and recycling, libraries and leisure as it sets the budget for the next financial year (April 2015 to March 2016). These decisions affect everyone and so we're seeking your views on a £186m spending package that will see more money spent in areas of greatest need. The draft budget proposes no increase in our share of council tax for the fifth consecutive year and protection of public facing services. It also proposes some efficiency savings to balance the books. 

This year's budget has been informed by a public consultation, which saw 2,500 residents share their views on the council's budget. And there is still time for you give us your views.

Before having your say, you can find out information on our plans by visiting our website

There you will find links to the Budget 2015 leaflet and to the full Budget 2015 papers, which will be discussed at the Council's Executive meeting on 13 January.

You can then have your say by completing the online questionnaire by 3 February, 2015.


Trading Standards warning residents of solar panel tele-sales calls

This article was published in December 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council's Trading Standards team is warning residents to be extra vigilant when answering the telephone and finding the caller is offering a free survey for the installation of solar panels.

Trading Standards have received a spate of recent reports from residents who have received these calls, whereby the caller claims to be calling from the "Bedfordshire (or Bedford) Advice Centre" and attempts to entice you into having a survey carried out by one of their agents.

The callers appear to be focusing on Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area and in some cases have informed residents during the call that an agent is currently on their way to the resident's home. When challenged by one resident who wished to make a complaint, the caller gave another resident's telephone number, who unsurprisingly knew nothing about the call.

Officers have been unable to identify or locate any organisation called the "Bedfordshire (or Bedford) Advice Centre" and therefore believe these calls have all the hallmarks of a scam.

A Council spokesperson said "Although the offer may appear enticing, by all appearances, these calls appear to be an elaborate scam trying to obtain either your financial or personal details."

"Callers will try to offer you an opportunity that shouldn't be missed, and they will try and intimidate you into making a hasty decision, for instance, the offer is only available for a limited time or their agents are only in the area for a few days. If you are interested in having solar panels fitted to your home, our advice would be to shop around by contacting legitimate local businesses and never take what an unsolicited tele-sales caller tells you for granted."

The Trading Standards team advises when receiving such calls to:

  • Never pay money or give your bank account or credit card details over the phone;
  • Never give your personal details, such as your age, date of birth, or home –ownership;
  • Never be intimidated into making a quick decision;
  • Never express an interest, by asking the caller to call back later, as you may be identified as a possible target for a future scam attempt.

If you receive one of these calls or think you may have been targeted by any other type of scam, please report it to Trading Standards on 03454 040506.


Central Bedfordshire Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) Consultation

This article was published in November 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) is now out for consultation. 

The PNA will be used by NHS England, Public Health and Clinical Commissioning Groups to inform the commissioning of pharmaceutical services. This consultation period is an opportunity to have your say on the future of pharmacy services in your area. 

The consultation is available from Central Bedfordshire Council's website, where you will find the full draft document, executive summary and online response questionnaire.

It is very important to the Council that they obtain the views of residents on the proposed recommendations. Please fill out the questionnaire available with the consultation documents.

If you have any questions, or would like to receive a paper copy of any of the documents, please contact Martin.Westerby@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

The consultation period will close on 15th December 2014.

Source: Project Support Officer, Central Bedfordshire Council


Proposal to Introduce 7.5 Tonnes HGV Weight Restriction on Various local Roads

This article was published in October 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL PROPOSES TO INTRODUCE 7.5 TONNES
HEAVY GOODS VEHICLE WEIGHT RESTRICTION ON VARIOUS ROADS
IN TOTTERNHOE, DUNSTABLE AND EATON BRAY

Central BedfordshireReason for proposal: The proposed Order is considered necessary on the grounds of promoting road safety and improving the environment of the area. The proposed restriction would prohibit HGVs over 7.5 tonnes from using roads in the zone identified below as through routes. The proposal is primarily intended to protect Totternhoe from extraneous lorry traffic.

Effect of the Order:

To introduce a 7.5 tonnes HGV Weight Restriction on roads in Totternhoe, Dunstable and Eaton Bray, as follows:-

The weight restriction zone covers Castle Hill Road, Dunstable Road, Church Road and other roads in Totternhoe. The restricted zone also extends into roads in Dunstable and Eaton Bray. The entry points to the weight restriction zone are at:-

  • Totternhoe Road, Dunstable at its junction with B489 Tring Road
  • Well Head Road, Totternhoe at its junction with B489 Icknield Way
  • Doolittle Lane, Eaton Bray at its junction with Harling Road
  • Dunstable Road, Eaton Bray at its junction with Bower Lane
  • Eaton Bray Road, Totternhoe at its junction with Totternhoe Road and Honeywick Lane
  • Castle Hill Road, Totternhoe immediately south of its junction with Knolls View

Drawing - Proposal to Introduce 7.5 Tonnes HGV Weight Restriction on Various Roads in Eaton Bray
Download full (1.4MB) PDF version of drawing

Exemptions: The proposed Order will include exemptions to allow heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes to enter the restricted zone for access and delivery requirements. There will also be exemptions for emergency vehicles and for certain other building and maintenance purposes.

Further Details may be examined during normal office hours at the address shown below, viewed online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/publicstatutorynotices or tel. 0845 3656116.

Comments should be sent in writing to the Transportation Manager, Central Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annexe, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk by 21 November 2014. Any objections must state the grounds on which they are made.

Order Title: If made will be "Central Bedfordshire Council (Various Roads in Totternhoe, Dunstable and Eaton Bray) (Weight Restriction) Order 201*"

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ

23 October 2014


Public notice - Introduction of Dog Control Orders by Central Bedfordshire Council

This article was published in September 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

1. Introduction

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council (the Council) seeks to promote responsible dog ownership. We recognise that the vast majority of dog owners are caring and considerate as to the effect their dog has on others. One of the key issues in relation to promoting responsible dog ownership is tackling the problem of dog fouling – allowing a dog to foul and not clearing up after it.

The existing legislative framework concerning dog control and dog fouling is fragmented, limited in scope, and not fit for purpose e.g. significant types of land are not covered, or are covered by old bye-laws that are difficult to enforce and where a Fixed Penalty Notice cannot be issued.

2. Dog Control Orders

The Council has consulted widely on introducing a range of new Dog Control Orders, that are designed to meet local needs and that provide more flexibility in promoting responsible dog ownership. Responses were received from a range of stakeholders including town and councils, landowners, dogs' charities, countryside user groups, and the Joint Local Access Forum. 529 persons responded to an on-line public questionnaire, with two thirds of respondents identifying themselves as dog owners.

The Council has made the following Dog Control Orders which come into force on 19 October 2014:

  1. The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Central Bedfordshire) Order 2014
    This order will make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to remove dog foul.
     
    This will apply across the whole of Central Bedfordshire on any land that is open to the air and to which the public are entitled to have access, whether on payment or otherwise. The following are examples of the type of land to which this order would apply to: parks, public open spaces, town centres, roads, pavements, public footpaths, byways, bridleways, woodlands, agricultural land, access land and common land.
  2. The Dogs on Leads (Central Bedfordshire) Order 2014
    This order will make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to ensure that it is on a lead of no more than 2 metres on any land to which this order applies.
     
    The order will apply to land across Central Bedfordshire which is used as a cemetery, burial ground, garden of remembrance, or marked sports pitch.
    It will include all designated carriageways (A and B roads) and their adjoining footpaths and verges. And at countryside sites it will apply to some car parks, high use areas, including picnic sites, and areas where wildlife is sensitive to disturbance by dogs. Sites affected are Rushmere Country Park, Dunstable Downs, Houghton Hall Park, Sharpenhoe Clappers, Sundon Hills, Totternhoe Knolls Picnic Site, and Whipsnade Tree Cathedral.
  3. The Dogs on Leads by Direction (Central Bedfordshire) Order 2014
    This order will make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to put that dog on a lead, and keep it on a lead, by direction of an authorised Council officer, dog warden, site manager or park ranger.
     
    It will apply across the whole of Central Bedfordshire on any land to which the public have access whether on payment or otherwise. The order will enable an authorised officer to respond to a situation where a dog is not under proper control and is likely to cause a nuisance or disturbance to other people or animals.
  4. The Dogs Exclusion (Central Bedfordshire) Order 2014
    This order will make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to permit the dog to enter or remain in an exclusion area.
     
    The order will apply to all enclosed children's play areas and closed multi-use games areas across Central Bedfordshire. At Rushmere Country Park it will also restrict dogs from education areas and areas of designated recreational use.

Dog Control Orders provide exemptions in particular cases for registered blind people, deaf people, and for other people with disabilities who make use of trained assistance dogs. Additionally no offence will be committed if a person has a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with an order, or the person in control of the land has consented to his failing to do so. They exclude Forestry Commission Land which is exempt from the legislation, but do include Access Land.

The penalty for committing an offence contained in a Dog Control Order is a fine: alternatively the opportunity to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80 may be offered in place of prosecution that can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

These orders seek to strike a balance between the interests of those in charge of dogs and those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people, in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas and areas where dogs are kept under proper control, and the need for those in charge of dogs to have access to areas where they can exercise their dogs without undue restriction. It also recognises that any order made requires enforcement, and that the Council has a limited amount of resource available for this purpose. Enforcement will be carried out by authorised Council officers, dog wardens, and countryside site managers and park rangers.

Signs will be erected to advise those in charge of dogs of the relevant restrictions in their locality.

Inspecting or obtaining copies of the Orders

The Orders may be inspected by arrangement at The Council Offices, Watling House, High Street North, Dunstable, or copies obtained, by writing to Steve Barrett, Community Safety Operations Manager, at the above address; or by telephone by calling 0300 300 5639; or by e-mailing steve.barrett@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


Road Closure - A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass - Highway Works

This article was published in August 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council have instructed Amey to carry out detailed design and programming for maintenance works at the A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass between the A5 roundabout and the Totternhoe / Stanbridge turns.

The proposed dates are, from 06:00 Monday 22nd September until 06:00 Saturday 27th September. There will be a complete (24hr) closure during this period which will include the Totternhoe / Eaton Bray junction. The Stanbridge turn will remain open to Eastbound traffic.

The map below shows the extent of the scheme:

A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass - Highway works

The dates provided are proposed dates and can be subject to change for a number of reasons. Advanced Warning signs will be erected at this location prior to work commencing.

Source: Amey


Strike action on Thursday 10 July

This article was published in July 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The following is a press release from Central Bedfordshire Council

Central BedfordshireWhile we're working to minimise disruption to local services arising from the strike action, particularly those which protect the public and support vulnerable people, you should be prepared for some level of disruption.

Services such as leisure centres, pest control and bin collections, which are operated by contractors will continue as normal and we anticipate that appointments for things like registering births and deaths will not be affected. Residents with appointments will be notified if this changes.

Some services, including our customer contact centres may be subject to delay and you may want to consider getting in touch with us another day if your query is not urgent. 


Schools

Schools in Central Bedfordshire will have their own procedures in place and will contact families directly to let them know about any full or partial closures.  

Schools will also notify the council of any closures and that information will be regularly updated on our website from 5pm on Wednesday 9 July. Parents and carers can sign up for updates on schools closures by visiting our website.

We will be regularly updating our website with details of how the strike action is affecting services and will also be posting messages on social media. For the latest updates go to our website, Twitter or Facebook pages.


Highways and Transport survey for our area

This article was published in July 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is one of 78 local authorities to sign up to a standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall or Cheshire.

The survey, which is being run for the seventh year, enables local councils to compare results, share in best practice and identify opportunities to work together in the future.

The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of 3,300 Central Bedfordshire residentsthis month, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in early October. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part. 

Residents that receive the questionnaire can complete the survey on line if they prefer, a short URL link will be printed on the front of the questionnaire and they will be required to enter a code before completing the questionnaire.

The results will enable us to find out what people in this area think about these important services. This will provide one of several ways the council can assess how it is performing and which services to prioritise, and to improve.

Cllr Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, said: "Our roads are among the best in the country according to latest government figures which show that the proportion of roads needing repair in our area are among the lowest nationally.

"But we don't want to stop gathering evidence that could help us improve further. There are clear benefits to conducting a public survey in this way. As well as providing excellent value for money, it also enables everyone involved to identify areas of best practice and spot national, regional and local trends. It is about understanding customer views better and working together to deliver the most satisfactory yet efficient outcomes for local residents."


Dog Control Orders across Central Bedfordshire - Consultation

This article was published in June 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Council is proposing to introduce Dog Control Orders across Central Bedfordshire. These will balance the needs of people with dogs and those without. The Orders will cover dog fouling, dogs under control and dog exclusions (in certain areas).

A public consultation is being held regarding the Orders and the council would welcome your views and comments on this. The consultation runs until Monday 28 July 2014 and the associated documents and maps can be seen here: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/have-your-say/ (Click on 'Dog Control Orders Public consultation').

Dog Control Orders Consultation


Temporary Road Closure - 5 July 2014

This article was published in June 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL

(CARNIVAL PROCESSION, VARIOUS ROADS, EATON BRAY)

 (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2014

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council intend not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along The Orchards, High Street and Moor End, Eaton Bray and their side roads while the procession is passing.

This temporary closure is required to facilitate the holding of the Village Carnival procession and shall apply to such extent as may from time to time be indicated by the appropriate traffic signs.

The procession is expected to take place on Saturday 5th July 2014 between 11.30am and 1.30pm

The alternative routes available for vehicles affected by the Order are:-

Continue along Dunstable Road to Church End, Totternhoe, turn left onto Castle Hill Road, turn left onto Stanbridge Road, turn left onto Totternhoe Road and continue onto High Street and vice versa.

The proposed Order will come into operation on 5th July 2014 for a period of one day.

 

DATED 20th June 2014

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ


Proposed introduction of 50mph speed limit on B489 Tring Road and Icknield Way

This article was published in March 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL PROPOSES TO INTRODUCE A 50MPH SPEED LIMIT
ON B489 TRING ROAD AND ICKNIELD WAY, DUNSTABLE, TOTTERNHOE AND EATON BRAY

Central BedfordshireReason for proposal: The proposed Order is considered necessary for avoiding danger to persons or other traffic using the road and for preventing the likelihood of any such danger arising. The proposed 50mph speed limit is intended to cover that length of the B489 Tring Road and Icknield Way that is partially built-up and where there are local concerns about excessive vehicle speeds.

Effect of the Order:

To introduce a 50mph Speed Limit on the following length of road in Dunstable, Totternhoe and Eaton Bray:-
B489 Tring Road and Icknield Way, from a point approximately 203 metres south-west of its junction with The Avenue, Dunstable extending in a south-westerly direction to a point approximately 100 metres north-east of its junction with B4506 Dagnall Road, Eaton Bray.

Drawing - B489 Tring Road, Dunstable, Totternhoe and Eaton Bray
Click for full PDF drawing

Further Details may be examined during normal opening hours at Dunstable Library, Vernon Place, Dunstable LU5 4HA or online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/publicstatutorynotices. These details will be placed on deposit until 6 weeks after the Order is made or until it is decided not to continue with the proposal.

Objections should be sent in writing to Transportation Manager, Central Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annex, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk stating the grounds on which they are made by 4 April 2014.

Order Title If made will be "Central Bedfordshire Council (50mph Speed Limit) (B489 Tring Road and Icknield Way, Dunstable, Totternhoe and Eaton Bray) Order 201*"

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Priory House
Monks Walk
Chicksands
Shefford SG17 5TQ

13 March 2014


Proposed Raised Cusions - High Street, Eaton Bray

This article was published in February 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

HIGHWAYS ACT 1980 – SECTION 90A-I

PROPOSED RAISED CUSHIONS – HIGH STREET, EATON BRAY

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL, in exercise of its powers under Section 90 A-I of the Highways Act 1980 and all other enabling powers, proposes to construct raised cushions under Section 90 A-I of the Highways Act 1980 and all other enabling powers in High Street, Eaton Bray. The proposed measures are designed to reduce vehicle speeds and create a safer environment for all road users, including pedestrians travelling to and from Eaton Bray Academy.

Raised Cushions at a nominal height of 75mm, each cushion approximately 1.9 metres wide and 3 metres long, installed in sets of two cushions, are proposed to be sited at the following locations in Eaton Bray:-

  1. High Street, at a point approximately 35 metres west of its junction with School Lane.
  2. High Street, at a point approximately 58 metres east of its junction with School Lane.

Drawing - High Street Eaton Bray

Further Details a drawing may be examined during normal opening hours at Dunstable Library, Vernon Place, Dunstable LU5 4HA or online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/publicstatutorynotices.

Comments should be sent in writing to the Transportation Manager, Central Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annexe, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk by 14 March 2014.

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Priory House
Monks Walk
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ

20 February 2014


See Also

Proposal to Introduce No Waiting At Any Time on High Street and School Lane, Eaton Bray


Proposal to Introduce No Waiting At Any Time on High Street and School Lane, Eaton Bray

This article was published in February 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL PROPOSES TO INTRODUCE
NO WAITING AT ANY TIME ON HIGH STREET AND SCHOOL LANE, EATON BRAY

Central BedfordshireReason for proposal: The proposed Order is considered necessary for avoiding danger to persons or other traffic using the road and for preserving or improving the amenities of the area through which the road runs. The restrictions are intended to keep the junction of High Street and School Lane clear of parked vehicles, particularly at the start and end of the school day. The proposals are part of a safer routes to school scheme, which is intended to improve road safety near to the school and encourage more pupils to walk to school.

Effect of the Order:

To introduce No Waiting at any time on the following lengths of road in Eaton Bray:-

  1. High Street, both sides, from a point in line with the boundary of nos.98 and 100 High Street extending in an easterly direction to a point in line with the boundary of no.100b and 102 High Street
  2. School Lane, both sides, from its junction with High Street to a point in line with the boundary of no.83 High Street and no.1 School Lane

Drawing - High Street Eaton Bray

Further Details may be examined during normal opening hours at Dunstable Library, Vernon Place, Dunstable LU5 4HA or online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/publicstatutorynotices. These details will be placed on deposit until 6 weeks after the Order is made or until it is decided not to continue with the proposal.

Objections: should be sent in writing to Transportation Manager, Central Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annexe, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk stating the grounds on which they are made by 14 March 2014.

Order Title: If made will be "Central Bedfordshire Council (Bedfordshire County Council (District of South Bedfordshire) (Civil Enforcement Area and Special Enforcement Area) (Waiting Restrictions and Street Parking Places) (Consolidation) Order 2008) (Variation No.*) Order 201*"

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ

20 February 2014


See Also

Proposed Raised Cusions - High Street, Eaton Bray


Proposed Prohibition of Parking on Verges and Footways in Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in November 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL PROPOSES TO INTRODUCE A
PROHIBITION OF WAITING AND LOADING ON VERGES AND FOOTWAYS

Central BedfordshireReason for proposal: The proposed Order is considered necessary for avoiding danger to persons or other traffic using the road, preventing damage to the road and for facilitating the passage of traffic, including pedestrians. Parking on verges and footways is a hazard and an inconvenience to other road users and causes damage to the highway and underground services. The prohibition covers all of Central Bedfordshire, but is only enforceable when the necessary traffic signs have been installed. Residents and businesses would be consulted before any restrictions are made enforceable in their street.

Effect of the Order:

To introduce No Waiting and No Loading at any time on verges and footways in all roads in Central Bedfordshire, except for the M1 motorway, A1, A5 and A421 trunk roads.

Further Details of the proposal may be examined during normal opening hours at Ampthill, Arlesey, Barton, Biggleswade, Dunstable, Flitwick, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard, Potton, Sandy, Shefford, Stotfold and Toddington Libraries or online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/publicstatutorynotices. These details will be placed on deposit until 6 weeks after the Order is made or until it is decided not to continue with the proposal.

Objections: should be sent in writing to the Transportation Manager, Bedfordshire Highways, Woodlands Annex, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7NU or e-mail centralbedsconsultation@amey.co.uk stating the grounds on which they are made by 24 December 2013.

Order Title: If made will be "Central Bedfordshire Council (Prohibition of Waiting and Loading on Verges and Footways) Order 201*"

For full details about the proposals, please see the following PDF file:

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ

25 November 2013


Have your say on changes to housing allocations policy in Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in November 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is reviewing its Allocations Policy for social and affordable rented housing. Allocations Policy governs who can apply to join the housing register for a council or Housing Association home, what type and size of property they can apply for, and what priority applicants have in relation to each other.

The proposed changes stem from new freedoms in the Localism Act 2011, allowing councils to reflect local priorities in the way that they manage housing allocations. 

The key aims of the scheme are to-:

  • help applicants in housing need to find suitable housing
  • provide housing applicants with a simpler, fairer and more transparent system
  • encourage applicants who are out of work to seek employment
  • make efficient and best use of the area's housing stock
  • to encourage applicants to think longer term about their housing plans.

The proposed changes will affect existing and prospective applicants to the housing register.

Formal public consultation on these changes has begun, and will remain open until 31 January 2014. You can read all of the associated documents and give feedback online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

Paper copies of the consultation documents are available at the Council's offices at Watling Housing in Dunstable; or alternatively can be obtained by contacting the Partnerships and Engagement Team, on 0300 300 4237.


We're ready for storm forecast - are you?

This article was published in October 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceEmergency response partners on the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum met this afternoon to ensure they are ready to activate their plans ahead of anticipated severe weather on Sunday evening/Monday morning.

Currently the Met Office has an amber alert in place for the county predicting winds of 60-80mph, resulting in possible dangerous driving conditions, widespread tree and minor structural damage, risk of injury from flying debris and the potential for localised interruption to power supplies.

There is also a yellow flood warning in place advising that persistent heavy rain could cause surface water flooding.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Supt Mike Colbourne, Chair of BLLRF, said: "While there is no need for any undue alarm, the forecast is currently for winds of a strength that we have not seen in this part of the country for more than 20 years. With the trees still in leaf and the ground soft after recent rain, there is certainly the potential for some tree and structural damage, and disruption to travel particularly on Monday morning.

"There are number of straightforward steps that residents and businesses can take now to make sure they are as prepared as possible and I would urge them to do so.

"Partners will continue to monitor the latest forecasts over the weekend and, if the situation develops, can activate a multi-agency response including organisations such as the Environment Agency, Highways Agency and the utility companies.

Before a storm, secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them.

Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages.

Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.

Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30 degrees.

If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.

During a storm, stay indoors as much as possible. If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.

Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences — if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side. Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress.

If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you. Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you.

Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary. Delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible.

If your journey is essential, take particular care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges or high open roads. Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high-sided vehicle.

After a storm, be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging, and do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened.

Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.

Further advice for strong gales, heavy rain and flooding plus useful links including how to prepare an emergency home kit are available via the resilience forum's website www.whatwouldyoudoif.co.uk.

The website also features advice for businesses on preparing a business continuity plan, including a ten-minute health check.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Proposed Temporary Road Closure - Church Lane, Eaton Bray - 25th October 2013

This article was published in October 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I have a request for an Emergency Temporary Road Closure at the above location to enable urgent patching works to be carried out in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

There is no alternative route available. The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Notice will be made to cover a five day period. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Streetworks Co-ordinator


Road: Church Lane, Eaton Bray
Application from: Jill Cross – Bedfordshire Highways – 03003008049
Reason: Urgent patching works
Length affected: Full length
Date: Friday 25th October between the hours of 0730 and 1800hrs.

There is no alternative route available

NB. The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works requiring the Order have been completed.


Full of Life Festival - 10th October 2013

This article was published in October 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Full of Life


No Cold Calling Zones (NCCZs) Request for Community Champions

This article was published in July 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council operates No Cold Calling Zones. These are designed to give a clear message to traders and other business callers that residents in the area do not wish to receive unsolicited calls.

Whilst it is not illegal for a trader to cold call, No Cold Calling Signs - which are visible throughout Central Bedfordshire - act as a deterrent to unwanted callers and help to cut doorstep crime.

There is currently a hot line which can be used to report traders and businesses who are cold calling and we would like to extend the service we provide by asking residents to act as "Community Champions" who would report instances of cold calling. They could also offer advice and support to other residents and particularly to those who are vulnerable.

We will provide training and information packs for volunteers and it is anticipated that the training will take place in September 2013. The scheme will be re-launched once the training has been completed.

If you would like to know more about becoming a NCCZ's Community Champion please contact: Jake Ramphal: Email jake.ramphal@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk Tel: 0300 300 4780

To coincide with the re-launch of the scheme we are offering signage at discounted prices and door stickers for residents within the zone to display at their premises. If you would like to order signs or stickers please contact: Trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8136.


Emergency Road Closure - Moor End, Eaton Bray - 26 July 2013

This article was published in July 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I have a request for an Emergency Road Closure at the above location to enable emergency carriageway patching works to be carried out in safety. Details are listed in the schedule below and having assessed the application I am satisfied the request is justified.

The alternative route for this closure is as in the details below and will be signed accordingly. The restriction is to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. This Notice will cover a twenty one day period however the works will be limited to the date as shown below. Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

If you have any observations you wish to make I would be grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible.

Gareth Hughes. Streetworks Co-ordinator


Road: Moor End, Eaton Bray
Application from: J Cross – Bedfordshire Highways – 03003008049
Reason: Emergency Carriageway Patching Works
Lengths affected: From Jct High Street to Moor End Lane (county boundary)

Date: The closure is expected to take place on Friday 26th July 2013 between the hours 0800hrs and 1800hrs.  Access may be allowed from time to time according to local signing.

Alternative Route: Proceed along Moor End in a southerly direction into High Street Edlesborough, at the junction turn right onto the A4146 Leighton Road, turn right onto Eaton Bray Road continuing into Northall Road, at the junction turn right onto High Street Eaton Bray and continue to Moor End junction to reach site and vice versa.

Moor End Road Closure Diversion Route

NB. The applicant will be responsible for taking down all Central Bedfordshire Council public notices immediately after the works have been completed.


Mindings - Exciting Volunteer Opportunity

This article was published in July 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Mindings Pilot - Volunteers Wanted

This is an invitation to take part in an exciting study to see if a new technology called 'Mindings' can help older people to have a better quality of life. Mindings aims to:

  • Keep friends and family connected
  • Reduce loneliness
  • Help people find new ways to get involved in social groups 
  • Have a positive effect on wider health and well-being

What is Mindings?

MindingsMindings is a service that lets people send personal, captioned photos, text messages, calendar reminders, Facebook content and much more to a digital photo frame.  Mindings connects friends, families and new social networks by enabling effortless, regular, personal, and meaningful contact. It has been described as 'facebook for the technology shy'.

The Minding Pilot

The Council needs volunteers who are willing to use Mindings for two months and tell us about their experience. 

We will install the devise and show you and your family how to use it.  Mindings requires an internet connection so this will be provided for the duration of the study if you don't already have one.

We will contact you at the beginning, 4 weeks in and at the end of the study to talk to you about your experiences and find out what you think of Mindings.  

At the end of the study you will have to return the Mindings equipment but it is  available for purchase if people wish to continue using it. 

Who can get involved?

To volunteer for the trial you need to:

  • Be at least 70 years of age.
  • Be able to understand and sign a simple consent form.
  • Have lived in your current home for more than 6 months.
  • Have family or friends who you see less than once a fortnight.
  • Have friends and family who can send you regular updates, photos, messages and reminders depending on how you want to use Mindings.
  • Be willing to share your experiences of Mindings with our Research Team.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Mindings Pilot, please download this form and return it by 15th August 2013:


Affordable Housing in Eaton Bray

This article was published in July 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Suggestions for land for development of affordable housing were put forward by the Grand Union Housing Group at the July 2013 Parish Council meeting.

A copy of the proposed locations is shown below.

Grand Union Housing Group proposed sites

The council would like to gauge residents opinions on these sites, however it is important to note that the Parish Council is not endorsing these locations they are just recommended sites put forwarded by Grand Union and no decision as yet has been made.

Please email/write to the Parish Clerk (contact details on the Eaton Bray Parish Council website) with your comments by end October 2013.


Temporary Road Closure - 6 July 2013

This article was published in June 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Public Notice

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL

(ST MARY'S VILLAGE CARNIVAL PROCESSION, EATON BRAY)

 (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2013

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council intend not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along the following lengths of road in Eaton Bray:-

  1. The Orchards for its full length
  2. Totternhoe Road, from The Rye to Northall Road
  3. Northall Road, at its junction with High Street
  4. High Street, from Northall Road to Moor End
  5. Moor End, from High Street to the county boundary
  6. Bower Lane, at its junction with Moor End

This temporary road closure is required to facilitate the holding of St Mary's Village Carnival Procession and shall apply to such extent as may from time to time be indicated by the appropriate traffic signs.

The event is expected to take place on Saturday 6th July 2013 between 11.30am and 1.30pm

The alternative routes available for vehicles affected by the Order are:-

Continue along Dunstable Road to Church End, Totternhoe, turn left onto Castle Hill Road, turn left onto Stanbridge Road, turn left onto Totternhoe Road and continue onto High Street and vice versa.

The proposed Order will come into operation on 6th July 2013 for a period of one day.

For further information please contact Eaton Bray Parish Council, tel. 01767 642412.

DATED 19th June 2013

Marcel Coiffait
Director of Community Services

Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Chicksands
Shefford SG1917 5TQ


Important changes to the Electoral Register

This article was published in May 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireFrom October 2013 there will be changes to the way that you can protect your details on the electoral register should you not wish them to be sold to third parties.

There are two versions of the electoral register - the full register, which only certain organisations can access and the edited register, which anyone can buy. Your details will appear on the edited register unless you ask for them to be removed. Currently 117,000 people within Central Bedfordshire Council area have requested their name and address to be excluded from the edited version of the register.

In the past we carried over requests to be excluded from the edited register, but we will no longer be allowed to do this. If you want to have your details permanently excluded from the edited register you can write to us at Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands SG17 5TQ or email us at electoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk making a permanent opt-out request.

Please ensure that you state your full name and address and that you wish your details to be excluded from the edited register on a permanent basis or until further notice. A separate request is required for each member of the household if they also wish to be permanently omitted from the edited register.


Pick up after your pooch

This article was published in April 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Golden Doodle "Fred" 4 years old 2012 by jenknoxCentral Bedfordshire Council are asking dog owners to be responsible and bag and bin their dogs' waste to keep the area clean and healthy.

Not only is dog mess a nasty business, it also poses serious health risks. It can carry roundworm - containing the parasite Toxocara canis which can cause blindness, epilepsy, asthma and infections. So it's vital to reduce dog fouling to protect others and particularly children.

Keep Britain Tidy's latest report (2010) suggested that the UK dog population was estimated to be 8 million, with dogs producing approximately 1,000 tonnes of excrement each day.

Failing to clean up after your dog when in a public space is an offence and you could face a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice or a court imposed fine of up to £1,000. The Council is stepping up its efforts to tackle the problem and Dog Wardens are actively patrolling the area and can issue on-the-spot fines to owners for dog-fouling offences.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, said: "Dog fouling is anti-social behaviour which we take extremely seriously. We know that it is a matter of concern to lots of local residents too because they have been letting us know. Unfortunately the problem lies with a selfish minority of people who don't take the legal responsibility of dog ownership seriously enough.

"We're working hard to ensure that Central Bedfordshire continues to be a great place to live and work and have upped the Dog Warden patrols and made sure that there are around 625 easy to find dog waste bins around the area. We would encourage anyone who witnesses an incident of dog fouling to report it immediately by emailing Customer Services or by calling 0300 300 8302."

So if you're walking your dog please take a doggy bag, pick up after and use the dog waste bins provided. Remember you can also use the normal litter bins if there are none nearby, or alternatively bag it and bin it at home - there are no excuses!

To report a dog fouling incident or to suggest a location for a dog waste bin please email customer services on or visit the Council's website for further details. You can also call 0300 300 8302.

 


Council Tax frozen for 2013/14

This article was published in February 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Beds Council announced a freeze on council tax for the third year running, after agreeing the budget for 2013/14 at a meeting on February 21st.

The council tax freeze means that tax for the average Central Beds Band D will be £1,308.33, with residents now paying the same, wherever they live.

Councillor Maurice Jones said: "We've put together a balanced budget which reflects responses we got from residents in our budget survey.

"Your feedback told us that savings should come from the back office, so that frontline services are protected.

"Throughout the whole budget process, we have been very clear that we do not want to put extra pressure on families' budgets by raising council tax and our focus has been on ensuring that residents receive great services that represent maximum value for money for the council tax they pay.

"We have scrutinised every area to look at where savings can be made and we remain determined to drive out every penny of unnecessary cost."


Bikeability Project 2013

This article was published in February 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Bin Collections - 21 January 2013

This article was published in January 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Update 24th January 13:00 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled today and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from earlier in the week.

Update 23rd January 13:00 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled today and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from Monday and Tuesday.


Update 22nd January 12:30 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from yesterday.

However many side roads across the district are still inaccessible for the waste collection vehicles and we don't send the crews out into areas where there is a risk to pedestrians, property or vehicles. We want to ensure all our collection crews are safe and will not encourage them to collect when it's not safe for them to do so.


Update 21st January 09.00: Due to the weather conditions there are no waste collections taking place today, but the Household Waste Recycling Centres remain open for the time being.


Waste collection truckOn Friday 18th, Waste collections were suspended across all of the South region of Central Bedfordshire.

If it is not possible to collect residents' waste on Monday (21st January 2013) due to the icy and snowy conditions, they will try to catch up on missed collections as soon as possible, but this is dependant on the accessibility of individual roads and routes. This may change on a daily or even hourly basis. As collections are made from over 110,000 households and accessibility is assessed as each street is approached it is not possible to provide individualised messages about when collections will be made from specific streets.

Please put your bins out as normal, and if your bin or bag is not collected on Monday 21st, please leave your missed bins in an accessible location for collection and they will be collected as soon as your street is accessible and it is safe to do so.

FAQ's provided by Central Bedfordshire Council

  1. What should I do if you don't collect my waste on the normal day because of the weather?
    Please leave your bin or bags in their normal location for collection and we will collect it/them as soon as it is accessible and safe to do so. If this is not possible (due to space, cluttering the roads etc.) bring it in overnight.
  2. Can you tell me which day my bin will be collected after you've missed my normal collection day?
    We try to catch up on missed collections as soon as possible, but this is dependant on the accessibility of individual roads and routes. This may change on a daily basis during the adverse weather period. As we collect from over 110,000 households we can't guarantee everyone will receive an individualised message about their specific street's waste collections. We will update our website and social media if collections are interrupted.
  3. I'm expected to drive to work when there's snow and ice. Why can't your crews collect my bin?
    The average car weighs between 1 and 2 tonnes whereas our refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) weigh over 25 tonnes. They require more control, especially on small roads with parked cars on either side. We do not send the crews out when there is a risk of danger to pedestrians or damaging our residents' property or vehicles. We want to ensure that our collection crews are safe and will not encourage them to collect waste when it is not safe for them to do so.
  4. Why can't the RCVs (Refuse Collection Vehicles) be fitted with snow tyres or chains?
    The time taken to fit and remove snow tyres or chains would be significant because of the varying conditions on the roads during adverse weather. Some local authorities were still unable to collect waste even when their vehicles were fitted with snow tyres, so there would be limited benefit to our vehicles having snow tyres.
  5. Once the weather conditions have improved, can you catch up on bin collections within the week?
    Whilst we endeavour to catch up on missed collections as quickly as we can, we have a limited workforce and number of vehicles. We operate at maximum capacity, using all vehicles available to collect the missed collection, and will collect on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays if needed. If we can't catch up within 2 days, we will accept extra waste on the next collection for that bin. We will prioritise collection of clinical and weekly collection across the district. In the north we will prioritise collection of food waste followed by recycling, and in the south we will prioritise residual followed by recycling.
  6. Some councils didn't collect bins for 6 weeks last year. Won't I have lots of maggots in my bin if that happens again?
    If we miss a collection due to adverse weather conditions, it is likely that waste high in water content (such as food) will be frozen in the food waste or residual bin and will not harbour maggot larvae. You can double wrap any food in your bin if you are concerned. Don't forget you can put all your uncooked fruit and vegetables in your compost bin.
  7. I'm not getting a service I've paid for. Can I have a refund on my council tax?
    On average your bin collection costs around £1 per collection per household, which is a small percentage of your council tax. You will have your waste collected, but there may be a delay.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Council Tax Support Scheme for Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are required to introduce a local Council Tax Support Scheme from April 2013 as part of the Government's reform of welfare benefits.

A new scheme to replace Council Tax Benefits in Central Bedfordshire has been recommended by the Executive to the full Council for approval on 24th January 2013. 

While wanting to protect those with little or no earnings capacity, CBC have had to reduce the overall cost of the Council Tax Support scheme by £1.7 million to reflect reduced government funding. The proposed Council Tax Support scheme has the following key principles in mind:

  • The scheme should be affordable
  • A fair contribution – those who can pay Council Tax, should pay
  • The scheme should incentivise work
  • Protecting the most vulnerable

CBC's final scheme reflects feedback from public consultation which took place from August to November last year. Responses, including 1,689 questionnaires as well as emails and letters and a telephone survey of 500 households, showed that the majority of respondents supported the Council's proposed scheme. 

Under the new scheme, people with capacity to earn will be required to pay at least 25 per cent of their Council tax total bill, even if they pay nothing now.

However, the new scheme ensures that pensioners will have the same level of protection as they do now. There will also be protections for other groups of vulnerable customers such as carers, lone parents with children under five, some disabled people and war widows. 

The new scheme also includes added work incentives for low income families, so there will be an increased advantage in earning an income without jeopardizing Council Tax support.

Owners of empty and second homes will no longer receive a Council Tax discount or exemption under the new scheme. In keeping with the Council's commitment to bringing long-term empty homes back into use, there is a proposal to charge home owners Council Tax at a premium rate of 150 per cent on houses left empty for over two years.

In response to consultation feedback, the Executive has agreed to establish a Hardship Fund to make discretionary payments in exceptional circumstances for those really struggling to pay. Premiums and Personal Allowances used to calculate entitlement to Council Tax Support will be increased at the rate of inflation from 2014/15.

CBC believe that they have worked hard to develop a Council Tax Support scheme that is designed to be affordable and fair and the positive response from the consultation shows that the majority of respondents agreed.

You can read the full scheme online.

The scheme will now go to full Council on 24 January for final approval.  The changes will take place from 1 April.

 

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Superfast broadband plan gets Government green light

This article was published in May 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council's superfast broadband plan has been given the green light from the Government. This will mean massive investment in improved broadband infrastructure to improve connectivity and services for residents and support business productivity and growth.

Central Bedfordshire's Local Broadband Plan will be partially funded by £620,000 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Broadband Delivery UK team, with over £1.2 million being invested by the Council and Central Bedfordshire Together (the Local Strategic Partnership) to improve broadband services.

Under the plan a minimum of 90% of all premises would have access to superfast broadband (defined as being at least 24Mbit/s). The Local Broadband Plan will also aim to ensure that all premises in Central Bedfordshire have access to a minimum broadband service (at least 2Mbit/s) and increase the choice of broadband services and suppliers of services for local residents.

Cllr Richard Wenham, Deputy Executive Member for Corporate Resources at the council said: "We are delighted that the Government has given us the go-ahead to proceed with our superfast broadband roll out. This is an important step and we are focused on delivering the plan.

It demonstrates our commitment to improving local infrastructure.  We have already done a lot of preparation, which has been informed by what our residents, businesses and public sector partners in Central Bedfordshire have told us, but there is still time for people to contribute to our online broadband survey, and register their interest.

Rolling out superfast broadband in Central Bedfordshire will have a number of major benefits for the area. It will mean improved access to services for our residents and strengthen the local economy through supporting local business resilience, growth and innovation."

The Council will now move forward to procure a private sector infrastructure partner and secure additional private investment into Central Bedfordshire.    The Local Broadband Plan has been developed in partnership with Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough Councils with Central Bedfordshire.

The superfast broadband survey and further details about broadband in Central Bedfordshire can be found at can be found at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/broadband


Warm Homes, Healthy People

This article was published in February 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCold homes, damp homes

Living in cold, damp homes is an unfortunate reality for some people in Central Bedfordshire. Rising energy costs have made it difficult for many households to heat their homes properly.

This can often mean that there are risks to health, particularly for older people, families with children and people with disabilities or serious health conditions.

Warm Homes Healthy People scheme

The Government has made available extra funding to help tackle the problem, of Fuel Poverty. The Central Bedfordshire Warm Homes Healthy People scheme aims to offer help and support for vulnerable people living in cold and damp homes.

If you are a homeowner, or a tenant in a privately rented home and your home is cold, damp or has an old inefficient heating system, you could be eligible for a range of help.

The scheme can offer advice and financial assistance to improve your home insulation and heating.

You do not have to be in receipt of benefits to receive help from the Warm Homes Healthy People scheme.

How the scheme can help you

The Warm Homes Healthy People scheme can:

  • Help to find out how efficient your home is
  • Give you ideas on how to keep your home warm
  • Help to install measures for keeping your home warm
  • Give advice on other support or benefits you may be entitled to
  • Give advice on keeping warm and healthy.

More Information

  • Phone 0300 300 8302. Please mention the Warm Homes scheme when you call.

Quarterly Crime Update

This article was published in January 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceQuarterly crime figures published show overall levels in Bedfordshire for the 12 months to September 2011 are below the England and Wales average at 70 crimes per 1000 people compared to 74 crimes per 1000 people in England and Wales.

Results of the British Crime Survey, which have also been made available, show Bedfordshire's victim satisfaction rates are currently showing an improving trend. The latest local data shows an improvement from 79% satisfaction in the 12 months to October 2010 to 82% in the 12 months to October 2011.

Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock said: "We note the recent report comparing figures to September 2011 and these represent an historic snapshot of where the Force was in 2010 and part of 2011 policing years. The Force is working hard to drive down those crimes that most harm communities including burglary, robbery and MSV (Most Serious Violence) as well as bringing to justice those responsible. The figure to the end of December shows our continuing success in reversing previous trends and we remain committed to fighting crime and protecting the public."

The figures show crime levels in Bedfordshire have fallen in a number of crime categories – there has been a 25% reduction in "Sexual Offences", a 9% reduction in "Offences against Vehicles", a 6% reduction in "Criminal Damage" and a 24% reduction in "Other Offences". Bedfordshire currently has the lowest rate of "Sexual Offences" in England and Wales.

There has been a 12% increase in "Violence against the person – without Injury" in Bedfordshire. However, Bedfordshire is still below the England and Wales average for this offence category at 7.3 crimes per 1000 people compared to the England and Wales rate of 7.7 crimes per 1000 people. Bedfordshire is also similar to the England and Wales crime rate for overall "Violence against the person" and for "Violence against the person – with Injury".

Bedfordshire's Domestic Burglary rate was 14.6 crimes per 1000 households compared to an England and Wales average of 11 crimes per 1000 households. This remains a priority for the force and rates for the period April to December 2011 are 19% lower than the period in April to December 2010 and the detection rate for Domestic Burglary has improved from 16% to 21%.

While the quarterly figures published show Bedfordshire had one of the highest Robbery levels in England and Wales in the 12 month period to September 2011 this equates to a Robbery rate of 1.3 crimes per 1000 people. Bedfordshire's robbery level has remained unchanged in comparison to the previous 12 month period compared to a 4% increase in England and Wales. Robbery rates for the period April to December 2011 are 6% lower than the period in April to December 2010 and the detection rate for Robbery has improved from 19% to 23%.

Bedfordshire has a below average rate of recorded drug offences at 2.7 crimes per 1000 population compared to 4.2 crimes per 1000 people in England and Wales.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Make Sure You Stay Safe This Christmas and New Year

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterIt's that time of year again…..Christmas parties, office functions and so much food you don't know which way to turn and of course alcohol.

Bedfordshire Police would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year but would also like to take the opportunity to warn party goers about the dangers of excess alcohol.

"Many of us don't really indulge during the year as much as we do during the festive season and the consequences of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can be severe", warns Superintendent Dave Boyle, who is heading this year's Christmas and New Year safety campaign.

"I would like to remind members of the public not only to consider the drink drive laws and driving the day after a night out, but to take extra precautions about their personal safety when they are out enjoying themselves," he added.

Here are some easy safety tips that members of the public can follow to help keep them safe over the festive period:

  • We all like to plan a night out but make sure you also plan how to get home safely.
  • When out with friend's stay with them, stay together and stay safe.
  • Watch what you are drinking – keep an eye on how much and what you are drinking.
  • Always use a reputable taxi service and never get into a taxi which has not been ordered by you or is not displaying the Hackney licence details.
  • And don't forget a good night out deserves remembering, have fun, be safe, hold on to your smile and walk away from any trouble.

Bedfordshire Police will be running Christmas initiatives throughout the festive season in the towns and busy areas throughout the county and together with their partners will crackdown on those being anti social whilst keeping an eye out for anyone who has over indulged and needs help.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Don't Let Jack Frost Assist Car Thieves

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are urging vehicle owners across the county to think twice about leaving their cars running outside their homes while unattended.

With the weather starting to turn a bit nippier, it is tempting for motorists to start their vehicles to warm them up before heading off on their journey. This means that vehicles are often left unattended which offers easy pickings for opportunist thieves.

This week there have been two incident in the Leighton Buzzard area where motorists have been left car-less after leaving their running vehicles unattended. The first happened at 8am on Monday December 19 when a Vauxhall Astra was stolen from outside a property in Bideford Green, Linslade as the owner cleared frost form the windscreen. About 20 minutes later, a similar incident occurred in North Court, Leighton Buzzard, when a Nissan Qashqai was taken.

Chief Inspector Neill Waring of Bedfordshire Police, said: "I know that it can be very tempting for people to wait in nice, warm houses as their cars defrost but thieves have become wise. You have to ask yourself whether it is really worth the risk of losing your vehicle.

"The last thing that we want is for people to make things easy for criminals - there are plenty of products on the market to prevent frost or remove it quickly but the best way, by far, is to stay with your vehicle while it is being defrosted, and it's free."

Bedfordshire PoliceFor more advice about how to secure your vehicles and property, please visit the 'crime info' section of our website.

If you have information relating to these incidents, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Bedfordshire Police re-launch Domestic Abuse Prevention Scheme for Christmas

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThe Christmas period is often a mix of stress, alcohol and family disagreements and while for many people this is as much a part of the festive season as mince pies and roast turkey, for others it is a volatile mix that leads to an increase in domestic abuse. 

Following the success of a pilot scheme in Luton last year, Bedfordshire Police will be running the project once again in the town using offender management techniques that were originally developed in relation to the fight against gun and gang criminality.

The Christmas period is often a mix of stress, alcohol and family disagreements and while for many people this is as much a part of the festive season as mince pies and roast turkey, for others it is a volatile mix that leads to an increase in domestic abuse.

Following the success of a pilot scheme in Luton last year, Bedfordshire Police will be running the project once again in the town using offender management techniques that were originally developed in relation to the fight against gun and gang criminality.

The initiative was designed to prevent domestic abuse offending and reduce the risk to potential victims and it achieved great success over the holiday period. Last year the top ten offenders identified did not commit a single offence over the Christmas period, whether or not it was related to domestic abuse.

Detective Inspector Richard Wall who is leading the scheme this year, believes that the successful results last Christmas and the work involving different teams within the force, is an example of what can be achieved when everyone works toward a single goal. 

"Whilst Christmas is a time of great celebration, unfortunately it is also a period of the year when a significant number of homicides are related to domestic abuse and the risk factors for victims increase, especially where alcohol is involved," DI Wall explained.

"Last year the Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock set out a very clear message that our role as officers and staff of Bedfordshire Police is to continue to 'fight crime and protect the public'. This initiative played an important part in allowing us to achieve that objective and by putting the offender on the back foot we were able to reduce the risk to potential victims and we are hoping for much of the same this year."

He continued: "The scheme means that officers are trying to change the behaviour of domestic abuse offenders. We identify those that present the most serious risk to victims and over the holiday period, officers from our Local Policing Teams will be visiting these people to remind them that although we want them to enjoy a happy and peaceful Christmas, officers will be keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't commit any offences.

"By using this direct and targeted method we believe that if we have manage to cause a single person to think twice and change their behaviour, then we have achieved our aim."

Offenders are selected using a method devised by Strathclyde Police in the Glasgow area that took into account the gravity of offending as well as how often and recently the offences occurred.

As well as members of the Local Policing Teams, officers from the force's Public Protection Unit and Intelligence Teams continue to be key players in the scheme, which if it continues to be a success, will be rolled out throughout the county.

DI Wall added: "We are all aware of the reluctance of some victims to support police activity when we use traditional methods of policing this type of abuse. The pilot study in Glasgow and our own experience last year found that if support is provided to victims they are more likely to assist the police.

"I would reassure anyone who faces domestic abuse or anyone knows someone who is a victim of this type of abuse to contact the police. We can help and if they do not wish to speak to an officer direct we can put them in touch with organisations outside the policing family who can offer advice and practical support."

Bedfordshire PoliceBedfordshire Police works closely with the soLUTiONs partnership and if anyone wants confidential help and advice regarding domestic abuse they can speak to an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor on 01234 844284 or to the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 08082 000247.

If you have information relating to Domestic Violence, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.


Perry Mead Eaton Bray - Burglary car taken

This article was published in December 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police ask residents to review their home security and where they keep vehicle keys, after a burglary took place in Perry Mead, off High Street, in Eaton Bray, on Wednesday the 30th of November.

  • The offence took place between 8:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
  • The offender has gained access to the garden through a side gate that had been left unlocked.
  • A patio door has been damaged, and a ground floor window has been forced open.
  • An iPod and vehicle keys have been taken.
  • The offender has used the stolen keys, to remove the owner vehicle.
  • The car has since been recovered in Dunstable.

This crime is part of a series where the offenders have used keys stolen from a burglary, to also steal a vehicle.

  • Keep doors double-locked at all times.
  • Avoid leaving property like vehicle keys, handbags, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Force Control Room on 101, and quote crime reference, J D / 4 8 4 6 5 / 2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011

Email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Catalytic Converter Etching Day Postponed

This article was published in November 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire are informing motorists of the postponement of the free catalytic converter etching service which was due to take place at Halfords Autocentre in High Street South, Dunstable this Saturday, 12th November.

Due to other commitments Halfords is unable to host the day this week but will be supporting the initiative on another weekend in the future.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Let's Talk Together: Community Meeting

This article was published in October 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireDate: Tuesday 6 December
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Eaton Bray Village Hall, Church Lane, Eaton Bray, LU6 2DJ

Visit the market stalls anytime between 7 - 7.45pm to talk to a range of public service providers, meet your local policing team and your Parish and Ward Councillors.

From 8pm join the conversation with other residents to decide the community safety priorities for the area, discuss local topical issues and what can be done together to make things work better.

The meeting will be chaired by a Council Executive Member.

For further information please visit www.centraltogether.org.uk

Source: Focus, October 2011


Dial 101 for Non-Emergency calls to Bedfordshire Police

This article was published in September 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceBedfordshire Police have launched a new number providing people with a new way to get in touch about non-emergency issues. 101 is now the main number to call Bedfordshire Police when it is less urgent than 999.

As well as making the police more accessible to communities, it is intended that 101 will reduce the number of inappropriate 999 calls.

There will be a single flat charge of 15p per call, regardless of the duration, time of day, mobile or landline.

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example:

  • Stolen cars
  • If you suspect drug dealing/taking
  • To give us information about crime in your area
  • To speak to your Local Policing Team

In an emergency, always call 999 when you need an immediate response, For example:

  • Because a crime is in progress
  • Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • When there is danger to life
  • When violence is being used or threatened

101 will not:

  • Change the way in which the police respond to non emergency calls
  • Connect people to a large national call centre
  • Result in calls receiving a lower priority than if 999 had been called for a non emergency issue

101 should not be used to report:

  • Fly tipping
  • Noise pollution
  • Stray dogs

These should initially be reported to Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 8000

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Budget 2012 - A message from Councillor James Jamieson

This article was published in September 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central Bedfordshire Budget 2012

Have your say before Friday, 14th October.

Every day of the year, Central Bedfordshire Council provides services to Eaton Bray and other communities around Central Beds. All of us will make use of some of these services, whether they are road maintenance, waste collection or the social care services that protect vulnerable children and adults; Central Bedfordshire Council spends more than £180 million a year delivering these services.

Looking ahead, there will be less Government grant available for the Council than there has been in the past, as efforts to tackle the national deficit continue. There are also increasing pressures on some of the services provided by the Council because of increasing needs and rising costs.

Central Bedfordshire Council achieved savings of more than £20 million already from reviewing what they do and how they work. This year they must save another £19m and expect further reductions in the next fnancial year.

Taking all these factors into consideration, the Council is preparing a financial strategy for the next four years - and would like your views to be "at the heart of the plans".

Whatever your opinions, please take this opportunity to
shape the plans and make your council tax money count!
Complete the Budget Survey 2012 online.

Complete the Budget 2012 survey

To have your say on the council's budget priorities, you can complete the survey online using the Budget Survey 2012 form.

Alternatively, please print and complete the survey and return by Friday, 14 October 2011 (you do not need a stamp) to:

FREEPOST RSJS GBB2 SRZT,
Budget Consultation,
Central Bedfordshire Council,
Priory House, Monks Walk,
Chicksands,
Shefford,
SG17 5TQ

What happens next?

The feedback from this survey will help Councillors prepare options for savings for next year and beyond, with consultation on these options during December 2011 and January 2012.

You can keep up to date with the council's budget setting process at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Launch of Central Bedfordshire Music Service

This article was published in July 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Youth MusicThe new Central Bedfordshire Music Service has been launched - with a new "competitive" pricing structure starting in September. The local authority hopes that the new package will strengthen opportunities for group learning, and are aiming to increase the minimum number of guaranteed music lessons in schools from 30 to 33 a year.

The cost of attending Leighton Buzzard Music Centre, and other similar facilities in Central Bedfordshire, have also been set to ensure that more youngsters will be able to use them.

The council has redesigned the former Bedfordshire Music Service and is operating it on a cost neutral basis as part of the response to its budget challenge. This has allowed for a reduction in lesson fees again.

Councillor Mark Versallion, executive member responsible for children's services, said: "The vision of the service is to give children and young people the opportunity to become the best musicians they possibly can."

For revised lesson fees and charges, which will come into effect in September, visit www.inspiringmusic.co.uk

Summer Youth Music Courses will be playing on over the school holidays with more than 300 young musicians taking part. For the course and concert schedule, see Summer Youth Music Courses.


Your Number's Up!

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterRingmaster have recently published three articles from Bedfordshire Police regarding Vehicle Crime.

Vauxhall Wing Mirrors Flying Away in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire Police are investigating a string of wing mirror thefts across the county. Reports have been received over the last six months of exceptionally high numbers of colour-coded wing mirror casings being stolen from cars.

The predominant targets are Vauxhalls, mostly from Bedford and Luton. In fact, 81 offences have been reported between January and June 1 this year. Fifty three of these thefts were from Vauxhalls, with Mark 4 and 5 Astras being the most commonly stolen type.

"We've noticed a significant upturn in these type of thefts in the last few months," said Det Con Vicky Willett, from the Intelligence Unit. "The mirror casings are not cheap to replace and because they are not marked by the manufacturers, even if we find them it's difficult to trace them back to their rightful owners and prove they are stolen. That means the criminal could get away with the crime and continue stealing."

"We're investigating the spate of thefts but we also really need the public's help. We'd like as many people as possible to write their postcode and house number on the bottom outside edge on the casing. That means we can identify the stolen parts if we arrest those suspected of stealing them," she said.

We have free ultraviolet markers to give away to people to do this and they are available from Greyfriars, Luton, Dunstable and Ampthill police stations. The UV pens can also be used to mark all household property such as electrical items, mobile phones and bikes etc.

If people who would like an indelible marker which is completely unique to their household they can buy Smartwater from Neighbourhood Watch for a £20 fee, call 01234 275165.


Campaign Means 'Number's Up' for Car Criminals

The number is up for thieves who persist in stealing registration plates and other valuables from vehicles.

That is the hard-hitting warning from Bedfordshire Police who next month (July) are launching a new overt and covert campaign aimed at driving offences down – and putting offenders behind bars.

Called the 'Your Number's Up' campaign, it comes in response to figures that show there have been more than 660 thefts from motor vehicles across central and south Bedfordshire since the beginning of the year.

They include nearly 150 "smash and grab" offences where thieves have broken into vehicles to steal valuables like sat navs and lap-tops and nearly 90 where registration plates have been taken.

They are often used to hide the true identity of vehicles used in crime, such as stealing fuel from filling stations where registration plates are routinely filmed.

'Your Number's Up' will be launched the week commencing Monday, July 4 when officers will stage several roadshows across Central and South Bedfordshire under the Car Accessory Protection Scheme (CAPS) banner.

During the roadshows local policing teams will secure motorists' registration plates with tamper-proof screws free of charge and hand out crime prevention advice.

CCTV images of those wanted in connection with forecourt crime will be increasingly hosted on a new section of the Force web site. They will also be forwarded to social media sites and other media.

Police and PCSOs will be stepping up warnings to drivers who leave valuables on show, either by speaking to them face to face or, if that is not possible, by sending letters to their home addresses.

Teams will be paying particular attention to town centre car parks and to local beauty spots, which thieves are known to target during the warmer months.

A new hotline with 24 hour answering machine has been set up, meaning anyone with information about vehicle crime can leave it in the certain knowledge it will be reviewed by a dedicated vehicle squad intelligence officer.

All useful information gained will help with the planning of overt and covert operations, including those that involve the early morning execution of warrants at offenders' homes.

DCI Greg Horford, who is leading the 'Your Number's Up' campaign said: "Tackling vehicle crime is a force priority and we will leave no stone unturned in the hunt for those responsible for it.

"The public can help by taking the appropriate crime prevention measures and by contacting us the moment they have information that could assist police. By working together we can send a clear message to thieves that 'your number's up'."

Anyone with information about vehicle crime can leave a message on the dedicated 'Your Number's Up' hotline on 01582 473241. Alternatively telephone the main switchboard on 01234 841212, text to 07768 20011 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Thank you for your support.


White Seat Leon involved in burglaries

Police are seeking assistance from the public across Aylesbury Vale to look out for a white Seat Leon which is suspected of being involved in 4 burglaries across the Vale and into Hertfordshire. The offences have been committed since the 31st May when the car was stolen from a house in Bierton.

If you see a white Seat Leon in suspicious or unusual circumstances (parked outside neighbours house or on their driveway when they don't use such a car, of if they aren't home etc) then please record the registration and call police immediately informing them you believe the vehicle to be in suspicious circumstances and have been asked to call in with the registration following an appeal on Community Messaging. This will enable police operators to conduct further checks and deploy police officers if this is necessary.

Any information can be passed to the Police via the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505 or if you suspect a crime is in progress dial on 999.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


St Mary's Village Carnival: Road Closure Notice

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 – SECTION 16A

(HIGH STREET, THE ORCHARDS, TOTTERNHOE ROAD, NORTHALL ROAD, BOWER LANE AND MOOR END, EATON BRAY)

(TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2011

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council intend not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along the following lengths of road;

  1. High Street, Eaton Bray for its full length
  2. The Orchards, Eaton Bray for its full length
  3. Totternhoe Road, Eaton Bray from its junction with Northall Road to its junction with The Rye
  4. Northall Road, Eaton Bray at its junction with the High Street
  5. Bower Lane, Eaton Bray at its junction with the High Street
  6. Moor End, Eaton Bray from its junction with High Street to county boundary.

These temporary closures are required to facilitate the holding of the St Mary’s Village Carnival and Parade.

The closure will be operative on Saturday 2 July 2011 between 10.00am and 3.00pm.

The alternative routes available for vehicles affected by the proposed Order are:-

Proceed on Bower Lane to roundabout with B489 Icknield Way. Take 3rd exit and continue on Icknield Way to roundabout with A4146 Leighton Road, Eddlesborough. Take 3rd exit and continue on Leighton Road to junction with Stanbridge Road, Billington. Turn right and continue on Stanbridge Road to junction with The Rye, Eaton Bray. Turn right and continue on The Rye to junction with Totternhoe Road and site and vice versa.

The proposed Order will come into operation on 2 July 2011 for a period of one day.
(Access may be allowed from time to time according to local timings)

For further information please contact Heidi Head, Eaton Bray Parish Council; Tel/Fax: 01525 221464.

DATED 15 June 2011

Basil Jackson
Assistant Director for Highways and Transportation
Central Bedfordshire Council
Technology House, Ampthill Road,
Bedford MK42 9BD


Beware of Jewellery Scammers

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking local residents to be on their guard after at least five people were victims of theft in Luton and Dunstable in the last two months.

The latest incident took place on Wednesday June 1st between 11.30am and midday in Eldon Road in Luton, when the offender approached a man loading his vehicle on his driveway and placed a gold chain around his neck offering it for sale. He asked them to leave and they removed the victim's real chain, without his knowledge, leaving theirs behind.

The thieves have previously targeted victims in and around Dunstable and Luton. Two thefts occurred in Sainsbury's in Dunstable Road, Luton and Boscombe Road, Dunstable.

Two further thefts occurred in residential roads near to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital usually targeting elderly victims.

Investigating officer, Ruth Melnykowicz said: "On all occasions the offenders have been described as females of eastern European appearance, wearing long skirts and head scarves."

"We would urge people to remain vigilant to people approaching them on the street offering jewellery or other items of value for sale. We would also like to hear from anyone else who believes they may have been a victim of this type of theft."

Anyone with information can contact Ruth Melnykowicz on 01582 394022, Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, text 07786 200011, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


Let's Talk Together

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireLet's Talk Together: Community Meeting for the Leighton Rural area

Date: Thursday 30 June
Time: 7-9pm
Location: St Nicholas Church Hall, Barton-Le-Clay, Beds, MK45 4LA

Visit the market stalls anytime between 7 - 7.45pm to talk to a range of public service providers, meet your local policing team and your Parish and Ward Councillors.

From 8pm join the conversation with other residents to decide the community safety priorities for the area, discuss local topical issues and what can be done together to make things work better.

The meeting will be chaired by a Council Executive Member

For further information please visit www.centraltogether.org.uk.


Creative thinking to maintain creative services

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Youth MusicCentral Bedfordshire Council is developing fresh thinking as it prepares for the launch of a new Music Service later this year.

Government grant reductions have required the Council to reduce its costs by £19.2m during 2011/12. Redesigning the former Bedfordshire Music Service and operating it on a cost neutral basis is part of the Council’s response to its budget challenge.

“We want to make sure that Central Bedfordshire children can continue to develop their musical potential so we’ve been consulting with young people, their parents and schools.

"Following this we have reconfirmed our commitment to the four Music Centres in Ampthill, Biggleswade, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard” said the new Executive Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mark Versallion.

Cllr Versallion also said “Originally we planned to reduce funding to the music centres and we expected that at least one of them would need to close. However, as a result of a further review of our overheads and back office costs, we’ve been able to extend funding to all four of the music centres in the short to medium term. This gives the Music Service time to work with its customers and potential partners to work up our new service programme before the national introduction of regional hubs in 2012.

The Council has been allocated a reduced grant for music provision from national government of £394,000. With this it will introduce a new and more flexible model of music tuition. At the moment fees have been high from April but by working more efficiently, it is hoped that fees will reduce for parents as the year goes on and more young people access the service.

Central Bedfordshire Music Service will be launched in July, supported by a newly designed marketing plan. There will be clear goals to put a greater focus on advertising existing and new activities and responding more flexibly to the identified needs of the young people and parents.

As part of the service re-design a series of workshops are being held with schools, external partners in the business and the voluntary sector, pupils and parents to join Central Bedfordshire Council in developing plans for the future.

“If we work together we can find ways of not only protecting these important services, but to develop them for the talented young musicians of current and future generations” added Cllr Versallion.

For further information please contact: Tom Skinner on 0300 300 5738.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council News Release


Central Bedfordshire Libraries

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireLibrary Service Review and 'Big Library Debate'

Residents in Central Bedfordshire are being encouraged to take part in the ‘Big Library Debate’ which will look at shaping the Library Service, making sure it meets the needs of future generations and offers best value for money.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries are at the heart of local communities and provide a gateway to information, learning and resources for all ages and the Council wants to ensure that the service is fit for the 21st century, making best use of modern technology and allowing easy access for all to benefit.

Between the 1 June and 13 July, the 'Big Library Debate' display stands will be based at Libraries across Central Bedfordshire on the dates listed below and we would be delighted to see you there.

1-10 June 15-28 June 1-12 July
Dunstable Library Leighton Buzzard Library Biggleswade Library
Ampthill Library Flitwick Library Toddington Library
Sandy Library Potton Library Stotfold Library
Shefford Library Barton Library Houghton Regis Library

We also want to hear from people who don’t use the library service so we will be out and about in town centres and the Let’s Talk Together meetings talking to local people too. Details of all activities will be available online from Wednesday 1 June. If you have any ideas of local community events we could attend or ways of promoting the 'Big Library Debate' then please let us know.

Additionally, we will be holding some discussion groups to hear in more depth how service users and non users think the library service should be developed for the future.

The feedback from these engagement activities will help inform the Library Service Review and options for the future model of the library service. Further consultation with the public, stakeholders and partners on these options will then begin in August.

If you want to find out more about libraries in general or the Big Library Debate please email Kate McFarlane or Nicola Avery.

Yours sincerely,
Nicola Avery
Library Services Manager
Central Bedfordshire Council


Wildlife Trust - Flit Vale Local Group - Talks and Walks

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireA reminder below of our next two walks in June.....

Would you like to get more involved with reserve monitoring? In a new project started this year the Wildlife Trust is looking for local volunteers to help with monitoring and management at Cooper's Hill and Flitwick Moor nature reserves.

Both these reserves lie along a geological feature known as the Greensand Ridge yet contain vastly different habitats. Cooper's Hill at Ampthill is a remaining pocket of lowland heath whilst Flitwick Moor is a valley mire next to the river Flit. This project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will involve increased habitat management at both sites and includes trialling different management options. Surveys of plants, animals and also reserve visitors will be carried out to ensure that the best management practices are being used.

If you would be interested in finding out more about this project and maybe getting involved please contact Gwen Hitchcock via email at gwen.hitchcock@wildlifebcnp.org or telephone on 07872 418281

Wildlife walks in June

  • Saturday 4th June, 10.00 am
    'Totternhoe Quarry - Guided walk with John Comont'* :: Come and see the developments at the quarry. A 'field' follow-up to Graham Bellamy's March talk. Meet in the National Trust Car Park and Picnic Site at Totternhoe (2 miles west of Dunstable) - directions as follows: Head west out of Dunstable on the A505, across the A5 onto the B489 towards Tring. Turn right at the mini roundabout towards Totternhoe. After 1 mile, turn right in Totternhoe up track to National Trust car park.
    *£1 per adult
  • Monday 20th June, 7.00 pm
    'Flitton Moor wild flower walk with Chris Boon'* :: Now an annual event.- Chris will lead a short walk over the moor identifying the flowers and plants - at last year's walk over one hundred different species were spotted. Meet at the Old Shed on Flitton Moor, at the bottom of Brook Lane Flitton.
    *£1 per adult

The walks are open to all, but please reserve your place as space is limited. For additional information, or to reserve your place, please email flitvale.info@gmail.com or ring Kathy on 07890 347327 after 6 pm or at weekends.

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough Registered charity number: 1000412 www.wildlifebcnp.org Wildlife Trust BCNP Flit Vale Local Group www.flitvale.org.uk

If you wish to receive topical and lively e-news from our parent organisation, BCNP, please go to their website www.wildlifebcnp.org and click on "Get e-mail updates".


Eaton Bray farm theft

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is a Countryside Watch message issued by Ringmaster, on behalf of Bedfordshire Police.

Bedfordshire Police ask residents in Eaton Bray and rural business owners to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious vehicles, after a theft took place from a farm in Eaton Bray, on Friday the 27th of May.

The offence took place at 8:15 a.m.

A witness saw a White van arrive at the location.

A gate was forced open and a number of tractor and vehicle engine parts were stolen.

The vehicle was seen leaving the location being driven by a white male in his 30s.

The vehicle is described as a Transit style van, with the part registration V P B.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,2,2,0,9,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Let's Talk Together Community Meeting

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe’d like more people from our communities to get involved with the work we do.

It’s only by listening to what our communities tell us that we can work together to make Central Bedfordshire a really great place in which to live, work, learn and travel.

Let’s Talk Together community meetings will give members of the community and local groups the opportunity to discuss their particular issues and concerns with Councillors and representatives from key organisations such as police, health, children/education, community safety, environment, business and volunteering to name but a few.

 

Dunstable, Houghton Regis & Rural Meeting

Thursday 23rd June
Dunstable FIre Station
Brewers Hill Road
Dunstable
LU6 1AA

7:00pm- 9:00pm
Why not come along?


Emergency planning needs to consider pets

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterLocal families are being urged to remember to include their pets when drawing up plans to respond to unexpected emergencies, such as severe weather, traffic disruption or power failures.

The advice, from emergency response partners within the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF), is especially important as May half – term holiday approaches.

Chairman of BLLRF, Assistant Chief Constable Kath Govier from Bedfordshire Police said: “Emergencies, by their nature, occur when we least expect them. The police and other emergency services are always on hand to respond to such situations.

“However, every family should have its own emergency plan so that each member knows what to do when the unexpected strikes. Experience shows that people often put their own lives in danger in an effort to rescue their pets.

“Millions of people throughout the UK are currently celebrating life with their pets and spreading it is important for families to think about how they would care for their pets if their normal routine was disrupted by a serious emergency.”

BLLRF supports the ‘What would you do if...?’ campaign which aims to help everybody living or working within Bedfordshire and Luton to be prepared and consider what they would do if faced with an emergency. Log onto www.whatwouldyoudoif.co.uk.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Let's Talk Together

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireSAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM

A pilot series of Let’s Talk Together meetings took place across Central Bedfordshire in each of the seven Safer Neighbourhood Areas during January to March and was well received by both Elected Members, local residents and public service organisations such as the NHS, Fire and Rescue, Police. A further series of meetings based on three per year in each of the seven areas is now being arranged.

The next meetings will take place in June and July, starting at 7pm and finishing at 9pm.

  • Dunstable Houghton Regis and Rural area
    Thursday 23 June at Dunstable Fire Station
  • Leighton Rural
    Thursday 30 June at St Nicholas Church Hall, Barton-Le-Clay
  • Leighton Buzzard and Linslade area
    Tuesday 5 July (venue to be confirmed)

Part 1 - is the market stall part of the meeting where visitors can drop in between 7 and 7.45pm and have informal discussion with a range of public service providers.

Part 2 - of the meeting follows at 7.45pm where the policing priorities for the area are agreed and will now include an additional presentation covering a local topical issue and discussion time to agree how issues can be tackled together.

For any further information about Let's Talk Together or community engagement please contact Sarah Hughes on: Tel: 0300 300 6166 or Email: sarah.hughes@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


Burglary in The Rye

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is a Ringmaster Message from Bedfordshire Police.

Please pass the details of this message onto any friends, and neighbours.

Residents in Eatom Bray are asked to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious activity in back gardens, after a burglary took place in The Rye.

The offence took place between the 20th and the 24th of April.

The offender gained access to the rear garden, and forced open the door to a conservatory.

Once inside the offender has tried to force a door into the rest of the house.

This has been unsuccessful.

No entry was gained and no property was taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented.

Your boundaries are your first line of defence against criminals.

Always secure garden gates, keep fences and wall in good repair and consider defensive planting, or trellis.

Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof, access a first floor window or access neighbours garden.

Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,7,2,6,8,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk For more information on reducing burglary related crime visit http://www.safer-beds.org/rmwebportal/rm_desktop/files/Crime%20Reduction%20-%20Buglaries.html

Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


School Lane Eaton Bray - Burglary

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking residents in Eaton Bray with UPVC front doors to keep them double locked at all times, after a burglary took place in School Lane.

The offence took place between 11:00 a.m. on the 1st and 5:20 p.m. on the 3rd of April 2011.

The offender has forced open the UPVC front door, and the house has been searched.

Jewellery has been taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented:-

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,4,0,9,9,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


The 2011 National Census

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe are aware that the census may give potential distraction burglars or rogue traders an opportunity to target vulnerable people in our communities. To help prevent this, please take note of the following information and, if possible, pass it on to family, friends and neighbours:

  • If you have completed and returned your questionnaire promptly (ie before 6 April), you will not be contacted by census field staff.
  • All census staff will carry an ID card with a photo, logo and hologram, which they should automatically show to you. They may ask for name and number of residents, but they will not ask for specific details (like credit card or bank/building society details, etc – never disclose these).
  • If you forget to complete your form, a census collector will call to request that it is completed. Make sure you check their identity and photo to ensure they are valid. Always use a door chain when opening the door. Census staff are not required to enter you house.
  • Our main advice about preventing distraction burglary still applies – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door. Telephone the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 to check the identity of the census collector.
  • If you wish, you can request a pre-arranged appointment with a collector, via the census helpline number.

If you have any reason to suspect a caller is not genuine, call Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, giving us as much information as you can.

Thank you for your support

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Volunteer Custody Visitors Needed

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police Authority is currently recruiting Independent Custody Visitors.

Independent Custody Visitors check on the standards in which people are held in custody, enhancing the accountability and transparency of police among the communities they serve. Visitors play a vital role in raising standards in custody and the fair treatment of detainees.

Volunteers from all walks of life and sections of the community are invited to join Bedfordshire Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Applications for this recruitment are required by Thursday 7th April 2011.

Applicants must be able to attend induction training on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011.

To find out more or apply for an application pack please:

Telephone: Pat Brown at Bedfordshire Police Authority on 01234 842067

Email:  pat.brown@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

For more details please visit the Police Authority web site using the link below. 

Thank you for your support

 


Toy Library

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Toy Library

Central Bedfordshire Children’s Centres brand NEW Toy Library is almost ready to roll!

We have hundreds of brilliant toys organised into age appropriate packs for all the ages between 0-5years. The service is open to all families of under 5’s and is FREE.

We will operate 2 static toy libraries based at Barton-le-Clay Children’s Centre Mondays 9.00-10.00am and Roundabout Children’s Centre Fridays 12.15-1.15pm. The catalogues’ can be accessed at anytime during our normal session times.

A mobile Toy Library service will also operate on a Thursday. The mobile toy library will operate a two weekly rota starting as below and will return to the same venues on a fortnightly basis:

Starting Thursday 17th March 2011

  • 09.00-09.45: Heath and Reach Thrift Road
  • 10.00-10.30: Aspley Guise Village Hall Car Park
  • 10.45-11.15: Woburn Village Hall Car Park
  • 11.30-12.15: Cranfield (TBC)
  • 13.00-13.45: Ampthill Methodist Church Car Park
  • 14.00-14.30: Clophill Village Hall Car Park
  • 15.00-15.45: Toddington Methodist Church Car Park

Starting Thursday 24th March 2011

  • 09.00-09.45: Eaton Bray (School Lane) Public Car Park
  • 10.30-11.15: Kensworth Village Hall Car Park
  • 11.30-12.15: Caddington Lower School Car Park
  • 13.00-13.45: Slip End Village Hall Car Park
  • 14.00-15.00: Dunstable Methodist Church (Creative Play session available 1.30-3.00pm at Dunstable venue)

To become a member of our Toy Library service you will need to bring along photographic I.D (i.e passport or driving licence) a recent utility bill with your current address on, a completed membership/application form and have registered with the children’s centre. If you haven’t got an application form, please pick one up from your local children’s centre or come and get one on your first visit to the mobile library.

For more information on our Toy Libraries or any of our other Children’s Centre services, please call us on 01582 881054 (Barton) or 01525 384368 (Leighton Buzzard).

Barton-le-Clay Children’s Centre, Our Space, c/o Ramsey Manor Lower School, Manor Road, Barton, MK45 4NS

Roundabout Children’s Centre, c/o St George’s Lower School, East Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1EW


Force Backs 'Burglar Buster' Campaign

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are throwing their weight behind a national initiative aimed at helping to protect the elderly from distraction burglars.

From today Safer Neighbourhood Officers are starting to deliver hundreds of posters to shops, post offices, doctors' surgeries, libraries and other locations as part of a national campaign called Operation Liberal.

There are four posters in the campaign that feature the slogan "Not Sure? Don't Open the Door" and pictures of pensioners who have become "Burglar Busters" by following key crime prevention advice.

For example, when two men claiming to be from the "Water Board" called at Jean's home, she called police because she knew "Water Boards" no longer exist. The men are now behind bars. When two men posing as police officers called at Harbans’ house, he kept the door closed while he called local police to check their identity. It turned out they were bogus.

Quick-witted Mary saw a suspicious couple calling next door claiming to have lost a ball in the garden. Mary noted the couple’s vehicle details and called police, who confirmed they were distraction burglars.

And John's quick call to police helped stop a bogus caller pretending to be an energy supplier. John had signed up to the Priority Service Register password scheme and the caller did not know his password. John rightly refused to open his door.

Central Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: "This area is not suffering a major problem with distraction burglars at the moment and we are determined to keep it that way. For that reason we are delighted to back this initiative and the 'Not Sure? Don't Open the Door Message'".

"Our advice to pensioners is to use a spy hole and door chain and insist on seeing identification. If you are any doubt about a caller do not let them in and call police.

Anyone with information about distraction burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212; Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

For crime reduction advice email saferhomes@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Changes to Bus Services from 28 March 2011

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireChanges are being made to a number of bus services in Central Bedfordshire on 28th March 2011. Many of these changes are a result of a spending review on bus services financially supported by Central Bedfordshire Council. Bus operators are also making some changes to their commercial services from the same date.

The following changes affect Eaton Bray:

  • 73 (Red Kite): Totternhoe, Eaton Bray, Billington, Leighton Buzzard.
    This service is reduced to provide one return journey on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

These changes were agreed as part of a savings package that was discussed at the 7 December Executive meeting.

For more information, see the Central Bedfordshire website.


Pupils will lose out in music cuts

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Youth MusicMusical students in Bedford Borough will still be able to hone their skills, but those living in areas governed by Central Beds Council, such as Eaton Bray, could miss out.

Bedfordshire Music provides instrumental tuition and other music opportunities in the county and is a shared service between Central Beds Council and Bedford Borough Council.

While Bedford Borough Council has protected access to music tuition for local school children, Central Beds Council is considering plans to cut all its funding for the shared service.

The Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said: “I will simply not allow Central Beds Council's unilateral decision to cut all its funding for the music service to damage access to this excellent service in Bedford Borough.

"We are protecting music tuition in the borough, giving all children and young people the chance to enjoy music and the positive impact it can have.

"Access to high quality music tuition and further opportunities in music must not only be for the children of the very well off."

On a weekly basis, it provides lessons and area music centre activities for children, young people and adults.

Councillor Anita Lewis, portfolio holder for children's services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Bedfordshire Music is currently a shared service between Central Beds Council and Bedford Borough Council.

"The shared service agreement is due to expire at the end of March and we are moving forward with a proposal to disaggregate the service from Bedford Borough at the end of the summer term.

"The future provision of a music service in Central Beds is subject to review and consultation. The consultation will be undertaken with schools and interested parties and will consider alternative ways of delivering a music service provision to the children and young people in Central Beds."

Read the full article on the Bedford Today website.


The Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music website has further information about the proposed cuts by Central Bedfordshire, along with details of how you can show your support to keep Bedfordshire Music supplying services to both councils.

Source: Bedford Today


Burglary in Harling Road

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA theft took place in Harling Road, in Eaton Bray, between 8:45 p.m. on the 8th and 9:00 a.m. on the 9th of February.

The offender has gained access to a fuel tank in the grounds.

The fuel pipe has been broken and a large amount of heating oil has been taken.

Bedfordshire Police ask local residents to be vigilant, and to report anything suspicious immediately.

For more information on reducing crime visit Safer Bedfordshire.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,6,0,7,9,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Or call Crime stoppers in confidence on (0800)555111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Residents slam village housing plan

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

New Homes ConstructionA former parish councillor has slammed absentee landowners for trying to push through a massive housing plan for Eaton Bray which he says will blight the village.

Rick Brand has launched a campaign to try and halt potential moves to turn more than 20 acres of open space into housing.

The idea is in its infancy but residents fear that the chance to boost housing stock will lead to Central Beds Council looking favourably on the scheme.

It would mean the loss of former orchards and grazing land which stretch from Bower Lane/ Harling Road behind homes in Orchard Way, Moor End Lane and Mill End Close and down towards the Edlesborough border.

Mr Brand, a former EB parish councillor, moved to Mill End Close, because of the outlook over open fields which attracts a wealth of wildlife.

But he fears he may soon be looking at a new housing estate if the landowners get their way.

The site is owned by a former local woman now retired to Florida and farmers who live out of the village. Last year CBC asked landowners to notify them if they had any areas that may be suitable for housing development.

The Bower Lane site was offered as it is unsuitable as farmland. Moves were made in the 1980s to build on the land but the then South Beds Council threw out the idea because it was in Green Belt and would extend the village's natural boundary.

Now CBC must find room for more than 600 homes in rural areas and Eaton Bray has been identified as one area which could take some development.

Read more of this story on Leighton Buzzard Online and see tomorrow's Leighton Buzzard Observer for the full story.


For the latest news from Eaton Bray and beyond, get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday and make a daily date with Leighton Buzzard Online.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Online


Let's Talk Together

This article was published in February 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCommunity Meeting for the Leighton Rural area

Let's Talk Together community meetings are for local residents to come along and speak to the organisations who supply public services, share views on local issues and help shape community safety priorities.

Please come along and tell us what matters to you.

Tuesday 22nd March 2011

Toddington Fire Station, Dunstable Road, Toddington, Beds. LU5 6DR 7pm - 9pm

Meeting will be chaired by Councillor Tom Nicols, Central Bedfordshire Council.

There's no need to book, just drop in when you can. For the first half of the meeting public service providers will be on hand to answer your questions. In the second half of the meeting we will set the local community safety priorities for the area together.



Volunteer for Nominated Neighbour Scheme!

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterPolice in Central Bedfordshire are looking for people to act as a 'Nominated Neighbour' for elderly or vulnerable people living near to them.

The scheme encourages elderly people not to open the door or talk to unfamiliar callers, but to keep the chain on and show them a bright yellow card.

The card instructs the caller to go to a Nominated Neighbour, who will then check their identity and return with them and supervise the visit.

The initiative is just one of many crime prevention initiatives police are spearheading as part of Operation Vision to drive down burglary.

Chief Inspector Neill Waring said: "People who are particularly vulnerable, may not have the confidence to deal robustly with callers. The public can help by keeping an eye on their elderly neighbours or by signing up to our Nominated Neighbour Scheme to help deal with unwanted or unexpected callers. Often members are relatives, friends, Neighbourhood Watch supporters or others with an interest in making their communities a safer place. Families can constantly help by reminding elderly relatives of the importance of using spy holes and door chains and never letting unfamiliar people through the door without ID - even if they claim to have a legitimate reason such as being a water board official or police officer."

Anyone who would like to become a Nominated Neighbour can contact their local crime reduction officer on 01582 471212 or email saferhomes@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Anyone with information about a crime should call the main switchboard on 01234 841212 or Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Campaign for Bedfordshire Music

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Youth MusicCentral Bedfordshire Council, which hosts the Bedfordshire Music Service, has announced that they are proposing to cut the funding it currently gives the service to zero during 2011 and intends to reorganise and disaggregate the Music Service.

Consequently, Bedfordshire Music Service will cease to exist in August 2011. It is planned that Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire will each develop their own separate music service provision arrangements from September 2011.

Please email or write a letter to your councillor in protest at this cut in funding and the disaggregation of the Bedfordshire Music Service, and show your support by signing the FBYM petition and attending the meeting on 8th February.

You can also download a copy of the letter sent to Friends and Schools detailing how you can help.


Consultation registration form

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is compiling a Consultation Register. If you are interested in particular areas of CBC's work ie; Parks and Open Spaces, Public Transport, Transport Strategy, Countryside etc., you can register to receive information/consultation on your chosen areas as and when they arise.

The online registration form is available via the link below. Please click to sign up and list your interests.

The online Consultation Registration form: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/surveys/ConRegistration/Form.htm

Best wishes,

Stephen Halton
Senior Project Officer (Ecology & Community)
Countryside Access Team
Central Bedfordshire Council


2011 Census - What do I need to do?

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

2011 CensusThe next Census will take place on 27th March 2011. Every household in England and Wales needs to complete a questionnaire so that statistics about the population can be produced.

Government money for health, police, councils and other public service providers is allocated according to the population of an area, so it is vital that everyone is counted. Make sure your area gets its fair share of Government money.

Questionnaires will be delivered from 7th March so look out for the purple logo, and complete and return the form as soon as you can.

Who needs to be included on the form?

Everyone who lives at your address. This includes family, newborn babies, lodgers, and students who live somewhere else during term time. People who are staying in the country for 3 months or more must be included. The number of visitors staying overnight on 27th March can also be included.

Why should I take part?

All citizens have a duty to complete the census questionnaire.

Businesses and local services need to know how many people live in their area, and other important information about your gender, age, ethnicity and about your housing. This ensures that the right services are available in the right place. It is also a legal requirement, and refusal to complete the questionnaire may result in prosecution and a fine.

How do I complete my questionnaire?

You can choose whether to complete the questionnaire on-line or by hand.

Every questionnaire has a unique code to enable completion at www.census.gov.uk. The questionnaire pack contains a prepaid return envelope if you prefer to post it back.

The questionnaire has enough room for six people. It takes only 10 minutes for each adult, and much less for each child. If you have more than 6 people in your household, request additional individual questionnaires from the website or telephone 0300 0201 101.

I don't have a computer, but I want to complete on-line

No problem. You can use the computers at public libraries, or you can visit one of the completion events that are taking place at various locations in your area. Check with your local council where and when these are happening. Some events are shown below.

I need help or someone I know needs help to complete the questionnaire?

There is lots of help available. From 4th March you can telephone 0300 0201 101 to request guidance in over 50 languages and in accessible formats such as large print, Braille and British Sign language. You can also request a personal visit from a Census Collector who will come to your home. The number for text relay for hard of hearing is 18001 0300 0201 160. Many community groups are holding events to help local people complete their questionnaires. Check the location, dates and times with your local council. The Census website contains lots of information about the Census at www.census.gov.uk

What happens if I don't return my questionnaire?

From 6th April Census Collectors will visit households that have not returned their questionnaire. They will carry identification and will offer help and assistance, or answer your questions about the census questionnaire. To avoid a Census Collector knocking on your door, just return your questionnaire promptly after 27th March.

People who refuse to complete a census questionnaire will be investigated, and this may lead to prosecution and a fine.

Useful information

Information about the census, and census events in your area can be found on the Central Bedfordshire website.

You can also contact the Census Area Manager, Jan Esson on 07801 331386 or email G106@census.gov.uk

Census questionnaire completion events

If you need help, want to ask questions, or want to complete your census questionnaire on-line, please come along to one of the completion events. Check the local council website for the latest information.

These are the events arranged so far:

  • Monday 28th March at Kempston Library 11am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 30th March at Bedford Learning Centre, 88 High Street, Bedford 10am to 2pm
  • Saturday 2nd April at Bedford Learning Centre 9am to 1pm
  • Monday 4th April at Sandy Library 10am to 3pm
  • Wednesday 6th April at Bedford Learning Centre 10am to 2pm
  • Saturday 9th April at Bedford Learning Centre 9am to 1pm
  • Monday 11th April at Putnoe Library 2pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday 20th April at Putnoe Library 2pm to 5pm

REMEMBER TO BRING ALONG YOUR CENSUS QUESTIONNAIRE


Burglaries in Greenways and Wallace Drive

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA Burglary took place in Greenways, in Eaton Bray, on Thursday the 13th of January, between 4:30 and 4:40 p.m.

The offender has gained access to the side of the house, entering through a door that had been left unlocked. A purse was taken from the kitchen. The owner was in the house at the time and saw a shadow in the hallway. The owner has called out, causing 3 males to run from the house. The purse has since been found near to the house.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,7,8,0,/2011.


A Burglary took place in Wallace Drive, on Thursday the 20th of January, between 5:00 and 5:10 a.m.

The offender has forced open the front door. A handbag has has been taken.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,2,7,5,1,/2011.


Other ways to get in touch

  • Text your message to (07786) 200011
  • Email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111.

Many Burglaries can be prevented

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Thames Valley Police - Community Messaging

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWatch members are continuing to report cold calls from a company, telling them that their computer is at risk, asking them to turn it on immediately, so that the caller can 'fix' the problem for them, for a fee.

Trading standard's advice is:-

  • Do not deal with cold callers.
  • Never give personal information over the telephone to cold callers.
  • Never give passwords or credit cards and bank details over the telephone to unknown callers.

A resident had two calls yesterday from a security company, claiming to be doing a NHW survey and offering security systems for £1. When the resident identified themself as being a NHW co-ordinator the caller quickly made their excuses and terminated the call.

Any alarm or security systems at such a low cost may well have a heavy monthly monitoring fee and large cancellation costs.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


17 Years Imprisonment for South Beds Burglars

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterFour men who committed a series of burglaries between August 2009 and January 2010 across South Bedfordshire were sentenced at Luton Crown Court yesterday (January 13).

To read more please see the Bedfordshire Police court report.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Your guide to organising a street party or fete

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bunting

Foreword by Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Street parties and fetes are a traditional part of community life; they are a simple way for us to get to know our neighbours and meet members of our community. We want to make it easier for you to hold these sorts of local events, without having to plough through mountains of forms and red tape. So we have produced this simple step by step guide to how to hold a community event in your local area. It includes one simple form for you to use to let your local authority know about your plans, so you can get on with the real work of organising a fun event.

Good luck.
Eric Pickles Signature

What sort of events does this apply to?

This is about the sort of street parties and fetes that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and fetes and larger public events are listed below:

Street parties and fetes:

  • For residents/neighbours only
  • Publicity only to residents
  • No licences normally necessary if music incidental and no selling is involved
  • No formal risk assessment needed
  • Self-organised

Larger public events:

  • Anyone can attend
  • External publicity (such as in newspapers)
  • Licence usually needed
  • Insurance needed
  • Risk assessment common
  • Professional/skilled organisers

Organising small, private street parties and fetes is very simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment. If you want to have a pay bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a Temporary Event Notice which is a type of temporary licence and costs £21. Similarly, larger public events attracting more people will require a different process. If you need a Temporary Events Notice or would like to hold a larger public event, please contact your council for further information and advice.

It's that simple

If you would like to hold a street party or fete, you can use the form available here to let your council know about your plans. Alternatively you could go to your council's website to see if they have their own form.

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with your council at least 4-6 weeks in advance. A good first point of contact will be your council's events or communities team.

More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website www.streetparty.org.uk and The Big Lunch website www.thebiglunch.com. Do check them out, they're great.

Communities

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Theft of Vehicle License Plates

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThe registration plates were removed from a vehicle in Moor End, in Eaton Bray, between 11:30 p.m. on the 10th and 9:30 a.m. on the 11th of January.

The vehicle was a Silver, 51 registered, BMW.

No attempt was made to enter the vehicle.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to improve the security of registration plates by 1 of the following methods:

  • Replacing the plates with Anti Tamper plates.
  • Replacing the existing screws with non return screws.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,1,4,2,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Neighbourhood Watch In Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

What Does Neighbourhood Watch Do?

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is one of the most effective crime reduction schemes ever devised. It is all about neighbourhoods getting together and having a positive impact on crime in their area. Each street (i.e. any small and defined area), is covered by a Street (Scheme) Coordinator and each area by an Area Coordinator. NHW schemes are community run initiatives which are supported by the Police, but are not run by them.

The effectiveness of each scheme depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of its members. The number and types of activities run within a scheme are decided by the members.

At a basic level being a NHW member means being aware of what is going on in the local area, taking simple crime reduction precautions to prevent and reduce crime, e.g. displaying NHW signs in windows and in the street, being alert to anything suspicious in the area and reporting it to the right authority.

A more active scheme might wish to organise events to raise security awareness and to carry out specific training.

What Makes a Scheme a Success?

Enthusiasm and commitment are critical. The more effort members put into their scheme the more effective and successful it will be. Therefore NHW supports people in the development of safer communities by:

  • Helping them have a personal influence on crime reduction
  • Improving the quality of life in their neighbourhood by making people feel safer in their own homes and making their homes feel safer from theft and damage, and thus:
    • Raising community confidence by reducing the fear of crime, by:
      • Enhancing community spirit

Neighbourhood Watch Organisation

The Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) organisation in Central Bedfordshire is by Areas and Streets and is linked closely with the Police Inspector Led Neighbourhood Areas (ILNAs) and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs). The SNT is the key point of contact with the Police.

Street and Area Coordinators

The coordinator is the most important member of any scheme as it is his/her responsibility to manage its activities and make it as effective as possible. For continuity there should also be a deputy. The more people involved the better, as long as the involvement is managed and coordinated. The coordinator is there to help, so a tactful approach is always essential. The aim is always neighbourhood cooperation.

NHW and the Local Community

As a key element in the voluntary sector NHW has close links with the Police and Community Safety Partnerships. It would be invaluable to us, in seeking to extend NHW coverage in Central Bedfordshire, if we could call upon your support. The level of support is of course yours to decide and, as a Parish Councillor myself, I recognise the current financial restrictions. However, any practical help you could provide, such as venues for meetings and the distribution of NHW information, would be very welcome. Even if that level of support is not possible could you, perhaps, provide us with a platform, through your scheduled Council meetings, to promote NHW in your area? I am sure that the members of our Committee would be very happy to brief your Council on NHW and help in any way we can to widen NHW coverage and enhance community safety.

Tony Howells
Chairman Central Bedfordshire NHW

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Traditional Orchards survey

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCan you help us find out more about Bedfordshire's traditional orchards?

Traditional orchards are a much loved part of our British heritage and countryside. Once they were a common sight, however, over the last 50 years they have declined by almost 60% due to neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development.

The orchards that remain are home to a host of local varieties of fruit and are also havens for wildlife - bees and other insects pollinating the flowers in spring, lichens flourishing on the bark and birds and insects finding shelter in the decaying wood of old trees.

The People's Trust for Endangered Species is carrying out a nationwide project to compile an inventory of the traditional orchards that still exist. Roughly 240 probable traditional orchards have been identified from aerial photos of Bedfordshire and PTES is now hoping that local volunteers and orchard owners will help them verify these findings by a conducting a simple field survey.

The Bedfordshire & Luton Orchard Group is helping to co-ordinate the survey so if you would like to get involved, please contact Sue Raven on sue.raven@greensandtrust.org

Please help us find out what is left of Bedfordshire's traditional orchards before it's too late!

Many thanks,
Stephen Halton
Senior Project Officer
(Ecology & Community)
Countryside Access Team
Central Bedfordshire Council
Technology House
Ampthill Road
Bedford
MK42 9QQ


Waste Collections

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAll vehicles and crews are being used to their maximum capacity to catch up on missed collections from before Christmas. Please continue to leave missed your bin/bags out.

In the South residual (black bin) collections are up to date and recycling will be completed by the end of the week at the latest.

In the North food waste collections were up to date by 31st Dec. Recycling collections will be up to date by tomorrow and residual (black bin) collection will be completed by the end of the week.

It is inevitable that some collections missed two weeks ago will not have been completed by the next scheduled collection date, this week. We will be collecting any missed waste and recycling which has accumulated over the period ; in the North black bags left next to the bin and in the South, recycling presented in clear bags/orange bags (ideally) or bags clearly labelled 'RECYCLING'.

All clinical, bulky waste and weekly collections were prioritised and are up to date.

Angela Humphreys
Waste Operations


Burglary in The Nurseries, Eaton Bray

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterA Burglary took place in The Nurseries, in Eaton Bray, on Wednesday the 29th of December, between 1:00 and 6:40 p.m.

The offender has forced open the UPVC front door.

A search took place.

It is not yet known what property has been taken.

Many Burglaries can be prevented:-

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from the locks and keep them in a safe place and out of view.
  • Avoid leaving property like Handbags, Keys, or laptops in hallways, or where they can be seen from outside the house.
  • Keep garden furniture, ladders, and Wheelie bins in a secure garage or shed, or locked up away from the house, where they might be used to climb onto a roof or access a first floor window.
  • Be a good Neighbour.
  • Be aware of sounds like breaking glass.
  • Report any suspicious activity, or vehicles, in the area.

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,5,3,6,9,6,/2010.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011.

or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk Or call crime stoppers in confidence on (0800) 555111. Contact Ringmaster on (01234) 275288 or email Ringmaster@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Waste Services - Next Week

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireWe are catching up on missed collections from this week.

Next week (week commencing 27th) all scheduled collections will resume (pending no further weather issues).

Green waste is currently suspended (as advertised).

Curb side glass will be suspended in the South until week commencing 3rd January and there will be no additional recycling collections as planned in the South.

The guidance to customers is to leave normal scheduled bin out from next week onwards.

If they have missed a collection from this week ask the resident to please leave bin in safe position, but we may not get back until the bins next scheduled collection when it will be taken with side waste.

Regards
Waste Operations Team
Central Bedfordshire Council


Waste & Recycling Collections

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireWe have been advised that all waste and recycling collections have resumed today. However, some roads are still very icy so we cannot guarantee all roads will be accessible.

We are monitoring the situation and will keep you all updated throughout the day.

Kind regards,
Gaspare Sciales
Technical Officer - Waste Operations
Central Bedfordshire Council


All Waste Collections Suspended

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireUnfortunately due to adverse weather conditions All Waste Collections have been suspended.

We are monitoring the situation and will keep you all update throughout the day.

Household Recycling Centres are still open, but due to the poor weather conditions we would not advise anyone to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Kind regards,
Gaspare Sciales
Technical Officer - Waste Operations
Central Bedfordshire Council


Garage and Shed Warning

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are urging residents to be on their guard following an upturn in garage, garden shed and out building break-ins.

Thieves often target outbuildings and the problem is due to residents not considering the value of the equipment stored in them. Lawnmowers, power tools and even quad bikes are targeted and not cheap to replace. Residents also need to be aware that their tools will be used against them. Burglars will take advantage of unlocked sheds or garages and use tools to break into their homes.

Leaving items such as ladders and tools in the garden also act as an invitation to opportunist thief who may use them to gain access to your home.

Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: “The risk of becoming a victim of theft remains low, by taking a few simple steps to you can deter offenders. Having an unsecure shed or garage, could mean the difference between your property being broken into or not. “Residents need to review their security, ensure side gates are locked, boundaries are in good order and shed and garages are secure. It is also a good idea to join Neighbourhood Watch, since it provides advice on all aspects of household, personal and vehicle security.”

Here are some tips to help keep the contents of your shed and garage safe:

  • Don't leave your ladders or tools in your garden as a thief will use them to gain access to your home.
  • Buy and remember to USE good quality locks, padbolts or hasp and staple with padlocks for garages and sheds.
  • Make sure any side passages are fitted with strong gates which are fitted with secure bolts and padlocks.
  • Check gates and fences for weak spots. A high back garden wall and a thorny hedge are two great deterrents.
  • Do you need a window in a shed or could you board it up?
  • Marking your property with your postcode is a cheap and easy way to make sure your property is returned to you should it be stolen.
  • Alternatively paint your details on the equipment - this is more effective than invisible marking which can fade and could act as a deterrent.

Anyone with information on theft or burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Postal Scam Warning

This article was published in December 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThere have been reports nationally of tricksters placing cards through doors suggesting they were unable to deliver parcels and asking householders to contact a telephone number.

However, unknown to householders, they were being asked to make a premium rate call in a scam believed to originate in Belize.

Crime Reduction Officer Lara Curtayne said: "Any card put through a door should be queried if it is asking the householder to ring a number. The vast majority of legitimate delivery companies leave a card saying they will deliver again, or put a collection address."

Anyone with doubts about a delivery company should contact their local Trading Standards Department.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Campaign for Bedfordshire Music

This article was published in November 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Youth MusicCentral Bedfordshire Council has recently announced that funding to Bedfordshire Music is to be cut to ZERO from April 2012.

More details at Campaign for Bedfordshire Music and in the letter below from Catherine Rose.

This would be a sizeable chunk of the Bedfordshire Music budget being cut and would mean either increases in tuition costs or presumably the loss of some groups or music centres.

The good news is that none of this is set in stone yet, so you can do your part by writing to your local MP to let them know how important the Bedfordshire Music service is.

If you've ever benefited from using the Bedfordshire Music service (through its ensembles, Saturday morning music centre, music lessons, instrument provision, etc), or know someone that has, then please write to your local MP and help raise the profile of the Campaign for Bedfordshire Music.


Dear Friends,

If you are thinking of writing a letter in protest at the 100% cut in cash funding to the Bedfordshire Music Service planned for April 2012, PLEASE CAN YOU DO SO BEFORE 12TH NOVEMBER?

I've just realised that the Council is currently reviewing the music service and will have finished this process by 15th November, so we need to get their attention before then.

Anyone needing more information or doesn't know what I'm talking about, please visit http://michaelerose.moonfruit.com/#/campaign/4545173370.

PLEASE SEND THIS ON to anyone you sent information on to before.

I'm particularly keen to get this to PARENTS, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS but I do not have individual emails so please keep it going viral!

The website has had 1337 visitors since it went live on Friday lunchtime - keep up the energy!

Thank you!

Catherine Rose


Update: There are further comments on FBYM and Facebook.

Source: Michael & Catherine Rose


Don't Fall Foul of the Law

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is asking dog owners to show consideration for other residents by using poop-scoops and dog waste bins when they are out walking their pets after receiving 268 complaints in the last year.

The council's dog wardens have the power to hand out fixed penalties of £75 to any dog owners caught failing to clear up after their pet when it's in a public place.

Cllr David McVicar, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities and Healthier Lifestyles at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “With over 620 dog bins installed across Central Bedfordshire, there is no excuse for not doing the right thing. People take pride in their community but public areas are becoming blighted by dog mess.

“I would urge all dog owners to act responsibly or face receiving a fixed penalty if they fail to clear up after their pets. Dog mess is the public's most hated type of litter and it is dangerous.

“People may not realise that Toxocariasis - an infection of the round worm - is spread via dog faeces and young children are particularly at risk due to their weaker immune systems.

“The Council has already successfully prosecuted a resident for not cleaning up after his pet and I hope that all dog owners do their bit in keeping our pavements and parks mess-free.”

Dog walkers must scoop their dog's mess up from all designated land to which the public have access. Designated land includes:

  • Footways and paths, including public footpaths
  • Play areas, picnic sites and outdoor eating places
  • Sport playing pitches including 5 metre border
  • Formal parks and land where the grass is cut
  • Land outside schools and hospitals
  • Car parks, public transport bays and surrounds
  • Cycle ways and surfaced areas near to houses
  • Shopping areas, markets and public circulation areas
  • Cemeteries and war memorials
  • Land surrounding toilets, recycling sites and public buildings

If you want to report a problem with dog mess, please call 0300 300 8631 (North)/ 8632 (South) or email customer.services@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

If you are a dog owner, here are some things you can do to help;

  1. If you walk your dog always carry the means to clear up after them. A simple plastic bag will do the trick or buy a poop scoop from a local pet shop
  2. You can also buy biodegradable plastic “Doggy Bags” from the a number of pet supply retailers
  3. Every time your dog fouls, bag it and bin it. Take the poop scoop home and dispose of it there or use one of the bins if available. Remember rain does not wash the problem away.
  4. Never let your dog out alone to “go to the loo”.

Source: Focus, October 2010


Do you live in Central Bedfordshire? Then Lets Talk Central!

This article was published in September 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Lets Talk CentralCentral Bedfordshire Council has set up a new website, www.letstalkcentral.com to hear directly from residents what they think about where they live and how it can be improved. You can read what other residents have to say and add your own views through comments, photos or videos.

In particular the Council is working on a new Transport Plan for Central Bedfordshire, so why not take a look at the transport page and share your thoughts and ideas on how public transport can be improved in the future.

You can also keep up to date with new questions on www.letstalkcentral.com and other Central Bedfordshire news including community news and events through facebook or twitter, so why not take a look and either "like" us on facebook, or "follow" us on twitter at to keep up to date.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Fire Station Open Day Dunstable

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterDunstable Community Fire Station Open Day on Sunday 19th September 2010, between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

Children, parents and grandparents can get a close look at fantastic fire engines, talk to firefighters and get some tips which could save their lives in the future.

Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service Chief Paul Fuller says: "Our fire stations belong to the local community and we want people to come along and get to know their local firefighters.

"These Open Days are a great opportunity to learn more about how we as an organisation serve the public and for the public in turn to give us some vital feedback about what more we can do to help them.

"We now call these our COMMUNITY fire stations because we want organisations and groups to make use of the meeting rooms when they are not occupied by our own staff. So come along and have a great FREE day out."

A vital FREE service offered by the local fire service is Home Fire Safety Checks which can include the fitting of free smoke alarms. To book a visit contact (0800) 0435042.

For full addresses of fire stations go to www.bedsfire.com.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


The Community Right To Build

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The Community Right To Build

If you and your neighbours had the power to decide, how would you develop your community?

What homes would you build? Or perhaps your neighbourhood needs business premises, a community hall or a sports facility?

The Government is acting to remove the red tape and bureaucracy that hold you and your neighbours back from improving your local area to make it a thriving, vibrant place to live.

The Community Right to Build is part of the Government's drive to create the 'Big Society'.

It's only right that you make the decisions about how your local area should grow.

The Community Right to Build will

  • Allow communities to get together and take forward developments for new homes, shops and facilities in their area.
  • Allow a community organisation to go ahead with development without the need for an application for planning permission, if there is overwhelming community support for the development and minimum criteria are met.

But the Community Right to Build won't be used to expand the size of communities by more than 10 per cent over a 10 year period.

Contact us by 31 August 2010 at:

righttobuild@communities.gsi.gov.uk

For details on the plans, visit:

www.communities.gov.uk/righttobuild

How you can get involved

The details of how the Community Right to Build will work are being developed.

We want you to tell us how to get it right, and we want to know about your community development projects and ideas as well.

Source: NALC


Beware Distraction Burglars

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are warning elderly people to be on the look out for a pair of distraction burglars after three similar incidents in Dunstable, Barton-Le-Clay and Bedford.

On 31 July at around 11am in Chiltern Road, Dunstable, two offenders knocked on the door of the victim, an elderly blind man, and told him that a large tree in his garden needed cutting down. They asked him to go into the garden with them so they could describe the problems it is causing. While at the bottom of the garden one of the offenders has searched the house. The two men have then left saying they would return on another day to do the work. The victim has then discovered that cash, cheque book and documents had been stolen.

On 3 August at around 11am in Granville Street, Bedford, two men told the elderly victim that they would replace his loose guttering at the rear of his property. The victim has allowed the men into his house and shown them around. The men have left saying they will return in half an hour. When they have gone the victim has discovered money has been taken. In this case one of the men is described between 20-30 years old with fair hair, wearing light coloured sleeveless top and light coloured trousers.

On the 7 August around 11am Dunstall Road, Barton Le Clay offenders have attended the property and the victim has let the offenders in who have offered to cut the hedges. They have engaged the victim in conversation, and have removed money. The offenders have left in a small grey car. One offender was described as male; around 5 foot 7 inches tall, white, around 35 years old, fat, and had a local accent.

PC Ron Callender, investigating, said: “People should be wary of people calling at their homes offered to do work for them at low prices. They should not let strangers into their homes or leave them unattended. If anyone has any information about these burglaries or has suffered a similar theft they can contact me or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Follow this advice to protect yourself against distraction burglaries:

  • Always ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in - if you are worried, ask them to wait outside while you close the door and call their company.
  • If someone keeps you talking on the doorstep, be aware of any movement or activity in the rest of the house - before you answer the door, you should check all back doors, patio doors and windows are close and preferably locked.
  • Mark all your valuables with your house number and postcode - contact your Crime Reduction Team for more information.
  • Never keep a large amount of money in the house - keep in the bank or post office.
  • Don't keep your chequebook and cards in the same place - a thief could use the card to forge your signature on cheques.
  • Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free holiday, cash prizes, cures for arthritis or cancer, or low-risk high-return investment schemes.
  • Don't buy goods or services from doorstep callers and NEVER let them into your home.

If you have any information about these crimes or other suspicious incidents or crimes, please call the Police Control Centre on (01234) 841212.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to chc@Bedfordshire.pnn.Police.uk

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

This article was published in August 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is currently conducting the statutory Childcare Sufficiency Assessment. On the Central Bedfordshire website, under quick links, questionnaires can be found in which parents, employers and childcare providers are asked to give their opinions on Childcare in their area.

From this we hope to identify any gaps in the childcare market and any areas of improvement. We have been publicising the assessment through various outlets such as children's centres, doctor's surgeries and libraries as well as at events such as the River and Canal Festivals.

If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Catherine Lydon
Project Officer for Childcare Sufficiency and Poverty Needs Assessments

Tel. 0300 300 5732

Central Bedfordshire Council
The Council Offices, High Street North
Dunstable, Beds. LU6 1LF

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 4th August 2010


Strong support for new Leighton Hospital

This article was published in July 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is backing a proposal that could see a community hospital opening in Leighton Buzzard.

On Friday members of the Central Bedfordshire and Luton Joint Planning Committee gave their backing to a revised core strategy for Luton and the south of Central Bedfordshire, including the towns of Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Linslade.

The draft strategy includes proposals for a total of 15,000 new homes in the Southern Bedfordshire area between 2011 and 2026, and the creation of more than 28,000 jobs across the area.

The proposed development would fall into the category of sustainable development and as such new health facilities would need to be incorporated into any plans to cater for the community.

The hospital idea has been promoted by Leighton Linslade Town Council and could be situated on land to the east of Leighton Buzzard as part of developments which would see 2,500 new houses built as part of the East Leighton Buzzard Masterplan for the town.

Although there is no clear definition of what a community hospital is, the Department of Health's set out detailed design principles which bids for new community hospitals should satisfy. These stated that services should:

  • be locally led;
  • provide high quality services;
  • re-design patient pathways;
  • anticipate future needs as the population changes;
  • adopt new technologies;
  • plan across primary and secondary care;
  • be affordable for the whole health economy;
  • promote integrated service solutions;
  • engage and harness the potential of staff;
  • enable the transition of staff; and
  • engage the public, the whole health and social care system and be innovative.

The decision about whether a community hospital will be developed lies with NHS Bedfordshire although a recent white paper on health means that more decision making on a local level will be made by GPs. A local 'health and wellbeing board' is also set to be established to ensure a co-ordination of services between the Primary Care Trust and GPs.

Cllr Tricia Turner MBE, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council said: "The council is working closely with a wide range of community interests in Leighton Buzzard, including the PCT, to promote better primary care in the town.

"We are actively engaged with the Town Council in developing the Town Centre Masterplan that we hope will reveal options for sites to be considered by the community.

"Central Bedfordshire Council continues to support the delivery of the identified need for improved primary care to be provided to meet the needs for new infrastructure and facilities in Leighton Buzzard as part of delivering sustainable growth.

"Leighton Buzzard is one of the largest towns not to have a community hospital and following the decision of the Central Bedfordshire and Luton Joint Planning Committee to endorse a revised core strategy for Luton and the south of Central Bedfordshire, I believe it is important that residents and future residents of the town receive this important facility."

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 29th July 2010


Chiltern/Northfields Ward Forum meeting

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterThis is an invitation to attend the Ward Forum for the Chiltern and Northfields safer neighbourhood team.

The meeting will take place at the Dunstable Community Fire Station, on Thursday 24th June, at 6.00 p.m.

Please come along and meet the Partners that are working to improve your area.

The keys priorities for the area will be set at this meeting.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Op Meteor Continues Clamp Down on Riders

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterPolice continue to clamp down on dangerous and anti social riders. The operation to target the illegal use of off road bikes and nuisance vehicles will continue throughout the summer.

Members of the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been out and about clamping down on nuisance motorcycles.

Officers recently carried out another Operation Meteor initiative and found themselves issuing 8 section 59 notices, a fixed penalty notice for driving elsewhere than on a road and seizing an off road bike.

Police warn that Operation Meteor will continue in Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Sundon, Barton, Caddington, Totternhoe, Leighton Buzzard ... together with other areas of Bedfordshire, to ensure those off road bikers who upset local residents and put themselves, families, walkers and horse riders at risk by using local footpaths and bridleways are stopped.

Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant, Darren Turney, said: “Members of the community can help by continuing to report any incidents they witness to the police.

“We will continue to use all resources at our disposal to apprehend people involved in this type of anti-social behaviour. If people are going to break the law, we will take action. People who continue to use their bikes illegally will see it seized and possibly destroyed.”

Anyone who knows who the offenders are can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text 07786 200011.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Ridesafe Assessments For Motorcyclists

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Invitation to all Motorcyclists

RingmasterYou are invited to get your riding assessed for FREE with a Bedfordshire Police Advanced Motorcyclist to get expert and impartial feedback on what you do well and where you may be able to could improve your skills.

This is part of the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership's 'Motorcycle Training Matters' initiative to reduce the casualty toll amongst motorcyclist. One in four serious injury road traffic collisions involves a motorcyclist. Some are due to rider error, and some are due to other road users' errors. In either case, we believe that better, defensive riding skills will help reduce motorcyclists' risk of being involved in a collision.

Find out more or book a place by visiting www.MotorcyclingMatters.org/RideSafe/.

RideSafe dates:

  • Kempston 20th June
  • Luton 4th July
  • Kempston 8th August
  • Kempston 3rd October

Caryl Jones
Communications Manager
Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership
PO Box 412
Bedford
telephone: 01234 716335
www.DriveSafely.org

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire


Temporary Road Closure - Special Event, Eaton Bray

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 - SECTION 16
(HIGH STREET / THE ORCHARDS / TOTTERNHOE ROAD / NORTHALL ROAD / BOWER LANE / MOOR END, EATON BRAY) (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2010

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council intend not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along the total length of High Street / The Orchards / Totternhoe Road / Northall Road / Bower Lane / Moor End, Eaton Bray.

These temporary closures are required to facilitate the holding of the Eaton Bray Village Carnival and Parade and shall apply to such extent as may from time to time be indicated by the appropriate traffic signs. Where possible access will be maintained to property and premises but may be restricted from time to time according to local signing.

The Order will be operative for ONE DAY on
Saturday 3 July 2010 between 10:00pm and 3:00pm.

The alternative routes available for vehicles affected by the proposed Order are:-

Proceed on Bower Lane to the roundabout with the B489 Icknield Way. Take the third exit and continue on Icknield Way to the roundabout with the A4146 Leighton Road, Eddlesborough. Take the third exit and continue on Leighton Road to the junction with Stanbridge Road, Billington. Turn right and continue on Stanbridge Road to the junction with The Rye, Eaton Bray. Turn right and continue on The Rye to the junction with Totternhoe Road and site and vice versa.

The proposed Order will come into operation on 3 July 2010 for a period of one day.

For further information please contact Heidi Head - Eaton Bray Parish Council, Tel: 01525 222601

DATED 16 June 2010

Basil Jackson
Assistant Director for Highways
Central Bedfordshire Council
PO Box 1395
Bedford MK42 5AN

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Let's Talk Central

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire residents will have a new website from 8 June 2010 as Central Bedfordshire Council launches Let's Talk Central (www.letstalkcentral.com).

The site will be dedicated to giving local people a place to talk to each other, post comments, photos and videos about where they live.

Central Bedfordshire Council is keen to understand how residents feel and will be generating online discussions about:

  • What's the best thing about where you live?
  • What do you think is special about Central Bedfordshire?
  • What do you want to see protected or developed for the future?
  • What challenges do you think Central Bedfordshire will face in the future?
  • What are your hopes for Central Bedfordshire in the future?

The council is launching the website to hear directly from the public about these and other issues, as only by listening to local people can the council take decisions that reflect our communities' priorities.

Existing social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be used to promote Let's Talk Central, which will be free and easy to use for the council and their customers.

The website launches on 8th June - please check it out and spread the word as we get talking about Central Bedfordshire.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Temporary Road Closure - B4506 Dagnall Road - 22/23 May 2010

This article was published in May 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 - SECTION 14(1)
(B4506 DAGNALL ROAD, TRING ROAD AND ICKNIELD WAY, EATON BRAY)
(TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC) ORDER 2010

Central BedfordshireNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Central Bedfordshire Council have made an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle, except a vehicle being used for fire, police or ambulance purposes in an emergency, from proceeding along that length of the B4506 Dagnall Road, Eaton Bray which extends from north of the B489 roundabout, south east to a point 30m south of the junction with the B4540 and for 20m both sides of the roundabout into Tring Road, Eaton Bray and Icknield Way, Eaton Bray.

This temporary closure is required to enable surfacing works to take place and shall apply to such extent as may from time to time be indicated by the appropriate traffic signs. Where possible access will be maintained to property and premises but may be restricted from time to time according to local signing.

It is expected that the works will take place on ONE WEEKEND - Saturday 22 May 2010 and Sunday 23 May 2010. Closure times are 8.00am to 6.00pm.

The alternative routes available for vehicles affected by the Order are:-
Proceed south on B4506 to roundabout with A4146, Dagnall. Take 3rd exit and continue on A4146 to junction with Northall Road, Eaton Bray. Turn right and continue on Northall Road then Totternhoe Road to junction with Castle Hill Road, Totternhoe. Turn right and continue on Totternhoe Road to junction with Dunstable Road. Turn left and continue to junction with B489. Turn left and then take 3rd exit at roundabout on B4541 Whipsnade Road, continuing to roundabout with B4540. Take 3rd exit and continue on B4540 to site and vice versa. Access from A4146 to B489, Northall Road to Eaton Bray and Dunstable Road to B489 will be signed accordingly.

The Order will come into operation on 22 May 2010 for a period of four months or until the proposed works have been completed, as detailed above, whichever is the earlier.

For further information please contact Central Bedfordshire, Highways, Tel: 0300 300 8049

DATED 19 May 2010

Basil Jackson
Assistant Director for Highways
Central Bedfordshire Council
PO Box 1395
Bedford MK42 5AN

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council


Pothole Information - Central Bedfordshire Council, Highways

This article was published in April 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

We will be attending urgently to any pothole on the carriageway that measures more than 150mm long x150mm wide x50mm deep. On the footway, we class slab movement or uneven ironwork more than 20mm, and also holes with a trip exceeding 100mm long x100mm wide x20mm deep as urgent. Anything smaller will still be assessed but monitored for future repair. This includes areas where the carriageway has begun to crumble in multiple places but has not reached the hardcore of the road. These areas will require a more permanent repair once the weather improves.

For all other issues, a member of our Customer Service Team will respond to your issue within 2 working days with advice, guidance, and a report number where action may be required. Our Technicians then have the following timescales to inspect your issue and decide the best course of action:

  • Potholes, surface defects, kerbing, general highway faults - 5 working days from the date of our reply
  • Street lighting faults - 10 working days from the date of our reply
  • All requests for new additions to the Highways, eg: signs, lines, etc - 20 working days from the date of our reply

Kind Regards,
Central Bedfordshire Council
Bedfordshire Highways Team
Telephone: 0300 300 8049
Email: highways@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


Central Bedfordshire Council Computer Problems

This article was published in February 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is continuing to restore its IT systems after a major failure overnight on Monday affected many of its routine applications. It is now unlikely many systems will be restored until the middle of next week.

There is some early good news though - staff have managed to ensure that payments that were due to our benefits customers next week will now be made only a day late. Revenues and benefits and ICT staff found a “quick fix” which enabled them to access the necessary database and make these much needed payments. This included calling staff on leave for their assistance - including contacting one enjoying herself at Centre Parcs!

However other payments such as those to businesses and customers of adult social care may be delayed while systems are being restored. If receiving an adult social care payment would cause a customer difficulties they should contact 0300 300 6383.

At present Central Bedfordshire's website remains offline but a temporary site has been set up to keep local people informed of progress on restoring services. This can be accessed at: www.centralbedfordshire.wordpress.com.

Telephone lines into the council's contact centre are also limited and customers should either call staff directly if they have a direct dial number or call the contact centre only in an emergency.

Email has now been restored but a queue of over 25,000 emails, stored since Tuesday, is now being dealt with and the service is intermittent. Customers are asked to call rather than email if at all possible.

Cllr Maurice Jones, Corporate Resources Portfolio Holder, said: “Our main priority is to ensure that our financial systems are restored so that customers, businesses and carers receive the payments they are expecting. Our benefits fix means that some of the most vulnerable people in our community will now get their benefits and rent paid only a day late.

“We are taking this problem very seriously but I want to stress that our IT system has been put together in line with nationally accepted best practice and to have such a major failure is a one in a million event. This is a hardware failure and has not been caused by a computer virus and no personal data has been under threat.”

Central Bedfordshire has set up an online blog to keep the public informed of developments www.centralbedfordshire.wordpress.com.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 19th February 2010


Central Bedfordshire Offline

This article was published in February 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireUpdate 11.25am: Central Bedfordshire Council has invoked its business continuity plan to ensure it continues providing services to local people following a major IT problem which occurred overnight on Monday, 15 February 2010.

This does mean the council will be operating a restricted service over the phone until early next week and that its website is currently unavailable. Central Bedfordshire Council has an established business continuity plan which has been put into action to restore its IT services, minimise risk to the public and ensure services continue to be delivered.

Overnight Monday the council's IT system experienced a problem which has affected many of its routine applications. We have been working on the issue since then, and will continue to rebuild systems over the coming days.

Local people are being advised not to contact the council by email at all as these cannot currently be opened and only by phone in an emergency until early next week.

Cllr Maurice Jones

Cllr Maurice Jones, Corporate Resources Portfolio Holder, said: “Even though our IT systems are based on nationally recognised best practice, problems can still occur. This is a one in a million problem. This has reduced our ability to service calls through our customer contact centre, stopped us receiving emails and means our website is unavailable. Can I assure people that we are working all hours to get the systems restored and we have a well crafted business continuity plan in place to continue services and protect vulnerable people in these situations.

“It will help us if people could only call us in an emergency until early next week and please note we will not be able to respond to emails at this time.

“We will keep people informed through the local media about developments.”


Update 2.00pm: Central Bedfordshire Council is still experiencing major IT problems so has invoked its business continuity plan to ensure it continues providing services to local people.

As part of this, www.centralbedfordshire.wordpress.com has been created so residents and partners can see key information updates, important emergency numbers and useful websites.

This facility also enables you to sign up to email alerts so you can be notified when new updates have been added on.

We are still advising people not to contact the council by email at all at the moment as these cannot currently be opened and only by phone, on 0300 300 8000, in an emergency until early next week.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 17th February 2010


Gritting and salt stock update: Thursday 14 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAlthough there have been no more snow flurries, Highways crews were out gritting last night to prepare the roads for this morning's rush hour. We still have just under 600 tonnes in stock - roughly enough for eight more days of gritting just the A and B roads, as Government is still restricting our salt deliveries due to the national demand for salt.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "Although Highway crews will be out clearing footways in town centres and areas outside of schools we would like to remind local road users that Central Bedfordshire Council has a number of salt bins available for the public to use. These can be found at known trouble spots such as sharp bends, steep hills and junctions which are on roads that are not covered by the 'priority one' salting network. However, if any member of the public would like to request a bin for an area they believe is particularly bad, then please put requests all through the Highways Helpdesk (0300 300 8049). Teams will need to decide each case on an individual basis, taking in to account whether it is a priority for pedestrians in that area."

"Our crews continue to monitor the forecast and gritting the network on key routes to help keep traffic moving. I would like to reassure road users that Central Bedfordshire Council is doing everything it can to help keep traffic flowing on key routes."

Further gritting updates will be issued throughout the day.

Please visit our website homepage www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at www.themetoffice.org.uk.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 14th January 2010


Gritting and salt stock update: Wednesday 13 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireHighways crews were out gritting from 4am this morning, Wednesday 13 January, as more snow has fallen throughout the night. Although we received a delivery yesterday, and have around 600 tonnes in stock - roughly enough for up to 18 more runs, we are still only able to grit just A and B roads as Government continues to restrict our salt deliveries.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "As more snow has fallen throughout the night, and continues to fall his morning, our Highways crews have been out gritting A and B roads to prepare for this morning's rush hour. Crews will also be out today refilling salt bins, clearing footways in town centres and areas outside of schools.

"Our crews are still working day and night monitoring the forecast and gritting the network on key routes to help keep traffic moving. I would like to reassure road users that Central Bedfordshire Council is doing everything it can to help keep traffic flowing on key routes."

Further gritting updates will be issued throughout the day.

Please visit our website homepage www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at www.themetoffice.org.uk.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 13th January 2010


Waste Collection update: Tuesday 12 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council's waste team's are continuing to clear the backlog of waste that built up during the bad weather last week.

Crews have been collecting from homes in priority order, collecting waste from those that have been waiting the longest first. Although most major roads are running smoothly, and the snow is slowly disappearing, some side roads are still icy so crews will have to assess each situation and collect where ever they possibly can.

Last week Central Bedfordshire Council was forced to suspend all waste collections from Wednesday. The nature of this type of work involves crews stopping and starting and reversing around small residential areas, which means it has been just too dangerous to dispatch our crews on such compacted snow and ice.

Residents are advised to keep both their black bins and recycling waste out and we will collect it as soon as we can. Unfortunately we won't be in a position to collect garden waste this week.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "Our waste crews have been very frustrated at not being able to collect waste as normal, but due to heavy snowfall and freezing conditions, we had to think about both the safety of our residents, children playing in the snow and our crews. Now conditions are improving, we are pleased to be in a situation where we are able to catch up on some of the backlog and return services.

Daily information on services affected by the snow and ice will be updated on our Central Bedfordshire Council's website so visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 12th January 2010


Gritting and salt stock update: Monday 12 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireGovernment still continues to nationally monitor salt supplies and manage which areas are of the highest priority to receive salt deliveries first in the UK, so we are still being forced to only grit A and B roads in Central Bedfordshire.

As the snow gradually starts to clear our Highways crews continue to be on standby in the event of more snow flurries, and were out gritting yesterday on A and B roads. Highways Teams are closely monitoring the forecast and still conserving salt stocks, as although we received a delivery of 200 tonnes yesterday, we still only have around 500 tonnes in stock, enough for six more days worth of gritting just on the A and B roads.

Councillor David McVicar, Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "As the snow starts to melt road conditions have improved but drivers still need to take extra care on some of the minor roads where it is still icy. Our crews are on standby and monitoring the forecast closely and yesterday were out spot gritting problem areas, refilling salt bins, and clearing areas outside of schools." "Our crews are still working day and night to help keep traffic moving on all major roads, and I would like to reassure road users that Central Bedfordshire Council is doing everything it can to help keep traffic flowing on key routes."

Further gritting updates will be issued throughout the day.

Please visit our website homepage www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at www.themetoffice.org.uk.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 12th January 2010


Waste Collection update: Monday 11 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAs the weather conditions have improved over the weekend, Central Bedfordshire Council's waste team is pleased to report that waste collections across Central Bedfordshire are being carried out today, Monday 11 January.

Crews will start by collecting from households who were expecting collections last Wednesday, and although most major roads are running smoothly, some side roads are still icy so crews will have to assess each situation and collect where ever they possibly can.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said "We are pleased to be in a situation where we can at least start by catching up on some of the backlog but obviously we have not only last week to catch up on, but some collections which were missed due to snow prior to Christmas, so it could be a couple of weeks until we are fully operating as normal.

"We appreciate this will cause inconvenience for residents but pleased be assured we will do everything we can to catch up on the backlog. We are advising residents to keep both their black bins and recycling waste out and we will collect it as soon as we can. Unfortunately we won't be in a position to collect garden waste this week.

Last week we were forced to suspend all waste collections from Wednesday due to heavy snowfall and freezing conditions, and we therefore had to think about both the safety of our residents, children playing in the snow and our crews . The nature of this type of work involves crews stopping and starting and reversing around small residential areas, which means it has been just too dangerous to dispatch our crews on such compacted snow and ice.

Daily information on services affected by the snow and ice will be updated on our Central Bedfordshire Council's website so visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 11th January 2010


Gritting and Salt Stock Update: Sunday 10 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireGovernment still continues to nationally monitor salt supplies and manage which areas are of the highest priority to receive salt deliveries first, so we are still being forced to carry out reduced gritting runs and only able to salt A and B roads in Central Bedfordshire.

With more snow flurries expected today, Sunday 10 January, our Highways team will continue to monitor the forecast, and dispatch crews to grit all A and B roads when necessary. Spot gritting will be carried out on badly affected areas on the A and B network throughout the day.

Yesterday, Saturday 9 January, our Highways crews carried out a gritting runs on all A and B roads at around 7:00am and 4:00pm, with spot gritting carried out at during the day in badly affected areas.

We still only have approximately 360 tonnes of salt in stock, which is roughly enough for 7/8 more runs, and although we received a delivery yesterday of around 60 tonnes, we still need to conserve our salt stock and carry out a reduced gritting run, focussing on just the A and B network.

Councillor David McVicar, Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: " As we enter a new week it still looks likely that the cold weather is set to continue and with more snow flurries forecast today, Sunday 10 January, we still need to closely monitor salt stocks. Our Highways crews carried out two full gritting runs on all A and B roads yesterday, Saturday 9 January, and spot gritting on badly affected areas, and will be carrying out runs on A and B roads during today. Our crews are still working round the clock to help keep traffic moving on all major roads, and I would like to reassure road users that Central Bedfordshire Council is doing everything it can to help keep traffic flowing on key routes.

"With Government still monitoring all national salt supplies we are still forced to only grit the A and B roads. Throughout the last week we have also been attending badly affected areas in town centres and replenishing salt bins but people really do need to take extra care on the roads and footways over the weekend and please follow our safety advice for when driving in snow, fog and ice."

Further gritting updates will be issued throughout the weekend.

Please visit our website homepage www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at www.themetoffice.org.uk.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 10th January 2010


Waste Collection update: Friday 8 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireDue to the continuing freezing temperatures and with more snow forecast over the weekend Central Bedfordshire Council's waste team are still being forced to suspend all waste and recycling bin collections in both the North and South of Central Bedfordshire.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said "Regrettably we are being forced to suspend all waste collection services again today, 8 January, and it is unlikely we will be able to go out as planned tomorrow to start catching up on the backlog. Other neighbouring authorities are also having to suspend collections, and we are advising residents who have not had their bins collected, to leave them out until we are able to catch up when the weather improves.

"We understand that this will cause inconvenience to residents, especially coupled with the disruptions to collections prior to Christmas, but we have to think about both the safety of our crews and residents and in these conditions we just cannot operate any waste collections. The nature of this type of work involves crews stopping and starting and reversing around small residential areas, which means it is just too dangerous to dispatch our crews on such compacted snow and ice. We can assure residents we will do everything we can to catch up on collections."


All Central Bedfordshire Household Recycling Centres are currently open as normal:

Ampthill
Abbey Lane
Off Oliver Street
MK45 2SA
Tel: (01525) 403611

Biggleswade
Bells Brook
SG18 0NA
Tel: (01767) 313684

Dunstable
Frenchs Avenue
LU6 1BH
Tel: (01582 609212)

Leighton Buzzard
Shenley Hill
LU7 3BT
Tel: (01525) 371619

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 8th January 2010


Gritting and Salt Stock Update: Friday 8 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireAs it has been confirmed that Government is nationally monitoring salt suppliers and managing which areas are of the highest priority to receive salt deliveries first, we are still on reduced gritting runs and are currently only able to salt the A and B roads.

Due to the continuing icy conditions and with more snow forecast for the weekend, Bedfordshire Highways today, 8 January, will continue to carry out 'spot gritting' on badly affected areas on A and B roads, and crews will also be manually treating footways and pedestrian areas in town centres.

Although we sent five lorries to our supplier to collect salt at the beginning of the week and also received four salt deliveries from our suppliers on Wednesday, we are still forced to reduce our gritting runs to just A and B roads, due to a national demand for salt. We currently have approximately 400 tonnes of salt in stock which is enough for around roughly nine more runs on the A and B network.

With such a huge demand for salt throughout the country we are unsure when any of our 3000 tonnes, which is currently on order, will be delivered, so we are monitoring both our salt stocks and the weather forecast closely throughout the next few days, and we hope a normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: "We appreciate road conditions are going to continue to worsen as the icy conditions, the coldest spell in 15 years, is set to continue. I would like to reassure road users that Bedfordshire Highways crews are working round the clock to ensure they can keep traffic moving as much as possible on the network, but regrettably have been forced to limit gritting runs to just A and B roads.

"Nationally there is a demand in salt so our neighbouring authorities are also in a similar situation. We will be attending badly affected areas with our gritters, and manually salting pedestrian areas in town centres and replenishing salt bins as much as possible. People really do need to take extra care on the roads and footways over the weekend and please follow our safety advice for when driving in snow, fog and ice."

Further gritting information will be issued throughout the day.

Please visit our website homepage www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further updates on all services which have been affected by the snow.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk for further travel information on major routes and motorways.

Visit the met office for the latest forecast at www.themetoffice.org.uk.


Safe driving information for motorists:

Advice around gritters:

  • Advice states to take care around gritters
  • Don't be tempted to overtake
  • Slow down
  • It can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room
  • Winter Gritting is a 24 hour operation.

Check your vehicles for:

  • Correct tyre tread depths and pressures. Don't forget the spare!
  • Lights that are working and are clean
  • The correct level of antifreeze. A garage can check this for you
  • Wiper blades that are in good condition
  • A windscreen washer bottle that contains an additive to prevent freezing
  • A battery that is in good condition. Winter driving will make extra demands on your battery

Before driving off:

  • Check the weather conditions both for your outward journey and any return
  • Plan your route and leave in plenty of time. Even consider whether your journey is essential

Remember:

  • Speed kills. Do not travel too fast. Cut your speed in possible icy conditions.
  • It is far safer to travel a little further on a salted road than to use untreated roads
  • Keep your distance - it takes much longer to stop in ice and snow than normal conditions
  • Try to anticipate the actions of other drivers
  • Avoid harsh acceleration, steering or braking
  • Keep in as high as gear as possible
  • Allow more time for your journey
  • Consider whether your journey is necessary

And finally...

  • It is down to the road user to drive according to the prevailing conditions

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 8th January 2010


School Closure Update: 08 January 2010

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council's School Support Team have now been informed that 22 schools are closed across the area today.

Eaton Bray Lower School is currently Open.

School Transport to all the closed schools has also been cancelled.

Full details of which schools are open and closed can be found at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/snow.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 8th January 2010


Waste Collection Update: Thursday 7 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireDue to freezing temperatures throughout the night Central Bedfordshire Council's waste team are still being forced to suspend all waste and recycling bin collections in both the North and South of Central Bedfordshire.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said "Regrettably we are being forced to suspend all waste collection services again today (7 January) so we are advising residents who have not had their bins collected, to leave them out until we are able to catch up when the weather improves.

"We understand that this will cause inconvenience to residents, especially coupled with the disruptions to collections prior to Christmas, but the safety of both our crews and residents is paramount. The nature of this type of work involves crews to stop start and reverse around small residential areas which means it is just too dangerous to dispatch our crews on such compacted snow and ice.

"We can assure residents we will do everything we can to catch up on collections, and under these circumstances we will use Saturdays for collections as well as week days in order to sort out the backlog."

Please visit our website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk on all the latest news on waste collection services throughout the next few days.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 7th January 2010


Waste Collection Update: Wednesday 6 January

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireDue to heavy snowfall throughout the night and more forecast today (Wednesday 6 January) Central Bedfordshire Council's waste team has had to suspend all waste and recycling bin collections in both the North and South of Central Bedfordshire.

Councillor David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said "Regrettably we have to suspend all waste collection services today (6 January) so we are advising residents who have not had their bins collected, to leave them out until we are able to catch up when the weather improves. Under these circumstances we will use Saturdays for collections as well as week days in order to catch up. We must make sure we can access all households safely before we dispatch our crews as safety of both our crews and members of the public is paramount. At the moment it is really too dangerous to operate waste collection vehicles on compacted snow and ice. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and will be monitoring the situation closely."

Please visit our website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk on all the latest news on waste collection services throughout the next few days.

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 6th January 2010


Eaton Bray Council Tax Bill for 2009-10

This article was published in March 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The following list shows the council tax bill for households in Eaton Bray during the 2009-10 tax year.

  • Band A: £1,050.94
  • Band B: £1,226.10
  • Band C: £1,401.25
  • Band D: £1,576.41
  • Band E: £1,926.72
  • Band F: £2,277.04
  • Band G: £2,627.35
  • Band H: £3,152.82

The overall bill includes share-outs of different sizes for various authorities, who between them provide a wide range of services for people in the area.

A big revamp for local goverment means the new Central Bedfordshire Council will replace South Bedfordshire District Counci and Bedfordshire Council Council on April 1st 2009.


Eaton Bray Council Tax Bill for 2008-09

This article was published in March 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray households Council Tax Bill 2008-09

  • Band A: £1,023.78
  • Band B: £1,194.41
  • Band C: £1,365.04
  • Band D: £1,535.67
  • Band E: £1,876.93
  • Band F: £2,218.19
  • Band G: £2,559.45
  • Band H: £3,071.34

The number-crunching on council tax is finally over, so South Beds householders can now check out the size of their bill for 2008/09.

Dunstable households in average band D properties will pay 1,623.09 in council tax in the next financial year.

That's a rise ofabout £66.75 compared to the bill for 2007/08.

In Houghton Regis, the council tax bill for average band D homes will be £1,618.89, an increase of about £72.

Council tax bills include share-outs of different sizes for various authorities, providing all sorts of services for people living in South Beds.

The last piece of the jigsaw was put into place at the budget-setting meeting of South Beds District Council.

Councillors voted through the Conservative budget, which means there will be a rise of 2.99 per cent for the district council's slice of the council tax bill.

That's the lowest council tax percentage increase of all of the county's major authorities.

The district council's budget requirement for 2008/09 was set at £15.6 million.

Average band D householders in South Beds will pay £158.59 for district council services in the coming year.

That works out at a £4.60 rise, 9p per week, compared to the current year, for those services.

Executive councillor Philip Penman, who has special responsibility for resource management, talked of the uncertainty over the future structure of local government in the county

However, the financial strategy for the district council had been prepared on a "business as usual" basis, projected over a five-year period.

He said that further improvements to the council's performance management systems were working well.

And he went on: "We strive to put the customer at the heart of everything we do."

Mr Penman highlighted the All-Pay system which had been brought in for payments. .

He said that this was popular with most residents, with about £1 million being collected every month through the system, from 15,000 transactions.

"We are providing a better and more convenient service to our customers, and saving £100,000 a year," he said.

The Grove Theatre had been completed at the end of the previous financial year and had been showing an exciting programme of events.

Mr Penman said: "This was a magnificent venture, which is a credit to joint working and those members and officers that were involved."

He talked of a new contract for refuse collection and street cleansing, helping the council to meet recycling targets and maintain the high standard of cleanliness in South Beds.

The executive councillor also spoke of the makeover project for Bedford Square, in Houghton Regis, and the scheme to demolish and replace flats in London Road, Dunstable.

Car parking charges and local land charges would not be going up in the next financial year.

More capital resources would be spent on empty properties, to ensure that homes and gardens were in good condition when new tenants moved in.

Work on revitalising town centres was continuing.

Mr Penman said that £700,000 had been earmarked to improve the area around West Street and Ashton Square, in Dunstable. That would be paid for by a government grant.

He also spoke of the proposals to create a community football development centre in north Dunstable.

The councillor pointed out that a three-year government grant settlement had been lower than expected.

He concluded: "This is a prudent budget, which continues to improve services while keeping council tax as low as possible."


Who gets what?

The biggest chunk of the council tax bill goes on Beds County Council services.

Average band D households in South Beds will pay £1,123.47 for that part of the bill.

Another slice, £135.28, is earmarked for the Bedfordshire Police Authority, and £78.84 will go to Bedfordshire and Luton Combined Fire Authority.

South Beds District Council will take £158.59 of the bill.

On top of all that, average band D householders living in Dunstable will pay £126.91 for services provided by Dunstable Town Council.

Those living in Houghton Regis will fork out £122.71 for services from Houghton Regis Town Council.


For the latest news from Eaton Bray and beyond, get the Dunstable Gazette every Wednesday and make a daily date with Dunstable Today.

Source: Anne O'Donoghue, Dunstable Gazette, 5 March 2008


Council tax rises by 3%

This article was published in February 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

South Beds Council say households can expect to pay 2.99 per cent extra for its services from April 1 while County Hall has settled on just over three per cent.

The district authority's figure was settled on at a meeting of the council's executive committee and is to be approved by the full council on February 26.

This is the same increase as last year and lower than the current 4% rate of inflation. It averages out at £163.33 for a band D property.

The executive decided that the council needed a total of £15.6 million for 2008/2009 to cover net expenditure and to run its services.

Of this total, £8.8 million will come from the government direct through its annual grant to the authority .

The remaining £6.8million needed for council services will come from local taxpayers.

Council tax payers pay more than this in total, however, because about nine tenths of the total tax payment is paid to support Bedfordshire County Council, the county's police, fire and rescue service and the taxpayer's local town or parish council.

Executive member for resource management, Cllr Phillip Penman, said: "Our internal control systems are working well.

"There is pressure on our car parking budget but, while income receipts from car parking charges are down, we have no plans to increase them.

"Even with a poor government grant settlement, we are still able once again to present a budget to our residents which allows us to raise council tax by the lowest percentage of all major authorities in Bedfordshire whilst continuing to maintain services at their present levels."

Bedfordshire County Council has agreed a council tax increase of 3.8% for 2008/9.

The authority says this is one of the lowest increases likely to be set by a county council in the country and that it is below the level of inflation.

County deputy leader and cabinet member for Finance, Richard Stay, said: "This budget seeks to protect front-line services and invest in our priority areas which the people of Bedfordshire tell us are important to them. These priorities have not changed - more investment for schools, roads and adult social care.

"This is even more remarkable in the context of a hostile government which has 'floored' Bedfordshire for three years running, while favouring its friends on more Northern councils.

"Even if we had received the average of shire county settlements, Bedfordshire would have received an additional £5.8 million in 2008/9, equivalent to £39.00 for every band D property - or over 200 social workers!"

But the council is cutting spending by £1.4 million through savings in customer service, procurement and revised use of accommodation.

Its budget includes:

  • £5.4 million for adult social care to address demographic changes and other significant pressures
  • £1.5 million to priority areas within schools and continuing funding for building schools.
  • Continued investment in roads and footways with an extra £400,000 of revenue investment plus capital investment of £7.45 million to take the council's total investment in roads maintenance to £20 million in 2008/9.
  • £100,000 to fund three special constables to support community safety initiatives.

Council leader, Madeline Russell, said: "We are delivering on our promise to keep council tax increases down. We have listened and responded to residents' priorities.

"We are officially rated as a good council, and we are improving strongly, and this budget reflects the fact that we are well on the way to becoming a great council."

Beds Police Authority has agreed a budget that allows for an additional 24 police officers, taking the total to 1,274, the highest number in the force's history.

At a meeting today (Feb 15), the authority set a budget of just over £96million for 2008-2009, a 5.3 per cent increase on last year.

The council tax precept has been set at £27.494million (29 per cent of the total figure) with the remainder coming from the government.

This means that in the coming year a householder living in an average Band D property will pay £135.28 towards policing (around 37p a day)- an increase of 23p per week or 9.6 per cent over last year's precept of £123.43 for a similar property.

Authority chairman, Peter Conniff, said that he felt the decision to ask local tax payers to invest in their local police service was justified.

"Our consultation established that the majority of those questioned were willing to pay an increase of 11% or more towards policing," he said.

"The authority has lost approximately £4 million per annum since 2006/07 due to changes made by the Government to its funding formula.

"This year, it is seeking to redress the balance to give the chief constable additional resources to bring about performance improvements.

"Cutting crime and keeping people safe costs money.

"This budget will provide the chief constable with more resources, more officers and an increased capability."


Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.

Source: Mick King & Jessica Vince, Leighton Buzzard Observer


County council set to increase tax by 3.8%

This article was published in January 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Update: For the full amounts, see Eaton Bray 2008-09 Council Tax Bill


Beds County Council says its tax burden will increase by 3.8 per cent from April. But this is the lowest increase in its portion of the council tax in a decade.

It means a band D household will pay County Hall £1,123.46 - up from £1,082.33. The other 25 per cent of council tax payments goes to the police, the fire service and town and parish councils, which will be setting their budgets shortly.

County council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, Cllr Richard Stay, said: "The county council intends to keep its promise to keep council tax down and protect the services people tell us matter the most.

This year's proposed budget will do that.

"Yes, there will be financial pressures in services like older people's social care, because of increased demand linked to an ageing population, but I believe we are well placed to deal with these and protect services as much as possible.

"We are also making sure that investment in public priorities remains strong.

""Surveys carried out in November told us that residents' main priorities have not changed, and that roads, community safety, care for older people and improving education were still services which mattered most to the people of Bedfordshire."

Cllr Stay said the Government had this year given councils across the country the worst financial settlement in ten years.

This means Beds and Bucks will once again get slightly less money from the government in real terms and year after year it's spending power is squeezed a bit more, forcing cut-backs.

By economising it has managed to make savings of £15.4 million in the last two years, with another £4.9 million expected by the end of the current financial year in March.

Council leader Cllr Madeline Russell claimed more savings would have been possible if it had not been for the uncertainty surrounding plans to cut away one layer of local government in Bedfordshire.

The Government has said it is "minded to approve" Bedford Borough Council's bid for unitary status, effectively abolishing the county council and apparently paving the way for a merger of Mid and South Beds councils into 'Central Beds'. County Hall meanwhile has launched a judicial review and remains confident of turning the tables.

Cllr Russell said: "The only way to keep council tax down and preserve essential services is through a countywide unitary authority.

"Our plans are the only efficient and effective option on the table."

South Beds District Council counters, however, that county is continuing to misrepresent the issues.

It says the district councils' financial forecasts have been rigorously checked and it is untrue that creating two new all-purpose unitary councils in place of the present pattern would damage services and lead to increases in costs.

South Beds says its detailed proposal is not based on cutting the budgets for frontline services.

The government's decision, expected in late February on the future of all four councils in the shire.


Across the border in Bucks, people living in Aylesbury Vale are facing an average council tax rise of 9p per week for the wide range of services they receive from the district council.

At a meeting last Tuesday, AVDC's cabinet agreed to recommend a four per cent rise for 2008/9, which equates to an extra £4.83 a year on a band D property. Householders in band D would pay £126.04 for the year.

A district council spokesman said the authority is planning to spend £20 million on services in 2008/9, of which £11.6 million will be provided by the government and £8.4 million will be raised through council tax.

In addition, the cabinet is recommending a capital programme of more than £100 million over the next four years.

Major spending schemes include the construction of the new theatre in Aylesbury, working with partners to deliver social housing across the district and a new multi-storey car park in Walton Street, Aylesbury

About 10 per cent of each household's annual council tax is kept by AVDC. The rest of the bill goes to the county council, Bucks Fire and Rescue Service, Thames Valley Police and local parish councils.

The final decision on the council's budget will be made on February 6.


Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 22 January 2008


B-Day looms for fortnightly bin collections

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

After more than a year of heated debate, a controversial new rubbish collection system is finally set to start around Dunstable and Eaton Bray next week.

Wheely BinFrom Monday, September 3, householders in South Beds can expect their black bins to be emptied one week, and their orange-lidded bins the next.

It has been described as a way of increasing recycling rates, and a South Beds District Council spokesman said a smooth transition was expected.

He added that new recycling bins and collection calendars were being rolled out across the district, and everyone should have them by Friday.

But as the big day draws closer, councillors and council staff will be acutely aware of the disquiet the measure has caused since it was announced last year.

Earlier this summer a petition by the UK Independence Party (UKIP) collected more than 3,000 signatures calling for a rethink.

UKIP office manager Peter Cole said that it would lead to an increase in fly-tipping and vermin, and said that any maggots he found in his bin would be delivered to council offices.

But the council pointed out that with landfill space running out fast and huge government fines on the horizon, something needed to be done to reduce the amount of rubbish going into landfill.

Councillor David McVicar, who has responsibility for the environment, said: "We're running out of holes to put our muck into. We're not in a position to say we can put what we want into a bin and it'll go into landfill. The landfill will not be there."

He added: "Other authorities have had this reaction, but within a matter of a short time that fear has been allayed and people say there are no problems."

Source: Dave Burke, Dunstable Gazette, 29 August 2007


Burglar alarms battler rings a bell with public

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray campaigner Alan Woolridge said he feels like a celebrity as his battle against the council's alarm notification strategy gains momentum.

He has been featured on television and radio programmes in the past week, and says people have congratulated him in the streets for making a stand.

But chiefs at South Beds District Council say they cannot work out why the policy has created such a fuss.

As reported previously, South Beds is the first district to have an alarm notification area introduced.

All burglar alarm owners face £80 on-the-spot fines if they do not hand over details of their keyholders, and this could rise to up to £1,000 if the council takes them to court.

It was introduced so that if an alarm sounds, council officers could contact keyholders to silence it.

Councillor David McVicar, who has special responsibility for the environment, said: "It's an issue that shouldn't have caused all the problems it has.

"It was a thing that was put into place to help, and it's ended up being a stick with which we're being beaten."

He said councillors chose to implement government legislation to combat the nuisance that alarms can cause.

On average, problems arise once a fortnight, and Mr McVicar said: "It's a huge number when people are being driven mad."

And he continued: 'At one stage it was down to the police to hold a voluntary database but that fell into disrepair. People would phone us up and say: 'There's an alarm going off'.

If that happened, Peter Jones, corporate service manager, said council officers had to obtain a warrant, a locksmith, a police officer and an alarm engineer to gain access to the home.

Mr Jones said that with all costs being transferred to the householder, it could work out very expensively. And he added that keyholder details have already been used to get alarms turned off quickly.

"Something that would have taken hours of annoyance was dealt with by one phone call," he stated.

A lot of the controversy has been about the security of the information the council collects.

Mr Woolridge has said he is prepared to submit mobile phone numbers for his keyholders, but not names and addresses.

But Mr Jones said: "The advantage of having a name and address and a phone number for the keyholder is we've got a better chance of getting hold of them."

He added that under the government legislation in place, addresses have to be collected.

Critics have said that the keyholder database could be a massive resource for criminals if it fell into the wrong hands.

In response, Mr McVicar said that the council has never had a problem with data being compromised in the past.

He stated: "No security is 100 per cent, but as far as this council is concerned, we've never lost a piece of data."

He said that the council already has huge databases containing enormous amounts of data about people living in South Beds, from benefits information to council tax and the electoral roll.

All officers with access to the keyholder database are CRB checked, and Mr McVicar said: "I would never question the integrity of our officers."

An online petition about the measure was loaded by Mr Woolridge onto the 10 Downing Street website. As the Gazette went to press more than 70 householders had signed it.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 22 Aug 2007


Funkee website goes bananas

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A website especially for young people in South Beds is going from strength to strength after its first year.

FunkeeMunkee.co.ukFunkeeMunkee.co.uk was set up to provide health and social information for youngsters, and it is fast become a crucial resource in the district.

As well as carrying information about events in the area, it is also packed with links to useful agencies which can help out with all kinds of problems and concerns.

The website is run by Alcohol Services for the Community and funded by the South Bedfordshire Local Strategic Partnership.

Rachel Keith from Alcohol Services for the Community said: "It's going very well, there's a growing amount of information on there. It's very colourful and it's growing in content all the time."

The website was set up so that youngsters all over the district don't miss out on important events and health information.

Rachel added: "South Beds is like any area, it's got a mixture of communities. The idea is that the website is for people who don't hear about things and who miss out on what's going on. Now they've got this place that gives them all the information they need."

So far Rachel said feedback from young people has been good.

One website user enthused: "I like the look of Funkee Munkee. It's interesting and eye-catching and the graphics are good too."

Another added: "Information, events, real people, competitions and a. really happy monkey - what more could you possibly want?"

As well as guest columns from a number of local organisations, the site also boasts book reviews and theatre listings.

And true to its name, the site also sponsors an African patas monkey called Chibber.

There has already been a FunkeeMunkee site running in Mid Beds for three years.

The website name was picked out by youngsters ahead of its launch.

To celebrate the big day in South Beds, members of the FunkeeMunkee team hit the streets of Dunstable and Houghton Regis to give out free bananas and goodies.

Website volunteers Robert Day, Timothy Day and Nick Porter, and co-ordinators Helen Reynolds-Smith and Alison Colver are pictured, above outside The Place in High Street North, Dunstable.

Source: Dave Burke, Dunstable Gazette, 15 August 2007


Now you can log on and tell PM your alarm fears

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

An online petition has been launched to protest about the district council's controversial alarm notification policy.

Burglar alarm owners are now required to pass details of their keyholders to South Beds District Council, or face fines of up to £1,000.

The council claims it will help to silence loud alarms quickly, and there are already cases where keyholder information has been used to cut short the misery that constantly sounding alarms can cause.

But as reported by the Gazette last week, the measure has sparked concerns about security.

Eaton Bray protestor Alan Woolridge has vowed to battle against the order, and this week he has launched a petition on Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website calling for a rethink.

South Beds is the first area to bring in the measure using legislation from the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, but a number of local authorities are keeping a close eye on the initiative.

Mr Woolridge is calling on the government to have another look at the legislation before other authorities follow suit.

His petition reads: "Homeowners in South Beds whose property has a burglar alarm are being legally forced to pass details of a keyholder (name; address; phone number) to the local authority.

"Other councils will follow. This protest is about the creation of databases that if allowed to continue will identify properties that have, and by exception, do not have burglar alarms.

"Front door key security is personal and the whereabouts of any `emergency' keys are confidential too."

The petition urges householders not to submit keyholder information, or to withdraw it if they have already handed it over.

When the alarm notification area was announced last year, it prompted a number of letters to this newspaper voicing concerns.

Enforcement of the policy started this month, and since we reported it the Gazette has received many letters and phone calls on the subject.

This week one correspondent wrote: "Having worked with IT systems since the late 1960s I know it's inevitable that information on the keyholder register will get out, no matter that the council is `fierce' with its data protection duties to prevent data being misused.

"Information will get out either because someone breaks in, or because a loophole has inadvertently been left in the system, or because a South Beds District Council employee is suborned into revealing information from the database."


  • The petition can be found at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ALARMING
  • The website claims that whenever a serious petition collects 200 or more signatures, officials at Downing Street will ensure a response is given to the issues raised.

Source: Dave Burke, Dunstable Gazette, 15 August 2007


Battler Alan keeps alarm bell ringing

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

An Eaton Bray home owner has vowed to continue his battle with the district council over its alarm notification policy, and he is leading calls for a rethink.

Alan Woolridge, who has been one of South Beds District Council's most vocal critics since the measure was announced, said he was still unhappy about handing over crucial details about his keyholders.

He could potentially face an £80 on the spot fine, which would rise to £1,000 if it's not paid within 14 days.

As reported by the Gazette last week, enforcement of the council's controversial alarm notification area has started this month.

All burglar alarm owners with an alarm now have to pass contact details for their keyholders to the district council or face a fine.

The policy was introduced to cut down on the misery that constantly sounding alarms can cause, as it would give council officers a way to contact keyholders and get the alarms turned off.

Members of the council's envirocrime unit will be out and about this month, and if they spot an alarm that isn't registered they will give the owner seven days to comply.

But Mr Woolridge is worried that the council wants addresses for the people with keys to his home, and not just phone numbers.

He said yesterday: "The security of my front door key is mine and nobody else's, and I'm not prepared to say where it is."

And he added: "I don't object in principle to this initiative but I do object strongly to giving a keyholder's name and address.

"I have already provided four mobile telephone numbers including my own and thereby given far more options to resolve any problem that may occur."

The measure has also prompted concerns that it could become a handy resource for criminals if security is breached.

Mr Woolridge said that if the database got into the open, people without burglar alarms and people with dummy boxes would be easy to identify.

He said: "The people who are not apparently concerned by this are the people who don't have alarms.

"But the people who don't have alarms are the people who would be indirectly identified if this database got into the open.

"The people who have dummy boxes and who don't have alarms would be identified as having unsecured properties."

He has raised the matter with South West Beds MP Andrew Selous, who has been in touch with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

But the government has said it cannot step in over the dispute.

A letter from former environment minister Ben Bradshaw to Mr Selous dated June 26 said that under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities are at liberty to collect keyholder details.

It continued: "Databases which contain details of nominated keyholders are maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Local authorities have the power to retain keyholder details for audible intruder alarms as the people responsible for dealing with noise and with the power to deactivate intruder alarms.

"As such, Defra are not in the position to intervene in a situation between the local authority, who are responsible for enforcing the fine if they see fit, and the resident."

South Beds is the first authority in the UK to introduce the measure.

Yesterday a council spokesman said keyholders' addresses are taken to ensure that they live close enough to respond if an alarm goes off.

He added that the council is `fierce' with its Data Protection duties to prevent data being misused.

Source: Dave Burke, Dunstable Gazette, 8 August 2007


Snoop squad on the prowl

This article was published in August 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Council officers will today start touring the district on the lookout for unregistered burglar alarms - with fines of up to £1,000 on the cards.

Anyone who has an alarm fitted but hasn't told South Beds District Council who their keyholders are will soon face hefty fines as part of a controversial alarm notification policy.

The council claims the measure will make it easier to silence endlessly sounding alarms, but critics have dubbed it an invasion of privacy.

Under the scheme council envirocrime officers will have contact details for keyholders at their fingertips, so that if an alarm sounds it can be switched off quickly.

From today members of the envirocrime unit will be keeping an eye out for alarm boxes on the outside of homes.

If they spot an alarm that isn't registered, they will contact the owner giving them seven days to hand over contact details for their keyholders.

If this isn't done, owners will face an £80 on-the-spot fine, which will rise to £1,000 if it's not paid within two weeks.

When plans were unveiled for the new alarm notification area last year, this newspaper was swamped with letters from readers worried about the impact it would have.

One correspondent dubbed it a "sledgehammer to crack a nut", and Eaton Bray campaigner Alan Woolridge mounted a petition calling on alarm owners to withhold the information.

His petition read: "For security reasons the only persons who should know of the arrangement are the property owner and the keyholder.

"To have such details on the database, regardless of the fact that data will be maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, does nothing to inspire confidence."

But yesterday a council spokeswoman announced that 4,578 alarms have been registered in South Beds.

Councillor David McVicar, portfolio holder for the environment, said: "This service means that our neighbours no longer have to endure the possibility of constant noise of alarms while we are on holiday or away.

"It is a simple matter to register your alarm, giving yourself and your neighbours peace of mind."

Source: Dave Burke, Dunstable Gazette, 1 August 2007