Meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council 12th November 2020

By Alan Winter.
  • Please follow the links below to hear what was actually said at this meeting of the Central Bedfordshire Council.
Thursday, 12th November 2020 at 6:30pm
Verbal statement by SNAP 
This was followed at 00:14 by Cllr John Gurney from Dunstable Town Council, asking for a referendum on the approved plans for a new Health Hub and 98 apartments on land near Go Bowling. Responded to by Cllr Hegley defending why a referendum is not needed. In print Cllr Hegley explained on 28 October her support for the Health Hub and housing scheme.
Richard Carr is retiring – he was CEO of Central Beds, in all he’s been a CEO for 26 years.
A Vision for 2050 – setting CBC’s  sense of direction and where they  want to be in 30 years time. Some criticism voiced, but Council’s Vision was generally welcomed.
Motion Proposed by Councillor Whitaker “With the annual running costs for Priory House c.450K per annum and current occupancy averaging 12% this council agrees to establish if Priory House could be used as ‘meanwhile space’ -(the short-term use of temporarily empty buildings) to support Central Bedfordshire businesses and charities during the COVID crisis, up to a maximum of 25% occupancy.” 
Voting then took place and it was a right old mess! Listen to the debate on whether they should have a vote and what does the vote mean. Motion is now referred to Executive.
Motion Proposed by Councillor Zerny
“Central Bedfordshire currently sees approximately 2,000 houses built per year. Current Government targets state the area should be achieving 2,386 per year. The Lichfield calculations based on the new Government proposals suggest close to 2,800 per year. This Council does not agree such numbers are required in Central Bedfordshire and asks the political leader of the council to write to the Secretary of State stating in the strongest terms possible that housing numbers in this area must not rise above the present level in the next 10 years.
An amended motion from Cllr Collins was proposed and debated challenging the Government’s methodology for imposing figures on local authorities. The amended motion was passed.
Motion Proposed by Councillor Zerny from 2:04:00
“This Council strongly opposes the current flight path proposals put forward by Luton Airport and NATS which affect most residents within Central Bedfordshire. It is completely inappropriate that those in the most affected areas are presented only with options resulting in large numbers of flights directly overhead. Furthermore, in light of this lack of options and the significant changes wrought on international travel by COVID, this Council believes the only appropriate course of action would be for Luton Airport to recommence the whole process, considering all options and this time include affected residents and local authorities right from the start. This Council asks the Portfolio Holder for Community Services and the Assistant Director for Community Services to write to Luton Airport and NATS requesting this course of action.
What is proposed? – Luton airport, flight path zones text and map.
Motion Proposed by Councillor Baker From 2:25:56
ENGAGEMENT OF CONSULTANTS AND CONTRACTORS. Costs of hiring temporary workers and seeking that Council should approve. Some on £450 a day. Motion referred to General Purposes Committee without discussion.
Motion Proposed by Councillor Clark and Cllr Stock  from 2:31:40
“This council continues to work to eradicate child and family poverty. We recognise that as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, more families are experiencing and will experience a reduction in their income and so be at risk of child and family poverty. This council will adopt a whole council approach to tackle these challenges, building on recent and detailed public health data analysis. We propose the establishment of a member and officer Task Force to review this information and develop a new approach and programme to tackling Child and Family Poverty, which takes into account the real challenges and hardship that the Covid 19 has brought to many Central Bedfordshire families.” – Motion was carried.
Written Questions
Open Questions in which Cllr Zerny asked how many times have the Conservative group used a  whip on full council in the last year?” to which the response was “We tend not to employ a whip.”