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Is Your Neighbour or Community the Best? Nominate them now!

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THE SEARCH TO FIND THE UK’S BEST NEIGHBOURS CONTINUES! With just under two weeks left to nominate, people across the UK are invited to participate in Neighbourhood Watch Network's annual hunt for the UK’s  NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR AWARD  – a nationwide search undertaken in partnership with their friends at Co-op Insurance.  Now in its fourth year running, a new category has been introduced:  COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR . This Award will celebrate the nation’s most outstanding community and the lengths they’ve gone to support others and make a difference. The ‘community’ can either be in person or virtual, such as over Teams, Facebook or WhatsApp. To nominate your NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR, YOUNG NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR (for people aged 21 years and under) or COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR, and to find out more about these incredibly special awards, visit  coop.co.uk/noty . John Hayward-Cripps, CEO at Neighbourhood Watch Network, said, “If you have always thought you have good neighbours, why not nomin

Local Parks Gain Green Flag Awards

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Open spaces owned by Central Bedfordshire Council and Dunstable Town Council have today been recognised as some of the best community-run green spaces in the country in the UK’s National Green Flag Awards 2021.   In Dunstable, parks operated by Dunstable Town Council have won Green Flag awards:  Grove House Gardens ,  Dunstable Cemetery , Priory Gardens (also a Green Heritage Site). Central Bedfordshire Council has secured a full  Green Flag Award  for  Houghton Hall Park  and  Rushmere Country Park . Central Bedfordshire Council’s other four parks and green spaces that received the prestigious Green Flag Community Award this year are  Linslade Wood ;  Tiddenfoot Waterside Park ; and  Flitton Moor . Meanwhile,  Studham Common  received its Green Flag award for the fourteenth year running.   Councillor Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing and Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, said, “It’s amazing news that six of our public spaces have been nationally r

Beds Police and Crime Commissioner announces Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition

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As part of his election campaign, the Commissioner pledged to run an annual school debating competition for children aged 15-18.  Schools across Bedfordshire have been contacted to take part in the event. Mr Akinbusoye said, “I am delighted that we are proceeding with this event for pupils and we very much welcome all schools to participate.  The debates provide a good opportunity for young people to develop their confidence, public speaking skills and also broaden their knowledge of social issues.  It’s going to be a fun experience for all involved”. The competition is non-party political and the pupils will be required to illustrate views they do not necessarily hold, for the sake of debate.  Marks will be awarded for debating skills, debating style and substance of the argument.  The finalists will receive certificates, with the winning school receiving a £500 donation and the speakers receiving a £50 Amazon voucher each. The dates for each round are as follows: First Round:  Da

Beds PCC hosts ‘spectacular’ Annual Parish Council Conference

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The Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, hosted the Annual Parish Council Conference online this week alongside senior team members from Bedfordshire Police. The Annual Parish Council Conference gives the PCC and Bedfordshire Police the opportunity to thank the Councillors for the invaluable work they do to support Community Policing. The Commissioner was joined by Ward, Town and Parish Councillors from all areas of Bedfordshire along with: Chief Exec for the Office of The Police and Crime Commissioner, Clare Kelly Deputy Chief Constable, Trevor Rodenhurst Chief Superintendent, John Murphy (also Head of Community Policing) Chief Inspector, Mo Aziz Inspector Cray Birch Inspector Sam Hunt Chief Inspector Lee Haines Updates were shared and questions were answered about their respective areas of the county. Councillor Francis Pilbeam said, “Thank you for the really informative PCC Annual Parish Conference – it highlighted spectacular examples of just what good collaborativ

Dunstable man jailed for 18 years for multiple counts of rape of a child

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Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been jailed after he was convicted of multiple counts of rape against a child in Milton Keynes, reports Thames Valley Police. Nikki Anton Pike, aged 28, of Norman Way, Dunstable, was found guilty of eight counts of rape and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial lasting seven days at Amersham Crown Court that concluded on 28 June 2021. Appearing at Birmingham Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday (5/10), Pike was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order. Pike was employed as a rock climbing instructor in Milton Keynes, and during his period of employment, he met his young victim, who attended his training sessions, and over number of years, he groomed his victim and a parent. He made indecent images of his victim and persuaded her to go with him in his car,

Mental Health Campaign Goes Further Thanks To Amazon

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A charity raising awareness about young people’s mental health has been recognised by a £1,000 donation from Amazon in Dunstable. Sports Traider  offers young people employment and opportunities in sport. The charity’s ‘Jump4Health’ campaign was launched online earlier in the year to help tackle the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health by promoting skipping as a way of controlling anxiety. Jump4Health  uses  skipping  to show how  exercise  can be used as  an outlet for stress , and encourages young people and adults to take part in the challenge by sharing their skipping videos online. Amazon’s donation will be used to purchase 333 skipping ropes to boost the campaign further. Ruzanna Sargsyan, General Manager at Amazon in Dunstable, said: “Jump4Health is a fun campaign using skipping to spread the word about the importance of exercise for young people’s mental and physical health. We are excited to see how our donation is used to keep the campaign’s momentum going