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Showing posts from December, 2019

HM Queen Honours Bedfordshire People

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HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2020 has been announced and includes ten Bedfordshire recipients. Those who have been successful are as follows: Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Rosemary Frances MAYGLOTHLING (Bedford) For services to Rowing and Gender Equality in Sport Martin James MCELHATTON (Luton) For services to Disability Sport Sabah GILANI (Luton) Chief Executive Officer, Better Community Business Network For services to Young People and to the Muslim community Charles Alan John YATES (Bedford) Head of Threat Leadership, Insights, Partnership and Delivery, National Crime Agency For services to Law Enforcement Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Peter John SCOTT (Bedford) For voluntary service to the National Trust at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton Dr Anne Margaret Stuart GRANT (Bedford) For services to charity in Bedfordshire Councillor Dr David MICHAEL (Luton) For services to the community in Greater

500 Local Young People Helped by Online Counselling Service

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An online counselling and emotional support tool has helped over 500 young people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes access 24/7 support since it’s launch in July. The service, which is called Kooth and is provided by XenZone, is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and offers local children and young people between the ages of 11 and 19, 24-hour access to self-help materials, mood-tracking and goal-setting tools, and live, moderated forum which cover topics ranging from exam stress and anxiety to eating disorders and grief. Kooth has been commissioned by Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK)  Commissioning Collaborative and local authority partners to provide a service to those young people who might be hesitant to access services face-to-face. The figures show that over 500 new users have registered with the service and used it on multiple occasions, with around 70% accessing it out of hours. Anne Murray, Chief Nurs

£2m Heritage Lottery Fund Bid for Local Chalk Landscapes

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Top Pic A Heritage Lottery Fund Bid has been put together for the Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis area (now called ‘Chalkscapes’) and was submitted on the 18th November 2019.u The bid is for approximately £2m and, if successful, will involve a partnership of conservation and community groups coming together to work to raise awareness of, and improve, the wildlife, landscape and heritage of the South Bedfordshire chalk landscapes. If successful, there will be a 2-year period to build partnerships and engagement before the project launches. Project partners include, Chilterns Conservation Board (lead), CentralBedfordshire Council, The Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, Luton Borough Council. The results will be announced at the end of March 2020. The Totternhoe Area Group met on the 25th November 2019 and discussed issues such as MaidenBower, Green Lane access, inappropriate usage of the Green Lanes and management of nature reserves and rights of way. Attendees include: CBC,

Rough Sleeper Outreach Service Steps Up a Gear for Christmas

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The most vulnerable people in the community will have extra support as Christmas approaches, thanks to NOAH Enterprise and the council. Rough sleepers – those who can typically be found sleeping outside in tents, woods and doorways – will benefit from a new rough sleeper outreach service. And you can support the service by reporting the location of anyone sleeping rough via a free national app called Streetlink. NOAH has three outreach workers across Central Bedfordshire. The outreach workers will search for, befriend and accompany people rough sleeping to connect with the help they need to secure safe accommodation. The information you submit via Streetlink helps the team to find people quickly and offer support. The outreach workers have already been able to help a vulnerable couple who were found sleeping in a tent. During the wet weather the tent flooded and all their belongings and bedding were soaked through. The team helped them to get mental health support and

£25k for Your Community or Voluntary Group

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Is your group of volunteers or community organisation looking for additional funding? Central Bedfordshire Council has allocated £182,000 for distribution to worthy causes. Bidding has now opened and the first bidding round will close on 28 February 2020. Individual organisations can apply for up to £25,000. The Community Assets Grant Scheme aims to help local voluntary and community organisations make projects a reality by offering matched-funding grants to enable them to invest in their community facilities. There are guidelines to follow, for example, the grants must be used for capital funding projects, for such as a new roof for a community hall or to improve access for people with disabilities, or upgrades to other community assets. The grant scheme is open to a range of Central Bedfordshire organisations, including voluntary and community groups, not-for-profit organisations and parish or town councils. To find out more about the scheme visit the CBC website  a

Local Phone Boxes Under Threat of Removal

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Is it the end of the line for some BT phone boxes? Following the first phase community consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council has received 209 representations regarding BT’s proposals to remove 30 public payphones. As part of the process, Central Bedfordshire Council is required to undertake public consultation and to inform BT of the results. The second phase of the consultation which runs until Tuesday 21 January 2020 will enable residents to comment on whether they agree or object to the first decision. Based on feedback from the local community and other public organisations such as town and parish councils and evidence provided, the first decision proposes objecting to 27 payphones being removed. During the first phase of consultation, which was published on the council’s website, the number of responses for each payphone was relatively small, however there is general support for retaining the boxes in villages – either as phone boxes or adopting them for communi

Amazon Team Partners With Barnardo’s For Kidsmas Party Surprise

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Boys and girls from Milton Keynes had a special Christmas surprise this week when they made a visit to Amazon in Dunstable to take part in a Christmas-themed day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) fun with Barnardo’s. The children, who are part of Barnardo’s Short Breaks Milton Keynes programme, visited Amazon in Dunstable with the charity as part of a programme called Amazon Future Engineer. Amazon Future Engineer is one of several STEM programmes run by Amazon in the UK and is aimed at inspiring, educating and enabling more than one million children to try computer science over the next two years. Amazon’s STEM programmes are endorsed by the British Science Association. During their visit to Amazon, the boys and girls visited Santa’s Grotto and took part in a Christmas-themed STEM workshop where they programmed their very own robots, had a tour of the fulfilment centre, and learned about technology. At the end of their special tour, the children had a

Did you see man on Luton - Dunstable busway?

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Police Officers investigating a collision on the Luton – Dunstable busway on Saturday (7 December) are appealing for information. At around 7pm a bus travelling westbound on the busway towards Dunstable collided with a pedestrian. The pedestrian was seriously injured and was taken to hospital, where he is making a recovery.  Officers are working to establish the circumstances and are asking the public for any information around the moments leading up to the incident. Sergeant James Wood, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a man walking on, or beside, the busway prior to the collision. “We urge anyone with information that could assist our investigation to come forward. We are following lines of enquiry, but need your help to determine the events leading up to the incident in which a man was seriously injured.” Anyone who has any information is asked to contact police on 10

If You Drink, You Can Still Be Over the Limit The Morning After

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Police officers in Bedfordshire will be carrying out an increased number of roadside breath tests in order to help keep people on Bedfordshire’s roads safe over the festive period. Over the Christmas and New Year period there can be an increase in people choosing to get behind the wheel after either drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Last December, 77 motorists were arrested in December for drink and drug-related offences. Sergeant Ian Trew said: “We’re committed to keeping people in Bedfordshire safe over Christmas and that includes making our roads safer by arresting those who drive under the influence of either drink or drugs. “We’ll be carrying out regular additional patrols on the road network across the county, stopping motorists and asking them to carry out a breath test so we can ensure they’re fit to drive. We’re also urging the public to help us by reporting anyone who they think may be driving while under the influence. “Drink and drug driving can have absolu

Number of Children Arrested in Bedfordshire Continues to Drop

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Bedfordshire Police has welcomed a report which shows the number of children arrested by the force has continued to drop. A total of 682 under-18s were arrested in Bedfordshire in 2018, a reduction of 261 compared with the previous year. This continues a drop which has occurred every year since 2012, according to a report from the Howard League for Penal Reform which campaigns for a reduction in child arrests. Nationally there has been a 71 per cent reduction in child arrests since 2010. In Bedfordshire the number has been more than halved from 1,953 to 682 over this period. Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: “We do not want to criminalise children unnecessarily, particularly if they themselves are actually victims of exploitation in drugs lines or similar, so it is pleasing that the number of young people arrested in Bedfordshire has continued to fall. “We recognise the value of alternative ways of dealing with young people involved in crime, and the import

Shops Caught Selling Vaping Liquid to Minors

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A crackdown by Central Bedfordshire Council on underage sales of nicotine products uncovered three premises who were willing to sell them to a minor. The council’s Trading Standards team undertook checks in Westoning, Toddington, Dunstable and Houghton Regis in five different premises on 28 November 2019, including four general convenience stores and a garage. These premises were chosen as part of the test purchase exercise as they had either previously sold an age-restricted product to a minor or the council had received information about such sales from a member of the public.  The team sent the 16-year-old volunteer into each of the shops and a garage and they attempted to buy vaping products without showing any form of identification. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy or use them. During the test, the volunteer was sold vaping liquid in three different premises. Following the checks, two of the shops who sold the liquid received a written warning fr

Jail for 4 Years — Dunstable Man Who Sexually Assaulted Young Girl

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A Dunstable man, who sexually assaulted a young girl, has been jailed for four years. Kabirul Islam, 41, of High Street South, Dunstable, was found guilty of one count of assaulting a girl under the age of 13 by penetration and two counts of assaulting a girl under the age of 13 by touching. He was sentenced to four years in prison at Luton Crown Court last Wednesday (27 November) following the incident in July this year. He will also be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) when he is released, which will impose conditions to which he must adhere, or face further penalty. At the time of the assaults, the girl immediately recognised that his actions were wrong and alerted an adult, which led to Islam being arrested and charged. Detective Constable Wesley Hall from the Child and Vulnerable Adult Abuse team, who investigated, said: “I am glad that Islam was handed a custodial sentence for such a horrific offence. I would like to praise the victim’s bravery
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