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Showing posts from April, 2020

Captain Tom Made Honorary Colonel As He Reaches 100

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Captain Tom Moore has been made an honorary colonel by the Queen to mark his 100th birthday, after raising in excess of £31million for NHS Charities Together. The war veteran walked laps of his garden to raise the funds during the coronavirus lockdown to raise money for healthcare workers. Capt Tom has now raised well over £31million for NHS Charities Together and walked 200 laps of his garden in total. He was informed of his promotion to  honorary colonel  in a letter presented to him at his home by Lt Col Thomas Miller, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. Capt Tom said, “Although I can't use it in public it really is something special to be able to say, honorary colonel. "I'm still Captain Tom, that's who I really am but if people choose to call me colonel, well, thank you very much!" Earlier in the day, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, was delighted to present Captain Tom Moore with a 100th birthday

Whipsnade Zoo - Meet (virtually) the Newborn Przewalski’s Foal

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Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire have shared the first images of a newborn Przewalski’s foal – a species once declared Extinct in the Wild - born during the nationwide lockdown at the UK’s largest zoo.   The female foal was born to mum Charlotte and dad Nikki on the 13 April. Mum was at first naturally protective of her new youngster and kept her hidden away, out of view of zookeepers who were eager to get a proper look at the new arrival.   An Endangered wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia, the Przewalski’s horse is known in Mongolia as Tahki, meaning spirit.  Once classified as Extinct in the Wild, the Przewalski’s horse was reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia, thanks to conservation breeding efforts by organisations including ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Team leader at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Mark Holden said: “The birth of a Przewalski’s foal is a real cause for celebration – they’re considered to be the last remaining truly wild horse in the w

Dunstable CBC Councillors Support Good Causes

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Community grants Each Central Bedfordshire Councillor has had access to £2,000 from which they can allocate grants to local projects that demonstrate a community benefit. Councillors could also work together across a ward to combine their grants, if that’s what was most needed. Some wards have more needs or more groups or more organisations than others, so funds allocated across the authority area will vary. In order to qualify for cultural, environmental, sporting or social projects, the applicants had to have match funding. In Dunstable, the following councillor awards have been announced: Councillor Hegley Organisation: ArtSpa Purpose of grant: To support the initiative to purchase art equipment. Amount: £500 Councillor Chatterley Organisation: Hadrian Academy Purpose of grant: Contribution towards putting together a timeline Amount: £870pm Councillor Crawley Organisation: St. Augustine’s Church Purpose of grant: Contribution towards a new oven to serve the l

Premier Inn Equipment Donated to Ambulance Service Call Centres

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Whitbread have helped the East of England Ambulance Service to extend their call centres with a donation of 100 phones, 38 desks and 38 chairs.  Office equipment formerly owned by Premier Inn has a potentially lifesaving new calling – after owner Whitbread donated it to the East of England Ambulance Service to help it cope with unprecedented call volumes. Following the relocation of the Premier Inn Customer Contact Centre from Oakley House in Luton to its new home in Houghton Hall Business Park in Houghton Regis, the facilities team at Whitbread’s Head Office had a supply of office equipment, including 100 phones, that they were waiting to rehome. With the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team were made aware through their business contacts at Fujitsu that the East of England Ambulance Service were in need of additional equipment to expand their operations at their call centres. Their three call centres in Bedford, Norwich and Chelmsford required rapid expansion i

Selous Asks For More than £50k for Leisure and Tourism Businesses

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In an exchange in Parliament yesterday local MP Andrew Selous called for more funding to support the leisure and tourism businesses. Andrew Selous, “I am grateful to the Treasury for the work it has done to keep the economy going. However, I have a tourism business and a leisure business that have been turned down by their banks, even though they are both viable, and they will need more than the £50,000 from the bounce-back scheme announced by the Chancellor today. These are excellent businesses that we must not lose. Will he continue to look further at such cases and consider grants for where there are very difficult situations?” Rishi Sunak ,The Chancellor of the Exchequer, responded, “Without knowing the particular details of those businesses, I can say that many businesses in the retail , leisure and hospitality trade will be eligible for cash grants of £25,000 . Also, all businesses can use the furlough scheme , which is significant, and there will be business rates

Hundreds of Suspected Victims of Modern Slavery Identified In Bedfordshire

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Almost 400 potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking were identified in Bedfordshire last year - the fifth highest of any UK police force area. In total 399 cases were referred into the national referral mechanism (NRM) in the county across 2019, according to Government figures released earlier this month. The figure was the fifth-highest of any UK police force area, with Bedfordshire Police investigating more offences than their counterparts from larger forces such as Merseyside. The NRM is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support, with the investigation then undertaken by the police. Police and charity bosses have now urged the public to keep an eye out for possible signs of exploitation, with these offences still likely to be taking place during the Covid-19 lockdown. Victims of slavery can come from many backgrounds, but people with poor mental health, alcohol and drug a

Lady Spends 4 Hours Tidying Up Sainsbury Bottle Banks

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A local woman has spent four hours popping bottles into bottle banks as she felt sorry for the workers who would have had to do this. And She posted to her local Nextdoor.co.uk community to raise awareness. Before Magdalena started Bottle banks at Sainsbury car park Dunstable were full and overflowing. And more and more bottles were piling up beside the bins inside plastic bags. And although the recycling bins had been emptied, the ones in the bags were left remaining on the tarmac beside the bins. Sainsbury employs a private waste contractor; it is not the responsibility of a council. The Sainsbury press Office told DND, “We are working to clear the area as soon as possible and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.” In Magdelena's post she wrote, “ Today went to bin few bottles.. And saw this by Sainsburys All bins were empty but people were leaving everything on the side :( I've decided to put every single bottle to the bin, to help people w

Dunstable's Planning Applications Backlog Mounts as CBC Meetings Are On Hold

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Report by Alan D Winter. With the COVID-19 lockdown continuing, the number of outstanding planning applications for Dunstable is growing. On 4th April, the Government issued new regulations which permitted local authorities to hold meetings remotely for the first time, using web conference software. Despite this CBC is not yet ready to conduct these virtual meetings. Leader of the Independent Councillors, Adam Zerny, wrote online today expressing concern at the way Central Bedfordshire Council intends to deal with this planning applications backlog. Cllr Zerny wrote, “Independent councillors are concerned coronavirus is being used as an excuse to suspend Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC)'s democratic process. “CBC's Chief Executive, Richard Carr has decided to invoke so-called 'emergency powers' to allow him to make planning decisions himself instead of them being taken by a committee made up of democratically elected councillors. “When COVID-19 broke o

Gaming Solution Teaches Maths & Makes It Fun

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Bedfordshire business that ‘makes maths fun’ becomes Winner of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis has praised Maths Circle Ltd for being awarded the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious business awards, announced on HM The Queen’s Birthday. Maths Circle Ltd is a small company of seven employees who developed "Times Tables Rock Stars" a gamified app solution to engage children with learning of times tables and increase their confidence and proficiency in maths. The Bedford based business wins the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. Innovation Award winners are defined as having demonstrated that their business has substantially improved in areas of performance and commercial success by either outstanding innovation, continued over at least two years, or continuous innovation and development over at least five years. Innovation achievements are assessed for invention, design or pr

3G Pitch Planning Application For Creasey Park

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Dunstable Football Club, Creasey Park Drive Application: CB/20/01100/FULL Creation of an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with new fencing, floodlighting, maintenance storage container, hard standing pathways and ancillary features Planning permission has been applied to create a new external Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Creasey Park Community Football Centre.  The development site has been included within the FAs Local Football Facility Plan and CBC playing pitch strategy as a strategic need for further 3G football sports provision. Pitch and associated access paths would be located where the blue lines are. The proposed Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) will replace and result in the loss of a current grassed football pitch. Also proposed are new open steel mesh ball stop fencing and entrance gates around the entire pitch perimeter enclosing the AGP. These would be 4.5m above ground level. The proposed floodlight system comprises six masts mounted with sixteen luminaires

The biggest health emergency of our lifetime — Council Leader

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“This is the biggest health emergency of our lifetime, and the most important thing we can all do is to stick to the guidance about staying at home.” — Cllr James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council. The Coronavirus national emergency is worrying for everyone.  And those who may be vulnerable and are not able to access support from family, friends or trusted neighbours will be particularly concerned. Central Bedfordshire Council is working across the area with local groups and individuals to help those people in need. These may be people who are unable to leave the house, perhaps because they are elderly and live on their own, are pregnant, self-isolating, shielding, or have a disability or mental health issues. The council can provide emergency food parcels and medicine delivery for those in urgent need, and in the longer term, voluntary organisations across the area are also providing support. But, as Council Leader James Jamieson explains, everyone can do

Disability Resource Centre : Pandemic Update

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The Resource Centre based in Poynters Road Houghton Regis is busy helping hundreds of vulnerable people every week across Luton and Bedfordshire. This is a coronavirus update on how they are continuing to help carers, people with long term health conditions, disabled people and their friends and families. Melanie Hawman, the CEO, said, “"Since the prime minister announced the lockdown we have helped 1,796 people in Luton and Bedfordshire. Our phone lines have been hot and increasingly people have been emailing us, sending chat messages and texts. Our team have been getting calls about support for people leaving a hospital and many vulnerable people have been worried about food and medicines. We have also received calls from carers concerned about supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves. ​“A large number of callers contact us for help to support their older relatives and many disabled people need local help with shopping and medical appoi

Dunstable Town Council To Meet Remotely

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Town Council Meetings The following Dunstable Town Council meetings are now expected to take place – notification of the agenda and means of joining the meeting are expected in due course: 21 April: Plans Sub-Committee 12 May: Plans Sub-Committee 18 May: AGM 2 June: Plans Sub-Committee 15 June: Finance & General Purposes Committee 23 June: Plans Sub-Committee Meetings will be held remotely in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. The first meeting will be Plans on 21 April. Members of the public wishing to join remotely need to send an email to david.ashlee@dunstable.gov.uk by 5pm on Friday, 17 April for them to receive instructions on how to join. Alternative email link with message: Source: DTC If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

Busiest Ever Weekend For the Force

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Bedfordshire Police force have had their busiest ever weekend as they encouraged people to comply with the COVID-19 lockdown alongside everyday policing. The force logged 2,555 incidents across all four days of the Easter bank holiday, including 712 on Saturday and 714 on Sunday. The Sunday figure broke a 22-year record for the highest number of incidents recorded in a single day. Between 36 and 42 per cent of the logged incidents on each day were linked to breaches of the regulations on coronavirus. They have now issued a total of 63 fixed penalty notices for breaches of these rules, the majority of which related to people breaking the restrictions on movement. Of these 63 penalty notices, 48 were issued over the Easter weekend. These included people having parties as well as larger gatherings in parks and town centres. Alongside engaging people to comply with the guidance, officers also responded to a number of other offences such as domestic abuse and theft, as well as

Police Issue No Tickets for Restricted or Prohibited Vehicles in Dunstable in 2019

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HGV 7.5 tonne limits are the shaded areas. By Alan D Winter Bedfordshire Police did not record any incidences of tickets issued for using a prohibited vehicle on a road subject to a restriction or prohibition in the Dunstable area in 2019 (*see FOI below). In response to perceptions by some Dunstable residents that Police do not prosecute drivers for the offence of driving overweight vehicles through their town without good reason, I put a Freedom of Information Request into Bedfordshire Police. It's important to understand a couple of things. Firstly where access is and isn't permitted, and what the exceptions are. The Public Notice for the Houghton Regis / Dunstable area is found here . The Weight Restriction Order for Houghton Regis is found here. The Weight Restriction Order for East Dunstable is found here . The Weight Restriction Order for villages surrounding Dunstable is found here . The colour-coded zone map showing restricted areas in and around