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Showing posts from August, 2020

The Dunstable Coffee Company That's Doing Rather Well

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Pre-tax profits have more than doubled at a Dunstable-based coffee specialist, new accounts have revealed. Fine Foods International (Manufacturing) Ltd is part of the Cafea Group , one of the world's largest instant coffee makers.  Today FFI offers a full range of coffee and chocolate products in a huge range of varieties and pack formats. FFI produces private label instant coffee, sachets, single-serve, pods and drinking chocolate for retailers and foodservice providers.  Accounts for FFI revealed pre-tax profits climbed to £1.24m in the year to 31 December 2019, up from £580,367 in the previous 12 months. Revenues slipped moderately to £42.7m from £44m. A statement filed with the figures said the hire of a new head of sales in December would allow  FFI to “develop and implement” its strategy and “improve UK sales volumes and profitability”. Sarah, Tomasz, Imran, Sam, Nisa, Kristina, Abdul and Bhanu from FFI's Dunstable site The statement added that directors “do not expe

Did you witness a serious collision in Kensworth?

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Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious collision near the Dunstable Downs area of Kensworth on Friday (21 August).  At approximately 8.40pm the police were called to a serious single-vehicle collision involving an orange Honda motorbike travelling north on Whipsnade Road in which a man in his twenties sustained serious injuries.  Emergency services attended and the road was temporarily closed. The man was transported to hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition.  Sergeant Timothy Davies, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said, “We believe that there were a number of people in the area at this time and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or saw the bike prior to the incident.  “We would also like to ask motorists to review their dashcam footage in case it may have captured the orange Honda motorbike from the time.” Anyone with information is asked to contact the pol

Ker-Ching! Over £500,000 Allocated for College Building Repairs

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Further education colleges in South West Bedfordshire are to receive over half a million pounds to repair and refurbish buildings and campuses. Andrew Selous MP has welcomed the announcement that Central Bedfordshire College in South West Bedfordshire will benefit from £515,390 to upgrade its facilities.  The funding announced this week comes from the £200 million announced by the Prime Minister in June as part of his New Deal for Britain, helping the nation bounce back from coronavirus by investing in infrastructure and skills, and creating jobs. The Chancellor of the Exchequer pledged £1.5 billion in his last budget to upgrade the further college estate over the next five years. Commenting, Andrew Selous MP said, “I am delighted that Central Bedfordshire College will be receiving £515,390. Further education plays a vital role in unlocking talent and potential of thousands of young people, and those returning to education once again, in local communities both in South West Bedford

Volunteers Begin Work to Clear Pathways

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Undeterred by a damp and dismal Wednesday morning 15 path maintenance volunteers (PMVs) braved the elements to clear path KN 16 and erect 3 waymarker posts on KN 8 in Kensworth / Whipsnade Heath area for Central Bedfordshire. The PMVs cutaway overhanging vegetation from KN 16 using the arisings to block gaps in the hedge which had previously allowed unwanted bikers to stray onto adjacent arable farmland. Led by David and Douglas, Jonathan, Chris, Ian, Colin, Phil P, Quentin, Linda, Mike, Hilary, Yvette, Martin, Alistair and Phil A successfully completed the work session to the satisfaction of Robin Richardson the Central Bedfordshire Rights of Way Officer. Special thanks go to Chris who manned the pole pruning saw all session cutting down the higher level growth and to Jonathan who had used his engineering skills and had come up with a device to hold WMP's upright when installing whilst maintaining safe social distancing.  Thanks also to the tool and transport men, David and

PCC wins third Special Grant for Bedfordshire Police of £2.9m “against the odds” #DunstableND

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Bedfordshire Police have won another Special Policing Grant to cover the cost of its outstanding unit focussing on fighting gang, gun and knife crime.  The grant will total £2.9m and will be paid to cover the cost of its exceptionally high performing specialist Boson unit targeting Serious Organised Crime groups and others involved in Serious Violence, in 2020-21.  This latest grant to the PCC, Kathryn Holloway,  comes just days after the Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, visited HQ to meet with her and Chief Constable, Garry Forsyth, and to see for himself the drugs, weapons and cash seizures achieved by the Boson team and colleagues in the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit so far this year.  Kathryn Holloway said, “For the past two years to date, against all the odds and the naysayers and even advice to forces saying that Special Grants weren’t going to be available, I’ve proved that it’s absolutely possible to win extra investment in policing if you prove what more the Home

Policing Minister on his first official visit to Bedfordshire Police

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Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, and Chief Constable, Garry Forsyth, welcomed Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to Police Headquarters today (Wednesday 12 August) to meet with front line officers and celebrate outstanding results of operations against gang, gun and knife crime and drug and weapons seizures on the day the force received a major award for its effective approach to efficiency and savings. On the Minister’s first visit to Bedfordshire Police Headquarters, Mr Malthouse met first with Commissioner Holloway and Chief Constable Garry Forsyth to hear them outline the outcome of his investment into Operation Boson - the specialist unit targeting gang, gun and knife crime which was doubled after the PCC received Special Grants of £4.514m and £3m respectively from the Home Office in the past two years. This article is a stub, continues on website of PCC - Article continues ... Source: If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

Ashton Square: Fined for Using Disabled Badge Incorrectly

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A Dunstable motorist used his wife’s Blue Badge when she was not present during a Central Bedfordshire Council targeted enforcement day, Luton Magistrates’ Court heard. Mark Skipp, 58, of Chadwick Close, was found guilty of misusing the badge to park in Ashton Square in November 2019. He was fined £220 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32 and costs of £600 – a total cost to him of £852. Councillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Council Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources at Central Bedfordshire Council said, “People who misuse badges to park in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders are inconsiderately taking spaces away from those who genuinely require them.” “They allow a disabled person to park closer to their destination and must only be used by another person if the badge holder is present and being dropped off or collected.” “Rules around Blue Badge use are very clear, and we have a zero-tolerance attitude against this type of crime. If we catch people using ba

Demolish The Greyhound? - Plans Submitted For Replacement Flats

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Planning News Planning number: 20/02805/FULL Address: The Greyhound, 191-199 High Street South, Dunstable, LU6 3SJ For: Demolition of the existing building on the site and the creation of a flatted development comprising eight new residential units. Date Received: 11 / 08 / 2020 Registration (Validation) Date: 12 / 08 / 2020 Earliest Decision Date (Consultation Period Expires): 10 / 09 / 2020 Target Date for Decision: 07 / 10 / 2020 Submit a Public Comment: LINK The familiar site of The Greyhound at the corner of High Street South and Great Northern Road, in Dunstable, could soon be gone, as an application has been submitted to tear the place down and replace it with a modest block of eight flats, as shown below: As you can see from these drawings, the new build is intended to be in keeping with the character of the surroundings.  The new build aligns with the existing buildings and its roof extends from those of the neighbouring townhouses. This reinforces the homogeneity o

Planning News - Fresh Plans for First and Last Site

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Planning News Planning Number: 20/02638/FULL Registration / Consultation Date: 05 / 08 / 2020 Earliest Decision Date (Consultation Period Expires): 09 / 09 / 2020 Target Date for Decision: 04 / 11 / 2020 Parish Name: Dunstable Location: The First And Last, Church Street, Dunstable, LU5 4HP Statutory Class: Small Scale Major Dwellings 10-199 Proposal: Erection of a new 3 part 4-storey residential building comprising 35 residential units and associated car parking, cycle parking, refuse storage and landscaping View all documents: LINK Submit a Public Comment Online: LINK An entirely new plan has been drawn up for the former First and Last pub site in Church Street, Dunstable. In the new plan, no exit onto Church Street would be permitted, and two-way entry/exit traffic would be allowable onto St Peter's Road. The new application represents an increase from 32 to 35 flats over the previous plan (CB/19/00830/FULL). The 35 flats would be arranged on three floors, in one

Fly-Tipping Continues Around Dunstable : Use the App to get it Reported

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https://clearwaste.com/ offers a free to use app to help you report fly-tipping to Central Bedfordshire Council. Here's some of the latest local reports. Reported 27 Jul : 8 Very large what may be air conditioning filters - 50 metres west from the entrance to Shortgrove manor farm on Buckwood Lane. Tv, bike and bed parts in Buckwood Lane, 1 July. Fly-tipping in Isle of Wight Lane, reported 29 Jun : 7 bags of garden rubbish Fly-tipping in Isle of Wight Lane, reported 18 Jul : plastic gutters and bags, garden rubbish. Reported 29 Jun : 7 bags of garden rubbish https://clearwaste.com/flytipping/map   Source: If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

Amazon's donation to Stepping Stones charity

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Staff and volunteers at Stepping Stones in Luton have received a donation of £1,000 from the Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunstable.  Stepping Stones is a Luton-based charity that’s dedicated to empowering women who have suffered domestic abuse or are vulnerable due to substance misuse. The charity provides hope and the skills and resources to make positive life choices.  Stepping Stones provides support services for women and their children and families suffering from drug addiction and substance abuse. The charity also helps those who may have offended or re-offended or be victims of domestic abuse, living in Luton and Central Bedfordshire.  The charity plans to use the donation to help develop its services to support women during COVID-19.  The donation was made to Stepping Stones as part of the “Amazon in the Community” programme, whereby the company supports the communities around its operating locations across the UK.  Edmon Yohannes, General Manager at Amazon in Dunstable, sai

The Government's Support for People and Businesses in South West Bedfordshire

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This article was supplied by the office of Andrew Selous, MP 17,100 people in South West Bedfordshire have had their jobs protected by the Government through the coronavirus pandemic. £16,122,500.00 worth of grants provided to local businesses. In total, more than £160 billion of Government support has been provided to help individuals and businesses in all parts of the UK. New statistics showing the huge Government support to individuals and businesses in South West Bedfordshire have been welcomed by local MP Andrew Selous. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has provided a huge and unprecedented package of support to protect both lives and livelihoods through this incredibly challenging period. In total, more than £160 billion has been provided as part of the Government’s economic response to coronavirus, and the latest statistics from the Treasury now show the scale of that support in South West Bedfordshire: 17,100 people have had their job protected through t

Man Threatened with Machete in Dunstable

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Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information after a man was robbed while a machete was held to this throat. The victim was approached by a group of three men between 2.30am and 3am on Saturday (1 August) in High Street North, Dunstable. The trio threatened the victim with a machete and stole cash, bank cards and a khaki Gucci bag. PC Helen Pecorini, investigating, said, “We will pursue anybody who thinks this sort of brazen use of weapons is acceptable. This was clearly a frightening incident for the victim, who only suffered minor injuries. This sort of offending is often linked to organised crime and serious violence, so it is vital that the public tells us anything they know so we can track these men down and make our communities safer.” Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the force via Reporting Police website   or by calling 101. Please quote reference 67 of Saturday 1st August. Alternatively, you can submit information anonymously via Crimest

CBC Move to Curb Drinking in Public Places

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Eleanor Cross: alcohol drinking restrictions Central Bedfordshire Council has approved the areas covered by their Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the next three years. The council’s Executive committee yesterday, agreed the new PSPO, following a consultation in November 2019, which consulted on the existing order. Such orders are not complete public drinking bans, but they give authorised officers additional powers in designated areas. They can request that individuals do not drink alcohol or hand over alcohol in their possession if behaving anti-socially. The council has agreed the new areas covered by the PSPO across Central Bedfordshire. The full details will be available on the council’s website with maps showing the specific areas in due course. Locally, for Houghton Regis and Dunstable, the public consultation results for these proposed areas were: • 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with a PSPO for Bedford Square, Houghton Regis • 98% of respondents agree

A Public Space Protection Order agreed for dog control across Central Bedfordshire

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive has agreed to keep the existing rules as it renewed Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) in relation to dogs, for the next three years. A blanket rule requiring dogs to be on leads in any open space with a marked sports pitch has been retained and renewed. Dogs will also be prohibited from fenced play and games areas and parts of the council’s country parks .  Dogs will also still need to be on a lead in cemeteries, picnic areas and A and B roads as well as on public footpaths. The decision was made following a consultation in November 2019 which revealed that 56% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal to remove the requirement that dogs are kept on leads near sports pitches. The results also showed that 97% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal to retain the dog fouling order. With 90% of respondents strongly agreeing or agreeing with the proposal to retain the dog exclusion zone orders. Cl