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Showing posts from September, 2020

Cheering Volunteers 2020

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Central Bedfordshire Cheering Volunteers will be held virtually. Please make your nominations. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 20 November. For 2020, the Central Bedfordshire Cheering Volunteering Awards and Celebration will be virtual – but the recognition will be real. The awards, organised by Central Bedfordshire Council, working in partnership with the Volunteer Centres as part of Central Bedfordshire Together, is our chance to say thank you to those who give their time to help others. Sponsors will be Ringway Jacobs , Pro Logis , Grand Union Housing ,  Jeakins Weir and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue. The awards are devoted to recognising and applauding the efforts of volunteers across the area. This year a special  COVID-19 award  has been created and nominations are invited for individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to support their communities, and particularly vulnerable residents through the pandemic. Another special award for 2020 is  The Captain Sir Tom Awar

Council Approves Sustainability Plan

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Last Thursday's full meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council adopted its new Sustainability Plan aimed at making the council carbon neutral by 2030. The detailed plan outlines a ‘road map’ developed jointly by officers and elected members and it commits the council to lead by example by investing in sustainability while encouraging and working with others – residents, businesses and key partners - to do the same. It follows a July 2019 climate action motion which was also supported by all councillors. Cllr Steve Dixon, Executive Member for Transformation and External Partnerships said, “We’ve deliberately called this a plan because that’s exactly what it is. Clearly defined steps towards our carbon neutral goal." Members will be given annual progress reports in late spring with success measured against a detailed survey of the current council carbon footprint. Added Cllr Dixon, “We are going to appoint a Sustainability Lead to co-ordinate our work and provide expert advice,

Council Goes Into Private Session to Discuss new CBC Chief Executive's Renumeration

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Following an extensive recruitment process, Central Bedfordshire Council has confirmed the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Marcel Coiffait. Council - Thursday, 24th September 2020 at 6:30pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting Cllr James Jamieson moved a motion 'to seek approval of the appointment of a Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) for Central Bedfordshire Council, in accordance with the recommendation of the Appointment Sub Committee.' 1.approve the recommendation of the Appointments Sub-Committee held on Monday 21 September 2020 to appoint Marcel Coiffait to the post of Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) of Central Bedfordshire Council; 2.note the constitutional requirement that the Head of Paid Service is also the Council’s Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer; and 3.appoint the Democratic Services Manager, Brian Dunleavy, as the Deputy Electoral Registration Officer. Cllr Snelling (Liberal Democrats) seconded the moti

Community Spirit Shines Through the Pandemic

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Members of Central Bedfordshire Council unanimously supported a motion of appreciation for volunteers and voluntary organisations across the area, at a meeting of the full Council on Thursday night. Dozens of neighbourhood groups, as well as more established voluntary and community organisations, have been crucial in helping residents through the challenges of the pandemic and particularly those who are the most vulnerable. Council - Thursday, 24th September 2020 at 6:30pm - Central Bedfordshire Council Webcasting The following motion was put to Council by Cllr Adam Zerny, Leader of the Independent Network at Central Bedfordshire Council and was unanimously supported: “This Council wishes to express, publicly, its deep gratitude to Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire, Community Action Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the dozens of other volunteering organisations and neighbourhood groups around Central Bedfordshire which made such an incredible effor

High Streets Heritage Action Zone Green Light For £1.1m for Dunstable

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Historic England has announced that Dunstable High Street is being given the green light for the Historic England regeneration scheme to aid local economic recovery. Dunstable has been offered grant funding of £1,144,000 . To implement a local scheme, Dunstable Town Council advertised the post of High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Programme Manager (salary range £32,878 rising to £35,934). In all, 68 historic high streets across England to have been offered government funding through the High Streets Heritage Action Zone* (HSHAZ) programme delivered by Historic England.  The programme will give high streets a new lease of life and help them recover from declining footfall and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The news was welcomed by local MP, Andrew Selous. The lead partners for the local scheme, Dunstable Town Council, are working with Historic England to develop and deliver schemes that will transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops,

10 Things You Need To Know About the Effect of COVID-19

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) has not gone away and continues to have a major impact on people’s lives. You can explore the statistics that allow us to keep track of the pandemic; not just through the number of deaths or infections, but also with measures of the impact on the economy and businesses, as well as people’s well-being, working situation and their daily routine. The Office for National Statistics has published 10 charts that show how the emergence of COVID-19 has affected life, society and the economy, including: 1. The number of deaths peaked at more than twice normal levels because of COVID-19 2. There have been more excess deaths in care homes and private homes than in hospitals 3. The mortality rate from COVID-19 has been highest among black men 4. The number of people newly infected with COVID-19 is increasing 5. The number of people visiting workplaces, shops and public transport hubs fell drastically because of lockdown 6. Parents working from home tended

123 Grants and over £616,000 Distributed Through BLCF

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In their Autumn newsletter the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) report that after 16 weeks of grant applications and panel assessments 123 grants were awarded with over £616,000 distributed across Bedfordshire.     Awards have been made to support a spectrum of needs including, the purchase and delivery of essential food and hygiene parcels,  technology requests to enable services focused on mental health, domestic abuse, dementia and bereavement to continue by operating from home,  projects focused on the young and older members of our community to ensure they are still able to engage in social activities albeit often delivered via a virtual platform. BLCF*  has received requests for help on a practical level (rents and bills) and also from small organisations seeking advice on how best to proceed in these unknown times with issues around HR, fundraising and legal governance. BLCF  has changed, too, to adapt to the "new normal", and with new government f

Council Leader's Guide to Spotting Covid-secure Venues

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CBC's environmental health team have produced a guide on what to look out for during the pandemi c This article has been withdrawn. Please refer to: - GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace#sectors-that-this-guidance-applies-to - CBC https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/info/26/public_health/737/coronavirus_-_covid-19 Source: If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

Residents Praised For Recycling Efforts During Recycle Week

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You thanked Central Bedfordshire Council's waste collection crews during the lockdown, with pictures, cards, presents and friendly waves and now CBC want to thank you for continuing to recycle as much as possible during the pandemic. Despite all that has happened this year we are lucky to live in an area that is full of fantastic recyclers. What and how we recycle really matters. Recycling just one item rather than throwing it in the general rubbish bin means that it will be dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way and means that materials can be reused for a longer lifespan. As part of  Recycle Week , which  runs from 21-27 September , the council wants to help people  recycle more  by knowing which items can be recycled. Recycling at home is something everyone can do to help protect the environment and planet. Here in Central Bedfordshire we want to help residents to recycle right and that’s why we’ve created a short video to show examples of some plastics which can

Salvation Army Fundraising

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Normally at this time of year, Salvation Army (SA) members, friends and volunteers, would be knocking on doors around the country, standing on the High Street, outside supermarkets and railway stations, asking people to give towards their public, annual ‘Big Collection’.  100% of the funds raised from the SA's public and street collecting go directly to help people in need - people who are homeless and older people and the funds also support their Family Tracing Service , their employment services , their drug addiction and rehabilitation services and so much more.   To keep everyone safe this year, SA are looking at different ways of raising funds in the communities where they work. However, the help that The Salvation Army gives, carries on and is needed more than ever. One example of this wonderful work is Jack’s story.    Jack became homeless after his wife died and he had a complete breakdown. Sleeping rough, he lost all hope and self-respect. But when he was referred

Act With Caution If You Ever Receive A Suspicious Email

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Trading Standards in Central Bedfordshire are warning residents to be wary of any suspicious emails regarding payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice or Penalty Charge Notice. One such email that has come to their attention, gives the impression it has been sent by the “HM Courts & Tribunals Service”, when in fact the email appears to have originated from Brazil. The email claims the notice has been sent to the resident as the registered keeper of a vehicle that was used in an area where a charging scheme applied. The email instructs the resident to click on a link to pay the penalty of £25 before a specific date, otherwise, the penalty increases to £100. The email then claims if no payment is received within 28 days, the outstanding payment will be registered as a debt at the County Court. This email is a SCAM! If you ever receive an email you suspect may be a phishing scam, please forward it to  report@phishing.gov.uk  and delete it from your computer. Do not reply to the sender and

Dunstable Arrest made in Investigation into Stolen Dogs

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A Dunstable woman has been arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection to an incident where a number of dogs were stolen. Detectives are now issuing advice to dog owners to remain vigilant and take steps to reduce the risk of thefts. On Sunday 13 September police received reports that eight dogs had been taken from a kennel in Wilden, including a black Labrador, two cocker spaniels and five English springer spaniels. This comes after reports of a number of attempted dog thefts in the region. Detective Sergeant Rachael Foy, from our Crime Investigation Team, said, “We are making good progress in our investigation and will not stand for this sort of organised criminality. “We know that we are seeing an increase in this kind of criminal activity across the region, and would urge all kennel owners as well as dog owners to ensure their dogs and premises are secure. “This includes ensuring dogs are micro-chipped, installing CCTV and additional locks where possible, as well as not leav

CBC Plans Free Parking Saturdays

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In a bid to add a boost to High Streets in Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, Central Bedfordshire Council is to offer free parking Saturdays. The car parks taking part in the scheme will be two in Dunstable at Priory Gardens and Ashton Square and two in Leighton Buzzard at Hockliffe Street and Duncombe Drive. An exact starting date will be announced shortly after taking account of any further COVID-19 related announcements made in the days to come by the Prime Minister. Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said, “We want to press ahead with this temporary measure as soon as possible. “But we did want to let residents, High Street businesses and traders know that we have been listening to them and developing a scheme to support them but one where we will also be able to measure the impacts. “We recognise the importance of the period leading into Christmas for traders and believe this will support them in this critical perio

Latest Figures: Government Support for Self-employed South West Bedfordshire

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·       4,200 self-employed people in South West Bedfordshire have received support through the second grants available through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme ·       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 self-employed workers in South West Bedfordshire have been welcomed by local MP Andrew Selous. 4,200 self-employed people in South West Bedfordshire have accessed £12,300,000 worth of Government grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’s second tranche. These grants do not need to be paid back and will help to cover lost earnings. This is in addition to the support given to self-employed workers through the first grant – worth £17,900,00 in South West Bedfordshire. Self-employed people have had six months of income support during the coronavirus pandemic – one of the most generous schemes in the world. A first

Keech Hospice Care Volunteers Honoured

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Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire presents The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Volunteers of Keech Hospice Care Photo:  HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss with Liz Searle, Chief Executive of Keech Hospice Care On Wednesday 16 September, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis, made a socially distant COVID-19-friendly visit to Keech Hospice Care to present the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to its volunteers. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups. Keech Hospice Care provides free specialist care to adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire and children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire

Additional Funding For L&D Hospital Announced

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Luton and Dunstable Hospital to receive £5.7million to upgrade A&E facilities ahead of winter. Part of £450 million provided by the Government to upgrade A&Es this winter. Luton and Dunstable Hospital is set to receive an additional £5.7million in order to support Accident and Emergency capacity ahead of the winter months. The news has been welcomed by South West Beds MP, Andrew Selous.  The £5.7 million will be used to expand and upgrade A&E facilities at the hospital, ensuring they have enough space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control.  The funding will be used for the expansion of the department to incorporate current Same Day Emergency Care and children’s assessment unit areas, with the temporary relocation of minor injuries.  It is part of £150 million to be shared across 25 A&Es , with the money being used to expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles. It is on top of the £300 million provided by the Gov

Dunstable Charity Benefits from Amazon Delivery Team

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The Amazon delivery station team in Dunstable has donated some money to Kids in Action. A charity that supports children with learning disabilities has received a £1,000 donation from the Amazon delivery station team in Dunstable. Kids in Action is focused on positively transforming the lives of children and young people with disabilities. From the charity’s centre in Dunstable, Kids in Action runs a variety of social clubs, as well as daily, weekly and school holiday activities. The charity plans innovative experiences and activities to change and enrich young people’s lives and has extended this support throughout COVID-19 via online meetings. Kids in Action plans to use the donation to refurbish the coffee shop at their Dunstable centre. Amazon in Dunstable has supported Kids in Action since 2018, when the fulfilment centre team donated £4,500 towards the building of a green screen room for video and photography which has helped the children learn new skills and techniques in fi

Dunstable Centre Fun Palace

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Join in the fun at home Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for community at the heart of culture and culture at the heart of every community. Each year local people are encouraged to get together to create a weekend of arts, craft, tech, science digital, heritage and sport activities to form their own local Fun Palace. This year in order to keep everyone safe rather than getting together to share our skills and try out new activities CBC Libraries are going to be keeping things virtual and encouraging everyone to create their own mini fun palace at home. How can you join in? Get social with CBC Libraries on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter and join in with the Fun Palace weekend takeover. CBC Libraries will be sharing video workshops, live streaming activities and having games and quizzes for you to try from lots of different people and groups in and around Dunstable.  Join local children's author Lou Treleaven making tiny books,  join in with the Library Sports Day,  get some

New TV Documentary to Feature Whipsnade Zoo

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A new behind-the-scenes documentary will air on ITV – 24 September and 1 October, 9pm A lioness with a mystery illness, an agoraphobic camel and a sea lion colony prepping for a cross-country move are just some of the stars of a brand-new documentary, airing on ITV this month. Watch the tv documentary preview 'London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year ' is a new fly-on-the-wall series filmed at Whipsnade Zoo and the London Zoo during the nationwide lockdown. Episode one airs at 9pm on Thursday 24 September, with the second airing at the same time on 1 October.    ZSL, the international conservation charity behind the two world-famous Zoos, granted exclusive access to film company October Films within days of the lockdown being enforced. The team were on-site filming right through to the Zoos’ emotional reopening days on 15 June. The cameras followed the Zoos’ teams as they dealt with the highs and lows of zoo life in the face of a global pandemic. The filming captured how soc