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Showing posts from November, 2020

Action Fraud Urge More Caution Over Online Shopping Due to Rise in Scams

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Reports of online shopping fraud have surged by 30% over the pandemic as many of us continue to shop online in light of current restrictions. Figures from Action Fraud show that criminals conned 17,407 shoppers out of almost £13.5 million over the Christmas period last year, an increase of over 20% when compared to the same period in 2018. Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online, ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers search for bargains and gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas. Top tips to shop online securely this festive season: Where to shop: Making a purchase from an online store you haven’t used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they’ve used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase. Your information: Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for de

L&D Hospital Helipad Boost From Amazon Team

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The Bedfordshire Hospital Charity’s Helipad Appeal for The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received a £7,000 boost from Amazon in Dunstable. The Emergency Department at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital is renowned as one of the best in the UK and treats over 90,000 people each year. Approximately 25% of patients have life-threatening injuries and require immediate and specialist medical care. The aim of the Bedfordshire Hospital Charity is to construct a helipad at the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital site, helping patients in critical need by allowing them to receive care in the local area, rather than being sent further afield. The hospital has been chosen as the location for the new helipad because it is best placed to transfer patients directly from the air ambulance to the Emergency Department, Stroke Unit and Cardiac Centre. The new helipad will significantly enhance the standard of care already offered by the hospital and make Luton & Dun

Leadership Changes at Central Bedfordshire Council

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Cllr James Jamieson, who has led Central Bedfordshire Council since 2011, has announced that he will be standing down from this role in January. In a message to all Members of the Council, Cllr Jamieson explained that he had always intended to make way for a new leader ahead of the next elections at the Unitary Authority in 2023 and that in doing so now, he will be able to devote more time to his role as Chairman of the national Local Government Association. Cllr Jamieson said, “It has been a privilege to be Leader at Central Bedfordshire Council, over the last nearly 10 years. The council has made huge strides in improving services to Adults and Children’s Services and developing our economy.  I look forward to continuing as a councillor to support the new leader, who will build on this strong legacy. “In the context of the national crisis and the significant economic and social pressures which local government is facing as we recover from the pandemic, now is the right time for me

This Year With The Rotary Club of Dunstable Santa Float

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  The Rotary Club of Dunstable Santa Float is operating a bit differently due to Covid-19 & Santa 2020 needs your help! The Club is not collecting door-to-door this year but instead are asking for donations on-line. Father Christmas, on his trusty sleigh, will still be touring all the streets as last year plus more routes. Dunstable Rotary is a Registered Charity in its own right, but every single penny that is received via donation is given to local good causes. Last year they supported 14 Lower Schools in Dunstable, and the villages, plus 25 local Charities and good causes and with your help hope to do the same this year. According to the Rotary Club Facebook Page, all the Lower schools listed helped, and were recipients: Ardley Hill, Beecroft, Eaton Bray, Totternhoe, Edlesborough, Lancot, Lark Rise, St Mary’s, Weatherfield, Hadrian, Watling. Other recipients were: Dunstable Foodbank, Dunstable Citizen’s Advice, Beds FA Special Needs Football, The Haywards Club, Kids in Action

More than 3,000 knives off the street following knife crime week of action

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More than 3,000 knives are now safely off the streets after being recovered from outdoor public spaces and a number of weapons bins throughout Bedfordshire. This activity was a result of Operation Sceptre – the national week of action aimed at tackling knife crime and to encourage people to think twice before carrying a knife. Taking place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November, we worked with partners to participate in a number of activities, such as weapons sweeps, engaging with retailers and pro-active high visibility patrols in areas most affected by knife crime. Officers from our crime reduction team emptied 10 weapons bins prior to the week of action and found 3,216 blades and 14 firearms . The bins in the north of the county were last emptied in March this year, and the bins in the south were last emptied in October 2019. The bins were emptied again earlier this week and a further 223 blades and two firearms were recovered . Officers from the force’s community teams took part

Charities Benefit from Coronavirus Support Fund

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Six charities in South West Bedfordshire to receive a total of £88,914 from the Coronavirus Support Fund In total, £88,914 has been received by six charities in the constituency, with The Disability Resource Centre the largest beneficiary. The fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, chiefly supports small- and medium-sized charities. Six small-to-medium sized charities in South West Bedfordshire have been among the beneficiaries of this scheme, receiving a total of £88,914 through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. The recipient of the largest grant was  The Disability Resource Centre , who received £38,914. The Centre works to empower people of all ages who are affected by disability or health condition through equipment provision, advisory services, and employment and training courses. The following five other charities received £10,000 each: Community Fountain, Community Concern, Helping Hands, Kids In Action and Fig Tree. Receipt of any of this support has

Council Leader — Please Play Your Part - Help Protect Hospital Staff and the NHS

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A message from Cllr James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council  “As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise, we are now sadly seeing the impact on the NHS and our local hospitals again.  “The hospital staff from both Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable Hospital have put together this video to help show the impact that the virus is having on them. “The film is led by Dave Kirby, Deputy Medical Director who sums it up perfectly.  In it he says: “We have seen a massive increase in hospital admissions across Bedfordshire hospitals and everybody should do everything they can to reduce the spread of this virus.”  “Our NHS staff are on the frontline treating patients with COVID-19 but they are working tirelessly to keep all patients safe and provide everyone with the treatment they need but they are urging all of us help they do this by controlling and reducing the spread of the virus.  “Regardless of whether you look to our Bedfordshire based hospitals, or tho

A Question of accountability as CBC employ contractors at up to £800 a Day

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CUTTING COSTS WHILST PROTECTING FRONT LINE SERVICES by CBC Independent councillor, John Baker "At the November CBC Council meeting, I introduced proposals to tackle the Council's use of expensive contractors and consultants, that can be hired quickly via an agency. I cited two examples: 1. One member of Highways at a cost of £450-500/day: Extensive enquiries were made to the Assistant Director for Highways requesting a job description, project plan and deliverables, resulting in no documentation being supplied to justify the role. 2. One member of Children's Services at a cost of £750-800/day: Councillors only found out about this appointment, with an anticipated annual cost to the Council of over £150,000/year, at a public meeting. "Introducing these proposals to the Council, I explained that one department, Children's Services, was spending up to £5,500/day on 10 temporary workers, some engaged for months, and one engaged for a year (as above). "Whilst t

Lit Firework Lobbed From A Car Hits Child in Buggy

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Police are appealing for information after a lit firework was thrown out of a vehicle hitting a nearby child in Dunstable on Friday (6 November). At around 9am, at the junction of High Street South and Periwinkle Lane, occupants of a small hatchback threw a lit firework from a vehicle which hit a young child in a buggy. PC Sam Allen investigating said: “We do not believe the child was targeted in this incident and although the firework burnt their clothing fortunately they were not injured. However, it was a very distressing incident and could have resulted in serious harm. We are very keen to speak to anyone who has information or was in the area at the time and has dashcam footage that could assist our enquiries.” If you have any information about this incident please call 101 or visit our online reporting tool and quote reference 40/60291/20. Picture: Credit Google Streetview Source: If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

£600,000 Awarded to CBC to Boost Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure

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Central Bedfordshire to receive an extra £600,000 to boost cycling and walking infrastructure The Active Travel Fund is designed to create safe space for cycling and walking Part of the Government’s £2 billion investment into cycling and walking South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous has welcomed news that Central Bedfordshire is set to receive an additional £600,000 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund – designed to create safe space for cycling and walking.  The money will be provided to the local council and could be used to fund measures such as School Streets, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and segregated cycle lanes. In total, £175 million is being allocated to local authorities across England in the latest round of allocations from the fund.  Following discussions with local MPs, the Government has stipulated that councils receiving money will have to meet tough new conditions to ensure that schemes are properly thought out and that their impact on other road users are clo

Meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council 12th November 2020

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By Alan Winter. Please follow the links below to hear what was actually said at this meeting of the Central Bedfordshire Council.   Council Thursday, 12th November 2020 at 6:30pm   Verbal statement by SNAP  This was followed at 00:14 by Cllr John Gurney from Dunstable Town Council, asking for a referendum on the approved plans for a new Health Hub and 98 apartments on land near Go Bowling. Responded to by Cllr Hegley defending why a referendum is not needed. In print Cllr Hegley explained on 28 October her support for the Health Hub and housing scheme.   Richard Carr is retiring – he was CEO of Central Beds, in all he’s been a CEO for 26 years.   A Vision for 2050 – setting CBC’s  sense of direction and where they  want to be in 30 years time. Some criticism voiced, but Council’s Vision was generally welcomed.   Motion Proposed by Councillor Whitaker “With the annual running costs for Priory House c.450K per annum and current occupancy averaging 12% this council agrees to esta

Beware of Investment Fraudsters!

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Action Fraud are working with others, including Bedfordshire Police, to increase awareness of investment fraud. One Bedfordshire resident has lost more than £200,000 to such a scam.  Find out how to protect yourself. The force is supporting Action Fraud around informing the public of how to protect themselves from investment fraud after reports spiked following the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Between September 2019 and September 2020, Action Fraud received just over  17,000 reports of investment fraud , amounting to  £657.4m in reported losses.  However, reports spiked in May, June, July, August and September 2020, as the nation adjusted to life after lockdown.  Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Adviser, said, “During the lockdown, we have noticed a national and local increase of investment fraud reports. Victims in Bedfordshire lost on average £50,000, with one victim being scammed out of over £200,000. Criminals have no remorse and will attempt to trick the vic

“We Are The Most Overweight Nation in the Whole of Europe”

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Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire spoke during the 'Obesity: Covid-19' debate at 10:00 am, 10th November 2020 “I congratulate Jim Shannon on bringing this important debate before the House. “When the Prime Minister announced the improvements to the child obesity strategy a few weeks ago, he made the point that the UK is unfortunately an outlier, in that we are the most overweight nation in the whole of Europe, after Malta. Sometimes I think we do not quite realise how serious our national situation is or the implications it has for people’s lives. To me, this has always been a social justice issue, because it significantly adversely affects the poorest people up and down our country. “I was struck by some information in the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment report, “Hungry for change: fixing the failures in food”, which is a very good read, for any Members who want to take the issue further. It points out the reason we

Dunstable High Street Regeneration

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Contractors working for Central Bedfordshire Council have started work on the next phases of the Dunstable High Street regeneration project. New ‘future-proofed’ streetlights are being installed, not only much more in keeping with a High Street context but also with smart technology and the capacity to be retrofitted as electric vehicle charging points. Where roads have been narrowed, making pavements broader, they will be paved with honey-coloured ‘Saxon’ paving. New benches and other street furniture will be installed along with new road surfaces, signage and street markings. The road surfaces will be replaced and laid out with new markings along with new signs and a cycle path. Drainage will be improved, trees planted, and the existing planters will be re-clad and planted with ‘rain gardens’ – all measures designed to prevent future flooding. Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) is committed to sustainable transport, so new cycle parking will be introduced near Argos, as well as se

Further Support for Vulnerable Children and Families this Winter in CBC Area

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Central Bedfordshire Council to receive £587,054 from government for food and supplies for vulnerable households as part of £170 million package. Extension of school holiday programme providing food and activities for young people also announced. Families that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and need extra support this winter with food and bills will benefit from a new £170 million scheme unveiled by the Government. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will see councils across England share £170 million in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals, with Central Bedfordshire Council receiving £587,054. This will prevent children from going hungry this winter and ensure local families get the help they need. It builds on the £63 million already provided to councils this year to assist those struggling to buy food and essentials. A further £220 million will be invested in extending the Holiday and Food Programme until next Christmas, meaning that all ch

Local MP To Champion Local Electricity Generation

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Local MP Andrew Selous is supporting a Bill to go before Parliament that would empower communities to sell locally generated electricity directly to local households and businesses. Power for People has today thanked local South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, for supporting a new Bill in Parliament that would help rebuild local economies whilst increasing clean energy generation. The proposed new law, known as the Local Electricity Bill , is supported by a cross-party group of 224 MPs. If made law, it would create a new ‘Right to Local Supply’ of energy that would empower communities to sell locally generated electricity directly to local households and businesses. Currently, customers can only purchase electricity from nationally licensed utilities. The Bill’s supporters say this means money people use to pay their energy bills is not helping to rebuild local economies and local clean energy infrastructure. Campaigning group, Power for People , are calling for MPs and the gov

Play your part – by supporting our local businesses during lockdown

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Many of the local shops and services we love will have to stop trading during the next few weeks.  Some will remain open. Using 'click and collect' many businesses in the area are doing all they can to keep their customers satisfied. Here are three good examples: Manager Corinne, at The White Swan on Dunstable’s High Street , “We did a take-away and delivery service during the last lockdown which worked pretty well so we are just going to build on that.  We are lucky in that we are really active on Facebook and Instagram where we have about 3,000 followers so hopefully a few of them will look up our menus.  I’m delighted to say we are definitely doing a Sunday roast as a take-away which we know will be popular and we are also going to do a ‘Cheer You Up’ package so watch this space!” The Loft in Northbridge Street, Shefford  is one such example where manager Hannah is already looking forward to the challenge. She said, “We will certainly be giving our take-away service a go