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Showing posts from January, 2021

Selous, MP, Wants Employers to Sign Up to £2 billion Kickstart Scheme

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Andrew Selous MP calls on employers in South West Bedfordshire to join thousands of businesses signed up to the landmark Kickstart Scheme The Government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme is creating thousands of new jobs for young people across the UK as part of its Plan for Jobs. Since it launched in September, more than 120,000 Government-funded Kickstart jobs have been created for 16-24-year olds on Universal Credit.  As the Government makes it even easier for businesses of all sizes to join, so employers can directly apply for any number of placements, Andrew Selous MP is urging companies across South West Bedfordshire to sign up. Andrew Selous MP has welcomed the Government’s plans to make it even easier for employers of all sizes to join its flagship £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, which has already created more than 120,000 Kickstart jobs across the UK.  The Government’s Kickstart Scheme is designed to give young people at risk of long-term unemployment a future of hope and opportun

No Discount For Previous Users Of 2G Pitch near Dog Kennel Path

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Creasey Park is now possess a shiny new ATP (Artificial Turf Pitch) which was due to take bookings in line with Tier 4 requirements before lockdown hit. A Labour councillor, Matt Brennan, has asked for discounts for previous users of the 2G pitch near Dog Kennel Path. Whereas Dunstable users had the  free pitch near Go Bowling, Central Bedfordshire Council has replaced it with a new one at Creasey Park with a policy from Dunstable Town Council that means that users have to be charged to use it. Creasey Park ’s pitches have been going through closures due to the pandemic which has had an impact on revenue.  The new pitch should be ready to go as soon as lockdown is lifted, according to a source. As part of the budget review of Dunstable Town Council's Grounds and Environmental Services department for 2021/2022, Cllr Brennan asked whether or not it would be possible for the council to set some form of discounted rates. The discounted rates could have been applied to compensate res

Luton Airport Could Apply for Grant of £8 million to Protect Local Jobs

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London Luton Airport to receive grant of up to £8 million to protect local jobs and bounce back after coronavirus The Government’s multimillion-pound support scheme for airports has now opened – with London Luton Airport set to receive up to £8 million this year. The scheme reflects the aviation sector’s valuable contribution to the UK economy, and will help to ease pressure on airports hit by the pandemic.  Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that London Luton Airport is now able to apply for a Government grant worth up to £8 million, helping to protect jobs and the local economy in South West Bedfordshire.  The Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme, which opened on Friday 29 January, will help London Luton Airport, and other commercial airports across England to cover losses on costs caused by the covid-19 pandemic, including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance, and business rate bills.  Airports and ground handlers can

Concern Over New Flight Paths That Will Come Close to Dunstable

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COUNCILLOR WHO DISMISSED FLIGHT PATH CONCERNS AS 'NIMBYISM' KNEW OF PLANS A YEAR BEFORE OTHER COUNCILLORS WERE TOLD by  Cllr Adam Zerny , Leader of the Independent Councillor Group at Central Bedfordshire Council Leighton Buzzard councillor who called Potton residents NIMBYs knew about flight paths consultation a year before other councillors. Airport insists telling two councillors amounts to informing the Council. Flight paths consultation ends in just eight days - Have your say before it's too late! News of the proposed new Luton flight paths came out of the blue last September. The changes would see big increases in the volume of low-flying flights heading over Potton, Biggleswade, Arlesey, Stotfold, Wrestlingworth and many other towns and villages in Central Beds [1]. One of the key issues raised by residents and councillors alike when Luton Airport's consultation began in November 2020 was that there had seemingly been no prior notification of changes to flight

CBC Create 23 New Community Safety Roles

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Central Bedfordshire Council has introduced 23 new roles within their community safety team to assist in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across the area. The new officers will also be tackling issues around anti-social behaviour like graffiti, shoplifting, street drinking and also environmental crimes such as fly-tipping, dog fouling, littering and noise issues. They are part of a wider community safety team that help improve local communities across central Bedfordshire.  Together, the team will be undertaking regular patrols and visits towns and villages to talk to residents and businesses about any issues that are affecting them and what could be done to make their lives better. The team are able to respond to issues faster, and are able to share local intelligence with the police. During the current pandemic officers will also be undertaking regular checks to ensure businesses and the public are adhering to government COVID-19 guidelines and offering advice and support

Dunstable woman found guilty of fraud for making false council tax benefit claim

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A Dunstable woman who falsely claimed a council tax reduction on the basis she was unemployed was sentenced to a fine of £568, ordered to pay a contribution towards costs of £1,146.87 and a victim surcharge of £57, at a total cost to her of £1,771.87 at Luton Magistrates’ Court today (27 January 2021) Susan Cashman, 57, of Winfield Street, Dunstable claimed she was unemployed in July 2016 but, following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council, it was found that she had failed to notify the council when she found work after two months and continued to claim a discount to which she was not entitled, for over three years. Cashman fraudulently claimed a £3,049.56 reduction in her Council Tax bill between 2016 and 2020, that she would not have received, had she made Central Bedfordshire Council aware of her employment. In addition to the fine, she is required to repay the money she falsely claimed.  Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr David Shelvey, said: “People like

Dunstable's Conservation Area — You Can Get Involved in Dunstable's Heritage

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Dunstable is one of sixty-eight historic high streets across England to have been offered government funding from Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.  From August 2020 until 2024 Dunstable Town Council will be working with Historic England and several other partners to deliver the HSHAZ programme. The HSHAZ focuses on a key stretch of the High Street falling within the Dunstable Conservation Area. It includes an area fronting High Street South and adjoining Middle Row and Ashton Square and on the opposite side of the road, it extends to the rear of Priory House and includes Priory Gardens. This HSHAZ programme involves building works and refurbishment and a cultural programme. Building work and refurbishment  – undertaking physical works to properties in the HSHAZ area. The properties are still to be determined but will include Priory House . Pr

Keeping well Service for health and social care staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

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The ‘Keeping Well’ service is designed to help members of staff working in the NHS, and staff providing care to others in the community, including residential homes and voluntary sector organisations through any mental health challenges they are facing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and beyond. The service provides rapid access to support in a variety of ways, including a ‘live-chat’ where health and care workers can, in confidence, talk to expert clinicians about any personal or professional challenges that are impacting on their stress, anxiety or mood. This could be new mental health symptoms or a worsening of pre-existing difficulties. Get help quickly   Web, live chat (coming soon): www.keepingwellblmk.nhs.uk Call or complete an online contact form  If you live in Bedfordshire: Fill in the form or phone 01234 880400 If you live in Luton: Fill in the form or phone 0300 555 4152 If you live in Milton Keynes: Fill in the form or phone 01908 725099 How the team can h

Rogue Plumber Ordered To Repay Proceeds Of Crime

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s financial investigation team has successfully obtained a confiscation order at Leicester Crown Court of over £1.4m, including assets of £88,000 and £42,000 victim compensation, after a rogue plumber was convicted of fraud last year. The Council's investigator team presented a report to Leicester Crown Court earlier this month after Russell Canfield and seven others were convicted of fraudulent trading. This report outlined the overall criminal benefit made from various offences and identified any assets that could be confiscated. As a result of this work, the council receives 18.75% of the money recovered from the investigation, which is then invested back into Central Bedfordshire Council services. This case was significant as it was part of an investigation shown on BBC Watchdog that saw 157 people scammed into giving up their own money. If the money is not recovered within three months, then Russell Canfield will receive a one-year extension to

Dunstable Vaccination Centre Making Good Progress

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South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous visited Dr Paul Hassan at the Priory Gardens health centre yesterday to be updated on the progress of vaccinations. Afterwards, he said,  “It was very good to see all the surgeries in the primary care network working so well together. By tomorrow they expect to have vaccinated all the over-80s and all care home residents and staff. It is not possible to vaccinate some care home residents who currently have COVID-19 according to clinical advice.  “They are starting to vaccinate the over 75‘s. Some practices have managed to vaccinate all of their housebound patients, as well. I want to pay an enormous tribute to all the doctors, nurses and surgery staff who have worked so hard together to make this happen. It was so good to see the calm efficiency of the surgery and  the caring way in which everyone was being treated.” If you have news for Dunstable, please send it in

Cannabis Factories Dismantled In Latest Crackdown

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More than 90 cannabis plants have been seized as part of the latest crackdown on cannabis factories in Bedfordshire. As a result of a warrant carried out at an address in Sharnbrook, more than 100 suspected cannabis plants were seized. On Wednesday 13th January, enforcement was carried out at a suspected cannabis factory in Thurleigh Road, Bolnhurst, where three men were arrested and cannabis was seized. Subsequently, three men have been charged with cultivating drug offences and remanded in custody. A barn was used close to a nearby farm for this criminal activity. UK Power Network raised the concern after a loss of power - electric in the area that also affected other homes/barns nearby. The Rural Crime Team are reminding our rural communities to report any suspicious activity around disused Farms/barns and Industrial units. As a force we will continue to target those responsible for this type of criminality. We also rely on our communities supporting us in the fight against organ

Andrew Selous MP welcomes Government plans to tackle violence against women and girls

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The views of women and girls across South West Bedfordshire are being sought to help shape government strategy to tackle violence and abuse. The Government is updating the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and has launched a nationwide Call for Evidence in order to ensure that those who have lived experiences of abuse and violence, and the views of members of the public are at the heart of plans to stop these harmful crimes. The Call to Evidence runs until February 19. The government has already taken a number of important steps in this area, including strengthening the law on crimes such as stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, but there is more to do. There have already been many responses, shining a sobering light on the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society. But this information is also absolutely invaluable in shaping the most effective policy to fight the scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls. That is why Andrew Selous MP is urging

Conservative PCC Candidate Festus Akinbusoye welcomes new Criminal Justice Bill

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Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce new legislation that will make it a criminal offence to intentionally set up a camp or trespass on private land. The Conservative PCC Candidate welcomes this. The legislation will give police the power to fine those who break the law up to £2,500 and lays out the possibility of a three-month prison sentence. Currently, landowners face legal battles and court costs to evict travellers from their sites because trespass is only a civil offence. Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire’s Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate welcomed the news, saying, “There’s been a long-standing review into how to deal with the issue of illegal encampments and trespassing in England and Wales. This is a matter of real concern here in Bedfordshire,” he said. “We’re now coming in line with the Republic of Ireland, which introduced the same law back in 2002. This is the fulfilment of a manifesto commitment and I’m fully behind the government's stron

Special Surprise For Amazon Community Hero

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A member of the team at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunstable has been named as one of the company’s COVID heroes in recognition of her community work. Carole Wee won an Amazon Star award, a UK-wide Amazon competition seeking to recognise and reward community heroes during COVID-19. Carole was nominated by her colleagues for her work in supporting multiple charities and community organisations during COVID-19. Carole’s community work, a lifelong dedication, stems from her desire to help vulnerable people both in the UK and around the world. She’s particularly dedicated to helping people in the Philippines and while she supports many organisations like the Salvation Army and MISSIO, Carole is really passionate about homelessness and helping the people it affects. Carole has also been supporting the staff at Luton and Dunstable Hospital during lockdown, delivering groceries and gifts to doctors, nurses and staff. In tribute to Carole’s work in the community, the Amazon team in Dun
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