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Showing posts from July, 2021

'Street Tag' Launches 1st August

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Central Bedfordshire Council has announced a new initiative to encourage active lifestyles and help residents to discover and explore their local areas, parks and green spaces by walking, running or cycling by using a fun new game.  Launching on 1 August 2021, Street Tag is a fun, free, family-friendly game that enables players to collect points by using their smartphones to scan virtual tags. The tags can be found in various locations across Central Bedfordshire, including in areas surrounding parks and open spaces, libraries, leisure centres and other areas of interest.  The app will log any activity completed by participants, and it will show on a range of competitive community and school leader boards.  Schools will have the opportunity to compete in a local Central Bedfordshire Schools Street Tag League, while residents in small groups of six or less will compete against other families or groups on a Community Leader Board.  Leader boards are active for 14-16 weeks and within

Go Ahead Given for Dunstable Pedestrian Crossing Following Petition

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Central Bedfordshire Council highways team received a petition that reached 100 signatures for a zebra crossing to be provided in Chiltern Road Dunstable in the vicinity of Union Street.  At a Traffic Management meeting held today, Cllr Collins, the substitute chairman, and Executive member of Central Bedfordshire Council approved the recommendations today. He expressed the hope that the scheme will go ahead quickly. Dunstable Northfields Councillor Johnson Tamara told the meeting that at times he could be waiting 7 to 8 minutes to cross the road. The speed limit on Chiltern Road is currently 20mph and residents have made complaints that vehicles travel much faster than the speed limit along this stretch of road. There are various parking restrictions and yellow lines around the site and also some speed humps. Where there are no restrictions vehicles park half on and off the pavement. The approved recommendations: 1.accept the petition; 2.for the location be added t

8 Year Sentence for Rape and Sexual Assault

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A man from Dunstable has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for raping and sexually assaulting a young girl. Matthew Husband , 29, from Bolsover, Chesterfield, who lived in Dunstable at the time of the incident , was sentenced at The Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday (22 July), after being found guilty by a majority verdict of rape and sexual assault. On 23 February last year, Husband gave the girl alcohol and believing she was incapacitated, sexually assaulted and then raped her. The victim reported the incident immediately and Husband was arrested shortly after. In her personal statement, the victim said, “Sometimes I get so sad and scared I don’t want to leave my bedroom or talk to anyone. I am so uncomfortable in a room full of people whether I know them or not. I am too scared to trust anyone.  “But I am trying to get better because I won’t let him continue to ruin my life and my future, and although I am struggling, I will keep on trying.” PC Benjamin Rober

Get Your Children to Join this Year’s Summer Reading Challenge

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Central Bedfordshire Libraries are calling for children to discover a wild reading adventure at their local library, during the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge. This year the theme is Wild World Heroes , with a nature-themed challenge, supported by the World Wildlife Fund. The challenge is launched in their libraries on 23 July and will run until 11 September . To take part, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library at any time during the challenge. Children must be a member of their library service. To participate, children of all ages just need to read any six library books of their choice over the summer - books may be borrowed from a local library, requested via the library Select and Collect service or children can use e-books, magazines and audiobooks available from the Virtual Library . Participants will receive rewards along the way:  stickers, a bookmark for reading two books,  a pencil for reading for 4 books,  and the ultimate reward will be a certif

New: Wildlife Trust To Restart Volunteer Tasks in This Area

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The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire has appointed  Jake Goodwin  to take over from Esther Clark who used to run local meet-ups in this area.  Esther Clark has moved on to work at the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. Jake is from Leicestershire, and previously he was a trainee with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. He's a massive birder and loves getting a chance to see what birds he can see and hear when he is out and about. New volunteer tasks are starting again in the South Beds/North Chilterns Chalk area. If you’d like to get involved with the Wildlife Trust BCN volunteers, please email sophie.stocking@wildlifebcn.org . The first two tasks will be: Wednesday 28th July  - Blow’s Downs - Ragwort pulling on Downside Wednesday 4th August  - Blow’s Downs again – Ragwort pulling on Downside These tasks will run from 10am until 4pm but you aren’t obliged to stay for the whole day. Please bring a packed lunch with you, and provisions for hot weather

Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: HM Lord-Lieutenant’s British Empire Medal Presentation Ceremony held at Luton Hoo Hotel

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At a special ceremony held on Monday 19 July at Luton Hoo Hotel, by kind permission of General Manager Mr Matthew Long, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis brought together six Bedfordshire recipients who received British Empire Medals in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday and 2021 New Year’s Honours Lists, to present their medals on behalf of HM Queen. Vice Lord-Lieutenant Mr Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE was the Master of Ceremonies at the reception and the following dignitaries were in attendance: High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Eric Masih, Mayor of Luton Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson and Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst. They were joined by recipients and their family members to hear details about their achievements, which were read out by the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets. The recipients honoured and presented with their British Empire Medals were:  Chief Inspector Mohammad Aziz BEM For services to Policing and Diversity  Ms Haley Ethridge BEM For ser

Introducing Safer Communities Involvement Officers

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A team of three Safer Communities Involvement Officers provide a reassuring link for residents and Town and Parish councils, and are committed to ensuring that Central Bedfordshire is a great place to live and work. They proactively respond to concerns about a range of community safety issues, including low level anti-social behaviour, dog fouling, fly tipping and much more. The officers give advice, support and guidance while providing a visible presence within communities across Central Bedfordshire. Working with partner agencies including, Bedfordshire Police, local councillors, other internal departments and independent charities enables them to research, design, and support delivery of positive community safety solutions. When out and about in your communities they value time spent engaging with residents, so please stop them for a chat and take the opportunity to raise any community safety concerns you have. Your feedback is enormously useful to us and helps them to respond t

TV Redesign Your Home: People Wanted From Dunstable to Take Part

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TV SERIES - TAKE PART Fancy letting a celebrity help you redesign your home?  Working with a major broadcaster, one of the UK’s leading factual independent TV companies are on the lookout for homeowners in and around Luton and Dunstable who are crying out for a home transformation.  Whether you're frustrated with your layout after spending a year working from home, your space doesn't work for the family anymore or you’re simply bored of your colour schemes, a pair of fresh eyes and a new perspective could go a long way to help you make changes.  If you have saved some cash to spend but no idea where to start, we can help.   Sound like you or someone you know?  Email us for more info:  homes@outlineproductions.co.uk

Police family photos gifted to Force Museum

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Historic photos of four members of the same family who all worked for Bedfordshire Police in the 1940s - 1960s have been donated to the Bedfordshire Police Historical and Museum Society. The photos were donated courtesy of James Thom, the son of former Chief Inspector Alex Thom, and comprised a unique family archive with a wide connection to policing in Bedfordshire. This archive provided information about a cumulative total of around sixty years of service to the communities of Bedfordshire. Alexander Davidson Thom was a soldier between January 1940 and February 1946 and served in Burma. On demobilisation he joined the Bedfordshire Constabulary and following initial training was posted to the Road Traffic Division. Various postings and promotions saw him working at Bedford, Sharnbrook, the Force Control Room and Dunstable, but two thirds of his service was spent working as a Road Traffic officer. Clearly a highly regarded officer, he was one of those selected to receive the 19

Help Instagram Melanie to Become Dunelm's 'Home Influencer'

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A Kensworth mum who has redecorated over 30 times is within touching distance of fulfilling the dream of becoming a Home Influencer to 'real people.' Melanie would welcome your vote to help her on her way! Melanie's beautifully furnished and accessorised home View this post on Instagram A post shared by Melanie Llewellyn (@melanies_diary_) Inspired by Instagram sensations Mrs Hinch and Stacey Solomon, Kensworth resident and mum of one, Melanie Llewellyn, started an Instagram account dedicated to her love of all things home and interiors. Growing steadily with over 1000 followers on Instagram  @melanies_diary has evolved to become a visual diary for Melanie, documenting not only her ever-changing home decor but her own mental health and diet journeys as well. Followers praise her for her authenticity and openness about her struggles with both dieting and mental health, and they enjoy seeing her regular bargain home makeovers - something M

Central Bedfordshire’s young carers team up with Bath Philharmonia for concert

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Young carers in Central Bedfordshire put on a concert for parents and council representatives after being taught to play instruments by the Bath Philharmonia during half term in June. Inspiring Music , Central Bedfordshire’s music service, along with Central Bedfordshire Council’s Early Help Team , organised the sessions with Bath Philharmonia who have ten years of experience of working with young carers across the country. Members of the Orchestra travelled to Bedfordshire during half term to teach 26 young carers to play a number of pieces of music on instruments including the drums, keyboard, guitars and violins. After attending practice sessions the young carers put on a concert at The Grove Theatre in Dunstable to show off their new skills to their parents and family members. The joint services took care to ensure the event was compliant with COVID-19 restrictions , with social distancing in place. The music service organised the sessions as a way to give the young carers ti

Mental Health Charity Benefits from Amazon's community donation

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A charity offering mental health support services to people across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes has received £1,000 from Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Dunstable. Mind BLMK is an independent local charity working within the community to provide a range of services to support and promote positive mental health and wellbeing. The donation from Amazon in Dunstable will be put towards supporting people locally and ensuring that the charity can continue to provide support to those who need Mind BLMK’s services within the community. Ruzanna Sargsyan, General Manager at Amazon in Dunstable, said, “We wanted to support Mind BLMK this donation to ensure that those living and working in Luton receive support for any issues they may face.” Hayley Mattacks, pictured above, is Fundraising and Communications Manager from Mind BLMK, added, “We are grateful to have received this donation from Amazon in Dunstable. As a local independent charity, donations such as this are vital to continue

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco sniffed out by tracker dogs

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Sniffer dogs Lily and Dixie have put their noses to good use, helping Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards Team seize illegal tobacco across several shops in the area. Following a number of undercover test purchases where a sale was made, Council Enforcement Officers then returned to each shop with a tobacco detection dog from Wagtail, who provide detection dogs for the public sector. Springer Spaniel Lily and Labrador Dixie quickly showed the team exactly where the contraband was hidden and in one shop, the dog sniffed the tobacco in a locked safe. Six premises across Central Bedfordshire were visited on Thursday 24 June 2021, five in Dunstable and one in Biggleswade and cigarettes and rolling tobacco was seized in two premises. Deputy Executive Member for Community Services, Councillor Ian Bond said: “We take the sale of illicit goods very seriously and being able to use sniffer dogs significantly increases our chances of finding and seizing illegally imported tobacco

Application for scrubland next to allotment to be turned into vulnerable adults accommodation

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Planning News Registration Date: 24 / 06 / 2021 Parish Name: Dunstable Location: Land at Quarry Walk, Dunstable, LU6 3FN Statutory Class: All Other Minor Developments Proposal: Development of specialised supported living accommodation comprising a block of two five-bedroom shared supported living apartments, and a block of ten one-bedroom self-contained supported living apartments, together with new communal open space and car parking (Use Class C3). A plot of land approximately 0.8km south-west of Dunstable Town Centre at Quarry Walk, Dunstable, could be developed for supported living accommodation if a new planning application is given permission. In the application, the land described as “approximately 0.25ha of underutilised scrubland which was formerly associated with the adjoining allotment”, “has been declared surplus to requirements by the Council, and the land has been formally de-registered as allotment land by the Secretary of State”.  The development woul

Gary Cooper Represents Dunstable in A New Notable People Map of the UK

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Take a town name, replace it with the most Wikipedia’ed resident who was born in, lived in it, or connected with it, and see what you come up with. This novel map shows Gary Cooper named for Dunstable, Tommy Robinson named for Luton, The Baron Knights are there to represent Leighton Buzzard, while Henrietta Wentworth represents Toddington. Sarah Brightman is named for Little Gaddesden. The map is based on the last four year's worth of Wikipedia search data. Created by The Pudding, the People Map of the UK replaces towns and cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with famous residents or people born or connected to that place. You can explore the UK Map here .

#DoggieDNABill MP Selous backs campaign to create a ‘Dog DNA Database’

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Andrew Selous MP is campaigning to protect dogs across South West Bedfordshire by supporting a draft law which would create a national Dog DNA register of owners’ pets.  The Bill is backed by the RSPCA, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council have also called for a dog DNA database to tackle the growing problem of dog thefts, which increased by 250% over 2020. The Bill is scheduled to be introduced by Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel & South Downs, in a high-profile slot straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 7th July.   Andrew Selous MP is campaigning to protect dogs across South West Bedfordshire by supporting a Private Members Bill in Parliament next week, which is backed by the UK’s leading animal welfare charity, the RSPCA.  Andrew Selous MP is joining a group of dog-loving Members of Parliament led by Arundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, and supported by the RSPCA, the UK’s leading animal welfare charity will introduce a Private Members Bill in Pa

Council pays out nearly £8.4m in top-up payments to local businesses

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Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) success – council pays out nearly £8.4m in top-up payments to local businesses Central Bedfordshire Council has paid close to £8.4m in Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) payments to local businesses. The top-up payments have been made to over 850 businesses who previously received an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 1, 2 or 3. To date, Central Bedfordshire has paid out over £80 million in grants in over 11,000 separate grant payments to more than 5,000 businesses since March 2020 when the pandemic began. Now that all funding has been distributed, the Council can access further business support funding from the Government in the coming months. Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Councillor David Shelvey, said: "We are delighted to have spent our full funding allocation from the Government to be able to further support local businesses. We are working on a new scheme for July that will recognise more sectors eligible to access finan