Showing posts from October, 2021

Discussion on Car Parking Charges in CBC Car Parks and Residential Parking Schemes

Car Parking Charges in CBC Car Parks There is a very interesting debate to be heard on CBC's webcasting website on the topic of car parking charges owned by Central Bedfordshire Council.  Local CBC councillors from Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard were among those who were not so favourable of the proposed increases. Speakers successively challenged why CBC needed to raise £300,000 from parking fees, and the wisdom of bringing in increased charges, now while businesses were trying to recover from a pandemic. Even the suggestion of moving control of car parks over to town councils, imparticular Dunstable Town Council, and Leighton Buzzard Council was suggested as a way forward. Or perhaps the first half-hour should be free? suggested one councillor. The debate took place over 2 hours today. If you haven't got all that time available, I would suggest listening to Cllr Nigel Young's attempt to summarise at about 1:29:00 into it. Here's the link:  https...webcast...  to t

Crime Literary Festival Coming to Dunstable Library

A Crime Literary Festival has been devised by Central Bedfordshire Libraries and dates are set for associated events at Dunstable. The Festival includes competitions, quizzes, reading challenges and author events all linked to crime capers and suspense stories. There will be reading challenges for adults in libraries with lots of opportunities to win goodies, meet popular crime authors and get books signed. So, whether you enjoy a good psychological thriller, a classic whodunit or you are keen to try something new, there will be plenty of things of interest. Author event programme: ·      Amanda Brittany – Friday 5 November 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Shefford ·      Gytha Lodge and Rachael Lodge – Monday 8 November 7pm, The Rufus Centre, Flitwick ·      Adam Croft – Tuesday 9 November 7pm, Methodist Church Hall, Ampthill ·      AB Morgan – Wednesday 10 November 7pm, Orchard Community Centre, Biggleswade ·      Rowan Coleman - Thursday 11 Nov 7pm at the Greenacre Centre, Stotfol

Solar Panelled Car Park for CBC's Highways Depot at Thorn Turn

Central Bedfordshire Council has installed solar panels directly onto the road surface of its Thorn Turn highways depot car park. The energy from these solar panels will be used to light, heat and power the depot. The solar panels, which have been laid in partnership with infrastructure contractor Colas Ltd, can generate up to 17,400kW of electricity an hour. This would provide enough energy for around five houses a year. Vehicles will still be able to drive directly on the panels, in the same way as a regular road surface, with the panels generating power through the sunlight at the same time. The panels will reduce CO2 emissions, helping the council to reduce its carbon footprint and support the council’s aim for the depot to be run completely on renewable energy. It’s one example of how the council is working towards becoming net-zero by 2030 as detailed in the Sustainability Plan. This is the third ADEPT Live Labs trial, where the council is piloting three renewable energy projects

Are You Having an Affair in Dunstable?

According to website  Illicit Encounters  there are 486 affairs going on in Dunstable. This compares with 436 having an affair in the town in 2020. The website says, “The Infidelity Index uses data from over one million postcodes to show how many people are having affairs in each area. The results are based solely on the data from and are therefore only a reflection. As the overall data is only 3% of the total adult population having relationships... well, you can do the maths.” The website goes on to add, “We have been providing a meeting place for like-minded married and attached people for over 13 years. Our members have one thing in common - they are all looking for a little romance outside their current relationship. Whether that's the occasional bit of flirtatious chat, a regular coffee date, or a full-blown affair, that's up to them.” The site carries a  Town Index , where Dunstable is listed 149th with 486 affairs. If Houghton Regis was in this

CBC To Suspend Housing Register

Central Bedfordshire Council are to suspend their current Housing Register process. Anyone with outstanding documents is asked to submit them 7 November. The Council is introducing a new system which it says will make the application process easier, and to do that they need to suspend their current system between 8 - 22 November. Apply for Housing

Local Academy Benefits from Local Company Help With Literacy

A Dunstable school has received a £1,000 donation from the Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunstable as part of Amazon’s global campaign to address growing education inequalities as a result of COVID-19. St. Augustine’s Academy received the donation as part of Amazon Reads , Amazon’s global effort to support primary school children (aged 5 – 11) with better access to basic education, especially focused on literacy. By April 2020, school closures due to lockdowns during the pandemic had affected almost 1.6 billion children and young people across the world, highlighting the ever-growing education gap facing children in poverty. The Amazon Reads programme aims to raise greater awareness of these issues, while also raising funds to support literacy charities in the UK and beyond. . Ruzanna Sarsgyan, General Manager of Amazon in Dunstable, said, “At Amazon, we are committed to supporting the educational needs of children and hope that Amazon Reads will provide a helpful resource to yo

Heroin, weapons and cash seized in county-wide drugs gangs operation

Huge quantities of class A drugs, weapons and cash have been seized across the county in an operation targeting the supply and distribution of drugs. Nine people aged between 17 and 60 were arrested in Bedford and Luton during a week-long national crackdown on those involved in county lines - when urban drug dealers, move into suburban areas and use a dedicated mobile phone number or deal line to run their criminal operation. At one house in Luton, more than five kilogrammes of heroin , with a street valued at £500,000  was found, and at a separate address, investigators located more than £15,000 in cash . Earlier in the week, during a warrant at a house in Bedford, officers seized a firearm – found in a washing machine – a sword, cash and class A drugs, and arrested a 60-year-old man. Arrest offences during the operation included conspiracy to sell drugs, possession of weapons, possession with intent to supply drugs, and money laundering. Other items seized included crack

Park home site owner fined over £20k for operating with unsafe electrics

The owner of a park home site in Caddington has been fined over £20,000 after an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Private Sector Housing Team. Mayphil Park Sales Limited, based at Cambridge Business Park, appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court on Friday (15 October). The business pleaded guilty to not complying with a Compliance Notice to correct electrical faults on the site. Officers from the council’s Private Sector Housing Team discovered that the site was operating with faulty electrics after residents reported electrical issues in 2020. After a full inspection of the site and its services, 20 potentially dangerous electrical hazards were found. The Council served the business with a Compliance Notice, that required them to carry our work to rectify the hazards. The work was not completed by the required date which left residents on the site at significant risk. After pleading guilty to the offence under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, Mayph

Free books to entice new young musicians

Schools across Central Bedfordshire are to get free books by renowned musician, speaker and author Nate Holder to inspire their students to play and make music, no matter who they are and where they are from. Gifted to schools by  Inspiring Music , the Central Bedfordshire music service, the books are written by the acclaimed Professor  Nate Holder , International Chair of Music Education at the Royal Northern College of Music. Inspiring Music has worked closely with Professor Holder to develop an inclusive musical delivery initiative in schools. By sharing these books, Inspiring Music hopes to help children, teachers and the wider community discover that there are lots of different ways to engage with music - and that ultimately it is for everyone.  Inspiring Music has produced a short film to be shown to students and staff to raise awareness and help encourage the books to be accessed by all.  The books explore the influences of diverse musicians on the history of music and highlight

Money for Trees

Central Bedfordshire Council has secured £300,000 in funding over the next four years for tree planting from the Forestry Commission as part of their Treescapes Fund and our CBC Executive has agreed to match fund this with a further £300,000. The funding will enable CBC to plant trees this year, with 3 years of maintenance thereafter and is aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as riverbanks and footpaths across the following areas: Dunstable, Leighton Linslade, Sandy, Biggleswade, Barton-le-Clay   If you are interested in future tree planting information and events, please email:

Two Dunstable men jailed for ‘truly horrifying’ attack and false imprisonment

Two men have been jailed for 13 years each, for subjecting a man to a ‘truly horrifying ordeal’ in which they falsely imprisoned a man and forced him to jump from a block of flats. Trevor Housden, 47, from Mountview Avenue, Dunstable, and Daniel Brown, 44, of Broadwalk, Dunstable, were both jailed for 13 years at Luton Crown Court today (Friday) after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and false imprisonment. On 25 October 2020, police officers were carrying out a routine patrol in Dunstable where they discovered a man on the floor in The Quadrant with serious injuries. He was taken to hospital with life-changing injuries and an investigation was launched. The victim explained how he had visited the flat of Brown and Housden where he was then held against his will. The two offenders tied him to the chair and subjected him to a sustained violent attack, hitting him with a bat several times over a period of hours. They then took him to the balcony of the fl

Is Your Neighbour or Community the Best? Nominate them now!

THE SEARCH TO FIND THE UK’S BEST NEIGHBOURS CONTINUES! With just under two weeks left to nominate, people across the UK are invited to participate in Neighbourhood Watch Network's annual hunt for the UK’s  NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR AWARD  – a nationwide search undertaken in partnership with their friends at Co-op Insurance.  Now in its fourth year running, a new category has been introduced:  COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR . This Award will celebrate the nation’s most outstanding community and the lengths they’ve gone to support others and make a difference. The ‘community’ can either be in person or virtual, such as over Teams, Facebook or WhatsApp. To nominate your NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR, YOUNG NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR (for people aged 21 years and under) or COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR, and to find out more about these incredibly special awards, visit . John Hayward-Cripps, CEO at Neighbourhood Watch Network, said, “If you have always thought you have good neighbours, why not nomin

Local Parks Gain Green Flag Awards

Open spaces owned by Central Bedfordshire Council and Dunstable Town Council have today been recognised as some of the best community-run green spaces in the country in the UK’s National Green Flag Awards 2021.   In Dunstable, parks operated by Dunstable Town Council have won Green Flag awards:  Grove House Gardens ,  Dunstable Cemetery , Priory Gardens (also a Green Heritage Site). Central Bedfordshire Council has secured a full  Green Flag Award  for  Houghton Hall Park  and  Rushmere Country Park . Central Bedfordshire Council’s other four parks and green spaces that received the prestigious Green Flag Community Award this year are  Linslade Wood ;  Tiddenfoot Waterside Park ; and  Flitton Moor . Meanwhile,  Studham Common  received its Green Flag award for the fourteenth year running.   Councillor Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing and Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, said, “It’s amazing news that six of our public spaces have been nationally r

Beds Police and Crime Commissioner announces Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition

As part of his election campaign, the Commissioner pledged to run an annual school debating competition for children aged 15-18.  Schools across Bedfordshire have been contacted to take part in the event. Mr Akinbusoye said, “I am delighted that we are proceeding with this event for pupils and we very much welcome all schools to participate.  The debates provide a good opportunity for young people to develop their confidence, public speaking skills and also broaden their knowledge of social issues.  It’s going to be a fun experience for all involved”. The competition is non-party political and the pupils will be required to illustrate views they do not necessarily hold, for the sake of debate.  Marks will be awarded for debating skills, debating style and substance of the argument.  The finalists will receive certificates, with the winning school receiving a £500 donation and the speakers receiving a £50 Amazon voucher each. The dates for each round are as follows: First Round:  Da

Beds PCC hosts ‘spectacular’ Annual Parish Council Conference

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, hosted the Annual Parish Council Conference online this week alongside senior team members from Bedfordshire Police. The Annual Parish Council Conference gives the PCC and Bedfordshire Police the opportunity to thank the Councillors for the invaluable work they do to support Community Policing. The Commissioner was joined by Ward, Town and Parish Councillors from all areas of Bedfordshire along with: Chief Exec for the Office of The Police and Crime Commissioner, Clare Kelly Deputy Chief Constable, Trevor Rodenhurst Chief Superintendent, John Murphy (also Head of Community Policing) Chief Inspector, Mo Aziz Inspector Cray Birch Inspector Sam Hunt Chief Inspector Lee Haines Updates were shared and questions were answered about their respective areas of the county. Councillor Francis Pilbeam said, “Thank you for the really informative PCC Annual Parish Conference – it highlighted spectacular examples of just what good collaborativ

Dunstable man jailed for 18 years for multiple counts of rape of a child

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been jailed after he was convicted of multiple counts of rape against a child in Milton Keynes, reports Thames Valley Police. Nikki Anton Pike, aged 28, of Norman Way, Dunstable, was found guilty of eight counts of rape and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial lasting seven days at Amersham Crown Court that concluded on 28 June 2021. Appearing at Birmingham Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday (5/10), Pike was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order. Pike was employed as a rock climbing instructor in Milton Keynes, and during his period of employment, he met his young victim, who attended his training sessions, and over number of years, he groomed his victim and a parent. He made indecent images of his victim and persuaded her to go with him in his car,

Mental Health Campaign Goes Further Thanks To Amazon

A charity raising awareness about young people’s mental health has been recognised by a £1,000 donation from Amazon in Dunstable. Sports Traider  offers young people employment and opportunities in sport. The charity’s ‘Jump4Health’ campaign was launched online earlier in the year to help tackle the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health by promoting skipping as a way of controlling anxiety. Jump4Health  uses  skipping  to show how  exercise  can be used as  an outlet for stress , and encourages young people and adults to take part in the challenge by sharing their skipping videos online. Amazon’s donation will be used to purchase 333 skipping ropes to boost the campaign further. Ruzanna Sargsyan, General Manager at Amazon in Dunstable, said: “Jump4Health is a fun campaign using skipping to spread the word about the importance of exercise for young people’s mental and physical health. We are excited to see how our donation is used to keep the campaign’s momentum going

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