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Showing posts from February, 2022

80 Homes a Year Brought Back Into Use in Central Bedfordshire

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During this week’s Empty Homes Week (28 February to 6 March), Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are making the public aware of the steps it can take to bring empty homes back into use. In the past 10 years, 816 long term empty homes have been brought back into use – around 80 every year. A home can become empty for any number of reasons including if the owner has passed away with no next of kin, has moved away or is unable to afford renovation costs. The Council can help owners of empty homes bring their properties back into use, offering financial assistance and advice to help renovations. On some occasions, they will offer to refurbish and rent out the property on behalf of the owner using their  Let’s Ren t scheme. Where there is no possibility of bringing a property back into use through negotiation, some enforcement action may be necessary. If it takes on a home, CBC will improve the insulation of the property and install low energy lighting and modern controllable heating and ho

Council Tax for 2022-23 Confirmed

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Central Bedfordshire Council this evening proposed and agreed a 1% increase for 2022/23, following a 3% increase in 2021/22, for Adult Social Care. A  Band D  property is an average band; Band A, B, C properties pay proportionately less; Band E and above pay proportionately more. The Town and Parish Council/Meetings  Precepts for 2022/23 total £14,384,278. The increase in the average Band D Council Tax for Town and Parish Councils/Meetings is 4.03% and results in an average Band D Council Tax figure of £131.53 for 2022/23, compared to £126.44 for 2021/22 (when it increased by 2.15%). Dunstable Town Council  Band D has been set at £187.66. Houghton Regis Town Council  Band D has been set at £184.66. The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner  asked for an increase of £10.00 (Band D). The precept for 2022/23 for policing is £25,928,162, which results in a Band D Council Tax of £237.09, compared to a 2021/22 Band D Council Tax of £227.09. The Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority  ap

Confirmed: Garden Waste Collections Restarting Soon

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Garden waste collections to resume across Central Bedfordshire With the gardening season just around the corner, Central Bedfordshire Council will be restarting its garden waste collection service from  Monday 28 February , on residents’  next normal   recycling collection day . Check your bin calendar for the exact dates of collection. The council will collect either the two council-issued garden waste bags or one bin per household. A bin tag reminding residents of their garden waste collections will be attached to bins prior to the first collection. For more information about garden waste collection is on the  Council's website . It is important that residents place the right waste in their garden waste bin or bags, otherwise, collections crews may not be able to empty them.  Garden Waste Bin: Yes please: ·      Grass cuttings ·      Plants and weeds ·      Flowers ·      Prunings ·      Hedge clippings ·      Leaves and bark ·      Pot plants ·      Pond plants Garden Waste Bin

Tribute to ‘kind and gentle soul’ who died outside Dunstable pub

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The family of a man who died in Dunstable have described him as a “kind and gentle soul”. Aaron Bateman, 28, of Luton Road, Dunstable, was injured outside the Wheatsheaf pub in High Street North on Saturday (12 February). Mr Bateman was taken to hospital but died on Monday (14 February). Central Bedfordshire Council confirmed to Bedfordshire Live that the Wheatsheaf's licence was suspended on Monday and that it will remain suspended pending any appeal from the licensee; a full review hearing will be held within 28 days of 14 February.” Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit have launched a murder investigation following the incident. Today (Thursday), Mr Bateman’s family said: “We would like to thank everyone for their wonderful tributes to our lovely son and brother Aaron. “Aaron was a kind and gentle soul who lit up every room with his humour and smile. Words cannot explain how greatly he will be missed. “We would like to thank the staf

Man dies following altercation outside Dunstable pub

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Murder investigation launched following Dunstable incident Police said yesterday that a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after another man died following an incident outside a pub in Dunstable. Emergency services were called just before midnight on Saturday (12 February), to reports that a man had been injured during an altercation outside the Wheatsheaf, in High Street North.  The man in his 20s from Dunstable was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead on Monday. Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit have launched an investigation following the incident. A man in his 40s from Bedford, who was originally arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, has since been re-arrested on suspicion of murder. Detective Inspector Mark Butler, leading the investigation, said: “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this time. “We’re trying to establish the circumstances that led to this man being fatally injured and are appe

Council Tax Fraudster to Pay Back Over £16,000

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A Moggerhanger man who provided false information by claiming the property he lived in was rented out to avoid paying council tax, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years at Luton Crown Court on Friday 11 February.   He was also ordered to attend 20 RAR days (rehabilitation activity requirement). An investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council revealed a sustained and lengthy fraud starting in 2011 and lasting until 2020. Christian Fitzgerald, 58, of Park Road, Moggerhanger submitted false documentation to avoid paying £16,092 in Council Tax by claiming that the property he lived in was rented out to several fictitious tenants.  Despite being summonsed to appear at an earlier Court hearing he failed to appear. This led to him being arrested at Luton Magistrates’ Court, where he later pleaded guilty to the charge. He was bailed under the condition he remained at his property until sentencing on Friday. In addition to the suspended sentence and RAR days, he is

Wheatsheaf — Police appeal after man seriously injured

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Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was seriously injured following an incident in Dunstable Saturday evening. Emergency services were called just before midnight, to reports that a man had been injured during an altercation outside the Wheatsheaf , in High Street North.   The man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and he remains in a critical condition.   Detective Inspector Mark Butler, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “We’re appealing for anyone with information about this incident to get in touch. “We know there were a number of people both inside and outside the Wheatsheaf at the time and we would urge them to contact us to help us establish the circumstances that led to this man being injured.” A 43-year-old man was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody for questioning. Anyone with information is asked to contact police via their online reporting centre , or call 101. Please quote Operation

Toddington Services: Multi-agency operation combats human trafficking

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Dozens of lorries have been searched as part of a major operation at a service station to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. Operation Thomond saw officers from Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Surrey Police working alongside the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to proactively stop and search lorries as they entered  Toddington Services , off the M1. The focus of the pre-planned operation on Tuesday (8 February) was to search for vulnerable people who may have been trafficked into the UK for the purpose of labour exploitation and domestic servitude. Toddington Services has been identified as a location used by human traffickers to facilitate the collection of people who have been smuggled into the country into lorries. A total of 45 HGVs were stopped across the course of the day; 37 were searched with partner agencies and immigration services.  A number of civil penalties and vehicle offen

“No Pain - No Gain” — New film showcases Dunstable improvements but more roadworks ahead

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The Dunstable High Street improvement works are on the home straight and a new film shows the latest progress and other developments helping to transform the town. The work is enhancing the look and feel of the High Street and town centre. There are improvements to help the flow of traffic and, at the same time, the alterations will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross the roads. A four-way crossing is being installed at Church Street, West Street and Dunstable High Street and the traffic light timings will change. One set of coordinated signals will help unlock the traffic jams people have been stuck in. That will mean less queuing and shorter journey times in the future. Planting and pavements Rain gardens beautify the town and help protect against flooding Zebra crossings aid traffic calming Wider pavements To complete the remaining essential works, there will be some traffic delays through to April. Road users are asked to choose an alternative route during this

CBC appoints Electric vehicle charge point provider

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Central Bedfordshire Council has appointed  BP Pulse  to expand the network of electric vehicle charging points across Central Bedfordshire. The partnership will focus on the delivery of fast and rapid charge points in public and residential locations to support the transition away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles and to work towards meeting Government targets on transport decarbonisation and net-zero. The Council has an opportunity to bolster the network in Central Bedfordshire and beyond, with neighbouring authorities Bedford Borough, Luton Borough and Milton Keynes Council also partnering with BP Pulse. It is hoped the partnership will provide consistency of choice in the local area for residents and commuters. Councillor Steve Dixon, Executive Member for Sustainability and Transformation said, “We are delighted to be rolling out more charge points for both current and potential electric vehicle users in Central Bedfordshire. BP Pulse is currently the UK’s largest public charging n

Improving buses – Enhanced Partnership approved

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Plans to provide residents with improved bus services in Central Bedfordshire have reached another significant milestone.     Following the publication of its Bus Service Improvement Plan – part of the government’s new national bus strategy (Bus Back Better) – Central Bedfordshire Council has approved plans to make an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators.    A notice of intent to make an Enhanced Partnership for bus services was published in June and consultation with operators was undertaken in November to refine the details outlined in the partnership. A public consultation followed in January to seek the views of residents.    An Enhanced Partnership is a legally binding agreement between the council and bus operators which identifies ways to encourage people to use buses more for their journeys.    The Enhanced Partnership is the second part of a two-stage process. Local transport authorities were required to submit their Bus Service Improvement Plan to the Department for Trans

Council to consolidate two taxi ranks in Dunstable to provide short-stay High Street parking

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Central Bedfordshire Council will consolidate the High Street South taxi rank in Dunstable with the one on West Street to create more parking for residents. This follows an eight-week consultation, with the public and taxi drivers, where 59% of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to consolidate these two close locations into one. The consolidation will free up the current space used by the taxi rank in High Street South, to allow the provision of four new additional short-stay parking spaces with access to new electric vehicle charging points for the public. The consultation results supported the installation of electric vehicle charging points. The new taxi rank in West Street will also have rapid electric charging provision for the taxis. This will ensure taxi drivers with electric, or hybrid vehicles can charge their vehicles quickly, whilst waiting for their next customer.   As part of the redevelopment of Dunstable High Street, the Council is investi

Your Personal Safety: Bedfordshire Police launch survey during It's Not Okay week

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Bedfordshire Police is committed to being a light in the dark for women across the county as it launches a new survey encouraging women to have their say. The launch coincides with today’s (Monday) start of It’s Not Okay week, raising awareness around rape and sexual abuse, highlighting the support available and the work police are doing to target offenders. Project Firefly will also be part of Bedfordshire Police’s plans to tackle male violence against women and girls (MVAWG) and the acts of violence and abuse that disproportionately affect women, such as rape and other sexual offences. Project Firefly will aim to increase public safety and confidence, focus on prevention and pursue those responsible for perpetrating abuse, through educating licensed premises, taxi companies and takeaways, as well as running dedicated patrols. Working in partnership with Bedford Borough Council and Crimestoppers on the Home Office-funded Safer Streets initiative, officers joined staff at the Harpur

Dunstable Young Carers Animation - Up

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Created and performed by young carers in Central Bedfordshire with support from Bath Philharmonia . Organised by Inspiring Music & the Early Help Team at Central bedfordshire Council. Music lessons at school Find out how your child can get music lessons at school, get an instrument, costs and how to enrol for music lessons . Inspiring Music Centres Centres are open to people of all ages, with a wide range of opportunities to learn music and join groups . Schools and teachers Find out about local and instrumental opportunities, curriculum support for your students and CPD for teachers. Information for schools . Ensembles and holiday courses Find out about local music ensembles in your area and school holiday courses which last 3 to 5 days.

Unpaid Carers have one month left to respond to consultation

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There is only one month left for unpaid carers, and those who receive care, to have their say on Central Bedfordshire Council’s Adult Carers Strategy consultation. The Strategy covers the Council’s approach over the next five years, outlining support for unpaid carers living in Central Bedfordshire.  An unpaid carer is someone who looks after a family member, neighbour, partner or friend who needs help. This care and could be for a few hours a day, a few days a week or around the clock. Many caring responsibilities arise unexpectedly, without any training, knowledge, or preparation.  Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) new Adult Carers Strategy contains four priorities the Council hopes to put in place over the next five years to ensure unpaid carers: are offered more appropriate information, advice and support, and are given opportunities to share their views and to help to shape local services have the opportunity to have a family and community life that includes things of interest

Applications open for COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund

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Applications are open for rate-paying businesses in Central Bedfordshire to benefit from the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund scheme. The government has allocated Central Bedfordshire Council approximately £5.3 million to provide business rates relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19 and who are not eligible for other existing relief schemes such as the Extended Retail Discount, Nursery Discount and Small Business Rate Relief. Applications are open for four weeks until Monday 28 February 2022. To be eligible, a business must: Not be eligible (or would have been eligible) for any rate relief scheme from the government or the council (i.e. Expanded Retail Discount, Nursery Discount and Small Business Rate Relief). Have been adversely impacted by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact. Eligible businesses will receive a 30 per cent rate relief off their 2021/22 bill. The maximum amount of funding for rate relief that can be awarded to a business is £25,

New Domestic Abuse Strategy from Central Beds Council

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Following a public consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council has launched its new Domestic Abuse Strategy for 2022 – 2025.  The Council’s Vision is for Central Bedfordshire to be a great place to live and work, in which children, young people, women and men can live free of fear, violence and abuse. The strategy outlines the Council’s five strategic aims to help achieve that vision and focuses on the importance of working with partners to prevent domestic abuse and provide support for victims. The Strategy also details how the Council will provide Safe Accommodation as outlined in the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This means the Council will ensure all victims are supported to remain safe in their own home if they wish to and it is safe to do so, or to help them access alternative accommodation and support. Cllr Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said: “We are really pleased to launch our new strategy, as breaking the cycle of domestic abuse continues