Caddington

Caddington ward covers the six parishes of Hyde, Slip End, Caddington, Kensworth, Whipsnade & Studham
Individual parish council websites (where available) can be reached by clicking on the names aboves.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Emergency closure of Dovehouse Lane, Kensworth

A contractor operating on behalf of National Grid Gas has requested a temporary road closure between Monday 26 October and Thursday 29 October, effective 24 hours per day.  This is to enable a gas service repair to be carried out in safety.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

September crime statistics

Figures courtesy of Bedfordshire Police

Only three of the six parishes received so far; others will be added when available.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

August crime figures

Courtesy of Beds Police

It is good to see that burglary figures are much reduced compared to some of the statistics that have been seen in recent times.

The Caddington figures are noticeably the highest for the ward during August.  Notwithstanding that it is by far and away the most populated of the six parishes, the underlying trend behind these crime figures indicated behaviour that we are not used to seeing so often in the rural villages.  A member of staff pushed by someone in the act of stealing from a store (giving two recorded crimes from a single incident), an unpaid taxi fare and windows smashed (although entry not gained) on vehicles, at a school and also at a private dwelling.  Someone being verbally abused when they challenged nuisance bikers and someone else found to be in possession of a lock-knife when arrested for an unrelated incident.  Add in seven recorded instances of anti-social behaviour and it is pretty unpleasant reading overall!  The majority of incidents were, in isolation, fairly low level crimes when compared to the profile for nearby large urban areas but I do hope that the overall picture is an unfortunate blip rather than a true indicator of what can be expected in Caddington.

It is also worth noting that, once again, vehicle crime recorded in the ward usually refers to thefts of bags, coats or other valuables from parked vehicles.  Leave nothing worth taking on display!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Upcoming diary dates

A couple of popular local events are returning on Saturday 12th September; let's hope the weather is kind!


Firstly, the Red Lion in Studham is hosting their live music event through the afternoon and into the evening in aid of CLIC Sargent.  The extract above is from a recent edition of the Luton On Sunday and the pub's website gives further details here.

Alternatively (or you could visit both!), Caddington Village Show is now a firmly fixed annual event at the Heathfield site in Caddington; further details here.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Luton Town FC acquire land at J10a

The front page story from today's Luton On Sunday:

Luton On Sunday, 30 August 2015
This announcement doesn't really reveal anything that wasn't known already.  Luton Borough Council have previously identified the land as suitable for a stadium; that's helpful in a planning application but not a guarantee that the landowners wish to do that with the site.  It is worthwhile noting Gary Sweet's comment "it could also serve as a valuable asset to help deliver a stadium elsewhere or nearby".

No doubt this will provoke a lot of debate, for and against, as the wider picture emerges.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Overnight closures, Dunstable Road Studham/Whipsnade

In order for works to be carried out on the BT overhead cables, closures are expected for five nights between 1st and 7th September 2015 on the section of Dunstable Road running from the roundabout on the B4540 down towards Studham.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Successful prosecution after Woodside fly-tip

Back in June 2014, I was returning home after a meeting in Slip End when I witnessed a white van to the side of the road at a notorious fly-tipping spot in Woodside.  The driver and his companion made a swift getaway when they saw me approaching but I was able to capture the vehicle registration number and witness that the pile of rubbish on the roadside had come out of the van.  I wrote out a brief statement as soon as I got home, which was copied to the Police and Central Beds Enviromental Team.

The van traced back to a gentleman at an address in Luton who, unsurprisingly, denied any responsibility.  The legal process dragged on but the offender was back in court yesterday and entered a guilty plea under certain sections of the Enviromental Protection Act 1990.  Whilst it can not be proved that he was driving the van, he has accepted that he was in a position to control the use of the vehicle at the time of the offence.

He was sentenced to a fine of £1,000 plus victim surcharge of £100 and Central Bedfordshire Council's costs of £1,800.  Therefore he has incurred a total liability of £2,900 for allowing waste to be dumped in the countryside.

A copy of Central Bedfordshire Council's press release is available here and the press release about another recent successful prosecution is available here.

Friday, 24 July 2015

East-West rail link

There is some slightly ambiguous language around this being a press release not approved for publication but already reproduced in certain publications.  As it was sent to me unrestricted, I am happy to reproduce as follows:

East West Rail Central Section Study identifies Bedford to Cambridge via Sandy or Hitchin as most viable corridors

Network Rail is leading early development work for an East West Railway as part of its Long Term Planning Process for identifying future investment options. It has identified two potential corridors for the proposed ‘Central Section’ of East West Rail between Bedford and Cambridge, via Hitchin or Sandy for further consideration. 

The study shows that corridors connecting Bedford and Cambridge via Sandy or Hitchin offer the best value for money at this stage of development. Network Rail will evaluate these corridors further in order to identify a single preferred corridor initially and then give consideration to routes within that corridor.

This follows initial work by the East West Rail Consortium that showed that improved rail services in the Eastern region could deliver significant economic benefits sufficient to justify further investment.

The aim is to identify a preferred route and develop the study for the Central Section for consideration for inclusion in the Initial Industry Plan due for publication in Sept 2016 as a choice for investment in the rail industry’s future control periods.

This study included initial appraisal of seven corridors, all of which offer different levels of benefit. Differences in capital and operating costs, however, have a significant impact on the value for money that each corridor offers, taking into consideration the impact of longer journey times on rolling stock leasing, fuel, track access changes and train crew requirements.

Further investigations into feasibility from a railway civil engineering perspective will be carried out once a single preferred corridor has been identified.

Gambling Policy review

Part of Central Bedfordshire's statutory function is their role as the local Licensing Authority.  The most obvious licensing issues are around alcohol and taxis but the requirement to be officially licensed also spills into areas such as sex shops or gambling.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires Licensing Authorities to review their gambling policy every three years; the Central Bedfordshire policy is due for renewal in January 2016.  A consultation is currently open on this; there are some minor policy changes recommended to reflect current legislation.

If this is is of interest to you, follow this link for further details.  Comments can be submitted up until Friday 09 October 2015.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for public feedback on a planning charge that will play a major part in shaping the future sustainable growth of the area and support the delivery of new homes and jobs.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule underpins the provision of local infrastructure, setting the rates that will be charged to developers to ensure they contribute towards the costs of providing, improving or maintaining roads, homes and services on most new residential and some retail and commercial developments.

A six-week consultation will run between 13 July and 24 August, where the public will be asked for its views on whether the proposed rates are appropriate. During this time, background information and a questionnaire will be accessible on the council website and copies of the supporting documents will be available to view at council offices and local libraries.

Comments made will be analyzed and considered by council officers and then sent to the Secretary of State to be considered alongside the Draft Charging Schedule and supporting documents, prior to a public examination later this year. If the rates are considered ‘sound’, the council would be asked to adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy in early 2016.

Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Nigel Young, said: “The income from the Community Infrastructure Levy is important as it will support our ambitious plans for sustainable quality growth and the necessary investment in major infrastructure.

“It is pivotal to our ambitions to make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work. It’s also about being responsive to community needs and making sure that existing and future communities benefit from developers investing locally in roads and transport, schools, leisure and open spaces.

“We want high quality development so that Central Bedfordshire can grow, thrive and so that new homes and jobs will benefit our local economy – but growth has to be sustainable with infrastructure to accompany it and it is CIL that will fund this. That’s why it is important for local people to have their say and why we want to make sure that everyone – from residents to businesses and potential investors – has a chance to give us their views.”

Thursday, 2 July 2015

June crime figures for the ward

Figures courtesy of Bedfordshire Police

Domestic burglary is down (only a single instance across all six parishes) compared to the trends seen over the last couple of years, although theft from motor vehicles and/or interfering with motor vehicles is significantly up.

Shoplifting from the Co-Op in Caddington appears to be a recurrent theme over recent months, and there is one other geographical area which is becoming a hotspot for petty criminal behaviour in its own right - further discussions will be had on this topic.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Fly tipping prosecution

Sadly, it is rare that there is sufficient evidence to attempt legal action against fly-tippers but Central Bedfordshire council do actively pursue prosecution when there is a chance to build a case.

Mr Danny O'Sullivan (aged 32, from Houghton Regis) and Mr Thomas Richmond (aged 28, from Dunstable) appeared in Luton Magistrates Court this week in relation to a fly-tip in Beech Road, Kensworth on 19-Jan-14 and a second incident in Hockliffe on 09-Nov-14.  Note the time between the two offences; they had already been interviewed concerning the first offence when they committed the second and so clearly had no qualms about their actions.

The waste in the first tipping offence originated from renovation works at a flat in Luton.  Messrs O'Sullivan and Richmond collected a fee of £100 for disposal of the rubbish before dumping it in the Bedfordshire countryside to be cleared at taxpayers' expense.

In connection with the second offence, the defendants disputed that they had tipped the tree branches in question but then admitted that they were there to fly-tip a different load before finding the branches in their way!  Thankfully they were challenged by two eye-witnesses at the site.

Mr O'Sullivan was fined £1,000 plus victim surcharge, contribution towards compensation and full prosecution costs, Mr Richmond was fined £730 plus all the other items.

L&D Public Consultation

Invitation courtesy of Barton Willmore Planning

Invitation courtesy of Barton Willmore Planning

Friday, 12 June 2015

Emergency closure of West Street in Dunstable this weekend

I have received a message from the Network Coordinator for CBC Highways advising that Affinity Water have traced a leak in West Street (Dunstable) and need to dig right accross the road to perform an emergency repair.  Therefore West Street is being CLOSED by emergency order effective tomorrow morning in an attempt to get everything fixed before Monday.

This is obviously a key route through the centre of Dunstable and the advice is to avoid the town centre unless absolutely necessary.

CBC Highways statistics for May


The "potholes repaired" statistic does not includes work done by the velocity patcher, so the true number of holes filled in will be higher.

Roadworks bulletin: Kensworth

BT are scheduled to carry out cabling works which will necessitate traffic control (two-way signals) on Lynch Hill between the junction with the A5 and the junction with Clayhall Road; these works are timetabled to take place between 22 June and 03 July.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Working with children: recruitment & training event

From a Central Bedfordshire press release:

Anyone looking for a career in childcare is invited to a recruitment and training event next week where information and advice about working with children will be available.

It is being organised by the Central Bedfordshire Academy of Social Work and Early Intervention (The Academy), a partnership between the council and the University of Bedfordshire which offers learning and development opportunities to anyone already in the childcare workforce in Central Bedfordshire or looking to join it.


This includes anyone looking to gain qualifications to work as a children’s social worker or in a childcare setting, people seeking apprenticeships or even basic skills to help them in their job search, which will be on offer from the Adult Community Learning team.


The drop-in event is being held in the council chamber at Priory House, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TQ, from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 18 June.


Refreshments will be available and while qualifications are aimed at those aged 16 and over, all ages are welcome. There will be activities for any children who attend too.


The Fostering and Adoption team will also be at the drop-in event offering advice to anyone looking to foster in Central Bedfordshire.


There is a particular need for people to foster older children and teenagers, sibling groups and for foster carers from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.


Councillor Amanda Dodwell, Deputy Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, said: “The Academy has been a great success since it was set up last year, and through various innovative events and recruitment campaigns, has helped to reduce children’s social worker vacancies at the council by 20 per cent.


“It also plays a vital role helping people to acquire qualifications to work in other childcare settings, such as schools and nurseries and has helped around a thousand people since it was set up.


“So if you are already working in childcare, unsure what to do once you get your exam results or looking for a change of career, I’d advise you to go along.”For more information visit www.centralbedfordshirechildrenstrust.org.uk, email academy@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8131.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Open Church Sunday 21 June 2015

Around 130 churches across Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire will be opening their doors to the public on Sunday 21 June for Open Church Sunday.

Participating churches within this ward include:
  • St Mary Magdalene, Whipsnade   [12 noon until 4PM, post code LU6 2LL]
  • St Mary the Virgin, Studham  [10AM until 5PM, post code LU6 2NW]
  • St Mary the Virgin, Church End, Kensworth  [10AM until 4PM, post code LU6 3RA]
All three churches are historical buildings with a long history within their respective communities.  It is expected that light refreshments will be available at each church and Kensworth is also offering a small exhibition of local history photographs.

Classic car events next weekend

A couple of recurring events in the local calendar are rolling around again next weekend and, weather permitting, are worth a visit if you haven't been before.

Luton On Sunday 07-Jun-15
The first is the opening to the public of Vauxhall's Heritage Centre in Park Street.  A permanent collection of vehicles spanning Vauxhall's 100+ years in Luton, once a year the doors are opened for all to come and see and it's free!  Whether it's one of the first cars you ever owned yourself, or memories of your Dad's car that you used to sit in the back of, chances are there will be something there that makes you feel nostalgic.

Luton On Sunday 07-Jun-15
On a similar theme, the Chiltern Vehicle Preservation Group return again to Stockwood Park.  The vehicles range in original manufacturing date from 1904 to 1999 and range across rare and exotic sports cars to lovingly preserved examples of "everyday" vehicles from across the decades.  Alongside the cars, there is usually also buses, fire engines and just about every type of road vehicle.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Crime report summary, May 2015

Collated from Bedfordshire Police summaries by parish

Roadworks bulletin: Slip End

A few items are scheduled for Slip End this coming month:
  • Church Road between 1st & 3rd June - pothole repairs, expect temporary 2 way signals
  • Ross Way between 3rd & 5th June - Stop/Go boards in the area of the school for lining, signs & posts
  • Markyate Road between 4th & 10th - multi-way signals whilst BT carry out works
  • Crawley Close between 25th & 26th - roadway resuracing

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Events on Studham Common

It was enjoyable to attend the Mayfair on Studham Common a couple of weekends ago; the turnout was impressive and I hope that everyone enjoyed the afternoon.


For anyone living in the area, the village picnic is scheduled for 21 June - further information available from the Friends of Studham Common.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Road resurfacing programme for 2015/2016



You can access the CBC factsheet on resurfacing here.

Cheering volunteering awards

Further to my previous blog posting, please see below a note from the CBC Partnerships & Community Engagement team:
Central Bedfordshire Together is hosting the first Cheering Volunteering celebration awards event on Tuesday 2 June 2015 at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable from 6.30pm – 9.00pm.
Cheering Volunteering

There has been a fantastic response of over 50 entries to the call for nominations, and the event is set to be a brilliant way to say “thank you” to all those in Central Bedfordshire who regularly and freely give their time to help others. Residents are encouraged to book their free tickets so that they can come along and join in the celebrations.

To book your free event ticket, please visit the The Grove Box Office website or call the team on 01582 60 20 80 (option 7). You can also visit The Grove Box Office in person and pick up your free tickets there. A ticket is required for all attending the event.

Please ensure you indicate at the time of booking whether you have any access or dietary requirements that we should be aware of.

Advance warning of road closure, West Hyde

Bridge strengthening works are scheduled for West Hyde Road in Hyde, which will necessitate temporary road closures and a diversion whilst the works are carried out.

The closure is expected to take place Monday 29th June to Friday 07th August, between 08:30 to 16:00 Monday to Friday.  The exact closure site and suggested diversion are shown on the map below.

Temporary closure & diversion, Hyde, July 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

CBC AGM 21 May 2015

I am sure that you all noticed; those of you living in Central Bedfordshire elected new Councillors as well as casting your vote in the parliamentary election on 07 May.

The new Central Bedfordshire Council is (notionally) in place for the next four years; certain elements of the Council's function are renewed on an annual basis and this will formally happen at the Annual General Meeting tomorrow night.

The majority party have appointed a leader and he has approached a cabinet of portfolio holders and deputies; they will take on the task of guiding the Council's policies and priorities over the next four years and the list of office holders is being put forward for approval tomorrow night. 

In addition to the cabinet, there are a number of overview & scrutiny committees whose function is to analyse and, where appropriate, challenge and amend policy recommendations.  These committees comprise members from all political parties (proportionally) and, again, membership will be confirmed tomorrow night.

Also to be confirmed is an official leader of the opposition.  A voice to challenge the incumbent leadership is a sensible part of the democratic process; a voice to be awkward for the sake of it is just an abuse of process.  Given that the previous holder of this post lost his seat (and, due to his aggressive and confrontational manner, will not be missed) it is definite that somebody new will be appointed to this position.  The likely candidate is a much more attractive proposition than his predecessor and I look forward to seeing and hearing him in the chamber for the next four years.

For those of you unable to contain your excitement, the meeting at Chicksands is open to the public and will also be webcast.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

CBC Elections 2015: playing with numbers

First and most importantly, many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to take part in the democratic process and cast their vote (whichever way it was given!).  Secondly, special thanks to those who assisted the campaign for myself and Richard locally, helping with the canvass, displaying posters or delivering leaflets.

I would also like to express my personal thanks for the generally warm reception on the doorsteps.  Some people really didn't want to talk politics - which is fine, we get that some people are disinterested and others prefer to remain private in their beliefs - but those that did want to talk (supportive or otherwise) were generally polite and civil.  That has not always been the case.

Finally, an acknowledgement to everyone who contributed to the administrative function of running an election.  Ranging from those that manned polling stations to those that helped with the count (and I saw some senior CBC officers with their sleeves rolled up - literally), after so many weeks focussed on getting out the vote and promoting your own message it was a stark reminder that none of this happens without practical support.  I am aware that these people were paid for their efforts and it is fair to say that lessons have been learned from the count around issues that could be dealt with better next time, but that does not detract from the underlying message that the election would not have functioned at all without the efforts of a significant number of people.

Full details of vote numbers for all CBC wards are available on the CBC website; I have posted below some of the output from internal summaries of the results.

Share of votes cast, Caddington ward
Share of the votes cast, Central Bedfordshire      



One interesting set of statistics was around voter turnout.  Adjusted for rejected votes, this ranged from 75.5% down to 52.4% for 29 of the 31 wards; Northill was exceptional at 35.4% and Heath & Reach has no data being uncontested.
click to enlarge
turnout based on valid votes

The backdrop to this is an overwhelming Conservative dominance; we entered this election with a significant majority and managed to increase it.

What I do find interesting is that the three independent candidates who successfully won their respective contests (in each case holding onto a seat they already occupied) rank amongst the top five in terms of turnout; it suggests that their personal message to the voters encouraged people who, perhaps, might otherwise have stayed at home to vote in support of them.   Contrast this with the relatively poor turnout in Dunstable Northfields where two Independents, including the previous group leader, lost their seats.

It is also curious that, if you ignore Northill as a statistical oddity, the three successful candidates on a non Conservative and non Independent ticket won in the least engaged wards.

Friday, 1 May 2015

CBC Highways statistics for April

 There was a drop in the number of potholes reported in April and in total, 547 potholes were repaired.


You can report defects (potholes, faulty lighting etc) to Central Bedfordshire using the online facility here.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Compost awareness week

As if the election were not enough excitement for us all, I am informed that we also have national Compost Awareness Week coming up from May 04 to May 10.

Through the council, Central Bedfordshire residents can buy home compost bins at a subsidised price of £13 for a 220-litre bin or £15 for a 330-litre bin.  For more information about compost bins, including a buy one, get one half price offer, call 0844 571 4444 and quote reference CBC10L. 

Alternatively order your home compost bin and accessories at www.cbc.getcomposting.com

Caddington footpaths nos. 6 & 7 - temporary closure

The text below is copied from a made order notice which will be published in the Luton Herald and Post by Central Bedfordshire Council, in connection with the temporary closure of the above footpaths to enable works in association with planning application CB/14/04663/MWNM to take place.



ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 - SECTION 14(1)
CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL
(CADDINGTON: PART OF FOOTPATH NOS 6 AND 7)
(TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF THROUGH TRAFFIC) ORDER 2015


Notice is hereby given that Central Bedfordshire Council have made an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any person proceeding on foot along the length of Footpath No 6, Caddington which extends from Ordnance Survey Grid Reference (OS GR) TL 0530 2104 (Map point A) in a generally southerly direction to OS GR TL 0533 2083 (Map point B) and Footpath No 7, Caddington which extends from OS GR TL 0521 2106 (Map point C) in a south easterly direction to OS GR TL 0533 2083 (Map point B).

These temporary closures are required to enable works in association with planning application CB/14/04663/MWNM to take place. The closure is expected to continue from 5 May 2015 for six months.

The alternative routes for Footpaths users while the closure is in operation will be:

From OS GR TL 0530 2104 (map point A) proceed in a generally westerly direction along Footpath No 7, Caddington for approx. 160 metres to OS GR TL 0514 2107 (map point D). Then continue in a southerly direction along a permissive path alongside a hedge for approx. 235 metres to OS GR TL 0514 2084 (map point E), then in an easterly direction along the permissive path for approx. 195 metres to OS GR TL 0533 2083 (map point B) and vice versa.

Further details, including a map, can also be found on the Council’s website by clicking here.


The Order will come into operation on 5 May 2015 for a period not exceeding six months or until the works which it is proposed to carry out on or near to the footpaths have been completed, whichever is the earlier. If the works are not completed within six months the Order may be extended for a longer period with the consent of the Secretary of State for Transport.


For further information please contact Michelle Flynn, Tel: 0300 3006072, michelle.flynn@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


DATED 30 April 2015


Priory House, Monks Walk
Chicksands, Shefford                                                  DAVID LEVERINGTON

Beds SG17 5TQ                                                          Rights of Way Team Leader

Friday, 27 March 2015

Cheering Volunteering

There are so many volunteer groups carrying out excellent work across Central Bedfordshire.

Please follow this link for details on a special awards event due to take place on 02 June 2015, how you can nominate an individual or a group who you feel deserve recognition and how you can secure a free ticket to the event.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The importance of chipping your dog

In October last year, I became aware of a Leighton Buzzard family who were desperate to find their missing pet, a whippet called Jasper.

Now, nearly six months later, I am delighted to note that there has been a surprise happy ending to this story.  The following text is reproduced from the facebook page of the Heath Veterinary Clinic in Hurstpierpoint (some distance from Leighton Buzzard!):

"Jasper is a Whippet who was brought into our Hurstpierpoint Clinic on Thursday 12th March after he had been found wandering nearby by a member of the public.

Rhian, one of our vets, checked him over and scanned him for a microchip and it was discovered that he was registered to an address in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire and had been reported missing/stolen in September 2014. In the meantime Jasper had been sold to a woman who had looked after him for the last 3 months."
For those of you that use facebook, there is a page about Jasper here, including a video of the happy dog being reunited with his owners.

My reason for posting - apart from it generally being a nice story - is to reinforce the importance of having your cats and dogs microchipped.  Jasper's microchip is the reason he was able to be reunited with his rightful owners.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Public exhibition for A5-M1 Link and Woodside Link

A public exhibition informing residents of the type of work that will take place during the construction of the Highways Agency’s A5-M1 Link and Central Bedfordshire Council’s connecting Woodside Link is being held this week over two days.
On Friday 13 March the Highways Agency’s ‘A5-M1 Link Start of Works Exhibition’ visits Chalton Village Hall (2pm to 8pm), and on Saturday 14 March it moves to The Incuba, Dunstable (10am to 4pm). Project team members will be available to answer questions and queries.
Construction of the Woodside Link begins in spring 2015.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Regeneration, said: “The Highways Agency’s A5-M1 Link and Central Bedfordshire Council’s Woodside Link are important pieces in the area’s regeneration jigsaw - reducing congestion and bringing jobs, investment and new homes. The exhibition highlights these benefits and usefully unpacks construction plans.”

Training re. new defibrillators in Slip End

Information courtesy of Cllr Sarah Minnighan, Slip End Parish Council

There are now two AED defibrillators installed in Slip End Parish, one at the Village Hall and one at the Peter Edwards Hall. 

There is a free training session running tonight, Friday 13th March 2015, at The Village Hall from 7.00 pm for approximately 90 minutes.  It's open to everyone, please do pop along if you can.

For more information on AED defibrillators check out the Community Heartbeat Trust website.

Police precept increase

There has been some confusion as to the timing of this increase; I do not intend to explore the arguments for and against the increase here, this note is just to try and explain  the billing arrangements.

The Police set their own precept but the local authorities actually collect it, hence it is shown as a separate line item on your council tax bill.  For Bedfordshire Police, the collection will be via Central Beds, Luton Borough or Bedford Borough according to where you live.

The Police & Crime Commissioner has put forward two budgets, one reflecting a 15.8% increase (which triggers a referendum) and one reflecting a 1.99% increase (which does not).

The Council Tax bills currently being delivered and which form the basis for the amounts collected from you starting April are based upon the first, larger budget.  You will therefore pay the increased amount in April and May ahead of the referendum actually taking place.

If the referendum delivers a yes vote and approves the increase, then the billing continues unchanged.  If the referendum delivers a no vote then the first budget can no longer be used and the second automatically takes its place.  Council tax bills will be reissued and your remaining payments for 2015/16 will recognise the increased amounts already paid in April and May, with subsequent payments reduced accordingly.

These arrangements have followed on from government regulations, they were not the decision of either the Police & Crime Commissioner or the local authorities.

The above note is given in good faith to try and explain the situation - it does not purport to be definitive legal advice and does not constitute a statement on behalf of Beds Police or any local authority.