Businesses in Central Bedfordshire have been seeking the advice and recommendations of their very own local business doctor.
A series of business clinics are being arranged by Central Bedfordshire Council this year with the aim of providing one to one support for local businesses.
The first of these was held at Cranfield University and Technology Park when seven businesses got the chance to present their questions to business doctor Dr Wesley Randle. Dr Randle’s experience in business and innovation gives him a good foundation for dealing with the many business questions that companies might present to him.
The Business Clinics form part of the council’s Business TimeBank® scheme, which offers businesses free one to one support provided by local business experts.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Strategic Planning and Economic Development) at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "These business clinics are a fantastic way for local companies to harness the expertise of people like Dr Randle. There are lots of people with useful skills and know-how in our area, so we’re offering a great opportunity for those looking to set up or grow."
The next chance to "ask the business doctor" will be at a clinic in Leighton Buzzard to be held on Friday, 21 September. Places are already filling up, but if you would like the chance to talk through your business issues or growth plans with the business doctor, please contact the Business Investment Team at Central Bedfordshire Council on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 300 5297.
Thomas Naseer from Uber Shop, who attended the last clinic said: "The business clinic was highly useful for Uber Shop which is undergoing rapid expansion. It raised our awareness in defining our growth strategy by questioning a) how realistically we can achieve our goals, b) clarification around the various divisions of the business and c) moving forward and our priority steps. I highly recommend the clinic for any business undergoing change or rapid growth."
If you would like a free business session on a specialist area such as marketing, legal advice or increasing sales, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/businesstimebank to book your session.
A parking improvement proposal for Leighton Linslade could help improve residential parking across the town. Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for local residents’ views to help develop a strategy which will tackle the problem head-on.
Leighton Linslade residents will have the opportunity to share their views by completing a short questionnaire, which will be delivered to households in early September. It will also be available online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations from 10 September.
Research has shown that many parked vehicles belong to commuters avoiding charges in off-street car parks. The proposal aims to improve this situation by implementing parking controls to deter commuters parking in these areas.
Residential areas affected by this proposal are: -
- St Mary’s Way, Beech Grove and Hawthorn Close
- Grange Close, Orchard Drive and Woodside Way
- Southcott Village, Chelsea Green and Ascot Drive area
- Wing Road and Mentmore Road
- Faulkner’s Way and Harcourt Close
Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "We know there is a problem with irresponsible parking in parts of Leighton and Linslade and we want to tackle it head on. That’s why it is so important that residents fill out the questionnaire. We want to know their thoughts and work together to find a solution that suits everyone.
"We really would encourage all local residents to complete the questionnaire to share their views on the parking proposals, which will improve parking for residents and encourage commuters to use off-street car parks. It isn’t just for people living in the area in the proposals – it also affects those in the surrounding neighbourhoods."
Implementation of any agreed parking control schemes will start early next year.
The hotly-anticipated Leighton-Linslade Children’s Trail is now open after it was launched on Saturday by a whole host of book characters.
Alice, Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts invited visitors to take to the Trail and children’s author Julia Jarman and the Trail’s creator, artist Martin Heron, were also on hand to celebrate the opening.
The Trail features 22 imaginative pieces of art inspired by characters and text from children’s literature which weaves through and around the town. Local shops joined in with the party atmosphere on the day, by installing children’s literature window displays and giving out Trail postcards, pencils and maps to those going round the Trail.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "It was a really fantastic day. It was great that the whole community came together to enjoy the launch – especially so many youngsters and families.
"The Trail is really an innovative way of including art in our everyday lives and has enhanced the environment in exciting ways, like the inclusion of new seating areas. taken a lot of planning and co-operation from council officers. We hope that this Trail will leave a legacy of boosting education, family friendly activity and tourism, as well as getting people active. I hope too that children visiting the Trail will see the artworks around the town and want to get stuck into the books that inspired it (and perhaps adults too!)
"Leighton Buzzard is such a vibrant town and we’re excited to think that the Children’s Trail can become another key part of what makes this place so unique. I hope that it will go on to attract people into our area for years to come."
Cllr Angela Barker, Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council and the Mayor of Leighton Linslade Town Council, Cllr Alan Brandham officially launched the Trail.
You can pick up a Trail map at Leighton Buzzard Library or from Leighton Linslade Town Council offices. An online version will shortly be available.
Plans to adopt a holistic approach to site management and visitor planning in the Southern Bedfordshire Chiltern Arc (north of Luton) are being put to residents as part of a consultation by Central Bedfordshire Council.
The council has drawn up exciting plans which consider the future management and access to the areas in and around the Southern Bedfordshire Chiltern Arc between the M1 and A6 north of Luton. This area includes the countryside contained within the boundary of the parish of Sundon, much of Streatley and small parts of the parishes of Barton, Chalton, Harlington and Toddington. It incorporates a unique area of national and local historical and wildlife sites.
Residents and members of the public will be able to view and comment on the vision plan online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultation during the consultation. The consultation begins on Monday, 3 Sept 2012, ending on Friday, 12 Oct 2012.
The plans are designed to maintain and improve the ecological condition of the area, which includes ancient woodlands, and to improve the access to and involvement in the conservation from the local community.
The Council's Countryside Access Team commissioned Groundwork Luton and Bedfordshire to jointly prepare a report and written plan for the area. The Countryside Access Team will be on hand to talk about the proposals at three public events. They will be held at Sundon Village Hall on Wednesday, 5 September between 6 and 8:30pm, Streatley Village Hall on Monday, 17 September between 6 and 8:30pm and Barton Library on Tuesday, 18 September between 1:30 and 3:30pm.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "These plans show that we’re working hard to ease access to these fantastic areas of biodiversity, conservation and heritage, while still ensuring they are protected for future generations.
"The consultation will give the public the chance to shape the development of the area and their comments will be taken on board for the final plans. We would encourage local residents to give their views on our proposals. They will be online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultation and copies of the questionnaire and documents will be available to view at council customer service centres and Barton library.
Dunstable’s community is being given the opportunity to talk about local issues and find out what support they can access as part of a series of events planned by the Community Safety Partnership.
Set to be held on Mayfield Road, Morcom Road and Southwood Road in late August and early September, the events are designed to showcase the support that local residents can get involved with.
Called ‘Choices’, the events will include information and activities about a number of support services offered by Central Bedfordshire Council, Dunstable Town Council and other partners in the Community Safety Partnership, such as the Police, Fire Service and local groups for young people.
Residents will be able to get advice on a number of topics, including:
* Careers and employment
* Sexual health and healthy relationships
* Personal safety and keeping your property safe (from the Police)
* The effects of drugs and alcohol
* How to stop smoking
* How to avoid loan sharks
Non-alcoholic cocktails and goodie bags will be available and there are prizes to be won. There will also be activities for children, such as games, badge making with the Fire Service and model making with the council’s Waste Minimisation team.
The first event is on Mayfield Road on Friday, 31 August. The following events will be held on Morcom Road on Thursday, 6 September and Southwood Road on Friday, 14 September. All events will be held between 1 and 4pm.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "These events in Dunstable are a great opportunity for people to discuss any local issues with representatives from a wide range of organisations.
"Engaging with communities across Central Bedfordshire is very important to the council. It offers us the chance to get information to the public, but it is also an opportunity for residents to raise issues and get much needed help that they may not have realised was available."
If you’ve felt the urge to use the car less after seeing the world’s athletes this summer, then there is good news. Central Bedfordshire Council is poised to help with an alternative transport project called ‘Travel Choices’.
Building on the growing demand for cycling and healthy activity, ‘Travel Choices’ is a £4.9m three year project, funded by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LTSF) to support Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard by providing residents and businesses with a wider choice for their local journeys.
The project aims to make people think more about their journeys and whether that trip to the corner shop by car is always necessary. With information about cycling, walking and buses, residents and businesses could benefit from the project by saving money on petrol and improving their long-term health at the same time.
Look out for the Personal Travel Planning project (PTP) in Leighton Buzzard from Wednesday, 29 August. Over 8000 households in Leighton Buzzard will be visited over the next few months by a team of travel advisors who will offer information on the travel options in their area encouraging people to use alternative forms of transport.
The friendly travel advisors will be equipped with all the information required to help put together individual travel plans that suit people’s needs and make them aware of the different travel options available. As well as targeting households, local businesses and community groups will also be contacted.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development at the council said:" This is excellent news for the local communities in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Linslade and is part of a much bigger vision to boost economic activity and growth in these areas.
"It’s not simply about cutting car use. Through reducing congestion and offering better options for travel, we will improve access to jobs and education and it is also a great opportunity for people to get active."
For further information, please contact 0300 300 8308 or visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/travelchoices
Central Bedfordshire’s Community Safety Partnership and Bedfordshire Police have worked together to install three sets of automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in the area in a bid to make the region safer.
ANPR cameras work by scanning vehicle registrations and checking them against information stored in a variety of databases in order to identify vehicles of interest to the Police, such as stolen cars or those involved in crimes.
The Community Safety Partnership has supported the installation of three in cameras in Leighton Buzzard, Linslade and Clophill and is funding the cameras along with the Police.
The cameras will be part of an intelligence led, crime fighting and road safety scheme.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "Keeping our community safe is one of our main priorities and in tackling crime and safety issues alongside the Police, we can really make an impact in affecting the quality of life for our residents.
"Since their introduction in the 1990s, ANPR systems have been shown to be an extremely powerful policing tool in addressing crime at all levels, including serious and organised crime.
"This type of camera is a great preventative measure that will really help us protect Central Bedfordshire businesses and residents. ANPR not only reduces crime but can be used to reduce road deaths and serious injuries on the roads by highlighting un-roadworthy vehicles. It will keep our roads and communities safe and deny access to criminals."
Detective Superintendent Paul Coombes of Bedfordshire Police said: "ANPR is a significant weapon in our bid to fight crime and protect the public. Using this technology the police across the region are helping to remove serious criminals from the roads, as well as unsafe and uninsured drivers and vehicles."
Housing for older people in Toddington will be developed on a new site within the town after Central Bedfordshire Council agreed a way forward for the future of the existing Crescent Court Sheltered Housing Scheme, at a meeting of its Executive today (Tuesday 21st August).
The decision follows a detailed feasibility study which considered two options on the future of the existing site:
1. The development of an Extra Care Housing Scheme on the existing site
2. The development of an Extra Care Housing Scheme on a new site in Toddington
The report was carried out in partnership with Crescent Court residents and their representative group, the Friends of Crescent Court, in line with the government’s ‘Design principles for Extra Care’ guidelines.
At a meeting in May, everyone involved considered the findings of the study and residents decided that they were in favour of a development on a new site in Toddington, close to local amenities. The overwhelming concern for the residents was the potential disruption that would be caused by building work.
Work will shortly commence with Toddington Parish council and its Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to identify a suitable location for the new development. Residents of Crescent Court, will continue to be involved in this process and will be invited to help shape the design of the new accommodation.
Speaking about the decision, Cllr Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing, said:
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to help us to reach this decision. It is really important to us that we are able to provide great accommodation to meet the needs of our growing population of older people – this decision sets out a clear pathway for how we’re going to do this in Toddington.
“We will continue to work alongside Crescent Court residents and the local community as the project progresses."
Notes to Editors
Extra Care schemes differ from traditional sheltered housing because they are designed to provide support for people with a range of needs. So, for example, residents with mobility issues or other disabilities may live in the scheme, which might also have services and staff to support those with greater care needs, such as people with Dementia. Extra Care services have a care team on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week which allows residents to remain independent within the housing complex.
Proposals to expand Greenleas Lower School onto a second site in Leighton Buzzard were approved by Councillors, at a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive today (Tuesday 21st August).
The school’s second site will provide 300 new school places and a nursery on the Sandhill’s development, off Kestrel Way, also known as Pratts Quarry. A phased project of building work will commence shortly, with the school welcoming new pupils from September 2013 on its new site.
The final decision comes after extensive consultation with the schools, parents and the wider community, showed widespread support for the plans.
Speaking about the decision, Executive Member for Children's Services, Cllr Mark Versallion, said:
“There’s a real need to provide new school places in this area of Leighton Buzzard to meet the needs of the growing local population.
The consultation showed strong support for the plans. But some concerns were raised about potential increased traffic congestion and possible disruption to teaching and learning on the existing Greenleas site. I’d like to reassure local residents and parents that we will be working with the school to minimise any negative transport issues and the impact on current pupils.”
I look forward to Greenleas building on its success in offering local children a high quality education.”
Proposals to expand Fairfield Park and Shefford Lower Schools were approved by Councillors at a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive today (Tuesday 21st August). The final decision comes after extensive consultation with the schools, parents and the wider community, showed widespread support for the plans.
Both schools will be permanently extended to provide 150 extra places. This will mean a total of 450 places at Shefford Lower School and 300 places at Fairfield Park Lower School. A phased project of building work will commence immediately, with the schools welcoming new pupils from September 2013.
Speaking after the decision, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mark Versallion, said:
"This is excellent news. There’s a growing population in the catchment areas of both these schools, so the extra places really are needed.
"We’ve worked closely with both the schools throughout this process and I am confident that they will both build on their success in supporting local children to reach their potential.
"The consultations showed strong support for the plans. But some concerns were raised about potential increased traffic congestion and possible disruption to teaching and learning. I’d like to reassure local residents and parents that we will be working with the schools to minimise any negative transport issues and the impact on current pupils."
Tracey Callender, Head teacher at Shefford Lower School, said:
"For a number of years the Lower School has operated at above its actual capacity and it has been able to accommodate additional pupils by delivering a number of minor extensions. With recent and planned housing development in Shefford, this expansion will enable us to continue to provide places for local children at their local school. We are really looking forward to growing further within our community
Jenny Stone, Head teacher at Fairfield Park Lower School, said:
"The extra capacity is much needed, and means we will be able to meet our passionate philosophy of offering local places for local families.
"We are really looking forward to growing further within our community, and building on our success since we opened in 2007."
Central Bedfordshire Council is widely consulting on its local council tax support scheme following draft proposals passed by the Council's Executive Councillors today (21 August).
The new local scheme will replace the current national system of council tax benefit payments which is being abolished by the government as part of national welfare changes. The changes will take place from 1 April 2013.
Councillor Maurice Jones, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources at Central Bedfordshire Council says, "These changes are being driven by the government's welfare reform programme which aims to reduce people's dependency on benefits as well as cutting back the national budget deficit.
"Councils are being tasked with creating their own local support schemes and the one we've developed for Central Bedfordshire is designed to be affordable and fair. We've adopted the guiding principles of protecting vulnerable residents and giving people who can work incentives to earn a living."
The proposed scheme approved by the Executive commits to offering pensioners the same level of protection as the current benefits system. There will also be protections for other groups of vulnerable customers such as carers, lone parents with children under five, some disabled people and war widows.
The proposals take into account a reduction in government financing for local council tax support schemes. Unlike the current council tax benefit system, the new scheme will no longer be fully funded by the government.
With £2.5 million less in future years to fund support for benefit claimants, and with an anticipated rise in the number of claimants, the council has had to adjust support for other groups.
Under the proposed changes, people with capacity to earn will be required to pay at least 25 per cent of the total bill, even if they pay nothing now.
The proposals include added work incentives for low income families. When someone gets a job or increases their hours or earnings, less of their new earnings will be taken into account when calculating claims for council tax support.
The proposals also cover changes to council tax discounts and exemptions that can be claimed in particular circumstances. Empty and second homes, for example, would no longer receive a council tax discount under the new proposals. In keeping with the council's commitment to tackling long-term empty homes, there is a proposal to charge home owners council tax at a premium rate of 150 per cent on houses left empty for over two years.
The consultation starts this week and runs until 14 November. Full details of the council's proposals are detailed in a consultation document which is available online. Copies are also being sent to libraries, council offices and customer services centres across Central Bedfordshire. There is also a response form inviting views on the proposals.
Councillor Jones adds, "We very much want to hear what people think of our proposals – particularly those who are going to be affected by the changes. We will carefully consider everyone's feedback, which will be taken on board when we draw up the final scheme for approval by councillors next January before it goes live next April."
Leighton Buzzard library is next in a series of refurbishments planned by Central Bedfordshire Council as part of its 15 year scheme to modernise libraries.
The library will be closed between 3 and 22 September to upgrade the building, install new self-service technology and a refreshment machine and introduce a read and relax area.
The self service desks allow customers to scan in books and other items that they want to borrow, return or renew meaning library staff will be able to spend more of their time helping customers.
Feedback from residents was gathered as part of the council's Libraries for the Future consultation and has been reflected in plans to develop the service and individual libraries.
The library will reopen on Monday, 24 September and the Theatre will be undergoing a Digital upgrade at the same time to minimise disruption for residents. During this time, the Theatre will be closed for bookings in person. The Box Office will remain open for phone reservations and email bookings on 0300 300 8125 or email@example.com.
During the refurbishment, the library will be running a Drop Off and Information Point at Bossard House in West Street for people to return library items and for enquiries. The Drop Off Point will be open between 10am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday throughout the closure period. Items will have been issued for a longer period than usual so that members will not be charged fines while the library is closed.
In the next two years the council is investing £850,000 to improve the service. This will include updating buildings and installing new self-service technology, developing the online library and piloting library access points in rural communities.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member Sustainable Communities, Services said: "Feedback from residents last year proved just how much people value their local libraries as a focal point for learning, information and culture in our communities.
"Because of that, we have decided that no library should close and we should make the service more available, extending its reach into local communities.
"Leighton Buzzard is our busiest library, and with just under 225,000 visits a year, the improvements there will help make the service more efficient, will free up library staff to spend more time helping customers and demonstrates our commitment to investing in our libraries for the future."
While the library is closed, members will be able to access the Virtual Library to renew their books and make requests at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/librariesforthefuture
Members can also use their nearest library in Dunstable, but can borrow items from any Central Bedfordshire Library and return items to any Central Bedfordshire Library with their library card.
Other libraries in Central Bedfordshire will be renovated between September 2012 and February 2013. Details about the improvements and when works will take place will be available from each library and on the council’s websitewww.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/librariesforthefuture
Students across Central Bedfordshire are celebrating excellent A level results. Initial indications are that the pass rate this year for students achieving grades A* to E has remained high at almost 98% . This is similar to the high level set by last year's results. An excellent 44% of those grades were A*s, As or Bs, an increase of 1.5% from last year.
Central Bedfordshire schools report that students have gained places at a wide range of universities to study a variety of subjects with lots of students achieving A* and A grades.
Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children's Services says:
"I am delighted that so many young people from Central Bedfordshire schools have achieved excellent A level results to set them on course for fulfilling their future education or career ambitions.
"These results show that working together with schools and parents we are achieving our goal of raising education standards in Central Bedfordshire so that our young people achieve their potential.
"The results are a testament not only to the students themselves but also to their families and teachers. I wish our school leavers every success in the future."
Public Protection Officers from Central Bedfordshire Council have introduced a new sunbed safety scheme so residents can be confident that tanning equipment is safe and salons are following the law.
Sunbed safety certificates have been issued to 19 tanning salons across the area as a result of the scheme.
After sending written guidance to all salons, officers followed this up with a series of inspections to make sure that their advice was being heeded.
The visits included testing of sunbed equipment to make sure that it was within safe UV radiance levels. They also checked salons' procedures for preventing use of sunbeds by under 18 year olds following new legislation introduced in April 2011.
Of the 28 sunbeds tested 19 were found to be emitting excessive UV levels. Test failures were reported to premises which were given a deadline for bringing their equipment up to standard. Follow-up visits to these premises two months later showed that the problem equipment had either been repaired or replaced.
Central Bedfordshire was one of the first councils in the Eastern region to back up the premise inspections with separate underage test purchase visits to make sure that salons were complying with the law on customer ages. Of the 18 premises visited seven (39 per cent) failed the test purchase on their initial visit. Of those revisited all but one passed on a second visit. The remaining one passed third time round.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at Central Bedfordshire Council says: "The dramatic increase in skin cancer cases in the United Kingdom over the past 30 years is a big concern and so it is extremely important that the public can be confident the equipment that they are using in commercial sunbed premises is fundamentally safe. It is vital that young people are not exposed to unnecessary risks to their skin health at an early age – so the underage purchases to test that salons were complying with age legislation were particularly important.
"We've focused on helping businesses to operate legally rather than rushing to penalise those that didn't comply first time. Salons have welcomed the safety certificates which mean that they can show their customers that they are providing a safe tanning environment. At the same time the certificates will help to raise people's awareness of health and safety issues in this area."
The council will do regular follow up visits to premises to make sure they continue to work within the law.
Shared Lives Bedfordshire is a service that helps adults with learning disabilities access everyday life opportunities. Being a Shared Lives Carer is about offering some of your time to enable a person with a learning disability to experience the sort of day to day activities that many people take for granted. Shared Lives support is very flexible and can range from things like going out for coffee or watching a film at the cinema, to offering overnight stays in your own home or even having someone live with you as part of your family.
Whatever time or interests you have Shared Lives Bedfordshire can match you to someone who shares similar interests or would like to experience new things. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to spare, what skills you have to offer or if you have any experience - as a Shared Lives Carer you can really make a difference to a person’s life.
Executive member for Social Care, Health and Housing, Cllr Carole Hegley, said:
“Working as a Shared Lives Carer is hugely rewarding - what could be better than knowing that you are making a real difference to someone’s life? If you think that you have something to offer or are just interested in Shared Lives Bedfordshire then why not contact the team for an informal chat.”
As a service we offer full training and ongoing support as well as payments for your time. There are even tax incentives to being a Shared Lives Carer. Currently we are really interested in hearing from people within the Central Bedfordshire area who are able to offer support for overnight stays or short breaks. Shared Lives Bedfordshire is a Shared Service working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council. For more information call 01234 228426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leighton Buzzard Theatre will have a full digital upgrade in September to fit it out with the latest industry standard equipment.
The Theatre, which currently uses 35mm film equipment for showing films, will be upgraded to full digital projection allowing for a wider range of films and live screened events to be shown.
The new equipment is also significantly more energy efficient so it is greener and more cost effective.
Central Bedfordshire Council has awarded the tender to Future Projections and installation work will be carried out during September - at the same time as the Library is upgraded to minimise disruption for users.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at the council, said: "We’re delighted that Leighton Buzzard Theatre will be stepping up its services for the local community. We already know how well-loved the Theatre is and this upgrade will enable the Theatre to carry on showing a fantastic selection of films and other screened events, as well as helping us keep on top of rising costs associated with 35mm film equipment.
"The launch of digital projection equipment also means more opportunities for local sponsorship, both at film screenings and events so we can offer local businesses a great opportunity to market to our residents."
Those interested in exciting advertising opportunities can contact Rachel Chanalaris, Theatre Manager on 0300 300 6499.
The Library will be closed for refurbishment between 3rd September - 22nd September. For more details, visit our libraries for the future page.
A Luton man who gave waste to an unlicensed waster carrier which fly tipped in Caddington has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay legal costs of £750.
Luton Magistrates Court heard how Basharat Hussain of 139 Kingsway, Luton knowingly failed to fulfil his duty of care to ensure the waste produced and owned by him was transferred to a licensed carrier and a waste transfer note was received as proof of collection of the materials.
The company which fly tipped the waste, consisting of builders waste and rubble, could not be traced.
Hussain, 34, pleaded guilty at the hearing on Monday, 6 August and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £750 and a £15 victim surcharge.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services), at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "Disposing of waste properly is everyone’s business and this case clearly shows that we as a council will not tolerate fly tipping and failures of businesses and residents in ensuring their waste is properly disposed of."
Cllr Richard Stay, Ward Councillor for Caddington, found the waste on the public highway and reported it. He said: "Fly-tipping is a particularly horrible blot on the landscape and I am delighted to see that the law has come down hard on anyone caught dumping their rubbish on public land. It is a great result and I hope that anyone thinking of doing the same gets the same treatment."
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Environmental hotline is 0300 300 8302
Houghton Regis library is back open for business after a recent upgrade and the new facilities will be officially launched on 15 August.
The library was the first in a series of library refurbishments planned by Central Bedfordshire Council as part of its 15 year scheme to modernise libraries.
The building was upgraded and new self-service technology installed. These self service desks allow customers to scan in books and other items that they want to borrow, return or renew, meaning library staff can spend more of their time helping customers.
The library is now also equipped with refreshment facilities and a read and relax area. These improvements have all been made as a direct result of customer feedback into the Council’s Libraries for the Future consultation.
The launch will include ‘Create a Book Backdrop’ with artist Wendy Briggs and takes place from 10am to 11am. There will also be a demonstration of the self-service equipment and the chance to join library staff in some light refreshments.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member Sustainable Communities, Services said: "We really believe that the improvements to Houghton Regis library will help make the service more efficient and will free up library staff to spend more time helping customers.
"It demonstrates our commitment to investing in our libraries for the future, and in the next two years we are investing £850,000 to improve the service. This will include updating buildings and installing new self-service technology across the service, developing the online library and piloting library access points in rural communities.
"Feedback from residents last year proved just how much people value their local libraries as a focal point for learning, information and culture in our communities and we know that Houghton Regis library is one of these vital hubs for local residents and businesses."
Other libraries in Central Bedfordshire will be renovated between September 2012 and February 2013. The next refurbishment is Leighton Buzzard Library which closes on the 3 September for three weeks.
Details about the improvements and when works will take place will be available from each library and on the council’s website at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/librariesforthefuture
Do you ever wonder how to choose the next book you’re going to read? Central Bedfordshire’s libraries are holding ‘Read and Recommend’ sessions over the summer to give you a taster.
The sessions are designed for adults to visit their local library to discuss what they have been reading with fellow readers. The sessions are informal and a great opportunity to discuss books, reading and possibly sign up for a reading group.
Central Bedfordshire Council is running a Summer Reading reward scheme to run alongside the Summer Reading Challenge for younger residents, where after reading four books, adult readers can receive a voucher for a free DVD, CD, spoken word hire or request.
The ‘Read and Recommend’ sessions are taking place at:
Barton, Tuesday 28 August, 10.30-11.30am
Biggleswade, Thursday 23 August, 11am-12.30pm
Dunstable, Monday 13 August, 2-3.30pm
Leighton Buzzard, Thursday 23 August, 2-3.30pm
Potton, Tuesday 21 August, 10.30am-12noon
Shefford, Thursday 16 August, 10-11.30am
Toddington, Thursday 23 Aug, 2.30-4pm
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services, said: "Our libraries always have a packed schedule of events and we’re delighted that we can offer a Summer Reading incentive to adults as well as children."
Find out more at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/libraries
Popular children’s author Julia Jarman will be at the launch of the brand new Children’s Trail in Leighton Buzzard this summer.
Set to be officially opened on 25 August, the Trail features 22 imaginative pieces of art inspired by characters and text from children’s literature which will weave through and around the town.
Julia, from Riseley in Bedfordshire, is author of much-loved ‘The Time-Travelling Cat' series of books. She will be giving a pre-launch address and signing books in Leighton Buzzard’s library after the launch at 11:30am by Cllr Angela Barker, Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council and the Mayor of Leighton Linslade Town Council, Cllr Alan Brandham.
The launch will include Alice in Wonderland street performers, free Mad Hatter’s hat making, face painting sessions and a special screening of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ at Leighton Buzzard Theatre as well as the opportunity to follow the Trail. Maps will be available at the Library.
Hat making and face painting sessions need to be booked by calling 0300 300 8059. To attend the special screening of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', call 0300 300 8125.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "The Children’s Trail has brought together the whole community in Leighton Buzzard and the children and young people in Leighton Linslade have played a valuable role in its creation. We’re delighted that such a fantastic – and local – author is coming along to help launch it. The trail will inspire both residents and visitors and build upon the rich literary heritage of the town in a fun and exciting way.
"Look out for Children’s Trail posters in your local shops, where you will be able to pick up a postcard, pencil and map on the launch day. We hope as many people as possible will come to explore the Trail on Saturday, 25 August and that it will go on to attract people into our area for years to come."
The Trail has been inspired by the town’s links with Mary Norton - author of the series of children’s books 'The Borrowers' and 'Bedknob and Broomstick' - who spent much of her childhood in Leighton Buzzard. Artist Martin Heron was commissioned to create the Trail in collaboration with the local community.
The Trail has also been championed by internationally acclaimed author, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen, who wrote ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt'.
It is being jointly funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and Leighton Linslade Town Council using Section 106 developer contributions for public art.
Wanting to get back into employment, improve your employability or just fancy trying something new – then why not take a look at the wide range of courses and workshops on offer in Central Bedfordshire Council's latest programme of Adult Learning courses.
There’s something for everyone - get crafty with courses in jewellery, flower arranging, pottery, painting, upholstery, dress making, fashion and textiles. Budding snappers can hone their skills on a photography course. Learn the lingo and feel like a local on your next holiday with courses in French, Italian, Spanish and German. Click your way to success with a wide range of computing courses. Learn skills and get qualifications in counselling, beauty, communications and food safety. And for those who prefer a more sedate pastime, there’s yoga and tai chi. With so much on offer, there’s no excuse not to get involved.
The programme has been arranged into different categories to make it easier for residents to find the right course or workshop, and because they are taking place in venues across Central Bedfordshire, no one will need to travel too far to get to one.
Alongside the activities, the council run a range of initiatives aimed at helping people get into work, including a free Careers Advice Service, and opportunities to help improve interview techniques, CV writing skills and gain confidence in Maths and English.
Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Cllr Nigel Young, said:
"These courses can really help in transforming people’s lives as well as bringing wider community benefits. They not only offer academic development but give learners the confidence and skills to take on new roles and to raise their personal and career ambitions
"It’s never too late to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby and with such a wide range of activities, there should be something for everyone. So don’t delay, enrol today."
"Take a look at our online brochure to see a comprehensive list of the courses and workshops on offer."
Case Study – Matthew Spalding, from Clifton.
Despite problems with his health Matt has remained focused on improving his skills, gaining qualifications and supporting others. He has been seriously ill since 1998, nevertheless he continued learning and achieved qualifications in IT in 2005 and 2006, which led to him securing a part-time post with his local Parish Council. In 2009 he completed further qualifications in IT.
In 2010 Matt took up a full time post, sponsored by Bedford Rural Communities Charity as a Projects Officer in the Sports Development Unit. His role was to encourage people to participate in sport and steer them away from anti-social behaviour. In the meantime he achieved the Level 1 qualification in Football Coaching, as well as certificates in First Aid and Food Safety.
In early 2011 he became a volunteer mentor for the Bedfordshire and Luton branch of national Charity MIND. At the same time Matt enrolled on the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector course. His ultimate goal is to gain employment within the NHS as a Support Time and Recovery Worker. Matt hasn’t stopped learning – he’s recently enrolled on an NVQ course.
To enrol on an adult learning course you can either call the council's freephone number 0808 100 3140, email email@example.com, visit the website and download, print, complete and post/fax an enrolment form to the council, or call into your local learning centre
If you receive any of the following benefits: Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) in the work related activity group or are on an income based benefit, unemployed and want to get back into work why not join a course leading to a qualification for FREE.
The council aims to make sure that all adults, who wish to do so, are able to access the services we provide.