Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Housing Matters – December 2022

Friday, 23 December 2022

Our December 2022 newsletter for our housing tenants.

Know your Housing Service

How would you like to be amongst the first tenants to see and test the new digital online housing app and portal? Are you interested in learning how we spend your rent money?

These are great opportunities for you to be involved, to share your views and help us shape the service moving forward.

Testing our new Tenant Portal

Hand holding a mobile phone

With increasing demand from residents for time-saving online services available 24 hours a day, we will be launching a new online portal and app next year which will have a number of features available at your fingertips.

Some of these features include:

  • viewing your rent account, paying your rent and setting up payment arrangements
  • reporting repairs and reviewing repairs history
  • updating personal details
  • integrated budget planner
  • messages and bulletins
  • reporting fly tipping and anti-social behaviour

Testing will start in late January, so if you are available and have access to a PC, tablet or smartphone, and would like to take part, please email tenantinvolvement@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk, putting 'PORTAL' in the subject line.

Housing Revenue Account (rent money) budget meeting 

Interested in how we spend your rent money? Want to know how much we are investing? If so, you can find out more at our Housing Revenue Account budget meeting in January.

The session will be held in one of our newest buildings, All Saints View in Houghton Regis and will be attended by Councillor Eugene Ghent,Executive Member for Housing and Assets, and Julie Ogley who is our Director of Social Care, Heath and Housing.

The event takes place on Wednesday 17 January between 10am and midday, and you can book your space online. Places are limited and will be offered on a first come, first served, basis.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon.

Repairs over Christmas

We are currently experiencing extremely high levels of calls to our telephone service for repairs. Please only call if your repair is an emergency, such as burst water pipes, total loss of water, total loss of electric power, total loss of gas supply, blocked toilet (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling).

For all other repairs, please report the repair online to allow emergency calls to get through to us.

To allow emergency repair calls to get through, we would be grateful if you can help a friend or neighbour who doesn’t find technology easy to report a repair online.

Christmas Market at Priory View

Christmas market at Priory View

Residents in Dunstable might have heard the tip tapping of reindeer feet on Saturday 3 December, as Santa flew in to visit the Priory View Christmas Market! Always well attended, the day was filled with joy for all ages. With stalls ranging from baked items to homemade jewellery, there was a gift for everyone.

Children were able to write a letter to Santa and visit the big man himself in his grotto. He was joined by Rudolph (we can only assume the other reindeer were having a rest after the long journey), who brought along one of his penguin friends to join in the fun. There was also a face painter and lucky dips to keep the kids entertained.

Those who live in Priory View who took part thoroughly enjoyed the day. A couple of residents held their own stalls, selling items to raise money for charities. One resident raised almost £500 for the air ambulance service. The event itself raised £200, which will be used to fund activities for the residents at Priory View.

Sinead Maguire, the Senior Independent Living Officer who organised the event, said: “Events like this are important for the residents at Priory View, who can engage with the local community and have some fun in the process. It was lovely to see all the mix of ages of those who came along, and I would like to thank all the staff and residents who supported the Priory View Christmas market and helped make it so successful.”

A big thank you

The words 'thank you' spelled out with Scrabble tiles on a blue background

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our independent survey this summer. We received an incredible 566 responses from all across the county, with some of you taking part in focus groups afterwards.

The questions covered a variety of topics including the safety of our homes, repairs and maintenance, your neighbourhood and complaints and communication. With such a large response and your valuable input, we have the information we need to look at what our service provides and help us focus on where we can do better.

So again, thank you, and we will share more information next year.

Research trial opportunity for over 55s

Smplicare and BLMK Heath and Care Partnership logos

Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Partnership are partnering with AI provider ‘Smplicare’ to help research into trips and falls.

The aim of this ground-breaking study is to collect data from individuals taking part in the research, to help develop software applications that predict the likelihood of falls. Using technology can support people to live independently for longer, improving their quality of life and helping people remain in their homes. The UK’s goal is to add an extra five years of independent life by 2035!

Those taking part in the live research project will be given wearable leading-edge technology such as a watch or fitness band. They will also receive a body composition scale that works through a downloadable app on a mobile phone. Other than answer a survey or two, participants just need to go about their daily activities as usual. There will be no payment to take part, but those who do get to keep the devices they use.

If you are aged 55 and over, have had a fall in the last 12 months, use a smartphone or tablet and would like to take part, visit Smplicare's website or email research@smplicare.com to find out more.

Give us your feedback

Do you like the news bulletin? What would you like to see included? If you have anything you would like to see on these bulletins, email housinginfo@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk and let us know.