Welcome to the website of the Brickhill Liberal Democrats.
We are always pleased to speak with residents. Please feel free to contact us using the details shown below, or come along to one of our surgeries which we hold at the local shops on Saturday mornings, the dates are show below.
Brickhill Borough Councillor
23 Orwell Close, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 7BQ
01234 303254 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brickhill Borough Councillor
The Vicarage, Calder Rise, Brickhill Bedford. MK41 7UY
01234 309175 Email: email@example.com
Mark Fitzpatrick Chair of Brickhill Parish Council
20 Nursery Gardens, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 8DU
01234 357259 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Brickhill Green Travellers
on Tuesday this week Brickhill suffered from a large unlawful encampment of over 80 adults and children with caravans and motor vehicles on Brickhill Green, Waveney Avenue. The vehicles had been removed from Goldington Green which is protected by bollards but where unlawful access had been gained through a broken bollard. Protective measures such as bollards are clearly not a fool proof way of protecting our greens.
From the moment the travellers arrived in Brickhill we sought to protect the residents of Brickhill from this disgusting ordeal. We asked Borough Council officers to take action as quickly as possible, but of course the council has no powers other than those granted by the court. The police do have S61 powers to take action but the stated that the travellers were not presenting a sufficient nuisance to do so. They advised that they had only received 4 calls on their 101 reporting number. Cllr Rider reported seeing a vehicle being dismantled but the police did not perceive there to be a significant litter, crime or nuisance issue. Cllr Rider was subsequently followed and intimidated by a group of men in a car.
The Council successfully obtained a possession order from the county court on Thursday afternoon. This was followed with a High Court writ on Friday morning for possession of the land. Bailiffs appointed by the Borough Council were on site on Friday morning with tow trucks on hand to remove vehicles. During the afternoon the last vehicles departed from Brickhill. This has been at considerable financial cost to tax payers and taken many hours of time.
On Friday afternoon a cleansing team from the council began work to remove a large amount of rubbish from the site. One abandoned Vauxhall car was removed with smashed windows, the glass and other debris was subsequently cleared by council officers. The bushes around the site have been extensively used as toilets and we would ask that children are kept away from these areas until cleansing by council officers has taken place. The playground area is now safe to use.
We would like to express our appreciation to the council officers who took rapid action to obtain court time at such short notice and to the cleansing team who have the unenviable task of cleaning the area.
- What to do if another unlawful encampment takes place.
- It is important that you call 101 if you see anything and report any anti-social or criminal behaviour. Without reports the police will not take action to use their S61 powers to remove the encampment.
Please contact us with your concerns as we will be working with council officers throughout the process.
We will be pleased to discuss this or any other matter at our forthcoming surgeries
Saturday 6 August at Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 20 August at Avon Drive shops at 10.00am
Do not employ people to do any job who call door to door.
This only encourages people to come to Bedford. Also check
that companies have a telephone landline, not just a mobile.
Councillors Report -
We have experienced warm and wet weather this year which has caused excessive growth of grass. The grass cutting which we experienced across our amenity areas suffered considerably as a result of the saturated grass. In addition there was some extremely poor and unacceptable cutting with areas such as Lune Walk missed all together. We took this up with the Borough Council and action was taken with extra cutting over the weekends to catch up, sweeping of paths and training of the grass cutters. We recognise the problems caused by the wet weather but the frequency of grass cutting has not been reduced and the budget has remained the same, so do tell us if you have problems and we will follow up complaints
A leaflet was tucked under your black bin recently to tell you about the consultation on changes to waste collections. We need further savings of £25 million to council services and the suggested changes such emptying black bins fortnightly will save over £500,000. We have resisted this for a long time but the government no longer provides financial support and most councils have already done this across the country. Please join the consultation which you can find on the council website and tell us your views.
On a positive note all political parties on the council have joined together to commission specialist work to save services at Bedford Hospital. The CCG which is the body responsible for organising NHS Services has repeatedly proposed massive NHS cuts and removals of services from Bedford Hospital, and now they want to stop all births at Bedford Hospital, forcing mothers to travel for up to an hour away from their homes and their families. Bedford is a growing town and we need more hospital services not less ! Mayor Dave Hodgson has worked tirelessly to stop the CCG from cutting our hospital and it has been shown that the maternity closure plans are unnecessary. Mothers should not have to travel long distances away from their community to have a hospital birth and we will fight to retain services here at Bedford Hospital.
We are always pleased to speak with you and you are welcome to come to our regular surgeries at the shops on a Saturday morning, as advertised on our website.
For more information on what is happening in and around Brickhill and to keep in touch please visit our website www.puttingbrickhillfirst.com
Brickhill Borough Councillors Update
Test are taking place to see whether there is any ingress of water from beneath the pond which would create problems if we introduced a liner. In the meantime a tender is being prepared of works.
This continues to be one of the issues of most concern for residents, especially in the Hawk Drive area for children going to school. The Borough Council is seeking to take new powers under the public space protection order, in the meantime CCTV is located in this area.
We have received multiple requests for attention to parking outside Brickhill Lower and
St Thomas More. We have attended on site and spoken to parents who are occasionally even parking on residents properties. We have had a request for extra attention in Kennet Rise and we have advised parking control officers.
We have witnessed the current circus being advertised with fly posting on Kimbolton Road and details have been passed to Borough Council enforcement officers for fixed penalty tickets to be issued.
We have met with residents in Larkway concerned about vehicle trading on the highway and advice has been given
Please come along to any of our surgeries we would be delighted to see you
Saturday 6 August 10.00am at Brickhill Drive Shops
Saturday 20 July 10.00am at Avon Drive Shops
Bedfordshire Police is on the hunt for more Speedwatch volunteers.
Community Speedwatch allows members of the public to get actively involved in monitoring the speed of vehicles travelling through their neighbourhoods. It is used in areas where residents have identified speeding as a priority and aims to educate motorists about the dangers of speeding, rather than enforcing as a first option.
Last year the police’s Speedwatch volunteers sent out 7,613 letters for speeding in the county. Chief Inspector for Community Safety Neill Waring hopes more volunteers will come forward across the county.He said: "The mere presence of a team of volunteers in a village has an immediate effect on the behaviour of drivers and our teams report a notable change in driver attitude to speed limits where they operate.
"Most drivers will understand the objectives of the scheme is to slow drivers to or below the posted speed limit and for those that don't respond accordingly, the registered owner of any vehicle seen exceeding the speed limit is sent an advisory letter by the police, explaining that speeding is unacceptable to the local community.
"Any driver who accumulates more than two warnings will have a personal visit by a police officer asking them to respect the quality of life for the communities they drive through.
"These visits send a clear message to those that think it is OK to speed." Anyone can participate, volunteers must be 18 or over and full training will be given. To find out more about becoming a volunteer,
If you would like to pursue then you can email email@example.com, telephone the community road safety team 01234 228336
Car Parking - free parking offers
- Two hours free on Saturday and all day free on Sunday in Borough Council Town Centre Car Parks
- Until end Jan there is two hours
free parking daily at Queen Street,
Multi-Storey; after Jan it will only
cost 90p for two hours weekdays
- Free parking after 6pm in the Town Centre including River Street and Lurke Street multi storey car parks which are now 24hr
Despite the huge financial pressures facing the Borough Council, Mayor Dave Hodgson has continued to protect local town centre businesses and help shoppers by protecting the Mayor's Car Parking Deal.
The new car park charges start on 4 January and maintain the popular offers of two hours free parking on Saturday and all day free parking on Sunday in town centre Borough Council run car parks. These also introduce new opportunities to park for free after 6pm in the evening in the town centre.
Season ticket prices have been reduced in order to support town centre
employers and workers and new free 15mins 'Drop Off' bays are to be
introduced in Greyfriars to give people more flexibility to pick up and
drop off passengers.
After five years of no increase in shoppers’ car park charges it has not
been possible to completely protect all car parking fees from increases.
Whilst the real cost of shoppers' parking has fallen every year for five
years in a row, budget pressures have meant that it is not possible to continue with this again this year. However, the charges at Queen Street Car Park have been reduced and you can park there to shop in Bedford for only 50p for an hour and 90p for two hours (free in January).
Charles Royden said "At a time of such enormous financial pressure, the Mayor's commitment to retaining free town centre parking all day Sunday and two hours on a Saturday, combined with introducing free parking after 6pm, is fantastic news. This will help the local economy boost night-time trade and encourage local residents to visit our alreadythriving town centre.”
For full details see the displays at the car parks, see
www.bedford.gov.uk or call 01234 718057.
Local Plan and Brickhill Development to 2032
We have been asked by residents about development of land in Brickhill for the Local Plan which outlines development in the Borough until 2032. Currently there are plans for the development of 500-600 houses on land at Graze Hill and Cleat Hill Farm,
Dog Bag Dispensers
Irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to foul the pavement and do not clear up are a real menace for everybody. This behaviour is unacceptable and we have asked Council enforcement officers to prosecute offenders in Brickhill. In addition we have used our ward funds to purchase dog poop bag dispensers in problem areas such as this one in Dearne Walk. We are delighted that they have been welcomed by responsible dog owners and they have not been vandalised. We will continue to allocate funds for replacement bags.
Between November and February is the tree planting season and we have asked for trees to be planted in roads across Brickhill. Pipit Rise will see many trees planted and this tree which we planted last year will be as it was damaged by grass cutting.
Street Name Plates
We work hard to keep Brickhill looking great and we ensure that things like broken street lights and potholes are fixed. This street nameplate was broken and replaced and we have ordered new ones to replace others which are damaged including one in Curlew Crescent.
We are concerned about continuing parking problems around Rooksmead. People are parking on pavements and the green which causes obstruction and damages grassed areas. We have asked for the parking bays to be repainted to enable cars to be parked more efficiently and measures will be introduced to prevent parking on pavements where it is a hazard for pedestrians.
Brickhill Drive Pond
We have asked Brickhill Parish Council to bring forward plans for the development of the pond to control weed and reduce the stagnation of the water. Bedford Borough Council has developed methods for weed control at Longholme Lake and we hope that new technology might be able to be used to improve this area. We will keep you posted on developments.
Planning Appeal Turned Down
We are delighted to report that the Government Planning Inspector has supported our objections to the proposed development at the rear of 187 Kimbolton Road. You can read the report here
This is now the second development which we have successfully opposed in Kimbolton Road with the support of residents and the Borough Council Planning Department.
School Term dates
These have been published for the next three years - worth making a note
We are delighted that grass verges in Brickhill which once suffered from severe damage caused by vehicles are now protected by no verge parking zones. Where necessary we are also installing tarmac or grasscrete to protect verges in vulnerable areas. Verges in Mallard Hill and Rooksmead have received extensive improvements as a result of investment in verge protection across the Borough.
Doorstep Selling in Brickhill
There is also currently aggressive dioor step selling in Brickhill with roofing and other companies engaging in unlawaful activity. Our advice is clear - do not buy or sell from people who knock on your door. Never let them in your house.
Please display one of our stickers which tells traders to leave your property - this then makes any attempt at selling a criminal offence.
If you contact us we will be pleased to deliver one of these stickers to you
We are working with police to tackle the menace of moped driving over pavements around Brickhill especially in the Tyne Crescent area. The Police have agreed to act against this unlawful activity which is both dangerous and creates unacceptable noise in residential areas. We have allocated the Brickhill wireless CCTV surveillance which we purchased with our ward funds and which has already been highly successful in tackling crime in Brickhill. If you have any information on these ant-social riders, please contact Gail Mulvaney, Local Policing Community Team, Bedford Borough Tel 01234 275006 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our Borough Councillor Report
Crime in Brickhill. We have purchased our own Brickhill wireless CCTV camera from our borough councillor ward funds. This is linked to the Bedford Borough Council control room and provides 24hr surveillance and recording. We deploy this in hot spots in Brickhill to nip crime in the bud and it has recently been moved to provide cover following an incidence of arson. For more information on any of these items, please visit our website www.puttingbrickhillfirst.com. If you have any concerns then please do call us direct using our contact details below, we are always pleased to help.
Pot Hole Hit Squad
The squad is dedicated to ridding Bedford of Pot Holes and they have been working across Brickhill. Read more here If you see a pithole then please call the Pot Hole Hit Squad on 01234 718003
oads such as Pipt Rise, Windrush and Dove Road.
Brickhill Parish Council has taken a 99 year lease on Waveney Green. This is because we all want to make sure that it stays green and is not used for further development. Call us suspicious, but when dropped kerbs are left at the end of roads leading onto green areas - we think further development is being considered. Look what happend in Westrope Way and Tyne Crescent !We have already seen the green built on in the last 15 years - we don't want any more To read more click here
Council Tax Bands
Council Tax Re-Banding- Shouldn’t Cost A Penny
We have been made aware of a number of residents being contacted by companies who are offering to look at their Council Tax band for a fee and save them money by lowering the band. A large number of people have been contacted in Brickhill, especially in the Tyne Crescent area. This is a serious concern for us as your local ward Councillors and we would like to let you know that it shouldn’t cost you a penny. The Valuation Office Agency(VOA) set the rates for all properties, valued by the VOA based on their open market value as at 1 April 1991.
The best way to get your Council Tax banding reviewed FOR FREE is to contact the VOA direct. This can be done via their website: www.voa.gov.uk or by telephone on: 0845 602 1507
We are also aware that some residents have been very disappointed after a review has taken place, exercise caution as the tax band can go up as well as down! We would also advise that you should have good reason to give money away to a company that promises something you can get yourself for free.
If you have had any experience on this matter recently then we would be interested to hear from you, please tell us using the contact details below. For more information visit our website www.puttingbrickhillfirst.com.
If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other issue, then please feel free to contact, or speak with us at our regular surgeries
What is that smell?
We have been asked by residents to investigate the smell which is powerfully affecting homes in Brickhill at the moment. We have been working with Borough Council officers and can confirm that it is pig muck spreading, the latest case being on fields north of Milton Ernest. We have been told by residents that it is coming from Biogen and we can confirm that this is not the case. Biogen are regulated by the Environment Agency.
There are issues relating to the spreading of manure like this and the operator has to show that they are conforming to 'Best Practicable Means,' in the code of practice issued by Defra. We are informed that there is no reason to suspect at present that this is not the case. We are continuing to investigate and will keep you posted on progress.
Helpful documents relating to this issue
If you have any comments please email us
Liberal Democrat Councillor Surgery. Bedford Central Library,
every Saturday, 2pm-3:30pm. All welcome, just turn up.