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Mayor Dave Hodgson

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Mayor Dave Hodgson

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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.

Wendy Rider Brickhill Borough Councillor
23 Orwell Close, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 7BQ
01234 303254 Email: wendyrider41@gmail.com

Charles Royden Brickhill Borough Councillor
The Vicarage, Calder Rise, Brickhill Bedford. MK41 7UY
01234 309175 Email: charlesroyden@gmail.com

Mark Fitzpatrick Chair of Brickhill Parish Council
20 Nursery Gardens, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 8DU
01234 357259 Email: markfitzp@cix.co.uk

Liberal Democrat Brickhill Advice Surgery

Surgery dates

Please come along to any of our surgeries we would be delighted to see you

Saturday 29 August at Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 12 September at Avon Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 26 September at Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 10 October at Avon Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 24 October at Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 7 November at Avon Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 21 November at Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 5 December at Avon Drive shops at 10.00am
Saturday 19 December Brickhill Drive shops at 10.00am

Waveney Green News Update
Friday 28 August 6.00pm

We are grateful to officers of Bedford Borough Council who have been working with us to address the problem of the unlawful encampment on Brickhill Green, Waveney Avenue. Since we first reported this matter to them they have been on the scene, served a Notice of Direction and had a court date listed for today. Those responsible for bringing their caravans and vehicles onto The Green left the scene on Thursday evening before the court hearing.

This was a very fast response from the Borough Council which involved officers on the scene supported by work from the legal team and others, we would like to express our sincere thanks.

 

Borough Councillor Report February 2015

There is a lot of investment by the Council in Brickhill at the moment. We are delighted that Brickhill Lower School has now joined Scott Lower in receiving their new classroom buildings. New trees are being planted, junction improvements and road resurfacing, verge protection is being installed and the 20mph zone is being extended. Over 80% of people were in favour of the 20mph zone extension, those who were not as keen expressed concern that it might not affect real speeds. We have set funds aside to introduce 3 vehicle activated speed signs in Tyne Crescent and the extended zone. These have been shown to be help slow traffic and we know that across the country these zones have reduced speed over time. Five people are killed every day on our roads. Imagine if that happened on trains; there would be a public outcry. We need to take action and these zones do help save lives.

We have announced that council tax will be frozen this year for the fifth year running in Bedford. Frontline services will still be protected with no closures of things like libraries, leisure centres or children's centres. Bus services will continue to be subsidised and alongside £41m investment for schools there will be no reduction in the road budget and an extra 1m for footpath works. This comes against the backdrop of an eye watering £82m government cut, over a third, to our budget every year.   

In spite of difficult economic times Bedford continues to buck the trend with considerable economic growth. The by pass is underway and the new bus station opens at the end of February. The new seven screen cinema will soon be under construction, with a public riverside square, shops, restaurants, hotel and a new pedestrian and cycling bridge. National chains like Wagamama are taking 20 year leases, showing their confidence in the future for Bedford. Around town derelict buildings are being restored like Porter Blacks, and the old Ford Garage on St Peter’s. In St Paul’s Square the refurbished buildings are almost complete, the timbers show these to have been built in the medieval period around 1460. Why not take a drive into town this weekend to see them, and enjoy free parking !

Your Council Tax Frozen Again

Despite huge cuts in government funding, Mayor Dave Hodgson’s budget will deliver the 5th successive Council Tax Freeze from Bedford Borough Council. The budget put forward by the Mayor was agreed with cross party support at a recent council meeting. Michael Headley said “We have worked very closely with Dave Hodgson to protect frontline services and still not have to increase council tax. In fact Bedford Borough Council Tax is now a little lower than it was in 2010.”

Council Budget Highlights

Playground Upgrade

The playground equipment on the play area between Avon Drive and Calder Rise has suffered from rot to the base of the posts. This equipment has been in place for over twenty years. We are delighted to report that that we have secured funding for the provision of new equipment. This new equipment will have metal posts which will give a longer life. There is aalso a careful design which is suitable for more children, including children with limited physical mobility (See plans here.)

Scott School

We are delighted that schools in Brickhill have received new permanent classrooms to replace the temporary ones which have been located in their grounds for decades. Mayor Dave Hodgson visited Scott Lower School to join in a celebration with the chidlren in which they sang a medley of songs and performed dance routines. Bedford Borough Council has invested wisely in allocating over £40 million of funds to new school buildings to make a long term investment in the future of education in the Borough. This is in stark contrast to the previous County Council which failed to invest in our schools inspite of having the second highest council tax and some of the worst services in the country.

Scott School Classroom

Hospital News

Bedford Hospital doctorshave warned that seriously ill patients could be put at risk if the number of people turning up at A&E with minor illnesses and injuries continues.It comes as local health and social care agencies have today (Tuesday January 6, 2014) taken urgent action across Bedfordshire to tackle the unprecedented demand at Bedford Hospital.
The number of emergency admissions has increased by 25% since Christmas, with the majority being very frail elderly patients over the age of 80. This continuing surge has resulted in the hospital having very limited capacity for new admissions from A&E and has led it to having to postpone all routine surgery and a range of planned outpatient and diagnostic clinics in order to free up resources for those most in need.
Those with less serious health problems are being told they will have to wait considerably longer to be seen in A&E, as doctors and nurses focus on the most seriously ill patients, and so people are being advised to first seek alternatives such as pharmacists, the walk in centre or to speak to their GP practice.
Stuart Lloyd, Emergency Consultant, said: “A&E departments are here for people with life-threatening and emergency conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and serious accidents.
“Patients with serious and life-threatening conditions should always receive priority care, but when people attend A&E with minor illnesses and injuries it means that our doctors and nurses cannot focus their attention on the most seriously Ill patients, potentially putting lives at risk.
“A large number of patients who attend A&E with minor injuries and illnesses could be treated elsewhere, so we are urging people to consider using other NHS services first, such as their pharmacy, local walk-in centre or GP. Doing so will help us to focus our attention on the most seriously ill patients.”
Chief Executive, Stephen Conroy, said: “Despite our recent solid A&E performance, we knew that the Christmas period was going to be incredibly challenging.
“We have been preparing for the increase in demand this winter and have worked with our health and social care partners on a range of initiatives, using government winter pressure funding, to help support the safe and effective delivery of urgent and emergency care.
“However, the increase in demand we are currently experiencing is unprecedented. We have every available bed open in the hospital to accommodate the increase but the number of patients being admitted currently outweighs the number of patients we are able to discharge. We have today reached a point in Bedford where we have needed to escalate our response with our partners.
“Doing this enables us to increase our focus on our most ill patients and step up our management of our resources to ensure that we are seeing, treating and admitting those who most need our care. We are ploughing all our efforts into making sure that we provide the best possible care to those who need it, but we also need the support of local people by not coming to A&E unless it is a real emergency.”

Verge Protection

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

cold callingThere is also currently aggressive dioor step selling in Brickhill with roofing and other companies engaging in unlawaful activity. Our advise 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

 

Mini-Moped Nusiance

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 gail.mulvaney@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Bedford is open for Business

The Mayor has published the Growth Plan for Bedford and you can see a copy on our website growth plan or the summary 30 points
These are exciting times to live in Bedford with so many things now changing for the better. We have great schools, in the last year 18 out of the 19 Local Authority maintained schools inspected by Ofsted were judged to be either good or outstanding. Schools in Bedford Borough were ranked as 11th out of 150 local authorities across the country and number one in the Eastern region. Economically also our town is thriving attracting new businesses and providing new apprenticeships and jobs. We have seen the new Waitrose, the B&Q store and with Morrisons even the petrol prices have fallen! In the town centre there are now more public toilets than ever before and the Bus Station toilets will open next week after being completely rebuilt. Even the bus station will be rebuilt next year as a part of the 8 million regeneration investment. From Saturday 23 November the first two hours of parking will be free every Saturday all year round in council owned car parks. In spite of already having to make savings of over £40 million from government, we have prioritised frontline services so that things like libraries, sports centres, road repairs, grass cutting and weekly bin collections have been protected. All this has been done whilst freezing council tax! Soon we will see the results of more funding which we have attracted to Bedford with 6 million spent on the Black Cat and millions of private investment to bring a riverside town centre development on the site of the old Town Hall with new restaurants, a cinema and even a micro brewery. In these really tough times when other councils are cutting services and increasing council tax we can be proud that we live in Bedford a town which is bucking the trend and has a very bright future.

Little Park Farm - Hawk Drive Traveller &Gypsy site

Following the Conservatives calls for Little Park Farm in Hawk Drive, Brickhill to be made into a Gypsy and Traveller, we are pleased to announce that Mayor Dave Hodgson has now sold the land to prevent this from ever happening. Brickhill would never be safe in Tory hands and this is a measure to safeguard the future of our community.

Little Park Farm see the Sales details

Shock Announcement Over 150 New Gypsy and Traveller Pitches Proposed by Conservative Councillors

 Conservative Councillors have proposed 10 new completely unnecessary Gypsy and Traveller sites across Bedford Borough, containing over 150 new pitches. Mayor Dave Hodgson has ensured that the Council is meeting its need for such sites up to 2021 and delivered the first gypsy and traveller pitches in Bedford Borough for many years. Yet Conservative Councillors have proposed a swathe of new Gypsy and Traveller sites across Bedford Borough, In the recent ‘Call for Sites’ as part of the Local Plan process, Conservative cllrs proposed 10 new completely unnecessary Gypsy and Traveller sites, containing 150 new pitches. Over 100 of these pitches were proposed within rural areas including Elstow, Wootton and Wilstead.

These proposals would see valuable public land and huge amounts of taxpayers money going to provide gypsy and traveller sites that are not needed. The sites proposed by Conservative Cllrs include:

Elstow Road in Cauldwell, near Bedford Town Centre

Manton Lane in Bedford

Near Cowbridge in Elstow

Within the ‘Northern Expansion Area’ of the Wixams

South of Fields Road in Wootton including Berry Wood, a local woodland that is over 20 years old

We delivered the first new pitches in Bedford Borough for many years at Kempston Hardwick, and the Meadow Lane site is now under construction. Every single site required under our duty to provide a five year supply of sites is either complete or under construction. In fact we have fulfilled our need for sites up to 2021 and our approach has been approved by the Planning Inspectorate. The proposals are completely ridiculous. All they would do is waste taxpayers money and public resources, and provide pitches for travellers with no need and no local connection to the Borough. Residents of Brickhill will be shocked to hear that the Conservatives have proposed new pitches in the ward, in an entirely irresponsible move that ignores the great work already done

Bedford Borough Council has taken clear action in relation to gypsy and travellers sites:

The Council is in a strong position as every single pitch required under its duty to provide a five year supply of sites is either complete or under construction

  1. It was the first authority in the country to deliver additional pitches under that round of Homes and Community Agency funding with 6 additional pitches at Kempston Hardwick
  2. These 6 additional pitches were the first to be delivered in the Borough in many years, after decades of inaction
  3. A gypsy and traveller site at Meadow Lane is currently under construction, creating 14 new pitches and fulfilling our need up to 2021

Read our Borough Councillor Report

Click here for Borough Councillor reports

Read the latest December FOCUS

Crime

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

pot hole hit squad

Verge Parking

We have received many requests to prosecute those who park vehicles on verges and pavements. As local councillors we believe that verge parking causes damage to the grass and it also damages cables in the verges, sometimes leading to costly repairs of telephone and fibre optic cables.

We have created a no verge parking zone in roads off Briockhill Drive and we are now consulting to extend this zone around roads such as Pipt Rise, Windrush and Dove Road.

Waveney Green

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

 

Click here for details of all Brickhill Lib Dem Councillors

 


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

Protecting water soil and air

Good agricultural practice

 

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.