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: email@example.com
Brickhill Borough Councillor
The Vicarage, Calder Rise, Brickhill Bedford. MK41 7UY
01234 309175 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Fitzpatrick Chair of Brickhill Parish Council
20 Nursery Gardens, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 8DU
01234 357259 Email: email@example.com
Please subscribe to our newsletter and we will send you important updates on what is happening - you can unsubscribe at any time !
Please come along to any of our surgeries we would be delighted to see you
Saturday 19 March at Brickhill Drive Shops at 10.00am
Saturday 2 April at Avon Drive Shops at 10.00am
Saturday 16 April at Brickhill Drive Shops at 10.00am
Saturday 30 April at Avon Drive Shops at 10.00am
Saturday 14 May at Brickhill Drive Shops at 10.00am
We are all proud of you !
Congratulations to veteran soldier Mr Donachie of Mallard Hill who received the Legion d'Honneur medal for his service in liberating France
News Update 3 March2016
Starling Way Resurfacing
These are very difficult times for the council financially as we face reducing budgets but increased demands for costly services. As a council we have had to make cuts to our budget of about £90m due to national government funding cuts to all councils and we now face a further 25m of cuts following the latest announcements from government. In spite of this we are still investing record amounts of over £5m annually in roads and pavements and infrastructure every year. This does not allow us to do everything which we would like, but we are able to tackle the worst roads and pavements across the Borough.
Every year we put forward roads in Brickhill which we believe are in the worst condition and require resurfacing. This year we asked for special attention to be given to roads including Starling Way. We are delighted that this work has now been scheduled to start, with a scheme designed to cover from Kestrel Road to the junction near Linnet Way.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bus Stop Information
Borough councillors Charles Royden and Wendy Rider continue to press the Borough to install Real Time Information signs at the bus stops in Waveney Avenue (opposite the Catholic church) and in Kimbolton Road (near Ellis Road). Cllr Charles Royden says: “The funds have been allocated and they should be installed as a priority”.
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.
Robinson Pool Improvements
Much needed improvements at Robinson Pool and the Bunyan Centre are due to start in the New Year. Wendy Rider said “We are really pleased that not only are these local leisure sites being protected from the threat of closure being seen elsewhere in the country, they are actually being improved.” At the Bunyan Sports Centre, upgrade works will see a brand new soft play area for children along with two new exercise studios, a fully refurbished gym and an extended fitness class timetable. Robinson Pool will receive a state-of-the-art gym along with a large new exercise studio, indoor cycling studio and refreshed changing rooms. Renovation works at Robinson Pool will start at the beginning of January. Work at Bunyan starts in February with completion on both centres due in the middle of 2016. These improvements are all part of the new contract the council entered into that sees savings for council taxpayers, improved facilities and no closures.
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,
Schools to go Two Tier
Local schools have been
approached by the Borough
and offered financial support
for new classrooms to enable a change to a two-tier structure. This means that schools would become primary and secondary instead of lower, middle and upper.
Cllr Wendy Rider said
“Some schools have already
changed and many others are keen to do so. We cannot have a situation
where it is confusing and uncoordinated, so the council is stepping in to
help ensure we have a smooth transition. Whatever your views on the
different systems, a mixed picture in any one area is not helpful for local pupils, who must come first.”
Locally in Brickhill, the suggestion is for Brickhill Lower School to become a Primary school with one class in each year group instead of two classes as now. Scott Lower School and Beauchamp Middle School will become a Primary school, expanding to three form entry in September 2017. The council is considering the proposals put forward by schools. The council and schools will then consult with parents and the community on the proposals.
To have your say visit the consultation page on the Borough Council website
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
Parking Problems Rede Close and Moriston Road
Residents in roads along Tyne Crescent including Moriston Road and Rede Close are experiencing an unacceptable level of inconsiderate parking from parents dropping off and collecting children from
St Thomas More School. We have asked the school to remind parents that if they need to collect children by car then they should park lawfully and with due consideration for local residents. The Head Teacher has helpfully issued a letter to all parents reminding them of the importance of parking correctly and not parking across driveways or dropped kerbs. We have asked that parents do not park in Moriston Road or Rede Close but make use of Ashmead Road which is a wide road, without residential properties. We are working with Borough Council highway officers to identify solutions and we will be issuing a survey to residents in the near future. In the meantime we would be pleased to hear from you about any particular problems which you are experiencing. Please send us your comments.
Waveney Green News
We are grateful to officers of Bedford Borough Council who worked with us to address the problem of the unlawful encampment on Brickhill Green, Waveney Avenue. They immediately attended the scene, served a Notice of Direction and had a court date listed. Those responsible for bringing their caravans and vehicles onto The Green left the scene 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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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 email@example.com
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.
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
- 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
- These 6 additional pitches were the first to be delivered in the Borough in many years, after decades of inaction
- 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
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
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.
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.