Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Don’t drop your diamond plans - call SAG instead

Advice is on hand for residents looking to organise a street party or event to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee thanks to Central Bedfordshire Council and its partners in the Emergency Services.

The Central Bedfordshire Safety Advisory Group (SAG) - formed by Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue and Ambulance services - will be running a number of local Road Shows to offer free guidance on planning and organising street parties or other community events to celebrate 60 years of the Queen being on the throne.

Cllr Brian Spurr, executive member for Sustainable Communities Services said: "Residents up and down Central Bedfordshire are looking forward to celebrating the Jubilee and the Council and its partner agencies will do all it can to help them arrange a safe and fun event.

"Already we have waived our fees regarding road closures and this service is yet another way we can help."

The SAG Road shows will be taking place in March at a range of locations across Central Bedfordshire, where residents and event organisers can come and discuss their proposed events for some free advice and guidance on organising and running their event safely .

Road Shows will be taking place in Biggleswade, Shefford, Flitwick, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard from the 14th to the 16th March 2012.

Members of the public are welcome to drop in to any of these sessions, or they can ring in advance to book a time slot to avoid having to wait. For more information on times and dates contact Guy Quint on 0300 300 4386 or Nicola Preston on 0300 300 4256.

Information from Central Bedfordshire Council 28/02/12

Congratulations to Elaine Sullivan Child Hair & Beauty, who last night WON Afro Salon of the year, at the Hair Awards 2012

Lorraine proudly holding the Award

 Congratulations to everyone involved.

Grant Boost For Street Watch Schemes

Three new Street Watch schemes are set to be launched in Dunstable and Houghton Regis thanks to a £7,700 Home Office grant.
The money has been awarded by the Community Action against Crime Innovation Fund which encourages creative new approaches to tackling crime. Grants are offered to local projects to encourage greater community activism and enable communities to develop innovative approaches to tackling the local crime issues that matter to them.

The money will be used by volunteers to start up new Street Watch schemes in the Downside area of Dunstable, as well as the Tithe Farm and Sandringham Drive areas of Houghton Regis where higher levels of Anti-Social Behaviour, Serious Acquisitive Crime and domestic burglary have been identified

Street Watch - which has been rolled out at various locations in Central Bedfordshire since April 2010 – is about local residents helping to build stronger and safer neighbourhoods by patrolling their own streets, identifying and resolving low levels of nuisance and anti-social behaviour, increasing the feeling of safety and to increase a sense of community cohesion within their local area.

It is emphasised that Street Watch members are not doing the job of police officers or PCSOs and have no more power than ordinary citizens. Instead the purpose of Street Watch is to prevent crime by increasing visibility, maintaining effective communication and reporting to police and increasing feelings of safety and community spirit.

Each scheme relies on Street Watch finding coordinators and volunteers prepared to give two hours each month and keep the national web site up to date with what they are doing and where. They also have to be vetted at the same level as police volunteers.

John Plummer, who applied for the grant and is Coordinator of Bedfordshire Street Watch, said: “Street Watch is about local residents working together to improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. I am eternally grateful to all the local coordinators and volunteers who have made Street Watch such a success, and to Bedfordshire Police for their support. Residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities, appreciate what we do, and feel comforted when they see Street Watch out on patrol as it gives them a sense of well being and reduces their fear of crime.”

Sergeant Clare Thomas, of the Local Policing Team in Houghton Regis, added: “Street Watch is a classic example of the community and police working in partnership to reduce crime and increase feelings of safety.

“Fear of crime and feelings of intimidation, often created by young people, can sometimes place significant demands on the local police and cause people to have unrealistic expectations of what police can achieve unless communities are willing to stand up and do their bit working alongside us”.

“The ethos of Street Watch is to give residents the opportunity to get to know their communities better. We would urge anyone interested in setting up a similar scheme in their area to get in touch.”

Anyone who is interested in joining up to the Street Watch scheme can contact Bedfordshire Police on the non emergency 101 number or visit www.street-watch.org.uk for details

Holiday Inn ~ Dunstable ~ opening soon!

Holiday Inn ~ Dunstable

 "This is a gateway development that will bring new life and job opportunities to the town and will form a key part of the overall development of the London Road," said project spokesman Rod (passage taken from this link) Lovell.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Elaine Sullivan Child and Beauty win Afro Salon of the year 2012

Elaine Sullivan Child Hair and Beauty has been nominated and was a finalist for Afro salon of the year, at the Hair Awards 2012. We are very pleased to share with everyone that this evening they WON!!

Congratulations to everyone involved.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Formal consultation on changes to age range at Houghton Regis Lower schools

Formal consultation is to begin on proposals to extend the age range of four Houghton Regis Lower schools, to cater for 3 to 11 year-olds, in a bid to improve education standards.

Hawthorn Park, Thornhill and Tithe Farm Lower Schools received approval from Central Bedfordshire Council to move to statutory consultation after an informal consultation by the schools showed solid support.

Thomas Whitehead Lower School, which had also canvassed views on the issue, will also go to formal consultation following a decision by its governing body.

Speaking about the decision Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children's Services, says: "The Council supports the drive by our schools to raise standards and results for all our pupils. This consultation, initiated by the schools concerned, is about giving power to parents, governors, and teachers to shape the future of their own schools.

"I have committed the Council to consider any proposals by schools providing they could show support from parents, that the proposed arrangements will meet the needs of all pupils, and that the changes can be achieved within existing resources.

"Initial consultation undertaken at the start of the year has shown that many parents within the area are fully supportive of the proposed changes and there is a clear desire to move ahead with the proposals.

"The Council is publishing statutory notices for the schools concerned. These will also be on the Council's website and at Houghton Regis library, as well as the local town council and local press. This is the start of formal six week statutory consultation, ending 2 April 2012. This will give parents and other interested parties a further opportunity to put forward their views."

Following the statutory consultation and careful consideration of the responses, Councillor Versallion will make the final decision on whether this change will happen for any of the schools in April. This will be made in a public meeting so that head teachers, governors and parents can attend if they wish. The proposed changes would be implemented from September 2013 at which time year 4 pupils would have the opportunity to remain at their current lower school for a further two years or transfer to a middle school.

Central Bedfordshire Council New Release 24/02/2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

Watling Lower School Dunstable ~ Has fabulous makeover ~ Helping to make the children feel more safe and secure in their learning environment.

Watling Lower School continues to see improvements as their 'makeover' continues. From recycled play equipment, to new windows, doors and roof. New wooden gates along with new Watling Lower School signs. A larger play area for the children,... all made safe and secure with new fencing. All helping to make the children feel safe and secure and wanting to learn in this great environment. There are still improvements being made and the coloured fence on the front of the school is to be painted very soon. Take a look at the improvements next time you pass as you go along Bull Pond Lane.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mary Portas Pilot Funding ~ CBC and DTC work together.

Dunstable Town Council will be taking the lead on a proposal to submit a bid for funding from Central Government - Communities and Local Government, as part of the Portas Pilot funding. This funding aims to assist in the regeneration of High Streets following the Portas Review. DTC are working in partnership with CBC ~ Central Bedfordshire Council Officers who are currently working on the bid and developing project areas. A draft of the bid will be presented to the Dunstable Joint Committee on Thursday 15th March for agreement. This is a public meeting and anyone is welcome to attend. It is being held at Watling House at 7pm on the above date.

Officers are also currently seeking letters of support from the business and wider community.

We look forward to reporting on this after the Dunstable Joint Committee meeting.

Court Drive in Dunstable will be the first project to receive funding as part of a major investment programme to regenerate the town centre.

Central Bedfordshire Council, and their highways service provider Amey, will look at the needs of every road user to deliver a streetscene that is better balanced and suitable for all.

Cllr Nigel Young, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities – Strategic Planning and Economic Development, said: "What we are trying to achieve is a new concept, but the outcome will be a better balanced street and one that respects, and is ‘shared’ by, all users. A well balanced street minimises visual clutter and obstacles. The Court Drive scheme will use various colours of durable materials to delineate the street and most importantly, will encourage a degree of negotiation between road users."

Work will start after Easter, and is due to be completed in the summer. The work will be completed in several phases, helping to minimise disruption.

A public exhibition of the final designs will be held in late March 2012.

Central Bedfordshire Council and Amey will also be providing a dedicated bus lane in Court Drive, which will become an integral part of the Luton-Dunstable-Houghton Regis Guided Busway.

Having spoken to a local business, although they have reservations as to how this work will effect their business during the distruption they have been contacted from CBC and Amey the works contractors who will work along side them to minimise this. The businesses also look forward to seeing the first stages of Dunstable's regeneration.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

PEDALWORKS ~ West Street, Dunstable

Dunstable welcomes another new shop to its High Street

West Street

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Woman In Black with Daneil Radcliffe ~ comes to Dunstable in March on the big screen.

Grove Theatre Dunstable ~ Showing newly released films and big names from the stage and tv along with plays, Opera and other great evenings of entertainment.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A beautiful sunny winters day in Dunstable

It was lovely walking through town earlier in the winter sun and seeing all the scaffolding down by Dunstable Aquatics, PEDALWORKS and Preen. It makes entering Dunstable from West street so much more inviting.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Dunstable has its own Station! ~ The Sweet Station

The Sweet Station ~ High Street North Dunstable ~ Selling old fashioned and new sweets from jars ~ along with a milk shake bar ~ Pop in next time you are in Dunstable.

Full Priority 1 salting run tonight. Risk of ice following rain this evening.

Information from Central Bedfordshire Council ~ Winter status reports:


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Beds in bid to boost job chances

Central Bedfordshire Council is expanding its successful work club scheme, which delivers specialist support to help residents back into work.

The scheme, run by Bedfordshire Adult Skills & Community Learning Service started in September last year, in Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.

It proved so successful it is now being expanded to Dunstable and Biggleswade.

For the full information please go to:


Have your say on the future development of Central Bedfordshire

Central Bedfordshire Council want your views on the Development Strategy, a new planning policy document that will play a huge part in shaping the future in Central Bedfordshire.

The Development Strategy will set out how much growth and development will need to be planned for, in areas such as housing, employment and retail. It will also suggest broadly where this should go. At a more detailed level, the Strategy will set out detailed policies to help determine planning applications.

For the full information on the above ~ Please go to:


Monday, 13 February 2012

FOPHAG ~ Priory House need YOU!

For more information click here or pop along on Thrusday 16th February to meet people who are passionate about Dunstable's Priory House Heritage Centre and Gardens. All helping to raise funds and it's profile.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Courses to create MORE good young drivers

Sixty young people from across Central Bedfordshire recently took part in the MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses to improve their driving knowledge and skills.

Three workshops, covering driving skills, maintenance and safety, were run by vehicle inspectors and collision investigators from Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service, Three Shires Driving School and Millbrook’s proving ground and offered real-life experience from professionals at the top of their field.

The MORE 16 programme gave 16 year-olds their first taste of driving on a Millbrook track, whilst also offering guidance to parents on choosing a driving instructor and on how to help their teens when practising. Parents attending even receive a high-speed passenger ride around a track with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as rallying or racing.

For the full details please go to:


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Priory Middle School ~ Dunstable

Priory Middle School has been identified as the highest performing Central Bedfordshire Middle School. This excellent news coincides with the Secretary of State’s decision to grant Priory the permission to become a 9-13 Converter Academy later this year.

A5 Dunstable northern bypass.

CAMPAIGNERS pressing for the planned A5 Dunstable northern bypass have welcomed the launch of the public inquiry into the scheme.

The inquiry, headed up by planning inspector David Wildsmith, began on Tuesday, February 7, and is expected to last for three weeks.
It is being held at the Superdrug Stores Conference Centre, in ProLogis Park, Arenson Way, Dunstable.
The bypass would be a 2.9-mile dual carriageway, running east from the A5 north of Dunstable to link to the M1 at a new junction, 11a.
South West Beds MP Andrew Selous welcomed the launch of the inquiry.
He backs the bypass and hopes the outcome will be “a very clear and unequivocal thumbs-up” for the scheme.

~ Dunstable Gazette ~

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A very cold February day in Dunstable...

It has been a bitterly cold day again in Dunstable and there is still some snow laying about which has become frozen hard. The roads are clear as are most of the pavements. However you should take care if you are walking about.

The wind is bitter but it didn't stop me venturing in to town, the watch stopping over night resulted in me popping to the man in the little shop at the traffic lights in Dunstable. Don't be put of by the scaffolding, he is in fact open. Just £3 for a watch battery which is excellent value, trouble is now the day is moving quick again!

Wrap up warm if your going out and the same really even if your in. Don't forget to ring or pop in on family, friends and neighbours. Just a smile and 'how are you doing?' is good in these winter months.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Warm Homes Healthy People – Keeping Warm during the cold snap!

With temperatures set to plummet again tonight, Central Bedfordshire Council is asking residents to keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours, who may be susceptible to the effects of cold weather.

More info on our 'Information for the local community page' ~ http://www.aboutdunstable.blogspot.com/p/information-for-local-community_27.html

Harrisons Jewellers ~ Dunstable ~ Now have 'Radley' watches in stock!

Saturday, 4 February 2012


The snow has started falling in Dunstable, icing sugar levels at the moment but it looks like we could be in for a complete down pour! Look out for snow pictures on our facebook page. Feel free to 'look' and 'like' and download your snow picture. With snow expected all over England we are looking forward to seeing some great pictures.

Take care wrap up warm and pop and say hello on our facebook page or twitter @aboutdunstable ~ everyone is welcome to join in the support for our great market town of Dunstable ~ All helping to keep our High Streets alive!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Coucnillors Surgery Saturday 4th February at Priory House Heritage Centre

Central Bedfordshire and Dunstable Town Councillors will be upstairs in Priory House Heritage Centre tomorrow morning between 10am and 12noon to hopefully try and answer any questions you may have about Dunstable ~ Why not pop along and say hello while your in town.

Thursday Night in Dunstable...........so many choices.............

A Curry and a pint at The Gary Cooper ~ Wetherspoons..........

Followed by a pudding and coffee at Priory House Tea Rooms 'Pudding Night' ........or a liquor coffee if you like!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thousands have their say on libraries

The Future of Libraries, the second part of the council’s public consultation on the library service, was recently completed with more than 2,200 local people and library users having had their say on the next steps for their local library.
For more information please go to 'Information for the local community' ~ Thank you.