Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Newbury Rd Garages Update


I've been asked by residents to see what can be done about these three garages in Newbury Rd. This is being pursued by the ASB & Statutory Nuisance Team responsible for Community Safety at Central Bedfordshire Council.

The main problem is tracking down the owners, as some are privately owned, and others may be housing associations. I'm told that two owners have been tracked down and asked to clear up and make secure or they could face penalties. The third owner is still being sort.

Our Mature Trees Need Maintenance

When we had Pride in Houghton earlier this year some effort was trumpeted by Central Bedfordshire Council as they trimmed a few trees, but what happened to the momentum?


All over the Parkside ward  people are now kicking up a fuss, notably over the state of sycamore and ash trees, some that are more than 30 years old. Planted close to homes, they regularly drop off their seeds that can quickly establish root and sprout in gardens. Some are so close they touch the windows of homes, and when they don't can block out a significant amount of light.


There's a horse chestnut tree in Enfield Close that, as a sapling, was lovingly watered by the first residents, but now they are regretting it, as the chestnuts in their cases make the footpath slippery while the branches cut out light. There are trees and public flower bed areas that have been left to be taken over by ivy and other strangling weeds. Areas in Bromley and Chelsea Gardens have become unsightly.


I have written to CBC to ask them what their strategy is towards these mature trees. People have had enough of being told "we'll see what we can do" and want some action. It is probably time to take out older trees and replant saplings in better places. I have offered to tour the ward with people from CBC's arboreal team to see what can be done. It's going to take some investment, so anyone on CBC, be warned, I'm looking for it.






Sunday, 6 July 2014

Less than 8% of Homes Are Affordable

A new survey from Shelter shows that less than 8% of homes are "affordable" in our area. The pressure is on for Central Bedfordshire to ensure that new developments have the right proportion of affordable homes to meet local needs.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hostility Towards Travellers?

I was asked on social media, "If I was made homeless, and had no other option but to live in my caravan, would I face the same hostility toward me as the travellers that we see in the town? Would I be treated any differently?"

I replied, My observation is that hostility is greatest the closer the travellers are housed to residents. The hostility rises in proportion to any associated anti-social behaviour, such as urinating in public, the greater the perceived sound of the travellers generator, and the correlation of local minor crime to the arrival of the traveller. So, if you were to lose your house and take to the caravan, take care where you park, toilet, and keep away from areas likely to be affected by crime and you'll minimise the danger of being an outcast.

Have Your Say:


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Another Petrol Station in Houghton Regis? Oh No!

According to Twitter, this post of mine got the most attention this week.

I do wish developers would consider the future. The number of homes in Houghton Regis is set to double. New people will need furnishings and current people need household goods. While Poundstretcher serves this type of product, in Bedford Square, with smaller shops offering bits and bobs, more retail choice is needed locally. The nearest B&M store is in Luton, 4 miles away.


18 Ways to Do Better Googling

Enter these in the Google Search box

1. DEFINE

Define: word
Use this to find definitions.

2. EXACT QUOTE

"word word word"
Quotation marks get you the exact quote.

3. REDUCE NUMBER OF RESULTS

word -noun
Finds references to word and not noun

4. GET A PRICE RANGE

clock £10..£12
Finds clocks on sale between two prices.

5. SEARCH A WEB SITE

site:hrnd.co.uk bypass
Finds references on HRND.co.uk to bypass

6. USE A WILD CARD

nelly the * packed her *
searches for something using * as a wildcard

7. LOOK FOR A FILETYPE

building bypass filetype:ppt
looks for a powerpoint presentation about building bypass

8. TIMER

set timer for 10 seconds
pick a time of your choosing. Timer can go full screen and can even beep

9. MATHS

(20% x 100) + 34+67/36
pops up a Calculator and shows the result.

10. EXCHANGE RATE

pound to euro

11. ANIMATED GIFS

red frog
type the search term, click "Images", click on "search tools", click on "Type", click on "Animated".

12. TITLES

intitle:bypass
locates articles with search term in the title

13. BARREL ROLL

do a barrel roll

14. TIME

time in alanya
gives you the time in Alanya city, Turkey

15. TRANSLATE

translate chicken to turkish
gives you the Turkish word for chicken

16. FLIGHTS

BA 335
gives you flight times

17. FILMS
films houghton regis
gives you list of films to see near town given

18. WEATHER FORECAST

houghton regis forecast
gives you forecast for given town