Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Conference at Chicksands

I attended Town and Parish conference yesterday at Chicksands, Central Bedfordshire Council HQ.

Discussed were:
Health Review. Local health authority are consulting on the ways that they will have to cut their cloth and deploy future services. You should check this out online and try and have your say on this. It affects Central Beds, Bedford, Milton Keynes.

The main thrust was why are parishes charging very silly low prices for exclusive right of burial, when the money raised goes nowhere near paying for upkeep of a plot for 75 years? Why don't we charge prices akin to Bedford and Luton, even if we don't go to the dizzy heights of London Borough authorities. Convincing arguments. I liked the message that says don't look over the fence at other parishes to see what they are doing, because they are probably pricing it incorrectly as well. Essentially crematoriums run at a profit, cemeteries run at a loss subsidised by council taxpayers.

Digital cameras.
Highways have got cash to update some of the three dozen or so film cameras in the area but can't do them all in digital yet, but if parishes want to partner with them to pay for poles and some sort of internet link, they may be able to work something out. And they will possibly be moving to average speed cameras on roads like the A6. Lot of discussion over a badly written drafted letter sent round to Parishes earlier.

If a hundred people read this post, one of you will have a heart attack in the next three months.
Fibrilators cost about 2k, the message is, do we want to provide one for the town to use, because they save lives. How they work, why they work, and where they can be put was all explained. They get my vote.

Apologies for any misplaced facts. This is all off the top of my head and I wrote no notes.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Riders Motorcycling On Our Footpaths

Many times this topic has come up on my News Desk.

Is the problem of nuisance bikers in the town getting worse, or has it levelled off? And how would you tackle them? A councillor in Caddington had a go at off road bikers at the weekend and ended up having his foot run over by one of them. Police can set up a team (occasionally) at great expense and serve section 59 notices. Riding motorbikes on footpaths is illegal; riding without insurance is illegal; riding without a helmet is illegal.

Last year I witnessed a rider doing a wheelie across the cricket pitch WHILE THE MATCH WAS IN PROGRESS!

Anyone know where we can get a Spiderman web?

Hemel High Street

Traders losing their businesses in Hemel Hempstead High Street. Time to compensate the traders! My Dad lost his supermarket business in Norfolk when the water board closed and dug up the road in front of his shop for 3 months. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Can You Really Have An Independent Party?

Executive CBC Councillor Richard Stay this week has a pop at Independents, and the fact that Central Bedfordshire Council's former Labour councillor Julian Murray is collecting a bonus (worth £902 in 2012/13) for being leader of the second largest party on the Council.

It's certainly something that rankles with rank and file members of all political parties, the fact that they declare themselves Independent, and then hold "group" meetings to decide on strategy etc.

But I do sense an air of distrust about Cllr Stay's own allowance 'fortune'. He should tell us more about his own special responsibility allowance - its a role shrouded in mystery that is something known as External Affairs for which he was paid £10,423.13 in 2012/13; and that goes on top of his Travel (£2,618.45), Subsistence (£498.73), and standard councillor and ICT allowances.

£10k councillors are handed roles

Council row as pair get £10k 'executive' roles

Council member turns down extra pay

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


A former school friend takes some lovely pictures in a fb group we're in. Have a lovely Easter.

Cheaper Energy Notifications

I'm currently on a 4 year plan for cheaper energy with EDF.

They promised to notify me whenever another company comes up with a scheme that might save me more money.

But I seem to be getting a notification at least once a week. What is it costing to sending all these notices out?

I'm beginning to feel like Vernon Dursley fending off Harry Potter's owl posts!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Woodland Deteriorating As Litter Builds Up

It saddens me to know that there are people lucky enough to live within a stones throw of a wonderful natural environment, and yet just treat it as a dump.

So here, in this woodland near Fensomes Drive, we have a divan, two bases and a mattress. Quite a lot of effort to remove these items from a home. Whoever it was, and probably more than one person, lacked the common sense to arrange for it to be collected and disposed of properly. So now, hapless council employees are going to be faced with the hassle of removing them. I bet the culprits will be the first to whine about paying council taxes, without thinking of the extra burden they're placing on council tax by their thoughtless action. One mattress appears to have been set fire to, so I hope the rest are moved before the woodland goes up in smoke. Meanwhile the crisp packets and cans and other detritus scattered around looks a complete mess.

Meanwhile, I spied-with-my-little-eye something beginning with "s". It was a scooter in a tree! And when I looked around a bit more there was another one round the corner in another tree! 

April 25th is Pride in Houghton Day. A day for Central Bedfordshire and Houghton Regis Town Councils to organise a clean up and show that people care about their environment. So how many members of the public will come out to help?

It's a Friday, so that will disallow many working folk from being able to pitch in.

If anyone can do Saturday 26th, let me know and I'll fix it for you to help out.   Don't all rush at once.