That Beechnut is Back Again!

click to enlarge.

Letter to my fellow Lib Dem CBC councillors:
"The application for the "Beechnut" for Bedford Square came before the Houghton Regis Town Council planning committee this evening. (Download main application from Central Bedfordshire Council website at

"The scheme is supposed to "help make Bedford Square a focus for community interaction and recreation". Yet people already interact in Bedford Square, and there have been many attempts over the years to make Bedford Square less of a recreational area. Surely the last thing to be encouraged is "recreational use"? A secondary aspiration of the project is to "enhance Bedford Square". I am of the opinion that this particular art work will be a carbuncle on Bedford Square; one which will have no recognisable connection to its proposed location, and one that will serve to distance the people of the town from its elected representatives, both locally, and at the heart of the decison making process.

"The scheme comes within Economic Growth and Regeneration Department of Central Bedfordshire Council, and yet there is a strong feeling about the town that this particular artwork is unwanted, that it is a waste of public money, and of no value in the regeneration of Houghton Regis.

"Has CBC got the guts to pull the money from this HAPPEN arts scheme, and thereby save the impression that public money is being squandered at a time when other public projects are being postponed and reviewed; and at a time when the public, in general, is being warned to expect further public cuts?"

Discuss this issue here