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Liberal Democrats

Mayor Dave Hodgson

Bedford Liberal Democrats

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Mayor Dave Hodgson

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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.

Wendy Rider Brickhill Borough Councillor
23 Orwell Close, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 7BQ
01234 303254 Email: wendyrider41@gmail.com

Charles Royden Brickhill Borough Councillor
The Vicarage, Calder Rise, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 7UY
01234 309175 Email: charlesroyden@gmail.com

Mark Fitzpatrick Chair of Brickhill Parish Council
20 Nursery Gardens, Brickhill, Bedford. MK41 8DU
01234 357259 Email: mark.x.fitzpatrick@gmail.com

Liberal Democrat Brickhill Advice Surgery

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Do you or someone you know need extra support during a power cut?

Although power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying.  UK Power Networks is the electricity network and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut.  Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support.  You can find more details and register by visiting ukpowernetworks.co.uk/prioritysupport or calling 0800 169 9970

Clearing Brickhill GreenBrickhill Travellers

We have been pleased that Bedfordshire Police have responded to calls for more robust dealing with the recent encampments. The police have S61 powers to move them on when 6 or more vehilces arrive on public land. They are now working with us and the council to develop an agreed workable policy which recognises both the needs of the community to move unlawful encampments and scarce police resources.

Mayor Dave Hodgson has put the full weight of the Council behind enforcement and authorised the Council to take action through the courts but this is a lengthy process which can take weeks. This is why it is so important for the police to work with us when unlawful encampments are set up on significant local sites

We will be pleased to discuss this or any other matter at our forthcoming surgeries

Please be assured that we will do all that we can to resolve this as quickly as possible and will keep you updated on our website www.puttingbrickhillfirst.com
With our best wishes

Final garden waste collections of 2016

The last garden waste collections of the year will take place over the next few weeks and the service will stop for this year on 30 November; collections will resume in March next year.

Check your collection calendar for the last scheduled green garden waste collection for your postcode.

There are other options for disposing of your garden waste; home composting is a cheap, easy and environmentally friendly way to dispose of your garden waste.

Bedford Borough's Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), located on Barkers Lane, Bedford, accepts green and garden waste. The HWRC is open daily between 9am and 5pm.

And if you're planning on having a real Christmas tree this year, there are a number of sites across the borough where you can recycle your Christmas tree once the festivities are over.

Brickhill Borough Councillors Update October 2016

Rooksmead Pond
Tests have now taken place on the pond and it has been determined that we can instal a pump for a fountain at the site. Wendy and Charles have used their ward funding to fund these improvements and we look forward to installation.
Dog Fouling
This continues to be one of the issues of most concern for residents, especially in the Hawk Drive area for children going to school. The Borough Council is seeking to take new powers under the public space protection order, in the meantime CCTV is located in this area.
School Parking
We have received multiple requests for attention to parking outside Brickhill Lower and
St Thomas More. We have attended on site and spoken to parents who are occasionally even parking on residents properties. We have had a request for extra attention in Kennet Rise and we have advised parking control officers.

Bedfordshire Police is on the hunt for more Speedwatch volunteers.

speeding traffic

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,

www.bedford.gov.uk/communityspeedwatch.

If you would like to pursue then you can email speedwatch@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk, telephone the community road safety team 01234 228336

Financial Pressures

We must pay tribute to councillors of all political parties who came together this year and voted unanimously on a budget for how the Borough Council would spend its money for the next year. The good news is that all of the councillors from all political parties in Bedford Borough have agreed how best we can work together to do the best for our community and how we should spend the small amount of money which we now have for essential front line services. 
 
The bad news was that after having already made 81 million pounds worth of cuts since we became a unitary authority, we are now having to make another 25 million pounds worth of cuts. The Borough Council is responsible for looking after the elderly, vulnerable adults and children and as the population gets older and we develop more medicine to give and prolong life, the cost of doing this is going through the roof. The Council is also responsible for education, adults and children with disabilities, as well as all of the other things which we take for granted like emptying the bins, repairing the roads and cutting the grass.
 
Please try to understand that with such huge cuts there is less and less money available to spend on things which we have taken for granted and we cannot do all that we would like to do, especially to repair things like roads and pavements. As your local councillors we will be doing our best to keep on top of our environment and we are committed to ensuring that Brickhill is a great place to live. However with reduced money we need the support of everybody in our community.

You can help us in our efforts to track down people who allow their dogs to foul pavements, litter our streets or who drive over our grass verges. All of these things costs money which could be better spent on the things we really need. If you see this kind of anti-social behaviour then please report it to the Borough Council by phone or on the website or contact us direct. We are always pleased to speak with you and you are welcome to come to our regular surgeries at the shops on a Saturday morning, as advertised on our website.     

 

Car Parking - free parking offers

  1. Two hours free on Saturday and all day free on Sunday in Borough Council Town Centre Car Parks
  2. 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 Free Car Parking Deal.

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.

Dog Bag Dispensers

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.

Tree Planting

tree replacement in Brickhill

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.

Torridge Rise SNP

Rooksmead

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

Verge Protection

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

cold callingThere 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

 

Mini-Moped Nusiance

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 gail.mulvaney@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Read our Borough Councillor Report

Click here for Borough Councillor reports

Read the latest December FOCUS

Crime

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

pot hole hit squad

oads such as Pipt Rise, Windrush and Dove Road.

Waveney Green

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

Click here for details of all Brickhill Lib Dem Councillors

 


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

Protecting water soil and air

Good agricultural practice

 

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.