Parish Council Update – October 2020

Motion to save Great Denham Golf Course and keep ‘urban gap’ 

A motion proposed by Cllr Jim Weir (Kempston Rural Ward) was accepted at Full Council on  Wednesday 14 October which stated that the Council must uphold rulings that the Golf Course acts  as an urban gap and that any development in the area must be made in connection with a golf  course. 

Maternity Services in Bedford 

A motion proposed by Cllr Phillippa Martin-Moran-Bryant (Great Barford Ward) was passed at Full  Council on 14 October, asked the Mayor to write to the chief Executive of Bedford Hospital to ask  them to increase the number of appointments a birth partner could attend during pregnancy.  Though the Hosptial have not come in line with national guidelines they have allowed partners at 11- 14 wk as well as 20wk scans. They are also allowed to attend the delivery suite further than just the  established labour. Whilst this is a good change we are hoping the Mayor’s letter can help bring  them in line with national guidelines. 

Veolia Awarded Waste Contracts for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils 

Veolia have been given the Bedford Borough Council waste contracts which means the Covanta incinerator site in Stewartby will begin taking in waste from both Bedford Borough Council and  Central Bedfordshire too. We will continue to look for ways to mitigate the effect of this decision on  those living in the vicinity of the Covanta plant and who are most likely to be concerned by the  invisible particulate matter that the facility will emit. We continue to believe the Mayor and Borough  Council should be looking for ways to destroy the business case for Covanta rather than using it to  burn Borough waste and that of our neighbouring Council. 

Response to planning white paper 

The Conservative Group have submitted a response to the consultation “planning for the future”. In  our letter the main points were: 

Unhappy at proposals to give local democracy less say, feel that this is vitally important to  planning process 

Support the use of the neighbourhood plan as we believe the time put in by local residents  led to plans that are beneficial to local communities. 

Also agree with BBC submission that there needs to be a solid plan regarding affordable  housing 

Boundary commission 

As I am sure you will be aware the boundary commission has made its proposals and we now have  until 7 December to comment on them. In general there are a lot of improvements we feel need to  be made and you can find out more the consultation here: https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all reviews/eastern/bedfordshire/bedford 

It is worth remembering you need to follow 3 key factors for proposing new wards, there are as  follows: 

  1. New wards should leave each councillor representing roughly the same number of voters as other  councillors elsewhere in the authority. 
  2. New wards should – as far as possible – reflect community interests and identities, and  boundaries should be identifiable. Consider transport links, community groups and facilities, natural  or physical boundaries, parishes and shared interests. 
  3. New wards should promote effective and convenient local government. Consider the number of  councillors for, the geographic size of, and the links between parts of the ward 

Please do submit a response at: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/have-your say/20441?bbox=474108.5,235922,537332.5,275234 

Marking Remembrance and Armistice Days In 2020 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and the importance of slowing the spread and keeping our  communities safe, Remembrance and Armistice Days will be marked very differently in Bedford this  year.  

Remembrance Sunday falls on Sunday 8th November. Normally this would see crowds of people join  an event on Bedford’s Embankment, but this year, organisers at the Bedford Branch of the Royal  British Legion are asking people to stay away to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  

A socially distanced service for members of the Royal British Legion and local representatives will  take place and the Royal British Legion and Bedford Borough Council are looking at plans for this to  be broadcast online. 

Lane Closure into Bedford Starts on Monday 19 October 

Cadent Gas are carrying out essential works to divert gas services that will see a lane closure from  the A6 Paula Radcliffe Way roundabout to Clapham Road. 

This will see one lane closed travelling southeast into Bedford past Sainsbury’s from 10am. This lane  will be reopened by the middle of December, at the latest.  

This is part of wider works to make improvements to these roundabouts and help ease congestion as  part of the A6 Northern Gateway. As part of the wider Transporting Bedford project, road and  junction improvements have been carried out across the town which will improve congestion and  road safety. 

School Admissions 

Bedford Borough Council’s online admissions system is now open to all parents and carers whose  children are due to transfer to secondary or upper school in September 2021. 

Parents who live within the Borough who have a child in year 6 at primary school or year 8 at a  middle school will need to transfer their child to a secondary school or upper school in September  2021. The transfer to Secondary 2021 round and the transfer to Upper 2021 round is now no longer  available12 September 2020 via the Council website, closing 31 October 2020.  

For parents who have a child due to transfer to middle school in September 2021, the transfer to  middle school application form will go live from 26 September 2020 until 15 January 2021. 

For children starting school in September 2021 (date of birth between 1 September 2016 – 31  August 2017), applications will open 26 September 2020 and will close 15 January 2021. 

For further information go to www.bedford.gov.uk/onlineadmissions 

COVID-19 update 

Bedford is borough currently at medium local COVID alert level (tier 1) 

If you would like the latest COVID snapshot (as of 28 Oct) please find it below:  https://bbcdevwebfiles.blob.core.windows.net/webfiles/Social%20Care%20Health%20and%20Com munity/Covid19/covid19-weekly-statistics-28Oct.pdf 

More information available at: https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and community/public-health/coronavirus/ 

Track and Trace App 

The government has released new legislation as part of its efforts to drive down the rate of  coronavirus infection and support the test and trace system.  

On Friday 18th September it became law for hospitality venues to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine  of up to £4,000 and to log contact details for customer, visitors and staff as part of NHS Test and  Trace.  

From Thursday 24th September, this has been extended so that it will be a legal requirement to  display an official NHS QR code poster to help people check in to venues. 

The NHS COVID-19 App also launched today across the country. It can downloaded via  https://covid19.nhs.uk/ 

New COVID-19 Marshals Operating In Bedford Borough 

In October we saw the first COVID-19 marshals take to the streets in Bedford town centre, providing  advice and information about how to stay safe and slow the spread of coronavirus locally. However,  it must be noted they do not have the power to make arrests or break up any activity. 

Funding has been provided by the Government to support and encourage the public and businesses  to follow coronavirus measures to keep themselves and our communities safe. 

The marshals will be working with the public, shops, businesses and partners to provide advice and  information about the situation locally and action to take to tackle the virus.

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