New 'Revealing the Greensand Country 2021' Booklet
Discover new things to do and see across our fabulous Greensand Country area within Central Bedfordshire.
You can also access the booklet here: https://bit.ly/3ti9KIv
Bedfordshire Lieutenancy - Press Release - Friday 9th April 2021
The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021
It is with huge sorrow that we learned of the death of Her Majesty The Queen's beloved husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, this morning.
He passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle.
His long and dedicated service to our nation will forever be honoured and respected.
We join with Her Majesty and members of The Royal Family in mourning his loss deeply.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Bedfordshire on numerous occasions and his presence was always much enjoyed by those organisations he supported.
His humour and his ability to bring people together to encourage progress in so many areas of our lives, means that he leaves a lasting and cherished legacy for the future.
Flags are being flown at half-mast across Bedfordshire for the period of mourning and an online book of condolence will be available for Bedfordshire people to write their messages.
A Bedfordshire Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh will be available online so that all may join together safely together during the pandemic.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis said "On behalf of the people of Bedfordshire, may I express our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and to the Royal Family for the loss of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. His contribution to the life of this nation and to the Commonwealth was enormous. He was a welcome and popular visitor to our county, always ensuring that every person he met felt special. His good humour and his genuine support for so many organisations will always be respected and remembered. May he Rest in Peace."
Three Things You Need to Know:
1. Census Day is Sunday 21st March. As soon as you receive your unique access code in the post, you can go online to complete your questionnaire. Visit census.gov.uk. There’s no need to wait until Census Day!
2. If you can't complete your questionnaire online, don't worry. You can request a paper questionnaire by calling our helpline 0800 141 2021 any time between 8am and 8pm (weekdays) and 8am and 1pm (Saturdays). You can also give your answers directly to a census officer on the phone.
3. Completing the Census is a legal requirement for all of us but there is plenty of help and advice available for anyone who faces any difficulty doing it. Call 0800 141 2021 for assistance and advice.
Clifford Wood | Census Engagement Manager, Bedford and Central Beds | Office for National Statistics | 07452 942 286 | | www.census.gov.uk
Keep in touch:
- Register for email updates about Census 2021 and/or other areas of ONS
- Access census information for community partners and local authorities
- Follow @Census2021 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Households across Central Bedfordshire will be asked to take part in Census 2021 this spring.
The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.
Information from the census is also important in helping lots of other people and organisations do their work.
Charities and voluntary organisations often use it as evidence to get funding. It helps businesses to understand their customers and, for example, decide where to open new shops. Plus, those doing research, like university students and people looking into their family history, use census data. It provides important information on population diversity, allowing organisations to know whether they are meeting their responsibilities and triggering action where necessary.
Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.
“The census provides a unique snapshot of our communities,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at Office for National Statistics, said. “It benefits everyone. Based on the information you give, it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GP’s and dentist’s services.
“No-one should miss out. Everyone can complete on online with a new search-as-you-type ability and paper forms for those who need them.”
Census day will be on March 21, but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part. The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit census.gov.uk.
Bedfordshire church launches online Book of Condolence for Sir Tom
The parish church of St Mary's, Marston Morteyne, the parish where Captain Sir Tom Moore lived for so many years, has launched an online book of condolence, primarily for the people of Bedfordshire. Anyone may contribute to it, but Bedfordshire residents may identify themselves as such by ticking a box.
The initiative is supported by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedford Helen Nellis and The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford who want the communities of Bedford to be able to honour Sir Tom in this way and express their gratitude for his life and sorrow at his loss.
The Bishop said: "The parish church would ordinarily have placed a book of condolence in the church for anyone to use but in a sign of the times, as they cannot visit the church under pandemic rules, this is a way of providing that opportunity to them and a wider group of people at the same time. The entries are being recorded and moderated and we hope to publish as many as is practical, in time. I hope that this will provide people with a chance to express in words what they thought and felt about Sir Tom."
The Bishop will also preside at St Mary's Sunday usual Sunday morning service at 10 am which will also be on YouTube. During the service Sir Tom and all who have died in the pandemic will be remembered in prayer. The Revd Kate McFarlane, Curate-in-Charge of the church will preach.
St Mary's has written a prayer for all who mourn his loss. The condolence book and the prayer can be accessed directly via www.sirtom.org and from the parish's own website: stmarysmarston.org where a link to the YouTube service can also be found.
The Lord Lieutenant and the Bishop also expressed their own thoughts about Sir Tom:
The Lord Lieutenant said:
"We were all so sad to hear that Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away in Bedford Hospital this week and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wonderful family who are grieving the loss of a much- loved father and grandfather.
“Captain Tom was a national treasure who inspired us, and NHS staff, with his gentle, clear and hopeful messages, encouraging us to know that "tomorrow will be a good day." The image of him walking 100 hundred laps of his garden will always make us believe that we are all capable of doing something to help.
“The twinkle in his eye and his humble dignity touched the hearts of the world and we are proud to honour him as a son of Bedfordshire whose remarkable contribution will be forever remembered by history."
The Bishop added:
"To so many, Sir Tom represented the best of our courage and character. Though we are sad, we are also profoundly grateful for him and his magnificent contribution over the last year.
“We will be learning lessons from his optimism and can-do approach to life for some time, but for now the impression left on me is of someone for whom it was never too late to make a difference and a powerful statement about the value of each person's contribution.
“Though we miss him, how much more will his loving and extensive family, who are in our prayers."
From the Diocese of St Albans
Message and Christmas Video from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
Dear Colleagues and Friends
Please enjoy the Lord-Lieutenant’s Christmas 2020 message on You Tube at: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire's Virtual Christmas Message 2020 "We Stand Together as One" - YouTube
After the toughest of years where we have all changed our lives radically in order to protect each other from the Corona Virus, we heard on Saturday from the Prime Minister that it will not now be possible to come together with our much-missed families for Christmas as promised.
Like you, I feel sadness and disappointment.
Nevertheless, we should remember, that the choices that we have made over the past year to socially distance, to wear masks and to wash our hands frequently, may well be the reason that someone else is alive and that knowledge must make our sacrifices worthwhile. No matter how hard it may feel, I would urge you to continue to dig deep and follow the rules that will help us to protect our family, friends and neighbours.
In common with so many other faith traditions this year, our Christmas celebrations will rely now in some way, on the power of technology to help us show our love.
In this context, is with great love that I send you our Christmas video which I hope you will enjoy while you sit down with a cup of tea, or a cup of good cheer, to reflect on a momentous year in all our lives.
The production is 25 minutes long and shows the immense goodness of the people of Bedfordshire as they have supported each other through the pandemic.
Please feel free to forward the video to all who might want to share in this great story of how people from all backgrounds and faith traditions in our wonderful county have "Stood together as One" to meet the challenges of this year.
Please enjoy the Lord-Lieutenant’s Christmas 2020 message on You Tube at: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire's Virtual Christmas Message 2020 "We Stand Together as One" - YouTube
May I thank Phillip Fothergill DL for his immense professionalism and good humour in kindly producing this video for you.
Thank you for all that you have done to help others this year.
Wishing you the blessings of Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and renewal.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire Service of Remembrance 2020
A message from Helen Nellis, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
In advance of Armistice Day tomorrow, please find the online Service of Remembrance which can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/sarBOdLVIPI
If you haven’t already had a chance to watch the Service of Remembrance, I hope you are able to find some time to remember those in the past and those today who have given so much to keep us safe. To those of you who have already taken the opportunity to watch the Service of Remembrance, my thanks for your kind comments. It is wonderful to share this special time with you all, albeit remotely.
Central Bedfordshire Council joins national fight against “zombie batteries” in bid to tackle waste collection fires - 5th November 2020
Central Bedfordshire Council are urging residents to “join the fight against Zombie batteries” in a bid to tackle the growing number of fires caused by carelessly discarded dead batteries.
The Council and their waste and recycling partner, FCC Environment, are supporting the new national Take Charge campaign. They are urging residents to never throw batteries away in their general rubbish, but to recycle batteries using the council’s battery collection services.
Residents looking to dispose of dead batteries can place them in bag next to their general waste bin on collection day or they can take them to collection points or their local household waste recycling centre.
Dead batteries thrown away with other waste and recycling, which the campaign refers to as “zombie batteries”, are likely to be crushed or punctured once the waste is collected and processed. Some battery types in particular, lithium-ion (Li-ion) and nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH), can ignite or even explode when they’re damaged. Once this happens, the batteries can quickly set fire to other materials present in the waste, like paper, leading to serious incidents that put lives at risk.
The Environmental Services Association, the recycling and waste management trade body who launched the campaign, conduct an annual survey of its members to record the number of fires occurring at recycling and waste facilities that are known or thought to have been started by lithium-ion batteries. Recent data collected shows between April 2019 and March 2020, lithium-ion batteries alone were thought to be responsible for more than 250 fires at their members’ facilities during the year – well over a third (38%) of all fires.
Central Bedfordshire residents have a number of options to safely dispose of their batteries, including by placing them in a bag next to their bin on their normal collection day, that way they can be collected separately. The batteries are then recycled which is even better for the environment.
Consumers can find out more about the dangers of zombie batteries, by visiting the campaign website at www.takecharge.org.uk
Central Bedfordshire Council food voucher scheme will continue to be available to families in need over this half term holiday period. - 26th October 2020
The scheme works by providing vouchers directly to families via the network of Children’s Centres that are based in communities across our area. The vouchers enable food to be supplied by a number of the major supermarket chains that operate in our communities and any families who are eligible to free school meals are able to access this support.
CBC have operated the voucher scheme for some time and recognise that it may be particularly important to families when schools are closed.
Looking ahead, they are exploring how they can best continue the arrangements for the Christmas period taking account of the particular circumstances created by the pandemic.
Children's Centres will be open throughout the coming week in all major towns. For anyone not able to get to a centre, alternative means of providing support are available. Call our contact centre on 0300 300 8000 to find our more.
Details of our Children's Centres are availble online at here
The collections will be suspended from Monday, 7 December 2020 until Friday, 26 February 2021 inclusive. Residents are encouraged to check their last collection date for their area, which will be either the week commencing Monday, 23 November or Monday, 30 November. The collections will resume again on Monday, 1 March 2021.
All other waste collections will operate as normal during this period.
Throughout these months, only very low volumes of garden waste are collected, and it is therefore not cost effective to provide the service during these months.
During the break in service, garden waste can still be recycled at the council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres which are open seven days a week from 9am -5pm, including bank holidays. Certain restrictions due to Covid-19 may be in operation at all four sites.
For details of the opening times including the opening times over the Christmas and New Year period please visit our website: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/recycling. Residents with enough space in their gardens are encouraged to home compost. The council encourages home composting by offering all residents a discount on compost bins and accessories.
For more information about changes to your garden waste collection please visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/garden-waste.
CBC’s Chief Executive Richard Carr, has provided us with an update on the planning decision process during the COVID 19 emergency.
In these extraordinary times, we are focussed on responding to the public health emergency. As part of this, we need to take account of the restrictions on all but essential travel and the requirement for social distancing. This practice inevitably has had some negative impacts on our operations, with many regular services and processes being disrupted.
Amongst these have been our democratic decision-making meetings, which sit at the heart of our core purpose as a publicly accountable organisation.
Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, new regulations have been introduced which enable councils to resume these meetings by substituting previous legal requirements (for Councillors to meet in person) with new powers to operate in a virtual context.
If all decision making was suspended, this could build a backlog of key decisions and ultimately delay economic recovery in Central Bedfordshire. We have trialled the use of technology to bring Members together at an informal Executive gathering in April. The conclusions reached by Members during that informal discussion and using the executive powers, vested in me during crisis situation, have allow us to make some decisions.
This is the approach I am consistently taking in the use of these special powers. In other words, where I am taking decisions which would ordinarily be taken by a committee of Members of the Council, I am only doing so after I have taken account of the views of the Members concerned.
There is a plan to move to formal Member decision-making committees operating virtually, in line with the Coronavirus Act 2020, facilitated by a suitable technology platform during May 2020.
It is in this context that we have instituted a temporary model for the consideration of some planning applications on the 29th April. This model will enable some applications which would normally have been considered by the Development Management Committee to be shared with relevant local Members for comment and for a small Member panel to make recommendations to me on the use of my emergency powers. We will be especially sensitive to any applications which are likely to be contentious and I am not expecting to make any decisions on any applications which fall into this category. We have a statutory duty to determine applications within a reasonable time. Failure to do so would be grounds to appeal to the Planning Inspector.
I should stress that no decisions on planning applications have been taken under these arrangements as of the date of this message of the 22nd April 2020.
For transparency, we are explaining this arrangement on our website at relevant pages and I would be grateful if you could assist us in reassuring the public on this arrangement by directing them to this content.
Green Waste Collections Restarting from 27th April 2020
CBC plan to re-start the collection of garden waste from Monday 27th April. This should coincide with our Green bin collection.
Please do not overload the bags.
Please do not report any missed bins to us or CBC.
CBC will continue to monitor the situation and will update residents with changes as soon as possible.