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.