Mayor Dave Hodgson made the case for the retention of key services at Bedford Hospital in a recent meeting with NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.
At the meeting in Bedford last month between Mayor Dave, the Council's Chief Executive, and Mr Stevens, Mayor Dave impressed upon the NHS Chief that the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review's proposal to downgrade Bedford Hospital and remove maternity services is illogical for a growing town.
A Council plan for the decongestion of the Ampthill Road Corridor in and out of Bedford has won the backing of the South East Midlands local enterprise partnership (SEMLEP). The £5.1 million scheme will now go forward to government amongst SEMLEP'S chosen projects under its bid for government funding for transport improvements.
Bedford Borough Council will pursue a plan to make greater use of digital technology to save £10 million per year. In a speech presenting the plans at a recent meeting of the Council's Executive, Mayor Dave Hodgson described the pursuit of a digital operating model as vital in order to prevent service cuts which would 'change the Council beyond all recognition'.
Mayor Dave Hodgson is joining forces with other Council leaders to demand a better service for beleaguered rail users on the Govia Thameslink and Great Northern routes. The group of Councils north of London, representing well over a million people, are calling on the Government to ensure Govia raises standards on behalf of passengers across the routes.
In his column for the July edition of the Bedford Bulletin, Mayor Dave Hodgson wrote of his disgust at the plans to close maternity services at Bedford Hospital and to force the 3,000-plus mothers who give birth there every year to travel longer distances away from home and from family to Milton Keynes.
The combination of extremely warm and very wet weather we have experienced this year has of course caused rapid growth of weeds on roads and pavements. Mayor Dave Hodgson has today announced a 'War on Weeds' programme of targeted action by the Council to tackle this extraordinarily rapid growth.
Over the next three weeks the whole of the Borough's highways will be sprayed with environmentally-friendly weed killer spray. In addition, a Council Hit Squad will be sent out manually ripping weeds out of the ground.
Severe concerns that Bedford Borough is being marginalised by a major review of local health services which could affect the future of Bedford Hospital were raised by Mayor Dave Hodgson and councillors at a full council meeting this week.
Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) for the future of health and social care are being developed across the country. This is a different process from the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review by the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups. This has proposed a downgrade of Bedford Hospital including an end to maternity services in Bedford, including no more hospital births locally. The Healthcare Review is currently 'paused' with the future direction still unknown.
Mayor Dave Hodgson has issued a resounding 'thank you' to all volunteers, staff and visitors following a record-breaking Bedford River Festival. Initial estimates suggest that the 2016 festival was the best attended ever, with over 300,000 revellers over the two action-packed, sun-drenched days.
Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: 'Thanks and congratulations are due to all of the staff, volunteers and organisations involved in putting on a hugely successful Bedford River Festival.'