Mayor Dave Hodgson offered his thanks to all members of the emergency services, council staff and volunteers who assisted this week as local communities were hit by flooding. As an extraordinary amount of rain fell on Wednesday, the villages of Riseley and Dean were hit extremely hard, and a coordinated effort to assist those flooded and at risk of flooding took place.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP visited Bedford this week, and had a powerful message about the importance of the UK's continued membership of the EU for communities like Bedford.
Mayor Dave Hodgson took Mr Farron to the site of the Riverside North development, which is seeing £36 million of investment in Bedford Town Centre as part of a scheme which will create 200 new permanent jobs as well as exciting attractions such as a new cinema and riverside restaurants and public squares.
The successful project to bring the previously derelict historic buildings at 1-4 St Paul's Square back into use has received a prestigious local heritage award.
The John Gedge Award for contribution to heritage was presented by Sylvia Woods, the president of the Bedford Architectural, Archaeological and Local History Society (BAALHS), to representatives from the project's partner organisation's Bedford Borough Council, Aldwyck Housing Group and V E Parrott (Oakley) Ltd at a short ceremony in the Mayor's Parlour.
Bedford Borough Council has introduced new powers of enforcement against those who cycle in the pedestrianised area of the town centre during busy shopping periods.
Following extensive public consultation which revealed overwhelming support for the measure to enhance pedestrians' safety, Mayor Dave Hodgson's Cabinet has approved the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order for the main pedestrian area of the town centre. This will allow the Council itself to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £75 to those cycling during the prohibited period of 9am to 6pm.
An extra £200,000 will be spent on repairing damage to Bedford Borough's roads caused by the winter weather this year and in previous years.
The money will fund the repair of at least 2,000 extra potholes across the Borough, in addition to the 1,100 pothole repairs already made each year.
The Council has had to make difficult decisions as part of the budget setting process for 2016/7 but this one-off funding boost to invest in the repair of
roads damaged by severe weather is vital to keep the roads in good, safe condition for all users.
The Bedford Borough Council budget proposed by Mayor Dave Hodgson and his Cabinet for 2016/17 won unanimous support at a recent Full Council meeting. All Councillors present, across the Liberal Democrats, Labour, Conservative and Independent groups voted in favour of the budget, which included measures required to bridge a funding gap of over £9million due to brutal government cuts and rising need for care services.
A special public service celebrating the 850th anniversary of the sealing of Bedford's Royal Charter by King Henry II in 1166 is set to take place this Sunday at St Paul's Church in Bedford.
The Charter gave special rights and freedoms to the people of Bedford including the right to set up courts of law, freedom from manorial dues and other tolls and the right to hold a market. The Bedford Charter is one of the oldest in the country. The original is in the Bedfordshire Record Office at Borough Hall. A framed copy is on the Mayor's Parlour wall. There is also a copy on the wall of a painting, by K Petts, of the burgesses collecting the charter from the King in Rouen, France where he and his troops were fighting.
Bedford town centre once again bucked the national trend in 2015, with figures revealing a 2 percent increase in footfall while national footfall numbers for town centres declined.
In contrast to the 2 per cent reduction in footfall for towns both across the country and and regionally, Bedford's increase shows that people are choosing the town centre and supporting their local shops and businesses.