The Bedfordshire Health Services Review, which has placed the future of key services at Bedford Hospital under threat, has announced a further delay in its programme, causing an even more prolonged period of uncertainty and concern for patients and staff.
The announcement comes shortly after news of the spiralling cost of the review, which has reached at least £4.5 million.
Mayor Dave Hodgson has ruled out any prospect of Bedford Borough Council imposing a charge for the use of Bedford Park for the popular Bedford parkrun event, following a recent decision by another Council to introduce charges for its local Parkrun.
Bedford parkrun is a volunteer-run, free event which sees hundreds of people come together in Bedford Park every Saturday morning for a timed five kilometre run.
Bedford will tonight join hundreds of other towns and cities across the UK in holding public celebrations of celebration of the Queen's 90th Birthday, as Mayor Dave Hodgson lights a beacon on Castle Mound in Bedford.
The Prince of Wales will invite Her Majesty The Queen to light the Principal Beacon at Windsor Castle. This will be followed by the lighting of over 1,000 beacons throughout the United Kingdom, and across the world in celebration of this landmark birthday.
Mayor Dave Hodgson will open the northern section of the Bedford Western Bypass on 25th April, it has been announced today.
The final works are currently taking place on the road, which will be named The Great Ouse Way, in time for its official opening by Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson. Following the opening ceremony, motorists and residents alike will benefit from a new road that will ease congestion, reduce delays and connect the A4280 at Biddenham with the A6 at Clapham, improving the traffic infrastructure of the Borough overall.
Commenting on the Government's announcement today of an allocation of £137,000 for Bedford Borough from its Pothole Action Fund, Mayor Dave Hodgson has revealed that this is a 'tiny fraction' of the investment required to keep local roads in a decent condition.
The borough's allocation from the fund was announced as part of a national funding package which, according to the Local Government Association, would have needed to be 230 times larger to bring the country's roads up to a good standard.
Mayor Dave Hodgson has slammed the spiralling cost of the Bedfordshire Health Services Review, which has placed the future of key services at Bedford Hospital under threat, following news that it has reached at least £4.5 million,up from £3.2 million as had previously been announced.
The review, which is now due to conclude in 'October - December', has also confirmed that expensive travel analysis work carried out by management consultants McKinsey is being re-done altogether.
Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "This review has placed the future of Bedford Hospital as we know it under threat entirely unnecessarily. News that its costs have risen sharply adds insult to the harm it has caused in threatening vital services at our local hospital, in spite their good quality and the growing local population the hospiutal serves.'
"The fact that work carried out by consultants paid £3.2 million is having to be re-done is frankly scandalous. It sillustrates the wasteful nature of this entire process, which at every stage has appeared intent on delivering a major downgrade, in spite of the needs of patients and the wider community."
Mayor Dave Hodgson joined Luton Town FC footballers Craig Mackail-Smith and Jack Marriott as they visited The Grange Academy school for students with special educational needs this week to meet its team who will battle it out in the finals of a prestigious football competition this weekend.
The Kempston school's team will take part in the finals of the FA People's Cup in Sheffield on Sunday 20th March.
Mayor Dave Hodgson has slammed the Government's plans to force every school in England to become an academy regardless of whether they want to. As leader of the Council in the local authority area with the very best Ofsted-rated schools in the Eastern region, Mayor Dave attacked the proposals revealed in the Education White Paper published by the Government yesterday which will force all schools to become academies by 2022, and which also features the removal of the requirement for schools to include parent governors.