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  • Flowers at The Embankment Spring 2021
    Article: May 12, 2021

    Bedford Borough Council is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is Nature.

    Research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been a vital for our mental health.

  • Fight climate change with solar panels
    Article: May 11, 2021

    At Monday's Climate Change Workshop we heard some of the successes of the Climate Change Fund. These successes have included paying for solar panels, replacement of doors, improved LED lighting and air conditioning.

    The Climate Change Fund helps to reduce the carbon emissions of the Borough by match-funded energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations on community building and supporting projects that will considerably reduce a building's carbon emissions as well as the running costs of that building.

  • Bedford Railway Station Sign
    Article: May 10, 2021

    A report looking at options around the East West Rail route north of Bedford Midland has shown that the service could run effectively using just the existing four lines, and avoid the need to demolish any homes in the Poets area.

    Bedford Borough Council commissioned SLC Rail, specialists in rail projects, to conduct a technical review of this section of the route in response to the East West Rail Company's current consultation proposing six tracks to run north of the station. This would require over 50 homes to be compulsorily purchased and potentially demolished, nearly 50 more to lose some of their land or gardens and another rebuilding of the Bromham Road Bridge causing further disruption to local residents on this busy route into the town.

    This report shows that East West Rail trains could run on the existing lines, as in a standard hour of train services there is still 28 minutes - nearly half of the time - where the line is free and an East West Rail service could run. It also shows that this free time could be extended to 40 minutes in the hour with some relatively minor changes to the track layout within its existing boundaries.

    This report concludes that with efficient timetabling and some track layout adjustments it is possible to bring the East West Rail service through Bedford Midland without the need to demolish homes. This would also be a cheaper option than the proposed six tracks.

    Mayor Dave Hodgson said "This report confirms what we have said all along - that there is no need for extra lines on the section of track north of Bedford station to Fairhill. The rail experts producing this report for the Council have demonstrated that with a few relatively minor adjustments to the track layout there is ample capacity for East West Rail trains to and from Cambridge, without the need for the government to compulsorily purchase homes in the Poets area. We can also see that Network Rail came to this same conclusion in a report they have recently released. We will now continue to push the East West Railway Company to adopt this revised approach, so that our community can benefit from this once in a generation investment that will bring jobs and businesses to Bedford Borough without the loss of homes in the Poets area."

  • Bedford Borough Coronavirus Snapshot published 6th May 2021
    Article: May 9, 2021

    The latest weekly coronavirus statistics for Bedford Borough have been published.

    The figures show that in the seven days up to May 2nd:

    • 1,490 people were tested (165 fewer than the previous week)
    • There were 69 Covid-19 cases (25 more than the previous week)
    • The weekly positive cases per 100,000 population was 39.8 (down from 25.4 in the previous week
  • Cllr Christine McHugh
    Article: May 9, 2021

    From May 7th, councils in England are no longer permitted to hold meetings remotely, after the Government did not legislate to extend their ability to do so and a High Court Claim to establish councils' ongoing legal right to do so was lost. Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Christine McHugh has commented on the 'utterly absurd' circumstances that see Councils compelled to meet in-person even while indoor gatherings are still banned on public health grounds, while also warning that progress in public access and participation in Council meetings held remotely is at risk of being lost.

  • Coronavirus graphic
    Article: May 8, 2021

    Bedford Borough Council has been notified of 7 cases of a variant known as VOC-21APR-02 (first identified in India). The variant was identified after genetic sequencing was carried out on positive COVID-19 tests.

    The Council is working closely with Public Health England to investigate the cases and as a precautionary measure, additional testing of close contacts will be carried out at two education settings in the Borough. Surge testing or mass testing of communities is not currently required.

  • Article: May 7, 2021

    Congratulations to Festus Akinbusoye on becoming Bedfordshire's new Police and Crime Commissioner.

    The final result is:

    Festus Akinbusoye (Conservative) - 59,793

    David Michael (Labour) - 50,815
  • Jas Parmar Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for Bedfordshire 2021 (NBLD)
    Article: May 7, 2021
    The first preference votes in the Police and Crime Commissioner Election have been announced. They are:
    Festus Akinbusoye (Conservative) - 51,700 (42.4%)
    David Michael (Labour) - 42,708 (35%)
    Jas Parmar (Liberal Democrats) - 15,983 (13.1%)
    Patrick Hamill (Independent) - 8,279 (6.8%)
    Antonio Vitiello (English Democrats) - 3,387 (2.8%)