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  • House building
    Article: Sep 15, 2017

    Under government plans to impose new housebuilding targets on local areas, Bedford Borough Council will be required to plan for the building of 25,600 new homes, an increase of more than a third on current plans.

    The shock figures come as Bedford Borough Council is at an advanced stage in producing its local plan on the basis of an extra 19,000 homes by 2035. This was considered an ambitious figure itself, and was identified by an external organisation on the basis of local need.

    Now, the government is proposing to standardise the formula for new housing growth across the country, with areas already delivering rapid growth such as Bedford required to support growth on a huge scale in the coming years.

    Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We've never been anti-housing growth, because we know we need the homes that allow people to live in suitable housing for them and their family. But because we've done well in supporting growth to date, while many other areas haven't pulled their weight, the government is proposing a massive, unsustainable level of housebuilding here. It is far in excess of our locally identified need, and there's no regard for the infrastructure needed to cope.'

    "Quite simply, If the government goes ahead with this massive increase in our housebuilding target, it will mean a major extension of house building across the borough, with huge extra pressure on infrastructure."

    The government's proposals can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-right-homes-in-the-right-places-consultation-proposals

  • Bedford Hospital
    Article: Sep 13, 2017

    Commenting on today's announcement that A&E, maternity and paediatrics services will stay at Bedford Hospital, under plans for the merger of Bedford with Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Mayor Dave Hodgson said:

    "We've been fighting for years to remove the threat to A&E, maternity and paediatrics at Bedford Hospital, and today's announcement commits to keeping those services. There are still questions to be answered and we await the details of the business case.

  • Riverside Bedford
    Article: Sep 1, 2017

    Mayor Dave Hodgson cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of Riverside Bedford today - and the Grand Opening continues through the weekend with a wide array of free family fun, offers and activities on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September.

    The entertainment on offer will include free tastings, live music, voucher giveaways and other activities.

  • exam room
    Article: Aug 28, 2017

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has congratulated students in Bedford Borough following the publication of GCSE and A Level results.

    This was the first full year of reformed GCSE qualifications, with changes in testing and a new grading system for English, English Literature and Maths using numbers from from the highest grade 9 to the lowest grade 1.

  • A 'meridian' train in East Midlands Trains livery
    Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has slammed today's Government announcement of regulated rail fare rises of up to 3.6% from January 2018 as adding 'insult to injury' for local rail users worried about the loss of peak-time intercity fast services from Bedford.

    Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "By announcing another big fares hike, the Government is adding insult to injury for local rail users. Not only is Bedford facing the prospect of a slower, poorer rail service with the proposed loss of peak-time intercity fast trains, but people are being forced to pay more and more in fares.'

  • Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behind
    Article: Aug 9, 2017

    Bedford town centre's footfall figures for the first half of 2017 show a striking increase of 5.3% agains the same period in 2016, with the town on course for a fourth successive year of footfall growth.

    Year-on year footfall increased every single month in the first half of the year, suggesting strongly that Bedford and its traders contnue to buck the wider nationwide high street decline in the face of trends towards out-of-town and, in particular, online shopping.

  • Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behind
    Article: Aug 5, 2017

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has slammed the Government's plans to scrap peak time intercity train services at Bedford, and called for people to have their say on the 'shocking' proposals.

    The Government's plans to use slower, commuter-style trains to and from Corby instead of stopping the fast trains at Bedford and elsewhere would strip Bedford of the 37-minute link to London St Pancras. They would also mean no more peak-time trains to anywhere north of Kettering, such as Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield.

  • Dave Hodgson in front of the town bridge
    Article: Jul 22, 2017

    Mayor Dave Hodgson has described the recent news of the government's closure of the Employment Tribunal Court in Bedford as part of a 'a fully-fledged assault by the government on local services in Bedford Borough.'

    Mayor Dave said: "First the Government announces the closure of our Magistrates' Court, now it's cutting access to justice locally even further with the closure of the Employment Tribunal Court. The fact that people are already being forced to travel to Suffolk or inside the M25 for their tribunal hearings is a disgrace. This will cause huge disruption and costs for individuals and organisations."

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