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Mayor Dave Writes: Thanks to those working to keep others safe, whatever the weather

March 23, 2018 5:00 PM

Icy Conditions on the Roads in Bedford BoroughIn his latest monthly column for the Bedfordshire Midweek newspaper, Mayor Dave Hodgson thanked Council staff and everyone who had worked so hard, and in often appalling conditions, to keep people safe and keep the Borough moving during the 'Beast from the East'.

He also highlighted that this month has also seen a major step forward in the support available locally to vulnerable homeless people, with the recent opening of the Clarence House complex needs centre.

Here's the full text of Mayor Dave's Column:

I want to offer another huge thank you to all of the Council staff and indeed all workers and volunteers who helped to keep people safe and to keep Bedford Borough moving during the recent snow.

In particular, I must pay tribute to everyone who helped to keep the vulnerable safe and well. That includes households checking in on their elderly neighbours, care workers reaching vulnerable people to help them with vital tasks and of course members of the emergency services, whom we should never take for granted.

During the 'Beast from the East' I chaired frequent 'snow summit' meetings to ensure that everything that the Council could do to support people to stay safe was being done. I heard numerous reports of how individuals were going above and beyond the call of duty.

And that's in addition to all those who don't think twice about their own wellbeing as they, for example, complete bin collections in the dark in treacherous conditions, or stand out in the road in all weathers to help children get to school safely.

As temperatures plunged well below zero, the welfare of rough sleepers was obviously a particular concern. In addition to the range of ongoing local support services, the night cafe run by the Salvation Army under an agreement with the Council was open and providing overnight shelter throughout.

This month also sees a major step forward in the support we can offer to vulnerable homeless people locally, as the first residents move into Clarence House. This new facility involves not just a roof over the heads of vulnerable rough sleepers but also intensive, specialist support to help them move towards a safer, more independent life.

We intend to ensure Clarence House makes a lasting, positive difference for vulnerable people in Bedford Borough for years to come.

Mayor Dave Hodgson