Parish News

 

MEET YOUR MP: MP Alistair Burt is holding a surgery on Saturday 7th October between 10am and noon at the Community Hall. Call 01767 313385 to book an appointment.

HAVE YOUR SAY: consultations on East Midlands Rail Franchise, GP Surgery Opening Hours, and Local Community Policing Priorities. Click Here

 

EAST MIDLANDS RAIL FRANCHISE CONSULTATION

Update from Mayor Dave Hodgson: 

A quick update on the vital campaign to save our peak time intercity London trains and direct intercity services to the Midlands and beyond:

1. The government has now arranged a public consultation meeting on its plans, after initially snubbing Bedford altogether. It’s on Monday 25th September at the Park Inn Hotel in Bedford (by the river), from 6pm until 8pm. So they’ve made it an unhelpfully early start for many people, but I hope there's still a good turnout to show the strength of feeling locally.

2. The Save Our Trains campaign group is encouraging people to gather and protest outside the Park Inn prior to the meeting, between 5pm and 6pm. I'll be there, helping to send a message that we are standing up against these appalling plans to downgrade Bedford station and take away our peak intercity fast trains.

Whether or not you will be taking part on Monday, don't forget to take part in the consultation, and share it with friends and family to maximise the response in support of Bedford's rail services: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-east-midlands-rail-franchise

You can also sign and share my petition, which includes links to more information and the Save Our Trains group.
Sign Save Our Intercity Petition

 

 

UPDATE FROM MEETING WITH STAGECOACH 1/9/2017 RE NUMBER 11 BUS CHANGES

 

Martin Stuart (Parish Council) and Mark Weeden (Residents' Association) met two representatives from Stagecoach on Friday 1 September to discuss the cut to the number 11 bus service being introduced from Sunday 3 September. The questions raised and responses were as follows:

1. our logic to wanting an additional service to the number 8 was that the number 8, while going near the railway station drops off at some less than attractive places and requires walking / waiting in places that put people off using that service as a route to the railway station.

 

Answer : Stagecoach were sympathetic to the point, but reiterated the point made previously that the number 8 can't go to the railway station.

 

 2. we understand the number 11 is commercial but what does that mean? Is there any S 106 money from this or the other developments that could smooth the initial period?

 

 Answer : Stagecoach explained that the cost of running a bus is weighted heavily toward peak times, when most buses are full to capacity, so running a bus half empty is very costly. Stagecoach acknowledged that the buses are being used by some people but numbers are not currently high enough to avoid the service being loss making.

 

 Stagecoach agreed to speak to Borough to investigate the S106 topic. She believes the s 106 money for the number 8 is now extinguished, and that service is more or less paying for itself. (good news)

 

 3. if the number 11 is primarily a commuter bus why run it during the day, and stop it so early?

 

 Answer : The non peak services are cheaper to run but even more poorly utilised. Stagecoach plan to look at the timetable again in one month and see if numbers have improved. They will also consider issues of punctuality bearing in mind the somewhat optimistic 7 minute period allowed to journey from GD to the Train Station.

 

Stagecoach will consider adding a couple of extra buses back from the railway station in the evening if scope on other routes allow, so there would be buses at around 6:45 and 7:15 from the railway - the last bus will be 6:14pm as of 4 September. Even if this happens it may not help people who will now drive in the morning as there will only be a couple of morning buses!

 

 4. Has Stagecoach considered the viability of a slight change to route to go via Saxon Way

 

 Answer : Yes, but the parking issues on Saxon make it unlikely and any additional distance adds time to the journey.

 

 5. PC / RA could help promote as there is surely considerable scope to increase usage a) due to the number of houses still to be built in GD, also along / off Bromham Road, c) by promoting in Stagsden area as people could use the park and ride, although accepting any future detour to the route extends journey time and therefore potentially reduces frequency.

 

Answer : The new developments aren't yet viable as not all roads in so, even if true, b)is not a factor in the short term. 

 Summary - PC/RA both feel there is potential in this route but currently it just isn't justifying itself with passenger numbers and so regrettably the new timetable will come in.

 PC /RA to consider promoting number 8 at peak times but probably not much help to those in Anglia Way. Number 24 goes nowhere near station (travelling to the south of Prebend Street) so not really an option

 Stagecoach will investigate other funding and consider some later buses but we are left with chicken / egg that Stagecoach are unlikely to offer a peak service without proof that it will be heavily used. Not sure how we achieve that, and likelihood is number 11 may disappear in the short term if not utilised.

 A further meeting will be held with stagecoach and the RA / PC in early October (to be arranged by the PA to Andy Campbell).  We asked that Bedford Borough Council (Andy Hamer / Chris Pettifer) be invited.

 

 

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF PARTS OF FOOTPATHS 1, 3 AND 32

In order to enable the bridge which crosses the River Great Ouse to be replaced a temporary closure will operate on parts of footpaths 1, 3 and 32 from Monday 18th September to Friday 29th September 2017. For full details and map can be found here and here.

 

NEW JOB OPPPORTUNITY - MANAGER GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY HALL

Job details can be found here. Applications close on 31st July 2017.

NEW TIMETABLE FOR NUMBER 11 BUS SERVICE FROM 3rd SEPTEMBER 2017

Stagecoach East have advised us that, as a result of continued under-usage,  the timetable for the Number 11 Bus Service between Great Denham and Bedford Rail Station will be revised with effect from 3rd September 2017. The new timetable from September can be found here

MUNICIPAL CHARITIES BEDFORD  (Registered Charity No. 200566)

The Municipal Charity seeks to help those who have resided in Bedford Borough for three years or more.  In certain circumstances consideration of applicants who have resided for one year within Bedford and have children under the age of ten some assistance maybe considered.

The charity can provide help with financial assistance to those who are in need of support.  This could be for household items, clothing or possible help with payments of utility bills.

For an application and further information about how the charity maybe able to assist individuals please contact:

Mrs S. M Audin Honorary Almoner, c/o Bedford Borough Council, Room 326, Democratic Services, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK40 9AP Tel; 01234 228193

KING ALFRED WAY ROAD CLOSURE TO BE IN PLACE FOR A FURTHER WEEK (21/6/17)

We have been advised that the contractors have encountered rock during excavation works which has caused a delay, and the road closure will remain in place for a further week until 7th July.  

The bus diversions will, therefore, also remain in place until the road reopens.  You can see the diversions for the number 11 service here and for the number 24 service here.

GRASS CUTTING IN GREAT DENHAM

On Wednesday 14 June 2017 the Parish Council met with senior managers within Bedford Borough Council and David Wilson Homes to discuss concerns relating to the grass cutting on both the new and old areas of Great Denham.  It has been agreed, pending formal adoption of the roads and verges by Bedford Borough Council, that they will (following some immediate remedial work) maintain all areas of the Parish.  This should bring greater consistency across all areas of Open Space (subject to the £120 charge levied from this financial year) and all highway verges within the older and newer areas of Great Denham.  The Parish Council will meet, on a regular basis, with the team leader within Bedford Borough Council responsible for Great Denham to ensure that standards are maintained throughout the Village.

GREAT DENHAM COMEDY AND FUNDRAISER NIGHT - 7th JULY (8/6/17)

There will be a fun evening at the "races" in our new Community Hall on 7th July.  The evening will be hosted by comedian Jeremy O'Donnell (ITV's "stand up hero").  Full details are available here.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 5TH JUNE (31/5/17)

Our next meeting was to have been a Planning Committee Meeting but as there are a number of other matters to discuss it will now be a full Parish Council Meeting.  The meeting will be held at 7.30pm in the Mercia Suite, Great Denham Community Hall, MK40 4GP.  The agenda is available here.

BUS DIVERSION FOR SERVICES 11 AND 24 WHILST KING ALFRED ROAD CLOSED (26/5/17)

The closure of King Alfred Way (see item below dated19/5/17) affects the 24 and 11 bus services running through Great Denham and the following diversion route will be in place to ensure that we continue to receive regular public transport throughout the works.

24 Service – Branston Way > Kingswood Way > Full Circle of roundabout > Kingswood Way > Branston Way (see map here)

11 Service – A428 > Kingswood Way > Green Keepers > Mercia Road > Saxon Way (temporary bus Stop)> Kingswood Way (see map here)

This information will be updated on the Borough Council's website and real time display screens and the operators will advertise these changes on their vehicles.

 

BANK HOLIDAY BIN COLLECTIONS

Please note that bin collections will continue as normal over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Click here for more information.

ROAD CLOSURE - KING ALFRED WAY (19/5/17)

We have been informed that King Alfred Way will be closed for a minimum of 3 weeks from Monday 5th June 2017 onwards. This closure will mean those living either side of it will need to use the bypass to access the opposite ends of King Alfred Way by car, but full pedestrian access will be maintained. There will be access by car from the Sainsburys end of Great Denham up to Hazelwick Drive and from the Country Park end up to Edith Avenue. A map is available here - please note you will need to hover over the "sticky labels" to see the road names.

King Alfred Way is a private road so this closure is being carried out by Paul John Construction on behalf of David Wilson Homes, and is to install manholes and create a new estate road junction.

BUS SERVICE STAGECOACH DIRECT SERVICE NUMBER 11 (12/5/17)

On Tuesday 9 May 2017 the Parish Council attended a meeting with representatives of both Stagecoach (Bus Service Provider of Services 8 and 11) and Bedford Borough Council.  The meeting focussed on the under usage of bus Service 11 (the direct route from Great Denham to both the Rail and Bus Stations via Bromham Road).  Earlier consultation with residents had identified a desire for such a service but it has become clear that it is not showing signs of commercial viability.  It was pointed out that the pricing of the Service (at £3.20 for a single ticket) may be a reason for such under usage.  As a consequence Stagecoach have agreed to trial a new pricing structure to run from the 21st May 2017, reducing the fare to £2.20 for a single ticket.  The initial trial will run over the Summer months to see if the revision in price creates greater usage.  If it does then a case may be made for the Service to be maintained.  Clearly if there is no change Stagecoach will have to consider reducing the availability of the Service (to peak times) or withdrawal of the Service completely.   

CPR TRAINING CARRIED OUT AT GREAT DENHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

Some time ago the parish council donated £440 to the East Anglian Air Ambulance to carry out CPR training in schools. The donation was given on the understanding that Great Denham Primary School would benefit from a training session. We are pleased to advise that the training has taken place and was a great success.  A letter of thanks has been received from the East Anglian Air Ambulance and we thought you might like to read it.  

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

The next Parish Council meeting willtake place at 7.30pm on 8th May in Great Denham Community Hall.  This will be our Annual Parish Meeting, at which the Chair will present his annual report, and is your opportunity to hear about the work of the Council during the past 12 months. This will be followed by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council when a number of items of business must be dealt with.  These will include the election of the Chair and the signature of our Annual Return before it is sent for inspection by our external auditor. You can see the agenda for both meetings here.

OPENSPACE MAINTENANCE CHARGE (2/5/17)

Please find below an update on the Maintenance of Open Space .  This will also be on the agenda of our next meeting at 7.30pm on 8th May.  All our meetings are open to the public and are held in Great Denham Community Hall.

On the evening of 27 April 2017 members of the Parish Council met with both Lee Phanco (Assistant Chief Finance Officer) and Paul Pace (Head of Environment) of Bedford Borough Council and our Borough Councillor, Mark Smith, this to discuss the recent charge for the Management of Open Space (MOS) in Great Denham and the recent invoice to each household (in the ‘new’ development) for £120.This requirement is set out (variously depending on builder) in our purchase documentation as a Covenant to maintain parkland and open-space.  The demand has led to some considerable confusion and concern, not least in terms of what the £120 is actually going to cover in terms of maintenance.  

The collective revenue receipt from both Great Denham and West of Kempston will eventually amount to some £264,000 (a charge of £120 against some 2200 households) when all are completed.  What became apparent is that, as yet, Bedford Borough Council have not taken possession of any parcels of land from the developers (David Wilson Homes – DWH). That said, the attached document does show the parcels of Open Space that will be subject of transfer next week.  These areas, shown bordered in red, will be maintained utilising the monies raised through the MOS invoices.  These monies will also be deployed to maintain the various play areas; litter/ dog-bin emptying; landscape management; shrub pruning, future planting, trees, hedgerows, wooden and metal fencing, benches, litter picking, dredging of the water bodies (surface water systems/ balancing lakes), ditch/ brook maintenance and tarmacadam and gravel surfaces etc. within the open space areas.

Bedford Borough Council has not yet taken over the responsibility to maintain the numerous grass verges on the main thoroughfares of the development (e.g. Greenkeepers Road; Saxon Way; King Alfred Way) nor the myriad roads and cul-de-sacs throughout the development.  These remain the responsibility of the developer and simply have not been subject to recent maintenance.  No date has been set for this transfer and until such time it will remain the responsibility of DWH to maintain them (through their contract with TCL).  Paul Pace is in discussion with DWH / TCL and assurances have been given that these works (to both the areas shown in the attached document) and the grass verges will be re-commenced in the next few days.  Paul will monitor this closely on our behalf.  When transferred to Bedford Borough Council, the Highways Department will assume responsibility for maintenance (and this maintenance will be funded through the Council Tax we pay).

In terms of the Country Park itself (the main areas excluding the areas of play), this will be maintained through a separate commuted sum paid by the developer to Bedford Borough Council and the monies raised through the MOS Invoices will not be used for this purpose.  This transfer of responsibility will take place as an when the Council are content that DWH have done all agreed preparatory work.  As an aside the Pavilion on the Country Park which provides changing facilities for those using the sports pitches and a café which should be ready for use next Spring and the football pitches prior to that opening. The current proposal for the building is also attached.

The Bedford Borough Council officers have agreed to put in place a robust regime for future maintenance.  During the grass-cutting season (broadly March through to October) we should expect 10-12 visits to all grassed areas (depending on weather) and during / outside of this season the routine maintenance of shrubs; trees; hedgerows etc.  Litter / Dog Bins will be emptied twice weekly.       

The Parish Council have sought, and received, assurances in terms of effective engagement in the management of open space in Great Denham and indeed the level of scrutiny and openness in terms of the ring-fenced funding and spend against budget.  Initially Bedford Borough Council are to employ an additional 6 members of staff to dedicate to the MOS in Great Denham / West of Kempston. Investment in new machinery was reported and this will be deployed locally.  An effective reserve will be necessary to cover equipment / repair to play parks, tennis courts etc.  To aid the scrutiny and accountability process it has been agreed that the Bedford Borough Council officers will meet quarterly with the Parish Council (first meeting in June 2017) where a summary report will be provided to lay bare both financial data on revenue / spend as well as an update on the maintenance programme alluded to above.  This Report will be supplemented by necessary statistical data and the content can be entered in to the public domain (through our Parish Council meetings).

This was a productive meeting and officers of the Council expressed a real commitment to providing an effective service to the residents of Great Denham.  They were entirely open to the effective oversight and scrutiny at local level.  As a Parish Council we will work closely with Bedford Borough Council to ensure the commitments made are realised.  

THANKS TO ALL WHO CAME ALONG TO THE LITTER PICK

We would like to offer our thanks to everyone who came along to the litter pick on Saturday.  This was, by far, the most successful event we have run, with seventeen adults and six children helping to make Great Denham a cleaner place to live.  Thanks also to the Residents Association who helped to promote and support the event and which contributed to the great turn out.

Well over twenty bags of litter were collected. We will be organising another event later this year and hope to encourage even more people to come along.

litter pick 22/4/17

BULKY WASTE COLLECTION 2017 (24/4/17)

There will be a bulky waste collection in Great Denham from 8.30am to 10.15am on Sunday 14th May.  Details can be found here and here you will find what can/can't be collected.  It is vital that you do not leave anything at the site unless the collection vehicle is present.

LOCAL PLAN 2035 - CONSULTATION

Bedford Borough Council is consulting on its Local Plan to 2035 which sets out how much growth and housing development there should be, and where, up to 2035.  This is of importance to everyone who lives in Bedford Borough and you can find out more, and how to have your say, by following this link:

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/environment_and_planning/planning_town_and_country/planning_policy__its_purpose/local_plan_2035.aspx

 

OPEN SPACE CHARGES - LINKS TO INFORMATION ON BOROUGH COUNCIL WEBSITE (24/4/17)

Those of you who are concerned about the Open Space Charges may find the information on the Borough Council's website of use.  Please follow the links below.

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/parks_and_open_spaces/great_denham__west_kempston.aspx

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/parks_and_open_spaces/great_denham__west_kempston/frequently_asked_questions-1.aspx

 

CLOSURE OF FOOTPATH 1 EXTENDED (30/3/17)

The Order to close Footpath 1 (from behind Sainsburys) has been extended.  It will run from 1st April for 6 months.  Details of the closure can be seen here.

OPEN SPACE CHARGES  (23/3/17)

Those of you living in the new development have received invoices for £120 relating to charges for open spaces (i.e. the Country Park) in Great Denham.  This charge was part of the agreement entered into between buyers and the developer and there is a covenant which sets this out in your purchase documents.

Whilst the Parish Council can do nothing about the charge itself, we believe it should only be levied when there is a fully functioning Country Park and this is not yet the case.  We have received much correspondence relating to this issue and asked our Borough Councillor, Mark Smith, to take it up with Bedford Borough Council requesting that imposition of the charge be delayed.  A petition was also submitted to the Borough by residents in Kempston which led to a heated debate at Borough Hall last night (22/3/2017).  A decision was made to move discussion of the matter to July when it will be fully debated.  Mark Smith asked that the charges be delayed until the outcome of the debate in July is known and the Mayor advised he would answer this question in writing to Mark.  We await the outcome of his response and will keep you fully informed.

COMMUNITY LITTER PICK 22ND APRIL (22/3/17)

The Parish Council is holding a Community Litter Pick on Saturday 22nd April from 10am to 12 noon. Details can be seen here. We will meet in the car park on Kingswood Way and all equipment will be provided - just ensure you wear suitable clothing and footwear.  Children are very welcome but should be accompanied by an appropriate adult. 

Litter in Great Denham is an issue which is often raised at Parish Council meetings, so this will be a perfect opportunity to help improve how our community looks.  Please come along and join us.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY IN GREAT DENHAM FOR NEW PARISH CLERK

Our Parish Clerk, Roz Buchanan, is retiring after over nine years of working for us.  This creates a great opportunity for someone suitable to take on this role.  Details are available here and a full job description and application form can be obtained by contacting Roz.

COMMUNITY HALL OPEN DAY 18TH MARCH (9/3/17)

There will be an Open Day at our new Community Hall from 11am to 4pm on 18th March.  This will be a wonderful opportunity for you to see the fantastic facilities on offer and the activities available.  

There will be a free bouncy castle and sweets for children with tea, coffee and cakes also be available at no charge.  A number of people who regularly run classes at the Hall will be there and the Trustees who manage the Hall will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Make the most of this opportunity and please come along and see us on 18th March.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW (9/3/17)

The time within which to respond to this consultation has been extended to 30th April.  All homes in Great Denham should have received a letter from Bedford Borough Council, together with a letter from the Parish Council, explaining the review.  In order that a decision can be made we encourage you to respond.  You can do this online by following this link and then clicking on the link to the online response form.

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/elections/community_governance_reviews/2016_reviews/great_denham.aspx

COMMUNITY LITTER PICK 22ND APRIL (9/3/17)

There will be a Community Litter Pick from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 22nd April.  This is a great way to improve the look of our community and to meet your fellow residents.  All equipment is provided and you just need to wear suitable clothes.  We will be meeting in the car park and children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

NHS PUBLIC EVENTS

We have been advised that the NHS are holding public meetings to hear your views on transforming hospital based care. Details can be seen here together with the email address you should use to contact the organisers if you would like to attend.

BEDFORD RSPB LOCAL GROUP

For those of you who may be interested in birds and bird watching, the Bedford RSPB programme of meeting and events is available here.

RIGHTS OF WAY IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2017- 2022 (29/12/2016)

Bedford Borough Council are responsible for nearly 1,000km of Public Footpaths, Bridleways and Byways Open to all Traffic across the Borough. They would like to know your views on how they could improve these routes as well as encouraging more people to enjoy and use them.

With budget cuts in the region of £27 million ahead they will have to take some difficult decisions in the future and as a result will need to prioritise the work that they carry out on the network.  You can give your views by completing their questionnaire which can be found by following this link  http://www.forms.bedford.gov.uk/row/

BABUS (BEDFORD AREA BUS USERS SOCIETY) - NEWSLETTER WINTER 2016/17 (19/12/2016)

The newsletter from BABUS is available to read here and contains much useful information about bus travel in the Bedford area.

BINS AT CHRISTMAS (15/12/2016)

Bedford Borough Council have created a webpage where you'll find everything you need to know about waste and recycling over the festive period.  Follow this link www.bedford.gov.uk/xmasbins

  • Check your bin collection days over the festive period.
  • Find out where you can pick up extra orange recycling sacks.
  • Check your nearest glass recycling point.
  • Find out where to recycle your Christmas tree once the festivities are over.
  • Tips on reducing waste and recycling more over Christmas & the New Year

ROAD CLOSURE KING ALFRED WAY - UPDATE (6/12/2016)

We have been advised that King Alfred Way will reopen as from 7/12/2016 and that all buses will then resume their normal service.

BEDFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL - CORPORATE PLAN CONSULTATION

The Corporate Plan is the Council’s high-level document which sets the strategic direction for the Council. Over the last few months the plan has gone through a refresh to better reflect the transformation programme the Council has embarked on (called 'Bedford Borough 2020').The plan aims to enhance the reputation of Bedford Borough as a place where people, communities and businesses can grow and realise their potential. Achieving this means not only providing services that are specific to Bedford Borough, but also meeting the requirements that are expected of every local authority. 

Local residents are being invited to have their say on the refreshed Corporate Plan. Whether you are a resident of Bedford Borough or an employee who would like to know more about the refreshed Corporate Plan, you can find out more and comment on the document and the priorities on their website:

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/consultations/corporate_plan_consultation.aspx

BARTON AND ROYLE HOMES - TURVEY

The Trustees of the Barton and Royle Homes in Turvey have asked us to help both raise awareness of the existence of the Almshouse Charity and to advise of a current vacancy.

Barton and Royle Homes is situated on the outskirts of Turvey in Bedfordshire.  The accommodation provides a self-contained one bedroom bungalow designed for independent living and suitable for older single people or couples.  The complex has 26 bungalows, a Community Hall and a Guest Bungalow for friends and relatives.  Warden assistance is provided along with an emergency call system.

An information sheet and application form are available should you know anyone who might be interested.  

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING - NEW VENUE

The next Parish Council meeting will take place at 7.30pm on 5th December.  Please note that now the Community Hall is open we will hold our meetings in the Mercia Suite, Great Denham Community Hall, 86-88 Saxon Way, MK40 4GP.  The agenda can be seen here.

All our meetings are open to the public and there are 15 minutes at the start of each meeting for public questions.

ROAD CLOSURE KING ALFRED WAY -  EXTENDED FOR FURTHER TWO WEEKS (28/11/2016)

We have been advised that this road closure will be extended for a further two weeks and the diversions for the  number 11 and number 24 bus services will remain in place.  The original message from Bedford Borough Council giving full details of the closure is below. Please contact the Highways Helpdesk (highways.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk) to log any complaints before contacting Barratts customer services on the number below.

"It has been brought to our attention that Barratt Homes intend to close part of King Alfred Way in Great Denham from Thursday 10 November 2016 for a period of two weeks to allow a new foul sewer connection to be constructed as part of their upcoming Parcel H11 development. As King Alfred Way is not an adopted road, the developer is not required to obtain a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to close the road and as such the advance warning of these works has unfortunately been minimal.

King Alfred Way is widely used by residents of Great Denham as a route to The Branston Way and consequently there is likely to be some disruption and increased traffic on other roads within Great Denham. We have asked Barratt Homes to consult with the affected residents and other developers to ensure that disruption will be kept to a minimum, but during the works period it is likely that there will be increased traffic on Kingswood Way and Great Portway in particular. We have been liaising with Stagecoach and diversion routes will be in place for the affected bus services during this time. The Engineering Services team will be monitoring the works to ensure that adequate signs, barriers and other measures are in place during the road closure, and we will be closely liaising with the developer and affected stakeholders to ensure that any issues are dealt with expeditiously.

If you receive any complaints regarding this issue then please contact the Highways Helpdesk in the first instance so that the complaints can be logged. The Highways Helpdesk should then direct the customers towards Barratt Homes Northampton’s customer services department on 01604 664 500."

CONSULTATION ON EXPANSION OF GREAT DENHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL (24/11/2016)

Bedford Borough Council is consulting on the expansion of Great Denham Primary School.  The consultation runs until 25th January 2017 and you can see the details and have your say by following this link ;

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/consultations/schools_consultations.aspx

CHANGES AT THE VILLAGE MEDICAL CENTRE (7/11/2016)

The following briefing has been issued by NHS England:-

Stakeholder brief from NHS England - 3 November 2016 Subject line: Horizon Health Choices – Lansdowne Road Surgery and The Village Medical Centre. We very recently learnt that the shareholders of Horizon Health Choices Limited, which provides GP services at Lansdowne Road Surgery in Bedford and The Village Medical Centre in Great Denham, are planning to place the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

In order to ensure that patients have uninterrupted access to GP care, we have given notice to Horizon Health Choices that NHS England is terminating its contracts to provide services at the two practices with effect from Tuesday 8 November.

I have written to all the registered patients to apologise for the short notice of this significant change, and explain how the unforeseen circumstances meant we had to act quickly, working with Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and neighbouring practices, to put in place new arrangements for their care.

Patients currently at Lansdowne Road Surgery will be automatically registered with either Clapham Road Surgery or Cauldwell Medical Centre, based on their postcode, so that they can use their new practice from Wednesday 9 November.

Registered patients at The Village Medical Centre will automatically continue to receive services from the surgery as usual. Their GP services will be provided by NH Solutions, which is a GP-led primary care organisation that has experience in managing GP practices, walk-in-centres and community services.

TEMPORARY CLOSURE CARNOUSTIE DRIVE (24/10/2016)

There will be a temporary closure of Carnoustie Drive between Kingswood Way and St. Mellion Drive.  It is anticipated the closure will take place between 9.30pm on 2nd November and 6.00am on 3rd November.  Signs and specific times will be erected locally.  Where possible vehicular access will be maintained but may be restricted at certain times - watch out for details on signs locally nearer the time. The closure order can be viewed here.

CHANGES TO BIN COLLECTIONS (14/10/16)

As from 31st October black lidded bins will be collected fortnightly with green and orange lidded bins collected the following week. There will also be no green waste collection from the beginning of December until the end of February. Full details are available by following this link https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKBEDFORD/bulletins/169dbdd

Watch out for the leaflet which Bedford Borough Council will be delivering to all households as from 24th October as it will tell you whether or not your collection day is changing

"CASUAL VACANCY" ON PARISH COUNCIL

The parish council advised earlier that it has a “casual vacancy” ( a vacancy created following a resignation between elections) for a fifth member and that local electors had until 29th September if they wished to request a by-election be held.  This deadline has now passed and a by-election has not been requested. This being the case the parish council must seek to co-opt someone.

The role of a parish councillor is varied and rewarding. You will be able to listen to and represent the views of local residents, have the opportunity to get involved in planning issues, maintaining and improving the environment of the parish and helping to shape its future. Meetings are held on Monday evenings every other month with planning meetings held in the intervening months. There is no meeting in August.

You must be prepared to commit some time to the role and take an active part in the council. The role is voluntary, apolitical and unpaid.

If you are interested in being co-opted, and would like an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local community, please contact our Clerk, Roz Buchanan, setting out why you would like to become a parish councillor and what skills you believe you will be able to contribute. You can contact her at:

gdclerk@hotmail.co.uk 

Alternatively please email or telephone our chairman, Jim Weir, as follows:

jrweir@btinternet.com

Tel: 01234 270990

FOOTPATH 1 TO BE CLOSED FOR UP TO 6 MONTHS

Bedford Borough Council published an Order in the Times & Citizen on 29th September which covers the closure of Footpath 1 for up to 6 months as from 1st October.  This is to allow work to be carried out.  The Order can be seen here.

"CASUAL VACANCY" ON PARISH COUNCIL

Due to work commitments Andy Brown has resigned from the parish council.  This means we have what is known as a "casual vacancy". 

The rules state that if 10 local electors contact Bedford Borough Council on or before 29th September to request that a by-election be held, then a by-election will be called and anyone interested in becoming a parish councillor  would need to complete a nomination form.  A notice from Bedford Borough Council which details who to contact should you wish to request a by-election can be seen here.

If ten electors do not make this request the parish council will be free to co-opt someone of their choice. We will let you know shortly after 29th September whether there is to be a by-election or not.

NEW NATIONAL POWER CUT NUMBER - 105

A new national power cut number (105) has been launched today to help people contact the company that looks after their electricity network. This would be UK Power Networks for London, the East and South East of England. 

The number, which is available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales, will enable people to report or get information about power cuts as well as report damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger. 105 is funded and delivered by the electricity network operators, and is a first for the UK’s energy industry. As well as calling 105, people can find more information on the website: http://www.powercut105.com/

GOOD NEWS FROM BT AT LAST

This morning BT advised as follows:

"apologies for not providing the update yesterday as promised.  I have received confirmation that cabinet 145 on Bedford exchange is now ready to accept orders for fibre broadband, all the work has finally been completed."

So, at last those of you connected to cabinet 145 can place orders with your suppliers (if they supply fibre broadband).

LATEST FROM BT (4/9/16)

On 2nd September BT advised "sorry to give disappointing news but the final works are still ongoing to enable cabinet 145 to accept orders for fibre. I will provide a further update by 4pm on Monday 5th September" .

We will keep you informed.

PARISH COUNCIL/COMMUNITY MEETING MONDAY 5TH MAY

The next Parish Council meeting will take place tomorrow (Monday 5th September) at 7.30pm in Great Denham Primary School, Greenkeepers Road, MK40 4AT.  You may be aware that the Parish Council has requested the number of parish councillors (currently set as a maximum of five) be increased.  In order to achieve this a Community Governance Review must take place and Bedford Borough Council has started this process and issued the Terms of Reference and a timetable for the Review.

The Parish Council requested that the Borough reconsider the timetable but this has not proved possible and so the initial consultation period will end on 14th September.  A community meeting will take place as part of our Parish Council meeting on Monday.  A representative from Bedford Borough Council will be at the meeting to explain the Review and its significance to Great Denham..  Please come along if you can. Information about the Review was included in our recent newsletter, a copy of which all households should by now have received.  

Community Governance Reviews are able to consider various matters and someone, unknown, has requested that the boundary of our parish be reviewed to exclude an area known as Holme Island.  The Parish Council has only asked that the number of councillors be increased and so we are at a loss to know why this has been included as the boundary was set by the Secretary of State in 2007 using the River Great Ouse as the natural, and obvious, boundary. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 2ND SEPTEMBER

It has been suggested that we may not have advertised the positions for Hall Supervisor widely enough.  We are, therefore, putting an advert in our newsletter, which will be delivered to all houses in Great Denham soon, and extending the deadline by which applications are to be submitted to 2nd September.  See below for details and how to apply.

LOCAL JOB OPPORTUNITY - COMMUNITY HALL SUPERVISOR  Registered Charity No: 1166224 (11/8/2016)

 Hall Supervisor x 2

 Job share vacancy - 25 hours per week per person

A local job opportunity not to be missed offering flexible hours, real content and the chance to play your part in the further development of our Great Denham community.

As the first and last point of contact for individuals and groups renting the Great Denham Community Hall (GDCH) we are looking for two individuals with great organisational and customer relationship skills. 

You will be responsible for working effectively in a job share partnership to respond to enquiries; show the hall to prospective hirers; maintain an accurate hall rental calendar; ensure the hall is set up appropriately for larger functions; coordinate prompt opening and secure closing of the hall.

In addition, the Hall Supervisor role is responsible for ensuring that all bookings administration is managed efficiently and in a timely manner including regular reporting to the GDCH Trustees.  The successful candidates will need to coordinate and supervise part-time and volunteer workers as part of the normal running of the hall. 

We welcome applications from candidates with the communication and organisation skills necessary to be successful in the role. Previous experience in events management and hospitality an advantage; basic IT skills essential. 

Applications must be received no later than Friday 2nd September 2016.  Please submit your CV, either by email or post, together with a covering letter setting out why you believe you have the skills and experience necessary, to:

gdclerk@hotmail.co.uk  or to Clerk to Trustees, 18 Biddenham Turn, Biddenham, Bedfordshire MK40 4AT

For a full job description please click here.

“Great Denham Community Hall is here to build, develop and bring the community together as a focal point within the village by hosting events and sessions.  The Community Hall comprises of 2 large halls and 2 meeting rooms accompanied by a kitchen, bar and supplementary facilities”.  

BT UPDATE - BROADBAND (17/8/2016)

We have received the following update from BT:-

"I’m pleased to advise that cabinet 145, off the Bedford exchange, is currently going through commissioning which, all being well, should complete and be ready for orders within the next 3 weeks.  I will set the next review date for 31/08 when we’ll be back in touch with the latest news no later than 4pm."

We will, as usual, keep you informed and will publish any updates received from BT.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW (16/8/2016)

Due to the rapid growth in the size of our community the Parish Council has requested that the number of parish councillors (currently set as a maximum of five) be increased.  In order to achieve this a Community Governance Review must take place and Bedford Borough Council has started this process and issued the Terms of Reference and a timetable for the Review.

The Parish Council requested that the Borough reconsider the timetable but this has not proved possible and so the initial consultation period will end on 14th September.  A community meeting to explain the review and its significance will take place as part of our Parish Council meeting on Monday 5th September at 7.30pm in Great Denham Primary School, Greenkeepers Road, MK40 4AT.  Please come along if you can.  Meanwhile we will be including some information about the Review in our next newsletter which will be delivered to you next week.  You can follow this link to a document which gives you further information about the Review and you can view the Terms of Reference here.  

Community Governance Reviews are able to consider various matters and someone, unknown, has requested that the boundary of our parish be reviewed to exclude an area known as Holme Island.  The Parish Council has only asked that the number of councillors be increased and so we are at a loss to know why this has been included as the boundary was set by the Secretary of State in 2007 using the River Great Ouse as the natural, and obvious, boundary.  

 

LOCAL JOB OPPORTUNITY - COMMUNITY HALL SUPERVISOR  Registered Charity No: 1166224 (11/8/2016)

 Hall Supervisor x 2

 Job share vacancy - 25 hours per week per person

A local job opportunity not to be missed offering flexible hours, real content and the chance to play your part in the further development of our Great Denham community.

As the first and last point of contact for individuals and groups renting the Great Denham Community Hall (GDCH) we are looking for two individuals with great organisational and customer relationship skills. 

You will be responsible for working effectively in a job share partnership to respond to enquiries; show the hall to prospective hirers; maintain an accurate hall rental calendar; ensure the hall is set up appropriately for larger functions; coordinate prompt opening and secure closing of the hall.

In addition, the Hall Supervisor role is responsible for ensuring that all bookings administration is managed efficiently and in a timely manner including regular reporting to the GDCH Trustees.  The successful candidates will need to coordinate and supervise part-time and volunteer workers as part of the normal running of the hall. 

We welcome applications from candidates with the communication and organisation skills necessary to be successful in the role. Previous experience in events management and hospitality an advantage; basic IT skills essential. 

Applications must be received no later than Thursday 25th August 2016.  .  Please submit your CV, either by email or post, together with a covering letter setting out why you believe you have the skills and experience necessary, to:

gdclerk@hotmail.co.uk  or to Clerk to Trustees, 18 Biddenham Turn, Biddenham, Bedfordshire MK40 4AT

For a full job description please click here.

“Great Denham Community Hall is here to build, develop and bring the community together as a focal point within the village by hosting events and sessions.  The Community Hall comprises of 2 large halls and 2 meeting rooms accompanied by a kitchen, bar and supplementary facilities”.   

 

BT UPDATE (9/8/2016)

Despite BT hoping to provide some positive news by today, we have just received the following from them:-

"Work on the cabinet is still ongoing, as you know I was optimistic that this would have been completed by now but unfortunately this has not proved to be the case.

I will be in touch again by 4pm Friday with further information"

We will as usual keep you informed and will continue to pressurise BT to complete this work.

ANNUAL AUDIT

Each year the parish council must be audited.  Our accounts and the Annual Return are first seen by an independent internal auditor and subsequently sent to BDO LLP who have been appointed as our external auditor.  We are pleased to advise that our audit has been successfully concluded with no issues raised.  A copy of the audited annual return document is available on the Official Council Documents page of this website.

ALDERMAN NEWTON’S EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION - GRANTS AVAILABLE

You may be interested in the above Charity which seeks to assist young people, normally in the age range 13 to 25 years old, who live in the borough of Bedford, with grants for educational purposes for items such as the purchase of text books, equipment or special clothing needed in connection with a course.  There is no deadline for applications as the programme runs throughout the year.

Full details and an application form are available on the Bedford Borough Council website. 

BT UPDATE (2/8/2016)

BT have advised they are waiting for confirmation that the work on the cabinets is complete and hope to have some positive news by 9th August.  It should then take about another week before it will be possible to place orders with service providers who supply fibre broadband.  Whilst we have told BT that "hope" is not very positive after waiting for so long, there is little else we can do at this stage.  We will, as usual,  keep you informed.

THE VILLAGE MEDICAL CENTRE - STAKEHOLDER BRIEFING

We have received a briefing letter from NHS England and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group about the doctors surgery. You can view the letter here.

BT UPDATE (26/7/2016)

BT have advised that the cabling works required are in progress but they do not have a completion date.  They will update us again on 2nd August by which time they hope this work will have been finished.  We will advise you as soon as there is any further news.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW

Due to the rapid growth in the size of our community the Parish Council has requested that the number of parish councillors (currently set as a maximum of five) be increased.  In order to achieve this a Community Governance Review must take place and Bedford Borough Council has started this process and issued the Terms of Reference and a timetable for the Review.

The Parish Council has requested that the Borough reconsider the current timetable which does not provide the full three months required for the initial consultation.  The Terms of Reference also state that the parish boundary be reconsidered to exclude an area called Holme Island.  We are at a loss as to why this has been included as the current boundary was set when the parish was created in 2007 using the River Great Ouse as the natural boundary.  We have asked for this to be reconsidered.  We will keep you informed but meanwhile until we hear from the Borough Council we must continue with the current timetable and you can follow this link to a document which gives you further information about the Review and how you can view the Terms of Reference.

You will note that a community meeting is to take place but we are awaiting further information from the Borough before a date can be set for this.

SUMMER EVENTS IN GREAT DENHAM (25/7/2016)

Please follow this link where you will find a programme of Summer activities, some of which will be taking place in Great Denham.  Please note that they will not take place in Saxon Way but in the school's MUGA (Multi Use Games Area). 

FURTHER UPDATE FROM BT (20/7/2016)

We have been advised that all works for the provision of fibre broadband to the older areas of Great Denham are now ongoing, with the remaining work expected to take approximately two weeks.  BT have promised to give a further update by 4pm on 25th July.

LATEST UPDATE FROM BT (15/7/2016)

The letter of complaint which was submitted to BT (see below) seems to have had some effect.  It was passed to their High Level Complaints Team and they have been in direct contact with us.  

As you may have seen work to install the missing copper cabinet is underway and we have been advised that a further update will be provided by 4pm on Monday 18th July. We will keep you informed.

BROADBAND - LETTER TO CHAIRMAN AND SECRETARY OF BT

Following repeated attempts to elicit any information from BT about the delivery of superfast broadband to the older parts of Great Denham, our Chairman has written to the Chairman and Secretary of BT Group.  A copy of the letter can be seen here.  We will let you know if and when a response is received.

DELAY IN COMPLETION OF RESURFACING ON GREENKEEPRS ROAD

We have been advised that the resurfacing work on Greenkeepers Road will now continue until the end of play on 10th June.  The road will, therefore, remain closed until then and the number 8 bus service will also not be able to use the route during the restricted hours (before 8.30am and after 4.30pm).

NEW BUS SERVICE CALLING AT TRAIN AND BUS STATION!

We are delighted to advise that, following many discussions with both Bedford Borough Council and the bus service provider, a brand new additional service will commence on 3rd July which will call at both the train and bus stations. The new service, number 11, will be routed along the bypass and is in addition to the current number 8 bus.  The timetable can be seen here and the route map is here.

This is a commercial service, the provision of which will rely on it's popularity and the number of people who use it.

ARCHAEOLOGY IN GREAT DENHAM (9/5/2016)

Great Denham may be a new community but the area in which we live, in the loop of the River Great Ouse, is full of history dating back up to 6,000 years.  The creation of our community allowed archaeologists a unique opportunity to investigate this history and a number of fascinating finds were made.  The most remarkable of these finds was the discovery of a Bronze Age archer along with the wrist guard which protected him when using his bow. A replica of this can be found in The Higgins museum in Bedford.

You can read about this and the other finds here

NEW COMMUNITY HALL (3/5/2016)

The trustees of the new community hall currently under construction in Great Denham, held an information evening on 26th April.  There was an excellent attendance and the trustees have decided to publish the draft minutes as they contain the many questions which were asked on the night.  The minutes will be approved at the next trustee meeting, but meanwhile you can see the draft, which is subject to change, here.

FIBRE BROADBAND UPDATE (2/5/2016)

Despite BT assurance that we would be able to connect with the fibre BB at the end of April they now inform the PC that they will also have to install a copper cabinet, as well as the already installed fibre cabinet! It would appear that somewhere in the process, that there was an assumption that the copper cabinet already existed. Now that they have discovered there is no copper cabinet the PC have asked how long that will delay the fibre service? As yet we have had no meaningful response. If we have not received a response by end of business on 3rd May we will again begin the escalation process up the management chain.

CYCLE PATH

At the Planning Meeting on 11th April we were asked when the 10 metre gap in the cycle path would be completed. The Planning Department at Bedford Borough Council have advised as follows:
"there are two sections of footpath/cycleway which need to be completed. Firstly, there is the final surface where path crosses between the two Wingfield land holdings. We have been advised that this will be done when the pumping station section is completed. There is also a section of footpath/cycleway by the pumping station which is missing and therefore not currently passable. The specification for the vehicle access is agreed and work has been started. I would guess that it should be done within the next few weeks."

RETAIL UNITS WITH APARTMENTS ABOVE

Some of you will be aware that planning permission was granted in January for six new retail units with apartments above.  They are to be situated on the junction of Anglia Way and Saxon Way (on the right just after you exit Great Portway). At our meetings we are frequently asked what type of retail units there will be.  We have been advised by the agent responsible for letting the units that one has been pre-let to an estate agent, whilst there has been interest from a number of other types of business including a personal trainer, coffee shop, physiotherapist,vets, cycle shop, funeral services and a tea room.  So, plenty of varied interest but we must wait and see what materialises.  We will let you know if we get confirmation of any other pre-lets.

BEDFORDSHIRE POLICE - RIDE ALONG SCHEME

Bedfordshire Police are reminding the public of their invitation for anyone over the age of 18 to apply to accompany a frontline officer to get an insight into policing.
 
The ‘Ride-Along’ scheme allows the public to get to know their local policing teams better and opens up a window on the world of policing. It also allows police to learn from our local communities.  
 
In the session that will usually last for a minimum of four hours observers will accompany a frontline police officer and will be able to see activities such as arrests, dealing with victims and offenders, statement taking, questioning and stop and searches.

The safety of the public is considered at all times. For more information about the ride along scheme and to apply, please visit the ride along pages on their website.

BULKY WASTE COLLECTION 2016

There will be a collection of bulky waste on 8th May between 8.30am and 10.15am.  It is very important that you don't leave any rubbish at the site if the collection vehicle is not there.  The collection vehicle will be near the first Great Denham roundabout - most likely in the car park. Full details can be seen here and details of what will not be accepted are to be found here.

HEALTH WALKS

If you are feeling a bit inactive and are not sure where to start when it comes to increasing your activity and improving your health, this could be just what you need. David and Suzette Maguire lead "Walks for Health" in Great Denham. Click here for details.

COMMUNITY HALL - REGISTRATION AS A CHARITY

You will all have seen the progress being made in the construction of the Community Hall. The Hall will be managed by a group of Trustees who, following a selection process of those who expressed an interest, were appointed in late 2015. The Hall is to be run as a charity and we are pleased to announce that it has just been registered and the following has been received from the Charities Commission:

“We are satisfied that GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY HALL is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1166224.The decision to register was based on our assessment of the information supplied during the application process and the declarations given in the trustee declaration form and we are satisfied that GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY HALL is established for charitable purposes only for the public benefit”.

This is an exciting step forward and we will keep you up to date with progress.  There will soon be a dedicated website for the Community Hall.

PARISH COUNCILLORS CO-OPTED (18/3/2016)

We are pleased to advise that, following a selection process, two new parish councillors were co-opted at our meeting on 7th March.  They are Donna Parsons and Andy Brown and we welcome them to the Parish Council.  You can find their contact details on the Contact Us page. 

We now have our full complement of five parish councillors.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Did you know Great Denham has a Neighbourhood Watch group?  For more information click here.

LATEST NEWS FROM BT ON BROADBAND (8/3/2016)

The PC were informed on the 7th March that the remaining residents of the older area of Great Denham would have their fibre broadband connection through the new cabinet 145. This will be sited at the junction of Carnoustie Drive and Prestwick Road. The plan is that this will be installed and powered up on the 6th April 2016. It is envisaged by BT that by the end of April all those (in the older parts of GD) not yet with fibre will have a connection by the end of April 2016.  

LATEST UPDATE ON BUS SERVICE

Negotiations are ongoing with one provider for an additional bus service via King Alfred Way, Sainsburys and the A428 which would call at the train station.  It is likely to be a Monday to Saturday service and to be available from May. This service would be in addition to the current number 8 service.  It will be designed to complement the existing service at the busiest times.

REINSTATEMENT OF FOOTPATH NUMBER 1

Many of you will be aware of the terrible state of Footpath 1 (behind Sainsburys) which has prevented access to the Country Park from this area. The Parish Council has been pressing the developers to reinstate this path for some time and we are pleased to advise they have now met with the Rights of Way officer and agreed some works to improve the footpath.

ROAD SURFACING

Remedial work has started on resurfacing Greenkeepers Road.  The programme of work will take approximately 14 weeks to complete.

TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE

The Contracts Manager for the Community Hall has asked us to advise the residents of Saxon Way as follows:

Dear Residents of Saxon Way

Please accept this notification of temporary road closure and our sincere apology for the inconvenience it may cause.

In order to install the concrete beams for the first floor of your new Community Hall, we need to temporally close Saxon Way during the hours of 7:30 to 5:30 on Thursday 3rd and Friday the 4th of March.

If we can keep the lay-bay clear as noted on the drawing attached we may be able to keep single file traffic moving utilising the lay-bay.

We will have barriers in place and banks-men on duty to direct traffic as required.

Once again my apologies for this inconvenience.

If you have any queries or concerns please call me (Mark Tendall Contracts Manager) on 07843001224 at any time

LATEST NEWS FROM BT REGARDING FIBRE BROADBAND IN GREAT DENHAM

The Parish Council received a call last night (23rd Feb 2016) from their BT contact. He outlined action taken and future planning with regard to BB.

The cabinet 126 has now had extra cards put in and no one applying to their provider should be placed on a waiting list as the capacity has been increased.

With regard to all those still on the exchange and not connected to any of the new cabinets (the older part of Great Denham) the following has happened;

The physical survey has been undertaken and confirmation given that the new cabinets will sit on Highway land at the corner of Carnoustie Drive and Prestwick Road. There are no issues regarding siting and Bedford Borough is content with placement of the equipment. The cabinets have been designed and are in build and all authorities to get on with the work have been passed to Carillion (main contractor). The plan is that the work will be completed in early April, or “there abouts”. We were also told that in the next week or so we “should start to see activity where the cabinets are to be sited”.

More as we get it.

TRAFFIC ORDERS

We are pleased to advise that the traffic order on Greenkeepers Road, from the bend to the end of the block work just past Mercia Road, is in hand and a date for the work to be carried out should be available within the next few days.

Due to inconsiderate parking during school drop off times and following requests from some residents, a traffic order was considered for Muirfield, Mentmore and Lytham Place.  The Highways Department consulted residents in all these roads for their views and, as they had received eight objections, decided not to introduce the traffic order.  However, at a parish council meeting some residents suggested the decision should be reconsidered and we sent out a letter giving the following options:

a.     Do you want the restrictions only up to the block work which is just past Mentmore?
b.      Do you want the restrictions to apply to the whole of Muirfield, Mentmore and Lytham Place?
c.      Do you want the parking restrictions to apply to a different area? (please specify).

d.      Or would you rather no parking restrictions of any kind are applied to Muirfield, Mentmore and Lytham Place?

Of the 47 houses in those roads we received 13 responses in favour of each option as follows:-

a. 3

b. 2

c. 3

d. 5

Having considered both their own consultation and that of the parish council the Highways Department have decided that there is not sufficient support for a traffic order and will not introduce one.  The parish council has no further influence to change this decision.  We, therefore, request that all parents be considerate when dropping their children off at school and use the car park rather than parking in the surrounding streets.

ROAD SAFETY UPDATE

We have received a number of concerned emails about the lack of directional signs on the exit road from the A428 into Great Denham.  Following a meeting with the Highways people we are pleased to advise that, weather permitting, these will be done within about two months time.

The crossing to the river via the roundabout at the end of Kingswood Way – when crossing back from the river – is dangerous in that no line of sight is available due to overgrowth of self-setting trees.  Again, we are pleased to advise that this should be done in the next few weeks.

UPDATE ON BUS SERVICE

Representatives of the Parish Council have met with the Bedford Borough Transport Operations team and then with both Stagecoach and also a Grant Palmer senior representative.  They discussed the recent survey of residents on the effectiveness of the Number 8 Bus Service.  This led to 168 returns.  The headline statements arising from that Survey are that the overwhelming majority of respondents want the service to facilitate travel to Bedford Town Centre / Train station; that 75% of respondents were paying customers (not on concession); whilst 60% of respondents are very / fairly satisfied with the service, some 70% expressed dissatisfaction with the frequency of the service and 48% with the route taken.  In summary, 49% of respondents said the Service timetable did not necessarily meet their needs.  The simple fact is that it is not commercially viable for Stagecoach to return to a 20 minute frequency, however, there was a real willingness to listen to resident’s concerns and act to address them.  

Indeed, during the course of the meeting both operators expressed the possibility of running a direct service from  Great Denham to both the rail station and town centre (via Bromham Road). These services would require some kick start funding but as we have S106 funding they are, collectively, confident the matter can be progressed expediently. We are working very closely with  a very supportive Bedford Borough Council to move this forward and hope to be in a position to update you in about a month in terms of progress.  If all goes to plan we could have additional services (over and above the existing Number 8 service) by April 2016 which will significantly enhance the public transport options for local residents. 

HAIRDRESSER/BEAUTICIAN TO OPEN IN DISTRICT CENTRE SOON

We have been advised that a contract has just been signed to lease the the final shop unit in the District Centre to a hairdresser and beautician.  This will be a great addition to the facilities available in our community and it is hoped they will open by March.

POLICE COUNCIL TAX PRECEPT CONSULTATION 2016

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, Olly Martins, has launched a public consultation on the level of contribution the county’s residents make towards policing through their council tax.

Mr Martins states that "In November’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor George Osborne said he was protecting overall police funding.  However, in terms of individual Force budgets, the small print of Mr Osborne’s statement reveals that this depends on local people contributing more through the police portion of their council tax bill, because in common with other forces the police grant from the Home Office is being cut again, ours by £400,000. 

I am therefore asking for views on an annual increase of 1.99% in the Police Precept, which is approximately an extra £3 per annum for an average (Band D) household. The choice we face is between protecting our frontline police strength and freezing what people pay through the council tax. Given the overwhelming view I get from the public that the police are not visible enough in their communities I hope this small annual rise will prove acceptable to avoid diminishing our community policing footprint further still."

You can read the full text of Mr Martins communication here and access the consultation here.

Library Service Consultation – have your say

Bedford Borough Council wishes to develop a Library Strategy to set out its vision for the service over the next few years. To do this, they want to understand how people are using the Borough’s libraries: which services are most popular, which services should be prioritised and how they could save money going forward.

The first stage in this process is to undertake a consultation with members of the public and they are undertaking a short survey with individual users and non-users of the library service.

Paper copies of the survey are available at the following libraries:

Bedford Central       Bromham                Kempston              

Putnoe                    Wootton                  Mobile Library

Alternatively you can access the online version at this link www.forms.bedford.gov.uk/libraries

GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY HALL WEBSITE – WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The Great Denham Community Hall Charity Trustees are looking for an individual or company in the local community of Great Denham or neighbouring villages who have the creative and professional skills to be able to design and build a bespoke user friendly website for the Community Hall.  The website will need to be informative to keep residents up to date with the progress of the build and then the day to day running, allowing users to check availability and book the halls with minimal time and effort.  If you believe you are an individual or company who want to support the community by helping to make this happen then please let us know by sending your contact details, website address,  example of your work and fees by emailing greatdenhamcommunityhall@outlook.com

THE BOTTLE BANK HAS BEEN RELOCATED

Please note that the bottle bank has been relocated from Mercia Way to the car park in Kingswood Way.

LATEST FIBRE BROADBAND UPDATE

The latest information we have from BT is that cabinets 126 and 127 will go live in the morning (24th November).  The speeds will be displayed and orders will be able to be placed with your provider so long as they supply fibre broadband.  Cabinet 141 should go live later in the day.

SAINSBURYS OPENED - We have our local store at last

Our new Sainsburys Local has opened with the ribbon being cut by Hannah from Great Denham Primary School, who won the colouring competition, and who was assisted by the runners up.  We wish Sainsburys the best of luck and welcome them as our local store.

         

 

Thursday 19th Nov: Lot of records updated today but still more to do through the night. We have a call booked with BT at 08:30 tomorrow where they expect to be able to say that all 3 cabinets will go live during Friday!

Wednesday 18th Nov: The result of a telephone conversation last night – 18th Nov 9:40pm the following information was given to the PC;

“The records regarding the switching of customers from 127 to 141 did not include some vital information. The records should have shown the distance from the cabinets to each phone line in homes. Without this information the cabinet returns to a default of “no fibre”. The records are being amended today so within the next 24/36 hours all fibre cabinets should go live.

In order to do this and not cause chaos all the fibre cabinets – including 126 - will be shut down until this is done. Because they are shut down, on the website of BT they default to not being available until the next quarter end, which is 31/12/2015. This is not the case we should have access to fibre BB from all cabinets in the next 24/36 hours”.  

CARE QUALITY COMMISSION INSPECTION OF BEDFORD HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

In December the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be inspecting Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, and are very keen to encourage as many people as possible to share their experiences of the Trust ahead of the inspection.  You can see details of a public listening event that the CQC are holding here.

FURTHER BROADBAND UPDATE

We have been advised that all the work has been done to allow the update of the records for cabinet 141.  As soon as the updates have been finished it will go live.

BROADBAND UPDATE - CABINET 127 HAS GONE LIVE

Orders can now be placed for fibre broadband if you are connected to cabinet 127.  You can check your connectivity by going to the BT broadband checker  http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/

News on cabinets 126 and 141 will follow as soon as we hear anything.

GRANTS AVAILABLE FROM THE HARPUR TRUST

In 2016 The Harpur Trust celebrates its 450th anniversary. As part of their festivities they are running a one off 450th Anniversary Grants Programme. The aim of the fund is to make grants more accessible to small groups with little fundraising experience, who might find it hard to apply for a grant under their existing programmes.
If your voluntary group works in Bedford Borough and could use a small capital grant of up to £1,000, you may be eligible to apply.  Contact details can be found here.

ROAD CLOSURES ON REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

There will be some road closures on Remembrance Sunday which you may wish to take into consideration when planning a journey. The following have been approved and traffic may be managed by the Police.

Sunday 08/11/2015:

 

1) Bedford - It's anticipated that The Embankment, High Street, St Paul's Square & Harpur Street/Square, Bedford, will be closed at various times between 9.30am and 12.30pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Bushmead Avenue, Rothsay Road, Albany Road, Newnham Road.

 

2) Biddenham - It's anticipated that Main Road, Biddenham (between Gold Lane and the car park of The Three Tuns), will be closed between 10.45am and 11.15am. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Vicars Close.

 

3) Clapham - It's anticipated that lengths of High Street, Bedford Road and Green Lane, Clapham (near where they converge), will be closed between 10.45am and 11.15am.

 

4) Oakley - It's anticipated that Station Road, High Street, Pavenham Road and Highfield Road, Oakley (near where they converge), will be closed between 11.00am and 11.30am.

 

5) Kempston - It's anticipated that Bedford Road (between Farrer Street and St John's Street/High Street), St John's Street and High Street, Kempston, will be closed at various times between 3.00pm and 4.00pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Stuart Road, Foster Road, Bunyan Road, King Street, Hillgrounds Road & Manor Drive.

 

Sunday 15/11/2015:

 

1) Kempston - It's anticipated that Bedford Road, Kempston (between Marne Street and Hillgrounds Road/Spring Road), will be closed between 11.45am and 12.45pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Marlborough Park and Walcourt Road.

THE LATEST INFORMATION ON FIBRE BB FROM BT IS AS FOLLOWS;

  • Power to cabinet 126, trench dug and cable to be laid and connected Monday/Tuesday 2nd/3rd Nov. Power is already in place for cabinets 127 & 141.
  • The transfer of lines between cabinet 127 & 141 is proving to be a much more difficult job than first thought but engineers estimate that they will finish the transfers by end of next week 6th/7th Nov
  • BT believes that they can go live on 126 & 127 at the end of next week with 141 following a few days later.
  • If you wait until the end of next week then check this link to see which cabinet you are on and the availability;

https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm?s_cid=btw_furl_adslchecker_applications_diagnostics_adslchecker

  • We know that there has been a great deal of frustration and constant let down by BT but the signs are now very evident that we are nearing the end of this very tortuous journey. Don’t forget that you need to check with your current provider if they can still supply your BB through fibre. We will keep posting info throughout the next 7 days.

LATEST UPDATE (23RD OCTOBER) ON BROADBAND

There’s an engineer out there now who is sorting out Cabinet 141 for several days. It’s a basic, but fiddly, job of moving loads of people across from one cabinet to another, one at a time, without cutting people off for too long.

The good news is that Cabinet 127 is all ready to go and should be able to go live as soon as the Cabinet 141 work is done (people are being moved from one to the other). Cabinet 126 should then follow swiftly after that as the remaining bit of power work for it is scheduled for 27thOctober.

MEETING WITH DAVID WILSON HOMES 

The parish council holds regular meetings with David Wilson Homes at which to discuss and update issues. The minutes of our recent meeting can be seen here and cover a number of topics which may be of interest.

PLAY HUB IN COUNTRY PARK PROGRESSING WELL

Embedded image permalink  Embedded image permalink  Embedded image permalink

LOCAL PLAN 2032

Bedford Borough Council has prepared a second consultation paper about the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2032 and would like your views. The Borough will need to provide almost 18,000 new homes between now and 2032.They are also inviting people to send to them details of any sites suitable for development that were not submitted during last year’s ‘Call for Sites’ and there is also an opportunity to comment on a methodology for selecting Local Green Spaces; a new designation permitted by the National Planning Policy Framework. 

Please note that responses must be received by 5pm on 14th December 2015. All responses may be made public. To view the documents and further information on how to submit your views please follow this link   http://www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2032

The Local Plan timetable can be found in the Local Development Scheme - please follow this link  www.bedford.gov.uk/lds

E-PETITION FOR BUS SERVICE

In August the Great Denham bus service was reduced from three buses per hour to two.  The Residents Association has submitted an e-petition to Bedford Borough Council requesting the reinstatement of the old service.  If the petition is signed by more than 30 people then it must be debated by the Full Council.  More than 30 people have already signed the petition, but the more support it gets the better.  If you would like to sign the petition please click here and you will be taken to the appropriate page of the Borough's website which explains how you can add your signature.

PROPOSAL FOR SIX RETAIL UNITS WITH FLATS ABOVE

Westhall Estates have purchased some land from David Wilson Homes upon which they propose to build six retail units with flats above.  The land is located at the junction of Anglia Way, Saxon Way and Great Portway and is next to the new Sainsburys Local.  We would like to stress that at this stage a planning application has not been made, but Westhall Estates have taken pre-planning advice from Bedford Borough Councils planning department.

At the Parish Council meeting on 5th October drawings provided by Westhall Estates were shown in order to gauge community feeling about the proposals.  The feeling of all those who spoke was that whilst more shops might be welcome, empty shops were not and that six shops were unsustainable, especially as it seems to have been difficult to generate interest in the units attached to the Sainsburys Local. There was concern that the building was too near the road at the front, there was not enough parking at the rear, the access point was too close to two road junctions and the exits from the doctors and pharmacy, and the shops could attract anti-social behaviour. 

The drawings provided by Westhall can be seen by following the links below and we would welcome your views, be they positive or negative. Your comments will, together with those expressed at the meeting, inform the parish councils feedback to Westhall Estates and Bedford Borough Council prior to any planning application. Please send any comments you may have to our Clerk at gdclerk@hotmail.co.uk by Monday 12th October.

Drawing 1

Drawing 2

Drawing 3

Drawing 4

BROADBAND UPDATE

Following the delays and disappointments, the parish council asked BT to set a realistic programme for the delivery of superfast broadband to the new development in Great Denham.The following is an email we have received from the East of England BT Director.  We will, as usual, keep you informed.

"Following on from the various emails and conversations over the last few days/weeks with my Openreach colleagues, we have gained assurances from our partners and stakeholders, to reset expectations of being able to deliver service by the end of October.Please forgive the protracted delay in issuing this update, but the end of October date was very much predicated around gaining authority from Bedford Borough for the Highways work.  As expected they have kindly allowed us an earlier start date to support our aspirations to deliver service as above.The delivery of the infrastructure for Great Denham is on the radar of both BT Group and Openreach executives and we have their support in helping to maintain focus and expedite delivery accordingly."

CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR

We are pleased to advise that Martin Stuart was co-opted to the Parish Council at our meeting of 7th September.  Martin was a senior police officer in Bedfordshire for many years and brings a wealth of experience to the role. You can find his contact details on our Councillors page.

BROADBAND UPDATE

The Parish Council have again contacted BT Openreach (Angi Lewis Head of Sales Operations)  to establish what is now delaying progress and causing even slower connectivity for some users. We were given this information;

  • “an additional junction box is required for PCP141. This is because there is insufficient space in the existing infrastructure for the rearrangement work on PCP141; it is not a power issue although we are still awaiting and chasing the power for this cabinet”.
  • “Both PCPs 126 & 127 are dependent on PCP 141 being completed. PCP 127 is powered and coppered and is waiting for the fibre to be completed. There is a power issue at PCP 126. The power is outside our control but this has been escalated and we hope to have it resolved soon”.

This still didn’t give us the answers we were seeking so the PC wrote;

  • You will no doubt know that we have been waiting for some time since contracts were signed. The issue we all have is the shifting timescales. I’m sure you know also that the most infuriating aspect of any job or expectation is not having any certainty on a delivery/completion date.
  • We fully appreciate that there have been problems with various aspects of the work in Great Denham but what is very hard to understand, is that an organisation of your clout can’t seem to get issues like the power supply to these cabinets. Is there any possibility at all that we could have some form of very simple schedule that maps out – in simple layman’s language – what needs to be done and the timescale’s in which they will be completed? This programme needs to be honest and realistic and something that when published can be defended.
  • As Chair of the Parish Council I am more than used to getting stick from the community when it feels it is being let down and I always give people the facts “warts and all”. I have been the conduit for information into the community but because we have failed on all our past promises on timescales we have passed on from you, we are being seen as part of the problem and not part of the solution.
  • Please advise what you can do along the lines I’ve outlined?

On all this correspondence Annette Thorpe (BT Regional Partnership Director East of England) was copied. We received this response from her;

  • “I had an email exchange with Angi earlier on this.  It has been escalated and if Angi’s escalation does not gain the desired outcome (deliverable dates!), I will ask Bill Murphy (Managing Director, Next Generation Access BT Group) for his help too”.

We will post the next response and hopefully a schedule which will show the deliverable dates as soon as we have it. If we don’t hear by close of business on Tuesday 1st September we will escalate again. 

COMMUNITY LITTER PICK

We are holding another community litter pick to help spruce up our community and everyone is welcome.  It will take place between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday 13th September.  All equipment will be provided but please remember to wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear.  Please meet at the carpark opposite Great Denham Primary School. We hope you will come along.

WALK FOR HEALTH (W4H)

The Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) co-ordinates a range of W4H walk programmes throughout Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough. These individual programmes are led by trained volunteer Health Walk Leaders. Health walks are regular walks which are free and open to all – though aimed particularly at people who are presently doing little or no exercise – and usually last for about an hour. People are encouraged to walk at their own pace, safe in the knowledge that they are walking with trained leaders, one of whom will remain at the back of the group with the slowest walkers. Walkers are encouraged to socialise at the end of the walk - therefore many of the walks end where people can have a drink and a chat.

Full details of dates and meeting points and who to contact are available here.

BROADBAND - LATEST NEWS FROM BT (30TH JULY)

The current status of the supply of fibre broadband was passed over to the PC this afternoon 30/07/2015;

The network reconfiguration – (copper cabinet 126 having lines moved to new copper cabinet 141) is in progress. This is something undertaken both remotely and physically and is underway. The PC has been advised that sometime towards the end of next week people who live at addresses at the east end of Greenkeepers (towards the bus gate) should be switched to the new copper cabinet. In order to keep a check on this work, please visit the web link below.  This is the BT Wholesale DSL Checker. If you enter your address details – including post code it will tell you which cabinet you are connected to. As soon as it changes from 126 to 141 you will know. Whilst the fibre cabinet 141 has still to be fitted these addresses could get a greater stability of the copper broadband because of the reworked copper supply.

https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm?s_cid=btw_furl_adslchecker_applications_diagnostics_adslchecker

Once the copper cabinets are reworked 127 will go live. 126 is still waiting for the power company to complete the 75 metre run so that this cabinet can also go live. The PC has asked BT to chase the power company and also to give the PC a contact so that we can also chase.

We do not have a date yet for the fibre cabinet 141 to be installed but it should follow quickly after the rework of copper cabinet 141.

The three fibre cabinets will provide at least in excess of 40 mbps at an Openreach Level (what you get will depend on what you purchase from your chosen service provider) – the 3 Fibre cabinets have to feed fibre service to 864 fibre connections (homes).  Will keep updates coming as soon as we get them.

BROADBAND - LATEST NEWS FROM BT (23RD JULY)

The current situation regarding the supply of fibre broadband to Great Denham which is being paid for by both the developer DWH and the Parish Council is as follows;

Works completed and planned

  • Fibre cabinets 126 & 127 are in place next to their respective copper cabinets. The new copper cabinet in Greenkeepers which is being fitted to ensure high speed can be maintained along the whole length of the road and side roads is in place. The new fibre cabinet is not yet fitted.
  • Before 141 fibre cabinet can be fitted there has to be some “network rearrangement” which means that everyone on cabinet 126 from a certain point in Greenkeepers towards the bus-gate will have their lines transferred to the new copper cabinet 141. Once this is done - BT estimate 12-15 days - then cabinet 127 will go live. Until the network rearrangement is undertaken we do not know who will be on 127 or 126. Our contact at BT was waiting for conformation of the availability of the engineers to undertake the “network rearrangement”.
  • The fibre cabling runs from the exchange in Bedford and has been run up to the Kingswood Way roundabout on Branston Way ready to deploy to cabinets 126, 127, and 141.
  • Power – which has been the biggest delaying factor - is connected to cabinet 127 and BT are waiting for the power providers to run the remaining 75 metres to connect cabinet 126. Power for 141 will go in at the same time as the fibre cabinet is fitted.
  • 126 should go live a couple of days after 127 and 141 shortly after that. These are the conversations we have had with BT as at 18:00 hrs on 23rd July.
  • We are aware that some residents have contacted the BT fibre team and have been told that 126 is not planned until January 2016. Because this is a privately funded operation the BT fibre team will not be aware of the current status.
  • We have all been frustrated by the delays as March turned into April, May June and now July. We will keep a constant dialogue with BT Private funding team and will keep updates coming through to the website and twitter feed.

MARKETING DETAILS OF PROPOSED SHOPS IN GREAT DENHAM 

David Wilson Homes have released to the Parish Council the marketing details for the proposed shops in Great Denham. Obviously we all know Sainsbury's will be our supermarket (unit 1), but there are three further units. Please click here to see the details and if you are interested in any of the remaining retail units you are advised to contact their agents, Bidwells, whose details are on the document. Please do not contact the Parish Council.

BROADBAND UPDATE

BT civil works started on fibre cabinet corner of Mercia and Greenkeepers Road.

More updates later in the week.

 

FIBRE BROADBAND UPDATE

This is the latest communication from BT regarding fibre Broadband in the new development areas of Great Denham.

Openreach is actively working on completing the physical work including standing, powering, lighting of Cabs 126, 127 and 141 as well as the complex Network rearrangement of ccts from pcp 126 and pcp 127 into new PCP 141 to ensure a more even spread around the development and to shorten the line distances between the premises and the designated cabinets to maximise the fibre broadband speed 

It is expected that this physical and network rearrangement work will be completed by end of June 2014 or Early July 2015 (depending on the network migration which must be undertaken before cabs 126 and 127 can go live)

The time line of work is scheduled as follows

PCP 127 Fibre Cabinet stood and powered by 12th June 2015 – expected stood w/c 6th June 2015

PCP 126 Fibre Cabinet stood W/C 6th June 2015 – Request for power work in with UKPN – This is 120 metres of civils / power to be done once cab stood

PCP 141 Copper Cabinet awaiting confirmation of Stand up – notice with Bedford council expected early June 2015

PCP 141 Fibre Cabinet (stood and Power by 16th June 2015)

Once the PCP 141 copper cabinet is in place we can then move the premises at Bus lane end of Greenkeepers who are currently on PCP 126 or 127 onto the New PCP 141

This will then start to provide a much more even spread of cabinets and shorten the copper line distance which will the increase the speed for fibre broadband (assuming a fibre broadband service Is purchased from a service providers offering fibre broadband (Fibre broadband is an opt in service – i.e. has be to purchase / ordered from a service provider” 

This and several phone conversations with senior management in BT have lead the PC to believe that BT will deliver to these timescales. Alistair Burt our constituency MP has also been in touch with BT in support of the parish. Keep an eye out for updates on progress. We are waiting for further updates regarding the older parts of the parish.

GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY HALL BUSINESS PLAN

Great Denham Parish Council has been confirmed by Bedford Borough Council as the entity which will own and operate this facility.  The ten year business plan and financials plus drawings of both floors of the building can be found on our Official Council Documents page under Business Plan.

GREAT DENHAM COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP

Some 18 months ago the start of this group was discussed by members of staff at the school. Through its role in educating and caring for children the school has gained a useful insight into the issues that face families and other members of a community. A key member of the staff wanted to do something positive to try and provide a mechanism to identify and support families in difficulty with a number of issues. Whether this was health, isolation, violence and other abuse or just providing the opportunity to look into the community for support during difficult times. We have printed the notes from the last meeting of this group and our thanks go to Rachel Chiou of the Bedford Clinical Commissioning Group for her support and leadership for the community, and for getting others involved.

Currently the group is made up of a number of professionals and a staff member at the school. What we are trying to do is reach out to the community and ask if there are residents willing to join this group so that we can turn the planning aspects of this group into an “action” group. If you would like to become involved in helping and supporting others in the community please contact Jim Weir on jrweir@btinternet.com

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS

The Parish Council election was uncontested as their were five candidates for our five positions.  As a consequence all five candidates have been duly elected.  Jim Weir, Kevin Cawood, Tony Harrison and Paul Stonebridge were re-elected and we welcome Shah Shanoor Miah as the a new member of the Council. Alan Davis has stepped down from the Council after serving since September 2009.  We would like to extend our thanks to Alan for all his hard work on behalf of the Parish which is very much appreciated.

The next meeting will be on 18th May and will consist of the Annual Parish Meeting - your opportunity to hear about the work of the Parish Council during the past 12 months - and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council.

SAINSBURYS - BUILDING WORK TO START IN MAY

Good news! We have been advised by the company building the new Sainsburys Local store that they have finalised the Build Contract with their main contractor who will be setting up site later this week.  Currently, assuming no unforeseen weather conditions etc, they should be completing the building and car park by early October enabling Sainsbury’s to fit out the store.  Sainsburys hope to start trading around about November but will be confirming more precise dates no doubt as they move through the process. Watch out for some activity on the site soon. 

BEDFORD'S BIG HIGH STREET SHOWCASE - ROAD CLOSURES

High Street and Mill street will be closed between 6am and 7pm on Saturday 13th June to facilitate this event. A map of the alternative routes is available here.

The BT empty chair

As most are aware a meeting was arranged for the morning of 23rd April with BT to try and get a final solid unbreakable delivery date for the fibre broadband already paid for by DWH and the Parish Council. Following delay after delay we called this meeting and invited our local Borough Councillor, Mark Smith – who turned up, the development manager from DWH Ian Bennett, who turned up, Jim Weir and Roz Buchanan from the PC, who also turned up.

The PC received an email from BT on the 22nd saying they were already committed to another meeting on the 23rd so wouldn’t be attending! This was despite the fact that the meeting had been arranged for several weeks. The individual who sent the email had returned from holiday on the 13th April but waited until 22nd to say they would not be attending.
Anyway, everyone else met and discussed plans to move this forward. Mark Smith has kindly asked Alistair Burt – our constituency MP to write to BT and he said that would happen today. He also asked Phil Simpkins CEO Bedford Borough to write. Ian Bennett will ask the MD of DWH to also get involved. As ever the PC will also write to the MD of BT. We all share the disappointment and frustration but please be assured we will keep up the pressure on all parties!

FURTHER UPDATE FOR BT RESPONSE ON FIBRE BB - EXCHANGE OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH BT

We have been pursuing a definitive response from BT about their failure to supply fibre broadband. You can see the recent exchange of communications here.

STILL WAITING FOR BT RESPONSE ON FIBRE BROADBAND CONNECTIONS!

Set out below is the email which has been sent to BT about the failure to supply Broadband on 15th March.

Colin

As you know the original commitment was to have the fibre BB in place for the new development by 15th March 2015. We have had several conversations the first of which you informed me that there was a wayleave issue with Lagans that was going to cause a delay! I immediately informed DWH and they suggested an alternative site for cabinet 141 (the new cabinet on Greenkeepers Road). When I spoke to you recently to get a new date for the fibre BB being available you said that DWH were holding up the new cabinet as you were waiting for paperwork back from them! 

I informed DWH of what you said and they countered with the fact that BT hadn’t even done a survey yet let alone produce paperwork.

Colin you told me you would have an answer for last Tuesday. I got hold of you earlier this week and you said you would definitely have an answer by Thursday – today (19/03/2015). I have left you several messages but you still haven’t contacted me. As you can imagine there are a lot of residents who have been waiting for the fibre BB to be available and many have plans which they are now having to change – but still don’t know when. You said that given the circumstances you would try to enable cabinets 126/127 so at least some of the new development could be enabled with the further reaches of Greenkeepers picked up when the new cabinet was in place. You have not given me that information as to when that would be available.

The parish of Great Denham has been ignored, the Borough forgot about us when the roll out scheme was introduced, the developer didn’t make any allowance for fibre BB in the first instance - but has now funded the gap finance you required - at the planning stage and BT didn’t know the extent of the development. So the parish has basically been let down by everyone involved. You are now compounding that by not communicating what is happening – even if its bad news we need to know. I will make one final plea Colin please communicate and tell us what is happening and when we can expect fibre BB to be enabled in Great Denham?

Frustrated

Jim Weir GDPC.

COMMUNITY LITTER PICK

Great Denham Community Litter Pick February 2015

A community litter pick organised by the Parish Council and the Residents Association took place on Saturday 28th February between 10am and 12 noon.  Despite the chilly weather there was a good turnout and ten bags of litter were collected.  Two of those who took part have also agreed to become street champions.  We intend to make this a regular event and hope you may be able to join us next time.

ALLOTMENTS AVAILABLE IN STAGSDEN 

Stagsden Allotments Association has advised that they have some plots avilable which residents in Great Denham are invited to apply for.  Please contact our Clerk at gdclerk@hotmail.co.uk for further information.

DOG FOULING

Many of you are concerned about this issue and it seems that to trigger visits from the dog warden we need to be seen as a "hot spot" and this means reporting all instances of dog fouling which are witnessed.  Set out below are details of what you can do if you see anyone allowing their dog to foul and not cleaning up afterwards.

All instances of dog fouling which are witnessed should be reported to  01234 718060 or emailed to callcentre@bedford.gov.uk   The report should include
  • location
  • date
  • time frame eg 2-4pm
  • description of dog
  • description of person with dog
If the fouling is not witnessed, but an area is affected by it then this should also be reported as the area will be cleansed. However, cleansing takes place when a vehicle is visiting the area rather than a specific crew being sent out to deal with the issue.  Also, a single instance will not lead to immediate cleansing.
If we all play our part in reporting irresponsible owners and badly affected areas it is to be hoped the situation will gradually improve.

SAINSBURYS LOCAL GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION

Planning permission has been granted for the Sainsburys Local store and adjoining shop units.  The developers are currently tendering for the build process.  We have been advised they hope to have the building complete by Autumn, which will allow Sainsburys to complete the fitting out of the store in time to open before Christmas 2015.  This is great news after a long campaign to get some of the promised facilities for Great Denham.

BROADBAND IN GREAT DENHAM

As many of you will know the newer houses in Great Denham will be getting superfast broadband in March.  We are pleased to advise that a solution has now been proposed by BT to bring superfast broadband to the houses in the older parts of the village. You can view the letter we have received from BT outlining their proposals and the cost here. The costs outlined in the letter will be met from the Commuted Sum. 

Although this proposal relates only to Carnoustie Drive, St. Mellion Drive and Prestwick Road, we have been assured by BT that the remaining areas of Kingswood Way, Great and Little Portway, Mentmore, Muirfield and so on will be covered by the cabinets which will provide the service to the new development.  However, we are seeking reassurance of this in writing.

COUNTRY PARK WETLAND AREA

Wetland area of Great Denham Country Park              Wetland area of Great Denham Country Park

The wetland area of the Country Park is looking great right now and the Parish Council has recently installed two benches so you can take a break whilst out and about. 

APPEAL FOR GYPSY & TRAVELLER SITE DISMISSED

Following the refusal of planning permission for a five pitch site on the old Bromham Nurseries off the A428, the applicants appealed.  The appeal has been dismissed.  Please click here to see the full decision.

PARISH COUNCILLORS DISCUSS CRIME WITH GREAT DENHAM'S PCSO

Following some concern about crime in Great Denham, the parish council recently met with our PCSO, James Loi, and his colleague Paul Jones.  We discussed the apparent increase in crime and what can be done to protect residents. You can see the minutes of that meeting here.  Please remember that PCSO Loi and his Sergeant will be at our public meeting on 3rd November - see details below.

CONTRACT SIGNED WITH SAINSBURYS

David Wilson Homes exchanged contracts on 22nd October with Sainsburys, who will provide a new Sainsburys Local store in Great Denham.  The contract is subject to planning permission from Bedford Borough Council for the Sainsburys store and three ancilliary retail units.  It is hoped that a planning application will be submitted within approximately 6 weeks and there will then be a build period of about 6 months. David Wilson Homes have advised that, once all the formalities have been dealt with and subcontractors appointed to complete the build, they hope the new store will be open the Autumn of 2015. This is great news for our community and we will keep you advised of progress. Please follow these links to see some images of the shop may look. 

Retail development site

Elevations of retail units

Images of retail units

PLANS FOR THE COMMUNITY HALL

Drawings showing the layout of the community hall are available and you can see them by clicking on the following:-

Ground floor

First floor

Proposed elevations

Street scene

S106 - APPLICATION 14/01087/S106 MODIFICATION & DISCHARGE OF OBLIGATIONS

The Planning Committee have voted to accept the modifications proposed by David Wilson Homes to the S106 Agreement.  Full details will be given at the Planning Committee Meeting on 6th October.  The meeting will take place at 7.30pm in Great Denham Primary School, Greenkeepers Road, MK40 4GG. You can download a copy of the agenda by clicking hereAll meetings are open to the public and we hope you can join us. You can see the draft minutes of Bedford Borough Council's Planning Committee by following this link:

http://www.councillorsupport.bedford.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=245&MId=3650&Ver=4

PUBLIC MEETING HELD ON 8TH SEPTEMBER 2014

A public meeting was held on 8th September to discuss the S106 amendments proposed by David Wilson Homes Ltd. and also the Local Plan to 2032 Call for Sites (see item below).  The draft minutes of the public meeting can be found here whilst the draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting can be found here.  

LOCAL PLAN TO 2032: CALL FOR SITES

Further to the item below the parish council has submitted it's response to Bedford Borough Council's Planning Policy Team. You can see the letter by clicking here. If you wish to support these views you can do so by writing to the Planning Policy Team.  Please feel free to use the template letter which the parish council have provided here. Simply remember to insert the date and include your name and address in the template, then email both the completed template together with the parish council's letter to planningpolicy@bedford.gov.uk

PUBLIC MEETING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2014

At the public meeting the Local Plan 2032 - Call for Sites was discussed. Please see the item below headed "Growth in Bedford Borough - Local Plan to 2032" for details. The parish council explained that Bidwells, who are the agents for the landowners (Wingfield Estate) were once again trying to get their excluded land approved for development and that if they succeeded the promised sports pitches would be moved into land which is in the flood plain. The parish council will vigorously oppose this and are considering their response.   Once the response has been formulated a template will be published on this site which can be used by residents to voice their concerns direct to Bedford Borough Council. It is hoped this will be available by Thursday 11th September.

The proposed amendments to the S106 agreement were also discussed.  As explained at the meeting representatives of the parish council met with the Borough's head of planning and David Wilson Homes to discuss these proposals on 28th August.  As a result of that meeting we await a response from David Wilson Homes as to some amendments to their proposals. We will update you as soon as we hear from them.

28th AUGUST - MEETING WITH BOROUGH COUNCIL & DEVELOPERS TO DISCUSS PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS TO S106 AGREEMENT

The changes being proposed by David Wilson Homes to the S106 Agreement affect three parishes - Great Denham, Kempston Rural and Kempston Town Council. On 28th August representatives of these parishes met with officers from Bedford Borough Council and David Wilson Homes to discuss the proposals.  Also present was the chair of Bedford Borough Councils Planning Committee.  The notes taken by our clerk at that meeting can be seen by clicking here and the outcome of the meeting will be discussed at our public meeting on 8th September. We have also received a copy of the notes produced by the Planning Department which you can see by clicking here.

OFFICIAL PARISH COUNCIL RESPONSE TO MODIFICATIONS TO THE s106 AGREEMENT

As explained in the August edition of the parish newsletter, David Wilson Homes are proposing a number of changes to the s106 agreement which governs the facilities to be provided by them in Great Denham. Please click here to see the parish council's official response to the modifications proposed by David Wilson Homes.

The parish council has also made verbal representations objecting to these changes to the Borough Council's Planning Committee. As a result the Planning Committee have deferred the decision pending further consultation with the parish councils affected - Great Denham, Kempton Town Council and Kempston Rural.

GROWTH IN BEDFORD BOROUGH - LOCAL PLAN TO 2032

You may recall that earlier this year Bedford Borough Council consulted on the Local Plan which will look at development needs to 2032.  The original timetable has been delayed by outside factors, but the Borough have published the 350 or so sites which have been proposed for development by landowners.  The Borough have decided to use this delay to give parish councils, the opportunity to give their early views on the sites.

As part of their contract with the land owner from whom they bought the site in Great Denham, David Wilson Homes (DWH) are obliged to put forward for development any land which was excluded from the original development.  Those of you who lived in Great Denham in 2012 will recall that we were successful in preventing land in the Country Park from being used to build 300 houses. The same site has been proposed for building again.  If DWH were successful, not only would we lose a huge area of the Country Park, but the sports pitches would be pushed further into the floodplain and rendered unusable during periods of flooding.

We hope the Borough Council will refuse the proposal but, whilst the general public cannot currently submit their views, the Parish Council will be taking this opportunity to object in the strongest possible terms to the site.  The Borough Council will be consulting publically on the Local Plan and the proposed sites at a future date and we will let you when this is so you too can give them your views. Meanwhile, if you wish to see more detail please visit the Borough's website by clicking here. You can also see the proposed sites by using the index map available here or the parish maps available here or the parish names available here.

BROADBAND UPDATE

We are pleased to advise that, following much lobbying and many meetings organised by the parish council, a contract has been signed between DWH and BT to upgrade the 2 cabinets supplying Broadband to the new development in Great Denham and to provide a third. It will take approximately 7 to 9 months for the work to be carried out and then houses in this area will have superfast Broadband available - although you will need to check you are with a supplier who provides the service.  All future houses built will have fibre blown direct to their houses and so will have superfast Broadband.

This is good news for those in the newer houses but those in the original development will have to wait a little longer whilst BT provide a solution for these houses.  We understand they may be able to use the original ducting which was supplied to these houses, but never used.

We will keep you updated.

MARKETING DETAILS OF PROPOSED SHOPS IN GREAT DENHAM

David Wilson Homes have released to the Parish Council the marketing details for the proposed shops in Great Denham. You will note that the document states that the convenience store is under offer, although we do not yet have any confirmation as to which retailer this will be. Please click here to see the details and if you are interested in any of the remaining retail units you are advised to contact their agents, Bidwells, whose details are on the document. Please do not contact the Parish Council.

NEWSLETTER

In order to keep you updated on recent important developments the Parish Council has produced a newsletter.  A copy is to be delivered to every house in Great Denham, but you can also download and read it by going to our Newsletter page.

WESTFORD VILLAGE - DO YOU LIVE HERE?

David Wilson Homes have caused much confusion in the past by referring to the development in Great Denham as "Biddenham Vale".  This was compounded by Lagans and Barratts referring to their homes as being in Kingswood Park and Greenkeepers Mews.  Now, David Wilson Homes have decided to add to the confusion by rebranding the entire development taking place in both Great Denham and West of Kempston as "Westford Village"!  The Parish Council has tried to persuade them that their marketing should refer to "Great Denham", but they have insisted on going ahead and using this name and have erected yet another large sign welcoming potential buyers to "Westford Village".

Please be advised that the use of "Westford Village" is a marketing tool only and you do live in Great Denham.

CAMERAS AT BUS GATE ARE NOW FULLY OPERATIONAL

The bus gate at the Queens Park end of Greenkeepers Road is intended to prevent a "rat run" being created between Bedford and Great Denham by drivers trying to take a short cut to the A428. There have been a number of problems with the bus gate and it has broken on many occasions, allowing vehicles to pass through.  Bedford Borough Council agreed to install number plate recognition cameras and in advance of this put up warning signs.  Unfortunately there was a considerable delay between putting up the signs and installing the cameras.  This is to advise that the cameras have now been installed and have been fully operational since 21st November 2013.  If you see the bollards are down and still go through the bus gate you will be caught on camera and fined.

FACILITIES IN GREAT DENHAM

At almost every meeting of the Parish Council we are asked when the promised facilities, such as a shop, will be available. The Chairman of the Parish Council regularly meets with both David Wilson Homes and the Borough Council and has on many occasions discussed the disappointing progress being made in Great Denham in this respect.  A copy of his most recent letter to David Wilson Homes is available by clicking here. This letter was sent on 15th October and to date (18th November) no substantive response has been received.  As David Wilson Homes have also not accepted any of our invitations to a public meeting so they can listen to residents' frustration it may be that members of the community might wish to write to David Wilson Homes and see if a response can be obtained.  

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR 

Following some complaints about anti social behaviour the Parish Council advises that the most effective way to report and get such behaviour dealt with is to contact either the police, using the non emergency number 101, or the Borough Council by telephoning 01234 276037 or using the form on their website. It is important to report all such behaviour as these records trigger additional visits by the police to monitor and deal with the situation. Please help to make Great Denham a pleasant place to live by reporting any anti social behaviour you encounter.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN PARK & RIDE

There have been some reports of anti-social behaviour in the Park & Ride.  If you witness any anti-social behaviour please call the Borough Council hotline on 01234 276037.  A leaflet about anti-social behaviour is available on the Security and Neighbourhood Watch page of this website.  Bedford Borough Council are monitoring the site for it's first three months and will take further measures to improve security if necessary at the end of this period. The cameras in the Park & Ride are capable of facial and car number plate recognition. 

.Help with the switchover from analogue to digital

You could be eligible for help with the digital switchover.  Click here to find out more and see if you are eligible. 

 

Further to my earlier email about Remembrance Sunday road closures, I can confirm that the following have been approved and that traffic may be managed by the Police.

 

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Sunday 08/11/2015:

 

1) Bedford - It's anticipated that The Embankment, High Street, St Paul's Square & Harpur Street/Square, Bedford, will be closed at various times between 9.30am and 12.30pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Bushmead Avenue, Rothsay Road, Albany Road, Newnham Road.

 

2) Biddenham - It's anticipated that Main Road, Biddenham (between Gold Lane and the car park of The Three Tuns), will be closed between 10.45am and 11.15am. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Vicars Close.

 

3) Clapham - It's anticipated that lengths of High Street, Bedford Road and Green Lane, Clapham (near where they converge), will be closed between 10.45am and 11.15am.

 

4) Oakley - It's anticipated that Station Road, High Street, Pavenham Road and Highfield Road, Oakley (near where they converge), will be closed between 11.00am and 11.30am.

 

5) Kempston - It's anticipated that Bedford Road (between Farrer Street and St John's Street/High Street), St John's Street and High Street, Kempston, will be closed at various times between 3.00pm and 4.00pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Stuart Road, Foster Road, Bunyan Road, King Street, Hillgrounds Road & Manor Drive.

 

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Sunday 15/11/2015:

 

1) Kempston - It's anticipated that Bedford Road, Kempston (between Marne Street and Hillgrounds Road/Spring Road), will be closed between 11.45am and 12.45pm. This will also affect adjacent roads such as Marlborough Park and Walcourt Road.

LATEST FIBRE BROADBAND UPDATE

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