Caddington ward covers the six parishes of Hyde, Slip End, Caddington, Kensworth, Whipsnade & Studham
Individual parish council websites (where available) can be reached by clicking on the names aboves.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

CBC pass a budget for 2014/2015

With apologies to Cllr Maurice Jones

Tonight saw a full meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council, the focus of which was our budget for the coming year and general financial planning in the medium term.

This is no easy task; as a principal authority, Central Bedfordshire has many serious commitments and a multi-million pound budget required to meet them.  Cllr Maurice Jones and various officers from the finance department have done a wonderful job in pulling together the wealth of relevant information and statistics and creating a workable budget.  This was debated tonight and, whilst some members expressed regrets or concerns over certain specific issues, there was no attempt to introduce amendments or vote the budget down.  With a strong majority, the budget was passed.

For the fourth year in succession, the CBC element of Council Tax in Central Bedfordshire has been frozen.  The Police and Fire authorities have each increased their funding request by 1.99%; Town and Parish Councils vary across the authority area with some cuts, some freezes and some increases.  As the CBC element is by far the largest element of the overall charge, freezing of this component will minimise the impact on household budgets for 2014/2015.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

CBC Emergency Planning Team

Central Bedfordshire Council send out regular messages via e-mail to all elected members; the recent update on flooding included information which I felt might be of use to the general public and so is reproduced below:

Advice for the public

Please find below the advice for residents who are concerned about flooding.
If residents feel the inside of their property (i.e. not garden, garage or driveway but living space) is at imminent risk of flooding they should call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999.
If residents ever feel life is at risk they should always call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately on 999.
If residents are concerned about potential flooding and how they can protect their property please direct them to read our flood guide online. This provides advice on who they should call depending on the nature of the flooding and measures they can take to protect their property.
Neither the Fire and Rescue Service or the Council have sand bags to give out to the general public, so it is important that people make suitable plans if they are concerned that their property may flood.
Residents can also report flooding or surface water on the roads or fallen trees straight to our Highways team on the Highways Helpdesk telephone number 0300 300 8049. This phone number is also available out of office hours, in case of emergencies.
How residents can keep up to date
Local residents and businesses are advised to check with the Environment Agency for the latest flood alerts and warnings. Residents can do this online www.environment‐ or call the Environment Agency’s 24‐hour Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or 0345 988 1188. People using social media can also keep up to date by following @envagencyanglia on Twitter, or using the hashtag: #floodaware.
Local residents can also check the Highways Agency website for any issues with major roads or listen to the local radio for more local information. The advice to both drivers and pedestrians is not to attempt to drive or walk through any flood water and to look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees in high winds.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Luton Labour Party - who is in charge?

Local press and television news has recently included plenty of interest around alleged membership packing in areas of Luton.  If these allegations are true, the implication is that certain Councillors are boosting their own prominence within the majority party on Luton Borough Council and hence able to advance their personal agendas.  This has caused understandable concern elsewhere in the local party.

Reproduced from Luton On Sunday letters page
Not all political debate is "us versus them"; there are plenty of times that politicians from opposite sides of any debating chamber will be broadly in agreement on a particular topic.  The same can be true of dialogue between neighbouring authorities, people from different political parties being able to work towards sensible solutions on cross-border issues and problems in common.

Sadly, there is always an element (and this is true across all parts of the political spectrum) that is so entrenched in dogma that they will not flex, discuss or accommodate any views but their own.  This "all else is bad, whilst I am a champion of what is good" attitude quickly becomes very destructive.

Luton Borough Council necessarily has to work with Central Bedfordshire Council on a lot of issues; a Borough Council also needs to maintain a sensible working relationship with its MPs.  I hope that control of Luton Borough Council in the near future and certainly beyond the 2015 elections rests with those who are prepared to talk and not those who are determined to fight.

Luton On Sunday coverage of local floods

Thursday, 6 February 2014

BBC 3 Counties politics hour

The Roberto Perrone show on BBC 3CR often features a panel discussion in the hour between 6 and 7 PM and on a Thursday the focus is political.

I would highly recommend tuning in to tonight's debate, which is scheduled to feature not only Dorothy Thornhill (Elected Mayor of Watford) but also two Central Bedfordshire Councillors, namely Richard Stay and Adam Zerny.  Cllr Stay needs little or no introduction in this area of Bedfordshire; Cllr Zerny is an independent member from Potton.  In fact, he is rare amongst the independent group in that he was not previously a member of either the Labour or Liberal Democrat parties before standing for election as an independent.  So keen is he on independent members, he even endorsed an independent candidate in the recent by-election as "very strong" whilst refusing to confirm whether or not he had ever even met her!

Richard Stay, Dorothy Thornhill and Adam Zerny
With such forthright guests, expect lively conversation.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Parish Council meetings reminder

Slip End and Studham each have their monthly meetings tonight, taking place in their respective village halls from 7PM.

Caddington have adjusted their schedule so that they now meet on the second Monday of each calendar month, not the first.  So there is no meeting in Caddington tonight, the next will be on Monday 10 February.