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.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

How well supported are the legal challenges?

A subject that I have covered before on here (blogpost Feb 2014) surfaces again in a small piece carried in today's Luton On Sunday.

Luton On Sunday 25-Jan-2015
When you hear opinions like "it's a fight to the death" to achieve development West of Luton and expand Luton into Caddington & Slip End, it is reassuring to know that such views are not necessarily universally held.

It would take an incredible shift in the popular vote for Labour to lose control of Luton Borough Council, but it will be interesting after May 7 to see who controls the Labour administration in the town.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Slip End proposes change of school age range

The governing body of Slip End Lower School has consulted with parents and carers on a proposed change of age range from 3-9 years to 3-11 years, in order to extend provision from lower school to primary school status.

It is proposed that the change will take place over a two year period with current year four children remaining at the school and moving into year five in September 2015. Following much support for the proposal from staff, parents and carers, the governing body would like to invite views from other stakeholders.

Further information regarding the proposed expansion, and how to respond to the proposal, is available on the school’s website.  Responses need to be submitted by 27 February 2015.

Bedfordshire Pub of the Year

It is good to see that two of the pubs in this ward have been nominated in the "Pub of the Year" category on the Beds Food & Drink awards website.

Click here to vote for the Bell at Studham, The Old Hunters Lodge at Whipsnade or indeed to nominate your own favourite


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

North Herts DC consults on local plan

North Hertfordshire District Council is currently consulting on their local plan which will cover up until 2031 (details here).  NHDC, like Central Bedfordshire, borders Luton Borough and has a duty to co-operate in attempting to mitigate Luton's unmet housing need.  In recognition of that, the draft plan includes allocation of a potential 2100 homes on the eastern border of Luton but within the NHDC area.

Herald & Post 15-Jan-2015
It is a little surprising therefore that an NHDC Councillor is actively encouraging people to lodge objections against his own authority's draft plan, as evidenced by his recent e-mails sent and a piece in last week's Herald & Post.  A plan that he has already voted in favour of in Council!

I sympathise with local opposition but the further argument that North Herts should be relieved of any obligation to provide homes whilst demanding that West of Luton be developed is self-serving nonsense that does not stand up to scrutiny.  Crawley Green Road and Eaton Green Road may be congested (although "gridlocked" is fanciful hyperbole) but Farley Hill, which would bear the brunt of extra traffic from Bushwood style proposals (and is already being loaded more if the Newlands Road development goes ahead) is no better and similarly constrained in terms of no room for expansion.  It should also be noted that Central Bedfordshire's own emerging local plan provides several thousand homes for Luton without allocating land to the west; North Herts can not expect to provide nothing.

Cllr Barnard encourages people to object to the North Herts plan in writing and promote west of Luton instead.  Readers are, of course, also entitled to comment on the North Herts plan in writing in support of it if they feel that removing North Herts contribution in favour of resurrecting Bushwood is not a fair alternative.

Given that Cllr Barnard also chairs the planning control committee, I will be interested if and when planning applications relating to this proposed land allocation go before that committee.  I presume that he will be declaring a prejudicial interest based upon his public campaigning and take no part in the debate?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Extension to planning application at Newlands Road

Luton On Sunday 03-Aug-14
Following on from last year's grant of planning permission for the construction of 234 flats on land off Newlands Road, the same developer has now come forward with a further application [ 14/01609/OUT ] which would fill in the previously 'missing' corner and extend the development right up to the Luton Road.  The revised scheme would take the number of units on site up to 394.

That side of the motorway is, of course, in Luton Borough and not Central Bedfordshire and so the planning decision lies with Luton Borough Council.

A few points raised at the time of the original application are still relevant now:
  • Given that Luton have had CBC planning decisions challenged in the High Court for only including 10% affordable housing provision, what level of provision will they be securing on land within their own borough?
  • As Luton's previous assessment of potential housing capacity in this area was well below 100, the granting of permission for 394 units would obviously represent something of a windfall.  Are they confident that they are really making efficient use of their limited land supply elsewhere?
  • If the developer makes the full contribution towards education provision (and there is no suggestion that they would not), will Luton Borough council ensure that there is sufficient provision near to the location?  Schools in Caddington and Slip End take a significant number of children from within the Luton area and, whilst they are more than welcome to come to schools where parents hope they can secure the best education for their children, there will be population growth within the catchment area for those schools over the next 15-20 years and by implication spare places for out-of-catchment children will reduce.
Luton Borough have high expectations of what their neighbours should provide for them; it will be interesting to see what they expect of themselves.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Coded messages on the driveway

There was an interesting story in Saturday's Daily Telegraph about the experiences of an elderly couple in Plymstock, Devon.

Picture courtesy of
They agreed to have their driveway repaved by a trader who knocked on the door offering his services.  Using different coloured bricks, a pattern was laid into the paving as part of the works; although this had not been requested, they accepted the explanation that it was simply to improve the visual appearance.

However, over the next few years the couple were continually approached by all manner of people offering various services (including finishing off the drive, which had not been completed properly in the first place).  The suspicion, supported by the local Police, is that the pattern was in fact a deliberate marking to identify a potential 'soft target' for the benefit of other rogue traders.

If you extend the logic, similar indicators could be used to mark properties (either at the location of the driveway or nearby) where potential access points have been noted and targetted for burglary.

The simple message would seem to be to think twice about who you engage to work in and around your home; cold-callers who knock at the door are possibly not the wisest choice.

Friday, 2 January 2015

How the tax system works

An old story but an effective illustration and always worth re-reading:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  • The fifth would pay £1.
  • The sixth would pay £3.
  • The seventh would pay £7.
  • The eighth would pay £12.
  • The ninth would pay £18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

 So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the landlord changed the situation. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20." Drinks for the ten now cost just £80 total.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They all knew that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.  So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  • The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33%savings).
  • The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28%savings).
  • The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 ( 25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 ( 22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a pound out of the £20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got £10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill.