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, 28 May 2015

Events on Studham Common

It was enjoyable to attend the Mayfair on Studham Common a couple of weekends ago; the turnout was impressive and I hope that everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

For anyone living in the area, the village picnic is scheduled for 21 June - further information available from the Friends of Studham Common.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Road resurfacing programme for 2015/2016

You can access the CBC factsheet on resurfacing here.

Cheering volunteering awards

Further to my previous blog posting, please see below a note from the CBC Partnerships & Community Engagement team:
Central Bedfordshire Together is hosting the first Cheering Volunteering celebration awards event on Tuesday 2 June 2015 at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable from 6.30pm – 9.00pm.
Cheering Volunteering

There has been a fantastic response of over 50 entries to the call for nominations, and the event is set to be a brilliant way to say “thank you” to all those in Central Bedfordshire who regularly and freely give their time to help others. Residents are encouraged to book their free tickets so that they can come along and join in the celebrations.

To book your free event ticket, please visit the The Grove Box Office website or call the team on 01582 60 20 80 (option 7). You can also visit The Grove Box Office in person and pick up your free tickets there. A ticket is required for all attending the event.

Please ensure you indicate at the time of booking whether you have any access or dietary requirements that we should be aware of.

Advance warning of road closure, West Hyde

Bridge strengthening works are scheduled for West Hyde Road in Hyde, which will necessitate temporary road closures and a diversion whilst the works are carried out.

The closure is expected to take place Monday 29th June to Friday 07th August, between 08:30 to 16:00 Monday to Friday.  The exact closure site and suggested diversion are shown on the map below.

Temporary closure & diversion, Hyde, July 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

CBC AGM 21 May 2015

I am sure that you all noticed; those of you living in Central Bedfordshire elected new Councillors as well as casting your vote in the parliamentary election on 07 May.

The new Central Bedfordshire Council is (notionally) in place for the next four years; certain elements of the Council's function are renewed on an annual basis and this will formally happen at the Annual General Meeting tomorrow night.

The majority party have appointed a leader and he has approached a cabinet of portfolio holders and deputies; they will take on the task of guiding the Council's policies and priorities over the next four years and the list of office holders is being put forward for approval tomorrow night. 

In addition to the cabinet, there are a number of overview & scrutiny committees whose function is to analyse and, where appropriate, challenge and amend policy recommendations.  These committees comprise members from all political parties (proportionally) and, again, membership will be confirmed tomorrow night.

Also to be confirmed is an official leader of the opposition.  A voice to challenge the incumbent leadership is a sensible part of the democratic process; a voice to be awkward for the sake of it is just an abuse of process.  Given that the previous holder of this post lost his seat (and, due to his aggressive and confrontational manner, will not be missed) it is definite that somebody new will be appointed to this position.  The likely candidate is a much more attractive proposition than his predecessor and I look forward to seeing and hearing him in the chamber for the next four years.

For those of you unable to contain your excitement, the meeting at Chicksands is open to the public and will also be webcast.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

CBC Elections 2015: playing with numbers

First and most importantly, many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to take part in the democratic process and cast their vote (whichever way it was given!).  Secondly, special thanks to those who assisted the campaign for myself and Richard locally, helping with the canvass, displaying posters or delivering leaflets.

I would also like to express my personal thanks for the generally warm reception on the doorsteps.  Some people really didn't want to talk politics - which is fine, we get that some people are disinterested and others prefer to remain private in their beliefs - but those that did want to talk (supportive or otherwise) were generally polite and civil.  That has not always been the case.

Finally, an acknowledgement to everyone who contributed to the administrative function of running an election.  Ranging from those that manned polling stations to those that helped with the count (and I saw some senior CBC officers with their sleeves rolled up - literally), after so many weeks focussed on getting out the vote and promoting your own message it was a stark reminder that none of this happens without practical support.  I am aware that these people were paid for their efforts and it is fair to say that lessons have been learned from the count around issues that could be dealt with better next time, but that does not detract from the underlying message that the election would not have functioned at all without the efforts of a significant number of people.

Full details of vote numbers for all CBC wards are available on the CBC website; I have posted below some of the output from internal summaries of the results.

Share of votes cast, Caddington ward
Share of the votes cast, Central Bedfordshire      

One interesting set of statistics was around voter turnout.  Adjusted for rejected votes, this ranged from 75.5% down to 52.4% for 29 of the 31 wards; Northill was exceptional at 35.4% and Heath & Reach has no data being uncontested.
click to enlarge
turnout based on valid votes

The backdrop to this is an overwhelming Conservative dominance; we entered this election with a significant majority and managed to increase it.

What I do find interesting is that the three independent candidates who successfully won their respective contests (in each case holding onto a seat they already occupied) rank amongst the top five in terms of turnout; it suggests that their personal message to the voters encouraged people who, perhaps, might otherwise have stayed at home to vote in support of them.   Contrast this with the relatively poor turnout in Dunstable Northfields where two Independents, including the previous group leader, lost their seats.

It is also curious that, if you ignore Northill as a statistical oddity, the three successful candidates on a non Conservative and non Independent ticket won in the least engaged wards.

Friday, 1 May 2015

CBC Highways statistics for April

 There was a drop in the number of potholes reported in April and in total, 547 potholes were repaired.

You can report defects (potholes, faulty lighting etc) to Central Bedfordshire using the online facility here.