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.

Friday, 24 July 2015

East-West rail link

There is some slightly ambiguous language around this being a press release not approved for publication but already reproduced in certain publications.  As it was sent to me unrestricted, I am happy to reproduce as follows:

East West Rail Central Section Study identifies Bedford to Cambridge via Sandy or Hitchin as most viable corridors

Network Rail is leading early development work for an East West Railway as part of its Long Term Planning Process for identifying future investment options. It has identified two potential corridors for the proposed ‘Central Section’ of East West Rail between Bedford and Cambridge, via Hitchin or Sandy for further consideration. 

The study shows that corridors connecting Bedford and Cambridge via Sandy or Hitchin offer the best value for money at this stage of development. Network Rail will evaluate these corridors further in order to identify a single preferred corridor initially and then give consideration to routes within that corridor.

This follows initial work by the East West Rail Consortium that showed that improved rail services in the Eastern region could deliver significant economic benefits sufficient to justify further investment.

The aim is to identify a preferred route and develop the study for the Central Section for consideration for inclusion in the Initial Industry Plan due for publication in Sept 2016 as a choice for investment in the rail industry’s future control periods.

This study included initial appraisal of seven corridors, all of which offer different levels of benefit. Differences in capital and operating costs, however, have a significant impact on the value for money that each corridor offers, taking into consideration the impact of longer journey times on rolling stock leasing, fuel, track access changes and train crew requirements.

Further investigations into feasibility from a railway civil engineering perspective will be carried out once a single preferred corridor has been identified.

Gambling Policy review

Part of Central Bedfordshire's statutory function is their role as the local Licensing Authority.  The most obvious licensing issues are around alcohol and taxis but the requirement to be officially licensed also spills into areas such as sex shops or gambling.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires Licensing Authorities to review their gambling policy every three years; the Central Bedfordshire policy is due for renewal in January 2016.  A consultation is currently open on this; there are some minor policy changes recommended to reflect current legislation.

If this is is of interest to you, follow this link for further details.  Comments can be submitted up until Friday 09 October 2015.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for public feedback on a planning charge that will play a major part in shaping the future sustainable growth of the area and support the delivery of new homes and jobs.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule underpins the provision of local infrastructure, setting the rates that will be charged to developers to ensure they contribute towards the costs of providing, improving or maintaining roads, homes and services on most new residential and some retail and commercial developments.

A six-week consultation will run between 13 July and 24 August, where the public will be asked for its views on whether the proposed rates are appropriate. During this time, background information and a questionnaire will be accessible on the council website and copies of the supporting documents will be available to view at council offices and local libraries.

Comments made will be analyzed and considered by council officers and then sent to the Secretary of State to be considered alongside the Draft Charging Schedule and supporting documents, prior to a public examination later this year. If the rates are considered ‘sound’, the council would be asked to adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy in early 2016.

Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Nigel Young, said: “The income from the Community Infrastructure Levy is important as it will support our ambitious plans for sustainable quality growth and the necessary investment in major infrastructure.

“It is pivotal to our ambitions to make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work. It’s also about being responsive to community needs and making sure that existing and future communities benefit from developers investing locally in roads and transport, schools, leisure and open spaces.

“We want high quality development so that Central Bedfordshire can grow, thrive and so that new homes and jobs will benefit our local economy – but growth has to be sustainable with infrastructure to accompany it and it is CIL that will fund this. That’s why it is important for local people to have their say and why we want to make sure that everyone – from residents to businesses and potential investors – has a chance to give us their views.”

Thursday, 2 July 2015

June crime figures for the ward

Figures courtesy of Bedfordshire Police

Domestic burglary is down (only a single instance across all six parishes) compared to the trends seen over the last couple of years, although theft from motor vehicles and/or interfering with motor vehicles is significantly up.

Shoplifting from the Co-Op in Caddington appears to be a recurrent theme over recent months, and there is one other geographical area which is becoming a hotspot for petty criminal behaviour in its own right - further discussions will be had on this topic.