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04 September 2019Borough Local Access Forum Needs New Members

The Borough of Bedford Local Access Forum is looking for new members.
All Local Authorities are required by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 to establish a Local Access Forum to provide strategic advice on ‘the improvement of public access to land in that area for the purposes of open air recreation and enjoyment of the area’.
Following its creation in 2009 Bedford Borough Council decided to support a Forum for the geographical area of the Borough of Bedford. This forum is known as the ‘Borough of Bedford Local Access Forum (BoBLAF)’.
As the Forum’s advice guides policies and actions of Bedford Borough Council it is vital that the Forum represents a wide range of interests and is balanced between the wish to increase access and the need to protect the landscape and its economic use.
Having this wide spread of countryside interests represented at the Forum means that the LAFs can offer balanced and sustainable recommendations to the Local Authority and other organisations.
The BoBLAF is short of specific members. Whilst walking is well represented we only have one horse rider, one farmer and one member representing the visually impaired. Landowners, cyclists and motorised users are not currently represented. The BoBLAF need extra members in all of these fields.
The BoBLAF meet in the evenings at Borough Hall, Bedford 3-4 times a year and each meeting lasts about 2-3 hours. Recent submissions / advice provided to organisations related to East West Rail, Bedford Borough Local Plan, Oxford – Cambridge Expressway, Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet new road, Borough Neighbourhood Plans and the Borough’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The LAF has also commented on the process of managing the Rights of Way network, looking at temporary closure notices (and how the closed period might be minimised), diversions, and how new paths could be created especially as a benefit of new development.
If you are interested in helping formulate advice to Bedford Borough Council on protecting the economic use of the countryside whilst improving access to it and helping them get the most benefit from their limited budget then please contact the BoBLAF secretary via email:BoBLAF.Secretary@bedford.gov.uk
Whilst the Borough appoints members, in order to get this cross section of views, the members themselves are independent of the Borough.
Oh and the positions are voluntary! The only things you are likely to get in return for
your participation is a cup of tea or coffee at the meeting plus the knowledge that you have contributed to making a difference in the preservation / improvements to the countryside and Borough residents access to it.

31 July 2019Biogen Spreading Operations

Biogen has issued the letter below to residents about upcoming spreading operations.

Dear Resident,
Following your request to be kept informed of our fertiliser spreading operations, we would like to let you know that we will be applying biofertiliser from our Twinwoods Anaerobic Digestion plant to the fields in your area in the coming weeks. As you are aware the Twinwoods plant recycles food waste to produce renewable electricity for the national grid. The biofertiliser produced as part of the process is rich in nutrients and good use is made of it by applying it to farmland.
The biofertiliser is applied twice a year and we are now approaching our second spreading season and will therefore be applying fertiliser to the fields in your area in the coming weeks.
Every effort will be made to ensure minimal disturbance to local residents.

What is anaerobic digestion?
Anaerobic Digestion is a naturally occurring process which breaks down food waste in the same
way as a human stomach to produce methane gas. This occurs in gas tight/fully sealed vessels to enable us to capture the methane that is given off which we convert into electricity and export to the national grid. The Twinwoods plant generates enough electricity to power over 4,500 homes for a year. The second product is the biofertiliser mentioned above which is created as a result of the breakdown of food waste.

Why use biofertiliser?
Biofertiliser produced through anaerobic digestion is a rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements which replaces the need for fossil fuel derived fertilisers. The biofertiliser produced at the Twinwoods facility has been certified to PAS 110. Biofertiliser certification demonstrates compliance with the PAS 110 specification, which means that the biofertiliser derived from the AD process is of consistent quality and fit for purpose, i.e. for spreading to farmland as a replacement for fossil fuel derived fertilisers.

How is it spread?
Biofertiliser is spread using an applicator which either allows it to be injected into the soil surface, or an applicator which trails the product directly onto the soil for maximum crop growth and to minimise the impact of any odour. The biofertiliser has an odour, as does any other fertiliser or manure. Weather conditions play an important role in odour management and every effort will be made to ensure that spreading will only take place under favourable weather conditions to minimise disturbance to local residents. Conditions will be continually monitored throughout the spreading period.

Your feedback is invaluable and can help us adapt our operations where necessary. If you have any queries regarding any of the above or experience any problems during the spreading of the biofertiliser, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email at info@biogen.co.uk or by phone on 0844 3267 251, or out of office hours on 0844 8480 654.

Yours Faithfully,
Kate Lister
Compliance Director

29 July 2019August Road Closures on A422

The A422 road between Milton Keynes and Bedford to be closed for two weeks in August.

Milton Keynes Council (MKC) will be carrying out significant highway improvement works and will be closing the A422 between Chicheley roundabout and its junction with the A428 at Bromham.

The closure will be in place 24 hours a day while works take place between 5 August and 18 August. The road should reopen 19 August.

The works will include:

  • Significant structural and waterproofing to Swans River Bridge, which requires closure across the whole carriageway
  • Highway resurfacing. Some of this work is being completed on behalf of Bedford Borough Council, Bedford are funding this part of the works.

Diversions in place will take motorists up the A428 from Bromham to Olney and across the A509 towards Newport Pagnell.

There will be a wide range of communications circulated by MKC in advance and during the closure to local residents.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Bedford Borough Council said, “It is unfortunate that these works are being carried out at the same time as Network Rail’s Bromham Rd Bridge closure. As MKC are having to carry out these highway improvement works at this time, we have worked with them to ensure necessary resurfacing works on our stretch of this road are also completed, minimising disruption to local residents. Please keep an eye out for information from both MKC and Bedford Borough Council with details about this project.”

For more information on this road closure visit: www.milton-keynes.gov.uk 

For updates on roadworks in Bedford Borough you can sign up to our bulletin at www.bedford.gov.uk/stayconnected

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