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10 November 2017Green Waste Collections

19 October 2017Home Security

Bedfordshire Police have suggested residents might like to review their Home Security,  using the assessment sheet below for guidance.

HOME SECURITY SURVEY
Bedfordshire Police ask that you take a few minutes to review the security in your home.
Most domestic security issues can be improved quickly and cheaply, and will put your mind at rest.

YOUR BOUNDARIES
Fences, walls and hedges: check for damage and gaps and repair as soon as possible. Prickly plants are a goodn deterrent and can also be used under vulnerable ground floor windows.
A low boundary at the front of your property ensures good visibility from passers-by and your neighbours – the Home Office recommend shrubs are kept to a maximum height of 1 metre.
Your boundary at the back of your property should be approximately 2 metres high. You can increase security by
using anti-climb paint or “prickler” strip along the top of fences (with appropriate warning signage). Adding a trellis panel not only increases height but is too fragile to bear body weight, therefore increasing the risk to a burglar.
Are side entrances secure? Replace any damaged or rusty hinges, hasps and padlocks.
Good lighting is essential to deter a burglar – the police recommend the use of low level dusk-till-dawn lighting. It is cheap to buy and uses less electricity than halogen lamps. Solar lighting can also help illuminate isolated areas.
Consider other warning devices to let you know someone has come onto your property, such as a gravel drive or a driveway alarm.

DOORS
Check the framework around your external doors (including patio and French doors). Frames should be securely fixed to the wall and in good condition.
Check the thickness of doors: an external door should be a minimum of 44mm if you want to fit a mortised deadlock – if the door is too thin, then a surface mount lock should be fitted.
Do you have any wooden panelled doors? Are they strong enough? Often panels are made of a thinner material but these can be easily replaced with something more sturdy.
Ideally front doors should be secured in two places – usually a mortised deadlock at a mid-point in the door with a Yale-type latch lock approximately 60-80cm above it. The more places a door is secured to the frame, the stronger it will be.
Consider fitting a door viewer, a door chain or bar and even a letterbox cage or locking letterbox plate.
Does your patio door have suitable frame locks or an anti-lift device? If not, most double-glazing companies can fit these for you. French doors should lock to each other as well as to the top and bottom of the door frame.

WINDOWS
Check the frames of your windows and repair any damage. Pay special attention to those that are vulnerable (ground floor, at the rear of the building, accessible by a flat roof).
Modern UPVC windows now have locks fitted as standard – British Standard BS7950 – and can be fitted with additional window restrictors and sash jammers.
Are the windowpanes made from laminated glass – this is glass that is extremely difficult to break. Don’t confuse laminated glass with toughened glass, which is designed for safety.
Don’t forget to check garage windows, especially if the garage is attached to the home with an internal access door.
Garage and shed windows can be obscured with frosted adhesive vinyl – if a burglar can’t see in, it reduces the temptation to break in.
Leaded glazing and wood/metal framed windows: these are not very secure unless you fit secondary laminated glazing, polycarbonate sheeting, or internal grilles.

LOCKS
Locks are only as good as the screws and framework they are attached to – replace any damaged parts. The recommended type of mortise lock is a five-lever lock to British Standard BS3621 / EN12209 (most house insurance policies insist on this specification for the front door).
If you’ve got a Yale-style latch lock, is it double locking (ie, if you turn the key, does the block stay in place effectively making it a deadlock)? These are more secure, especially if the lock is near a glass panel in the door.
Mortise bolts operate only from the inside and are suitable for French doors and sliding patio doors, and are best placed at the top and bottom of the door.

OUTBUILDINGS
Give your locks and bolts a “health check” – replace any rusty items, ensure all padlocks and hasps bear the British Standard kite mark and are made of hardened steel.
Don’t forget the hinges on your doors – if a burglar can’t breach the lock, they may attempt to unscrew the hinges. Use coach bolts, non-return screws or simply damage the screw head; you don’t need to do every screw, just a couple on the hanging plate and a couple on the door plate.
Remember to secure outbuilding windows – even the ones that don’t open can be vulnerable. Consider obscuring the window with an opaque window film (the type used on bathroom windows) as this will reduce the temptation.
Alternatively, fit a grille or a couple of bars across the inside of the window to reduce the window aperture.
Consider using a battery-operated siren alarm in your garage or shed - they often cost less than £20 and are simple to install and use.
Get into the good habit of putting everything away when you have finished with it. Your tools can be used against your house.

PROPERTY MARKING
Property marking cannot prevent your goods from being stolen but it is a very good deterrent as it is difficult to sell on stolen property that has been marked. It also allows the police to return recovered stolen goods to their rightful owner.
Mark your property with your house/flat number and postcode.
Use a UV pen or a chemical DNA marking solution to invisibly mark items such as mobile phones, audio-visual equipment, cameras, etc.
Items you don’t mind spoiling the look of, such as garden equipment and power tools: security mark them by etching or scratching your postcode on to them.
Don’t forget to open an account with www.immobilise.com – this is a free national online asset register where you can record details of your property. If your property is lost or stolen, Immobilise aids the police with their investigations and helps to disrupt the second-hand market.

BURGLAR ALARMS, DOMESTIC CCTV & SAFES
There are many types of alarm and CCTV systems, from wired and monitored systems at the top of the range down to battery-operated wire-free systems. Consider which is the most appropriate for your needs and how much you
want to spend.
Please bear in mind that, although wire-free systems are an effective deterrent, most insurance companies do not recognise these systems so will not acknowledge them on your policy specification.
To find a reputable alarm and CCTV fitter, contact your local Trading Standards and ask about their “Approved Traders Scheme”.
Alternatively, you can search for a fitter on the National Security Inspectorate website: www.nsi.org.uk
Always get at least three quotes and check the system being supplied has UKAS accreditation with British Standard BS4737 / EN50131.
Don’t buy a cheap safe – look for one with a minimum of a £2,000 cash rating and Secure By Design accreditation. Your insurance company will tell you the minimum requirement they expect to suit your home and contents policy
 

16 October 2017Pharmaceutical Needs Consultation

Have your say on local pharmaceutical services

Residents of Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes have the chance to give their views on pharmaceutical services in their local areas.

It is part of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), which runs from 16 October 2017 to 15 December 2017.

A PNA looks at what pharmaceutical services are currently in an area, whether this meets local needs and if there are any gaps.

So, residents are being asked to give feedback on the services offered by local pharmacies, which could include offering health advice and information such as stop-smoking services, sexual health and drug support services as well as providing over-the-counter medicines, and whether this meets local needs.

All local authorities are required to keep an updated PNA document, so feedback is also sought on each of the documents to help identify any issues that affect the commissioning of pharmaceutical services and the ability to meet local health needs and priorities.

Residents can take part in one or both sections of the consultation. All feedback will be considered by the health and well-being boards from the three local authorities and help them to identify any current and future services that may need to be commissioned.

Central Bedfordshire Council - Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment affects most residents, as many of us will use a pharmacy at some point or another to get medicine or health advice and information for themselves or family members. That’s why I’d encourage as many people as possible to have their say. 

“Your feedback will be vital in ensuring that what’s out there already meets local needs – and if there are any gaps then we need to know about them so that we can inform those that commission and provide services.

To have your say, visit http://centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/pna or you can pick up a paper copy from your local library.

 

03 October 2017Road Closure - Pavenham Road, Oakley

Bedford BC has advised that the closure of Pavenham Road, Oakley at Stafford Bridge has been extended up to and including Sunday 22.10.17.  Diversions are therefore still in operation.

27 September 2017Traffic & New settlements

THINK TRAFFIC IS BAD ALREADY?

NEW TOWNS ARE PROPOSED TO THE NORTH OF BEDFORD

THEREFORE MORE TRAFFIC ON THE A6 AND OUR RURAL ROADS

Bedford Borough Council is preparing a Local Plan that will decide on housing growth in the period to 2035.

The Mayor is considering proposals for New Towns at:

Twinwoods (Nr. Clapham) – 6,000 houses

Thurleigh Airfield – 5,250 houses

Lee Farm in Sharnbrook – 4,500 houses

          The smallest of these is larger than Ampthill (3,800 homes)

Consultants calculate that each new Town will generate between

16,000 and 20,000 extra vehicle trips per day by 2035, of which

around 50% will be coming along the A6 to Bedford and through our villages

It will be the Mayor and his Executive Committee that make this decision. 

Lobby them now and persuade them to think again about the location of new towns!

E-mail the Mayor at Dave.Hodgson@bedford.gov.uk

and the Councillors on the Mayor's Executive Committee:

CharlesRoyden@gmail.com, anthony.forth@bedford.gov.uk, shanhunt@ntlworld.com, colleenatkins@ntlworld.com, henry.vann@bedford.gov.uk, michael@mheadley.co.uk, sarahjayne.holland@bedford.gov.uk and  louise.jackson@bedford.gov.uk

22 September 2017Highbury Grove/Knights Avenue Resurfacing

Proposed Temporary Road Closures - Highbury Grove, Knights Avenue, High Street (Service Road), The Close, The Slade, Cody Road, Bents Close, Duke Drive and Mount Pleasant Road, Clapham.

 

Bedford BC is intending to temporarily close the above roads to facilitate carriageway resurfacing work. Details are listed below.

The alternative routes for diverted traffic are as shown below and will be signed accordingly. The restrictions are to be in operation only when the necessary signs are erected on site. The Legal Order will be made to cover a four month period; however, it is anticipated that the closures will be in operation between 8.00am and 6.00pm on 13 weekdays from Monday 16th October 2017 to Wednesday 1st November 2017 inclusive - Specific dates will be advertised locally closer to the time.

Details:

Roads: Highbury Grove, Knights Avenue, High Street (Service Road), The Close, The Slade, Cody Road, Bents Close, Duke Drive and Mount Pleasant Road, Clapham.

Length Affected - Highbury Grove: Between High Street and Knights Avenue.

Length Affected - Knights Avenue: Between Highbury Grove and the north-westernmost junction of Duke Drive.

Lengths Affected - High Street (Service Road), The Close, The Slade and Cody Road (both junctions): From Highbury Grove for approximately 20 metres into each road.

Lengths Affected - Bents Close, Duke Drive (south-easternmost junction only), Mount Pleasant Road: From Knights Avenue for approximately 20 metres into each road.

Contact/Applicant: Andrew Tipple - Bedford Borough Council's Engineering Services - 01234 276802.

Reason: To facilitate carriageway resurfacing work.

Dates: The closures are anticipated to be in operation between 8.00am and 600pm on 13 weekdays from Monday 16th October 2017 to Wednesday 1st November 2017 inclusive - Specific dates will be advertised locally closer to the time - Where possible access will be maintained to property and premises but may be restricted from time to time according to local signing.

Alternative Routes - Highbury Grove/Knights Avenue/Mount Pleasant Road: Proceed in an easterly direction along High Street to Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right and continue to site, and vice versa.

Alternative Routes - High Street (Service Road): Proceed in an easterly direction along the Service Road to High Street. Turn right and follow the above alternative routes as appropriate.

There are no alternative routes available for The Close, The Slade, Cody Road, Bents Close or Duke Drive, Clapham.

Note 1: The one way prohibition on High Street (Service Road), Clapham, will be temporarily revoked for the duration of these temporary road closures in order to aid traffic management.

Note 2: Please also refer to the plan below.

20 September 2017Completion of Audit

18 September 2017Neighbourhood Plan consultation

The consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan policies will be closing on 25th September.  Please let us know what you think by completing the survey at  Clapham NDP September 2017 Consultation Survey

Your village, your voice.

13 September 2017Burglary Prevention

As shorter days and darker nights are drawing closer, Bedfordshire Police is reiterating the importance of taking steps to make things more difficult for would-be burglars, by issuing burglary prevention tips.

Detective Chief Inspector Duncan Young said: “Burglars aren’t afraid of taking advantage of homes that are left insecure. Therefore it’s vital that the public ensure their homes are as secure as possible. I would urge residents to ensure that windows are closed and locked when they are not at home, and if you are going out please make sure you use timers on your lights so that your house doesn’t look empty.

“Burglary continues to be a priority for the force, and we remain dedicated to taking action against those responsible for these offences.”

Top tips to minimise your chances of becoming a victim of crime:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house
  • Before you go out, is there anything outside your house that could be used to break in? Lock tools and ladders away in a shed
  • Ensure your side gate is locked and that any fences surrounding your garden are in good condition
  • Ensure your car keys are hidden out of sight and away from your letterbox
  • If you’re heading away for the weekend, ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home and report any suspicious activity via 101
  • Activate tracking devices on any new phones
  • Mark any new equipment with UV property marking pens - property marking can’t prevent things being stolen, but can act as a deterrent and if found, can be returned to its rightful owner more quickly

The force remains dedicated to tackling burglary through Op Fidelity, the force’s dedicated response to burglary and robbery. Op Fidelity sees officers from various areas of the force working together to tackle these issues. Those involved in the year-round operation continue to work hard to find and bring to justice those people responsible for burglaries, and this remains a priority for the force.
 

11 September 2017Neighbourhood Plan Policies Consultation

The Neighbourhood Plan Group is currently consulting on the policies to be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.  These set out the type of housing the village wants, what  green space is needed and measures to ameliorate traffic and parking issues.  There are also questions about new developments.  Please complete the  questionnaire at  Clapham NDP September 2017 Consultation Survey by 25th September.

Your village, your voice.

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