by timhill on 29 January, 2013
This is the 18th of the regular electronic community newsletters from me as your local Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor.
I would very much appreciate any feedback you have on the content.
Please let me know if you:
– Wish to opt out of future editions.
– Know of anyone else in Elstow, Stewartby or Kempston Hardwick who might like to receive it.
The overwhelming views of local communities and residents have yet again been dismissed by distant decision-makers, with the result that residents in Stewartby and nearby villages face a potential future in the shadow of this appalling, oversized rubbish burner. We have been told that the vote was very close, 5 votes to 4. It is also apparent that the decision by Central Beds Council to allow a massive wind turbine at Marston Vale Forest Centre was detrimental to our case.
Elstow and Stewartby
a) Change of Ward Name to Elstow and Stewartby – I am delighted to report that the Borough Council’s General Purposes Committee on 22 Jan 13 unanimously approved my proposal. This will now go to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as the next stage in the approval process.
b) Elstow South and Rookery South sites in Draft Minerals and Waste Core Strategy – I understand the inquiry on this Strategy finished on 25 Jan 13. We await the Inspector’s report. FCC Environment has submitted a planning application for Elstow South.
c) Community Safety – Senior police officers have advised me that it is being proposed that Community Safety Forums which are poorly attended should be replaced by a Mobile Police Office being parked in a village at least once a year and police staff will aim to knock on the doors of around 500 houses each time to discuss issues with local residents. At my request, the Sergeant confirmed he will ensure that both Parish Councils are properly covered.
d) Development on waste ground by Interchange roundabout – At the developer’s request, I met with them on 3 Jan 13 to discuss the changes in the layout of the south site including Costa. Based on what they showed me, I said I am “relaxed” about the changes. At my request, they planned to attend Elstow Parish Council on 8 Jan 13 and will be arranging to attend Stewartby Parish Council out of courtesy on 17 Jan 13 as the development is right on the Parishes boundary. I mentioned the pill box on the roundabout that the future of has been raised by several local residents. We discussed potential solutions. We may have an answer. Providing it’s just basic clean up and basic on-going maintenance, they are happy to do that depending on the costing they will be putting together in return for a ”sympathetic hearing” on allowing appropriate estate signage on the other side of the access road entrance. They realise it is in their interest to have a reasonably tidy pill box rather than the scruffy, overgrown one now. I also raised the issue of the lack of wheel cleaning that they should be doing. They promised to get that sorted.
e) Parking on verges and footpaths – Following many complaints from residents across my Ward, over the next year or so, I will be consulting with residents of all adopted streets on the introduction of a “No verge parking” scheme in each street. If supported in an area, a scheme will be implemented whereby offenders can be filmed by the Borough’s ANPR vehicle and a fixed penalty notice issued. Following a site visit with local residents, the local PCSO and a Highways Officer, I have undertaken the first consultation in High Street and Bunyans Mead, Elstow. All respondents so far are saying they are in favour of the scheme.
a) The Swan Planning Application – I am very pleased to report that last night’s Planning Committee meeting voted to refuse the application to build on the Swan Car Park. The Planning Committee rightly expressed concern about the loss of important heritage views. I am also pleased to report that the Planning Committee voted to approve the application to convert The Swan pub into a residential home. This is a sensible use of a regrettably redundant building.
b) Travellers on Elstow Brook – A draft plan for preventative measures has been sent to me for feedback. The draft plan shows measures that will cost more than originally thought. I have already replied stating I am prepared to use some of my 2013/14 Ward Fund to help with the cost. I have forwarded the draft plan to the Parish Council to seek their views as well.
a) Involvement by Bedford Borough Council of Stewartby Parish Council in issues affecting the Parish – At the Parish Council Chair’s request, I had arranged a meeting between him, Mayor Dave Hodgson and I on 26 Nov 12 to discuss how Stewartby could be better involved in decisions affecting the Parish. I believe the meeting was successful in building better relationships between the Borough and Parish Councils.
Since my last Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Echo, I have amongst other local issues progressed the following raised by residents:
a) Minor flooding on Wilstead Road – Workmen arrived on site on 19 Dec 12 at my request to clear the blocked pipes.
b) Poor state of road on High Street/Wilstead Road – It has been confirmed to me by Highways that works will be done in Mar 13 on the High Street. I have asked Highways for further details of what work is involved.
c) Overnight parking by HGVs near the Abbey Fields estate – This is happening on a bypass lay-by and residents are complaining of being kept awake at night by the resulting noise from the cooling units. Potential closure of the lay-by had been identified as a Highways Agency decision. After an initial rejection from an officer at the Highways Agency to the Borough’s request to close the lay-by, my friend and Liberal Democrat colleague Cllr Charles Royden the Highways Portfolio Holder is now raising this at Director-level to the Highways Agency with a strongly worded letter supporting the lay-by closure.
d) Development of the old Lower School site – A planning application has been submitted for twenty one dwellings. I have consulted with those immediately affected and arranged for a planner to visit an elderly resident so she can view the plans.
e) High Street Bus Shelter – Since the street lights have been changed and with the onset of winter, there have been some issues with a right of way for traffic both ways at this shelter. At my request, Highways have placed a small number of reflective strips on the bus shelter.
a) Flooding in Park Crescent and Pillinge Road – I co-hosted a meeting on site with representatives of O&H Properties, Anglian Water and the Borough Council. This meeting got agreement to:
– Anglian Water clearing the pipe near Broadmead Lower School.
– O&H Properties and Anglian Water providing to the Borough Council their records of their drains and pipes in Stewartby.
– The Borough Council clearing the culvert near the Broadmead Road bend.
Anglian Water had committed to their clearing of the pipe near Broadmead Lower by 31 Dec 12, but it has not been done! We are chasing this.
b) Manor Road, Kempston Hardwick – Volume and speeding of cars. An Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera and an Automatic Traffic Counter were put in place on 12 and 13 Sept 12. The promised summary report is now being drafted and I am being consulted on its drafting. Watch this space!
c) Planning Application for land behind the Stewartby United Church in Park Crescent Ref: 12/01909/OUT – I am pleased to report that this application has been refused by planning officers under delegated powers.
d) Flooding in Churchill Close and Magpie Avenue – I am raising both of these issues with senior Borough Council officers, asking them to address both issues urgently.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on any local issue by any of the following means:
Cllr Tim Hill
Liberal Democrat Focus Team
Borough Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick
Tel (day): 0131 448 4270
Tel (eve): 01234 857180
Web site: Web site: http://timhill.mycouncillor.org.uk/ or http://bedfordlibdems.org.uk/en/page/elstow-and-stewartby
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