Tim Hill

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick. Learn more

Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Echo June 17

by timhill on 30 June, 2017

Medical problems:

I suffered three Anaphylactic Reactions between Sun 28 May-Tue 6 Jun 17. This led to three visits to A&E, with the last one ending in a three day stay in AAU. I have been on seven different drugs and was completely zonked. This meant I was off sick from my full-time day job from Mon 5 Jun 17 to Fri 16 Jun 17. My Council work suffered the same timescale as well. This also meant I missed Polling Day campaigning for the first time since I joined my Party in 1981. You can imagine the shakes I had!!!


List of Reliable Trades People:

There are many single and vulnerable people in my Ward, many of them elderly. I would like to put together a list of local trades people that local residents have found to be reliable and inexpensive with their contact details. This will include such trades people as plumbers, decorators and electricians. I will then put that list on a FOCUS Special for distribution throughout my Ward for people to keep and use. For hopefully obvious reasons, I will exclude self-nominations and I would prefer to include only trades people who have been nominated by at least two different homes.


Ward Wide Issues:
Covanta Incinerator – The application is undergoing a technical assessment. If it passes this, then a second consultation, similar to the first, will begin on the draft permit and decision document. However, this probably won’t be until Sept 17.


Highway Capital Structural maintenance programme 2018-2022 – I have submitted the following bids for the Council’s highways maintenance programme as areas that need urgent work. These are in no particular order.

  • Broadmead Road, Stewartby – between level crossing and Rose Cottage.
  • Stewartby Way between railway bridge and Village Sign – Footpath resurfacing.
  • C94 between Marsh Leys and first turning to Stewartby – Road resurfacing.
  • Moss Lane, Elstow – to Moss Lane/South Avenue junction – then South Avenue – Footpath and Road resurfacing.
  • High Street, Elstow – Footpath resurfacing.
  • 1-15 West End, Elstow – Footpath and Road resurfacing.


Local Issues:

Since my last Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Echo, here are some of the local issues I have progressed, in some cases with the valued help and support of the relevant Parish Council.


Inconsiderate parking outside 1-15 and 219-222B West End, and St Mary’s Close – Following complaints raised by local residents, I have delivered a parking survey to every house in this area. The clear majority of the surveys returned show there is a problem. I will be providing residents with materials to put on offending vehicles. Double yellow lines will be installed in the turning circle near 15, West End.

Dog Litter Bin and Signs on Bunyans Mead Green – Residents raised their concerns with me regarding the lack of a bin and signage on this green. I asked Borough Officers to install a bin and some signs. Following a Borough-wide Review, Officers have now agreed to install a bin and some signs.

Inconsiderate parking in Sandleford Drive– Residents have sent me photographs of the offending vehicles. I have provided the concerned residents with the details of how to report the inconsiderate vehicle owners to the Borough Council. If the Borough Council finds that the parking is of an inconsiderate nature, Fixed Notices will be issued.

Adoption of Hexham Close and high numbers of Abbey Fields – Aragon Housing is still not responding to requests to progress this as it is still considering their legal position. I will chase this up again.



Survey Strips – Local residents contacted me to try and find out why survey strips have been installed in several roads in Stewartby. I immediately contacted both Bedford Borough Council’s Highways Department and Persimmons, the developers of Hansons Reach. Persimmons advised they have not commissioned any survey strips. The Highways Department advised they haven’t been asked to give permission for any survey strips to be installed. However, it advised this isn’t mandatory. The Highways Department is still making enquiries on who may have commissioned the survey strips. If this soon proves to be unsuccessful, it has agreed to my suggestion of removing the survey strips anyway.

Travellers by Stewartby Lake – Residents contacted me late on Saturday evening through social media to advise me of this illegal encampment. I sent lots of e-mails to lots of people between Saturday evening and Monday afternoon. We established the land is owned by O&H. As it is private land, O&H were able to get bailiffs to serve notice at 1pm on Monday for the travellers to promptly leave. They had done so when the site was inspected by the bailiffs at 8am on Tuesday.

Incinerator not on Land Searches – New residents of Stewartby have raised their concerns with me about why the Covanta Incinerator isn’t appearing on the Land Searches requested by the new residents solicitors. I raised this with the Land Charges Team at the Borough Council and received a reply. In summary:

– A Land Search is done based on the questions asked by the resident’s solicitor.

– A standard search is only carried out on the property and the land within its boundary.

– A more expensive search is only done within the boundary of the local authority the property is in. The site of the incinerator is actually in the Central Beds Council area.

– Only if the solicitor asks for answers to additional optional questions or “Part III” Questions (Solicitor own questions), would the Land Search answer them.

Therefore, only if the solicitor paid for and asked their own questions for example, such as a land search relating to:

  1. a) Planning applications within say one mile.
  2. b) Across the whole area regardless of the Council boundary;

would the incinerator application have been recorded for say the Hansons Reach residents. Any solicitor, local to the Bedford Borough area, who knows the area and is sufficiently on the ball, would have asked for a more extensive and expensive Land Search to ensure the incinerator is recorded in the Land Search documentation provided by the Council. However, it is the case that the Land Search system needs updating to ensure a standard search includes very important information as an incinerator proposal. Residents are suffering because of an antiquated, sub-Victorian legal process.


Kempston Hardwick

Brickmakers Arms Planning Application – The land owner has submitted a planning application for a “Gas fuelled electricity generating plant and associated works” on the site. I have submitted a formal objection on various grounds and have copied in the local residents I have e-mail addresses for.

BCA Double Yellow Lines – BCA has submitted a self-funded double yellow lines scheme on the main entrance road. I have objected to the scheme as it will mean the site parking will then move to the surrounding residential areas.

Plainings and Hard Core – The contractors who did the resurfacing of Manor Road left behind a pile of plainings and some hard core. I asked Borough Officers to ask the contractors to remove it all. It has now been removed.

Chimney Corner Used Car Sales – The appeal statement was due at the national Planning Inspectorate on the 2nd June and final comments were due by the 16th June. Therefore, we are now just waiting for the Inspector to make the final decision. It is taking approximately 6 to 8 weeks after final comments are received, but it could be longer.


Best Wishes

Cllr Tim Hill

Liberal Democrat Focus Team

Bedford Borough Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick

Tel (day): 0131 448 4270

mobile: 07910100240

email: tim.hill@bedford.gov.uk

Web site: http://timhill.mycouncillor.org.uk/


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