by timhill on 11 September, 2017
Tim’s Health Issues Continue:
I have been off work on sick leave since 2 Aug 17 and return to work tomorrow. My current role in BT requires me to be on conference calls 7-8 hours a day. I was born with a chronic middle-ear infection and have had 12 operations on my right ear. That has now settled down, but in the last 2 years, my left ear has started to cause me some painful issues. These have been made worse by the requirements of my current BT role. Hence, the sick leave and my wish to communicate with residents mainly by e-mail. I hope you’ll understand that.
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.
Environment Agency starts consultation on Environment Permit draft decision for the Covanta Incinerator – All on-line objectors to the Covanta Incinerator should have received today an e-mail notification from the Environment Agency. The e-mail is giving notice that the Environment Agency is now consulting on its draft decision to give the Covanta Incinerator an Environment Permit. The decision web site can be found at: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/mk43-9ly-covanta-energy-limited-1/
The deadline for comments is 23 Oct 17. The e-mail also advises that the Environment Agency has arranged a “Public drop-in” at the Marston Vale Forest Centre between 1pm-7pm on 20 Sep 17. Any resident can visit the event, view the relevant Environment Agency documents and talk to their officers.
I am gutted that the Environment Agency is minded to give an Environment Permit for this monstrosity. I have already replied to their e-mail saying that 9 days’ notice for the “Public drop-in” is not much notice to let residents know about it. I will be reviewing the documentation with Liberal Democrat colleagues to draft a full and detailed objection. This will also enable me to give residents some ideas for their submissions should they also wish to object. Watch this space!
Cars parked for sale on public land, fly-posting on fencing and roundabout, all by the Interchange Retail Park – A Parish Councillor raised his concerns about the amount of fly-posting on the fencing by the Interchange Retail Park and the cars parked on public land by the nearby roundabout. The Parish Clerk and I asked the Borough Council’s Environmental Services Team to contact those responsible. I’m pleased to see that most of the fly-posting and all of the cars have now been removed.
Dropped kerb at Moss Lane/Wilstead Road junction – I am pleased to report that Borough Highways have agreed to install a dropped kerb on the south side of the Moss Lane/Wilstead Road junction. This follows a local resident raising their concerns with me that not only was no dropped kerb installed, but the path after the verge is very steep for those with mobility issues.
Grass cutting in Halesowen Drive – Local residents had raised their concerns with me about the lack of grass cutting on a small green area in Halesowen Drive. I contacted the Borough Council and it seems the estate developer did not properly hand over this area to the Council. The area is now included in the Council’s grass cutting schedule.
Road Markings Update – I hosted a productive site meeting in Elstow with a Borough Highways Officer, two Parish Councillors and a concerned local resident. It was agreed that a consultation will be done on a give way road marking at Thomas James Close and double yellow lines going into Wigram Close. The installation of double yellow lines at the turning circle by 15, West End and in the Emergency Vehicles area by 59, Bunyans Mead is still programmed for this year.
Super Fast Broadband in Sandleford Drive and part of Croyland Drive – Residents have raised their concerns with me that Openreach had yet again slipped the provision date. I arranged a Residents Meeting with a BT Customer Relations Director and a senior Openreach Manager at Borough Hall. They confirmed that the commissioning should be finished by end of Aug 17 and residents should be able to order a service by early Sep 17. I am receiving feedback that affected residents still cannot order Super Fast Broadband. I have today raised these concerns with my contacts in Openreach.
Dumped fridges – A local resident raised her concerns that a fridge and other waste had been dumped in the West End cul-de-sac. I reported this to the Borough Council and the fridge and other waste has now been removed.
No Verge Parking scheme in The Crescent – Local residents have been raising their concerns with me about the inconsiderate parking on verges and roundabouts by school visitors during major events. I will be using some of my Councillor’s Ward Fund to introduce a No Verge Parking Scheme in The Crescent.
Reducing the speed limit on The Crescent – Following complaints made to me about speeding along The Crescent, normally by school visitors from outside of Stewartby, I will be using some of my Councillor’s Ward Fund to reduce the speed limit to 20mph.
Bus service for Hansons Reach – I have asked the Borough Public Transport Team to confirm if existing bus services can include a bus stop for Hansons Reach.
Good news on Used Car Dealer at Chimney Corner – I am very pleased to report that after my continuous pressure on Borough planners, the site owner was issued with an Enforcement Notice last Friday. The Notice takes effect on the 13 Oct 17, giving two months from that date to cease the use of the land for motor vehicle sales, motor vehicle storage and preparation of motor vehicles for sale.
“Adoption” of roads on Greenlands Rise development – The “Adoption” process is where the developer and the relevant Council agree what works the developer needs to do before the Council will take on the maintenance of an area. This also includes a fee payable to the Council by the developer to take on the maintenance. Most of the green areas on the Greenlands Rise development will be maintained by a private arrangement between the developers and the residents. However, the roads will be “adopted” by the relevant Council. I believe the roads within Bedford Borough should be progressed to “adoption” without having to wait for the completion of the whole Greenlands Rise development. I have asked Borough Council officers to see if this can be done.
Brickmakers Arms site meeting – I recently met on site with a representative of a potential developer of the site. The developer wants to build a small power station that will be used to provide extra capacity to the national grid as and when needed. Borough Highways and I had raised several objections to the original application, which was then withdrawn. At the site meeting, I was pleased to see that the developer has addressed the previous concerns raised by Tim on issues relating to noise, layby access, how the site looks, mud on the C94, proximity to the Marsh Leys homes, vehicle movements and lighting. Should the application reflect the promises made at the site meeting, I will provisionally have no objection to it. Apart from anything else, it sounds as though it will be an improvement on the utter dump that the site is now. The site is in a real mess and suffers from regular fly-tipping.
Dumped fridges – A local resident raised her concerns that two fridges had been dumped on land off Manor Road. I reported this to the Borough Council and the fridges have now been removed.
Overgrown bushes and shrubs – A Parish Councillor and I have been successful in getting the Borough Council to cut back and prune some overgrown and overhanging bushes between Railway Cottages and the Chimney Corner junction. A local resident had told me that the overgrown bushes made it difficult to walk along this footpath. However, there are still other overgrown bushes and green areas to get cut back. These are not in Council ownership but at my request, Council officers have agreed to get their contractor to cut them back.
Speeding on Manor Road – Now the resurfacing has been done, I am pressing for the previously agreed 30mph scheme in the built up areas. I am also pressing for the speed limit between the brook bridge and the C94 to be reduced from 60mph to 40mph.
Cllr Tim Hill
Liberal Democrat Focus Team
Bedford Borough Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick
Tel (day): 0131 448 4270
Web site: http://timhill.mycouncillor.org.uk/
Britain needs a liberal voice
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