by timhill on 19 August, 2018
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.
Setting up home in Churchill Close – I’m very pleased to report that I and my family have set up home together in Churchill Close, Stewartby. On Tuesday 10th July, I moved into our new home with my Fiancée Jo, my daughter Lizzy and dog Pip, and Jo’s son Will and dog Jolene.
Ward Facebook Page – For those with a social media inclination, I have set up a Ward Facebook Page. It gives another opportunity for local residents to keep up to date with local issues. The page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/ElstowandStewartbyLD/
Covanta – Representatives of Covanta and the Environment Agency attended a public meeting at 6.30pm on the 21st June to answer questions from Councillors who sit on Bedford Borough Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The meeting was held at the Stewartby Village Hall. It gave members of the public the opportunity to ask questions to the representatives on why permits have been allowed for this monstrosity. I would like to thank the more than 60 local residents who turned up and helped me give the representatives a real grilling.
Victory on Chimney Corner – I’m very pleased to report some very good news for local residents. The National Planning Inspector has dismissed the formal Appeal from the landowner of Chimney Corner against the Enforcement Notice to remove the Used Car Dealership from the site. The Decision was issued on the 4th July 2018 and the landowner has 2 months from that date to comply with the requirements of the Enforcement Notice. Otherwise, he will face prosecution. In dismissing the appeal, the Inspector agreed that the use is not an appropriate use of the land, detrimentally impacts upon the character and appearance of the area, and has unacceptable highway safety implications. The only other avenue open to the landowner would be a High Court challenge, but only on the basis that the Inspector had erred in law when coming to their decision. A High Court challenge is a very expensive option.
Litter in lay-by near by-pass bridge on B530 – The two wheely bins in the lay-by by the by-pass bridge on the B530 were always overflowing after weekends and had sometimes been pushed over. I asked the Borough to provide an extra wheely bin and to make all three secure in the ground. This has now been done.
West End Road Closure impact on bus services – The developers would not meet the cost of doing overnight works as I had requested. Local buses were diverted to a Mile Road bus stop. This helped the residents of the old village, but unfortunately not those on the Pear Tree View estate.
WW2 Pill Box at Interchange 2 – It was an honour to be invited and present at the opening of the re-furbished WW2 Pill Box at the Interchange 2 Retail Park on Sun 29 Jul 18. Great work by Jon Miles and John Jordan in getting it refurbished. It was a pleasure to part-fund the work with some of my Councillors Ward Fund. My thanks also go to Elstow Parish Council and the local businesses who also contributed the necessary funds to pay for the work to be done. Watch your head as you go in the entrance, but it gives a real idea of a part of our local history.
Average Speed Cameras on Wilstead Road – After further discussions with Cllr Royden as the relevant Borough Council Portfolio Folder, this scheme has now been placed on the Borough Council’s ASC Priority List for regular consideration.
Fly-tipping and general litter on the B530 – The stretch of the B530 from the bypass bridge to almost the old Chimney Corner pub has recently suffered from some extensive fly-tipping and general litter. I reported this and recently, I was pleased to see a Borough Council Litter Team doing a full clearance. I have asked the Borough to prosecute should there be any evidence of the offenders.
Abbey Fields Retail Centre – a) Following concerns raised at a recent Parish Council meeting, I raised them with the Planning Department. Planning officers met with the developer and the following for the developer to do was agreed:
I have chased or an update. My thanks go to the Parish Cllr who raised the concerns.
Maintenance of roundabouts on Abbey Fields – A number of residents on the Abbey Fields estate are giving their free time and some of their own expense to maintain some of the roundabouts on the Abbey Fields road. They have approached me to seek advice on formally registering their volunteering with the Borough Council. I have raised this with appropriate officers. Some officers have already responded to support the initiative.
Adoption of Hexham Close and nearby Abbey Fields footpath by the Borough Council – A high-level agreement between solicitors representing the Borough Council and the developers on this issue has now been reached, with some small details to be finalised before its signing.
Double Glazing at Sir Malcolm Stewart Homes – I am working with the Trust’s planning consultants with a view to getting them to submit planning applications for the double glazing, giving them advice on gathering evidence of other double glazing successful applications in old buildings elsewhere in the Borough, and both them and I intensively lobbying each Planning Committee member to support the planning applications.
Broadmead Lower School Fair – It was a pleasure to attend the Fair, in particular to have chats with residents old and new.
Millbrook Power – I had a meeting at Borough Hall with their Project Officer to get up to date with what is happening. In summary, it is in the “Inspection Period” now with a view to awaiting the Inspector’s Report by no later than by the end of September.
Street lights not working near Kimberley – As the area is yet to be “adopted” for maintenance, I have raised a direct complaint with Keir, the developers of Kimberley that the street lights aren’t working.
Bottle Bank by the Shop – The bottle bank is continually overflowing, especially the brown container. I have reported this and also asked for it to be emptied more often.
Clothes Bank and Litter Bin by Shop – I reported the Salvation Army Clothes Bank and Litter Bin by Stewartby Village Shop were both full, and that there were piles of fly-tipping next to them. Some of the fly-tipping items have names and addresses on. I’ve asked for those people to be prosecuted. This is totally unacceptable.
Speedwatch session in Stewartby Way – The local Speedwatch team did a Speedwatch session at 5.15pm for just over an hour on Friday 5th May 2018. I regret to say that of the 308 vehicles logged by us as driving from the direction of the B530 to the Montgomery Close roundabout, 20 vehicles were logged at going 36mph or more on the Speed Indicator Device at the 30mph boundary just beyond the railway bridge. This included one vehicle going at 52mph!! This is especially unbelievable when you consider the location is on one side, directly outside the Sir Malcolm Stewart Homes bungalows and on the other side, the homes of a number of young families in Stewartby Way and Wavell Close. I must record my thanks to the three volunteers. We worked really well as a team.
Open top lorries littering Manor Road – I have reported to the Borough Council, several instances of open top lorries travelling along Manor Road. Following some work I did several years ago, it is against the law for lorries to travel along Manor Road without a cover on their loads.
Cllr Tim Hill
Liberal Democrat Focus Team
Bedford Borough Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick
Tel: 07907 150923
Britain needs a liberal voice
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