CBC Councillor News
Councillor Adam Zerny
Adam Zerny -
March 2018 Independent Update
In this month's update...
- Fluoride added to our water, good or bad?
- Council Tax to rise by 4.5%
- CBC wins funding for Dunstable but didn't bid for Sandy or Potton
- Major changes to waste collection proposed
- Council admits spending thousands on awards nights
Fluoride added to our water. Good or bad?
Our small corner of Central Beds is one of only a handful of areas of the UK where fluoride is added to the water. Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) spends £30,000 a year on this. Many people have argued against it stating health risks and a number of countries have stopped adding fluoride. However, at present the Government's position is fluoride is not harmful in the quantities we consume via our drinking water. I have attempted to cover the main issues for and against in this article and would really appreciate it if you could read and vote via the linked survey so I can take the results to CBC.
Council Tax to rise by 4.5%
CBC has increased Council Tax by 4.5%. The Council is citing, as its mandate, the results of a public consultation where the public apparently supported this 4.5% increase. I have concerns about the way the questions were framed in this consultation. Read more about it here.
Major changes to waste collection planned
CBC has decided it needs to save £2m a year on waste collection so is looking at several options. However, it seems to come down to whether it will move general waste (black bins) to a once every three week collection, or start charging people to have garden waste collected. You can read all about it, including how to take part in the public consultation which started this week, here.
Council wins £6m funding for Dunstable but runs out of time to apply for Potton and Sandy
CBC has applied, successfully for £6m of Government funding to 'regenerate' Dunstable town centre. I asked the Council whether it had applied for money for our area but it told me it had 'run out of time'. Read more about it here.
CBC admits spending thousands on awards nights
The Council has admitted to spending more than £2,000 of public money, in the last year, sending officers to awards events. A number of companies run awards events for the public sector. These conventions usually take the form of a handful of speeches and a dinner at a hotel. Costs to the Council Tax payer include not just the tickets to these events but train travel to/from and hotel bills. Some staff have also received time off in lieu. Over the last 12 months alone, officers have attended seven events at a total cost of £2,301.
Wrestlingworth roads update
On (or around) 26th March there will be temporary traffic lights in place at the Wrestlingworth crossroads for resurfacing work to be conducted. Once this has been completed, CBC will bring in a new 50mph speed limit and look to install the long-awaited speed camera.
Local Plan latest
The CBC Local Plan consultation has now finished and will go to an independent inspector to decide whether it is appropriate. I'll keep you up to date as soon as there is any more news. In the last few weeks I have heard from residents and farmers in Tempsford whose land has been included even though they didn't put it forward themselves. CBC told me it wasn't legally obliged to check on ownership so hasn't even asked those putting it forward if they own it!
Wrestlingworth village tidy-up
Over this weekend (3rd/4th March), the annual Wrestlingworth Parish Tidy-up was planned to take place. The main day of activities should be today (3rd March). If you can spare some time to assist in the general clearance of litter and dead vegetation your efforts will be appreciated. There will be a skip at the Chequers to collect the rubbish. Volunteers will be working round the village. Given the weather, this is of course subject to change.
Bedford-Luton hospital merger
The hospital merger was supposed to take place by 1st April although those involved tell me this will not take place by that date. As yet there are no details of when it might and indeed what the final details are of the impact on services. No surprise there then.
Work will commence on the cycleway between Sandy and the RSPB and between Deepdale and Potton, next month. The middle section between Deepdale and the RSPB is currently being negotiated between CBC and the landowners.
Is your group or organisation on the lookout for funding? Developer, CALA who are about to build the housing on Sandy Road, Potton, which was approved last year, have a bursary of £105,000 available. The money was split between 118 groups across the country last year. For more information go to www.cala.co.uk/bursary .
Potton's next Four Seasons Spring Market is on Saturday 17th March from 9am-1pm with a wide selection of local and homemade produce and crafts, in the Market Square. Come down and enjoy the atmosphere and try some delicious local fayre, everyone welcome.
Wrestlingworth History Society’s next meeting will be on Thursday 15th March when Peter Ibbett will be talking about ‘the History of St. Neots – Jewel of the Ouse Valley’. The event will take place at Wrestlingworth village hall at 7.30 for 8pm. Refreshments available and all are welcome.
Sutton WI's next meeting will be on Tuesday 13th March in Sutton Village Hall when there will be a talk entitled ‘Jewellery by Design‘ which focuses on remodelling sentimental gold pieces’. Anyone interested is more than welcome to attend.
The next Craft and Chatter evenings are on Friday 9th and 23rd March starting at 7.30pm in St Marys Church Hall, Potton. Entry is £2.50 which includes Refreshments. Do you enjoy crafting handmade items? then bring along your own project. Cross stitch, sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery or something else. Meet like minded people and make new friends, help each other out with tips and advice and chat at the same time. For more details visit www.facebook.com/craftandchatter
The next Potton History Society meeting is on Thursday 22nd March at the Community Centre in Brook End with the talk starting at 8pm. Members free entry and visitors £3.00 which includes refreshments. This month's talk is called "History on a Postcard" it is a talk about a fascinating collection of postcards from St. Neots in which the messages provide as much interest as the pictures did of life in the first part of the last century. To find out more about Potton History Society visit www.pottonhistorysociety.org.uk and https://www.facebook.com/groups/pottonhistorysociety
Performers and Pints returns to The Rising Sun in Potton tonight (3rd March). Music Starts at 9pm until 11.30pm. Arrive from 8pm onwards to get a good seat or place at the bar. A great community night out of fresh live music featuring three Singer Songwriter music acts; Daisy Keeble, Georgia Nevada and the Jack Alexander Band. For more info go to www.facebook.com/performerspints
The 35th running of the Sandy 10 mile road race, organised by Biggleswade Athletics Club, takes place on Sunday 8th April 2018. This popular event attracts almost 600 runners every year and takes in quiet country roads including the Sand Hills, Everton and Everton Heath. The race HQ is at Sandy Sports Centre in Engayne Avenue, and information and entry procedures can be found on the Sandy 10 website at www.sandy10.org.uk . For youngsters (under 17) and adults for whom 10 miles is too far, there is also a 3km Fun Run.
Potton Ladies Club meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30 p.m. at Mill Lane Pavilion, Mill Lane, Potton. Potential new members should contact Sarah Burgoine (secretary) on 01767 631415 or email@example.com for more details. The next meeting is on the 6th March and is titled 'A notebook, a whistle and a truncheon' and is by Keith Baldwin.
Potton Hall for All have been selected by the Co-op to be a beneficiary of their Local Causes Scheme for this year. Co-op loyalty card holders can nominate their local cause and 1% of what card holders spend on Co-op branded goods can be donated to your nominated cause. Although the Co-op has closed in Potton there are shops in Gamlingay, Biggleswade and Sandy as well as online. If you are a card holder or would like to become one, please nominate the Hall for All as your local cause. Go to https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/14886/ or visit the Co-op page direct here: https://www.coop.co.uk/membership/local-community-fund. The group also have a new website www.pottonhallforall.org.uk .
Potton Library has 'stay-and-play' time for young children with 'Books and Blocks' from 9.30-11am each Thursday during term time. It is holding a 'Rumble in the Jungle' story and craft event on Saturday 3rd March 2-3.30pm with lots of jungle-related crafts as well as stories. There are Mothers day cards for children to make on the following dates - Fri 2nd march 3.30-5.30, Sat 3rd March 10-12.30, Fri 9th march 3.30-5.30, and Sat 10th March 1.30-3.30. During Easter, the library will have a full programme of activities arranged - activities will include an Easter Egg hunt, Easter crafts and creating a springtime display in the library. Information regarding events is available online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/libraries .
Are you looking for funding for a local project, club or business? There is now new information at: turn2us.org.uk or https://adamzerny.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/potential-sources-of-funding/
Another great local source of funding news but also community, volunteering and charity news is CVS Bedford, see more at http://www.cvsbeds.org.uk/
Last month I attended a town and parish council meetings in Potton and General Purposes Committee of Central Beds Council.
There are currently several Central Beds consultations ongoing: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council/consultations/overview.aspx