Author: Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter

Central Bedfordshire Council: Test and trace

Lessons learnt from other parts of the country are helping to refine the Covid-19 test and trace process in Central Bedfordshire, a meeting heard.
The local operation began last month to support the national test and trace service.
An update was presented to Central Bedfordshire Council’s social care, health and housing overview and scrutiny committee by its assistant director public health Celia Shohet.

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Clinical commissioning groups merger “fait accompli”

Talks with local authorities over proposals to merge the Luton, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been labelled “a sham consultation” and “a fait accompli”.

A report on the one BLMK CCG programme was presented to a meeting of Luton Borough Council’s scrutiny health and social care review group.

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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel: Mental health triage

A system designed to support mental health patients in Bedfordshire saved more than 400 police deployments and prevented almost 200 detentions during the last year, a meeting heard.
With its programme for frequent service users, the mental health hub has saved an estimated £20,000 per user per month across each of the county’s emergency services, according to Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway

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Resignation call by Central Bedfordshire councillor over council’s SEND failings labelled “political grandstanding”

A demand for heads to roll after a slow response to a highly critical special education needs and disabilities (SEND) inspection in Bedfordshire has been dubbed “political grandstanding”.

A draft improvement plan by Central Bedfordshire Council was due to be completed by May, following the report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

But the pandemic has delayed the whole process, the council’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee heard.

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More cash for local authorities announced as Central Bedfordshire Council leader calls for urgent help for councils

A Bedfordshire council leader says more government funding is urgently needed for local authorities because of the impact of Covid-19.

Extra money is required sooner rather than later to prevent councils having to cut services, according to Central Bedfordshire Council leader James Jamieson.
The Conservative Westoning, Flitton and Greenfield councillor was speaking at the Local Government Association (LGA) annual conference, held via video link.
“Councils have a legal duty to balance their budgets each year,” said councillor Jamieson, who chairs the LGA.

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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel: Commissioner’s complaint response

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway says she “represents exceptional value for money” for local council taxpayers, after allegations were made in an email sent to the county’s police and crime panel.
She described herself as “beyond disappointed” with some of the claims surrounding award ceremonies and special events arranged by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).

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A pandemic threat has been top of Bedfordshire Police’s risk register for the past decade

The county’s force responded quickly to the challenges, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel was told, despite the pressures piled on the NHS.

“We’ve obviously had this on the agenda for a period of years,” explained the county’s Chief Constable Garry Forsyth to a Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel meeting this week.

“Pandemic influenza has been the number one threat on the risk register for about the last ten years.” he added

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