Author: Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter

Budget consultation in Central Bedfordshire described as “tick box exercise”

Consultation over Central Bedfordshire Council’s budget has been labelled “no more than a tick box exercise” by the local authority’s Liberal Democrat leader.
Conservative councillors supported a rise in council tax, despite more than half of residents and organisations responding to the 2021/22 financial plans opposing any increase.

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Patients, families and carers from Bedfordshire are being encouraged to have their say on the future of a regional cancer treatment base

Patients, families and carers from Bedfordshire are being encouraged to have their say on the future of a regional cancer treatment base.
A review into the services provided at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre “is at a critical phase”, according to NHS England and NHS Improvement.

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New Central Bedfordshire Council leader Richard Wenham plans “greener and bluer place to live” legacy

A “greener and bluer place to live in” is one of the key objectives for new Central Bedfordshire Council leader Richard Wenham and could become his legacy.
Achieving this aim relies on two of the local authority’s priorities, a shared vision for Central Bedfordshire 2050 and its carbon neutral sustainability plan.

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New Central Bedfordshire Council leader’s ambitions

“I don’t just want good. I want it to be a great council.” That’s the message from the new Central Bedfordshire Council leader councillor Richard Wenham.

He delivered that ambition to the local authority’s chief executive Marcel Coiffait.

“It’s quite a humbling experience, as well as very exciting,” said Cllr Wenham.

On the new leadership team, he referred to Mr Coiffait being familiar with the council through his previous role overseeing communities and regeneration.

“That forms a good foundation,” he explained. “There’ll be an input of new ideas to push the council to a fresh stage of development.

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Delays to criminal justice cases are pushing trials back with the potential for victims and witnesses to move on with their lives rather than go to court

Delays in the criminal justice system threaten to cause “a very considerable problem” and encourage victims or witnesses to back out, a meeting heard.
A backlog of more than 50,000 cases has stacked up because of the pandemic, Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Panel was told.

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Planned £60m mental health provision in Bedford likely to result in closure of three units in south of the county

A new £60m mental health building in the north of the county is “a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford borough”, a meeting heard.

The potential investment on the Bedford Health Village site would almost certainly lead to three premises in south Bedfordshire being shut down.

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