Bedford Borough Council opening emergency beds for rough sleepers every night throughout the winter

Rough sleepers in Bedford Borough will be able to access emergency beds every night throughout the winter -not just when temperatures drop below freezing.

For the second successive year in Bedford Borough accommodation will be available every night throughout the winter to 31 March.

This is on top of existing accommodation which provides 39 beds for rough sleepers throughout the year at the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub’ run by SMART in the town centre and the Kings Arms Project Nightshelter.

The announcement follows the opening of the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub’. This is open 24 hours a day and provides short-term accommodation and wrap-around support for rough sleepers. A number of multi-agency professionals work together from the Hub providing advice from a variety of support services to help people get back into a home and living independently.

Just BLISS in Bedford

Bedford Borough Council and partners launched their Behaviour, Learning and Inclusions Support Strategy (BLISS), a multi-agency approach to promote inclusion and helping vulnerable children to stay in school.

Produced in partnership with schools, colleges, nurseries, police and health services, this strategy will work to ensure that schools are supported to be inclusive and effectively tackle challenging behaviour from students, and further reduce exclusions in the borough.

While there has been a national rise in exclusions, Bedford Borough has seen incredible progress from schools in reducing permanent exclusions. There is a commitment to capitalise on the progress we are making with permanent exclusions and extend this to reducing fixed term exclusions.

The strategy aims to make education accessible to every child, working with those who are vulnerable to exclusion and provide support at the earliest opportunity. An enhanced workforce development offer will be made available to all schools, through an Early Help Assessment, with tailored support for children who are struggling with aspects of their behaviour in the classroom.

Call for motorists to help children stay safe near schools

Campaigning schoolchildren included Wootton-based Holywell School students

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have issued a plea for motorists to help children stay safe, following a debate on children’s road safety at a Council meeting last week.

At the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC), councillors heard from children from Wootton. They have been campaigning on the issue of road safety in their community.

The schoolchildren raised a wide range of issues, and in response Council representatives set out work that will take place to address them. This will include the appointment of a new school crossing patrol, assessing bus stops and crossings in the area and reviewing road safety information campaigns for young people.

Bedford Christmas Lights switch-on and fair – Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November

For the first time, Bedford’s Christmas lights switch-on will take place on a Sunday after a weekend of fun and frolics with a free Christmas fair.

Saturday 23 November and Sunday 24 November sees a Christmas fair come to Harpur Square. From 10am until 5pm on both days, the Square will be full of food stalls, entertainment with choirs, music and dance performances on the stage, balloon modelling and free fairground rides.

There will be over thirty craft traders on the Square and in the Harpur Suite, plus seasonal stalls and local businesses alongside two vintage fair rides which will be free to go on. The Transformers will be visiting on Saturday, and Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ will be coming on the Sunday.

This festive fun will come to a fantastic climax with the fireworks show at 5.30pm on the Embankment with Father Christmas turning on the Christmas lights in Bedford. This is also completely free to attend.

Progress update on the A6 Wilstead Bypass reconstruction

The completion date for the project to rebuild the A6 past Wilstead has been delayed to March 2020, after on-site testing revealed that more works are required than originally thought.

The A6 past Wilstead is currently being rebuilt. This stretch of road was originally built in the 1970s, but had become too dangerous for normal road use after its foundations had collapsed.

Extensive work on the project has already been completed including the removal of the existing road surface and kerbs along with a large section of the underlying concrete layer, and the start of the removal of the old road foundations.

Bedford Borough Council joins Refill Bedford

Bedford Borough Council has signed up as a Refill Station, joining Refill Bedford creating a network of local places where people can go fill up their reusable water bottle for free.

‘Refill’ is a nationwide campaign working to connect people with thousands of local businesses, community venues, transport hubs and public fountains where they can refill for free. They have launched a free ‘Refill App’ where anyone can find Refill Stations where they can refill on the go.

It is estimated that a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, and plastic bottles make up a third of all plastic pollution in the sea.

‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ in the heart of Bedford Town Centre

Bedford Borough Council has extended services for people sleeping rough with the opening of an ‘Assessment & Somewhere Safe to Stay’ Hub. The Hub will be open 24 hours a day, offering emergency homelessness advice and somewhere safe for people who are sleeping rough to stay for a short time.

Professional advice will be on offer from a variety of support services to help people find the best way back into a settled home.

Bedford has seen a reduction in the number of people sleeping rough on the streets. The most recent Annual Rough Sleeper Estimate showed that a third fewer people were sleeping rough from 76 in November 2017 to 51 in November 2018.

Bedford Borough Council advice for buying a new furry friend

A new furry friend can make a great addition to the family. But Bedford Borough Council is warning residents to be cautious and carry out checks after reports of illegal puppy trading.

Bad dealers and breeders are selling puppies that are too young, imported from other countries, haven’t had the appropriate vaccinations, and without the right paperwork.

This can result in the puppies being quarantined and not allowed to go to their new owners.

The Dogs Trust also has concerns about the welfare of the puppies caught in the illegal dog trade. This can leave unsuspecting families picking up the pieces when they just wanted to give a puppy a home.

Bedford Borough Council News and information

Bedford Borough Council is the local authority of the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It is a unitary authority and has the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.

Bedford Borough Council was formed in 2009 after the Bedfordshire County Council ceased to exist.

The executive of the council is the directly elected mayor of Bedford.

The borough contains the 71st largest urban area in the UK (Bedford and Kempston), and is surrounded by a rural area with many villages. Three quarters of the borough’s population live in less than 6% of the borough’s total area.

Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP

Telephone: 01234 267422