October’s monthly update

This is what I was up to in October…

– Requested information for a resident concerned about safety on the road between Potton and Biggleswade

– Assisted a couple of groups with requests for funding from the Greensand Ridge charity.

– Was involved with requests for church signs in Potton and Cockayne Hatley.

– Pushed CBC for action over a bus shelter that Mid Beds Council had previously considered for Eyeworth


Bus Service Petition
Central Beds has responded to my comments and to the petition organised by Everton residents. CBC is going to consider new bus stops in Everton and look at whether any of the buses that serve Everton can continue to Potton. I have also requested shorter stopovers for those wishing to travel to Bedford via Sandy.

Council tax freeze
It looks likely central Government will provide extra support to local authorities in order that council tax can be frozen for another year. Last time Central Beds kept its the same after being made aware that if council tax was increase, the council would not be eligible for a portion of funding from the Government.

Central Beds staff contracts
Earlier this year, Central Beds cut pay for all staff on £21,500/year or more by two per cent. As this month’s deadline to accept passed, 50 staff had not accepted: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/News/Hundreds-of-council-staff-snub-contracts-01102011.htm

The council’s comment was “Anyone who hasn’t yet responded to accept the changes but who turns up to work will be seen as having agreed to the new terms.” This is known as the Economic, Technical & Organisational (ETO), and remarkably it is enforcable by law. Unhappy staff have little defence. And yes, this is the same council which voted through £10,721/year of new allowances for two councillors in May!


Music Service
Central Beds has added to the options provided by the music service but the pressure still needs to be kept up as the new budget approaches.


Worrying news has reached me about the Section 106 money which the developers of the site planned for Biggleswade Road, Potton have to provide the community. It looks like Central Beds is planning to spend sizeable chunks of the £900k outside of Potton ward. I will keep you informed.

LDF Feedback
For all those who offered feedback to Central Beds on the nature of the public consultation over the Local Development Framework, the results are here:

I have highlighted that it’s a bit of a concern that given much of the feedback was requested online that many correspondents were unhappy with their website!

Libraries consultation
Central Beds has announced the next stage of the libraries consultation; formas are in Potton library, and the consultation will run until January. I would sympathise with anyone wondering why they are being asked more questions now and why these could not have been included on the last one!
Pay particular attention to Question 8 which asks you to rate how important you consider the following issue: ‘involving local people in making decisions about their library and if they want, getting actively involved in delivering the service’. It could be considered that if you thought this was a high priority that you have advocated libraries being run by volunteers not full time staff.

In October, I attended the Potton Apple Day, sponsored a match at Potton United FC, and attended and spoke at the Potton Bowls Club annual dinner. I also attended the Central Beds ‘Let’s talk together’ event at The Hollow. I was also at the Potton Town Council meeting.

In November, I will be at parish and town council meetings in Sutton, Everton, Wrestlingworth, Potton, Tempsford and Dunton during the month.

Local events
Wrestlingworth Lower School is one of the ‘good causes’ at St Neots Waitrose. Please put your green token in their box if you shop there!

In Stotfold, there a couple of residents, The Clarkes, who run a regular email of concerns over the actions of Central Beds, their email is well worth subscribing to, and you can email them on: thekingfishers@btinternet.com