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Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick October ECHO

October 3, 2018 12:04 PM
By Cllr Tim Hill

Local Issues:
Since my last Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Echo, here are some of the local issues I have progressed, in some cases with the valued help and support of the relevant Parish Council.


Careful driving outside Bunyan Fellowship - Several residents of the High Street and Wigram Close have raised their concerns with me regarding the speed of some vehicles as they travel along the High Street outside the Bunyan Fellowship. I have asked if this stretch of road can be included in the Mayor's School Speeding Review.

Poor state of Cow Bridge Road - The road going downhill between the traffic lights and Cow Bridge itself is beginning to sink in places. One area is now a concave shape about 3 metres long. I have reported this to Borough Highways and asked for it to be repaired before any serious damage is done to any vehicles.

Pruning of trees on Bunyans Mead pedestrianised area - Several trees in Bunyans Mead were far too overgrown. One large branch had actually snapped and fallen onto a resident's home. I contacted BPHA and they employed contractors to prune and lop several of the trees. However, the tree by 42 has not been dealt with and is a danger to 42. I have asked BPHA to look at pruning and lopping that tree.

Maintenance of roundabouts on Abbey Fields - If you would like to see the roundabouts in Abbey Fields brought back to life and you are interested in getting involved in the process then we would love to hear from you. No previous gardening experience necessary and your tools will be provided. Contact volunteering@bedford.gov.uk to register an interest in joining this brand new volunteer group so that you are notified of task days and kept up to date on the group's progress!

Upcoming Task Days (pre-registration required)

Saturday 27th October, 10am to 12noon - Weed Clearance and Dead Shrub Removal. Meeting on the corner of Waltham Drive.

Saturday 17th November, 10am to 12noon - Continuation of Removal Tasks and Preparation for Planting. Meeting on the corner of Waltham Drive,

If you can't make these task days but would like to be involved, do get in touch. Please Note: Members must be over 16yrs of age due to the nature of this activity. Safety briefings will be carried out at the start of these sessions.


Community benefit from the development of the brickworks site - The current draft of the Local Plan has unsurprisingly in it a bid by the site owners for it to be identified as a development site for around 1,000 homes. Following a contact made by a community benefit specialist, I arranged a meeting on 3rd Sept for your Parish Chair and me with the specialist to discuss how our local community might benefit from any such development. Ideas discussed included a Health Centre, a Retail Unit, a Heritage Scheme that properly reflects the history of the area, a Lower/Junior School, and roundabouts on the feeder roads. Other ideas are very welcome. The specialist also agreed to arrange for an exhibition at the Village Hall sometime before Christmas.

Speedwatch Session 1 - A Speedwatch session was held on Broadmead Road by Rose Cottage on 14th September. I regret to say that of the 138 vehicles logged as driving from the direction of the railway line to Rose Cottage, 25 vehicles were logged at going 36mph or more on the Speed Indicator Device at the 30mph boundary just north of Rose Cottage. This included two vehicles going at 45mph!!! This is especially unbelievable when you consider the location is on one side, has an older lady living in Rose Cottage and just round the corner, has an apartment block with young families in.

Speedwatch Session 2 - A Speedwatch session was held on Stewartby Way by the Sir Malcolm Stewart Homes on 17th September. I regret to say that of the 196 vehicles logged as driving from the direction of the B530 to the Montgomery Close roundabout, 32 vehicles were logged at going 36mph or more on the Speed Indicator Device at the 30mph boundary just beyond the railway bridge. This included three vehicles going at more than 46mph!!! This is especially unbelievable when you consider the location is on one side, directly outside the Sir Malcolm Stewart Homes bungalows and on the other side, the homes of a number of young families in Stewartby Way and Wavell Close.

I must record my thanks to the three volunteers at both sessions. We worked really well as a team.

School Lane - I am working with residents and landowners to see what can be done to improve the road surface on the track from 1-2 School Lane to 3 School Lane.

Mobile Advice Surgery - I held one of my Mobile Advice Surgeries at 12pm-12.30pm on Sat 15 Sep 18 near the junction of Clay Avenue and Brick Crescent. My thanks to all who came to raise their issues.

Kempston Hardwick

Illegal encampment on Marsh Leys lay-by - I have been battling to get these travellers removed from the lay-by. Given they caused criminal damage to get onto the lay-by, have caused criminal damage since and there is a young family immediately adjacent to them, I have called upon the police to use their Section 61 powers to immediately remove the travellers. The police have so far refused to do so. I have escalated this refusal to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Safe driving on Ampthill Road - With the development of the Greenlakes Rise estate opposite the Railway Cottages, residents have asked for the speed limit on the stretch of road from the new roundabout to the railway bridge to be reduced to 30mph. I am working with Borough officers to progress this request.

Chimney Corner - I am pressing the Borough Enforcement Team to start the prosecution of the used car dealer and the landowner. I believe the used car dealer has now had enough time to leave the site.

Cllr Tim Hill

Liberal Democrat Focus Team

Bedford Borough Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick

Tel: 07907 150923

Email: tim.hill@bedford.gov.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElstowandStewartbyLD/