Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Bedfordshire in the snow

Remember all that snow we had in February? It all seems like a bad dream now, but it devastated our roads and we now have large potholes everywhere. Bedfordshire County Council disappears on 31 March and the Bedfordshire roads will then become the responsiblity of Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council.

The public get very upset about potholes as they can cause nasty accidents. Therefore as a gesture of goodwill Beds County Council launched its "Wotholes?" campaign last week, allocating £400,000 extra funding to repair as many potholes as possible across Bedfordshire before 31 March. The photograph on the left is of my County Council colleague Tom Wootton, Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste Management, standing by one of the larger potholes created by the severe weather in February.

Already after only one week £75,000 has been spent on filling over 600 potholes in Bedford, Bromham, Harrold, Kempston, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Biggleswade and other places.

If you see any dangerous potholes which need repairing, please call the Wotholes Hotline on 01234 228661.

Last night as Vice Chairman of Bedfordshire County Council I co hosted a final reception for Town and Parish Councils before handing over to the new Unitary Councils on 1 April 2009. There are 125 'settlements' in Bedfordshire, including four large towns -Bedford, Dunstable, Kemspton, Leighton Buzzard and Houghton Regis, smaller towns like Ampthill, Arlesey, Biggleswade, Flitwick, Sandy, Shefford and Stotfold, and dozens of villages. There are 20 town councils and dozens of parish councils. My Division includes just 2 villages, Elstow and Wilstead, but some councillors represent large numbers of small villages. Tom Wootton, a local farmer, represents rural North East Bedfordshire which has 24 villages and 14 parish councils.

On Monday I chaired two Personnel Appeals at County Hall, one a Grievance Appeal and the other an Appeal against Dismissal.

When Bedford Borough Council takes over County Hall on 1 April 2009, the building is to be renamed Borough Hall, although some Central Bedfordshire staff will continue to work in the building for the foreseeable future.

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