Biddenham Pavilion play areas

We are pleased to announce that having undertaken a full risk assessment and inspection, the Biddenham Pavilion play areas are now re-open. Please note that the play areas are not disinfected and use is at your own risk. You are asked to observe the guidance contained in this poster to ensure the community can all enjoy the play area in a safe way.

http://biddenham.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/BPC-play-area.pdf

Biddenham Parish Council.

Biddenham Village Pond

When you next visit the pond you’ll find both the new gate in place as you approach from Gold Lane, and also then the new bench replacing the bench that was so badly damaged a few months ago. The new bench has been kindly funded by the Parish Council and is given in memory of Alison Southern, the former Parish Clerk, who sadly died earlier this year.

Peter’s Picturehouse September Showing now cancelled

Sadly, we have concluded that it will not be viable for our September showing of the film Bridge of Spies to go ahead.

We will postpone our reopening until there is sufficient demand. To help us decide when we can resume, we are keen to gain feedback, particularly your views about the environment and conditions needed for you to feel safe to book tickets, and to watch and enjoy a film in the Village Hall. You may wish to bear in mind that, under current guidelines, masks must be worn by all hall users.

Please contact either John or Marihelen Esam (contact details below), who will be very happy to talk to you about any concerns, or to receive an email. If possible, please get in touch before Monday 14th September.

John Esam – johnesam@btinternet.com 07900218900

Marihelen Esam – marihelen@btinternet.com 07710288933

Peters Picturehouse Bridge of Spies

Stephen Spielberg (director), Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance (actors) and the Cohen Brothers (script writers) welcome you back to Peter’s Picturehouse at 19.30 on 1st September with a showing of the Academy Award Winning

Bridge of Spies. Bridge of Spies is the true story of three extraordinary characters whose fate helped to define the conflicts of the most dangerous years of the Cold War: William Fisher, a British born KGB agent arrested by the FBI in New York City and jailed as a Soviet superspy for trying to steal America’s most precious nuclear secrets; Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot who was captured when his plane was shot down over Russia; and Frederic Pryor, a young American in Berlin mistakenly identified as a spy, arrested and held without charge by the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police.

We will be following strict Covid-related guidelines and total numbers will have to be restricted to 30, on a first come first served basis. To manage this, we are introducing a new booking system and we are asking you to pre-book your tickets and refreshments. The hall will be laid out with pre-allocated seats according to “bubbles”, ie people that can sit together without social distancing. The “bubbles” will be appropriately spaced. Please bring the correct money with you when you arrive at the hall.

Tickets are £5 each, and doors will open at 19.00 for a 19.30 start. To order your tickets and any refreshments, either phone or email: John Esam – johnesam@btinternet.com – 07900218900 or Marihelen Esam – marihelen@btinternet.com 07710288933

Refreshments are priced as follows:

Red or White Wine – £3 per glass or £12 per bottle

Beer – £2

Soft Drinks – £1

Ice Creams – £1.50

Tea, coffee – £1.

We will supply you with full details of the Covid related precautions we are taking and ask you to fill in an information contact form when you book.

Update and Background – Great Denham Golf Course

Our team consists of Great Denham and Biddenham PC’s along with the two Ward Councillors for Bromham & Biddenham plus Ward Councillor for Kempston Rural and our resident Planning Expert Natalie Wilson.

Background

In 2008 the current operators of the golf club signed a 20-year lease which would see the club and course through to 2028. At the 10-year break clause – normal in a long-lease – negotiations took place resulting in a new two-year lease. In the last 12 months the golf club management team have attempted to open negotiations with Bidwells on the renewal of the lease, but have received no response other than the mantra “the trustees don’t know what they want to do with the golf course”.

The result of this has been that the 504 members of the Golf Club have been advised of the likelihood of closure when the lease expires on 16 th October 2020.

It is clear with the original lease which took us up to 2028, the Trust saw the golf course continuing for another 10 years from the 2018 break clause. What has happened to change that? Quote from Richard Wingfield in a conversation with the Chair of Biddenham PC, “understood the decision to be that golf was no longer seen as a good use of the land because of a decline in popularity and profitability”!

Popularity? – Ok then if 504 members is not popularity what is?

Profitability? Whose – the Trusts? We have established if they close the golf course, they can’t let out the buildings due to conditions set when planning permission was given. The Trust will still need to pay rates on the property (est. £40k), to insure the buildings, to look after the land and fences, plus other unknown costs – whilst forgoing their annual lease rental (currently £75k).

Why do they want to do this? Could be to let the land become seen as “no defined use” and hope that they could eventually get planning for Residential development of the 70 hectares. Current ratios of houses to hectare are between 30 to 50 so at best 2,100 houses and could be considerably worse! We would hope that the Local Plan 2030 policies in place from Bedford Borough would continue to protect the Urban Open Space and Gap so even more confusing as to why the landowner wants to close the course?

What have we done so far?
 We have established that the landowner is the Old Ford End Trust, set up in 1995 to manage the land and agreements and s106 arrangements with Bedford Borough and the developer Bovis. The current trustees of OFET are Reginald Phillip Heyworth and Charles Robert Hutton – addresses available if required.
 We have written to the Trust via their agent Bidwells and to their home addresses to outline the concerns and planning history and conditions which impact the property and
that would affect future planning applications.

 We have spoken directly to the trust beneficiary, Richard Wingfield, and discussed resident concerns.
 We have engaged our MP, Richard Fuller, and he has written to the trustees via their agent, Bidwells, asking for dialogue on the matter.
 Template letters have been written and are available for residents to use for both the MP and the Trustees (via their agent).
 A large number of residents have written to both their MP and the Trustees to highlight their concerns and request a review of the decision to close the course.
 We have written to the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on the 16 th July and, as no response, have asked Richard Fuller to intervene and also speak to Simon Clark MP Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government.
 We have started discussions with both a Planning Solicitor and a Planning Barrister
 A “Shout-out” to the local community has brought offers of help with PR, Media and Marketing.
 We have written to the Trustees to ask for a meeting so that we can explore whether a community and business arrangement may be an option we can consider.

Up to date we have not received any responses to any communication and having just spoken to Richard Fuller he has not either. As soon as we have more we will update.

Do you need a reusable face mask – and a spare to put in the wash?

If you would like a reusable fabric mask, the Village Agent Scheme has some to distribute to people who need them.  We have very kindly been given a grant by our two Biddenham Borough Councillors, so we are able to make these available free of charge*.  Our masks are made in Bedford, using 100% cotton fabric – plain white on one side and printed fabric on the reverse.  We have coloured and floral fabrics suitable for women, and also black prints which may be preferred by men.  They have an aluminium strip which enables the wearer to shape them over the nose – this does not affect the mask’s washability. They are supplied in a hygienic resealable bag, with usage instructions.  

We can provide made-to-measure face masks adapted for special needs. Eg, you might also need a mask which is larger or smaller than average, or if you wear hearing aids, we can provide you with a mask with elastic which goes around the back of your head, leaving your ears free.  

It’s best for us to use face masks which can be washed and reused, leaving disposable masks for the professionals. Washable masks avoid creating unnecessary waste, since disposable face masks end up in landfill, as they are not recycled.  Once worn, a reusable mask should be washed before being used again, so it is best for everybody to have at least two.  We are now all required to wear a face covering on public transport, or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. We should also wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces, including hairdressers, chiropodists, doctor’s surgeries etc.  To order your mask, please email teresam@bedsrcc.org.uk or phone Freephone 0800 039 1234.

*These masks are available free of charge. However you can, if you wish, make a contribution, as all profits from the masks are donated to Tibbs Dementia Foundation, a very worthwhile Bedford-based organisation.

Teresa Moon, the Village Agent for Biddenham, is available to help fill in forms, apply for grants, make benefit applications, and answer any questions or queries you may have. Her services are free of charge.  Just call Freephone 0800 039 1234 or email teresam@bedsrcc.org.uk.

Teresa Moon

Village Agent

 “Just Ask” Scheme

Covering Chawston, Colesden, Colmworth, Great Barford, Little Barford, Ravensden, Renhold, Roxton, Wilden, Wyboston, Biddenham, Elstow and Wixams

Biddenham Parish Council is looking for a new Clerk

Biddenham Parish Council is looking for a new Clerk to start ASAP. 12 hours per week with expenses and pension. It’s not a voluntary role, actually a proper employment with salary paid via Bedford Borough Council and a national set of standards. 10 council meetings each year. No experience necessary; training offered and paid for. A chance to help the community and develop a public service career. Local person preferred, as knowledge of the village and an interest in its upkeep and welfare are key.

Please respond by 19 July 2020

Apply to Peter Chase at  peter@chaseqv.com.