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.

COVID-19: Book Online to Visit the HWRC

Online booking available for the HWRC You can now book a slot to visit the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) via the Bedford Borough Council website. To manage demand and ensure that everyone can social distance while using the tip, you must book an appointment before you go.

It is quick and easy to do so online on our website.

Please do not come to the HWRC without an appointment, you will be turned away. For full details on what types of waste the HWRC is currently accepting, vehicle types permitted, and opening hours please visit our website.

Reopening Bromham Road Bridge

It’s the news Bedford has been waiting for: Bromham Road bridge will reopen to motorists on Tuesday 9 June 2020. Network Rail made the announcement this morning, ending a year of misery for commuters. The bridge has been closed since June 2019 to allow major improvement work to take place as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade. Network Rail undertook the major project to demolish and rebuild the structure at a raised height to provide a safe distance for newly installed overhead line equipment to pass beneath the structure. This work will enable the line from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford to be electrified as part of a £1.5billion project to improve the railway. From Tuesday 9 June, the pavements on both sides of the bridge will also open. Although the majority of the work to the bridge is now complete, there is still a small amount of work, such as removing a temporary scaffold bridge and final utilities work, left to complete. Some of this work is planned to take place overnight in July, meaning there may be further overnight road closures. During this time, a clearly signposted diversionary route for motorists and cyclists will be in place and pedestrian access will be maintained. Spencer Road will remain closed until August to allow final work to the embankment to take place. The Midland Main Line Upgrade is the biggest investment into the line since its construction in the Victorian era. Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said, “The work at Bromham Road bridge is a key part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which is a major project which will bring significant benefits for passengers. “We know that this work has caused some disruption for those living in the area, so we are delighted to be able to announce the reopening of the bridge for motorists. There is still some work left to complete and we will work hard to keep the impact of this work to a minimum. We’d like to thank residents for their continued patience whilst we carry out the final stages of work to the bridge.”

Captain Tom and his great fundraising effort

I am sure you are all aware of the tremendous effort being made to support Captain Tom and his great fundraising effort. Biddenham is doing its bit by helping to save all the stamps from his many congratulatory birthday cards. The money raised from the eventual recycling and sale of the stamps is going to The RNIB. If you can help with cutting and sorting please let us know. Bags can be collected or delivered in the village. Contact Chris and Jan Jones at chrishj49@gmail.com

Update – Garden waste collections to resume from 27th April 2020

Bedford Borough Council is restarting green garden waste collections from Monday 27 April, on a monthly basis to begin with. You should check when your next garden waste collection will be by visiting www.bedford.gov.uk/bins.

During the coronavirus outbreak, the Council has been following the latest government guidance to protect both the public and bin crews working on the front line. This meant there had to be some changes to ensure priority collections could continue, while enabling the crews to work in line with social distancing measures and stay safe.

Now, with the crews having settled into the new working practices to stay safe and the Council successfully sustaining the government’s direction over the priority of household waste and recycling collections, garden waste collections will be restarting from next Monday (27 April), on a monthly basis to begin with. The Council’s crews are still having to work in a different way to ensure that they are staying safe and working to the government guidance so collections may take longer than usual. Black and orange bins will be collected as normal, but green bins may not be collected on your normal bin day.

Check when your next garden waste collection will be by visiting www.bedford.gov.uk/bins.The online collection day finder has been updated to reflect this brief change to monthly collections for garden waste.

What you can put into your garden waste bin

YES please: •grass cuttings •plants and flowers •weeds •prunings and hedge clippings •leaves and bark •vase plants and pond plants

NO thanks: •soil and rubble •vegetable peelings and kitchen waste •plastic bags, plant pots and polystyrene trays •animal bedding and pet waste •general household waste •persistent and noxious weeds (Ragwort, Japanese Knotweed, Spear Thistle, Creeping Thistle, Broad Leaf Dock, Curled Dock) •fake plants

Please make sure your garden waste is placed into the green bin loose (no bags please) and is contained within your bin. Extra garden waste will not be collected.  This bulletin has been sent to you by Recycling & Waste at Bedford Borough Council Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP environment.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk 01234 718060

COVID-19: This Weekend- Stay Home, Save Lives

We are reminding people to Stay Home, Save Lives this weekend.  The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. You can visit your local park or green space to get some exercise, or go for a walk but please remember to stay 2m away from other people while you are there. We have closed all of our play areas, including skate parks, outdoor gyms and tennis courts. Where we can, these have been physically locked and signs have been put in place to let people know that these areas are closed. Please don’t ignore the signs. Help us to tackle the spread of coronavirus and if you do go out, keep apart and use social distancing.
Look After Yourself
What everyone is being asked to do- stay at home- is really important. But we know it can impact on your health, and it’s really important to take care of our minds and bodies. Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service has created a list of Top Tips for your mental wellbeing, these include:1. Connect with others- stay connected by email, social media, video calls, and telephone2. Be active3. Take notice and focus on the present4. Stick to the facts and limit your news intake5. Have a routine6. Keep your mind active 
Find out more and get support from the Service via their website.
There is also advice or looking after your mental health from the NHS at their Every Mind Matters website. 
To help you stay in, stay safe, and stay fit our Sports Development Team  have launched a range of free online fitness classes to keep residents moving and promote wellbeing whilst at home. You can find these classes at Bedford Sport Live. 
There is a wide range of online services and resources available through the Virtual Library – including e-books, audio books and e-magazines. Anyone can join and you don’t have to be an existing library member – just visit our Libraries website.  
Do You Need Help, or Can You Help?
We have set up a Community Hub to support those Bedford Borough residents who are most in need of help. This means residents in self-isolation who have no family or friends locally to help them with shopping or collecting prescriptions. 
The Community Hub will deliver basic food parcels to these residents. The Hub will also collect and deliver essential prescriptions and offer a friendly link with the outside world. 
Find out more, and either ask for help or volunteer to help on our dedicated webpage.
Keeping You Updated
For updates on what’s happening locally, visit our dedicated coronavirus webpage: www.bedford.gov.uk/covid19 
Please encourage any friends and colleagues to sign up to receive regular bulletins from the Council and follow us on twitter and facebook
This bulletin has been sent to you by Bedford Borough Council Borough Hall Cauldwell Street Bedford MK42 9AP

CORONAVIRUS COMMUNITY SUPPORT NETWORK

St James’s Church has launched a village support network to help as we all work our way through the next few months. This is going to be easier together.

Core principle: No direct physical contact so NO risk of infection to either the vulnerable or the volunteer

Aim 1: Provide companionship (via phone) to the elderly/vulnerable/those self-isolating who may be lonely, concerned or simply bored stiff by being confined at home. We would aim to make regular calls just to check people are all right and, if wanted, have a chat about trivia and normal life.

Aim 2: Ensure food supplies for those, usually elderly, people who have to self-isolate but don’t have access to a computer. Volunteers would ring, get a shopping list and then organise an online shopping delivery/do shopping & leave on doorstep.

Aim 3: Regular phone contact would also pick up any unexpected issues which the group might be able to resolve safely or would simply refer on to the appropriate organisations. This system could also be used to support our local frontline staff – if you work in the NHS, police, social services, food distribution, prison or other frontline service and think there is some back up we can offer you such as shopping, while you are working flat out, email katesmith278@btinternet.com

So what are the mechanics? And would you like to be involved?

We are compiling two lists.

The first is of those in our community who are elderly, vulnerable in other ways and/or self isolating. If this is you and you would like some back-up or phone company, ring Kate on 07969 419574 with your name, phone number, address and whether you would like a regular check call, a chat and/or shopping.

Our second list is for volunteers who are ready to spare some time checking on people and possibly doing some shopping.

The two lists may overlap. For example, I may have to self-isolate but I can still pick up the phone to check on someone else or do an online shop for them. Indeed, the process of helping others may make the isolation easier!

If you would like to be a volunteer, can you email katesmith278@btinternet.com with your name, preferred phone number and whether you can to offer telephone company and/or online shopping. Please also say if you have a DBS check for any organisation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t, we still need your help – but safeguarding is important.

One final note: this will be entirely staffed by volunteers, some of whom are elderly and vulnerable themselves, others of whom are still juggling full time work and evolving family commitments. So, this may not be perfect – but we are going to give this our best shot. Do join us!

Kate Smith, St James Church