Are you a parent, guardian or someone looking after children and concerned about online safety? Then join Bedfordshire Police on Tuesday 5th February at the next international Safer Internet Day (SID) being hosted by Bedford Girls School.
The theme of the day is 'Online rights and responsibilities' and this will be the 10th anniversary of the event.
The FREE session at 7pm Cardington Road in Bedford, is for all parents, guardians or anyone who works with or cares for children and young people, from anywhere in the county.
Led by Bedfordshire Police Children and Young People Development Officer Richard Denton, it is designed to cover all areas of internet safety with practical tips and advice for everyone. Throughout the day the force's 10 top tips for staying safe online will also be sent through Bedfordshire Police twitter feed. Similar events will also be run in Luton and Central Beds over the coming months.
Richard Denton said: "During the last twelve months we have run workshops for over 10,000 children across Bedfordshire looking at issues from unwanted contact, cyber-bullying and indecent images. We have also had the opportunity to run sessions for almost 1000 parents, guardians and other professionals who work with young people."
"The Internet is a fantastic tool and the majority of the time it is a beneficial, fun and educational resource. We just want everyone to apply common sense and a few simple safety measures when using it that is all. Think about who you are talking to, the information you share and how you can maintain your privacy. Keeping children and young people safe online will remain a very important area of work for Bedfordshire Police."
To book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Spaces are limited and will be issued on a first come first serve basis.
To get up to date advice about staying safe online visit www.ThinkUKnow.co.uk If you are concerned about any content or activity on your child's internet and social networking sites then please contact Bedfordshire Police by calling 101.
For more information on Safer Internet Day go to www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day
Bedfordshire Police's top 10 Internet safety tips are:
- Visit www.thinkUKnow.co.uk to find out more about keeping safe online.
- Look at installing security products that allow parents / carers to block certain websites, implement time limits and monitor activity.
- Help your children to understand they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.
- Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.
- Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.
- It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as a result young people sometimes engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.
- If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.
- It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain—it could be a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film.
- Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with strangers.
- Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
A further resource recommended by Alice Johnson is O2's keeping kids safe website.
We are writing to invite you to join in the conversation and have your say on the future of water.
This week we have launched our biggest ever public consultation to ask our customers about their priorities for the future of water services.
Water is essential for healthy living, vibrant communities, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy. We're asking you to play a leading role in our five-year review with the water industry regulator, Ofwat. We want your help to shape the future of local water services – from what we should charge to how we should operate from 2015 to 2020.
Our vision is to transform the way we all value water and use it. That's because this is the driest region in the UK and the fastest growing too. We are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, so a lot depends on how carefully we use water resources and how well we secure future supplies.
For more and information and to tell us what you think, visit www.discoverdiscussdecide.co.uk or you can call 08457 91 91 55 to request a paper copy of the consultation.
We would also value and appreciate your support in drawing attention to our consultation, which will be open until 10th March. Here's a link to the main consultation document, and some resources you may find useful.
We look forward to hearing from you.
With our best wishes,
Head of Public Affairs
Source: Anglian Water
Bedfordshire Police is backing a new Crimestoppers' campaign to tackle the issue of stolen catalytic converters or 'Lost CATS' across the eastern region.
There has been a dramatic increase in catalytic converter thefts in the last three years, which can run into thousands of pounds for a victim to replace and can be extremely inconvenient. A catalytic convertor is part of the exhaust system and thieves steal them for the precious metals they contain.
The aim of the charity's campaign is to encourage the public to play their part in giving information about this type of crime – with metal theft as a whole costing the UK economy around £770 million per year. Although metal theft in general is seeing a steady decrease across the eastern region, due to various measures introduced by police, the theft of catalytic converters is still on the increase and can often be connected to other forms of serious and organised crime.
Chief Inspector Shane Roberts says the force is working hard to target people who illegally trade or carry scrap metal. He said: "We are playing our part encouraging members of the public to contact us or Crimestoppers with any information relating to catalytic converter thefts, or any type of metal theft, so we can act robustly and bring offenders to justice.
"We will also be encouraging members of the public to etch their catalytic converter, so if recovered it can be traced back to them. Etching kits are particularly useful for businesses with a number of vehicles to protect.
"Theft of metal wrecks the national infrastructure, affecting utility supplies, rail and phone networks, causing hundreds of pounds of damage and replacement costs when stolen from homes and businesses. When vehicles are attacked and catalytic converters are stolen, this causes huge disruption to individuals and family life. People cannot get to work and lose money as a result, children cannot get to school and any personal plans are wrecked-notwithstanding the cost of replacing and hike in insurance premiums.
"We are all facing tough times financially and any theft of metal causes people personal misery and trouble. Bedfordshire Police takes this very seriously due to the impact that this crime has on people's lives.
Bedfordshire Police is seeking wartime memories from friends and family of volunteers to mark this year's 100th birthday of the force's Special Constabulary.
The centenary is being celebrated across the force and the Bedfordshire Police Museum has chosen to focus on a group of colleagues who volunteered during the Second World War in the hope of building a treasure trove of memories and artefacts from this time.
During the War the force was considerably strengthened by the recruitment of Reserves. There were different categories including full time paid War Reserve Police Constables, full time paid members of the Women's Auxiliary Police Corps, and the Special Constabulary who were unpaid volunteers. Sadly force records from this time are sparse so attempts are being made to bolster them through the public appeal.
Keith Jackson, a former police Inspector with Bedfordshire Police who now volunteers himself, running the force museum, is driving the appeal to raise awareness about this important part of the organisation's history.
"The centenary is a very proud moment for the force and all its volunteers" he said. "By the end of the war the authorised establishment of the Bedfordshire County Special Constabulary was over 1100 men and to put that figure into some sort of perspective, the authorised establishment of the Regular Constabulary was only 162! Sadly the force records concerning the Special Constabulary are quite sparse so one of the ways of marking our 100th birthday is to gather as much information as possible about the war time service of these volunteers."
"Bedford and Luton were separate forces at that time with their own Special Constabularies, and between 1939 and 1945 every village and town also had their own Specials. They were local men who gave up their free time to fight crime and protect their communities. Whilst the minimum requirement was to work a four hour shift at least fifty times in a year, some of these men gave considerably more often completing between 120 and 150 duties a year in the larger industrial areas."
"To mark the centenary we want to pay tribute to all those who volunteered then and now so I would be grateful to receive any information from former Special Constables who are still alive, or from their descendants. Anecdotes, recollections or documents from the time will be invaluable. Equally, any donation of artefacts to add to the Force Museum collection would also be gratefully received. Please do help us bring this time in our history back to life."
To get in touch with your memories email email@example.com or write to Keith at Bedfordshire Police HQ, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire MK43 9AX.
Do you use any of the following?
- Baby food pouches (any brand pouches and Ella's Kitchen packaging )
- Baby wipes packets (any brand)
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes (any brand)
- Coffee packaging (any brand jar lids, pouches, coffee sticks etc)
- Actimel bottles, Activia and Shape yoghurt pots (no other brands please)
- Writing implements and correction fluid containers (any type except wooden pencils and wax crayons)
- Mobile phones (any type but no chargers)
- Biscuit wrappers (any brand of sweet biscuit wrapper)
If so, please put them in the collecting box outside Eaton Bray Village Store or take them to the school office.
They will be collected, sorted and sent off to Terracycle who upcycle them and pay 2p per item to the school (more for mobile phones).
For more information see www.terracycle.co.uk or
Eaton Bray Academy to benefit from New Recycling Scheme
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 24th January 13:00 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled today and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from earlier in the week.
Update 23rd January 13:00 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled today and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from Monday and Tuesday.
Update 22nd January 12:30 Waste collections are going ahead as scheduled and where possible trying to clear any missed collections from yesterday.
However many side roads across the district are still inaccessible for the waste collection vehicles and we don't send the crews out into areas where there is a risk to pedestrians, property or vehicles. We want to ensure all our collection crews are safe and will not encourage them to collect when it's not safe for them to do so.
Update 21st January 09.00: Due to the weather conditions there are no waste collections taking place today, but the Household Waste Recycling Centres remain open for the time being.
On Friday 18th, Waste collections were suspended across all of the South region of Central Bedfordshire.
If it is not possible to collect residents' waste on Monday (21st January 2013) due to the icy and snowy conditions, they will try to catch up on missed collections as soon as possible, but this is dependant on the accessibility of individual roads and routes. This may change on a daily or even hourly basis. As collections are made from over 110,000 households and accessibility is assessed as each street is approached it is not possible to provide individualised messages about when collections will be made from specific streets.
Please put your bins out as normal, and if your bin or bag is not collected on Monday 21st, please leave your missed bins in an accessible location for collection and they will be collected as soon as your street is accessible and it is safe to do so.
FAQ's provided by Central Bedfordshire Council
- What should I do if you don't collect my waste on the normal day because of the weather?
Please leave your bin or bags in their normal location for collection and we will collect it/them as soon as it is accessible and safe to do so. If this is not possible (due to space, cluttering the roads etc.) bring it in overnight.
- Can you tell me which day my bin will be collected after you've missed my normal collection day?
We try to catch up on missed collections as soon as possible, but this is dependant on the accessibility of individual roads and routes. This may change on a daily basis during the adverse weather period. As we collect from over 110,000 households we can't guarantee everyone will receive an individualised message about their specific street's waste collections. We will update our website and social media if collections are interrupted.
- I'm expected to drive to work when there's snow and ice. Why can't your crews collect my bin?
The average car weighs between 1 and 2 tonnes whereas our refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) weigh over 25 tonnes. They require more control, especially on small roads with parked cars on either side. We do not send the crews out when there is a risk of danger to pedestrians or damaging our residents' property or vehicles. We want to ensure that our collection crews are safe and will not encourage them to collect waste when it is not safe for them to do so.
- Why can't the RCVs (Refuse Collection Vehicles) be fitted with snow tyres or chains?
The time taken to fit and remove snow tyres or chains would be significant because of the varying conditions on the roads during adverse weather. Some local authorities were still unable to collect waste even when their vehicles were fitted with snow tyres, so there would be limited benefit to our vehicles having snow tyres.
- Once the weather conditions have improved, can you catch up on bin collections within the week?
Whilst we endeavour to catch up on missed collections as quickly as we can, we have a limited workforce and number of vehicles. We operate at maximum capacity, using all vehicles available to collect the missed collection, and will collect on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays if needed. If we can't catch up within 2 days, we will accept extra waste on the next collection for that bin. We will prioritise collection of clinical and weekly collection across the district. In the north we will prioritise collection of food waste followed by recycling, and in the south we will prioritise residual followed by recycling.
- Some councils didn't collect bins for 6 weeks last year. Won't I have lots of maggots in my bin if that happens again?
If we miss a collection due to adverse weather conditions, it is likely that waste high in water content (such as food) will be frozen in the food waste or residual bin and will not harbour maggot larvae. You can double wrap any food in your bin if you are concerned. Don't forget you can put all your uncooked fruit and vegetables in your compost bin.
- I'm not getting a service I've paid for. Can I have a refund on my council tax?
On average your bin collection costs around £1 per collection per household, which is a small percentage of your council tax. You will have your waste collected, but there may be a delay.
Source: Central Bedfordshire Council
If you're interested in a future with the Police, there's no better way to develop the skills, knowledge and experience you'll need than joining Bedfordshire Police Cadets. Our groups in Luton and Kempston are now accepting applications, for places starting in September 2013. Police Cadets are united by a passion for serving the community and supporting the constabulary. As a Cadet, you'll take part in weekly training sessions, featuring a range of exciting activities. You'll learn fascinating skills as part of a diverse team of people aged 16-18.
What's more, you'll enjoy the opportunity to support Officers carrying out real policing duties at all kinds of public events in Bedfordshire's towns and villages - from Luton Carnival and Bedford River Festival, through to Remembrance Parades.
In return for your dedication, we'll support you to gain recognised qualifications, which will really help your CV to stand out from the crowd.
As you grow in confidence and gain new abilities, you could have the chance to rise through the Cadet ranks, to roles such as Section Leader or Head Cadet. You'll certainly make a visible contribution to your community, and develop a wide range of valuable talents.
This is the perfect way to explore policing as a career. Many Cadets go on to join the Police full-time, or volunteer to support us as Special Constables. One thing is certain. The experiences you have as a Cadet will help to prepare you for success in any walk of life.
To join our annual September intake – you must be 16 years old by the 1 September 2013. We've organised two free Information Evenings for potential cadets and/or their parents/carers.
These will be held at Barnfield College, Luton, on 5 February 2013, and Police Headquarters, Kempston, on 12 February 2013.
Both events start at 6:30pm and are a great opportunity to learn more about being a Cadet.
You'll need to book a place in advance. Please either call 01234 842119 or email email@example.com
PARISH OF EATON BRAY
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
that due to the resignation of Carol Willis, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.
If by 5 February 2013 (14 days after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at the address below by TEN electors for the said Parish, an election will be held to fill the said vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.
If an election is called, it will take place not later than 11 April 2013.
Dated 16 January 2013
Deputy Returning Officer
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 7th January 2013
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 4th February 2013, from 7.30pm, in the Coffee Tavern.
Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are required to introduce a local Council Tax Support Scheme from April 2013 as part of the Government's reform of welfare benefits.
A new scheme to replace Council Tax Benefits in Central Bedfordshire has been recommended by the Executive to the full Council for approval on 24th January 2013.
While wanting to protect those with little or no earnings capacity, CBC have had to reduce the overall cost of the Council Tax Support scheme by £1.7 million to reflect reduced government funding. The proposed Council Tax Support scheme has the following key principles in mind:
- The scheme should be affordable
- A fair contribution – those who can pay Council Tax, should pay
- The scheme should incentivise work
- Protecting the most vulnerable
CBC's final scheme reflects feedback from public consultation which took place from August to November last year. Responses, including 1,689 questionnaires as well as emails and letters and a telephone survey of 500 households, showed that the majority of respondents supported the Council's proposed scheme.
Under the new scheme, people with capacity to earn will be required to pay at least 25 per cent of their Council tax total bill, even if they pay nothing now.
However, the new scheme ensures that pensioners will have the same level of protection as they do now. There will also be protections for other groups of vulnerable customers such as carers, lone parents with children under five, some disabled people and war widows.
The new scheme also includes added work incentives for low income families, so there will be an increased advantage in earning an income without jeopardizing Council Tax support.
Owners of empty and second homes will no longer receive a Council Tax discount or exemption under the new scheme. In keeping with the Council's commitment to bringing long-term empty homes back into use, there is a proposal to charge home owners Council Tax at a premium rate of 150 per cent on houses left empty for over two years.
In response to consultation feedback, the Executive has agreed to establish a Hardship Fund to make discretionary payments in exceptional circumstances for those really struggling to pay. Premiums and Personal Allowances used to calculate entitlement to Council Tax Support will be increased at the rate of inflation from 2014/15.
CBC believe that they have worked hard to develop a Council Tax Support scheme that is designed to be affordable and fair and the positive response from the consultation shows that the majority of respondents agreed.
You can read the full scheme online.
The scheme will now go to full Council on 24 January for final approval. The changes will take place from 1 April.
Source: Central Bedfordshire Council