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 portrait.jpgHello everyone. My name is Phil Crooks, and as of our October meeting I'm the new Secretary of South West Bedfordshire CLP.

I'm from Leighton Buzzard and I was our CLP's delegate to this year's Conference. For the last two and a half years I've been the acting Trade Union Liaison Officer for South West Beds, and in my day job I'm an Usdaw shop steward and branch officer. Certainly I know how to keep myself busy! It's been striking to me just how much goes into keeping the CLP running behind the scenes, so I can't praise Mike and Marko highly enough for their hard work keeping the operation running effectively. I hope that I can carry on in their stellar example.

Having properly introduced myself, I want to tell you about what's going here on this website. Of late it's not received the attention I'd like to have been able to give it for a variety of reasons. Over the next few weeks, the plan is for that to change. I will be looking to rebuild the website from the ground up, to make it a better tool to help us do what we're all here to do -- hold the Tories to account, spread our vision for Britain, and put Labour into government. Obviously that's going to take some time to do.

So, for the moment, this website is officially under construction. There will be more frequent news updates through our Facebook pages for the CLP as a whole, Leighton-Linslade and Dunstable & Houghton Regis branches, and our youth section in Chiltern Young Labour. Thanks for bearing with us as we get to grips with this. I'm very much looking forward to showing you our work here when it's done!

Letter from the Secretary

 Hello everyone. My name is Phil Crooks, and as of our October meeting I'm the new Secretary of South West Bedfordshire CLP. I'm from Leighton Buzzard and I was our...

Budget cuts to Bedfordshire Police are now threatening children’s safety from reckless road users. Houghton Regis Town Councillor Tim Welch reports:

 

“On Monday 9th I picked up my sons from Queensbury School at the end of the day. As I was waiting in my car, a motorbike with two young male riders rode up very close behind me, mounted the kerb and rode up the pavement, nearly colliding with several members of the public. A second bike then followed, with another two male riders.

 

“When I called the police they told me that they had already had many reports of these riders. Later on, as I was speaking with Queensbury’s principal on the roadside, the bikes passed by on the pavement again, narrowly missing children. At the same time a police patrol car passed the school, without stopping to assess the situation or apprehend the dangerous riders.  I phoned the police again while the principal kept watch, and was told that this was not considered urgent and that no officer was available to patrol the area surrounding the school.

 

“Bedfordshire Chief Constable Boucher has already told us that budget cuts have left the police without the resources they need to protect Bedfordshire’s citizens -- budget cuts that the Tories have imposed in the name of austerity. Now it seems that our police are so badly starved of resources that even reckless riders endangering our children can’t be considered an urgent matter. Will it take children’s deaths to compel the Tories to give our police the funding they need to protect our communities?”

Police budget cuts raise questions over children's safety

Budget cuts to Bedfordshire Police are now threatening children’s safety from reckless road users. Houghton Regis Town Councillor Tim Welch reports:   “On Monday 9th I picked up my sons...

Following a committee vote on June 10th, Leighton-Linslade Town Council has recently announced its intention to make a number of key changes to our town market. Most notably these include the relocation of all existing market stalls to the north side of the High Street, and the shrinking of various stalls to fit the new allocation.

 

Consumer shopping habits are changing rapidly. In an age when almost any product is available for cheap and convenient delivery from an online vendor, both the traditional charter market and small town-centre shops are becoming an endangered species. So we must, and do, recognise that these must continue to adapt to the marketplace as it changes around them, in order to stay in business.

 

However, the Town Council’s approach to revitalising our market seems to work at cross purposes. We believe the council when they say they wish to see our historic market perform better; that goal is shared by all concerned. But the council proposes to uproot small businesspeople from market stalls that they and their families have held, in some cases, for decades. They will force traders in the same field, such as greengrocers, to directly compete with each other cheek by jowl. And they will require grocers, butchers and fishmongers to store and sell their wares in constant sunlight in the hottest hours of the day.

 

All of this incurs needless extra business expense, on top of recent increases in small business rates. It puts our market's future at risk, and with it the readily available and affordable local produce upon which many local people rely. And, in reducing the size of the market and thus the customer footfall it attracts, it threatens a key revenue stream that many of our High Street shops depend on to survive.

 

We believe that these proposals amount to an ill-advised attempt at gentrification, harming our local community and a fundamental part of our town's heritage. We strongly urge Leighton-Linslade Town Council to reconsider the matter.

Our Market's Future: LL Labour Urges Town Council To Rethink Planning Proposals

Following a committee vote on June 10th, Leighton-Linslade Town Council has recently announced its intention to make a number of key changes to our town market. Most notably these include...

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