Extra help for rough sleepers, as freezing temperatures continue in Leighton Buzzard

A homeless shelter is run from the Black Horse, North Street, Leighton Buzzard.  PHOTO: Google
A homeless shelter is run from the Black Horse, North Street, Leighton Buzzard. PHOTO: Google

Freezing temperatures have resulted in Central Beds Council and Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service providing severe weather emergency provision for rough sleepers.

The council says the extra facilities will be available until at least Friday night when the situation will be reviewed.

Zoe Janes sent us this photo of the Grand Union Canal in Leighton Buzzard

Zoe Janes sent us this photo of the Grand Union Canal in Leighton Buzzard

In the south of the district, CBC is working with Noah Enterprise to provide overnight shelter. This will initially be at the Welfare Centre, 141 Park Street, Luton, from 8pm to 10pm, then shelter until 7am at Luton Baptist Church.

CBC will be coordinating transport to the Welfare Centre and back from the Black Horse, in Leighton Buzzard.

A spokesman said: “Our teams will be assessing if everyone is safe to travel; posing no risk to themselves or others. If you are aware of rough sleepers you can also contact the council’s Out of Hours service who will advise and assist you. Please call 0300 300 8098.”

Paul Latimer, manager of Leighton Linslade Homeless Service told the LBO the shelter had been working with CBC’s severe weather protocol, and has been open 24 hours a day since 9am yesterday and has two extra emergency beds.

Reader Allison Shaw's photo of the canal near Tesco

Reader Allison Shaw's photo of the canal near Tesco

He said volunteers were very tired but have been working non-stop to keep things going.

Meanwhile, most schools in the Central Beds area have kept open, with just St Leonards VA Lower School (Heath and Reach), Mentmore Road Under Fives (Linslade) and Aspley Guise Pre School closed all day, and Mary Bassett Lower School (Leighton Buzzard) closing this afternoon.

For an up to date list see https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/webapps/sos/
Bin collections are carrying on as normal today but the Central Beds Council admits it might have difficulty getting to some side streets. A spokesman said: “People should continue to leave their bins out and we will keep trying to get to them. Tidy tips open as normal.”

He added: “We were out twice yesterday gritting the roads and will also be out today.”

The so-called ‘Beast from the East’ has also led to the closure of Rushmere Country Park.

The Greensand Trust, which manages the site in Heath and Reach, has stated this morming: “Due to expected adverse weather conditions all Greensand Trust managed sites including Rushmere Country Park will be closed for access on Thursday and Friday in the interests of public safety.

“Sites are expected to be open as usual on Saturday, March 3.”

The town council has announced that all adult and junior football at Astral Park will be cancelled this weekend.

Leighton-Linslade in Bloom has said its Great British Spring Clean events have been postponed due to the weather.

Friday’s litter pick was due to take place at Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, Saturday was to be along the canal, with Sunday in Parsons Close Recreation Ground. It will look to reschedule new dates later in the month.

If the weather has seriously affected you, or you know of a cancelled event, email news@lbobserver.co.uk