Action stations in Leighton Buzzard as community event tackles town's issues
'We were able to speak to lots of members of the public about a variety of topics important to them'
A Community Action Day in Leighton Buzzard on Tuesday has been hailed as a "huge success" with Central Bedfordshire Council and its partners focussing on a number of issues flagged as important by locals.
Community Safety, Highways, Environmental Services, and Housing Services teams from CBC working together with Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire Service carried out high visibility patrols, business visits, tidying of areas, fire prevention advice, bike marking, as well as making other improvements to the local area, in response to feedback.
The council's Safer Neighbourhood Officers patrolled across Leighton Buzzard talking to residents, providing information about their services and how to report issues. They also issued over 40 Home Safety Packs, which include UV property marker pens, card safe wallets, property marking warning stickers as well as keyring-size torches. They also attended the Pizza with Police event with the Groundwork East Youth Group at Vandyke Upper School, with 25 young people there along with their families, to offer information and advice about community safety issues.
Officers also visited 23 shops in Leighton Buzzard High Street, offering crime prevention and general advice to businesses.
The council held a number of stalls on the market, with teams chatting to residents, sharing advice and information about a range of community safety issues, asking them to fill in the Safer Central Survey and offering freebies, including dog poo bags, pens, torches and information leaflets. Leighton-Linslade Town Council also supported the event with its own stall, engaging with residents.
CBC's parking enforcement team offered advice and guidance to residents, answering questions as well as carrying out their daily duties in the area, with ten Penalty Charge Notices being issued on the day.
In the Market Square the new ‘Trash Cube’ was unveiled by the council’s Environmental Services team. The cube contained litter that had been picked up from the pavement around the Market Square. It showed the levels of litter that the council and its contractors manage daily and aims to encouraging residents to litter less. The team also undertook their normal cleaning duties in the area.
Members of Street Watch patrolled with officers from Community Safety and Housing Services; promoting the great work they do and explaining to residents how they can join them to make a direct impact on making their local community a safer place to live.
Officers from Estates Management also patrolled those areas with large numbers of council housing residents, talking to people experiencing housing issues.
The Highways Service was also in the area, fixing minor potholes and loose paving slabs on the High Street and securing a tree bed.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service promoted its free Safe And Well Checks whilst a number of Bedfordshire police officers, stationed in a mobile police station, spoke to residents offering crime prevention advice.
Operation Abuela was also held, which focuses on the illegal transportation of waste and fly-tipping. Officers from Bedfordshire Police Rural Crime Team, along with Environmental Protection Officers from the council’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, patrolled rural parts of the Leighton Buzzard area. The operation led to 18 vehicles being stopped and a fixed Penalty Notice being issued for the transportation of waste without the correct licence.
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbousoye, who was involved with the operation, said: “Fantastic organisation, great visibility and positive impact. Well done to all involved.”
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Our Community Action Day was a huge success. With a range of our officers and teams out in the community it meant we were able to speak to lots of members of the public about a variety of topics important to them, and our teams were able to focus on a number of issues. We are hoping our Leighton Buzzard residents will be able to see a marked improvement in the area.
“We received positive feedback from residents on the market stall, who praised the teams for their work in keeping the community safe and for updating residents about their work via social media, one resident even brought over a packet of sweets and said 'this is for all the good work you do'.
“Following the success of this event, we will be holding another two Community Action Days this year, on August 10 in Biggleswade and Ampthill on September 16.”
What did you make of the work carried out on Tuesday? Email [email protected]