Houghton Regis: A 20:20 Vision Plan Summary
Houghton Regis: Our 2020 Vision
From 2016 the town council has been working hard to fulfil its Vision.
As this Vision comes to an end, we wanted to let you know how we have done;
Objective 1 To develop a stronger local economy which promotes local businesses
- Worked with a range of local stakeholders to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. This is in its final stages before a local referendum. This Plan will put the council and the town in a much stronger position it terms of shaping and securing funding from new developments;
- Promoted the local retail offer and encouraged town centre footfall through the Town Guide, through town centre community events and through a shop local scheme;
- Worked with Central Bedfordshire Council on highway safety and parking concerns in the town centre and in residential areas;
- Helped with the management and promotion of Bedford Square Community Centre;
- Have worked with partners to protect and enhance historic gems including All Saints, Houghton Hall Park and the Red House.
Objective 2 To face the challenges and maximise the opportunities of growth
- Developed effective working relationships with CBC planning officers and developers so the council can help shape future development;
- Worked hard to find land for a new cemetery, looking at a number of sites but disappointedly none of the land was suitable;
- Provided information to residents on the strategic growth issues affecting the town through the website, town crier and Planning Committee agendas.
Objective 3 To develop a safer town with a reduced fear of crime
- Developed and progressed a number of anti-crime and anti-social behaviour projects including enviro-crime reporting and street cleaning and school parking projects;
- Purchased 2 more redeployable CCTV cameras to help deter crime and ASB in residential areas;
- Worked with CBC to offer subsidised bulk waste removal for local residents, watch this space over the next couple of months or so;
- Installed a speed activation sign on Windsor Drive to help to reduce traffic speeds along this road.
Objective 4 To develop a more active, engaged and inclusive community
- Designed and installed a family games area, including exercise equipment, table tennis, football / basketball wall and family type games on the Green;
- Installed exercise equipment on Orchard Close Recreation Ground funded through Fields in Trust;
- Enhanced the skate park by providing better seating and floodlighting;
- Begun working with the Beds Football Association and the Football Foundation and local clubs to deliver a sporting hub, including an all-weather football facility on Tithe Farm Recreation ground;
- Enhanced community events so they are bigger and better and have launched 2 new events, Houghton Rocks and the Fireworks display;
- Worked with CBC on longer term plans for Windsor Drive Recreation Ground including the provision of enhanced recreational facilities;
- Explored options for Community Transport provision and a Village Agent scheme but having looked at the current provision decided to offer support to other organisations who currently provides these types of services;
- Support a variety of local organisations through the Community Development Officer and through the provision of community grants including SORTED, Keech, SBDAR, Houghton Regis Memorial Hall, Community Action and Citizens Advice;
- Provided youth services through a weekly youth pop-up café and a summer holiday club. We set up and now support the Houghton Regis Youth Council who help at local events, run their own initiatives and feed into the town and youth services in a positive way.
Objective 5 To build a strong, efficient and proactive Town Council
- Reviewed the corporate and democratic structure of the town council and have made some changes to improve ways of working and to ensure the council was in a position to deliver on this Vision;
- Completed a variety of energy efficiency measures, including smart meters and automatic lighting sensors, using developer funding via CBC;
- Developed relationships with key partners through improved liaison and joint working on projects;
- Maintained our current premises whilst exploring options for future Town Council premises to ensure continued fitness for purpose;
- Raised the profile of the Mayor through the securing of Mayoral robes and through the Mayoral Inauguration process;
- Developed apprentice opportunities within the office team and within the grounds team;
- Promoted links to local charities and not for profit groups.
Last updated about 3 months ago