At a meeting of Bedford Borough’s Executive on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, several new project proposals were announced to enhance the local environment.
The proposals set out funding for a pavement cleaning machine, protective measures for parks, a major play area refurbishment programme, tree planting, footway renewal and verge protection.
Commenting on the proposals, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “These proposals show that as well as planning for the future, through our continued investment in green technology and tree planting, this council is also enhancing the local environments of communities across the Borough.
“The pavement cleaning machine will keep the Town Centre looking clean and attractive, and the 8-site play area refurbishment programme will be a welcome proposal for families and children.”
There will also be measures for parks to protect them from unauthorised encampments and deter access for fly tipping, including bollards, ditching and bund works.
Footways in parks and open spaces will also be repaired and improved to allow for safer accessibility for all including wheelchairs and prams.
The proposals will tackle the issue of inappropriate off-road parking at certain locations by protecting grass verges that are continually churned up by vehicles.
Cllr Charles Royden Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Environment added: “This investment will serve to protect our green and open spaces, maintain the fantastic work on Bedford Town Centre and make major improvements to eight play areas.
“Despite the government’s refusal to provide adequate funding to local authorities, these proposals can be put forward due to the hard work across the council to keep costs down and focus on the priorities that impact local residents every day.”
Cllr Phillippa Martin-Moran-Bryant commented: “The Conservative Group on the Borough Council very much supports these environmental refurbishment projects and measures to discourage parking on grass verges.
“Residents have been calling for many of these improvements, they will provide much needed refurbishment to deliver safe and modern facilities.
“Bedford has been the beneficiary of many tens of millions of pounds of Government awards over the last three years that have underpinned the finances enabling all of these welcome renewal projects to come forward.
“As I’ve said before, I strongly feel that there also needs to be town centre improvements providing additional facilities for young children which will encourage families to spend more time in Bedford.
“This announcement about renewal and refurbishment is welcome but I also look forward to ambitions to deliver a rejuvenated Bedford town centre which is a community space for families to meet from across the Borough.”