Wednesday’s are always a bit crazy, between work/school we tidy up like mad things and then host Connect Group (don’t get me wrong – I do like it, it’s great having a house full of laughing mad chatter!). While Our Sidekick was tidying the living room and I was cleaning up the kitchen, making dinner and making my packed lunch for Thursday’s lunch (I’m a girl I do multi-tasking well!). There was a knock at the door. I was singing along to music on my phone so I’m actually surprised I heard the door. After the pushy Energy Door to Door Selling Girl last week I kind of wasn’t in the mood to have my time wasted. I opened the door and it was a chap from the Liberal Democrats dropping off a survey – he asked if I could fill it in or post it back. Not impossible I can do that. So while dinner cooked I started filling in the form – 4 lines into the comments box and I was going to need more paper to get on with it. (The questions are bold, the answers are normal, the italic bits are me adding bits following my speed answers!)
How important do you think it is to improve the bus station area of the town centre?
The bus station is an entrance for tourists and currently it probably puts people off from coming back to Bedford especially with Cambridge and Milton Keynes being so close to Bedford.
Having spent a lot of time either in the Bus Station on my way to and from town, work or other places and having sat/volunteered in The Fountain, through the years I’ve spent a bunch of time in the Bus Station. Now I personally would happily walk across town to the stops outside Oxfam and The Corn Exchange rather than stand in the Bus Station. It’s drab and could really do with a lick of paint amongst other things! If you’re a visit to Bedford it isn’t always clear that some of the buses leave from the bays along the sides or the bays that are kind of on the roundabout rather than in the bus station – also that the X5 drops off in the big bay outside Iceland but picks up from one of the end bays instead (And I think Cambridge bound picks up next to the Oxford bound one just to confuse things!)
Dave Hodgson has been fighting to stop the threatened loss of emergency and full maternity services from Bedford Hospital. How important is it to you that services like these remain?
The last time I went to Accident and Emergency I had to wait about three hours to be seen by someone (even though for various reasons we were brought in by police escort then another three for tests and to see a specialist to see my friend. If we have a reduced maternity service at Bedford where would expectant mothers have to go – I think the next Accident and Emergency is Luton and Dunstable or Milton Keynes – both of which are around 20-30 miles away – surely that could be life or death for a premature or ill baby/mother?
When I was 14 I was rushed into hospital in an ambulance having been involved in a road traffic collision in the town centre (Yup it’s pretty impressive managing to stop most of the traffic in Bedford just by deciding to lie down in the middle of the High Street – got to love those one way systems!). If the local Accident and Emergency hadn’t been in Bedford or had been closed, I would have probably had to been taken to Luton and Dunstable or Milton Keynes. Both of which aren’t that far away (well they are about 20-30 miles and all those bumps in the road can’t be good for a spinal injury or something like that). Fortunately I had whiplash and a sprained ankle so in the end I was released the same day. On the other hand being on a spinal board when all you want is a hug from your Mum and for her to tell you that it will be okay then the less time on that spinal board is better!
Unlike many other councils, in Bedford we still have weekly collections of our black bin waste. How important to you is this?
It’s still important but we tend to recycle more than we bin anyway now so recycle collection every week and black bin fortnightly would be better. Can we not also recycle glass in our bin collection like surrounding areas?
In our kitchen we have two bins. The smaller of the two is for normal food waste and bits that can’t go in the recycling. The recycling is in a bigger bin and is often emptied twice a week. Our green collection bin is still in the back garden as Chris has been doing bits getting the garden ready for summer. What I’d like to see is glass being collected in the weekly/fortnightly collections. We either seem to have far too much glass to recycle or not enough to make it worth a trip to the tip or the bottle bank.
Mayor Dave Hodgson has made it clear that those who litter in Bedford Borough can expect to be fined. Do you agree that people littering should be fined?
Fines only work when the act is witnessed (just like the no seat belt/mobile phone fines)
The fines are a good idea but at the same time it only works if someone actually witnesses the act. We followed a car along on Castle Road on Tuesday and the driver was on a mobile phone. How do you go about reporting that? If no-one with authority witnesses the crime then how is the fine applied? Can I call the police or something?
Of all the improvements planned for Bedford Town Centre, which is the number one priority for you?
Bus Station Regeneration
High Street Heritage Regeneration Scheme
Redevelopment of the Higgins Bedford (former Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum).
As someone who has linkes with a town centre business both the High Street and Bus Station need work done on them – something needs to be done about Porter Blacks – it’s been empty for at least a decade.
When we were looking at venues for The Fountain, we did look at the Porter Blacks building. It’s at the top of the High Street as you come into town. If that building could just have something done to it to make it look more welcoming and like it’s worth stopping off in Bedford, I’m sure it could make a massive difference.
Who do you feel is most to blame for the Government having to cut spending?
In the next Mayoral Elections in Bedford who are you most likely to support for Bedford Mayor?
Each government sets out what they will do and then don’t achieve it. I use my vote because as a woman, women who were part of the Suffragette Movement gave their lives to give people like me the freedom to vote but when government say one thing and do another I struggle to see the point in my vote. I tend to vote for the one who will screw the country less this time round.
Both these questions had similar answers. Each government makes decisions and choices that affect the following government just as much. I tend to vote for who will mess us up the least.
What do you think?