Community Shopping Club Logo

Community Shopping Club

Community Shopping Club Logo
The Wixams & Wilstead Community Shopping Club has been set up to help support those in both communities who are required to self-isolate during the time of the Coronavirus outbreak. The club aims to coordinate a set of volunteers who are willing to carry out shopping or prescription collection on behalf of those in isolation.

Due to the very real risk of spreading the virus we have put together a comprehensive system which minimises human contact. It might seem excessive at first but we have considered the needs of everyone involved as best we can.

Prescription Collections

Along with shopping we will also collect prescriptions upon request. Please contact us as per the instructions below.

Client Instructions

To request help from the Community Shopping Club, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page, email is preferred.

When contacting us for help please ensure you include the following information:

  • Type of help required/shopping list.
  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address if possible (unless sent by email).

If you can use a Click and Collect service we urge you to do so. That will make the process much easier for everyone involved.

For shopping requests please follow the guidelines below:

  • We prefer shopping lists to be sent by email, either in text format or as a photo/scan.
  • You will be asked to pay us a deposit which will be a rough estimate of the value of your order.
  • Make sure your list is legible.
  • Add quantities, weights or volumes where appropriate.
  • Please keep your list to items which can be purchased from a large supermarket.

The volunteer will contact you directly to check the details of your request and to arrange drop off.

We will take payment via bank transfer, if you do not have online banking we ask that you contact someone you trust and ask if they can pay on your behalf. We will be able to take cheques in exceptional circumstances.

Volunteering Instructions

If you would like to volunteer, please contact us using the details further down the page, email is preferred. We will use the steps below to register you as a volunteer:

  1. We will reply to your email and send our Volunteer Guidelines.
  2. Read the guidelines and complete the included declaration form.
  3. Contact us when you are ready.
  4. We will knock on your door to collect the form (we won’t come in), we will need to check a form of ID and we can answer any question you have at that time.

The last step is important, we will personally meet every volunteer as the protection of the clients is crucial.

Please note, for security reasons we are asking that volunteers pay for shopping themselves and they will be re-reimbursed from our own bank account once the receipt had been sent and delivery confirmed. We have recommended that Click and Collect services are used where possible which simplifies the process.

Contact Details

Please contact us by email or phone (email is preferred):

shoppingclub@wixams.org

07929 656674 Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm

Stay Informed

We will be updating this page as we get new information and using our Facebook page to share updates:

fb.me/CommunityShoppingClub

 

Summer Flower Event Flyer

Summer Flower Planting Morning

Following on from the success of our Spring Bulb Planting morning back in November, we’re now planning our next gardening event which will be a Summer Flowering Planting morning!

We believe that gardening is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy mind and body. Whether it’s growing flowers and plants to make your surroundings look beautiful, or growing fruit and veg to add to your meals, gardening can be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

To inspire the next generation of nature lovers we’re inviting everyone to come along on a Saturday morning, likely in May or June, where we’ll work together to plant some flowers to create a beautiful display for the summer. We will divide everyone into groups again and we’ll have different plants ready at each flower bed for everyone to put into some pre-prepared holes with plenty of lovely compost.

Date to be announced

If you’d like to be one of the first to know the date when we announce it, please join our Facebook group or add your email to our newsletter list at the bottom of the page.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus we may not be able to hold this event as planned, we’ll update this page when we have more news.

Homeless Collection 2020 - Donations

Collection for Bedford’s Homeless

In collaboration with the Bedford Homeless Partnership

In recent years, there has been more awareness about the hardship of homelessness in Britain, with winter being an especially challenging time for anyone without housing. Bedford has the 8th highest number of rough sleepers in the whole of England, so we decided to support the Bedford Homeless Partnership in their appeal to donate items that would help people in our community that are homeless in the cold season.

On 25th January we held a drop-off session for donations in Lakeview Village Hall and invited Wixams residents to come by and bring with them any items that they would like to contribute to our collective donation.

We know that the Wixams community has a big heart, but during the session we really were amazed by the generosity and the number of residents that came by to drop off donations. Over the 3 hours about 60 residents visited our session and gave as much as they could – coats, blankets, toiletries, gloves, hats, books, food items and much, much more.

You can see below the huge contribution donated by the Wixams community. Well done Wixams!

Homeless Collection 2020 - Donations

All donations will be forwarded to the Bedford Homeless Partnership, who will make sure the items will be directed to the homeless charities in need.

We can proudly put into numbers what your contributions amounted to, it’s very impressive!

Homeless Items Infographic

A big thank you for everyone who came and donated, your contribution will make a huge difference to the life of someone less fortunate!

We’d also like to thank Paula and Lakeview Village Hall for allowing us the use of the Swan Room, and a big thank you to Asan for taking fantastic photos of the donations.

Press Coverage

This project has been covered by the Bedford Independent, you can find the story here: www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/toiletries-food-and-clothing-donated-for-bedford-homeless-partnership-by-wixams-residents/

Still want to donate?

If you were unable to make the date, but would still like to make a donation, please visit the following charities to see how you may be able to help. They will inform you about what types of donations are required.

Please visit the Bedford Homeless Partnership website to find out more about them and the services they provide.

Streetlink

If you are aware of someone sleeping rough, please use Streetlink. This will connect you to the local support team from Bedford Borough Council.

You can also download the Streetlink app here:

G-Park Birds Eye View - Annotated

G-Park Planning Application – UPDATED

UPDATE 1: The deadline for comments on the G-Park planning application has now passed. A total of 114 objections to the proposal were submitted by residents. The decision on the application will be made by the planning team at Bedford Borough Council on 17th March. We will update this page with news when we have it.

UPDATE 2: Bedford Borough Council are still awaiting a formal view from the Highways Team so the decision cannot be made until that is complete.

Bedford Borough Council (BBC) planning committee have received an application for the building of 3 large warehouses on the land north of Watson Road, the road which currently serves Wilstead Industrial Park. As with all planning applications, the public has the right to voice their support or opposition to the proposals. We have created this information page so you can:

  • Understand what is being proposed.
  • Learn how you can take action if you wish to.

G Park Birds Eye View - Annotated

Planning Committees are legally obliged to consider views from the public in their decision making so we encourage residents to take the time to leave comments.

What is Being Built?

Planning application 19/02724/MAR is for:

Approval of all reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, layout, scale and access) for three employment units (Use Class B8 with ancillary office floorspace) pursuant to Outline permission 19/01137/MAO. | Land North Of Watson Road Wilstead Bedfordshire’.

G Park Plan Annotated

Details of the units to be built (source: Design & Access Statement – 19 02724 MAR V60.pdf):

  • Mostly warehouse space with attached offices
  • A total of 49,803 m2 (536,079 ft2) building space
  • 10.62 hectares (26.23 acres) total site area
  • Each building is 18.15 metres tall
  • Within 90 metres of the nearest home
  • Parking for 318 cars
  • Parking for 115 HGVs
  • 24/7 operating hours
  • Access provided from the A6 via The Causeway

Other Warehouses in Wixams

There are already a number of warehouses either built, being built or planned for Wixams:

  • Wilstead Industrial Park contains over a dozen warehouses/units.
  • Three new 24/7 units are currently being completed in Wilstead Ind. Park totalling 15,739 m2 (169,400 ft2) with parking for 161 cars and 113 HGVs (source: Wilstead Industrical Park Brochure). These units have no currently planned occupiers. RED
  • The B&M warehouse is now operational, it totals 91,000 m2 (979,515 ft2) (source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43825804). PURPLE
  • A new Aldi distribution centre is to be built close to the B&M warehouse, its buildings will total 78,857 m2 (848,809 ft2) and it will have parking for 611 cars and 229 HGV loading docks (source: Planning Application 17 02657 MAR). YELLOW
  • 5 new units are to be built north of Fisherwood Road totalling 7,358 m2 (79,203 ft2) and will have parking for 109 vehicles (source: Planning Application 19 02398 MAF) ORANGE

This gives a total of around 250,000 m2 (2.7M ft2) of warehouse/unit space.

Wixams Northern Area Map With Units - Annotated

Possible Concerns

Whilst job opportunities for residents should always be welcomed, there are some potential concerns which could be raised regarding the building of these units. We have outlined a few issues below which the public might want to consider.

Obstructed Views

The three units are planned to be built on land which is currently open space and offers views across the Marston Vale. If built, these warehouses will be highly visible when entering Wixams via The Causeway, to residents as they move within the village along Brooklands Avenue and Bedford Road, and the biggest impact would be to those whose homes look directly onto the site. The closest unit will be within 90 metres of the closest home and will be over 18 metres tall.

G-Park View From Brooklands AnnotatedRelated articles:

Building Design

The style of the proposed warehouses matches many huge warehouses around the country such as near Junction 13 of the M1 and is designed to reduce its impact from a distance. When compared to the brand new houses, the greenery on Bedford Road and the nearby lake, this type of building will dominate the landscape and significantly impact the visual appeal of this part of Wixams.

Privacy

The offices of Unit 3 are alongside Bedford Road, this means any home visible from the building will be overlooked by workers in those offices.

Traffic and Road Usage

All the units and warehouses listed above are accessed from the A6 via The Causeway. In the last few weeks there has been a significant amount of damage to this road and the main roundabout to Bedford Road possibly due to the increased HGV use since the opening of the B&M warehouse. There have also been comments made by the public regarding the noise made by HGVs accessing the industrial area at night. As more units are planned and built these issues are going to get worse.

Road Safety

The areas around Brooklands Avenue, Fisherwood Road and Bedford Road towards Elstow are often busy with pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers. The more vehicles using these roads the less safe these areas become.

Noise and Light Pollution

With the existing and planned warehouses in Wixams being mainly for distribution it’s likely that we will see a huge number of HGVs travelling around the north of Wixams spewing a lot of pollution. The proximity of this site to residential areas including the Wixams Retirement Village means that pollution levels in that area will certainly be made worse, causing damage to the environment and posing a health risk to wildlife and residents.

With 24/7 operating hours there will also be an increase in the light projected externally from the warehouses toward neighbouring homes.

House Prices

The Causeway is one of the main access points into Wixams and will be the route taken by many when visiting Wixams to view properties. Along with the existing warehouses such as B&M and in Wilstead Industrial Park, these three units might change the initial impressions of potential house buyers and may dissuade them from buying, negatively impacting property prices.

Empty Warehouses

It’s unknown at this stage whether there are already businesses lined up to fill these three new units. However, the three units currently being completed adjacent to Seasons were built without planned tenants. There are other warehouses in the Borough which are built and remain empty, such as next to the A421 towards Junction 13 and the A428 near Kempston.

By planning in this manner the decision as to what types of businesses might invest in Wixams is being made by the landowners not by businesses themselves. There are already concerns that the Borough is being covered in warehouses as well as the areas close to Junction 13.

Warehouse Jobs

The typical jobs made available in warehouses are picking and packing along with administrative and other associated roles. Picking and packing jobs are normally low paid with current market rates at around £17,000 per year for full time employment. With the average house prices in Wixams being over £300,000 (source: www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/wixams/) it’s less likely that many of these jobs will be filled by residents. This would mean that employees will need to travel into Wixams from elsewhere and Wixams’ residents will be forced to seek employment outside, causing more congestion, noise, damage and pollution.

Business Incubator Units

It was originally planned that Wixams would be built with a set of 16 Business Incubator Units which are designed to help startup companies. These units typically offer a set of facilities including office space, a phone line and broadband internet connection, meeting rooms and also experts to support new business owners. These facilities are often offered for free for a period but are typical cheap to rent after the free period finishes. The units planned for Wixams were to range in size from 25-100 m2.

To help with the meeting of a schools funding gap, the requirement to build the incubator units was removed, meaning startup businesses in Wixams are not able to take advantage of these facilities (source: Planning Application 15 03039 S106). There are no plans to offer a replacement for the incubator units which would help local businesses to get started and to help them build successful enterprises.

How to Take Action

If you would like to leave comments supporting or opposing the building of these new units you are encouraged to do so using the official channels provided by Bedford Borough Council. Please ensure you include the Planning Application Reference 19/02724/MAR.

Please read the Council’s guidance on planning application comments: www.bedford.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-applications/comment-on-planning-applications/

We also recommend reading the following blog to help you if you’d like to object to this proposal: Martin Goodall’s Planning Law Blog

By email

Send your email to planning@bedford.gov.uk

Online

  1. Visit the planning applications search page: www.bedford.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-applications/search-plans-page/
  2. Click the button View and comment on planning applications
  3. Enter the Application Reference: 19/02724/MAR and click the Search button
  4. You can review the associated documents under the Documents tab if required (19 02724 MAR V60.pdf is recommended)
  5. Follow the instructions under the Comments tab to create an account and leave your comment
  6. To oppose this application select Object as both the Stance and the Reason for comment.

By Post

Write to:

Planning Services, Bedford Borough Council,
4th Floor, Borough Hall,
Cauldwell Street,
Bedford,
MK42 9AP

Community Meeting

We will be hosting a meeting to discuss this planning application and give extra guidance on how to respond to it on Wednesday 22nd January at 8pm, all are welcome to attend.

We held a community meeting on 22nd January which was very well attended. The residents were all given an opportunity to share their concerns and to ask questions. The main points identified from this meeting:

  • Please try to respond on as many points as possible to make it more likely your comments will be factored in. You can find the BBC Material Planning Considerations document here: BBC-Material-Planning-Considerations.pdf
  • As part of the wider problems with road usage please suggest an alternative route is found for access to the industrial areas, such as via the road leading to the gravel area, as illustrated here: Wixams-Industrial-Traffic-Possible-Link-Road.png
  • Don’t forget to mention that there should be more provisions for community facilities in the S106. If you could mention skateparks for the teenagers that would be really helpful for an upcoming project we have planned.
  • If you’d like to take this matter further with one of our elected representatives their details are:
  • Cllr. Coombes would like to be CC’d into any correspondence.
  • Don’t forget to encourage friends, family and neighbours to respond by sharing, emailing, texting, tweeting or talking.

Stay in Touch

We would like to hear your views on this planning application and others. Please use the Contact page or join our Facebook group to get in touch with us.

We have taken great care to ensure the contents of this page are accurate, if you find a mistake please contact us so we can rectify it.

Wixams Tree Survey Featured Image

Wixams Tree Survey

The Wixams Gardening Group are currently liaising with Bedford Borough Council’s Tree Officer to try and get the dead trees in Wixams replaced. As the majority of trees here have all been planted in the last decade, we have many more dead trees than you’d find in a more established community.

To help our community with this task we’ve created the map below which we’re adding to when we find new dead trees. BBC have access to this map and they’ve already made a start on replacing some of them.

  • Blue marker – To be replaced
  • Green marker – Replaced by BBC

Would you like to help?

If you see a dead tree on public land near your home which isn’t already marked on the map, please follow the steps below to let us know:

1. Find the tree on Google Maps, right click on the exact spot and then select ‘What’s Here?’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 1

2. A box will appear with some information, click the coordinates. The coordinates in the example below are ‘52.091864, -0.460795’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 2

3. A sidebar will appear, highlight the coordinates and copy them.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 3

4. Send the coordinates to us using the contact form (select Wixams Community Group) and we’ll add that spot to the map for BBC to see, that’s it!

 

Plantlife Wildflower Verge

A6 Wildflowers

You might have seen the recent BBC news story about wildflowers grown on the side of main roads: Why are England’s roadsides blooming? This led us to setting up a new project where we’re hoping bring some beauty to the stretch of the A6 alongside Wixams.

Wixams Birdeye Wildflowers Marker

For this project we will be getting in touch with the campaign behind this story, led by Plantlife. We want to learn the best way to move forward before contacting Bedford Borough Council. We would like them to devote the entire verge from Southern Cross to The Causeway along the A6 to wildflowers, saving the council money and providing a habitat for the bees, butterflies and other creatures.

You can learn more inspiring stories from the Plantlife site but we’re sure you’ll agree of the importance of protecting our wildlife. If you want to help out then please join in the conversation via our Facebook group and Twitter account. It’s important to us that your voice is heard.

Microphone with audience in background

Community Talks

To help people in the community to stay informed and learn new things, we will be bringing a series of talks to Wixams covering a wide range of topics.

It is hoped to run a talk once per month, we started with a talk about Dementia Awareness in August, followed by Cyber Crime & Fraud Protection in September and Website Building in October.

There are no more talks currently scheduled but there are many other ideas for future talks including:

  • Mental health – including stress, depression, anxiety and loneliness
  • Autism awareness
  • Climate change
  • GDPR and protecting your data
  • Making your home more energy efficient

If you have any suggestions for talks or have attended a talk which you think would benefit the people of Wixams, please get in touch with us using the Contact page.