Halloween Competition Diary Flyer

Halloween Decorations Competition 2021

Halloween is a special time of year in Wixams where so many people have fun decorating their houses and the streets are filled with people trick-or-treating and enjoying the fantastic atmosphere. For the last two years we’ve held a Halloween Decorations Competition to award the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams’ to celebrate all those who help make it such a fun place to be. Last year’s winners received a massive hamper worth £100 full of booze, snack and goodies, and a trophy to proudly display for years to come.

It’s been a turbulent year with challenges for many of us, so to help bring some positivity to our community we’re pleased to announce we have again partnered with the Wixams Events Team and we’re going to run another decorations competition for 2021!

The Prize

We want to encourage and reward your fantastic ideas for Halloween as they make our community stand out and bring joy to everyone walking and driving by. This year we’ll be awarding the winning home with a trophy and hamper donated by Budgens in Wixams worth around £100. 🍿🍫🍾🍻🏆

Register to Enter

As Wixams is growing in size each year with more houses and residents joining our town, this year we are doing things a little differently…

To take part in the competition, please register your house below by 24th October

We welcome entries from all across Wixams including the Willow Grove, Harrowden Green and Greenlakes Rise estates.

On All Hallow’s Eve our judges will make their way around Wixams to decide which home stands out the most. The judges will start from around 5 pm and will hopefully finish by 8:30 pm, so please don’t start taking your decorations down until at least that time.

Please note: If you have previously won our Halloween competition you will not be eligible to enter again.

Your data will only be used for this competition and will be deleted once it has finished. Your details will not be shared with the public.

    Past Competitions

    You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

    iOS Course Featured Image

    iOS App Development Course

    If you want to learn a new skill, take up a hobby or even change your career, then perhaps learning mobile app development will interest you. We’ll soon be running a free iOS App Development Course open to all residents in Wixams which will be held weekly in the evening in Lakeview Village Hall.

    Topics

    App development is a huge subject so we’ll be covering all the topics needed to get you started and the know-how to take it further if you wish.

    Some of the topics we will cover:

    • Introduction to the Swift programming language
    • More programming techniques
    • Introduction to Xcode (the tool used for building iOS apps)
    • Building user interfaces
    • Downloading content from the internet and displaying it
    • Saving data
    • Using libraries to enrich your app
    • Debugging (finding & fixing bugs)
    • Introduction to Android development

    Dates and Times

    The dates and times of the course are yet to be confirmed but it’s likely each evening session will last 2 hours and will be held weekly for around 12 weeks.

    Entry Requirements

    To take part in this course you must be at least 14 years of age and have a Mac laptop you can bring to the course and use in your own time. Not everyone has a Mac but unfortunately this is a must for iOS development to run Xcode.

    Experience in programming is not essential but will be helpful. If you have no programming experience you might be asked to do some extra learning in your own time, we can recommend some videos which will help.

    How to Apply

    Please email us at community@wixams.org for more information and to reserve your place. Please let us know if you have programming experience and any related qualifications.

    Due to the social distancing restrictions in place in the village hall the course will likely be limited to 14 people so book early to avoid disappointment.

    Please note: The course will not start until Covid-19 restrictions allow it.

    Traffic Troubles Featured Image

    Traffic Troubles

    Since the B&M distribution centre opened at the end of 2019 Wixams has seen a sharp increase in traffic crossing over The Causeway which has caused significant disruption to residents who live nearby. The increase in vehicles mainly includes HGVs servicing B&M and other industrial units but also hundreds of cars entering and exiting Wixams on a daily basis during the B&M shift changes at 6am, 2pm and 10pm. Residents have reported to us and to Bedford Borough Council they’re being disturbed and even woken up in the night due to brake squealing, unsecured loads and loud engine and/or exhaust noise.

    Concerns have also been raised about the impacts this traffic will have elsewhere in Wixams. The HGVs often take a little while to access the A6 when it’s busy and this has at times led to a queue reaching all the way to Bedford Road near to the top of Brooklands Avenue as shown in the photo above. If this continues to get worse it’s very likely that drivers will start to find other routes out of Wixams which would mean Brooklands Avenue, Bedford Road, Green Lane and Southern Cross become favoured routes to the A6. This could result in even longer waiting times for traffic trying to access the A6!

    One resident took a lot of their time to monitor the current traffic levels and found that there was an average of 56 HGVs per hour between 5am and 10pm, with peaks of up to 78 per hour. The busiest times were found to be in the morning during rush hour and mid to late afternoon. This might not sound like a lot but the noise from all these lorries and cars has already led to some residents putting their homes on the market because the noise has already become unbearable.

    On this page:

    1. Pollution & Air Quality
    2. Road Surface Damage
    3. Safety at Fisherswood Road Crossing
    4. It’s Going to Get Much Worse
    5. Voices from the Community
    6. Link Road Proposal
    7. Green Lane Traffic Chaos
    8. HGV Parking at Wixams Retirement Village
    9. Wixams Parish Council Highways Proposal
    10. Pavement Parking Ban Consultation
    11. Borough Points of Contact

    Pollution & Air Quality

    We have heard multiple times that the air quality near to The Causeway is noticeably worse and has even led to genuine health issues for some. One resident recently shared a screenshot from their home air quality monitor which shows the air quality to be in the ‘abnormal’ to ‘very abnormal’ ranges for most of the day, only dropping to ‘normal’ between around midnight and 6am. These readings are from a domestic sensor so cannot be considered conclusive, but we have compared them to the measured traffic levels and there is a distinct correlation (view data).

    The pollution from heavy diesel vehicles such as Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, diesel particulates, tyre wear particulates and brake dust can be very damaging to your health. With so many lorries now travelling through Wixams, past residential areas and alongside busy pavements, and with the traffic levels due to increase significantly, we wrote to the Borough to request that additional air quality monitoring be installed in Wixams.

    The Mayor has confirmed that an extra Nitrogen Dioxide monitoring station has now been installed on the junction of The Causeway and Bedford Road near to the Wixams Retirement Village and the data from this will be used to determine if further monitoring equipment will be required.

    Road Surface Damage

    The increase in commercial traffic has led to major damage to the road surface on The Causeway, particularly at the junction with the A6 and the roundabout with Bedford Road. The main damage appeared in December 2019 and has been reported to the Borough multiple times yet has still not been properly resolved. A temporary repair was carried out earlier in the year but it was reported to us that the new repairs had failed within 2 days of being carried out.

    Cllr. Tim Hill (Borough Councillor for that part of Wixams) has confirmed that The Causeway along with the approaches to the two A6 roundabouts will be re-surfaced in February/March 2021.

    Safety at Fisherswood Road Crossing

    Lots of parents and WRV residents have reported concerns to us about the crossing point at the bottom of Fisherswood Road. The roundabout itself blocks the visibility of the traffic coming over The Causeway and pedestrians often have to hurry to cross over because of vehicles suddenly appearing. A resident whose property overlooks the roundabout has said they have witnessed multiple near accidents at that junction already including some involving small children. This crossing point has been built without a proper pedestrian crossing and even without signs to warn drivers of the risks, this seems like a significant oversight.

    A few residents have reported their concerns to the Borough and the Mayor has now confirmed that they’re looking into installing a pedestrian crossing at this junction.

    Update 5 March 21:

    Cllr Tim Hill has confirmed that Fisherswood Road has now been adopted by the Borough and they will look to install a crossing in due course.

    It’s Going to Get Much Worse

    The recent increase in traffic issues has been predominantly caused by the opening of the B&M unit. This facility is a major distribution centre for B&M and the only one in the south of England. B&M have plans to open another 45 stores by April 2021 and this will likely mean a further increase in traffic using this distribution centre in Wixams.

    There are other factors which will mean even more traffic will come to Wixams:

    • Over the coming months and years another twelve warehouses/units (including the G-Park development) will be built and operational in the north of Wixams. The HGVs for those units and a big proportion of the staff working there will all use The Causeway to access the A6.
    • Fisherswood Road/The Causeway is also one of only three routes onto the A6 from the west side of Wixams, including from the B530. Most of the traffic will likely use Southern Cross as this is the most direct route but some might also use Green Lane if other routes are too busy, this might exacerbate the existing parking and traffic issues there.
    • The Wixams railway station is also going to bring an increase in traffic to The Causeway and subsequently other parts of Wixams. It will be the closest station for thousands of people in Kempston, the south of Bedford as well as being much more accessible for nearby villages such as Elstow, Wilstead, Great Barford and beyond.
    • A large number of residents in Wixams have been furloughed or are working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Once they return to work the traffic levels will increase.
    • The residential areas of Wixams will not be finished for a few years yet but the new residents will of course bring more cars to our roads.

    Voices from the Community

    There are currently over 150 objections to the G-Park planning application, here are just some of the comments made by members of the public about the traffic issues in Wixams:

    Due to the issues above we believe it’s absolutely essential that a link road be put in place to service the commercial areas of Wixams and take the traffic away from residential areas, this includes the Wixams Retirement Village and planned care home on Bedford Road. One solution would be for the road leading to the Tarmac facility to be opened up to traffic and linked to Fisherswood Road. A second link road should then be added to take traffic across to Watson Road meaning all commercial traffic is routed away from The Causeway and Bedford Road.

    Cllr. Graeme Coombes has proposed this idea with the Borough and the Mayor has let us know an engineer has been tasked to review the options. To try and improve the issues for local residents the Mayor has proposed some other measures:

    • Traffic calming measures for Fisherswood Road
    • Low friction tarmac on The Causeway

    Unfortunately these proposals are not going to reduce the overall traffic levels or significantly reduce the noise or air pollution from the vehicles.

    The developers for the Northern Expansion Area (where B&M has now been built) already raised concerns in 2015 about the traffic impacts on residents of using The Causeway for commercial traffic:

    "The development proposes the use of the Old A6 for HGV access to the NEA site thereby avoiding the use of The Causeway by HGV’s and reducing any potentially negative impacts on the neighbouring residential areas as a result." (15/00466/EIA V61, para 2.1.1)

    Bedford Borough Council were warned that there would be traffic impacts from the B&M development yet no mitigations were put in place and they have continued to give planning consent for further warehouses. As the traffic is already causing major disruption to residents, congestion within our village, and with plans for another 12 warehouses to be opened here (view map), we're asking the Borough to take action and put a link road in place to fix the issues which they have failed to prevent.

    Green Lane Traffic Chaos

    Green Lane Traffic ChaosAs the only road servicing two of the schools in Wixams, Green Lane has seen more than its fair share of traffic issues. The road will eventually link up to the town centre of Wixams but since it was built over 10 years ago the road has been a dead end. This has meant that parents dropping their children off have been forced to turn around and return back down Green Lane which essentially doubles the traffic flow on the road at times.

    The main traffic pinch-point is caused by the bends in the road near to Eagle Mews and Harrier Leys. The cars parked along Green Lane blocks one of the lanes between the turnings for Ladybird Way and Nightingale Court and the bends on Green Lane make it much harder for motorists to see if something is coming, often this leads to cars having to reverse back down the road as well as queues reaching all the way back to Dove Lane.

    This issue was first reported over 2 years ago but so far the problem has not been resolved and the congestion is even worse this year. In February the Wixams Parish Council put forward a proposal to put yellow lines along part of Green Lane (see further down), however some residents have questioned whether this proposal will go far enough to properly fix the issue and may just lead to the parked cars being moved elsewhere on Green Lane.

    The traffic issues on Green Lane were discussed again at the September Wixams Parish Council meeting and Cllr. Graeme Coombes agreed to contact the Borough for an update.

    Update 13 October:

    We have now met with Cllr. Graeme Coombes and raised the issues around Green Lane with him. He had recently had a meeting with the heads of the two schools on Green Lane as well as a representative from the Borough and they're working on options to resolve the traffic issues. One measure they are looking to take is to encourage the students to walk or cycle to school instead of using the car. Short and long term solutions to the traffic issues are also being looked into, the more permanent fixes are likely to take 9-12 months to be put in place. There's still no news at to when the pathway linking to Village 4 will be open.

    Update 10 December:

    The Borough have now updated us with the following information:

    We have been working with the schools to understand how children are currently travelling and where they are coming from, with the objective of changing their modes of transport where this is possible. A council Travel Plan Officer is now working with the Primary School on a programme called Modeshift Stars to that end.

    The road itself is mostly un-adopted, and the introduction of lining or signing enforceable by Traffic Regulation Orders, or engineering interventions, is not something that the council can insist upon as it is still owned by the developers. However, we are speaking to the developers to see if they are interested in introducing any of these measures so on their own account, or in offering the road for adoption more quickly than is currently proposed.

    The pathway linking Village 4 to Green Lane has now been delayed and might be in place for Spring 2021.

    Update 20 March:

    Cllr. Coombes has informed us that Green Lane has now been adopted up to the open area before the schools. Work to find a solution to the congestion is ongoing.

    L&Q estates are now bringing forward the development of the Wixams Town Park and will now have to delay opening the temporary link pathway from Village 4.

    HGV Parking at Wixams Retirement Village

    WRV Bedford Road HGV ParkingA number of residents have reported HGVs parking on Bedford Road outside the WRV which often block the road and/or dropped curbs. There are quite a few residents at the WRV who use mobility scooters or walking aids so this is a real issue for them.

    These lorries are delivering to B&M and are not allowed to go on their site if they arrive early or stay once they have completed their deliveries but have exceeded their driver’s hours, meaning they are forced to find somewhere else to park.

    We have contacted the Transport Manager at B&M to raise this issue and proposed they park away from residential areas. He was very understanding and agreed to try and resolve this but has said they’re all 3rd party suppliers so it’s very difficult because there are hundreds of them.

    The issue has also been reported to the Borough and Cllr. Tim Hill has confirmed he will look into getting double yellow lines in place to cover the dropped curb areas and parking weight restrictions for the length of the road.

    Update 10 December:

    This issue was discussed at the November Wixams Parish Council meeting. The council, Cllr Coombes and Cllr Hill have all agreed the yellow lines and weight restrictions proposal above is the best outcome for residents and will work towards putting it in place.

    Wixams Parish Council Highways Proposal

    At the February 2020 meeting the Wixams Parish Council agreed a number of proposals to improve traffic and parking issues in Wixams:

    1. No parking on verge or footway sign for parts of Brooklands Avenue, Green Lane and Bedford Road.
    2. Bollards on the corner of Kingfisher Road and Brooklands Avenue.
    3. Pathway extension on Bedford Road linking to the bus stop.
    4. A pelican crossing on Green Lane.
    5. Bus shelters on Bedford Road outside the Wixams Retirement Village
    6. Yellow lines or bay parking and traffic calming (speed hump) where the road bends on Southern Cross
    7. Yellow lines on Brooklands Avenue between Bittern Lane and Knoll Gardens.
    8. No parking on footways signs along Brooklands Avenue between Piper lane, Wren Terrace and Little Owl Lane.
    9. Yellow lines along the bend of Green Lane (opposite Eagle Mews) up to the junction with Harrier Leys.
    10. "No verge parking" and "no kerb parking" roundels on the lamp columns along Bedford Road.
    11. Yellow lines on Bedford Road outside the Wixams Retirement Village.

    The full proposal can be found here. This document has been submitted to the Borough and a public consultation will take place in due course.

    Update 10 December:

    Due to roads not being adopted in Wixams and a lack of budget at Bedford Borough Council many of the options being proposed we rejected by the Highways department with suggestions made for alternatives. Cllr Coombes and the Parish Council have started work on reviewing the options available.

    Pavement Parking Ban Consultation

    This consultation is now closed.

    The Government have an open public consultation on banning parking on pavements and verges. They are proposing three options which they would like comments on:

    • Option 1: Continue the existing system whereby local authorities can already ban pavement parking in certain areas
    • Option 2: Give local authorities extra power to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’
    • Option 3: Ban pavement parking throughout England

    Parking in Wixams is a particular problem, especially in Lakeview (Village 1) where the developers deliberately reduced the available parking spaces in order to encourage residents to walk, cycle or use public transport.

    It’s clear that pavement parking can cause an obstruction to pedestrians, however there may be alternative options to resolve this in Wixams. For example, some of the pavements along Brooklands Avenue are up to 4.5 metres wide, these could be reduced and dedicated new parking spaces be created for residents.

    If pavement parking were blanket banned it would likely lead to chaos in Wixams the very next day. We therefore recommend you respond to the public consultation before the deadline on 22nd November.

    www.gov.uk/government/consultations/managing-pavement-parking/pavement-parking-options-for-change

    Borough Points of Contact

    If traffic issues in Wixams are negatively impacting your wellbeing or you have concerns about any of the issues raised on this page, please consider contacting any of the following to express your views:

    Or write to them: Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street Bedford MK42 9AP.

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    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 team 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. Please note that the volunteer may not be able to purchase your shopping from your preferred supermarket.

    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 if this isn’t possible.

    Registering for Priority Home Deliveries or Click & Collect

    In recent weeks the big supermarkets have added more priority slots for home deliveries and Click & Collect. Instructions are below to get started with registering for online shopping but if you need extra help we may be able to assist with this, please email us at shoppingclub@wixams.org

    Tesco

    Dedicated shopping hours at Cardington Road in store for the elderly and vulnerable customers every Tuesday 0900-100 and Sunday 1000-1100.

    To register for on line shops do so via this link: secure.tesco.com/account/en-GB/register

    Once you have registered, if you are vulnerable and have either no available help, a disability, unable to drive or are shielding then ring 0800 9177359 to register for Home Delivery priority slots.

    Sainsbury’s

    Dedicated shopping hours in store for the elderly and vulnerable every Monday, Wednesday & Friday 0800-0900.

    To register for on line shops do so via this link: www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/LogonView/Identifier

    If you are in the vulnerable category and have already received a NHS letter confirming this you can ring Sainsbury’s on 0800 028 8327 to register for priority slots. If you have yet to register you can self-register via the Government website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

    Waitrose

    Every day the first hour in store is for the elderly and vulnerable only.

    To register for on line shopping for Home Delivery or Click & Collect do so via this link (minimum shop is £60 for Home Delivery and £40 for Click & Collect): www.waitrose.com/ecom/serviceselection?wrint=1-GLP-bookslot

    Once you have registered, if you are vulnerable and at home shielding then please ring Customer Services on 0800 188884 to register for priority slots.

    Morrisons

    We haven’t been very successful in navigating Morrison’s on line grocery shopping, but they are offering home delivery of either Vegetarian or Meat food boxes for £35 each and Family Meat boxes for £45 via this link:  www.morrisons.com/food-boxes/boxes

    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