Standing Up For Ampthill

Councillor Mark Smith for Ampthill 

 As your Central Beds Councillor & Ampthill Town Councillor, I will work tirelessly to tackle local issues and stand up for what matters. Namely saying:

  • Yes to guarding against the overdevelopment of our town
  • Yes to greater & fairer funding for Ampthill Great Park
  • Yes to Independent Scrutiny of Central Beds Council
  • Yes to better infrastructure for our town
  • Yes to helping you and our neighbours
  • Yes to helping local businesses thrive
  • Yes to being kept informed
  • Yes to being independent

 

Local Issues & Solutions 

  • Guarding against overdevelopment - Central Bedfordshire Council does not have an adopted Local Plan, which has left communities, like Ampthill, fighting a rear-guard action against speculative planning applications from developers.


 You can learn more about Central Beds Council's unadopted Local Plan at: 


  • Fairer Funding for Ampthill Great Park - you would have thought with the recent developments in Ampthill that some of the associated planning gain monies would have been designated by Central Beds Council for Ampthill Great Park. Well, you would be wrong in that assumption. Thus the upkeep of the Park falls primarily on the ratepayers of Ampthill. Hence one of the highest council tax bills in the area.
  • Better infrastructure for Ampthill - Over the years Central Beds Council has overseen the sale of their assets in town (e.g. The Limes - Old District Council offices, Russell House and now Houghton Close - Ampthill Day Centre and CBC Social Services offices) with little or no benefit for residents in terms of infrastructure. In addition, their mishandling of the St. Andrew's Place Planning Application, robbed the town of the much-needed 100-space car park. 


You can find more information about the the future use of the Houghton Lodge Site, Ampthill as Central Beds Council are planning to develop a scheme of dwellings for older people on the land indicated in the plan below:

 

There has been no consultation by Central Beds Council on the the future of the site currently occupied by the Ampthill Day Centre and the Social Services offices of Central Beds Council. They did consult on the the closure of the Day Centre, but this was skewed to give the council the answer they were looking for! More information at: 


These are a few examples of CBC riding roughshod over the aspirations of Ampthill residents, so in light of the above I'm advocating Ampthill develops a Neighbourhood Plan.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? In very simple terms, this is: 

  • A document that would set out the planning policies for our town - planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications.

  • Written by the local community, the people who know and love our town, rather than the Local Planning Authority, namely Central Beds Council.

  • A powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place and determines what associated infrastructure should be provided. 

This has to be a largely community-led initiative, so are you up for the challenge? I certainly am, for the benefit of our wonderful community and so we can be the masters of our own destiny as a town in the future.


 Neighbourhood Plans - more details: 



The MarkSmith.org.uk Website is promoted by Mark Smith, 6 Sidney Road, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2RJ