We do so much more that just fixing roads and collecting bins says Cllr James Jamieson, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council

Cllr James Jamieson
Cllr James Jamieson

I’m only too aware that when people hear about the work that Central Bedfordshire Council does, some will think first about services like fixing the roads and collecting their bins – but the reality is that there’s so much more that we do.

Did you know that we provide more than 600 services? And like so much in life, when someone goes the extra mile it really makes a difference. But often these things get overlooked.

So, we thought we would share some of these stories with you. Some of you on social media may already have seen them.

The #CBCMakingADifference campaign highlights the instances where our residents and service users have told us how we are doing just that.

There’s the story of Pat who had to go into one of our care homes and had to put her dog Benji into kennels.

She hadn’t seen him for three months but then two of our carers adopted Benji and now Pat gets daily updates and he comes to visit her regularly.

Or, newlywed couple Mr and Mrs Field, who said: “I would like to say thanks to everyone involved in helping to make our wedding day at The Limes so special.”

We conduct more than 700 weddings each year and it’s one example of the fabulous feedback we receive.

Another resident, Jeffrey, told us how his daughter, spending just two days a week at Silsoe Horticultural Centre, has seen her blossom, “made her more confident” and given him “peace of mind”.

The centre gives adults with learning disabilities the chance to weed, plant, water and harvest produce which are made into jams, chutneys, cakes or hanging baskets.

These are then sold in the café there, by the people who have grown them.

We’ve also supported 1,489 people to stop smoking over the last year and Lisa was one of those that thanked us.

She said: “I started smoking at 15 but before long I was addicted.

“I’m so impressed the Stop Smoking Service… [they give] tremendous support, understanding and no judgement.

“Now I love the fact that I’m spending quality time with my family instead of sitting outside chain smoking.”

So, while we still deal with roads, bins, budgets, reports, facts and figures, it is also these stories, and the many like them that we will continue to tell, which drive us on to keep delivering better services and improved outcomes that really make a difference for our residents.