In line with Government advice and to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, there are changes to some of our services, facilities and events.
Customer Service Centre
If you need to contact Customer Services please stay at home and use:
The Customer Service Centre (CSC) is open on a strict triage/intercom basis.
If you must visit the Customer Service Centre, please ring the intercom and we will ask you the purpose of your visit. You will be granted access if your enquiry cannot be dealt with via a different method – such as by phone, email or online.
There is computer access for residents at our Customer Services Centre on Horne Lane, Bedford but please only visit us in person if you really can’t access a computer from your home. Strict social distancing measures are in place at the Customer Services Centre.
The Jobs Hub
The Jobs Hub is still open and available to help people through pre-booked appointments. If you would like to find employment, training or apprenticeship opportunities, please contact The Jobs Hub.
If you are finding it hard to pay your Council Tax please go to our dedicated Council Tax – advice for residents page.
If you do not have access to a computer and need to make an urgent benefit claim, please call us on 01234 267422.
You can find Council Tax support and housing benefit information on our website or for all other benefits including Universal Credit go to the Department of Work and Pensions website.
There are a number of changes to our Planning Service during the Coronavirus outbreak including how to contact us, electronic submissions, commenting on planning applications, archaeological fieldwork and the Planning Committee.
Family information service - childcare
Early years settings are open to all children.
If you are looking for childcare we can signpost you to available options, including different types of childcare such as nurseries, preschools and childminders. Please visit Local Offer or contact the Family Information Service directly on 0800 023 2057.
Bedford Borough libraries
Bedford Borough libraries are offering Select and Collect from Bedford Central and Kempston libraries. Using our Select and Collect service, you can order a selection of books based on your preferences online or by phone, for collection at the entrances of Bedford Central and Kempston libraries.
Visit the Virtual Library website for more information about how the service works. You can also phone the Select and Collect Line on 01234 718178 (open Monday to Saturday between 11am and 4pm).
Bedford Corn Exchange
The Bedford Corn Exchange is closed until further notice. Where performances are rescheduled for a later date, tickets already purchased will be valid for the new date, or refunds will be issued for customers unable to attend the rescheduled date. For any cancelled performances, customers will be issued with a refund.
The Higgins Bedford
The Higgins Bedford is closed until further notice.
While it is closed please visit the website and social media channels, or subscribe to the newsletter, for the latest updates and to access online activities and information about collections and exhibitions.
Bedfordshire Archives Service
The Bedfordshire Archives Service is closed until further notice. In the meantime our website and online catalogue contain a wealth of information about our collections. We will do our best to answer online enquiries but without access to our collections we cannot guarantee that a full response will be possible at this time.
Sports and volunteer activities
Sports sessions run by Sports Development have been suspended. Instead, we have a range of live online fitness classes for you to keep moving and promote wellbeing at home. Go to Bedford Sport Live for the full timetable of free classes.
Litter picks including Rivercare and the Great British Spring Clean organised by Keep Britain Tidy have been postponed.
Fusion Lifestyle leisure services
Please visit Fusion Lifestyle for further information.
Council car parks
All our multi-storey carparks (except for Lurke Street and Queen Street) are closed. Parking is available at surface car parks including Riverside Car Park, St Mary's, Duckmill Lane, Ashburnham Road, Prebend Street and Melbourne Street, and on-street parking will be available as always.
Births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and citizenship ceremonies
New government measures have imposed restrictions on weddings and civil partnerships. Funerals can be attended by close family and friends only. See more information on how this affects the following:
- Deaths, still births and funerals
- Registering a birth and copies of birth certificates
- Marriages and civil partnerships
Citizenship ceremonies should normally be booked within three months of the invitation sent from the Home Office. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this period has been extended to six months. No adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Bedford Markets are running a reduced service to make essential goods available for local residents who need them. Safety precautions are in place for traders and customers; please adhere to the two-metre social distancing rule at all times.
The Markets open at 8am, however, hours of operation may be subject to change:
- St Paul’s Square on Wednesday and Saturday. Only fresh produce and essential household items. Traders attending the market will be shared on the day via the Markets' Facebook and Twitter channels.
- Kempston at the Saxon Centre on Thursday. A very limited service will be available.
Early morning travel for bus pass holders
We have arranged with bus companies to give concessionary bus pass holders free travel during peak time (this would normally be £1 to travel before 9.30am).
We are working hard to keep waste collection services running. Find out more about:
- appointment only system for HWRC (the tidy tip)
- changes to bulky waste collections
- how to store your rubbish if you are self-isolating with confirmed or suspected Covid-19
- any changes to collections due to the severe weather
Household Waste Recycling Centre (Barkers Lane ‘tidy tip’)
There are major changes to how the HWRC operates - including a mandatory appointment system for all. Read about what you need to do before you visit on our HWRC page.
We have put in place a number of safety measures for people attending our buildings, to ensure that as an organisation, we continue to follow the national guidance on social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19.
All our play areas are open. Please familiarise yourself with the new play area rules before visiting.
Community centres remain closed except for essential sessions.
We are working closely with the management committees to re-open the community centres in line with the latest government advice and ensuring they have a comprehensive risk assessment and confirm the venue is safe to open to the public. You can read guidance for multi-use facilities such as community centres here.
Day centres have partially re-opened for a very small number of people who have a priority need due to having no formal care in place. All other placements remain suspended.
We will continue to provide as much support as possible to people who previously benefited from these service. If you wish to discuss your support needs, please contact Kempston Centre on 01234 718326, Gadsby Street on 01234 718030 or Goldington Centre on 01234 228866.
For any other social care advice and information you may need please call 01234 267422.
Day centre adult transport
Because day centres are now closed, our adult transport service for day centres is therefore not running. If you need help in relation to this, email firstname.lastname@example.org or in an emergency call 01234 228443.
There are changes to bus services in the borough. Passengers are advised to go the bus operator’s website before they travel. There is more information about bus timetables here.
We will also continue to update our public transport page.
Live bus departure information can be found on our RTPI information page.
The Park & Ride building is closed until further notice. The site will remain open during operational hours and the number 2 service will continue to run.
The Bedford River Festival
The Bedford River Festival will return on 23 and 24 July 2022. More information about the entertainment will be released via the River Festival website.
We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for their understanding and support. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
The Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival
The Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival has been postponed until 2022. We will keep traders, exhibitors, local residents and businesses informed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.