Jan Cooper
Comunity Worker

 If you would like to have a conversation then please get in touch.

 Thanks, Jan

Email: jancooperhoughtonregis@gmail.com

Phone: 07718220414

Created and designed by Jan Cooper with Wix.com

500 Terry A Francois Blvd San Francisco, CA 94158 

Promoted by Jan Cooper 

                                        The Clanger Community Paper Office

                                        The Houghton Regis Library Complex

                                                  Bedford Square, LU5 5ES

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Election News

arkside election results - 2019


Votes cast 

Janet Helen Cooper 

Alan Gerard Corkhill 
Conservative Party Candidate 

Ray Ross Morgan 
Liberal Democrat 

Gillian Kathryn Patrick 
Green Party 

Antonia Petra Ryan 
Labour Party 
251 Elected 

Angela White 
UK Independence Party (UKIP) 

Rejected papers

Rejected papers

The number of ballot papers rejected was as follows: 
Number of ballot papers 

A - want an official mark 

B - voting for more Candidates than voter was entitled to 

C - writing or mark which voter could be identified 

D - being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty 

E - rejected in part 


Additional information

Additional information for the Parkside Ward 

Vacant seats1 


Ballot papers issued892 




Thank you.

I can honestly say that i have been sorely tested standing for election. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.


The tests have appeared in many ways; the surprise of who was standing when the candidates were announced nearly a month ago, Dean challenging me in the shop on my policies, the Dunstable Gazette splashing me all over the front page without even speaking to me. And of course, the conversations and chats around town, some more challenging than others, hahahaha.


I have taken the opportunity to be tested and, I’m happy, i have come up o.k.


Many of the kids are going through being tested at school, whether it be for SATS or GCSE's. I get the nerves the kids are feeling. I get how difficult it is for the parents to see their child trying their best and worried about the outcome. ( MY mum felt the same when I told her I was standing for election. “Oh, Janet, its not a good time, politics is in such a mess” )


I was very nervous when i decided to stand for election. Kids and parents will be nervous when the exams come around. It has worked out better than I thought it would, be a good, clean fight from all sides. All candidates have made a couple of boo boos but, I tell you, it’s tough to be on your A game for a whole month.


So, good luck tomorrow to all the candidates standing and good luck to the families going through tests now. I’m glad I had to work hard to be tested, I hope the kids are glad they studied hard and so


Once again, Thank you Houghton Regis, Thank you Parkside, you’re the best.





SATURDAY 27th April



I'm not counting my chickens before they are hatched. Just doing a bit of planning. I was taught the 5 P's P..S Poor Planning Prevents Performance so i changed this to the 4 p's of Planning Promotes Productive Performance.


I'm planning and i'm ready to be productive.


Bedside reading https://www.local.gov.uk/guidance-new-councillors-201920

Thanks to everyone who has helped and supported the campaign so far. 



SATURDAY 20th April


My election news is to say sorry.

My google calendar tells me that there are 12 days 1hour and 9 minutes to go before the polling stations close. I’m sure for many people that 12 days can’t come quick enough.  And that may also be true for the voters, for the residents and for many of the candidates and the people supporting the candidates, as well.

Just at the min, a lot of people’s lives are being disrupted, whether it be unwanted knocking on doors, being stopped in the street, local social media dominated by electioneering, spouses having exhausted spouses from campaigning, kids not seeing parents, friends wondering if and when they are going to be able to have an ordinary catch up.

And for all those who have this disruption, I say I am sorry. My daughter says saying sorry means that you won’t do it again. My sorry is sorry for being such a nuisance and i will be carrying on for the next 12 days.

The thing is the disruption is because the campaigning matters. The disruption is because, I believe, the election matters. 


Once every four years there is a chance for change, a chance for a fresh start if needed or a chance to build on the successes of the past four years. Like The Olympics or The World Cup, it is something that only comes round once in a while.


And the thing is, we cant do it without you. You are the most important part of the process.


Only one more weekend and then the door knocking will stop making the dog bark, the leaflets will all have been posted and we all be saying I haven’t seen a politician since the last election.

Please bear with us. 12 days and 53 minutes and we will be done for another four years.






I have been out and about chatting to people in the Parkside area ( Not unannounced i might add, always with a calling card in advance) and the question i'm asked the most is along these lines, "What have you done in Houghton, then ? "so i thought i would write a list of the work i've been involved with for the last 20 years.  The list is long because 20 years is quite a while. And only achieved by working with others, volunteers, council workers, experts, teachers and motivators.


I encourage all candidates to list their achievements or accomplishments, whether they are town based or not.  The people voting will have a better idea of the candidates and what they might achieve for the town. Whether it be having been a sounding board, going about their daily business whilst helping others, being out and about, taught our children for many years, ensured the bank was in place, welcomed people in their home, attended events, tackled global poverty, supported individuals with housing problems, raised a family, helped with mental health, coached a football team. We could get a picture of how much is being contributed to make Houghton Regis, Community.

RESUME 1999-2019

2019 Launch SafeLand and support the 17 groups dotted around the town.

          Stand for election for Parkside Central Bedfordshire Council

2018  Become a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and Culture

          Organise Neighbourhood Watch for Houghton Regis “Eyes and Ears”

          Edit monthly copies of The Clanger Houghton Regis

          Admin at FB Houghton Regis Whats Occurring

          Contribute to Houghton Regis Neighbourhood plan

          Write draft proposal for development of shop next to Nisa store Neptune Square Parkside

          Available for advice, guidance, chat

2017  Complete Masters degree in Community work

          Set up The Clanger Community Paper office in the concourse by The Library

          Edit monthly copies of The Clanger

          Admin at FB Whats Occurring

          Contribute to Neighbourhood plan

          Available for advice, guidance, chat

          Settle legal challenge with Houghton Regis Town Council

2016  Write a monthly community paper free to the community The Clanger

          Admin at Whats Occurring 

          Ongoing legal challenge

2015  Launch The Houghton Regis Clanger, free paper to the community, paid for by local business


          Admin on Whats Occurring

          Begin legal challenge against Houghton Regis Town Council

2014 Two years work produces a successful grant of 2.1 million for Houghton Hall Park

2013 Two years work produces success in CBC re-opening swimming pool in Parkside

2012 12 months work to set up Houghton Regis Heritage Society

2011 12 months work to set up Houghton Regis Helpers

2011 Formed not for profit community development company What About Youth Ltd.

2011 Youth Service cut by CBC due to austerity. Job lost. Redundant.

2010 Organised 130 volunteers and 500+ young people from Houghton Regis on

           Government funded national project Youth At Risk

2009 Youth Worker for Central Bedfordshire Council

2002 Apprentice for Central Bedfordshire Council Youth Service

1999 Working in business



"SUNDAY 14th April





Last week I wrote to almost all the candidates due to take part in the elections for Central Bedfordshire Council standing in Houghton Regis, and pointed out that I was hoping for a response by the evening of 11th April. In all, there are 19 candidates. The messages were sent via email or Messenger. Total responses received 2.

Although the response is dismal, there are mitigating circumstances:

1. I didn't have a contact point directly for 3 candidates, but I did ask that their 'party' colleagues would pass the message onto them.

2. At this time, the candidates may also be very busy leafleting, canvassing, working full or part-time or even running a busy household. And they would have to consider the value of responding to my request versus their valuable time. In the future, if elected, they would have a chunky pile of Council papers to read, and meetings to attend, sometimes going on all day long. They will have considered that they will probably need to devote at least 2 days a week to the role, as well as having to cope with everything else.

3. As a news blog item, our readership varies from a few dozen to several hundred, depending very much on the nature of the news. Having an included item on this blog would have given the readers, many of whom will be voters, a chance to find out more about them.

4. They might be just paper candidates, not really interested, or understanding what they have let themselves in for, and just waving the party flag.

Nevertheless, the responsiveness is still a useful indicator to how responsive they might be in the future, when perhaps there is something going off in Houghton Regis that councillor feedback might be useful for in terms of reporting back to residents via Houghton Regis News Desk, getting a quotation, or support for any initiative. Or perhaps if a local resident writes to HRND, as they do from time to time, requesting help on a public matter.

In terms of other responsiveness, it might also be useful to point out that, ordinarily, I do get quite good and rapid responses via emails or Messenger from current councillors now standing for CBC over matters to do with a Council. That includes but is not limited to, David Abbott, Susan Goodchild, Martin Kennedy, and Tracey McMahon. I have also had a small amount of correspondence with  Jimmy Carroll, John Kane, Toni Ryan and Ken Wattingham, too small to give a responsiveness rating for.

Of the new candidates, I have also enjoyed banter with Pat Hamill, usually agreeing to disagree over Brexit.

Clearly, if I am to continue with the HRND project, my readers will need to know which CBC candidates are likely to be more helpful in public matters. As a reader you may also be aware that Councillors often get involved in issues of a private nature that cannot be discussed publicly.

Personally, I do hope that rapport can be gained quickly or re-established with whoever it is who gets to represent Houghton Regis on the Central Bedfordshire Council so that matters of public concern can be aired and resolved. Some will wonder why I did not stand for election myself. Please accept that there are “family reasons” why I did not stand.

My email/messenger read as follows:-

“I am writing to congratulate you on your nomination to Central Bedfordshire Council Wards within Houghton Regis.

I would like to do an article with some quotes from each candidate, if possible. The article would be published on Houghton Regis News Desk.

Some suggestions for questions people might want answered are below. A short pithy answer might be more appropriate for the readership.
If you can manage to do this by the evening of 11th April, that would be fantastic.”

I then listed a few questions. The questions were not guided by any candidate, they were completely off the top of my head and presented in a random order. 

I hope to follow up with another round of questions for you all about a 10 days before the elections.


Alan Corkhill's Response

First off the mark to respond was candidate Alan Corkhill, standing in Parkside. Mr Corkhill chose to send this statement,

“I have longstanding connections with Houghton Regis and believe I will bring fresh ideas to CBC if elected. I am a committed Rotarian, with strong ethics. I want to see improved services in Houghton Regis for all ages within the community. That means education, social services, amenities, and any local issues such as anti-social behaviour being high on my list of concerns. I believe working together with all community groups, understanding issues and attempting to deliver better communication can only improve Houghton Regis. I look forward to the challenge and am always available. My contact details are freely available and my Facebook page is easily found.”


 Jan Cooper's Responses

(Questions I posed to all candidates are in bold):

Do you have a Facebook?

Where is the best place people will be able to contact you if elected?
The Clanger Office
Houghton Regis Library Complex
Bedford Square, LU5 5ES

Why are you standing for Central Bedfordshire Council?
Because there is a significant lack of attention being given to the lives of Houghton Regis residents by Central Bedfordshire Council

Is tackling anti-social behaviour high on your list of priorities?
Was, is and always will be. See Eyes and Ears group and Safeland. Both pieces of work to tackle anti-social behaviour, set up by me, for the town.

Do you think the government is asking too much of Central Bedfordshire in its housing targets?
County wide No. Houghton Regis Yes. Have CBC allocated 75% of the county wide target to Houghton Regis ? I think that is correct.

Are you looking forward to touring planning sites if you sit on the Development Management Committee?
That is not my area of interest. I will be looking to sit on Childrens Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Sustainable Communities Committee

How important to you are Children's Services?
My skill base is within this field having worked for CBC as a qualified youth worker for 10 years. I know the field, i know the challenges facing families, i know i can represent the needs and wants of Houghton Regis residents.

Should CBC increase bus and cycling subsidies?
If we want to have the cars away from schools, Yes. I was at Hawthorn school last week and saw the cycling proficiency lessons being run. How great is that :)

What do you see as CBC's biggest challenges in the next 4 years?
1) Hopefully having a bunch of Independent councillors to have to work with who are committed to their local community and not to a national agenda that they are unable to influence.
2) Dealing with the difficulties facing The Academy
3) Improving outcomes for Hawthorn Primary
4) Finding the money that is needed to invest in the estates of Chelsea and Bromley Gardens, Westminster and Hammersmith Gardens.
5) Resolving the development of the Kingsland site.
6) Building a new Leisure Centre in Houghton Regis, as promised in 2016.
7) Bringing the playgrounds up to scratch and unlocking the gates so the children are not climbing over the fences.
8) Introducing traveller stop over sites.
9) Reviewing the lighting in the alleyways around the estate.
10) Developing a strategic response to parking that is functional and effective; one that prevents parking all over the verges and blocking thoroughfares.


A Local UKIP Statement (received 13-04-2019)

All our candidates are Houghton Regis Residents. We are standing because there has been and still is a lack of a voice for our Town.  Many residents were saying that nothing gets done with regards to illegal encampments, off road Motorbike nuisances that plague our Town.  We will press for all of that to change. Houghton’s Voice will be heard. Why should we pay twice for policing yet the Town Council are contributing to more policing hours with our money.  We take the view that if our officers are available when offered extra payment, those same officers should already be made available as of our right. Our one message to the residents of Houghton Regis.  If you don’t vote for change all will remain the same.  Our UKIP candidates offer that change.

Other Candidates Standing

Here is a list of all of the candidates standing in Houghton Regis for Central Bedfordshire:

Houghton Hall Ward (2 seats)
Joe Angell, UK Independence
Alex Butler, Labour,
Jimmy Carroll, Independent
Yvonne Farrell, Liberal Democrat
Susan Goodchild, Liberal Democrat
John Kane, Conservative
Ian Purvis, Labour

Parkside Ward (1 seat)
Jan Cooper, Independent
Alan Corkhill, Conservative
Ray Morgan, Liberal Democrat
Gillian Patrick, Green
Toni Ryan, Labour
Angela White, UK Independence

Tithe Farm Ward (1 seat)
David Abbott, Conservative
Catherine Aganoglu, Green
Pat Hamill, UK Independence
Martin Kennedy, Labour
Tracey McMahon, Independent
Ken Wattingham, Liberal Democrat


Further information

The Labour candidates did not respond. They do have a local website at dunstableandhoughtonregislabour.org.uk/

The Liberal Democrat candidates did not respond. They have a national website at https://www.libdems.org.uk/

The Green Party candidates did not respond. Their local website: https://lutonandbeds.greenparty.org.uk/local-elections.html#Central

Tracey McMahon has a Facebook Page

David Abbott is currently suspended from Conservative Party pending an investigation, therefore cannot campaign or comment as a Conservative. He has a Facebook Page

Jimmy Carroll has a Facebook Page

To the best of my knowledge all of the candidates have Facebook Pages, but where they are members of a party, please refer to the party pages.

Alan Corkhill comments: Promoted by Sue Howat on behalf of Alan Corkhill of SWBCA, Wentworth House, 83 High Street North, Dunstable, Beds, LU6 1JJ
Jan Cooper comments: Promoted by Jan Cooper, The Clanger Office, Houghton Regis Library Complex, Bedford Square, LU5 5ES
UKIP statement: Published and promoted by Pat Hamill on behalf of Joe Angell and Angela White, 1 Park Avenue, Houghton Regis, Beds. LU55EA
Houghton Regis News Desk, published by Alan Winter


Wednesday 10th April



Live Chat-i'm in italics


leaflet looks good.....

whoever put it together did a good job

that'd be me, lol


thanks for your feedback. It was literally blood, sweat and a lot of tears, hahaha

i would like to say youre welcome but not going to bother xx

oh dear, never mind....not a supporter then

right going to make a start on the new one ....byeeeeeeee

C ya

Saturday 6th April


A work in progress that needs a few tweaks but is certainly worth a look if you are interested in the independents approach.

Great fun out leaflet delivering today. Comments included "Good Luck", "I haven't decided yet" and "Bloomin hell, that's a lot of leaflets you got there "

Please let me know if you are happy to put leaflets through your neighbours doors and i can bring some over. All help greatly received.


Friday 5th April


If you are away or aren't able to get to the polling station on 2nd May you can still vote if you apply for a postal vote.

If you need a postal vote please apply now .....closing date is the 12th April.... http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council/elections/voting/postal.aspx


Wednesday 3rd April


The candidates have all submitted their nomination papers; on the whole ,all have been checked and most have been approved. 

I'm pleased to say that there is plenty of choice available for voters.

Sitting councillors hoping to be reelected, new blood with no experience and old hands coming back for a second or third try.

I hope for a constructive, positive campaign that can really unpack some of the issues facing the town and what can be done.

Please get to know your candidates as I really believe the vote this year could make a difference to the next four years for the town, Jan