For local government purposes, Bedfordshire is divided into three unitary authorities: the boroughs of Bedford and Luton, and the District of Central Bedfordshire.Bedfordshire County Council was abolished on 1 April 2009, although the three districts continue to form a county for ceremonial functions such as lieutenancy and High Sheriff.Policing, fire and rescue services continue to be provided on a county-wide basis, with Bedfordshire Police governed by the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service governed members of the three councils.
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The southern end of the county is on the chalk ridge known as the Chiltern Hills.
The remainder is part of the broad drainage basin of the River Great Ouse and its tributaries.
The River Great Ouse links Bedfordshire to the Fenland waterways.
As of 2004 there are plans by the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust to construct a canal linking the Great Ouse at Bedford to the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, 14 miles (23 km) distant.
October is the wettest month with 62.5 millimetres (2.46 in), February the driest with 36.7 millimetres (1.44 in).
While there is little difference from month to month there are more wet days in autumn and winter but often heavier individual falls in spring and summer, of note were the 1998 Easter floods.
Bedfordshire is bordered by Cambridgeshire to the east and northeast, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the southeast and south.
It is the fourteenth most densely populated county of England, with over half the population of the county living in the two largest built-up areas: Luton (258,018), The first recorded use of the name in 1011 was "Bedanfordscir," meaning the shire or county of Bedford, which itself means "Beda's ford" (river crossing).
; abbreviated Beds) is a county in the East of England.
It is a ceremonial county and a historic county, covered by three unitary authorities: Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton.
The state education system for all of Bedfordshire used to be organised by Bedfordshire County Council.