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Buckinghamshire County Council News - Aylesbury

Welcome to the November/ December edition of Buckinghamshire County Council's newsletter for this area, where your County Councillors are Andy Huxley (Aylesbury North West division), Raj Khan (Aylesbury North), Phil Gomm (Aylesbury East), Brian Roberts (Aylesbury South East), Brian Adams (Aylesbury South West) and Steven Lambert (Aylesbury West).
Please email Adam King at with upcoming events you’d like included. The next edition will be out in January.

Council leader Martin Tett officially opens the new spa
Council refurb leads to new spa under historic Old County Hall

A new spa has opened under the historic Old County Hall in Market Square, Aylesbury, after the site was refurbished by Buckinghamshire County Council.

The Archway Beauty Clinic & Salon will be accessed under The Arches and is located in what has variously been used as a Georgian jail, Victorian court offices and storage facility for classified documents during the Second World War.

The County Council will earn a rental income from the spa, which will employ six staff.

It was refurbished as part of a programme of works by the Council to generate income from Old County Hall, which it owns. Other parts of the building have been transformed into business offices and exhibition and meeting space.

The cellars were originally part of a private residence belonging to a William Benson, who rented them to local constables to hold their prisoners. In 1723 the land was sold and the famous landmark that still stands today was constructed. At this point the space was used by court clerks, while more latterly the rooms have been used as storage and were in a bad state of repair.

Owner Ben Moult, 36, a former Grange School pupil, said: “It’s such a quirky, interesting venue - that’s what has drawn me to it. It’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Aylesbury North East division: Update from Councillor Andy Huxley

A lot of work has gone on in respect to the repair of roads on Gatehouse including Quarrendon and Haydon Hill.

I feel that it is now time to turn our attention to the footways. I am asking for help to identify local footways that in need of repair so that we can get them in next year's programme.

I am also looking for any small projects that might need funding in the area. I still have money left for them out of my Community Leader's Fund.

Please contact me -
01296 483659
07711 837938
Aylesbury South East division. Update from Councillor Brian Roberts

The parking plan for Turnfurlong seems to be working.

This has brought the safety required for the students of the High School and Grammar School following a number of injuries over a number of years.

Several residents have commented on the better traffic flows. The bus companies have complimented the scheme allowing the unhindered movement of their vehicles, and of course the pollution levels have dropped.

We are aware of the problem with displacement parking in other areas adjacent to Turnfurlong, but to reassure residents, we are monitoring the situation and will consult accordingly.

Leader opposes precept capping for town and parish councils

Government proposals forcing town and parish councils to hold costly referendums over increases in tax have been opposed by Buckinghamshire County Council.

Currently only principal authorities such as district and county councils must hold a referendum if they want to raise tax by more than two per cent.

However, the government held a consultation on introducing the same rules for town and parish councils with budgets of more than £500,000, and also that 'consideration is given' to extending the policy to all local councils.

In his consultation response, County Council leader Martin Tett said that it would be particularly unfair to extend the two per cent cap to smaller parish councils with very low budgets.

He  said: "This is absolutely not a blank cheque for parish or town  councils to make big council tax increases. It does however recognise that they carry out vital work in their local communities, at very little cost to the taxpayer.

"A key principle of localism should be that local people determine what needs to be spent and have to justify that to their own communities. If they judge local needs correctly then the community will support them. If they get it wrong then they can be thrown out of office at the next election.

"There is no need for costly referenda which can often cost local people more than the value of the proposed increase."

Baroness Scott explains why a new, single council for Buckinghamshire residents is best
Want more information on business case for single council?

We've put together a dedicated website, which explains in plain English our plans to improve local services and save taxpayers millions of pounds.

The website outlines proposals to scrap Buckinghamshire County Council and the four district councils and replace them with one, entirely new county-wide council.

This would save more than £18m a year.

It would also be much simpler for people to access all council services using one website and telephone number, create better, more joined-up services and empower residents in their local communities.

The website includes a full resource for town and parish councillors and other interested parties, outlining in detail how our plans, which have been submitted to the government, would affect them.

The video above shows Baroness Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, explaining the impact unitary has had in Wiltshire. The microsite contains case studies from both Durham and Wiltshire.

Conference for town and parish councils over unitary plans

A conference for town and parish councils has been organised by Buckinghamshire County Council to explore in detail the future of local government in the county.

The event, called Working Together For Buckinghamshire, takes place in Aylesbury on December 12.

It will include workshops for town and parish councillors to hear from other councils whose areas have gone through a reorganisation of local government as well as to discuss aspects of the County Council’s business case to abolish the five county and district councils and replace them with a new, single unitary council.

The conference will be addressed by Ken Browse, Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, while County Council leader Martin Tett and Chief Executive Rachael Shimmin will also speak.

The event is completely free to attend and will run from 2.30pm to 7pm, with registration from 2pm, at the Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury HP20 1UG. 

Parish and town councils can register for the event here:

If you experience any problems registering on line, please contact Margret Haggerty either by emailing or calling 01296 387112.

For more information see

Help us plan budget priorities for next year

People across Buckinghamshire are being asked to help the County Council make important spending decisions about next year’s budget.

The online consultation, which runs until Sunday 8 January, aims to get local people involved in helping to decide which areas of the Council’s work future spending should be focused on.

The short survey which only takes a couple of minutes to complete can be accessed at

Martin Phillips, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, said: “Every year we face challenging decisions about how to allocate our budget and we need your input to do this. Ultimately the decisions we make will impact on you in some way so it is important that you take the time now to tell us what is important to you."

People who don’t have access to the internet or a computer can still take part in the consultation by visiting any of the county’s libraries and using the computers there for free.

It's not all over for council worker who started in 1966

As international football legend Bobby Moore was lifting the World Cup for England in 1966, 16 year old Aylesbury lad Steve Nicholls was taking the first nervous step on his career ladder with Buckinghamshire County Council.

A full 50 years on, while the momentous World Cup win is a misty memory, Steve is still going strong at County Hall where he has risen through the ranks and is now one of the longest-serving members of staff.

'Times may have changed over the last half century, and I have been witness to many changes in this Council, but I have enjoyed the many years and variety of jobs I have had,’ says Steve.

One of the biggest changes was the opening of the New County Offices in October 1966, and as the 14-story block prepares to celebrate its half century, Steve recalls he was one of the first to occupy offices in the building.

Starting in the Clerks printing department, Steve moved to work in various sectors across the council including Social Services, Fire Services, and Aylesbury Vale Education before joining the Schools Commissioning Team in 1986 where he continues today managing projects, new buildings, extensions and alterations for schools as a Commissioning Manager.

Born in London, Steve moved to Aylesbury at the age of four where he grew up. After leaving Quarrendon School at 16 – ironically the school’s demolition would later be organised by the team he now works - Steve started working for the County Council after seeing a job advertisement in The Bucks Herald.
County Council wins new HS2 mitigation for Aylesbury

A raft of new measures to reduce the impact of HS2 has been won by Buckinghamshire County Council.
The mitigation was secured after intense negotiations with HS2 Ltd in the days running up to County Council leader Martin Tett’s appearance at the House of Lords in October.
The package includes a planting scheme for Hawkslade, Aylesbury, to screen the rail line and up to £80,000 towards traffic calming measures on the A41 in Waddesdon
And it is hoped that peers on the HS2 Select Committee will demand further mitigation in Bucks when they release their recommendations in the New Year.
The new measures are in addition to those won during the House of Commons’ Select Committee back in January.
Martin said he was proud of the way the county had worked with district, town and parish councils to present a convincing case for extra mitigation.

Bucks supports 'brake before the bend' message

Transport for Buckinghamshire is supporting the national 'Think! Country Roads' campaign to help boost awareness of safer driving on the county’s rural roads, particularly on approaches to bends.

The campaign's message is ‘brake before the bend, not on it’.

In Buckinghamshire in 2015 there were 14 people killed and 113 seriously injured on country roads. These 14 fatalities equate to two thirds of all road deaths in 2015 within the county. The primary causes of these collisions were failing to look properly at junctions, poor judgement of speed and loss of control on bends.

Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: "The Think! Country Roads campaign aims to get drivers to anticipate the hazards that may lie ahead and reduce their speed into bends, with the key message ‘brake before the bend, not on it’ as you never know what may be just around the corner."

Two year old having flu nasal spray
Video: The pain-free way to protect your children from flu

The flu vaccine is now available in nasal form from your GP for all children between the ages of two and four.

Look out for your child’s invitation, alternatively contact your GP to arrange an appointment. The vaccine is also available for children in school years one and two (ages 5- 7 years old) which will be administered by the school nurse.

It is recommended that children should be immunised every year because the main flu virus changes each year, in the same way as the injectable flu vaccine. 

Flu can be very unpleasant for children. They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat lasting up to a week. Occasionally complications can occur leading to hospitalisation or even death from flu.

The video above shows a local mum explaining why she got her son protected.
Get Ready for Winter campaign launched

The Government has launched its Get Ready for Winter campaign, which has advice and guidance to keep people safe.

The campaign includes a website with lots of useful information about travelling in cold weather, staying well and protecting your property.

The government is also giving advice to town and parish councils, including on emergency planning.

In a letter to town and parish councils, Andrew Percy MP, Minister for Resilience, said: "Town and parish councils are an important and highly visible part of the fabric of so many of our communities and I have been reflecting on my personal experience as a parish councillor and a local volunteer working to make sure my own community is resilient to severe winter weather.

"There is a lot of good local community resilience planning already happening and I’m keen to share these examples, so please contact my officials at with your own experiences."
Transport for Bucks shows true grit ahead of winter

The fleet of gritters has been serviced; the salt barns are fully stocked and Transport for Bucks are ready to go!

Our gritters have access to 10,500 tonnes of salt, which is held in our salt barns located across the county.  Each full precautionary gritting run, which covers 1,405 km (44%) of the road network, uses approximately 80 tonnes of salt. 

The salt was ordered back in the summer to ensure TfB maximised the advantages of salt availability and protection from expected price increases.

The army of 25 gritters can be tracked, by name, online. You can see 'Mitten', 'Mr Sprinkle' and 'Lambourgritti' as well as the rest of the fleet as they carry out their duties across the county in real time. 

Full information on our winter service, including advice on travelling safely during winter, can be found on our website –

The picture above shows the High Wycombe fleet ready for action.
Aylesbury councillor volunteers as lollipop patroller

Two county councillors are donning yellow jackets and volunteering to be school crossing patrollers.

Phil Gomm and Paul Irwin have had their half-day training from supervisor Georgina Longley, and are ready to help children across the county's busy roads on their school journeys.

Phil (Bedgrove, pictured left) and Paul (Waddesdon) said they were so concerned at the vacancies Buckinghamshire County Council has for lollipop patrollers that they stepped up to the kerb and offered their services.

Phil has already been pressed into duty in his own electoral division. He was on relief at the crossing in Bedgrove, Aylesbury, where the County Council has installed two patrollers for the time being to stop motorists driving through, endangering children on the crossing.

‘It’s a very busy road,’ said Phil, ‘and the thought of any one of our children being in danger from motorists who don’t stop just fills me with dread. I’m there to help make their school journey safer.'

Call 01296 383432 if you're interested in being a patroller.

Adult Learning is top of the class

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning has again achieved excellent results in a national employer satisfaction survey, with a rating 12% above the national average on two key questions.

The FE Choices survey, which asks employers about their apprenticeship training providers, is carried out by the Government-sponsored Skills Funding Agency.

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning achieved 92% on the question ‘Would you recommend this provider to another employer?’ and 90% on the question ‘How satisfied were you with the overall quality of training?’, results which rate them 12% above the national average.

Zahir Mohammed, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, said: "A good apprenticeship can set someone on a firm career path, and is really valuable to the employer too – so congratulations to the Adult Learning team for another great result in this latest satisfaction survey, which highlights the excellence of the service they provide to both apprentices and their employers in Buckinghamshire."

For more information about the courses, call 01296 398957 or 01494 778203 or visit

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