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Buckinghamshire County Council News - Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe

Welcome to the November/ December edition of Buckinghamshire County Council's newsletter for this area, where your County Councillors are Janet Blake (Great Brickhill division), Netta Glover (Wing) and Avril Davies (Ivinghoe). Quainton, Newton Longville, Whitchurch, Wingrave and Cheddington are also included within these divisions. Please email Adam King at aking@buckscc.gov.uk with upcoming events you’d like included. The next edition will be out in January.

Ivinghoe division: Update from Councillor Avril Davies

Since September there has been progress on several of the issues I reported to you back then.

Planning for school places has been given a high priority at the Council. Joint working between planners and education has started, and local headteachers have had a positive meeting with county officers.

At the annual Transport for Bucks conference  a promise was made to begin work on the HGV strategy as provided for in LTP4 (Local Transport Plan) as a matter of urgency and I put my name forward for the working group.

I have also discovered there is a Lib Dem group working nationally on the West Coast Main Line franchise renewal which I have been asked to join, which will be giving evidence to the House of Commons.

The local area forum has sent the proposed  letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner on the enforcement of speed limits in rural areas where significant breaches have been evidenced by the speed watch volunteers. We await the response with interest.

The joint bid from Pitstone and Marsworth Parish Councils to the New Homes Bonus fund has been successful and work is beginning on designing and building the footway to make walking between the two villages a much safer enterprise.

I attended the advisory board meeting for the Aylesbury cluster of Childrens Centres and I continue to be impressed not only by the good work they are doing in Wing and Ivinghoe but also by their wide reach out to, and appreciation by, all families with pre-school children. Where they have had to share sessions between centres they are hoping to facilitate more informal sessions on a voluntary basis.

Finally I'd like to express my appreciation to Simon Garwood the lead officer for the Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe local area forum for meeting so many Parish Councils, not only in this LAF area, in the last few weeks to outline the County Council's proposals  for a single new unitary authority in Buckinghamshire, and relay responses.

It is going to be very difficult to deliver public services at a local government level in the foreseeable future. The opportunity for Parish Councils to take more responsibility for their own locality is an attractive proposition for some and a step too far for others.

How this will turn out will depend not only on the Secretary of State and any future council but also on how a local plan or lack of increases the pressures on the environment, our quality of life, and our roads, schools and other services in our communities.
Woman prosecuted over dumped rubbish

A woman has been prosecuted after waste was dumped at the roadside between Ledburn and Mentmore.
 
Rukhsana Iftikhar, 43, of Hampden Road, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to failing in her duty of care as a householder regarding waste which was found dumped illegally.

The household rubbish was found on February 12 and traced to Iftikhar, who denied dumping the waste herself.  She said that she and her husband had employed 'men with a van' who they paid to remove household waste from their home.  She said they paid cash and nothing had been done to identify the men or their vehicle, or to check that they were authorised to remove the waste.

Iftikhar was fined £125, and ordered to pay clean-up and prosecution costs of £500.  A victim surcharge of £20 was also levied  –  making a total to pay of £645.

The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire.
 

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, www.futurebucks.co.uk 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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-together-for-buckinghamshire-town-and-parish-council-conference-tickets-29330898507

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

For more information see http://futurebucks.co.uk/conference/

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 www.buckscc.gov.uk/budget

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.

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 Resilience-SPA@communities.gsi.gov.uk 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 – http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/transport/were-working-on-it/winter-maintenance/

The picture above shows the High Wycombe fleet ready for action.

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 www.adultlearningbcc.ac.uk

County Councillors volunteer for lollipop duty

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

Paul Irwin and Phil Gomm 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.

Paul, who is Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'I think this is what you call putting our money where our mouth is! My concern is that we make sure the children in our county can cross roads safely on their school journeys.'

Across the county's 55 patrol sites there are currently 10 patroller vacancies: four in Wycombe, and one each at Beaconsfield, Stoke Poges, Great Horwood, Buckingham and Whitchurch. There is also a vacancy for a roaming relief patroller.

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

To subscribe to this email contact Adam King aking@buckscc.gov.uk

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