Buckingham’s 1st December Christmas Light Switch and Christmas Market set to be a fabulous affair!

 

This year’s Christmas Light Switch on will be particularly festive, with the much anticipated pop-up artificial ice rink setting the scene from 26th November. Afternoon and evening skating slots are available during the week as well as all day skating from 11am to 9pm on the weekend of 1st and 2nd December. Click below to book your tickets before they sell out.

On Saturday 1st December a Christmas Market will take over the Cattlepens area of Buckingham Town Centre and around the ice rink – the market will take place from 11am until 8pm. A selection of Christmas goodies will be available including tasty hot food and drink offerings as well as a child sized ride.

In the evening, please gather alongside the Old Gaol for the Light Switch On itself. This will begin at 6.30pm with a welcome from the Mayor, Councillor Jon Harvey and the Town Crier, Russell Cross.

We’re also expecting a visit of extra special guests from MK Lightning Ice Hockey Team as well as Santa!

The evening will culminate with festive community entertainment, including:

  • Trader of the Year
  • Performance by the Buckingham Children’s Choir
  • Talk by Captain Coleman
  • Countdown for the Christmas Light Switch On
  • Stagecoach Buckingham performance
  • Singalong Carols throughout
  • Closing words from Father Roy Karrakkattu and the Mayor
  • Winslow Concert Band performing festive favourites

 

 

Town Council decides not to take AVDC to Judicial Review on this occasion, following legal advice

 

Last night (Monday 19 November) Buckingham Town Council decided not to take legal action against AVDC regarding the decision to approve an application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House (13 High Street).

The Council had obtained an expert legal opinion as to whether the Town Council had reasonable grounds to instigate a Judicial Review in the High Court of the recent planning decision. The Town Council had six weeks from the date the decision was made – Friday 26 October – to decide whether to launch an appeal.

The Council considered the legal advice provided by Mark Westmoreland-Smith. The full legal opinion provided is available here.

The Council was advised that while there may have been grounds to pursue a case, there would have been “limited benefit in going to court in the context of policy EE5 where it is clear that (AVDC) is intent on granting planning permission.”

Councillor Mark Cole JP, Chairman of the Town Council’s Planning Committee, said:

Although the legal advice to Buckingham Town Council was that while we might have had a reasonable case against AVDC on the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan ground, but not on the National Planning Policy Framework ground, he was not persuaded as to the overall merit of our making a claim. He felt that even if it was successful, AVDC was determined to grant planning permission one way or the other.

“I hope that AVDC (and its successor) will now be on alert, and take note that towns and parishes are prepared to fight to protect their Neighbourhood Plans, which are the wishes of their residents. We have not won, but neither have we lost, as this money has been well spent in obtaining this advice, of which we can make full use as we start to prepare revisions to our Neighbourhood Development Plan in the coming year.”

 

Town Council agrees to fund new AccessAble website and new look Accessibility Guides for Buckingham

Town Council agrees to fund new AccessAble website and new look Accessibility Guides for Buckingham!

Three years ago, Buckingham Town Council paid DisabledGo to carry out and publish detailed accessibility surveys of 65 venues in Buckingham. The Town Council have commissioned the renamed AccessAble to update the surveys each year and to add 5 more each year. In addition, Buckingham’s Access Awareness Group will continue to support the scheme. Volunteers will be trained to carry out and submit additional surveys at a workshop to be arranged in 2019.

AccessAble, previously called DisabledGo, have been working for over a year to develop and launch the new website and App, involving its user community every step of the way.

Councillor Mike Smith, Chair of the Town Council’s Resources Committee, said, “I’m delighted that the Town Council are continuing to support AccessAble.  We are committed to supporting venues across the town that are accessible to everyone, and to promoting the continuing good work to achieve this.”

The website has been completely rebuilt, the search is faster and easier to use and there is inspirational content so you can find new places to explore. The Accessibility Guides themselves are simpler to use and more clearly laid out. If you are after the detail you can navigate to it easily through a side menu or if you would prefer just the key information and photos you can use an ‘easy read’ toggle. The whole website looks totally different with many more photos, videos and icons.

A major part of the development has been working with users of screen readers and assistive technology to make sure the website and App meet the broadest range of accessibility requirements possible.

Another AccessAble development is new Accessibility Symbols. They have increased the number used from 19 to 32, which will enable anyone using the website or App to filter their results by the access requirements that are important to them. This includes symbols that may be helpful for people with autism, visual impairments and learning disabilities. The symbols can also be used to filter by facilities like Changing Places, accessible toilets, Safe Places, hoists and accessible fitting rooms.

Speaking about the development, AccessAble’s  Executive Director, Anna Nelson said, ‘AccessAble exists to provide detailed information to venues throughout the UK and Ireland, so that disabled people, carers and anyone who needs to know more about accessibility can find out if a place will be right for them.

We are passionate about delivering our social mission and helping more of the c.20m people who have accessibility requirements. As part of the launch AccessAble have published an important survey that highlights the vital need for better accessibility information. The survey revealed that 99% of disabled people want to know about accessibility before visiting a new place and 98% search for accessibility information in advance.  You can read more about it and check out the survey here https://www.accessable.co.uk/articles/new-survey-highlights-major-accessibility-gap-for-uk-s-20-million-disabled-people-and-carers

To check out the new service simply visit the website at www.AccessAble.co.uk or download the AccessAble App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. If you have any feedback you can contact AccessAble at  hello@AccessAble.co.uk, message them on social media or give AccessAble a call on 01438 842710.

Armistice in Buckingham

November the 11th 2018 will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. Our Mayor, Councillor Jon Harvey; amongst many other members of our community marked this moment with a wreath laid at the War Memorial today:

After the end of the First World War, the Town Council recorded its “gratitude at the termination of the War and the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace”. Today 100 years on, the Mayor, on behalf of the Council and all townsfolk, offers remembrance for all who have died, been injured or damaged as a consequence of war.

 

Buckingham Town Council to seek legal advice over Crown Care Home

 

Town Council Seeks Legal Advice as to whether to launch a Judicial Review of AVDC’s decision to approve an application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House.

Buckingham Town Council held an Extraordinary Meeting last night (Thursday 9 November 2018) to decide whether to spend Council funds on seeking an expert legal opinion as to whether the Town Council should instigate a Judicial Review in the High Court of a recent planning decision by AVDC. The Town Council has six weeks from the date the decision was made – Friday 26 October – to decide whether to launch an appeal. Once the Council has obtained legal advice, it will decide whether to proceed at its meeting to be held on Monday 19 November 2018.

The Town Council is looking to take this action to protect the town’s Neighbourhood Plan, which was made in October 2015, at a cost of £80,000 and thousands of man-hours, and backed by 91.45% of those voting in the referendum.

Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Mark Cole said:

“What members are being asked to do tonight is to defend not only the current Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan, but also our future Neighbourhood Plans. We believe that errors in law have been made by AVDC Planning officers in their advice to the Strategic Development Management Committee to approve the application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House… Buckingham Town Council has strongly opposed this application from the start… This Council also maintains that this application contravenes National Planning Policy Framework policies regarding developments – and particularly those for vulnerable people – in floodplains, and AVDC’s interpretation of them… The cost – which… could be up to £3000 – would be money well spent to protect our current Neighbourhood Plan, and an investment in those of the future.”