Fun Fact Friday: Shopmobility

Buckingham Shopmobility Service is a scheme that allows anyone with a mobility problem, whether temporary or permanent, to get out and about in Buckingham Town Centre. There are even allocated free parking spaces for Shopmobility users, next to the Shopmobility building.

There are electric mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs available. (Manual wheelchairs are available for a small fee). The wheelchairs can be folded for loading into a vehicle for home use, hospital appointments, visits to local events and places of interest. The service is sponsored by Buckingham Town Council and is free for anyone who wishes to shop or sight-see in Buckingham and the surrounding areas.

If you would like to use this service, find it on the far side of Cornwall’s Meadow Car Park, Buckingham, MK18 1RP. You can also reserve a mobility scooter or wheelchair, by contacting a member of the Shopmobility team on 07738 314 027 or email TIC@buckingham-tc.gov.uk. Currently, Shopmobility is only open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and it is closed every other day including Bank Holidays. Hopefully the full service will be able to resume once restrictions are lifted.

Accessibility problems? AccessAble help to provide disabled access information to the area with access guides to 100 venues including shops, restaurants, hotels and parks. Follow the AccessAble link to go to the Buckingham AccessAble webpage.

Celebrate Buckingham and #ShopLocal raffle!

To enter the raffle please tell us the unique letter you found in the shop you visited. Good luck!

This competition has now closed.

Support local shops and enter to win a selection of fantastic local products supplied by Buckingham based businesses. Be in with a chance to win one of two fantastic hampers!
From Thursday 1st July Buckingham Town Council will be hosting a raffle designed to help local businesses. 26 local shops have been selected at random to have a poster displayed, to enter the raffle simply visit and support one of the many shops involved and scan the QR code and enter the unique letter that is on the poster. This will enter you into the raffle to win a fantastic hamper of prizes, all sourced from shops in Buckingham! Thank you very much to all the shops involved!

This project is funded by Buckingham and Villages Community Board. 

What’s in the Hampers?

Hamper one-
Essentials – Hamper
Finca El Monte – a selection of products including organic cotton produces bags, soy wax candle, Colourful ceramic bowl and a flower keyring
Smith and Clays - £15 voucher
Gilt Swan – Buckingham a pictorial history book and a silver bottle opener
Dandy Lions – Jelly cat teddy cow and a kite
Howes the Florist - £25 voucher
Cornwall Place Kitchen – Chafor wine
Secret Messages – Throw
Leeders Hardware – Tea pot

Hamper Two -
Essentials – Hamper
Buckingham University Book Shop - £10 voucher and a notepad
Back to Nature – Travel coffee mug and Norfolk punch
Meadow Row Tea Rooms - £10 voucher
Wood Bee Nice – Wooden tool kit toy
Planet Refill – Organic peanut butter, falafel mix and 2 play in choc’s
Old Gaol Museum Shop - Booklet

You must be over 18 to enter the raffle. You can only enter once in each shop.

For enquiries please contact Emma Churchill at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 823020, tic@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Music In The Market Postponed

Once again, Music in the Market will not be taking place this coming Bank Holiday Weekend due to Covid restrictions.

Organiser of the event Buckingham Acoustic Club’s John Howarth said  “Music In The Market has been an annual event for the past twenty years organised jointly by Buckingham Town Council and the Buckingham Acoustic Club. 

But save the day – this year is different.  With the participation of the Buckingham Rugby Club, Music NOT in the Market will take place later in the year at their ground in Maids Moreton on Saturday July 24th, from 2pm till 10pm.  There will be music, food stalls, traders, the bar, and lots of space to spread out. More details will be announced later”.

The event will return next year to its usual location in the town centre.

For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Planning Committee: 24th May 2021

The Planning Committee of Buckingham Town Council met on Monday 24th May. The full agenda is available in our archive.

The following decisions were made:

  • Cllr. Mark Cole JP was elected as Chair and Cllr. Anthony Ralph as Vice-Chair.
  • Cllr. Sue Hetherington was chosen to represent Buckingham Town Council on the North Bucks Parishes Planning Consortium East-West Rail Group
  • Of the planning applications discussed, 5 were recorded as no objections (one with the proviso to the satisfaction of the Heritage Officer) and 1 application was opposed. Of the tree applications discussed 6 were recorded as no objections and 1 opposed. Please note: planning applications are not decided by Buckingham Town Council, its objections or approval are given as a consultee to the planning authority: Buckinghamshire Council.
  • Briefing notes will continue to be provided for the agenda by the Planning Officer.
  • Buckinghamshire Council’s tree officer is to be invited to attend a meeting with Buckingham Town Council’s Planning Committee, Environment Committee, Tree Wardens and the Buckingham Society.
  • The next meeting of the Planning Committee will take place on Tuesday 8th June on Zoom.

A live stream of the meeting is available on YouTube. Full minutes of the meeting will be available via our 2021 archive in due course.

Play Around The Parishes

Play Around the Parishes is organised by Buckinghamshire Council and is a free event.

It is aimed at children aged 1-10 with the intention for them to have the opportunity to explore lots of arts and crafts and fun activities.

Hope for some summer sun and enjoy days full of family, friends and fun during the weekdays between 22nd July to 27th August 2021.

For more information about dates and locations, visit Buckinghamshire Councils website or call them on 01296 585 298.

 

 

Wildflower Art Contest Winners

Buckingham’s first wildflower art contest has been a great success, with a truly wonderful variety of flowers chosen for the entries.

Local artist, Fiona Hancock took on the role of judge after creating watercolour illustrations for Buckingham wildflower information boards (now on display in Bourton Park.)

Selecting winners was a tough task. Fiona told us that “The variety and quality of the work submitted was outstanding. It was difficult to choose winners but the ones chosen reflect the wildflower theme and high level of art entered. All entries clearly enjoyed creating their pieces and it was a pleasure to view them all.”

The adult winners were:

  • Carmen Carreira, with a watercolour of Buckinghamshire and Chiltern Gentian
  • Laura Bentley with a freehand machine embroidery and appliqué Moon [Ox-eye] Daisy.
  • Highly commended was Amy Godfrey with a bold and colourful digital art wildflower posey with cow parsley at its centre.

Carmen’s detailed painting will be printed on the cover of the Summer 2021 edition of Buckingham Town Matters. Laura told us “I am really overwhelmed to be one of the ones chosen. I love where we live and this is nice way to celebrate it.”

Entries from young people were judged separately, and a fantastic selection of entries were received. The winners were:

  • Evie Hurman-Ball and Renata Kapinos, both from The Buckingham School with water colour entries. Evelyn’s piece focused on a bee landing on a flower, while Renata chose to paint a small poser of wildflowers including grasses.
  • Highly Commended was Amelie King (The Buckingham School) for her expressive watercolour of poppies and Akanksha Bathula (Royal Latin School) who drew a detailed study of lupins.

All the winning entries received Green Buckingham water bottles, donated by Buckinghamshire Recycles to support projects that encourage recycling and the protection of local green spaces.

Plans are in motion to create a display of the winning entries in Buckingham at the Old Goal Museum and Tourist Information Centre.

Adult Category

Young People Category

New Mayor of Buckingham: Annual Statutory Meeting 17th May 2021

The Annual Statutory Meeting of Buckingham Town Council was held on Monday. Due to legislative changes this meeting was held in person and social distanced at Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre.

As the first meeting of the new Mayoral year, the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Buckingham were selected. Cllr. Margaret Gateley will be the Mayor of Buckingham and Cllr. Warren Whyte was chosen as Deputy Mayor. The full 'robing' of the Mayor will take place in public for the first time this year at the Celebrate Buckingham event.

2021 awards were also decided including;

  • Friends of Buckingham
  • Sport and Art Award
  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisation of the Year
  • Natural Environment and Climate Champion
  • Mayor's Prize For Outstanding Young Person

These awards will be distributed at the Celebrate Buckingham Day in Bourton Park on 10th July 2021.

Councillors decided that between now and the 21st June only Full Council meetings will take place in person, at Lace Hill. Other committees have become working groups, with the Town Clerk making delegated decisions based on the recommendations of those working groups until changes in restrictions mean in person meetings can be reviewed.

Fun Fact Friday: Tourist Information Centre Services

Located in The Old Gaol, the Tourist Information Centre is operated by the Town Council. The TIC Supervisor and, now more formally known as, Town Centre Manager, Emma Churchill, is happy to help with any enquiries along with her dedicated team who are true local experts – Just pop in Monday-Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm.

Services offered include:

  • Information on what to see and do, plus upcoming events
  • Places to eat and drink in the local area
  • Maps, books, walks, guides & leaflets
  • Ticket agent for National Express Coaches
  • Local transport timetables
  • Tickets sales for local events, concerts and festivals
  • The Film Place tickets
  • Theatre tokens
  • Circular Walks & Town Trail maps available
  • Gift shop with locally sourced handmade products and gifts.

If you would like to sell tickets through the TIC, offer goods for sale, or speak to them about how the TIC can support an activity or event please call them on 01280 823 020.

The Tourist Information Centre is also very proud to continue its tradition of being the first point of call for Tourism and promoting the Buckingham economy and attractions in the surrounding areas. It has been open for more than 25 years and has been owned by the Town Council since 2018, when it became clear that the Town Council could provide it more cheaply and with better local connections than had been possible for Tourism South East. Since then, the number of visitors and the range of tickets sold have increased.

Online Only? The Tourist Information Centre has launched a website for visitors and tourists encouraging them to come to the town to shop, dine, stay and visit the numerous attractions in and around Buckingham. The new Discover Buckingham website has business listings for local shops, accommodation, restaurants, pubs and attractions as well as event listings, blogs and news from within the town. So, if you have an event, attraction, shop, restaurant or hotel that you would like to add to this website please email tic@buckinghamp-tc.gov.uk.

For more information on the business, attractions and things to do in Buckingham please visit the Discover Buckingham website.

New Blood for Buckingham Town Council

Cllr. Ryan Willett
Cllr. Ade Osibogun
Cllr. Anja Schaefer
Cllr. Warren Whyte
Cllr. Sue Hetherington

Five newly elected members join Buckingham Town Council, with one vacancy remaining after the local elections. Eleven other Councillors retained or were re-elected to their seats and will continue to serve in Buckingham.

Each Councillor will bring their own diverse ideas to the Council and is eager to begin representing the people of Buckingham.

25-year-old Ryan Willett joins the Council having previously served on Buckingham Youth Council as a teenager. Ryan told us “the Youth Council was a really refreshing experience and helped me believe passionately in the importance of energising young people into local politics and community action.” Ryan works with homeless people.

Ade Osibogun is also a local rising star, previous president of the University of Buckingham Student Union he now lives locally and is an experienced legal practitioner and mediator.

Anja Schaefer works as a senior lecturer for the Open University and has a keen interest in sustainability and small business.

Warren Whyte returns to the Town Council after a break of seven years, and is proud to continue championing Buckingham far and wide. 

Sue Hetherington has previously been a member of Gawcott Council and has a passion for the natural environment.

An additional vacancy for a Councillor is available in the South Ward which will be filled by co-option. Any interested parties are invited to visit the Town Council website for more information. The deadline to apply is Friday 28th May with the decision to be made at the Interim Council meeting on Monday 7th June.

Six previous Councillors retired or were not re-elected after the election. Terry Bloomfield, Paddy Collins, Paul Hirons, Ruth Newell, Mike Smith, Christine Strain-Clark were all long-standing Councillors serving the Council for 116 years between them. The Town Council is grateful for all of their hard work on behalf of the town.

For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Buckingham access for all

Buckingham Town Council has worked hard to improve accessibility in recent years, but there is still work to be done.

With a growing population and people living longer, there are increasing numbers of people finding it difficult to get around Buckingham on foot, by mobility scooter, or with a child in a pushchair.  Buckingham town centre was created in mediaeval times and retains many of the narrow streets from those times.  While these streets form part of Buckingham delightful and unique character, they are clearly unsuitable for today’s heavy traffic and lead to many pavements being very narrow.  Many shops and other buildings have steps, or stairs to upper floors, which both require a creative approach to permit easy access for everyone while preserving their historic character.

The town also suffers from disabled parking bays flanked by kerbs and rear vehicle access in the road, along with mis-aligned dropped kerbs in many locations.

In recent years, the Town Council has:

  • In partnership with DisabledGo, we had many properties surveyed for accessibility by the less mobile and included on their website, so that anyone visiting our town could see which shops and services were more suited to their needs
  • But when DisabledGo became AccessAble, we noticed that the web-based service was less helpful and omitted some earlier content about Buckingham. We decided to make better use of your money and seek other means to fulfil our wish to make our town accessible to everyone.  We encouraged developers and others to consider the needs of the less mobile, perhaps along the lines of the sloping access to Lloyds Bank or the portable wheelchair ramp at Esquires
  • We moved some events away from premises with poor access for the less mobile
  • We provide an audio version of our Buckingham Town Matters newsletters
  • “Access” is now a standing Agenda item at our Committee meetings
  • Thanks to donations from Buckingham Access4All, we designed and installed a more accessible picnic table, that is also wheelchair accessible, in Bourton Park

What the Town Council will continue to do:

  • We ensure that our events are as easily accessible as possible
  • We continue to press for easy access to be considered by developers, and lobby existing properties to consider what improvements they might consider (wheelchair ramps, doorbells to summons assistance etc).
  • We report to the appropriate authority when urgent repairs are need to badly worn pedestrian areas – including pavements
  • We plan to install more wheelchair-accessible picnic areas in our parks, starting by adding a tarmac path to the accessible bench in Chandos Park

Councillor Mike Smith, who has chaired the Council’s Resources Committee until standing down at the election on 6th May, said: “The council continues to work hard on behalf of the less able, but it is something of an uphill struggle (no pun intended) as much of what needs to be done falls beyond the Town Council remit”.