Buckingham Town Council sets low council tax increase

Buckingham Town Council agreed this week to restrict the Town Council’s portion of the Council Tax bill to a 1.43% rise which is a £2.47 a year increase (or 5p a week) for a Band D household.  This means that the average household will pay £175.74 a year for all the Town Council’s services.

The Town Council provides a wide range of services, including the Brackley Road Cemetery, Allotments, Bourton Park, Chandos Park, the Tourist Information Centre, the Lace Hill Community Centre and pitches, street markets, Flood, River and Tree Warden schemes and Shopmobility; as well as being responsible for the Buckingham Community Centre building.  The Council also carries out works for Buckinghamshire Council under a devolved agreement, including cutting grass verges throughout the town.

This year the Council will be reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan and continuing to defend the plan to ensure developments in the town are in line with the agreed views of residents.  Plans for the new cemetery and allotment site off Tingewick Road are well under way, and it is hoped that this year we will see works beginning on site.

The Town Mayor, Margaret Gateley, said:

“As we plan for the next financial year and beyond, we are conscious of the pressure on low income households. We have therefore agreed a below inflation increase in Buckingham Town Council’s precept, which we believe balances the need for a cautious approach with our aim to provide good services, amenities and events for the people of our town”. 


Buckingham’s Tree-mendous Tribute

In recognition and celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year, a Community Tree Planting event was held at Heartlands Park on Sunday 16th January 2022.

It’s never been more important to plant trees for the future, and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative is an opportunity to bring the nation together to celebrate HM’s Platinum Jubilee while making a difference to the environment. The aim is to encourage everyone to plant the right trees in the right place, at the right time, so they continue to thrive for generations to come.

Group of volunteers planting trees on a grassy mound in cold January









Armed with spades and boundless enthusiasm, 23 volunteers met Officers from Buckingham Town Council and Buckinghamshire Council, including Buckingham’s Tree Wardens and members of the public, who all worked together to plant 250 trees!

Chair of Environment Committee for Buckingham Town Council, Cllr. Warren Whyte said, “A big thank you to all our volunteers and staff for helping with the big tree planting session last Sunday morning. The planting of over 200 trees in Heartlands Park is not only a great way for Buckingham to help contribute towards the Queens Green Canopy, but also an important part of the Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, and improving the biodiversity of our lovely parks.”

Older Lady planting tiny tree










Estates Manager at Buckingham Town Council, Lee Phillips, said, “We are very lucky to have such enthusiastic volunteers who gave up their free time to come and plant trees and have donated a number of trees that people have grown themselves. Tree planting is so important because it helps to mitigate the effects of climate change, helps us to replace trees lost to ash die back and planting a mixture of native species throughout the woodland helps to increase the diversity of fauna and flora in our town’s greenspaces.”

Peter Strachan, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

“As part of our commitment to tackling climate change, we will be planting over half a million trees in Buckinghamshire over the next 10 years. Planting trees is a great way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and recharge the environment with oxygen. Trees also help prevent flooding and enhance biodiversity. The trees planted in Buckingham at the weekend in partnership with Buckingham Town Council are in addition to our half million trees target, which is fantastic – as the more trees the better!

I’d encourage residents and community groups to support tree planting as part of the Bucks Tree Mission – a shared mission to promote more space for nature to grow and thrive, as well as improving health and well-being for everyone. In addition, trees planted during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year of 2022 are even more special as they form part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.”

A small parcel of woodland overlooking the bowl in Heartlands Park was planted with a row of Black Poplar trees (Populus nigra betulifolia) and a mixture of smaller native tree species. The black poplar was once a common tree in Britain’s landscape, used for crafting cart wheels and wagon bottoms, but the species is now in decline. Black Poplar are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on separate trees. Flowers are called catkins (male catkins are red and female catkins are yellow-green) and are pollinated by the wind. The female specimens are increasingly hard to procure, but fortunately, we were gifted two rare, which means Buckingham’s Black Poplars can pollinate for generations to come.

Father and son planting tree












Did you know?
Only around 7,000 wild black poplars now grow in Britain and of these, only 600 are female trees. Folklore tells that fallen red male catkins are Devil’s fingers, and bring bad luck if picked up.

You can find out more about the Queen’s Green Canopy Project at https://queensgreencanopy.org/

If you are interested in becoming one of Buckingham’s volunteer Tree Wardens please contact Nina Stockill, Estates Administrator at committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk



Buckingham to Commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

Buckingham Town Council will be commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 27th January 2022 at an inaugural ceremony around Bourton Park’s new Memorial Stone. The service is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

sunlit photograph of stone's location before stone was put in place

Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on 27 January every year, is the international day to remember the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust and in the genocides around the world that followed.

Members of Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed to install a

memorial stone as a focal point for people come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may, One Day, be a future with no genocide.

The memorial stone is bedrock from Brackley Road cemetery and was transported, as a gesture to the community, by local firm Paragon Tool Hire. Buckingham Town Council have employed local stonemason and a master letter carver Louis Francis, who runs a successful business from his studio at Westbury, to engrave the Holocaust Memorial Day emblem and wording.

Further explanatory and useful information is found at Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: One Day (hmd.org.uk)

The ceremony will be hosted by the Town Mayor, Cllr Margaret Gateley to commence 11am at the eastern end of Bourton Park around the Holocaust Memorial Stone.

Map showing loation of memorial stone at east end of Park

Thefts from Brackley Road Cemetery

We were saddened to hear of another theft from a grave at the Brackley Road Cemetery, particularly so close to Christmas.  It is hard to imagine the potential impact on friends and relatives when items they have placed on a grave which they regularly visit are taken.

The Council are currently liaising with the Neighbourhood Policing Team regarding how we can work together to increase security.  The area is too large for CCTV to be viable and could feel intrusive on private grief.  Locking the gates outside of given hours would remove access for too many people who are unable to attend during working hours.  We would ask anyone who has been the victim of a theft to make sure they report it to the police and receive a crime number.

The Council will discuss the issue and review options at the Environment Committee meeting, to be held on 28th February 2022.  Meetings are open to the public to speak at the beginning and attend throughout.

We encourage all cemetery visitors to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious promptly to the police via 999.

The Mayor of Buckingham, Councillor Margaret Gateley, said: “It is shocking and saddening when treasured items are stolen from the cemetery. This is especially upsetting when it happens so close to Christmas, when we remember loved ones who have passed away. My thoughts are with those who have been affected by these incidents.”