Free Play Around the Parishes and Basketball Sessions are back for the Summer Holidays

Are you looking for something free to do with your children during the summer holidays?

Organised by Buckinghamshire Council and funded by Buckingham Town Council the first session of Play Around the Parishes took place in Chandos Park on Tuesday.  These free turn-up and play sessions for 1 – 12yr olds have giant games, bouncy castles, arts and crafts and more. There will be two more sessions this year, the next one is on 17th August and then again on 22nd August.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the TC&E Committee had the following to say after attending the session on Tuesday “Having attended the play around the parishes today it was so good to see so many young people take advantage of this free activity funded by the Town Council and for parents and grandparents alike to take part and enjoy.”

Coach Jenner will be back on Monday 1st August, with the free turn-up and play basketball sessions. The first session will be in Chandos Park from 5:30 – 6:30pm for ages 8 – 12 yrs. The second session for 13yrs + takes place in Bourton Park starting at 6:45pm. All equipment is provided.

The basketball sessions have been running in Buckingham for several years and are very popular with local young people.  Over the years several young people have gone on to join basketball clubs in Milton Keynes and even play for the County.  Sessions will be running every Monday through August and are completely free.

Coach Jenner said "Parents, make sure you bring your child down to our welcoming basketball sessions at Chandos Park. Basketball experience is not necessary, our coaches start with the basics at first and build up participants' skills over the summer sessions. Boys and girls make friendships really quickly and it is great fun. Plus it is absolutely free."

Grants and awards for groups looking to Buckingham’s future

Grants and awards for groups looking to Buckingham’s future

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley, met with representatives of groups awarded grants by Buckingham Town Council in 2022 to speak with them about their projects and distribute the cheques.

This was a second opportunity for grant holders to meet the Mayor for those unable to attend the Mayor’s Reception earlier in the year.

Local resident, Chris Mullis, also collected his Friend of Buckingham award for his efforts managing the Buckingham Support Network, which helped those isolating access food and medication during covid lockdowns.

Chris Mullis – Buckingham Support Network

Jon Barnett – Buckingham Youth Clubs
£5,200 has been granted to Buckingham Youth Clubs, to support the running of three youth clubs for secondary school age young people in Buckingham, all the youth clubs are supported by trained staff and give young people opportunities to try new things and explore opportunities.

Adrian Johnson - Buckingham Town Cricket Club
A contribution of £1,500 towards installing roof-mounted solar panels at the clubhouse.

Chris Northey – Buckingham Tennis Club
£1,500 annually towards replacing the 10 floodlights at the Tennis Club with environmentally friendly LED lamp alternatives.

As part of Buckingham Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan grant applicants are asked to consider the impact on the environment of their project and any steps they can take to mitigate them. This has led to a rise in the number of applications focused on environmental projects.

Councillor Margaret Gateley, Mayor of Buckingham said “It was a great pleasure to meet key members of different community groups, which have been awarded grants this year. It was really interesting to hear about their planned projects. I was also delighted to meet Chris Millis to give him his Frend of Buckingham award: he responded quickly to the need of our community for support during the pandemic, making a real difference to many people. We are fortunate to have so many individuals and community groups, working hard for the good of our town."

Buckingham delights with summer Fringe Week art and culture fun

Architectural tour

Despite the heatwave, a full house enjoyed the cool interior of the parish church during a guided tour by local architect Warren Whyte. He described the relocation of the church onto Castle Hill in 1780 and the structural problems of the 1850s that then led to the full transformation of the Georgian church into the Victorian Gothic church but George Gilbert Scot. The tour included stops in the nave, chancel and tower before concluding with a Q&A over a glass of wine.

Fringe Week Quiz

Residents brushed up on their local knowledge and joined quizmaster Mikey Dyson-Smith in the Woolpack to take on Buckingham Town Council in this extra special quiz to celebrate Buckingham Fringe Week.

Mikey Dyson-Smith said “There were 7 different rounds. Picture Round, General Knowledge, Buckingham, The Knowledge, Sports, Animal Kingdom, Wipeout. There were 14 teams in total with around 85 people taking part. Not an empty seat in the whole pub.”

Art in the Market

Creativity abounded at Art in the Market – a first for Fringe Week, this event brought local artists, professionals and amateurs, together in the ancient cattle pens to unpack their paints and pencils and create works of art. Attendees were inspired by the spaces around them, their memories or worked entirely from their imagination!

Visiting artists included renowned mouth painter Keith Jansz, representative of Buckingham Art for All, Emily Pool and Jonquil Bennet.

On the other side of the Old Gaol, Town Council staff and some passing volunteers created a 4 by 5 metre giant swan, entirely out of rag fabric lent by Florence Nightingale Hospice Vintage Charity Shop. The temporary art piece was inspired by Art Attack and The Flosh in Buckingham.

Over 336,000 tonnes of clothing are thrown away each year, and donating even tired clothes and fabric to Charity Shops is a step toward them being utilised or recycled rather than contributing to landfill. As part of Buckingham’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, the Council encourages residents to find new uses for their waste where possible.

Market Entertainment

Sunshine, magic and music delighted Saturday shoppers in town at the weekend as Fringe Week drew to a close. Children’s magician, Simon Says, kept families thoroughly entertained outside the Old Gaol with lots of fun magic and laughter. While local musician, Udo Dolz serenaded shoppers at the Flea Market with his classical guitar melodies.

Fiddle Group refunds

Tuesday 19th July turned out to be the hottest day on record, with temps reaching 40C.  A decision was taken to postpone the Oxford Fiddle Groups performance which was due to take place that evening.  A refund has been offered to all those that had purchased tickets.  The performance will be re-scheduled for later on in the year.

Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of the Town Centre & Events committee said “at the end of the Fringe week it’s always good reflecting back and looking at what we did well. This year my favourite moment was sitting down and painting and drawing with the children and seeing everyone express their artistic flair. New Fringe events add variety to the town council calendar of events throughout the year, and I look forward to seeing what will be included next year.”

Stage set for Peter Pan to fly in for open-air theatrical treat

Award-winning outdoor theatre company, Illyria, bring their fabulous open-air production of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to the Green by St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church next Wednesday 3rd August 2022. This enchanting family tale will delight audiences of all ages. Laugh, applaud, sing along, and watch the magic unfold in leafy and historic surroundings.

Arranged by Buckingham Town Council, Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of the Town Centre and Events committee said “This year there is another opportunity for young people to witness outdoor theatre within the community. It will bring people of all ages together and allow them to experience something quite tremendous. We hope the performance will enrich their summer activities in a shared experience with their parents and grandparents.”

Book tickets to go on an unforgettable adventure to Neverland with fairies, pirates, and real flying online at: Performances are at 2.30pm and 6pm, lasting approximately 2 hours with a 20-minute interval. As this event is open air, please bring low-backed seating or a blanket to watch the show in comfort. Gates will open one hour before the show start time for picnics.

“Peter Pan” is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd.

Free family adventures in Buckingham with an augmented reality story trail

As part of local plans to give families a summer of fun, from Thursday 21st July to Sunday 4th September 2022, Buckingham Town Council has teamed up with High Street Safari to run a free story trail in Buckingham. This innovative experience lets families choose what happens in the story and enables anyone with a smartphone to take part. Players will not only discover cool characters along the route but also see them burst to life in augmented reality and take selfies with them.

Buckingham Town Council backed the project to promote visits to the fantastic range of shops in Buckingham and give families a unique high street experience with a free, exciting event that gets kids out of the house. Councillor Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre and Events Committee said “we hope that families will take full opportunity to engage in this activity. It forms part of the Town Councils’ objectives which is to organise activities for the community while continuing to support the businesses and achieve positive outcomes.”

The Mystery of the Secret Keys is located at ten stops around the Buckingham town centre to visit, starting at Cornwalls Place Kitchen in Cornwalls Meadow and positioned so that families can discover hidden parts of the town. Families will be guided on their trip by The Luminants, an interstellar team of superheroes, on an adventure as they find special keys that release ten gem-eating beasties in augmented reality.

The trail takes about forty-five minutes to complete, it is completely free for families and groups to take part in, and they win a free, digital fun pack at the end. There is no need to download an app or sign up, and the trail works on any smart device. To find out more about the trail, visit the website:

Stilt walkers, skaters and family fun kick-off Buckingham Fringe Week

Buckingham Fringe Week is in full swing, bringing communities back together to celebrate Buckingham’s art, heritage, and culture. There was a whole host of free activities on offer over the weekend including street market entertainment, a skate park event, an art trail, and a family fun day.

Amid the hustle and bustle of excited shoppers at both Saturday street markets, the classical sound of St Mary and St Giles Church band and visually stunning stilt walkers kept residents and visitors to town thoroughly entertained. Russell Cross, Buckingham Town Council Market Manager said “It was a busy day in town. Every trader delighted and so much positive feedback from the public. An incredibly special day and unbelievable atmosphere”.

At 12 noon on Saturday young people turned out in their droves for the skate park event.  Hosted by King Ramps, the UK’s leading wheeled sports event company,  children and young people were able to take part in workshops for skateboarding, BMXing, and scooters.  There were demos by professional skateboarders and BMX riders. The day finished with a skateboard/BMX/scooter community jam (competitions).  Prizes were awarded to the winners.

A new treasure hunt-style art trail designed by local artist Cathy Read also went live on Saturday. Those taking part have a chance to win one of Read’s stunning paintings. The trail runs throughout summer, you can pick up a printed trail map from Buckingham Tourist Information Centre or download one from her website: All of the paintings on the trail are inspired by architecture around Buckingham and the surrounding villages.

Sunday saw around 500 people visit the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre for the annual Family Fun Day event. There was something for everyone including traditional games, inflatables, craft market stalls, live music and dance performances and water games to keep cool in the sun. Families especially enjoyed meeting a young team of volunteers from the Buckingham St John Ambulance Cadet Unit who took centre stage with tours of a first aid vehicle and a demonstration of lifesaving skills.

The Fringe Week Fun continues this week with a free Augmented Reality Trail, a Tour of St Peter & St Paul’s Church, a pop-up art event, more market entertainment and a Music Festival. Details about these events can be found on the Town Council’s website and social media pages.

Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of the Town Centre and Events committee said “It has been rewarding to have such a high turnout at all the events and see residents enjoy the free entertainment and activities that the Buckingham Fringe Festival provides our community”.

Listen to our planning needs, demands Buckingham

An accusation that Buckinghamshire Council is ignoring the wishes of towns and parishes regarding Section 106 agreements – the financial contributions which developers make to lessen the impact of new housing on a community – was made at Buckingham Town Council’s recent Planning Committee meeting.

The charge came after members were told that the town would not be consulted on what mitigations it wants from the new 420-dwelling estate off Osier Way, adding 1000 more residents to the 1000 or so in the adjacent St. Rumbold’s Fields estate. The Unitary Authority agreed with the developer that it should make payments towards transport, education, open spaces and sports and leisure, but there is nothing towards onsite community facilities, or health provisions for which the Town Council has been pushing. Playgrounds alone do not make a community, especially one separated from the town by the bypass and industrial estate. Councillors are further disappointed that the developer has refused to discuss the Town Council taking on the management of the green spaces and play areas, preferring to pass this to a management company who will charge residents an annual fee.

The Town & Country Planning Act 1990 created s106 agreements ‘between a developer and a local planning authority about measures that the developer must take to reduce their impact on the community.’ They must take into account the resulting increase in population and the effect it will have on schools, GP services, hospitals and other local infrastructure. The education contribution is destined for Maids Moreton and Buckingham Primary Schools, and The Buckingham School – the first two being the furthest possible distance for young children to walk.

“Despite requesting that we would be involved from the start, the Town Council has been presented with the Osier Way S106 agreement as a fait accompli,” says Planning Committee chairman Cllr Mark Cole JP. “When we questioned that, we were informed by a Buckinghamshire Council that ‘it is not usual practice for any consultation to be made, although there were discussions with regard to public open space management and sports & leisure projects, which contributed to discussions with the developers.’

When Buckinghamshire became a unitary authority in March 2020, we supported it because it promised greater consultation in planning matters, but the opposite has happened. We are not alone in this – other towns are voicing similar complaints.

More and more planning decisions are being taken by a committee chairman and an officer, despite our repeated requests to speak at committees, and there appears to be a marked reluctance by the local planning authority, which is focused on meeting housing targets, to insist that developers provide community hubs or contribute towards health facilities.

There will be nowhere for at least 2,000 residents of Osier Way and the adjacent St Rumbold’s Way estate – which are on the south-western edge of the town – to meet under cover, and doctors’ practices and schools are already fully-subscribed.”

“Enough is enough,” adds Cllr Cole. “We are calling on Buckinghamshire Council and its six local ward councillors – five of whom are on the North Bucks Area Planning Committee – to start listening. Buckingham knows what its local needs are, but currently we are being ignored.

The result will be dormitory estates with residents isolated from the town and each other, with not even somewhere to meet and chat over a cup of tea.”

Buckingham Banking Hub wants to know your ideas

After the shock announcement that Lloyds would be closing the only remaining bank in Buckingham this September, the Banking Hub team arrived – keen to make Buckingham one of ten new locations for a Banking Hub.

© Sandy Young Photography
Post office Bankhub - Cambuslang

A Banking Hub is a fantastic option for towns like Buckingham, with a daily post office bank counter that can be used to pay bills, take out cash and a number of other daily banking transactions, for virtually any bank. While also offering a private office for appointments or drop-ins with banking advisors – five days a week there will be a representative from each of the top five most popular banks in the area.

One of the benefits of a banking hub is that each one is unique, with the services it delivers based on the needs of the local residents and businesses.

In order to gauge exactly what services will be required, the Banking Hub team have begun a consultation process and are extremely keen that everyone in Buckingham who uses a bank – whether in person or online, as a business, charity or individual, completes the survey online here:

Paper copies can also be collected and dropped off at Buckingham Library and Buckingham Tourist Information Centre.

The Banking Hub team are also interested in potential locations for the new bank, focusing on those in Buckingham Town Centre, with good accessibility and space for a private meeting room as well as counter. If you know of a building that might be suitable, please contact:

Jane Mordue, Chair of Trustees at Citizens Advice Bucks said: “Not everyone does online banking. Often these are the most vulnerable in our community. We help them locally at Citizens Advice Bucks to get their lives back on track.  Often this involves managing their money safely. The proposed new banking hub in Buckingham will give everyone access to banking services and be a much-needed lifeline for many.”

 Cllr. Warren Whyte, a member of Buckingham & Villages Community Board, told us that: “with the closure of our last bank later this year I was very concerned about access to cash and bank services for residents, businesses and charities, and I am very pleased that the Bank Hub is progressing with a site here in Buckingham and working closely with members of the Community Board.”

 Cllr. Howard Mordue, Chair of Buckingham & Villages Community Board, told us that: “The closure of the last banking operation in Buckingham is a great blow. Although the Post Office can handle some of the services the banks offered, it will still cause problems for businesses and charities who rely on having the facility to have a cash operation.

I encourage all residents to show support for a Banking Hub when the survey is launched.”