Great River Great Ouse hosts its first annual River Rinse

Sunday morning was a beautiful early autumn morning perfect for the first of this year’s Buckingham River Rinses.

Members of the public, Buckingham Town Council staff, councillors and volunteers from the Stowe Sub Aqua Group met at the University car park ready to start cleaning the stretch of river from Tanlaw Mill up stream to Fishers Field.

Stowe Sub Aqua Group, who have been volunteering for many years on the project, went in the river and pulled out traffic cones, branches, wire baskets, pipes and general litter.  Volunteers litter picked along the river bank and as well as general litter, found a tv that had been dumped.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee had the following to say: “another successful day with many different people turning out from within the community, in partnership with Stowe Sub Aqua, the green spaces team, officers and councillors. All working together to improve our river environment again this year. It’s a constant theme of the Council to look after our aquatic wildlife, and  great River Great Ouse.” 

If you would like to get involved and help keep our stretch of the River Great Ouse free of debris, we will be meeting on Sunday 9th October in the Bourton Park car park, Bourton Road at 10:15am.  We will be working from the bridge at the bypass up stream towards the cricket club.  Litter pickers, gloves and rubbish bags will be provided.

Grants available for Buckingham community groups 2023

Buckingham Town Council funds thousands of pounds worth of community, voluntary and social group projects through one year grants every year.

Applications for 2023-2024 funding are invited to be received by Friday 4th November at 12 noon by email to deputytownclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Application forms are available on the town council website. and must be accompanied by a copy of your group’s latest accounts (or business plan for new groups).

Last years funded grants included: solar panels for the cricket club house, free family activity sessions, football training equipment, flood defences, accessible fishing platform and a beacon for the Platinum Jubilee.

Anyone with questions about the grant fund is encouraged to contact the Town Council office who are happy to give help and advice with applying for funding.

Councillor Lisa O’Donoghue, chair of the Resources committee said: “We would like to encourage eligible groups to apply, last year 8 groups were awarded one year funding (alongside 8 longer term funds). We know that the grants we give out really benefit the community as a whole, including visitors and residents.”

Events in Buckingham marking the death of Her Majesty The Queen

A period of National Mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has now started, this will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral. A number of events are planned locally to celebrate the life of Her Majesty the Queen and the accession of the new King.

State Funeral – Monday 19th September

The Buckingham Town Council office and most services, including the Tourist Information Centre, will be closed on Monday 19th September to mark the State Funeral of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Services will resume as normal on Tuesday 20th September.

Commemorative Service

There will be a Commemorative Service to celebrate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at St Peter & St Paul’s Church on Sunday 18th September at 11am. Tickets must be booked in advance, which can be done online: Buckingham Parish Church : Queen Elizabeth II (bpchurch.uk)

Book of Condolence

Books of Condolence have been opened in Buckingham at:

  • The Old Gaol Museum exercise yard – open 10am to 4pm daily
  • St Peter’s and St Paul’s church – open 9am to 9pm daily
  • Buckingham library – open 9am to 5pm daily

Books of Condolence will be open until the day following the funeral. You can also sign the Royal Family online condolence book here: www.royal.uk

Flowers

Floral tributes can be laid at the coronation tree near the war memorial at St Peter and St Paul’s Church. We ask that any plastic wrappers or ties are removed from the flowers.

Flowers will be removed from the tree on the morning on Tuesday 20th September. The flowers will be preserved and used to plant a tree in memory of Queen Elizabeth II at a later date.

Flags

Union flags with mourning cravats were placed around Buckingham town centre the morning after the announcement of the passing of the monarch. These will be removed on the morning of Tuesday 20th September and half mast flags will be returned to full height.

Reading of the Proclamation

The Reading of the Proclamation of the New King will take place outside Buckingham Old Gaol at 3.30pm on Sunday 11th September.

The reading of the proclamation is a very old tradition, traced back over centuries, that announces the accession of the new monarch.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022: Statement from the Mayor of Buckingham

Buckingham Town Council has learned of the death of Her Majesty the Queen with great sorrow. On behalf of the people of Buckingham, the Town Council expresses our deep condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and to all members of the Royal Family at this time of sadness following the death of our beloved Queen.

Her Majesty the Queen served our nation faithfully and graciously during her 70-year reign. Her recent Platinum Jubilee gave our nation the opportunity for a magnificent celebration. She will be remembered for her wisdom and endurance, her dedication to her role as monarch and as a figurehead, not only for our own country, but also for the Commonwealth. She has ruled during a period of great social, economic and technological change. Her Majesty continued to carry out public engagements until quite recently, demonstrating her commitment to the organisations and charities of which she was patron, as well as to the wider community. Her long reign has meant that she was able to provide continuity within an ever-changing world.

As a young woman the then Princess Elizabeth was active during the Second World War, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), in which she trained as a mechanic, as soon as she was able to do so. This reflected her loyalty, dedication and hard-working approach to her role in the United Kingdom.

Her Majesty visited Buckingham on two occasions: in 1966 and 1996. These were splendid occasions, remembered with pride by those who were present.

Flags in the town will be flown at half-mast to mark the death of The Queen. More information will be passed on to residents regarding books of condolence and charitable donations as these become available.

BandJam rocks bank holiday weekend in Buckingham

Ten fantastic bands rocked the stage at Buckingham BandJam over the bank holiday weekend.

BandJam is a completely free live music festival, organised by Lee Maloney from the New Inn Pub, and supported by Buckingham Town Council. The line-up is chosen by Lee, and feedback on the ground was that the music was better than ever. The event started with 60s Jukebox and by early evening the town centre was packed with music fans, dancing and enjoying themselves.

Local bands on the line up also included newcomers to BandJam Krissy Matthews, Steve Winch & The Inceptors, Brothers Homebrew, Bom Notes and Identity Crisis, alongside old favourites including The Reformers performing mash up hits and pop reggae band Big Head.

Twisted Echo were a crowd favourite, getting everyone dancing to covers from Toploader to Nirvana. The night finished with notorious Buckingham ‘Oi’ band Liquid Stone.

Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank Lee Maloney, from the New Inn Pub, who arranged all the bands and music throughout the day, and Strawberry Fields the stage team. I’d also like to say a special thanks for the Town Council staff and councillors who worked through the day maintaining the event and looking after everyone including the security. But most importantly thank you to everyone who came along, it was great to see families together enjoying this community celebration. This event is organised by BandJam group to be a public celebration. We look forward to helping to plan the next one.”

Enter Buckingham Dog Show

Buckingham's just for fun Dog Show returns to Bourton Park Paddock on Sunday 11th September, 12pm - 3pm with registration opening from 11am.

If you'd like to enter you can pick up a registration form on the day or download, print and fill out the form now and bring it along with you.

Classes are £1.50 each (cash only, to be paid on the day):

  • Cutest Puppy 5-12 mths
  • Fabulous Fella
  • Gorgeous Gal
  • Best Rescue Dog
  • Most Like Its Owner
  • Golden Oldie 7yrs & Over
  • Waggiest Tail
  • Junior Handler 16yrs & under

The winner of each class goes through to Best In Show.

Classes will be judged by our event sponsors Kimberly Cox Dog Training and Woofs and Washes, with prizes supplied by Arden Grange.

Alongside the classes will be a number of stalls from local doggy based businesses and charities - from food to fun! If you'd like to be involved please email events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk for more details.

Job Vacancy: Deputy Town Clerk

Buckingham Town Council Job Vacancy logo

Deputy Town Clerk

Based at Town Council Offices, Buckingham

37 Hours per week

SCP 33-36 (£37,568 - £40,578) depending on experience

Buckingham Town Council is seeking to appoint a forward thinking and proactive Deputy Town Clerk to assist the Town Clerk in the managerial, financial and administrative operation of the Council.

Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in finance, personnel or administration. The post includes some evening and weekend work and attendance of functions and events. A flexible attitude to work is essential, as is a friendly and positive outlook.

The successful applicant would be expected to have or be prepared to obtain CiLCA and must be computer literate, with good communication skills both written and verbal.

Applicants should read all of the Application Pack prior to completing their application and make clear in their application why they are interested in the position, and what relevant skills and experience they have, with reference to the Job Description and Person Specification.

The application form should be completed in full, and shortlisting will be based on the information provided on the form. CVs will not be accepted. Please note the post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.

 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact the Town Clerk, Claire Molyneux on 01280 816426.

Buckingham Town Council is committed to equality of opportunity and actively welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates.

Closing date for applications: Monday 12th September 2022 at 1700hrs

We ask that you also submit an Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form with your application. Applications are available on the links below or by calling 01280 816426.

Applications should be submitted by email to: townclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Or by post to:

Buckingham Town Council, Buckingham Centre, Verney Close, Buckingham, MK18 1JP

Successful applications will be subject to receipt of suitable references.

 

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 Fringe Week to celebrate local artists, culture and outdoor summer fun

A fantastic lineup of arts and culture events will come to Buckingham as part of this years Fringe Week from 16th to 23rd July.

Saturday 16th July:

Market Entertainment

St Mary & St Giles band perform classical music at the ancient Cattle Pens flea market area, while stilt walkers will be entertaining visitors in Market Hill outside the Old Gaol.

Inspiration Art Trail Map launch

Take a tour of Buckingham from artist Cathy Read’s perspective. See the inspiration behind the art by following the map around Buckingham and the surrounding area. Plus: chance to win a Cathy Read print.

Skatepark Contest & Event

King Ramps are bringing profession skateboarders and a BMX display to Buckingham Skate Park. Come along with your own board or bike and get tips from the professionals through a workshop and open practice session, and rounded off with a community contest – free to enter, maximum bragging rights for the winner.

Sunday 17th July:

Family Fun Day

An afternoon of family fun at Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre, including bouncy castle, food, stalls and more.

Tuesday 19th July:

The Oxford Fiddle Group

Returning to the Radcliffe Centre, the Oxford Fiddle Group perform songs from England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA. Tickets £6 each and available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Old Gaol.

Wednesday 19th July

Fringe Week Quiz

Join Mikey at The Woolpack for an extra special Fringe week quiz – don’t forget to brush up on your local knowledge for this years special round!

Thursday 21st July

Art in the Market

Pop along to Art in the Market to witness professional and amateur artists creating art, learn about their work and have a go at creating your own masterpiece. Meanwhile, Buckingham’s first Giant Art Attack will take place outside the Old Gaol.

Saturday 23rd July:

Market Entertainment

Local resident and member of Buckingham Acoustic Club, Udo Dolz, will be playing acoustic fingerstyle and classical guitar at the Flea market, while Simon Says Magic will be putting on a fantastic show for children outside the Old Gaol.

The BFG

Family friendly music event The BFG joins the Fringe this year, from Moretonville FC in Gawcott. The BFG featuring Alvin as Elvis and 2Tone featuring Dave Mason and Ryan Chandler, licensed bar, food, bouncy castles, craft stalls and lots more.

Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury said “this year marks more than 10 years of the Fringe, when we started it many years ago, it was to keep the continuity of council and community events working together. Offer the opportunity for everyone to partake, across a wide spectrum of ages. The committee and officers do a grand job of putting this together. I hope that everyone who takes part this year enjoy it and gets something from the week.”

Interested in hosting your own Fringe Week event? Get in touch with events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk and we’d be delighted to include your event on our website and Fringe promotions.

Live Q&A gives refugees chance to find out more about settling into Buckinghamshire

In a first of its kind, refugees from Ukraine that have settled into the Buckingham & Villages area were able to take part in a live question and answer panel directly with local services.

The Buckingham Ukrainian Q&A took place during Refugees Week, whose theme this year is “healing” through community, creativity, and conversation.

A panel of local services including The Swan Practice Health Centre, Citizens Advice Bucks and Buckinghamshire Council was organised by Buckingham Town Council on behalf of the local volunteer group Buckingham Support for Ukraine.

The panel included: Jennifer Laws, Patient Services Manager; Shelley Wagstaff, Nurse Manager; Dr. Emily Foggin, GP and Lisa Carrington, Social Prescribing Link Worker from The Swan Practice Health Centre; Caroline Sturman, Volunteer Advisor from Citizens Advice Bucks and Deborah Stevens, Sponsor Liaison Area Lead from Buckinghamshire Council

With live translation from Ukrainian volunteer Ruslana Lazarenko, the panel was hosted at the University of Buckingham, who donated the space for free, and chaired by the Buckingham Support for Ukraine Chair, Heidi Young.

The support group asked to put together the panel in response to the clear need of arriving Ukrainians and their host families to get clear, impartial advice on a range of practical matters for settling into a new country. These include access to health, work, education, and long-term housing. Live translation meant that Ukrainian speakers were able to directly ask the questions they most wanted to be answered. Most queries were able to be answered directly by the panel, with some inquiries taken away for a response later. Anyone who would like a copy of the minutes when they are available should ask their Sponsor Liaison Officer, join the Buckingham Support for Ukraine group, or sign up for the email newsletter: https://forms.office.com/r/BZHF9dq1Pp

Ruslana Lazarenko told us that: “The Live Q&A panel was an incredibly important and useful event: it definitely helped Ukrainians to find answers to so many questions and challenges that they face daily while settling in a new country, especially for many of those who don’t speak English language. I can clearly see the appreciation of refugee families for such support from local community and council, it’s invaluable.

It was also a pleasure for me to volunteer at such an important event. Grateful for an opportunity to be a part of the help team for my people and my homeland - Ukraine.”