Buckingham Charter Fair Cancelled for First Time in Town Cllrs Living Memory

On Saturday 17th October Head Showman, Marshall Nichols of Nichols Amusements brought the striker to Buckingham Town Centre. The striker is a children’s game. You hit the bell with a hammer and win a prize every time. Saturday would have been the first of this year’s annual Charter Fairs in Buckingham.  Mr. Nichols was greeted in the town centre by Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee Cllr Robin Stuchbury and the Town Crier.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions a decision had been made by Mr. Nichols and the Town Council that the Charter Fair be cancelled for this year.  In order to hold the town’s Charter the stall was set up but was not operational.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury said that “Clearly meeting Mr. Nichols under such difficult circumstances was not how we wished to meet this year, his acknowledgement of the problems nationally to his colleagues and fellow showman through the cancellation of charter fares through the Covid-19  pandemic was heartfelt and an honest expression of the realities of what has taken place”.

Mr. Nichols said in a recorded interview with Cllr Robin Stuchbury, that “It has been a shocking year.  Showman have not been operating but they are still having to pay for the insurance and testing of the rides.  All major fairs and charter fairs such as St Giles in Oxford, Wantage, Chipping Norton, Banbury, Witney Feast, Evesham Carnival and Cirencester mop have been cancelled. To make ends meet, a lot of the Showman are now having to stack shelves in supermarkets”.  Mr. Nichols does not think that all showman will be able to afford to return next year.

To hear more from this interview with Mr. Nichols on the financial burdens of cancelling this and other fairs throughout the country go to; https://www.facebook.com/512660302457008/posts/1448067615582934/

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

Childrens Game Outside Old Gaol

Buckingham’s Pumpkin Letter Trail

Buckingham Town Council are organising a Pumpkin Letter Trail in the lead up to Halloween. Head into Buckingham to explore the local shops and enjoy what the town centre has to offer as well as have some safe family, friendly fun!

The event will run from Friday 23rd October until Saturday 31st October 2020.

To take part, download the Pumpkin Trail answer sheet. The picture clues on the sheet will guide you around the town in search of hidden pumpkins in shop windows. Write down the letters on the pumpkins and reveal the hidden word!

Once you complete the answer sheet, visit The Buckingham University book shop and show your answer sheet to the shop keeper to win £1 off of any half price children’s book.

Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Buckingham Town Council’s Town Centre and Events Committee said that; I’d like to thank all the officers within the town council for coordinating this event for our young people which the events committee are hoping will bring a little fun into the fourth coming holiday period.

For enquiries please contact Bethanie Dowden at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816 426, admin@buckingham-tc.gov.uk 

Window Display with Halloween Decorations

New Buckingham Grants Open Now

Applications open on 16th October for Buckingham Town Council Grants for the year 2021 – 2022. More than £20,000 was awarded in grants to local organisations last year, from long term commitments for vital local support as well as smaller amounts to local sports clubs, children’s activities, arts and entertainment, support for job seekers and more.

Whether you have an idea for a new project that you feel would benefit Buckingham and its residents or you are an existing organisation that needs some additional support after a tough 2020, the Town Council is here to help.

If you would like to apply but need help or advice, please contact the Town Council by calling 01280 816 426 or by email to Louise at office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Applications this year are for one year of funding only. For full details, examples of past projects and more, please visit our new grants website pages via https://www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk/your-town-council/grants

To apply, send in your completed application form as well as a copy of your groups latest accounts by 12 noon on Friday 4th December to office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Councillor Mike Smith, Chair of the Town Council Resource Committee, said “This is a great opportunity for local voluntary and/or not-for-profit organisations working on behalf of people in Buckingham to obtain some much-needed extra money in these troubled times. Whether you have a new project in mind, or are just trying to cover existing costs in order to keep going – or even expand, please apply.”

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

Advertising for Grants

New Funding For Buckingham Groups Facing Coronavirus Challenges

Thousands of pounds of grants were awarded at the beginning of 2020 to local organisations in Buckingham by Buckingham Town Council. As the impact of Coronavirus became clear, the Council has been working with local groups to support them through changes to their projects.

As part of this, the Council agreed in October to a change of grant funding use for local not-for-profit organisations.

Lace Hill Residents Association were delighted with the outcome, an award of £900. Joëlle Jones, Joint Chair of the Association said “It will make a big difference to residents as we now move towards more positive activities rather than all the negative issues we have faced over the last 8 years.”

As unemployment began to rise nationally Swan Community Hub decide to switch their focus towards a digitally focused Job Club and were awarded £2350 towards this project.

Stephen Townsend, of Swan Community Hub, was extremely pleased. “Swan Community Hub is proud to be part of the local plan to get Buckingham Back to Work. We are currently working on a new format which will make far greater use of communication opportunities through social media and virtual meetings. These face to face discussions will enable us to help build confidence and self-esteem, affirm transferable skills and qualities as well as offering practical support in creating a powerful CV and techniques for making the interview experience a positive one.”

 Applications for grants for 2021 – 2022 launch on Friday 16th October, visit the Buckingham Town Council website for details.

Mayor of Buckingham, Councillor Geraldine Collins, said that “The Town Council is delighted to be supporting these organisations, and looks forward to seeing the results of their projects.”

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

For more information about Swan Community Hub’s Job Club visit their website: https://www.swancommunityhub.org.uk/job-club

Communal Brick Circular Area Surrounded By Houses and A Green

Town Council Seeks to Save Buckingham’s Last Public Phone Box

Buckingham Town Council are asking for a full consultation to take place before the last public phone box is removed from the town. The phone box in question is on Market Hill opposite M & Co. The nearest remaining phone box would be in Middle Claydon.  BT have to follow an agreed process when they remove the last public phone in an area, and this hasn’t been fully followed as yet.

A notice has been displayed, but only inside the phone box, which hardly draws attention to the issue. BT have not provided information about why they believe it is reasonable to remove the box.  It is the role of Buckinghamshire Council as the Planning Authority] to decide whether to use its local veto to object to the removal. Buckinghamshire Council must also work within the terms of the Communications Act 2003, which requires the Council to justify their decisions, as well as encourage competition and look after the interests of us all as citizens.  Town Councillors felt that validating the notification into the system with no publicity or supporting papers did not constitute a consultation process.

The Town Council are therefore calling on Buckinghamshire Council to conduct a local consultation per the Ofcom rules.

Town Councillors opposed the removal of the phone box, pointing out that it is in the centre of town and accessible to all; not everyone has a mobile, or unrestricted access to a phone – such as children, vulnerable adults, or those in an abusive relationship who may need to call a helpline without the abuser knowing. The means of calling the emergency services is also vital in a town centre where accidents or medical emergencies may occur. The sparse local bus service may mean that residents of surrounding villages need to call a private hire cab if they miss their bus home for any reason.

Councillor Geraldine Collins, Mayor of Buckingham, said, “It is very important to keep Buckingham’s last remaining phone box in place.  Not everyone has a mobile phone and in an emergency this is their only point of contact.  To those people the phone box is a lifeline. To disregard this would be a reckless decision and one I do not want to see happen. The phone box is perfectly placed in the town centre, to be able to assist many and I implore BT to think again and make the right decision for Buckingham.”

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

River Rinse

Following Government Guidelines and working closely with the Stowe Sub Aqua Group, Buckingham Town Council’s annual river rinse along the River Great Ouse that flows through Buckingham was able to take place on Sunday 27th September.

Organised by Buckingham Town Council, the annual event was done without the usual army of volunteers. Instead Stowe Sub Aqua Group who go in the river, formed a bubble of six and Buckingham Town Council formed a bubble of six on the bank to collect the debris pulled from the river and to litter pick.  Among the Town Council’s group were river wardens Jane and John Rooney who regularly litter pick and check on the stretch of river being worked on.

The rinse went from Bourton Park car park on Bourton Road up to the cricket club.  A lot of tree branches had to be cleared as they were overhanging the river or had come down in the river slowing the flow of the water.  Among the finds this year was a very rusty children’s scooter.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee said, “It was  positive that we were able to achieve one of our two river rinses. This environmental project that has been undertaken for a great number of years in conjunction with Stowe Sub Aqua Club and Buckingham Town Council staff. We did manage to clear one section within Bourton Park. Unfortunately, we were defeated in our ambitions to repeat the process the following weekend. I would like to thank all those people involved working under difficult conditions to achieve something positive during Covid, and for their continuing ambitions to maintain a clean river environment.”

The second rinse was due to take place on Sunday 4th October. Due to persistent and heavy rain leading up to the event and the fact that Saturday afternoon river levels were rising and the river flowing quite fast, a decision was made on Saturday evening to call the event off.

For enquiries please contact Amanda Brubaker, Events Coordinator at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.


Buckingham Town Matters Newsletter

Autumn NewsletterThe Autumn edition of the Buckingham Town Matters newsletter is now out for delivery and will be with residents soon. This editions articles include tips to support your mental health during a crisis and details about how money was spent during 2019 and 2020.

If you prefer to listen to your local updates, try our audio version. This edition is read by Prof. James Tooley, new Vice Chancellor at the University of Buckingham.

With apologies from the Council, there is an error on the printed version of the newsletter. Cllr. Robin Stuchbury’s phone number on page 15 of the newsletter is incorrect. The correct phone number is 07752 394162.

We hope you enjoy and make sure to keep an eye out for updates on the next edition; Winter!


Buckingham Town Council Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

Buckingham Town Council has established a Working Group to examine issues which have been brought to public attention by recent racist events, seeking to establish how these affect Buckingham and the steps that may be taken in order to improve the lives of residents. The Working Group has been asked to bring their first progress report to the Town Council’s meeting planned for November 23rd, and to present their final recommendations by the end of this April 2021 – before the end of this Council year, when new Councillors will be elected.

The Group has so far met once. The Group is seeking input and comments from interested groups and individuals, and also expressions of interest in anyone wanting to take part.

To provide input, or to find out more, please contact the Town Clerk, Paul Hodson, on townclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or via the Town Council’s office on 01280 816 426.

BandJam Cancelled

Organised by Bandjam and sponsored by Buckingham Town Council, this year’s Bandjam due to be held on Sunday 30th August in Buckingham’s town centre, has been cancelled due to Covid19 and the current government guidelines around holding outdoor events.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee said: ‘Sadly, this August bank holiday won’t be the same for Buckingham’s music loving community. When we first organised Band Jam over 15 years ago, I never envisaged we would have to cancel any event. We have always overcome every problem which has ever been presented in cooperation with all the different people involved within running the event.

Bandjam has been a wonderful occasion in the preceding years but sadly this year we’ve been defeated in our combined efforts & ambitions by COVID-19 and all the problems which this has presented.

It is most important that we start planning for the future and once we are in a position to put this community event back on safely in the future we will do so.’