Last night the Environment Working Group met, amongst other matters the following was discussed:
- Cllr. Warren Whyte as Chair and Cllr. Anja Schaefer appointed as Vice-Chair of the Environment Working Group for 2021/22.
- Street lighting – Members agreed for a consultation and review of Buckingham’s streetlights to explore putting in extra illumination.
- The first Draft of the Community Flood Response Plan was noted and Members will seek to establish a Working Group after the publication of Buckinghamshire Council’s Section 19 report.
- The Estates Team are researching options for commissioning a Holocaust Memorial Stone in Bourton Park
- Members agreed to support the proposal to set up a repair café in Buckingham.
Office Recycling facilities to be setup in all Town council premises
Last week the Communications Strategy Working Group met to discuss:
- Cllr. Jon Harvey was selected as Chair and Cllr. Martin Try as Vice-Chair of the Communications Strategy Working Group for 2021/22.
- Progress with the Summer 2021 newsletter and content for the Autumn 2021 edition.
- Progress on developing the Town Council website and ideas for it’s improvement.
- Annual statistical reports.
- The purchase of additional signage to advertise Summer events.
After a meeting of the Interim Council on 7th June 2021, Fran Davies was selected by co-option to join Buckingham Town Council and fill a vacancy in the South Ward that remained after the May elections.
Cllr. Fran Davies said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been accepted by The Mayor and Buckingham Town Councillors as a co-opted member for the people of Buckingham South.
I will be continuing as a Parish Councillor for Radclive-cum-Chackmore and I look forward to the challenges of representing a wider number of people and hope to be able to help them the best I can. I am particularly interested in environmental and green issues and community events and am keen to get involved in both existing and new projects.”
Other topics covered by the Interim Council on 7th June included:
At the Planning Working Group meeting on the 8th June topics included:
- A resident attended the public session to discuss issues with Candleford Court
- 3 Planning Applications, all with no objections from members
- Changes to the Buckinghamshire Council constitution and the impact on planning
- Enforcement and other planning matters to report around Buckingham.
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.
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”.