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.”

Town Council services holiday opening times

The opening times for all Town Council facilities over the winter break are as follows:

  • Town Council: Closed Friday 24th December 2021 until Tuesday 4th January 2022.
  • Tourist Information Centre: Closed 24th – 28th December 2021 and 1st – 2nd January 2022. Normal service resumes 3rd January.
  • Shopmobility: Closed Saturday 25th, Tuesday 28th December 2021 and Saturday 1st January 2022. Normal service resumes 4th January.
  • Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre: Closed Friday 24th December – Tuesday 4th January 2022 unless booked for hire.
  • Buckingham Markets: Closed Saturday 25th December and 1st January. Tuesday markets open as normal throughout.

Have a fantastic break and we can’t wait to see you in the New Year.

Buckingham: shopping all wrapped up in a charming market town

Roll over plans from 2020 are brightening up Buckingham this Christmas, including bunting and a selfie banner funded by Buckinghamshire and Villages Community Board, part of Buckinghamshire Council.

The bunting is being handed by the Town Council out to local shops for free, and celebrates Buckingham as a fantastic place to buy everything you need, #AllWrappedUp, this winter. Buckingham truly does have a fantastic offer from toy and book stores to high quality handmade berets and candles to clothes and tools. Any shop wanting to take part in future campaigns should contact the Town Council office.

Shopping as a group experience is back this year too, and a selfie banner has been installed in the town centre, near the Old Gaol, to capture the moment. The banner celebrates all of Buckingham’s shopping areas, including Cornwalls Meadow, the Industrial Estate, the Hidden Quarter and the Town Centre. Share your festive Buckingham pictures with @buckinghamtc on Twitter and Instagram for a chance to be in our newsletter – circulated to 6,500 homes.

Wherever you’re shopping this winter, make sure you discover Buckingham!

Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of Buckingham Town Council’s Town Centre & Events Committee, told us: “Buckingham Town Centre and Events Committee have taken the opportunity of using the Community Board funding to put up the bunting and the board to continue the committee’s long term desire to support the local economy. Especially at this important trading time around Christmas.”

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

 

Christmas Parade 2021 Road Closures

The Christmas Parade arrives in Buckingham this Saturday. The town centre will fill with a fantastic array of floats who parade from Chandos Road to the town centre and back again. Each float is made by local groups and, this year, celebrates fashion through the ages. The parade starts from 10.30am.

In order for this to take place a full road closure will be in place, starting from 7am on Saturday 11th December. The links below will take you to more information about road closures, parking restrictions, bus diversions and access to Cornwalls Meadow car park during the event.

Christmas Parade

Buckingham’s Market draws visitors from far and wide

While internet shopping is now a firm festive favourite of many, Buckingham Markets have been quietly bucking the trend. The food, essentials and flea markets have been building in popularity over the last few years and now offer a unique, popular and extremely varied range of products and services. As well as decent quality basics at good prices, you’ll find a wide selection of local produce including artisan cheese, street food, handmade products, mixed amongst international flavour – a handy place to pick up your Asian food favourites and eco-friendly jewellery from Ecuador.

Eco-friendly options have been multiplying, new trader Rolling Oats offer completely packaging free products – a brilliant way to pick up store cupboard stables while reducing your waste, and many other stalls are working towards being plastic free. Shopping with your local traders creates other environmental benefits – reducing the food and product miles of the items you buy.

Some of this success has been credited towards Buckingham Markets presence online – linking all that Buckingham has to offer as a thriving market town and tourist destination. Footfall from visitors further away has significantly increased. Market days create a fabulous atmosphere and attract many customers to make purchases and explore the local shops, cafés and restaurants. The Town Council thanks the traders and customers for sticking with their local market throughout several lockdowns and helping it grow so positively.

The Saturday Flea Market is also flourishing. Outdoor flea markets are a vintage gem in themselves – not many still survive across the country, while Buckingham’s continues to grow. Flea markets are a wonderful way to shop, offering a unique selection of vintage, antique and curious items for the home.

As well as being a fantastic way to pick up truly unique gifts, the Flea Market offers environmentally conscious choices – reducing the consumption of new goods, in favour of the old. New gazebos, arriving in the first week of December allow the market to continue in all weathers.

Russell Cross, Buckingham Markets Manager, told us: “Buckingham market is thriving – the variety of stalls has really increased over the last few years with lots of regular stalls and shoppers. It’s become a social hub, shoppers come to meet friends and sit down in a café for tea as well as shop. This compliments local businesses and bring hundreds of new customers into the town.”

Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee told us: “Throughout the year the markets have been a great success for the community; bringing everyone back together. Thanks to the efforts of the Market Manager and the team that supports them. This success has been important for the financial well-being of the market going forward and only possible through due diligence and being proactive. We’re looking to invest in the markets future including new gazebos for the Flea Market. The events committee will continue to work to support the market, as it did in the summer with its summer market entertainment programme, both for its own good and to support the wider economy of Buckingham. Thank you for continuing to support out our town market.”

Interested in joining the market? Email Russell, our Markets Manager with any enquiries: markets@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

lady shopping at the cheese stall
Workers in hi vis buy street food
stall holder smiles behind his selection of sauces
Two women choose vegetables at a market stall
Shoppers browse the flea market under green trees

Buckingham Christmas Cards designed by local children for sale in aid of Mayor’s Charities

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley with winners Isabella and Eva outside the Old Gaol Christmas tree
Packs of 6 cards tied with yellow ribbon

Three wonderful Christmas Cards have been designed by Buckingham children, which will be printed and sold to raise money for local charities in the Tourist Information Centre from 25th November. The three designs were designed by Isabella Caswell, age 6, Mere S, age 8 and Eva Whittemore, age 10. The winners were chosen by Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley.

The cards are being sold in aid of the Mayor’s Charities: Project Street Life and Community Care North Bucks. Community Care North Bucks is run by local volunteers and comprises Adult Carers Support Group, YC2 Young Carers: Buckingham & Winslow, Open House and the Hospital Car Service.

Each pack includes 6 cards, 2 of each design, and costs £4. They can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre, Buckingham Old Gaol.

The competition was kindly sponsored by local businesses BCQ Print, who printed the cards, Black Dog Design, who designed them and the Little Buckingham Clinic which means all of the £4 raised from the sale of each pack will go directly to local charities.

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley told us: “It was really lovely to choose the winners of this year’s Christmas Card competition. This is a great way to raise money for my chosen charities. It is amazing to see such artistic ability from local children. My thanks go to all who entered the competition and my congratulations go to those who won, whose designs can be seen and purchased at The Old Gaol.”

Christmas Card Winning Design, Isabella Age 6, Church in the snow
Winning Design, Eva, age 10, baubles and stars
Winning Design, Mere, age 8, Christmas tree and gifts in the snow

Buckingham Town Matters Winter 2021 Newsletter

The Winter edition of the Buckingham Town Matters newsletter is now out for delivery and will be with residents soon. This edition includes articles on the New Bard of Buckingham, Flood Report Update, Water Pollution, Lacehill Solar Panels, Buckingham Community Wildlife Project and Adult Learning.

If you prefer to listen to your local updates, try our audio version. This edition is read by Buckingham Town Councillor, Sue Hetherington.

We hope you enjoy and make sure to keep an eye out for updates on the next edition; Spring 2022.