Buckingham pavement potholes filled in

Repaired path on Church Street

Repair of long term pavement defects on Church Street, funded by the scheme

Buckingham Town Council has been working with Buckinghamshire County Council to cut down on wait times for road and footpath repairs in Buckingham.

Under a new devolved pilot scheme, Buckingham was chosen as one of five town and parish councils who have been given permission and funding to tackle issues such as potholes on minor roads directly.  Under the agreement, Buckingham Town Council had enough funding to repair 140 defects in local roads and paths in Buckingham with a speed limit of 30mph or less. Following a review of complaints and a survey by Town Councillors, each defect was identified as one that could be significantly improved with small repairs. This has included 136 potholes, relaying slabs and creating new footpath drain channels.

While some roads could not be worked on as they are in need of total resurfacing, these small repairs are important to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe and protect vehicles from pothole damage.

The works would not have taken place without this scheme, so the Town Council has been able to provide improvements in partnership with the County Council for the first time.

Picture of Cllr. Ruth Newell

Cllr. Ruth Newell

Buckingham Town Councillor Ruth Newell, chair of the Environment Committee that agreed the work said Buckingham Town Councillor Ruth Newell, chair of the Environment Committee that agreed the work said “I am so glad that we were able to take part in this scheme, that I fully supported as we were able to focus the repairs on the defective roads and paths that were important to Buckingham people …”

Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member said: “Town and parish councils have their feet firmly on the ground and can react quickly to local highways needs, which makes the partnership between Buckingham Town Council and the County Council of enormous benefit to residents and businesses in the town.”

Grants for 2020/21 are now open!

Do you think Buckingham needs a community fridge? Does your sports club need new equipment? A support group for a health condition? Is there an environmental project your group would love to run?

Buckingham Town Council’s grant process is now open for the financial year 2020/2021. The process to apply is simple – complete a form for Buckingham Town

Council to consider, along with information about the group that is applying for funding and get it back to us by 12 noon on Friday 1st November.

A few rules apply:

  1. Grants will only be considered for projects and activities beneficial to the people of Buckingham.
  2. Grant recipients must be based in Buckingham or provide evidence of the percentage of the work that is conducted in or on behalf of Buckingham residents.
  3. No commercial organisation will be considered for a grant.

More information and copies of the forms are available on the Grant Applications page.  

 

 

 

 

The Bard of Buckingham: applications open!

Do you want to be the Bard of Buckingham?

Complete the following form to apply: Bard of Buckingham 2019 and return it to events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk by the 2nd of October, or drop it in to the Buckingham Town Council Office.

1.      The Bardic Trial

The first Buckingham Bardic Trial will be held in the Cote, at the rear of the Woolpack pub, on Tuesday 1st October from 7pm to 9pm.  The event will include the election of Buckingham’s first Bard and Deputy Bard.

The evening will be hosted and chaired the Town Mayor, Councillor Mark Cole JP, supported by the Town Crier. Everyone in the room will be Bard of Buckingham logo, quill over the old Gaolable to cast one vote for the winner.  The recipient of the most votes will become the Bard of Buckingham, and the second placed person will become the Deputy Bard.

Each potential Bard will be asked to present one piece relevant to the theme of “Buckingham”, which should last a maximum of 5 minutes (less is fine!).  They may then present a second piece of their choosing.

Potential Bards are encouraged to register beforehand, although it will be possible to just turn up on the night.  It will be free to take part; however, a collection will be made on the night for the Mayor’s charities.

Performances will be recorded and may be shown on social media.

It is hoped to attract a wide range of entries.  Anyone can take part, providing they are over 18 and live within a day’s walk of the Old Gaol.

2.      The Bardic Council

A Bardic Council will be formed to support the individual holding the position of Bard, and to help to develop the role.  The Council will consist of local poets / storytellers and supporters, and will be largely formed from those present at the first event.

The first meeting of the Bardic Council will be on Tuesday 8th October in the Council Chamber from 18:00 to 19:00.

3.      What is a Bard?

The Bardic tradition has been spreading throughout England in recent years; Stony Stratford, Exeter and Cambridge have particularly successful Bards.  Bards differ from Poet Laureates in key ways: while both are generally geographically-based, the source of their words comes from a different place. While a Poet Laureate is usually employed by an official body to represent the views of those in power to the masses, a Bard is democratically elected by a combination of their peers and the public.

The Bard of Buckingham will gain their title (“be chaired”) after winning the first Buckingham Bardic Trial. They will hold their title for (at least) two years and a day, before passing it on to the next successful Bard.

A Bard needs to be motivated by a passion for creating through words, whether in song or poetry, or storytelling.  They should have a love for Buckingham, and live within one day’s walking distance of the Old Gaol.

The first Bard will be able to help model and develop the role.  They may help to mentor young bards, and to develop the Bardic community in Buckingham.

The Bard will be invited to write and present pieces at significant events in Buckingham each year.  Performance will be celebratory, or commemorate significant events.   The Bard’s role will be to present pieces in public; content should be suitable for an all age audience.

4.      Bardic Oath

The winner will read the following oath, from Stony Stratford, on becoming Bard:

“Words gather and now my bardic watch begins.  It shall not end for two years and a day.  I shall herald the town, raise for bardic causes, and keep it family friendly…

I shall wear no crown, and win no glory.  I shall live and not languish at my post. 

I am the word in the silence.  I am the mouth of the masses.  I am the voice that celebrates the Buckingham.  I pledge my words and honour to this Bardic Year, for this night and all the nights come.

5.      What support will be available?

A professional voiceover artist will be available to provide support with public speaking.

Once formed, the Bardic Council will provide support to the Bard and their Deputy through the year.

Audio version of the Summer 2019 newsletter.

The audio version of the summer 2019 Buckingham Town Matters newsletter is now online. If you would like any more information about anything you have heard or read about in the newsletter, please get in touch with the Town Council Office.

To find a PDF version of this newsletter, and previous editions of the Buckingham Town Matters newsletters since 2010, visit our publications page.

UN President of the General Assembly meets Mayor of Buckingham

Mayor of Buckingham meets the President of the General Assembly at the UN UN presidentThis week, the Mayor and Mayoress of Buckingham were honoured to meet the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Her Excellency Maria Fernanda Espinosa, at the University of Buckingham on Tuesday when she opened the UN Centre for Studies as the guest of Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon.

President Espinosa, who is from Ecuador, is only the 4th female holder of the UN’s highest office since it was founded in 1945, and she spoke on he issues affecting the world, including climate change and economic instability.

Mayor, Cllr Mark Cole JP, President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa and Mrs Alexandra Cole

Next steps: Buckingham Town Council and the climate emergency

Mayor signing the mayors covenant

Cllr Mark Cole JP, Mayor of Buckingham, signing the Mayors Covenant.

After declaring a climate emergency on the 15th July, Mayor Cllr Mark Cole JP has signed the Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy. The next step for Buckingham Town Council will be to find out more about where the Town Council is now and what changes can be made. We will be drafting a climate action plan during the autumn.

The signed covenant sets out a step-by-step approach to how local authorities can assess their current emissions, the risks of climate change and create a sustainable energy and climate actions plan within two years.

Buckingham Town Council principally commits to:Logo for the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Europe

  • Reducing CO2 (and possibly other greenhouse gas) emissions on its territory by at least 40% by 2030, namely through improved energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources;
  • Increasing its resilience by adapting to the impacts of climate change.

 

River Great Ouse: Recovery Update July 2019

Recovery and restoration
On Friday, 12 July we were able to release approximately 25,000 fish (20,000 dace 6-7cm and 5,000 chub 9-10cm) back into the River Great Ouse at Radclive, Buckingham and Thornborough, the locations were chosen based on their proximity to weirs and the ability for the fish to be distributed through as much of the river as possible.

Partnership working
River Wardens
Our work to establish a voluntary group of River Wardens continues, we hosted an Aquatic Invertebrate Workshop on Thursday, 20 June at the Buckingham Community Centre. John Findlay from the Environment Agency’s Analysis & Reporting team gave a talk on the different species of aquatic invertebrates that can typically be found in the river and how to identify them. Potential volunteer River Wardens then had the opportunity to put their new skills to the test and identify some samples under microscopes. The group was very enthusiastic and enjoyed the chance to get some hands-on experience.
We are hoping that a Project Officer will be in place soon, so that it can finally get the volunteer River Warden scheme up and running.

River Restoration Advice Workshop
We are working with the Wild Trout Trust to finalise our River Restoration Advice Day on 10 September 2019. Planned specifically for partners and landowners on the Great Ouse between Brackley and Buckingham, the event will focus on providing practical knowledge and skills to help restore and improve the Great Ouse in and around Buckingham. This event is invitation only, we are looking for a small number of landowners with an appetite to deliver work to improve the river in this area. Anyone interested should contact Kye Jerrom via FBG.C&B@environment-agency.gov.uk

Other restoration opportunities
• We are assessing options for a fish pass on the Upper Ouse and have secured funding for an initial design to be produced. We will consult local landowners on design options in order to agree a preferred design by the end of the year.
• In June the Wild Trout Trust completed a river restoration options assessment for river improvements through Radclive. It is hoped that this will drive future work to benefit the river and the fishery.

Stay informed
Keep up-to-date with this restoration and other projects by liking our Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology Facebook page www.facebook.com/OuseFishEA/ or follow us on Twitter @OuseFishEA.
To add your contact details to this distribution list please email: FBG.C&B@environment-agency.gov.uk

Next update due: 24th October 2019

Buckingham Town Council declares climate emergency

Buckingham Town Council has declared a Climate Emergency. The Council made the decision at its meeting Monday 15th July.

Councillor Ruth Newell

Councillor Ruth Newell

It is now clear that the world has less than 12 years to switch away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In response to a motion proposed by Councillor Ruth Newell and seconded by Councillor Robin Stuchbury, Buckingham Town Councillors discussed what they could do to draw attention to the issue, and to take action now to begin to work towards the Town Council being carbon neutral by 2030.

The Town Council also agreed to sign up to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy to track Buckingham’s progress and link with towns around the world who are cutting emissions.

The Town Council also agreed to a second motion, supporting the need for a Climate Change Action Plan for Buckingham Town, which will be the first step towards taking some concerted actions to reduce and move towards a Net Zero Carbon Footprint for the town.

Councillor Ruth Newell, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, said,

“I’m really pleased that Buckingham Town Council is taking the lead in recognising that we need to take actions locally to address climate change. We look forward to working with local groups, as well as reviewing our own operations to take immediate action, and also to plan for longer term changes, such as the vehicles we use. There are so many no-cost and low-cost options available that when combined with the funding available to community and other organisations we can start to play an increased role in combating climate change.”

Growing wild in Bourton Park!

Our second meadow in Bourton Park is looking blooming marvelous with a large variety of native annual and perennial wildflower. We have doubled the size of our original wildflower meadow and it is proving very popular with bees, butterflies and other wee beasties! The patch of land (opposite the multi games area in Bourton Park) is sewn with various species including Wild Champion, Ox-Eye daisy, Yarrow, Meadow Butter Cup and many more. Within the small copse of Silver Poplar tree we have planted a mixture that produce seeds which are attractive to birds. The patch looks glorious with a flourish of purple flowering Phacelia, to be followed by UK native species later in the Summer. These particular seeds were gifted to Buckingham Town Council by local resident and nature enthusiast Mrs Una Robinson.

 

The wildflower Meadow is located near the car park entrance to Bourton Park:

25,000 Chub and Dace added to the River Great Ouse

An extra 25,000 Chub and Dace were added to the River Great Ouse today, 12th July, along the stretch between Radclive to Thornborough Mill by the Environment Agency.

This is the second restock by the Environment Agency in the Buckingham area after a pollution incident in the summer of 2018, and is a great step forward for the recovery of the river. Other positive signs have been noted by residents and River Wardens in the last year, including video footage of otters emerging from the river.

Today’s restock took place near Hunter St Bridge and in Bourton Park within Buckingham.

To learn more about how you can be involved in caring for the river in Buckingham, read about the River Wardens scheme on our Buckingham Parks page.