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.”

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. 

All new parks guides!

Now live! Buckingham’s new mobile friendly parks guides: with maps, play areas and nature haven spots as well as handy information about toilets, walking, cycling, parking and more!

Visit buckingham-tc.gov.uk/our-services/parks-and-green-spaces to explore and discover more.

The new parks guide has been developed as part of making Buckingham’s Town Council website more accessible and mobile phone friendly.

What else would you like to see covered in more detail on your Town Council site?

 

Notice of Review of Polling districts & Polling Places

 
Aylesbury Vale District Council are conducting a review of existing Polling Stations and districts. Submissions are welcomed from residents, electors, local council and local constituency political parties as well as groups and persons with particular interest or expertise in access to premises or facilities for persons who have different forms of disability.
More information, current polling arrangements and a submission form can be optained via aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/council-democracy and a copy of the submission form is linked below.
 
Aylesbury Vale 2019 Polling station and polling district review submission form
Notice of review for Boards 2019

Community Tree Planting at Lace Hill

 
An impressive 20 volunteers from the local community came along to the Town Council’s Tree Planting Day on Sunday February 2019 at Lace Hill Football Pitches. Volunteers included Buckingham Rotary Club, Buckingham’s Tree Wardens and Town Council staff and Councillors. With plenty of people turning up to lend a hand and lighten the workload, it was a successful and cheerful day of planting.
Volunteers helped to plant 280 saplings to improve the appearance of this green space Volunteers gathered together after planting trees at Lace Hill on a sunny dayand slow the wind down through a mosaic of predominantly broadleaved trees. The saplings were secured from Cole’s Nurseries through generous donation from Buckingham’s Rotary Club to create a native shelterbelt around the pitch and will help to improve biodiversity in the area.
Councillor Margaret Gateley, who also joined in the event, said “It was great to work alongside various community groups on a glorious sunny morning. I look forward to going back in a few months to see how the trees are coming along. Our Estates Team will be keeping an expert eye on them in the meantime.”
 

Spring 2019 newsletter

 
Spring newsletter cover picturesJust like the sunshine the spring 2019 newsletter has arrived!
Buckingham Town Matters Spring newsletter 2019
Inside you’ll find future events, andqr code for the 2019 events survey all the details about local news that effects the town. We’re also taking the opportunity to launch our 2019 events survey! Follow the QR code or link below to take part by the end of March. Events Survey
 

Buckingham Town Council Opposes Proposed Care Home at West End Farm

 
At the Extraordinary meeting of Buckingham Town Council held on Monday 4 February, Councillors discussed the proposed care home at West End Farm on the Brackley Road.  The proposal is to build 72 self-contained flats with at least one resident requiring at least 1.5 hours care per week; the minimum age for residents would be 55. Care would be available 24 hours a day but not from live-in carers.
The new owners of the site, Brio Retirement Living, had submitted plans to vary the approved scheme to enable it to be built of modular units to be assembled elsewhere and brought in by truck. The proposed on-site amenities (for instance, a cinema) had also been reduced.
Councillors felt that their concerns on the amount of traffic likely to be generated by residents had not been addressed.  Residents aged 55 may well have a job or other outside interests and commitments, and parking would also be needed by staff and visiting carers.  The proposed access onto a fast road would be awkward, and there were only 72 parking spaces proposed for the 72 flats. Town councillors have always opposed the definition of the development as a care home as the flats are self-contained, with kitchen and bathroom, with a front door onto a stairwell with no internal connection to adjacent stairwells.
Town Councillors feel the proposal is for a retirement village with a nominal entry requirement for contract care, and consequently housing, which means that according to the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan a requirement of 35% Affordable Housing should be insisted upon, even if this was satisfied by a payment towards such housing elsewhere.
Town Councillors therefore decided to continue to oppose the proposal.
 
Planning application number 18/04290/APP

River Great Ouse: Recovery Update

 
After the successful reintroduction of 8,000 Chub fish to the river this week, we have received an updated community briefing from the Environment Agency on the River Great Ouse.
The updated briefings tell us more about the future plans for the recovery of the river.
Current situation and next steps: recovery and restoration
“We are working with partners; Upper Ouse Catchment Partnership, local angling clubs, Buckingham Town Council, and other landowners to help restore the river and hopefully improve on what was there before the incident, the Upper Ouse Recovery Plan will look at:

• Restocking roach, dace and chub
• Removing barriers to help fish migrate naturally which could speed up the recovery
• Increasing flow speeds to improve fish spawning and invertebrate communities
• Improving marginal features to create habitat for fish and other w
ildlife.”
The full community briefing from the Environment Agency is available here: 8th February Community Briefing 
The Environment Agency have also updated the Upper Ouse Recovery Plan
The pollution incident affected more than 25km of the River Great Ouse between Brackley and Thornton. Thousands of fish were lost and the invertebrate community was heavily impacted too. Fish stocks have since been assessed and we now have a better idea of the impact of the incident, (unfortunately we are unable to share this information). We know that invertebrates are also beginning to recover and fish have been seen in the affected length.”
The full report from the Environment Agency is available here: Upper Ouse Recovery Plan

Buckingham Town Council Supports New Development

 
At an Extraordinary Meeting of Buckingham Town Council on Monday 4th February, called because of time restraints on the responses, Councillors considered two proposals for new developments in the town: an outline plan for 420 houses on land south of Osier Way behind Gawcott Fields, and amended plans for the Tingewick Triangle land at the junction of Tingewick Road and the bypass.  The difference between the approaches of the two developers gave a clear example of the best way to develop new housing plans for the town.
Osier Way
The development at Osier Way was opposed by Councillors; the site was not marked for housing in the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan and fell outside the settlement boundary, separated from the town by the industrial areas and the bypass, and had no community facilities beyond open space and play areas. Councillors are concerned that this proposal would result in a dormitory estate which would be isolated from town life. In addition, the proposal assumed that residents would work locally and walk or cycle to work or school.  However in reality there is little likelihood of taking small children to school in any other way than by car, making the parent-car problems at the primary schools even worse than they are now. Shopping trips to Tesco, Lidl and the town centre would also add to the traffic in and out of the site via Osier Way and the bypass.
Councillors criticised the assumption that 25% Affordable Housing was acceptable, when the currently valid Plan – Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan – requires 35% (a difference of over 40 houses).  It was felt that the figure in force when the plans were submitted should be used, not the proposed figure in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan which has not yet been accepted by the Examining Officer.
Tingewick Triangle

Plan of houses in the Tingewick triangle area of Buckingham

Plan of houses in the Tingewick triangle area of Buckingham. Large green area is site of St Rumbolds Well and Roman archaeological finds.


In a huge contrast, Councillors welcomed the recent changes made to the detailed plans for Tingewick site in consultation with Design South East; this was a site designated for housing in the Neighbourhood Plan, and the developers had met and consulted with the Town Council at all stages, gradually refining the outline plan to suit Buckingham styles and other consultees’ requirements. Councillors therefore agreed no objections to the revisions, noting that not all consultees had responded yet. They also stipulated that all houses had to have telecoms connections before occupation.
Buckingham Town Council does not make final decisions on planning applications; this is the responsibility of Aylesbury Vale District Council.  However the Town Council are a statutory consultee on all planning applications, and make representations to AVDC where the Town Council opposes an application.
 
Osier Way – application 19/00148/AOP
Tingewick Triangle – 17/04668/ADP

Buckingham Town Council award record number of Community Grants

 
Buckingham Town Council has allocated a record amount of community grant funding for 2019/20 following a high number of recommendations.
Following an increase in applications to the Council for funding there will be an increase of £2,200 in the grants allocated to local community groups, meaning the Council will award a total of £25,511 in the coming financial year.
The Council are keen to support Citizens Advice Aylesbury Vale, and have decided to allocate the organisation one pound per household, based on the precept figure. This follows a recent decision by Winslow Town Council to take the same approach. “Our hope is that all other parishes will do something similar and ensure our local Citizens Advice is on a solid financial footing” said the Mayor.
“The Town Council is always keen to help local organisations that support our community. It is really impressive to see the good use that our local groups make of the limited funding that is available.”
 

Grant Applications