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.
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.
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?
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 and 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.”
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
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’s Environment Committee is holding a ‘fix my street’ week, running from 5th to 13th January.
Town Councillors will be out and about carrying out an audit and reporting defects and repairs around the town centre and parks. Councillors are asking residents to help build a complete picture of issues using the County Council’s page on fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk
The Town Council already works with the County Council to carry out minor works including cutting grass verges. In early 2019, the County Council will also provide the Town Council with a small budget to arrange minor repairs. Feedback will also be used to help devise the Town Council’s small work programme, as well as to help the County Council identify works which are needed in the town.
The County Council’s FixMyStreet site enables anyone to report details of an issue, including photos, which ensures that the query is forwarded to the correct council. Where it is the County Council’s responsibility, the issue is logged on their system and the website updated as progress is made. FixMyStreet is primarily for reporting things which are broken or dirty or damaged or dumped, and need fixing, cleaning or clearing, like graffiti, dog fouling, potholes or street lights that don’t work.
It is helpful to be as precise as possible; a photo or asset number (e.g. from a streetlight) can be really helpful.
Councillor Margaret Gateley, Chair of the Environment Committee, said, “I am delighted that we are able to use fix my street to register issues and to monitor progress. I encourage all residents to look at their street and to report anything that needs fixing”.
At its meeting on Monday evening (10 December 2018) Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee decided to pay to install gates on the new play area at Lace Hill to prevent dogs from entering the playground. The Council was disappointed to learn that the Management Company was not prepared to install the gates, and felt the need for this work was so strong that the Town Council should fund the work directly.
The Town Council has written to the Lace Hill Developers highlighting the absence of gates at the Lace Hill play area and asking for a contribution towards their installation. No response has been received despite chaser emails.
The Town Council will now arrange works in April 2019 to install two sets of gates at a cost of £3,339.
Councillor Margaret Gateley, Chair of the Environment Committee, said, “while it is disappointing that the Lace Hill Management Company is not prepared to fund this work, I am delighted that the Town Council have agreed to install gates to ensure the safety of children using this valuable play area.”
The Council has recently carried out a survey as part of the process in writing a Management Plan for Bourton Park. The Council wanted to understand how and what the community values in Bourton Park and what peoples’ suggestions were for the future of the popular greenspace. The consultation was created online and advertised for three weeks via social media. A link to the summary report can be found here.