Great River Great Ouse hosts its first annual River Rinse

Sunday morning was a beautiful early autumn morning perfect for the first of this year’s Buckingham River Rinses.

Members of the public, Buckingham Town Council staff, councillors and volunteers from the Stowe Sub Aqua Group met at the University car park ready to start cleaning the stretch of river from Tanlaw Mill up stream to Fishers Field.

Stowe Sub Aqua Group, who have been volunteering for many years on the project, went in the river and pulled out traffic cones, branches, wire baskets, pipes and general litter.  Volunteers litter picked along the river bank and as well as general litter, found a tv that had been dumped.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee had the following to say: “another successful day with many different people turning out from within the community, in partnership with Stowe Sub Aqua, the green spaces team, officers and councillors. All working together to improve our river environment again this year. It’s a constant theme of the Council to look after our aquatic wildlife, and  great River Great Ouse.” 

If you would like to get involved and help keep our stretch of the River Great Ouse free of debris, we will be meeting on Sunday 9th October in the Bourton Park car park, Bourton Road at 10:15am.  We will be working from the bridge at the bypass up stream towards the cricket club.  Litter pickers, gloves and rubbish bags will be provided.

Grants available for Buckingham community groups 2023

Buckingham Town Council funds thousands of pounds worth of community, voluntary and social group projects through one year grants every year.

Applications for 2023-2024 funding are invited to be received by Friday 4th November at 12 noon by email to deputytownclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Application forms are available on the town council website. and must be accompanied by a copy of your group’s latest accounts (or business plan for new groups).

Last years funded grants included: solar panels for the cricket club house, free family activity sessions, football training equipment, flood defences, accessible fishing platform and a beacon for the Platinum Jubilee.

Anyone with questions about the grant fund is encouraged to contact the Town Council office who are happy to give help and advice with applying for funding.

Councillor Lisa O’Donoghue, chair of the Resources committee said: “We would like to encourage eligible groups to apply, last year 8 groups were awarded one year funding (alongside 8 longer term funds). We know that the grants we give out really benefit the community as a whole, including visitors and residents.”

Buckingham Marks Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Under lowered half-mast flags, Buckingham residents commemorated the life of Queen Elizabeth II throughout the National Mourning period.

A number of books of condolence were available in Buckingham, with copies circulated to care homes so that residents unable to access the books could take part from their homes. The resulting entries will be bound into books and archived at Buckinghamshire Council for future historians.

The Reading of the Proclamation of the Accession of the new King Charles III took place outside the Old Gaol at 3.30pm on Sunday 11th September. A large crowd of more than four hundred people gathered to witness Deputy Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Anja Schaefer, read the Proclamation and sing ‘God Save the King’ for the first time.

On Sunday 18th September, St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Buckingham held a Commemorative Service. The service started with a reflection on Her Majesty’s life by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham followed by readings and prayers given by other reverends and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Anja Schaefer. There were various hymns sung including the late Queen’s favourite hymn: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven. The service was attended by approx. 200 people and many of those signed the book of condolence afterwards.

Commemorative Serice

One Buckingham fact commented on by residents was the long link between Buckingham and the Royal Family. Buckingham has two Royal Charters, one from Mary Tudor in 1554, and one from Charles II in 1684. Charles II also gifted Buckingham its Mace in 1660, which is still used at ceremonial occasions today.

Buckingham Palace is also named after Buckingham. Originally known as Buckingham House, it was owned by the Duke of Buckingham and sold to George III in 1761. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had visited Buckingham on several occasions, and stories were told of her visit to the University of Buckingham in 1996 as well as her arrival several years before via train in 1966. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip met with the then Mayor of Buckingham, Alderman T. Lambourne at Buckingham Station. Images of the couple smiling in the train carriage were printed in the local paper.

Councillor Margaret Gateley, Mayor of Buckingham said “These have been momentous and historic days since we learned of the death of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II. I am sure that the people of Buckingham will remember participating in the various events which have taken place since for all their lives. These events have provided us all with the opportunity to reflect on the long life and reign of Her Majesty as well as to give thanks for her devoted service to our nation and to the Commonwealth.” 

Notes:

  1. For enquiries, please contact Claire Molyneux at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, communications@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

 

Listen to our planning needs, demands Buckingham

An accusation that Buckinghamshire Council is ignoring the wishes of towns and parishes regarding Section 106 agreements – the financial contributions which developers make to lessen the impact of new housing on a community – was made at Buckingham Town Council’s recent Planning Committee meeting.

The charge came after members were told that the town would not be consulted on what mitigations it wants from the new 420-dwelling estate off Osier Way, adding 1000 more residents to the 1000 or so in the adjacent St. Rumbold’s Fields estate. The Unitary Authority agreed with the developer that it should make payments towards transport, education, open spaces and sports and leisure, but there is nothing towards onsite community facilities, or health provisions for which the Town Council has been pushing. Playgrounds alone do not make a community, especially one separated from the town by the bypass and industrial estate. Councillors are further disappointed that the developer has refused to discuss the Town Council taking on the management of the green spaces and play areas, preferring to pass this to a management company who will charge residents an annual fee.

The Town & Country Planning Act 1990 created s106 agreements ‘between a developer and a local planning authority about measures that the developer must take to reduce their impact on the community.’ They must take into account the resulting increase in population and the effect it will have on schools, GP services, hospitals and other local infrastructure. The education contribution is destined for Maids Moreton and Buckingham Primary Schools, and The Buckingham School – the first two being the furthest possible distance for young children to walk.

“Despite requesting that we would be involved from the start, the Town Council has been presented with the Osier Way S106 agreement as a fait accompli,” says Planning Committee chairman Cllr Mark Cole JP. “When we questioned that, we were informed by a Buckinghamshire Council that ‘it is not usual practice for any consultation to be made, although there were discussions with regard to public open space management and sports & leisure projects, which contributed to discussions with the developers.’

When Buckinghamshire became a unitary authority in March 2020, we supported it because it promised greater consultation in planning matters, but the opposite has happened. We are not alone in this – other towns are voicing similar complaints.

More and more planning decisions are being taken by a committee chairman and an officer, despite our repeated requests to speak at committees, and there appears to be a marked reluctance by the local planning authority, which is focused on meeting housing targets, to insist that developers provide community hubs or contribute towards health facilities.

There will be nowhere for at least 2,000 residents of Osier Way and the adjacent St Rumbold’s Way estate – which are on the south-western edge of the town – to meet under cover, and doctors’ practices and schools are already fully-subscribed.”

“Enough is enough,” adds Cllr Cole. “We are calling on Buckinghamshire Council and its six local ward councillors – five of whom are on the North Bucks Area Planning Committee – to start listening. Buckingham knows what its local needs are, but currently we are being ignored.

The result will be dormitory estates with residents isolated from the town and each other, with not even somewhere to meet and chat over a cup of tea.”

Celebrate summer with a trip from Buckingham to Neverland

Buckingham Town Council have arranged for an outdoor performance of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to be presented on the Green next to St Peter and St Paul’s Church this summer. The award-winning Illyria Outdoor Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, they are re-staging popular shows from their back catalogue, including Peter Pan.

This will be the first time Illyria has entertained audiences in Buckingham. “Over the last thirty years, we have performed top-notch outdoor theatre to over a million people across the country,” said Artistic Director Oliver Gray. “It’s a great chance for everyone to come together, enjoy the British summertime and be entertained.”

Peter Pan Outdoor Theatre event poster for Buckingham 2022

Buckingham Town Council are pleased to be part of Illyria’s 30th anniversary celebrations. “Especially after the success of last year’s outdoor theatre show and the pleasure it brought people by bringing families together in a shared activity,” said Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chair of Town Centre, and Events Committee.

Robin continued, “we are only able to do these events because of the work of our members of staff within the events team do to help facilitate initiatives like the outdoor theatre. Whoever you are, a show like Peter Pan by J.M Barrie is a fantastic event for your calendar, it will be filled with magic and mischief. And, for the first time ever in outdoor touring theatre, it features real flying! It promises to be a fantastic opportunity for Buckingham.”

The event will take place on the Green by St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Wednesday August 3rd, 2022. There will be an afternoon show at 2.30pm and another at 6pm. Peter Pan is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Tickets are on sale now, buy online at www.illyria.co.uk

 

 

Buckingham Fringe Week to celebrate local artists, culture and outdoor summer fun

A fantastic lineup of arts and culture events will come to Buckingham as part of this years Fringe Week from 16th to 23rd July.

Saturday 16th July:

Market Entertainment

St Mary & St Giles band perform classical music at the ancient Cattle Pens flea market area, while stilt walkers will be entertaining visitors in Market Hill outside the Old Gaol.

Inspiration Art Trail Map launch

Take a tour of Buckingham from artist Cathy Read’s perspective. See the inspiration behind the art by following the map around Buckingham and the surrounding area. Plus: chance to win a Cathy Read print.

Skatepark Contest & Event

King Ramps are bringing profession skateboarders and a BMX display to Buckingham Skate Park. Come along with your own board or bike and get tips from the professionals through a workshop and open practice session, and rounded off with a community contest – free to enter, maximum bragging rights for the winner.

Sunday 17th July:

Family Fun Day

An afternoon of family fun at Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre, including bouncy castle, food, stalls and more.

Tuesday 19th July:

The Oxford Fiddle Group

Returning to the Radcliffe Centre, the Oxford Fiddle Group perform songs from England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA. Tickets £6 each and available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Old Gaol.

Wednesday 19th July

Fringe Week Quiz

Join Mikey at The Woolpack for an extra special Fringe week quiz – don’t forget to brush up on your local knowledge for this years special round!

Thursday 21st July

Art in the Market

Pop along to Art in the Market to witness professional and amateur artists creating art, learn about their work and have a go at creating your own masterpiece. Meanwhile, Buckingham’s first Giant Art Attack will take place outside the Old Gaol.

Saturday 23rd July:

Market Entertainment

Local resident and member of Buckingham Acoustic Club, Udo Dolz, will be playing acoustic fingerstyle and classical guitar at the Flea market, while Simon Says Magic will be putting on a fantastic show for children outside the Old Gaol.

The BFG

Family friendly music event The BFG joins the Fringe this year, from Moretonville FC in Gawcott. The BFG featuring Alvin as Elvis and 2Tone featuring Dave Mason and Ryan Chandler, licensed bar, food, bouncy castles, craft stalls and lots more.

Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury said “this year marks more than 10 years of the Fringe, when we started it many years ago, it was to keep the continuity of council and community events working together. Offer the opportunity for everyone to partake, across a wide spectrum of ages. The committee and officers do a grand job of putting this together. I hope that everyone who takes part this year enjoy it and gets something from the week.”

Interested in hosting your own Fringe Week event? Get in touch with events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk and we’d be delighted to include your event on our website and Fringe promotions.

Live Q&A gives refugees chance to find out more about settling into Buckinghamshire

In a first of its kind, refugees from Ukraine that have settled into the Buckingham & Villages area were able to take part in a live question and answer panel directly with local services.

The Buckingham Ukrainian Q&A took place during Refugees Week, whose theme this year is “healing” through community, creativity, and conversation.

A panel of local services including The Swan Practice Health Centre, Citizens Advice Bucks and Buckinghamshire Council was organised by Buckingham Town Council on behalf of the local volunteer group Buckingham Support for Ukraine.

The panel included: Jennifer Laws, Patient Services Manager; Shelley Wagstaff, Nurse Manager; Dr. Emily Foggin, GP and Lisa Carrington, Social Prescribing Link Worker from The Swan Practice Health Centre; Caroline Sturman, Volunteer Advisor from Citizens Advice Bucks and Deborah Stevens, Sponsor Liaison Area Lead from Buckinghamshire Council

With live translation from Ukrainian volunteer Ruslana Lazarenko, the panel was hosted at the University of Buckingham, who donated the space for free, and chaired by the Buckingham Support for Ukraine Chair, Heidi Young.

The support group asked to put together the panel in response to the clear need of arriving Ukrainians and their host families to get clear, impartial advice on a range of practical matters for settling into a new country. These include access to health, work, education, and long-term housing. Live translation meant that Ukrainian speakers were able to directly ask the questions they most wanted to be answered. Most queries were able to be answered directly by the panel, with some inquiries taken away for a response later. Anyone who would like a copy of the minutes when they are available should ask their Sponsor Liaison Officer, join the Buckingham Support for Ukraine group, or sign up for the email newsletter: https://forms.office.com/r/BZHF9dq1Pp

Ruslana Lazarenko told us that: “The Live Q&A panel was an incredibly important and useful event: it definitely helped Ukrainians to find answers to so many questions and challenges that they face daily while settling in a new country, especially for many of those who don’t speak English language. I can clearly see the appreciation of refugee families for such support from local community and council, it’s invaluable.

It was also a pleasure for me to volunteer at such an important event. Grateful for an opportunity to be a part of the help team for my people and my homeland - Ukraine.”

Mayor of Buckingham awards prizes at Mayor Making Ceremony

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley will continue for a second year as Mayor, after her fellow Councillors voted unanimously for her to stay on. Cllr. Margaret Gateley said that: "It is a great honour to be Mayor of Buckingham for a second year. It was fantastic to be able to celebrate Mayor Making with dignitaries and Mayors from around Buckinghamshire and beyond, with fellow Councillors, members of community groups, family and friends. It was special to have the opportunity to recognise the service and contribution of different individuals and groups from our town through our awards and grants. My thanks to everyone who contributed to making this such a lovely evening."

This is the first time in three years that the annual Mayor Making event – a formal ceremony that confirms the Council’s choice as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Town - was able to take place indoors, at Buckingham Community Centre. The Town Council was joined by a number of dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant, Countess Howe, and High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Debbie Brock. Mayors from neighbouring towns Aylesbury, Leighton-Linslade, Brackley, Towcester and Deputy Mayor of Banbury as well as Lt. Col David Marce from RAF Croughton, who all joined in the celebrations.

Cllr. Anja Schaefer was also appointed Deputy Mayor, Anja has been a Councillor for the last twelve months and is a lecturer at the Open University.

Guests were entertained by Linda Watkins and Mike Moyse and £150 was raised for the Mayor’s Charities 2022 - 2023, which this year are the Jedidiah Project and Buckingham Food Bank.

This year’s community awards were given to:

Honorary Freeman

  • Terry Bloomfield for 20 years of service to the town, as well as being a Councillor for many years, Terry was a key person involved with horticultural shows, managing the community centre and the Old Gaol Trust.

Friend of Buckingham

  • Chris Mullis for all his work in setting up and managing the Buckingham Support Network during lockdown.
  • Mikey Dyson-Smith for his morale-boosting work through the pandemic.
  • Jenny Manning for her work on the Buckingham Railway Walk Volunteers Group.

Bard of Buckingham

  • Dean Jones, the first ever Bard of Buckingham, who carried on the role for two years

Arts and Sports Award

  • Buckingham Ukulele Group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the local community through enhancing the cultural life in Buckingham.

Natural Environment and Climate Champion Award

  • Railway Walk Conservation Group in recognition of the exceptional and outstanding contribution to the local community through protecting and enhancing the environment.

Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Award

  • Men in Sheds in recognition of the group’s continued support for men

Cllr. Geraldine Collins was also awarded a rose bowl, as a mark of her service as past Mayor of Buckingham 2020 – 2021.

Cheques were also given out to the Mayor’s Charities for 2021 – 2022: Community Care North Bucks and Project Street Life, who were each awarded £1,785 from fundraising projects and collections at events throughout the last year.

Grants were also awarded to 16 local groups by the Town Council, with members of the groups invited to attend and receive their charity cheques.

Town Council Four-year grants:

Buckingham Fairtrade, Buckingham Old Gaol Trust, Buckingham Summer Festival, Buckingham Tennis Club, Buckingham Youth Club, Citizens Advice Bureau, Chandos Park Bowls Club, Project Street Life

Town Council One-Year Grants

Aspire, Buckingham & District Angling Association, Buckingham Town Cricket Club, Buckingham United FC, Lace Hill Residents Association, St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church, Swan Community Hub, West End Bowls Club.

More details about the grants will be published next month.

Be involved for the bees: Buckingham In Bloom Competition is now open!

Be involved for the bees: Buckingham In Bloom Competition is now open!

Buckingham Town Council is now accepting entries for this year’s Buckingham In Bloom competition.

Open to all residents of Buckingham, this fun and free to enter competition has three categories front garden, hanging baskets/containers and new this year Wildlife Garden.

To enter, please download complete and return the form below to events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk 

The gardens and baskets/containers must be visible from the kerbside. Judging will take place mid July. The Judges will be looking for colour, variety of plants, overall design, whether it attracts insects and other wildlife, garden maintenance and planting schemes which achieve sustainability.

Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Robin Stuchbury said: “be involved for the bees! Improve your garden and gain an opportunity to win this year’s Buckingham in Bloom contest. Every entry contributes to a greener more pleasant environment for not only yourselves but the whole community.”

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Town Council website or picked up from the Tourist Information Centre and the Buckingham Library Closing date is Friday 1st July.

Queen’s Jubilee Picnic on the Pitch Celebrations

Buckingham Town Council hosted ‘Picnic on the Pitch’ as part of the town wide Queen’s Jubilee celebrations on Saturday the 4th of June at Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre. Despite the wind and rain the show went ahead and many residents from across Buckingham braved the great British bank holiday weather. Children were excited to be greeted by Spider-Man and Elsa mascots and had fun making badges and having their faces painted. The atmosphere was great and as soon as the rain stopped and the sun came out, more families arrived to show their support and enjoyed the live music and the delights on offer including lots of cake.

Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre, and Events Committee said “I would like to thank all the volunteer officers and people who attended Picnic on the Pitch which gave an opportunity for the community to meet on this auspicious occasion. It was positive to see so many people engaging in conversation within a shared experience on the day and hope those who attended enjoyed themselves at this community event”