On Monday 30th September 2019 Buckingham Town Councillors discussed a proposal from Aylesbury Vale District Council to use S106 funds (Developer contributions) for the installation of a soft play facility at the Swan Pool. The proposal was to use £58,800 to fully fund the installation of the equipment, along with air conditioning and a new floor.
Town Councillors highlighted that the proceeds from the sale of the climbing wall were not being used to offset the cost of the new installation. Councillors expressed discomfort with S106 funds being used to provide facilities for a commercial provider, particularly where this will fund the setup of a service which will compete with an established local business. Councillors did not feel that the sufficient market research had been carried out to evidence demand for the service proposed. Members also highlighted that the Town Council is still waiting for the District Council to upgrade the Skate Park and also for action on a BMX track.
Town Councillors will review their “wish-list” of preferred schemes to be funded later this year.
“This is yet another example of AVDC deciding for Buckingham what it thinks it wants,” says Cllr Mark Cole JP, Mayor of Buckingham. “We have for years been putting our Section 106 contributions wish list before AVDC, with the BMX track – which would be on public land and free-of-charge to users – at the top of the urgent priorities. We cannot therefore support this money being allocated to a commercial business facility for which users would be charged.”