On Friday 17th May Councillor Mark Cole became the new Mayor of Buckingham for 2019-2020. The event was attended by the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, representatives from Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, local Mayors as well as many residents of Buckingham.
The Annual Statutory Meeting started with 2017-2019 Mayor Jon Harvey presenting cheques from the Mayor’s Charity Funds to:
Buckingham Youth Club, Buckinghamshire Mind and BACAB
There was also a presentation to Mr. L. Weston who has been awarded the title of Friend of Buckingham in recognition of his sterling work organising a range of memorable events in Buckingham. The title of Friend of Buckingham was also awarded to Mrs. S. Handley in recognition of her years of voluntary service organising community lunches and as Chair of Project Street Life.
Also presented was the Buckingham Town Council Award for Excellence in Sport and the Arts to The Buckingham Pantomime in recognition of their successful 35-year history delivering community pantomime productions.
Councillor Mark Cole JP delivered a speech about his aims for the year and announced 2019-2020 Mayor’s Charities – YC2: Buckingham and Winslow Young Carers and Medical Detection Dogs.
There will be opportunities to donate to this year’s charities at Town Council events throughout the year.
Cllr. Cole’s first Message from the Mayor is available in the Summer 2019 edition of Buckingham Town Matters, delivered to your door in May/June.
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.”
Buckingham Town Council has voted to only increase the Council Tax raised by the Council on residents in 2019/20 by 10p per household. At the Town Council meeting on Monday 14 January councillors voted to use £8,586 from reserves towards the coming year’s budget to keep the rise as low as possible. The total amount raised through Council Tax by the Town Council in 2019/20 will be £852,777. This equates to an increase of 10p per week for a band D property, a rise of £5.26 or 3.3%. The Town Council also raises funding through charges, for example for use of rooms in the Lace Hill Community Centre, for burials and by charging the County Council for services provided on its behalf.
The additional funding will be used to install new fencing round the Bourton Park play area and dog-proof gates for Lace Hill Park. The Council will begin to pay for the purchase and development of the new cemetery and allotment site. The Council provides additional services to those run by neighbouring councils, including the Tourist Information Centre, Shopmobility, Lace Hill Community Centre and the annual fireworks display.
The Town Mayor, Jon Harvey, said, “I am really pleased that the Town Council have been able to keep our Council Tax increase so low. The Town Council is providing a wide and increasing range of services for the town while ensuring we have the finances in place to purchase and develop the new cemetery and allotments.”
The other Councils, Crime & Police Commissioner and Fire Authority set their own Council Tax rates and increases.