Most residents will be aware of the range of events that the Town Council either arranges itself, or supports when arranged by others. But even those arranged by others need considerable background work by the Town Council and particularly Amanda, our Events Co-ordinator, who runs most of the Town Councils regular events including this year’s brand new event Celebrate Buckingham Day.
This year we have run many additional bounce back events, to support the town and local businesses as they recover from covid-19 closures. These events involved many additional staff including (but not limited to) Sam, the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre Manager (who also runs annual events based at Lace Hill), Emma the Town Centre Manager and Russell our Markets Manager. These projects included the Otter Trail, outdoor theatre performances of Alice in Wonderland and many weeks of varied Market Entertainment.
Some events are “outsourced” but still require our involvement. Others involve third-party contractors for specialist work. For example, although the Charter Fair is organised by the Showmen’s Guild, we still have to arrange the road closure (in this case, a complicated “rolling road-closure”) which requires a small army of marshals. Similarly, the Christmas Parade is run by the Christmas Parade Committee, but it is the Town Council, who have the trained personnel and requisite signage, that is responsible for the road closure. Music in the Market is run by the Buckingham Acoustic Club, and BandJam is run by the organisation of that name – but we still look after the road closures and arrange first aid, refreshment vendors, security etc.
Even the Town Council’s own events often require specialist inputs, such as the staging, lighting and sound at the Christmas Lights switch-on, the bonfire building and barriers putting out for the Bonfire & Fireworks – plus heaps of meetings, telephone calls and emails until all the ducks are in line. As you can imagine, lots of events in quick succession, like the Fringe Week, take masses of organising.
On top of all that, all of our social media and posters are designed and produced in house and displayed – and cleared away after events. For the Fringe Week an entire booklet is designed working with our newsletter designer.
We also assist with events put on by others, such as the Remembrance Parade and the Scout Parade scheduled for this year, by sorting out and marshalling the road closures.
We are often asked to consider new events. We constantly review all of them to see what improvements might be made, and this year we will continue to review them all in detail to ensure that they remain financially viable, well supported, and in keeping with our wider aspirations. After all, arranging entertainments is not a primary role of Town Councils, and we want to ensure that as many as possible enjoy the events put on at their cost.
Interested in our Autumn and Winter 2021 events? You can find out more on our events calendar.
But what do you think? We always welcome your views.
This blog post originally appeared in the Spring 2017 Buckingham Town Matters Newsletter and has been updated.