09:45, Friday by Hannah Holmes

Have your say on the proposed council tax scheme for the new Buckinghamshire Council



In a consultation launched today, 14 August 2019, residents are being asked for their views on how the new Buckinghamshire council will support people on low incomes with their council tax bills through a new Council Tax Reduction (Support) Scheme.  The changes are being discussed as the five councils prepare to become one, new council from 1 April 2020.


Currently the four district councils, Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe, offer different levels of council tax support across Buckinghamshire, through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

However, from 1 April 2020, there will be one council for Buckinghamshire, so the proposal is to have one scheme for the whole of the county meaning people in the same situation are treated consistently and fairly wherever they live.

The proposal brings the four current schemes together in the most effective way, with the least amount of change for those currently receiving a reduction in their council tax bill while making sure the new scheme is affordable for the new council.

Council tax support is offered to people of working age on low incomes who are eligible for a reduction in their council tax based on their financial situation. This includes vulnerable people such as people who receive qualifying disability benefit and single parents with a child/children under 5. The proposed scheme does not affect pensioners who will continue to receive the same level of council tax reduction as directed by Government.

Many people will see little or no changes, but combining four schemes into one does mean there will be some differences.

Martin Tett, Leader of the Shadow Executive, said: “When we are one council it’s important that there isn’t a postcode lottery on the help our residents can get. We want a fair approach that offers residents the same level of support with their council tax bills no matter where they live in the county.”

To find out more and have your say, visit https://shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/consultations/counciltaxreduction
13:53, 14 Aug 2019 by Hannah Holmes

Residents asked for views on creating a new locally-focused council for Buckinghamshire


The people of Buckinghamshire are being asked for their views on how the new Buckinghamshire Council, and its councillors, will work with local communities to  improve the lives of residents 

In a consultation launched today, 12 August 2019, the Shadow Executive - who are working to create the new council - asks for residents, town and parish councils, community groups and other partner organisations across Buckinghamshire to give their feedback on proposals for community boards that would help the new council understand, respond to and support local communities more effectively.

The proposed community boards would give communities a stronger voice on how services are designed and delivered in their local area. Bringing together Buckinghamshire Council councillors with residents, health professionals, police, town and parish councils, partners and community groups to work together to tackle local issues.

The consultation focuses on how the community boards would work, who would be involved, how many there should be and the areas they should cover across the county.

Localism member co-lead, Councillor Mark Shaw (Shadow Executive member, Chiltern District Councillor and Buckinghamshire County Councillor) said: “We want Buckinghamshire Council to have strong links with its communities. Community boards are a vital way for the new council to understand local priorities and work together to find solutions. We know Buckinghamshire is a diverse county, and we need to be actively working with communities to make sure we improve outcomes for all of our residents.”

Fellow localism member co-lead, Councillor Katrina Wood (Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Leader of Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire County Councillor) added: “This is your chance to have a say about how decisions affecting your local community are made in the future. The new Buckinghamshire Council gives us a great opportunity to work together to build stronger relationships with our local communities. And we want you to help us get this right for the people of Buckinghamshire.”

People are invited to complete a short online survey, available on the Shadow Authority website:  shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/communityboards.

For further information about the survey, public drop-in sessions are being held across the county:

            • 29 August 2019 – Bucks County Show
            • 3 September 2019, 11am – 1pm – Friars Square, Aylesbury
            • 5 September 2019 , 10am – 12pm – Chiltern District Council, Amersham
            • 10 September 2019, 10am – 12pm – Buckingham Library
            • 17 September 2019, 12pm – 2pm – Wycombe District Council

To find out more about the consultation, including the answers to some frequently asked questions and to complete the short survey, visit shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/communityboards

08:22, 13 Aug 2019 by Hannah Holmes

Bucks Trustee Conference 2019: tips and advice for trustees to help strengthen your organisation.

Are you a trustee or committee member of a charity or community group in Bucks? Or perhaps you volunteer for a voluntary group which needs advice and practical ideas to strengthen their organisation?

Community Impact Bucks’ annual trustee conference on 19th September will look at why transparency and trust are critical to a charity’s success. You will be given tips on how to improve governance and accountability, as well as an opportunity to participate in an expert-led breakout session of your choice.

Tickets are heavily discounted with prices ranging from £25-£80. For more information and to book on the half day conference (19 September/ 2.00-5.15pm/ Aylesbury), go to Transparency and Trust: Trustee Conference 2019.

08:19, 13 Aug 2019 by Hannah Holmes

Heatwave - get ready for record breaking temperatures

Record breaking, temperatures are expected across the county before the weather breaks on Friday [26 July].  Temperatures are forecast to reach the mid 30’s tomorrow [25 July].

This means there is a risk to health - especially for our most vulnerable residents. Those most at risk are people:
aged over 75, babies and young children
•with a serious long-term conditions, especially heart or breathing problem
•with mobility problems 
•on certain medicines, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
mental health problems, and people who misuse alcohol or drugs
•people who are physically active  or work outdoors – for example, labourers 

 Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health, said: "Services across the County appear to be coping well with the heatwave. However, we cannot be complacent. It is very important we all do what we can to avoid the risks associated with prolonged periods of very hot weather

"The effects of too much heat can creep up on you; so remember to keep cool, keep out of the heat and  drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. Hot weather affects some people much more than others. Please take a few minutes to check-in on friends, neighbours or relatives who are less able to help themselves."

Although most of us welcome hot weather, when it's too hot for too long, it brings health risks such as dehydration, heatstroke and heat exhaustion. The heatwave advice on our website will help you to enjoy the sun and avoid these risks https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/community/ready-for-summer/  or see our advcie on how to keep cools below.

How to keep out the heat:
• keep curtains on windows exposed to the sun closed while the temperature outside is
 higher than it is inside.
• if it is safe to do so once the temperature outside has dropped lower than it is inside, open the windows.
• water external and internal plants, and spray the ground outside windows with water
(avoid creating slip hazards) to help cool the air.
• stay out of the sun, especially between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
• stay in the shade where possible - and wear hats, sunscreen, thin scarves and light clothing if going outside

How to keep body temperatures down:
• reduces your levels of physical exertion
• take regular cool showers or baths, or an overall body wash
• wear light, loose cotton clothes to absorb sweat and prevent skin irritation
• lightly sprinkle clothes with water regularly, and splash cool water on your face and the back of your neck. A damp cloth on the back of the neck helps temperature regulation
• eat cold food, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
16:30, 24 Jul 2019 by Hannah Holmes

Help us improve support for victims of domestic abuse and violence


One woman in four experiences domestic violence in her lifetime can you help?
Buckinghamshire County Council are assessing the support to residents experiencing domestic violence and need your views to help improve the services on offer. 

Domestic violence abuse (DVA) blights the lives of many of our residents, it is one of the highest areas of demand on Thames Valley Police and constitutes a significant proportion of BCC’s core business, affecting children services as well as adult social care costs. 

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health for Buckinghamshire County Council, said:  "We want everyone in Buckinghamshire to live their lives free from domestic abuse. To do this we are working with other agencies like Thames Valley Police, Womens Aid and Rape Crisis on four key areas; prevention, support, protection and recover."

The information gathered from people who have used DVA services will help us to understand what is working well and which areas need improvement. As well as this survey we will be conducting focus groups and speaking to professionals that use our service to build a better picture of the support residents are getting across the county. 

“That's why it’s so important to have the views of residents that have both experienced DVA -  and those that have used our services to support a friend or family member. The statistics mean that you probably know someone that has been through this, so please take five  minutes to do our survey today”.  

The survey is open now and can be accessed here 


10:27, 24 Jul 2019 by Hannah Holmes


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