You may have already heard that the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, has announced that he is “minded to” implement Buckinghamshire County Council’s proposal to replace the existing five councils in Bucks with a single county-wide unitary. The “minded to” decision is not set in stone and we will be making the strongest possible representations to the Secretary of State that this decision is not the right one. We don’t believe that this decision is in the best interest of our local residents, businesses, community groups, parish councils and various other stakeholders in the county and we don’t believe it has strong local support. We are extremely disappointed with this decision and we appreciate that you will have a lot of questions about what this could mean for your council going forward. We will be happy to answer those questions during the clerks’ meeting on 22 March – and you are welcome to extend the invitation to members of your council to come along as well. And of course we will write to you as soon as we have any further updates on the next steps. Please find below the text of the written government statement: “My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement. “I am today announcing how I am minded to proceed in response to the locally-led proposals that I have received for improving local government in Buckinghamshire. Currently in the administrative county of Buckinghamshire, there is a two-tier structure of Buckinghamshire County Council and the district councils of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, High Wycombe, and South Bucks. “There is broad local consent for change in Buckinghamshire, though there have been two alternative approaches for how precisely it should be configured. In September 2016 and January 2017, I received locally-led proposals for replacing the current structure, in one case with a single new unitary council and in the other case with two new unitary councils – one for the area of Aylesbury Vale and the other for the remainder of the current county area. “Having carefully considered all the material and representations I have received, I am minded to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval and further discussions, the locally-led proposal to replace the existing five councils across Buckinghamshire with a single council for the area. “I am satisfied that this new single council, if established, is likely to improve local government and service delivery in the county, generating savings, increasing financial resilience, facilitating a more strategic and holistic approach to planning and housing challenges, and sustaining good local services. I am also satisfied that across Buckinghamshire as a whole there is a good deal of local support for this new council, and that the area of the council represents a credible geography. “Whereas, I am equally satisfied that establishing two councils for the current county area is unlikely to improve local government in the area, generate significant savings, or provide the capacity to sustain major services or to address planning and housing challenges. I believe the areas of the two councils would not represent a credible geography or clear local identity, and that there is significantly less local support for two councils than for a single council. Accordingly, I am not minded to proceed with the proposal for establishing two councils. “Notwithstanding, I am clear that in relation to establishing a single council further steps are needed to secure local consent amongst the local partners, and I hope this ‘minded to’ announcement will facilitate the necessary discussions to deliver this local agreement. “Before I take my final decision, there is now a period until 25 May 2018 during which those interested may make further representations to me, including that if a proposal is implemented it is with suggested modifications. The final decision would also be subject to Parliamentary approval.” Kind regards Catherine Spalton Corporate Communications Team Leader
As you will be aware, in autumn 2016 the County Council submitted an independently-verified business case to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to abolish the ‘two tier’ system of county and district councils, and create a new, single council for Buckinghamshire. The district councils then proposed a different option to MHCLG: two new unitary councils, one for the north of the county, and one for the south. I am pleased to confirm that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Sajid Javid, has now announced that he is ‘minded to’ implement, subject to Parliamentary approval and further discussions, the locally-led proposal to replace the existing five councils across Buckinghamshire with a single council for the area. The move to a single unitary council will bring improved and simplified services for local residents, and place more control and decision-making in the hands of town and parish councils and local communities. Our proposal has localism at its heart, with plans for: • A flexible partnership offer that reflects the differing sizes, geographies and resources of parish and town councils, while enabling further devolution, much more local decision-making and the ability to respond to different community needs. • Greater choice and control over local assets and service delivery: increased opportunities to transfer assets and services to those parish and town councils who want them - backed up by a package of funding and support to allow this to be sustainable and successful. • Putting real decision-making power in the hands of local people: a new network of community boards with powers and budget to take decisions for local areas, providing greater scope to represent residents in decision-making on the future of local services. The presumption is that decisions should be taken as locally as possible, with fewer layers of bureaucracy and an end to the tensions between two tier councils. Town and parish councils play a critical role in supporting local communities to thrive and will be key partners to the new unitary council in all aspects of its work. We are very grateful for the views and contributions to the debate that you have provided so far, and look forward to continuing our discussions to develop the detail of the future approach. We have already been working with a reference group of parish and town councils for some initial advice and input on the next phase and will come back to you all about opportunities for further engagement in due course. In terms of next steps on the ‘minded to’ decision, there will now be a period of ten weeks to allow local residents and stakeholders to submit representations and feedback to MHCLG (by 25 May). Following this, MHCLG will reflect on the views received before the Secretary of State announces his final decision. There will also need to be a process to seek parliamentary approval before beginning to implement the changes. MHCLG would welcome views from local partners and residents during the representation period. I would therefore encourage you to write in to provide your views. Contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find details on the County Council’s proposal for a new, single unitary council at www.futurebucks.co.uk Martin Tett Leader, Buckinghamshire County Council
This is part of a project for 3 additional devices in Hazlemere being organised by Mark Franza a local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). Many local organisations have provided financial assistance including special support from Hazlemere Fete, Hazlemere Hair, Hazlemere Parish Council , Mr Barber Shop and The Mid Counties Coop. The device is on an outside wall, available 24 hours and the code to unlock will be provided by the 999 operator. There are now 19 defibrillators available within approx 2 miles of Hazlemere Crossroads. Some are available on a limited hours basis eg GP surgeries For full information download the App on www.scas.nhs.uk. The App will show your nearest device but you can select All locations if required This defibrillator was installed by Duncan Keir and Ray Cox from the Manor Farm Scout Group.
Hazlemere continues to lead the way as a safe place to live following the installation of another life-saving defibrillator at Hazlemere Recreation Ground. Available 24/7, the defibrillator is located close to the main entrance door at the Hazlemere Memorial Hall.The finance for this important project was provided by donations from the Trustees of the Hazlemere Memorial Hall CIO, Hazlemere Parish Council and Hazlemere Sports Association. Access to life-saving equipment was considered vital in such a large public area enjoyed by many local residents on a daily basis. This collaboration is a good example of how community groups can work together for the common good and achieve positive outcomes. The electrical installation work was carried out by local Hazlemere electrician, Steve Alaway of LiveWire.
On the 26th of February Bucks County Council are planning to start refurbishment works to the Pedestrian Crossing on Holmer Green Road near Eastern Dene. This work will replace the life expired equipment with new traffic signals but the location of the crossing will remain the same. A temporary pedestrian crossing will be provided until the new traffic signals are complete which is expected to be before the 9 March 2018. Work will take place Monday to Friday between 0930 and 1530 hours and may require temporary traffic lights. The contractor has been instructed to maintain access for pedestrians, residents and visitors and we will make every effort to carry out this work with the minimum disturbance, however during this time if there are any delays I apologise for any inconvenience caused. The type of crossing here will change from a ‘Pelican’ to ‘Puffin’ type but will remain traffic signal controlled. If you should have any problems during these works please report it to the site staff, contact us online at http://www.transportforbucks.net/report-it-general.aspx or call 01296 382416. Yours faithfully Mark Stevens Traffic Signals Engineer
Published on Mon 19th February 2018 Parish Council
If you would like to help your local community, and enjoy the benefits of holiday pay, short, term time hours and the possibility of job sharing, why not become a school crossing patroller? Manor Farm Community Infant & Junior School on Rose Avenue, Hazlemere is in need of school crossing patrollers to ensure the children and parents have a pleasant and safe journey into school. Otherwise known as lollipop men or women, school crossing patrollers play an important role in ensuring our children cross our roads safely. No previous experience is necessary as you will be given full training – all you need is good health and a willingness to work outdoors. If you would like more information, take a look at our website, or contact us on 01494 email@example.com.
The Hazlemere Memorial Hall (HMH), situated at Hazlemere Recreation Ground, has been the subject of much discussion and debate in recent years. The decision taken by the previous Parish Council in 2015 to change the usage of the building and to grant a 25-year lease to a new Charitable Trust CIO tenant (the HMH CIO) attracted a lot of criticism from many Hazlemere residents.
Following the consultation, the Parish Council is delighted to announce the start of the installation of the new play equipment in Rose Avenue from 29 January 2018, hopefully it will be fully installed ready for the half term holidays.
This winter’s weather has been tough on Buckinghamshire’s roads – while the heavy snowfall in December was the most remarkable weather event, the worst conditions for roads are actually when the ground temperature fluctuates constantly between just above and just below zero. Pothole formation is accelerated by this ‘freeze-thaw’ effect, whereby moisture gets into small cracks in the the road surface and expands when it freezes, then thaws out when the temperature rises. This process repeats until the road surface begins to break up and potholes are formed.