Buckinghamshire Councillors report for August 2023

Buckinghamshire Council insists Day Travelcards must stay
Buckinghamshire Council has written to the Mayor of London insisting he immediately withdraws the proposal by Transport for London to cease sale of Day Travelcards for people travelling into and throughout London. This follows a motion debated and overwhelmingly agreed across all political parties at its recent full Council meeting. In his letter to Sadiq Khan, Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, states: “Currently, Day Travelcards provide unlimited travel on TfL services, including London Underground, bus, tram, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and the Elizabeth line, and National Rail services in London. They can also be used to obtain a one third reduction in River Services fares. The proposals to remove Day Travelcards constitute an unfair, unacceptable, and expensive levy on Buckinghamshire residents who wish to travel to London. The proposals have deliberately targeted the removal of the Day Travelcard as a method to generate additional income for TfL. It is anticipated by your own consultation that the withdrawal of Day Travelcards will result in rail operators ceasing to sell Zone 1-6 travelcards. This will add barriers and travel friction to journeys to London – running counter to evidence that passenger journeys and the use of public transport are enhanced by improving integrated ticketing not reducing it. No regard is given in the proposals for the potential loss of revenue to the London economy that may be caused by the increase in travel costs as Buckinghamshire residents risk being priced out of the nation’s capital. Employers, retail and leisure businesses, theatres and many others may see a reduction in revenue as the people of Buckinghamshire reduce their time and/or expenditure in London. The withdrawal of Day Travelcards also risks being discriminatory against Buckinghamshire residents with special needs or disabilities who until now have been able to buy Day Travelcards for use by those travelling with them and assisting them.” Buckinghamshire Council awaits a response from the London Mayor’s office.

Bucks Household Recycling Centres continue to get top marks from residents

Overall satisfaction with all ten of the county’s Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) is 100% according to the latest figures from the bi-annual Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The survey is carried out twice a year to gauge opinions of regular users of the sites and to ensure the facilities continue to meet the requirements of local residents.

The results show:

  • 100% of those interviewed said they were satisfied overall with the HRCs (61% said they were very satisfied and 39% said they were satisfied).
  • The layout of containers on site and the helpfulness of site staff also received 100% satisfaction ratings.
  • The area of least satisfaction was with road signs to the site which received a 97% satisfaction rating and traffic queues which received a 98% satisfaction rating.
  • Satisfaction with the range of materials which can be recycled has increased from the last survey.
  • Customers in Burnham gave the highest number of ‘very satisfied’ ratings of all the sites.

Give teens a chance – Foster with Bucks

​With two-thirds of children in care in England over the age of 10, Buckinghamshire Council is asking people to consider whether fostering a teenager may be for them. Anyone interested is invited to find out more about fostering with Buckinghamshire Council on social media and at a special teen-focused information event in September.

During August and September, the council’s Fostering team is inviting people to consider whether they could foster teens and help build their future. They’ll be myth-busting, exploring the science behind teenage brains, and speaking to some current foster carers to share more about their experiences of fostering teens.

Find out more about fostering teens with Buckinghamshire Council at: buckinghamshire.gov.uk/foster-teens, @FosterBucks on Facebook, or try out the FosteringReady tool which helps people to find out more and create a personalised plan.

Eliminating hepatitis C: Buckinghamshire’s Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service achieves milestone

​Buckinghamshire Council is excited to announce that our local Drug and Alcohol treatment service, One Recovery Bucks, has recently achieved a major milestone in eliminating hepatitis C virus from its service users. 

Hepatitis C is a virus that can affect the liver.  The virus is spread through blood-to-blood contact and people who inject drugs are at the highest risk of becoming infected. No vaccine is available, and if left untreated it can result in serious and sometimes life-threatening liver damage.  However, the good news is that detecting and treating hepatitis C can prevent liver damage and make sure the infection is not passed on to other people.

One Recovery Bucks has been awarded ‘micro-elimination’ status – meaning that everyone who has previously injected drugs who has accessed the service across the whole of Buckinghamshire has been tested for hepatitis C, and more than 9 in 10 people who have tested positive have either started treatment or cleared the virus naturally.

One Recovery Bucks is the first county-wide service to achieve this nationally, representing a major achievement for Buckinghamshire. In doing so, we are supporting the ambition to eliminate hepatitis C nationally by 2025 – ahead of the rest of the world. 

Strong leadership and co-ordination between One Recovery Bucks, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Buckinghamshire Council and the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance has been paramount to this success. The improved patient pathway has reduced the number of tests needed, brought services into Buckinghamshire to avoid longer travel times to Oxford, and has halved the number of appointments patients were required to attend before starting treatment.

This year the use of an NHS mobile outreach screening van has also been secured for Buckinghamshire to increase the testing of at-risk individuals who may not yet be known to One Recovery Bucks by delivering services directly in their communities.

Councillor Derek Town 

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