Buckinghamshire Councillors Report for December 2023

Keeping roads safe this winter

​When temperatures plummet, Buckinghamshire Council’s trusty fleet of gritters rolls into action, salting key roads across the county, to make them safer for motorists. But did you know that the council also provides salt bins for people to freely use to make their roads and pavements safer during cold and icy weather?

The bins are filled with salt and are available at multiple locations across the county for drivers and pedestrians to treat public roads and pavements in their local area. The bins are filled and topped up during the winter season with a mixture of salt and sand. They are located in targeted areas known to be affected by icy conditions which the gritting routes don’t cover.

Salt bins are provided for residents to use on public roads and footways only, and should not be used to clear private drives.

Changes to household DIY waste disposal due from 31 December

Residents in Buckinghamshire will be able to dispose of small amounts of DIY waste for free at Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) from 31 December 2023.

The changes have been brought in by central government and will make it easier for people to freely dispose of small amounts of waste created at home from DIY projects such as re-tiling, renovating a bathroom or digging a pond in the garden.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet voted in favour of necessary changes to the council’s Waste Access & Acceptance Policy which sets out rules and procedures for the county’s 10 HRCs, to reflect the new legislation.

Following the change in law regarding the disposal of household DIY waste, the council is reintroducing a digital e-permit for DIY waste. From 31 December, any resident wanting to dispose of household DIY waste at a HRC will need to have an e-permit printed out or on a portable device, such as a mobile phone or tablet, before they visit. This only affects residents who wish to bring household DIY waste.

The DIY e-permit will allow residents to dispose of one load of DIY waste each week for free. One load of DIY waste is no more than 100 litres of loose DIY waste, or one large item no bigger than 2m x 0.75m x 0.7m such as one bath tub, one door or one kitchen unit. Staff will scan the permit and check the resident’s address, after which the e-permit will expire. It can be renewed after seven days, to allow residents to dispose of another load of DIY waste for free. Anyone wishing to dispose of more than one load of DIY waste in a week will be able to do so but will be charged, using the same price list which has been in place for the past four years.

Council enforces higher penalties for fly-tipping in Bucks

​ Those caught fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire face the consequence of paying a higher penalty for their crime following changes to the law which have been adopted by the council.

Earlier this year the government increased the maximum Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for fly-tipping from £400 to £1,000. The penalty for Failure in Householder Duty of Care, has also been raised from £400 to a maximum of £600. This penalty relates to people who have waste removed by a third-party waste carrier. By law householders have a duty to check that the carrier they are using is legally authorised to carry out the work and will do so responsibly. If the waste they have given the carrier is found dumped illegally, the householder is deemed to have failed in their Duty of Care regarding their waste and can be liable for prosecution.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet today voted in favour of amending local policies to reflect the changes, bringing in powers to enforce the highest rate for FPNs for those caught breaking the law in this way.

FPNs are generally used for smaller scale offences and avoid court proceedings and a criminal record. However where possible the council will always seek to impose the maximum penalty and for larger scale or more serious offences the defendant may be summoned to court where fines are set by magistrates and can result in custodial sentences and costs totalling thousands of pounds.

Coming soon to the Aylesbury area – buses on demand

​People in the area surrounding Aylesbury will have an exciting new choice of how to travel by public transport after Buckinghamshire Council is set to partner with WeMove to launch a ‘demand responsive’ bus service. The three-year trial follows the successful introduction of a similar scheme in Wycombe earlier last year, which has already proved so popular that it has expanded to new areas to meet demand.

The new service is part of a pilot scheme funded by the Government’s Rural Mobility Fund and covers a specific geographical area, enabling passengers to request a pick up from one of the fully accessible minibuses at a convenient nearby ‘virtual bus stop’ as the buses travel through their area.

The areas covered by the service include Aston Clinton, Weston Turville, Halton, Hartwell, Stoke Mandeville, Bishopstone and Weedon. The service will drop off passengers anywhere within the operational area, which includes Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury town centre and the railway stations at Aylesbury, Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Stoke Mandeville and Wendover.

Councillor Derek Town 

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