Buckinghamshire Councillors report for March 2024

Money down the drain for company prosecuted for fly-tipping in Bucks

A drainage company has paid a hefty price for making the error of paying a rogue trader to dispose of their commercial waste after it was found fly-tipped in Buckinghamshire. 

Drainiac Ltd, pleaded guilty to the offence of failing in their duty of care when transferring waste to a waste remover when the case was heard at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Wednesday 21 February 2024.

The court heard that on Wednesday 21 June 2023, mixed building waste was found dumped at Gravelly Way, Penn, in Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire Council’s waste enforcement team carries out regular searches of the area, due to it being heavily blighted with fly-tipping.

On this occasion, an enforcement officer found evidence amongst the waste linking it to an address in Eastern Dene, High Wycombe. The details were later traced back to a company called Drainiac Ltd who explained they were approached by a man with a van asking for scrap metal. Drainiac Ltd had no scrap metal but explained they had some waste. The man with the van accepted £50 cash and removed the waste from the property.

Magistrates at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court fined Drainiac Ltd £4,000 and ordered them to pay a contribution of £1,049.89 towards the council’s clean up and investigation costs – making a total to pay of £5,049.89.

Roofing company pays high price in court

A roofing and building company who failed to carry out proper checks on a ‘man with a van’ who offered to dispose of trade waste for them has paid a high price for its error after being prosecuted in court. 

Highlife Roofing and Builders Ltd pleaded guilty to the offence of failing in its duty of care when transferring waste to a waste remover when appearing at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Wednesday 21 February 2024.

The court heard that on Tuesday 18 July 2023, mixed building waste, including black sacks and wooden material, was found dumped at Holtspur Lane, Wooburn Green in Buckinghamshire. An officer from Buckinghamshire Council’s waste enforcement team investigated and found evidence amongst the dumped waste, giving an address in The Green, Wooburn Green, High Wycombe.

The details were later traced back to a company called Highlife Roofing and Builders Ltd, who explained they were approached by a man with a van who offered to remove waste from a property.  The man took the waste which was later found dumped just down the road from where it had been collected. Highlife Roofing and Builders Ltd workers admitted they saw the waste dumped the next day but explained they didn’t pick it back up as it was ‘no longer their problem’.

Magistrates at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court fined Highlife Roofing and Builders Ltd £6,000 and ordered the company to pay a contribution of £1,289.71 towards the council’s clean up and investigation costs – making a total to pay of £7289.71.

New library collections will provide invaluable resource for families with children

​A new range of books covering topics around parenting, childhood and childcare are now available for loan at two libraries in Buckinghamshire.

Parenting and Childcare Topics (PACT) is a unique collection of 170 different books designed to help parents and carers of children and young people to navigate a variety of topics from pregnancy, to dealing with complex emotions and situations, right up to approaching university. The books cover everything from general parenting tips to specific situations such as being separated parents or caring for a child with special educational needs and disabilities.

Many of the books are written directly for adults, but a number are also written for the children and young people, including books around bullying and puberty.

A variety of books on the topics of parenting and childcare are already available across all libraries in Buckinghamshire but the enhanced PACT series has been introduced in two of the biggest libraries as an additional resource, with the support of local business, Limitless Tutoring, who have sponsored the collections.

Creating an age friendly Buckinghamshire for all

Buckinghamshire Council has outlined its commitment to helping older people in Buckinghamshire live healthy, active and independent lives as set out in its Healthy Ageing Strategy which has been formally approved by the council this week.

The document sets out the vision for how Buckinghamshire aspires to be a place for all residents to enjoy growing older in an age friendly community. The strategy also includes an action plan of how the vision will be achieved.  

Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing explained: “Healthy ageing means living a healthy and fulfilling life, being able to participate in activities and contribute to your community. It also encompasses having financial security and living in a suitable home in a safe and thriving community. With the right policies, environments and support, people can age well and live independent and meaningful lives.”

To become an age friendly community, the strategy focuses on eight interconnecting areas outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Participation in society
  • Volunteering and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support for health and wellbeing
  • Respect and social inclusion

In the first year, the focus for Buckinghamshire will be on two priorities – outdoor spaces and buildings, and participating in society.

To oversee the implementation of the strategy a multi-agency Age Friendly Bucks Partnership has been set up with external partners including the NHS and voluntary sector organisations. The views and ideas of residents and community groups have shaped the aims of the strategy and will continue to inform the implementation.

To further support the success of the strategy Buckinghamshire Council has joined the UK Network of Age Friendly Communities which is run by the Centre for Ageing Better and affiliated to the WHO’s Global Network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities. Being a member of this network provides access a range of additional resources including good practice guidance and advice. In addition, the council has partnered locally with Age UK Buckinghamshire to ensure a local focus in maintained.

Learn how to be a Better Biker

Buckinghamshire Council is encouraging bikers of all ages and experience to enhance their riding skills with the help of a specialist course.

The Be a Better Biker (BaBB) workshops are run as part of the council’s Travel Safe Bucks road safety initiative, in partnership with Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists, Bucks Advanced Riders & Drivers, Milton Keynes Advanced Motorists, Oxford Advanced Motorcyclists and local fire and rescue services. The aim is to reduce the number of bikers killed or injured on the roads and equip motorcyclists with additional skills to keep safe.

Costing just £20 per person, the workshops cover a range of advanced techniques including:

  • Manoeuvring
  • Overtaking
  • Cornering techniques
  • An on-road assessment with a qualified observer
  • A review of the on-road session.

Courses are taking place across the Thames Valley region and locally at:

  • Saturday 6 April – Winslow Fire Station
  • Saturday 20 April – Chesham Fire Station
  • Saturday 18 May – Princes Risborough Fire Station
  • Now in their 15th year of running, the courses have helped hundreds of bikers in Buckinghamshire to improve their skills on the road.

Anyone wishing to take part must hold a full and valid motorbike licence and have access to their own vehicle to use during the course.

For more information, or to book your place, visit: Book a motorcycle course | Buckinghamshire Council

Councillor Derek Town 

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