Buckinghamshire Councillors Report for Oct 2023

Household recycling centres change to regular winter opening hours

From Sunday 1 October, all 10 of Buckinghamshire’s Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will switch over to the usual winter opening hours of 9am to 4pm.

The days each centre is open will remain unchanged but the change in hours reflects the fact that as it gets closer to the clocks going back at the end of October and over the winter months, the number of visitors to the sites decreases rapidly once it starts to get darker earlier.

To find out which days your local HRC is open and also further details of what can and cannot be taken to a centre, visit: buckinghamshire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/

Did you know you can also view live webcam footage via the council website, to check if the site is busy and avoid having to wait in a queue? If you are unsure about the best time to visit, take a look at the cameras and plan your trip accordingly.

Start your journey to quit smoking this Stoptober

Smokers in Buckinghamshire are being encouraged to make this month the start of their journey to giving up smoking for good and to play their part in the goal of creating a future smoke-free generation. 

Statistics show that around 10% of people in Buckinghamshire regularly smoke cigarettes or tobacco. Buckinghamshire Council wants to raise awareness of the benefits of quitting smoking during the month-long national campaign, Stoptober, to encourage more people to quit smoking. 

The negative impacts of smoking are well documented when it comes to health and household finances. However, within just days and weeks of stopping smoking, the positive benefits emerge, including having more energy, breathing more easily and saving money. If you can stay smoke-free for 28 days, it has been proven that you are five times more likely to quit for good. 

In Buckinghamshire, a large amount of work is being done as part of a longer-term aspiration, to create a smoke-free generation. One of the key parts of this initiative is to reduce the exposure to smoking experienced by children and young people. In 2022 Buckinghamshire Council introduced the Smokefree Sidelines initiative. This Public Health campaign seeks to discourage adults from smoking on the sidelines at grassroots sporting events so as not to expose children to the effects of secondary smoke inhalation and to discourage young people from wanting to take up smoking. 

Another part of the work is the creation of Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds which operates in the same way. Since the start of the Smokefree schemes: 

  • 11 sports clubs have signed up to Smokefree Sidelines  
  • 14 parks and playgrounds have gone smoke and vape-free  

Have your say on Buckinghamshire polling arrangements

​Buckinghamshire Council has launched a consultation asking residents for feedback on polling districts and polling places across the county.

The council is required by law to review polling arrangements periodically. This will ensure polling places are convenient and accessible to voters for forthcoming polls, such as the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley on 2 May 2024 and the next UK Parliamentary election, when that is called.

Most polling districts, polling places and polling stations will remain unchanged. However, some changes are required due to venue availability or new boundaries arising from recent reviews.

Residents are encouraged to share feedback by 11:59pm on 4 December 2023 on the following:

  • Accessibility of current polling places
  • Suitability of venues used as polling places
  • Proposed polling districts
  • Comments can be submitted via an online survey, email, post, or printed paper survey. Full details are available at: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/polling-review
  • The revised polling arrangements will be published on 1 February 2024. This allows time for any changes to be made before the next scheduled elections in the county – including the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley on 2 May 2024.

Bucks History Festival returns to celebrate our history and heritage

Buckinghamshire History Festival returns on Wednesday 1 November for its eighth annual celebration of the county’s history and cultural heritage.

The festival, which is coordinated by Buckinghamshire Archives, sees the Archives Team come together with partner organisations to present a huge range of things to see and do throughout November, bringing our past to life and uncovering the often untold stories of Buckinghamshire people and places from across the years.

Council’s Energy Doctor scheme now offering water-saving devices

Buckinghamshire Council is pleased to announce that its Energy Doctor scheme is now able to offer new water-saving devices to help low-income households save money on their water and energy bills.

The Energy Doctor scheme provides a range of resource-saving measures to eligible households. These now include:

  • aerating shower heads
  • 4-minute shower timers
  • cistern water displacement bags for use in non-dual flush toilets

Using an aerated shower head or shower timer is estimated to save £50 in terms of household annual water and energy costs. The cistern water displacement bags displace around 1 litre of water every flush – which can achieve savings of approximately 4,800 litres per year.

Councillor Derek Town 

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