County Councillors News
A4146 Proposed Reclassification and Weight Restriction
Transport for Bucks (TfB), Thames Valley Police (TVP), and senior officers from Central Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire county Council (HCC) have been working together to use the opportunity of the opening of the A5-M1 link road (the Dunstable Northern Bypass) to keep HGVs in the main arterial routes, reduce HGVs on unsuitable rural roads, and respond to local proposals from Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire residents to reclassify the A4146 and introduce weight restrictions. As this will have serious repercussions for the B488 and B489, Buckinghamshire County Council and Transport for Bucks have acknowledged the importance of enforceable weight limits to be included for the B488 and 489.
Major advance signposting over long distances will be needed in order to make this work, so Highways England are also fully involved, as well as transport operators particularly the waste carriers going to Newton Longville.
Contact me by email if you need to know more and I can forward the briefing note made available to the Local Area Forum on Oct 1st, but not available on line.
The Local Area Forum voted for one off funding from the Public Health pot to be invested in this area in organised walking opportunities for all ages. There was a contest between setting up coached running groups similar to From Couch to 5K, and the Park Run, and for dance groups, but walking claimed the majority of votes. There will be plenty of information available as soon as the walks are set up, which will be complementary to existing health walks and formal and informal Nordic walking groups that already take place.
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority
The fire authority presented it’s annual report to the County Council in September. The Bucks and MK authority is the only authority in the country to have reduced its council tax for 2015-16 and frozen it since 2011. Since 2010 there have been savings of £2.1M in a £29M budget without reducing the numbers of fire engines and fire stations. In the last 5 years deliberate fires have been reduced by 56%, non domestic fires by 33%’ and domestic fires and related injuries still continue to fall despite increased housing numbers.
Children’s services and prevention of child sexual abuse
This continues to be the main priority of the County Council at the moment. The trial and sentencing in the summer at the Old Bailey of a group of men involved locally in abuse shocked many people into questioning if everything possible is being done to prevent this now and in the future. As well as implementing the major improvement plan for children’s services, and a peer group review by leading officers and members from other authorities taking place as I write, the select committee review in which I take part in to the prevention of child sexual exploitation has been continuing exhaustively all summer, and has revealed some excellent practice from our partners in the health service and the police, and committed individuals in schools.