Latest update from your Buckinghamshire Councillors

Transform your street into a Play Street!

Communities across Buckinghamshire are being invited to take advantage of a scheme which highlights the importance of outdoor play and encourages neighbours to spend time socialising together, promoting the benefits for health and wellbeing in all ages.

Play Streets invites residents from communities across the county to apply for permission, free of charge, to close their road for a few hours at a time so that they can come together outside their homes to socialise, reduce social isolation and play safely. The scheme is part of the national Playing Out initiative and has been running successfully in Buckinghamshire for several years. Roads are closed to traffic for the duration, but pedestrian access is allowed, and residents can enjoy spending time together outside their homes.  

Bin-spiring volunteers collect bagfuls of litter during Great British Spring Clean

Communities around Buckinghamshire have been busy binning and bagging this spring, as Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean has completed its ninth annual run. Committed Buckinghamshire residents have come together as part of the country’s biggest mass action environmental campaign, collecting and safely disposing of litter from streets, parks and open spaces across the county.

Following this year’s theme ‘the environment is for everyone’, community groups and individuals in Buckinghamshire organised over 94 litter picking events around the county – a record breaking year for Buckinghamshire. The majority of the events took place in the South where more than 926 volunteers collected over 1,723 bags, and clocked over 1,852 volunteer hours.

Although The Great British Spring Clean is over for this year, the need for litter picking stays. The council empties over 4,000 litter bins every week, but over 2 million pieces of litter are dropped every single day in the UK, littering our towns and countryside.

Anyone can organise a litter pick or join an existing litter pick group. To get you started, the council can help you to organise a litter pick in your local area by lending litter pick equipment, providing waste bags and collecting the waste after the litter pick has finished. You can find more information on the council’s website.

Litter picking isn’t just a group activity and doesn’t have to take a lot of time. As an individual, you can take part in the Litter Lotto – it’s easy, simply download the Litter Lotto app on your phone and take a photo in the app, of yourself throwing some litter into a bin. This doesn’t only tidy up our streets, but also gives you an opportunity to win instant cash prizes and offers, as well as giving you the chance of winning a weekly £1,000 jackpot. Local Litter Lotto users also have a chance to win an extra £250 in an exclusive monthly prize draw, aimed just at people binning litter in Bucks!

Please park considerately on the school run

As schools return after the Easter holidays, parents and carers dropping children off by car are being given a timely reminder to #Beconsiderate about how and where they park or stop, to help keep everyone safe.

Buckinghamshire Council is relaunching its #Beconsiderate campaign which seeks to remind those who hop in the car to do the school run, to think about the safety of pedestrians and other road users when they stop to drop their children off.

Many children are taken to and from school by car every day. Sometimes in the rush to get there on time, it can be tempting to pull onto the kerb or part way onto a driveway, stop on zig zag lines or even pull into a bus stop.  While it may seem like a harmless thing to do, vehicles blocking pavements and footpaths, even if just for a short time, often means pedestrians, which can include young children, those with limited mobility and older people, are forced to go into the road to get past, which can be extremely dangerous. Similarly, part blocking a private driveway or lowered kerb can prevent larger vehicles including emergency ambulances and fire engines from getting through and parking in or near a bus stop can lead to unnecessary traffic queues.  It is also important not to block the visibility for school crossing patrollers when they are assisting families on their way to school safely. 

Majority of Bucks families get first choice primary school place

Figures published today (Tuesday 16 April) show that more than 9 out of 10 families in Buckinghamshire received their first-choice preference for a primary school place this year.

For children starting primary school in Reception, 91.27% have received their first-choice allocation, (compared to 90.33% last year). Figures for the top choice of junior schools (Year 3) are very slightly changed at 95.12%, (compared to 96.70% last year) but still equate to the majority receiving their first choice.

Council unveils ambitious Housing Strategy for 2024-2029

Buckinghamshire Council has unveiled a comprehensive Housing Strategy for 2024-2029. The strategy sets out the council’s vision, priorities and actions to meet the current and future housing needs and challenges in the county.

The Housing Strategy has been developed with the input and support of a wide range of partners, including housing associations, developers, community groups and other public sector organisations.

To achieve the strategy, the council has created three key priorities:

  1. A strong housing offer: The vision is to provide affordable, accessible, sustainable, and suitable housing choices for all life stages. Recognising that a safe and secure home is fundamental to quality of life, public health, and economic prosperity.
  2. Better homes: The council is dedicated to improving the quality and sustainability of existing homes. Through targeted investments, it aims to enhance living conditions and create vibrant communities.
  3. New homes: The strategy emphasises the importance of affordable, accessible, and appropriate new housing. By collaborating with housing associations, developers, and community groups, Buckinghamshire Council will ensure that residents find homes that meet their needs and aspirations.

Each priority includes:

  • What the council will do to achieve it
  • The challenges Buckinghamshire faces
  • Actions the council is taking now
  • Proposed actions up to 2029

Fly-tipper receives suspended prison sentence for dumping asbestos roofing waste in Bucks

An 81-year-old man from London has narrowly escaped prison after admitting to dumping asbestos roofing materials in Denham, Buckinghamshire.

Jagdish Kumar Sharma admitted fly-tipping the waste at Broken Gate Lane in Denham on 17 September 2023. He entered a guilty plea when his case was heard at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 17 April 2024.

On 17 September 2023, residents at Broken Gate Lane, Denham discovered black sacks dumped in undergrowth on their unadopted road. They reported the dumping which was investigated by an enforcement officer from Buckinghamshire Council. The investigating officer counted 16 black sacks of corrugated roofing sheet material which he suspected to have asbestos content. The officer took samples away for analysis. It was confirmed that white asbestos fibres were present, so a specialist contractor had to be found to clear the material away safely.  As the road has not been adopted it meant that the clean-up costs fell to the residents as the landowners, rather than to the council. The residents have a CCTV system which they used to identify the vehicle suspected of having brought the waste.

Buckinghamshire Council officers investigated and interviewed Sharma at a police station near his home. Sharma explained that he had found the waste dumped illegally outside a property he owned in London. He said he was so incensed by finding the waste dumped on his property that he loaded it into his own vehicle and removed it. He was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why he dumped it where he did, but he did admit dumping the waste himself at Broken Gate Lane.

The District Judge sitting at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court took account that this offence involved the deliberate dumping of hazardous waste material, as well as the offender’s age and personal circumstances. He sentenced Sharma to 3 months imprisonment (suspending the sentence for 12 months). Sharma was ordered to pay clean-up compensation in full to the local residents in the sum of £582. He was also ordered to pay full investigation and prosecution costs of £917.66 and a victim surcharge of £154, totalling £1,653.66. 

Councillor Derek Town 

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