Our reality for now; a lesson for our future?

As the parish council was unable to print & distribute the April edition of PPP due to the coronavirus restrictions in place at the time, we are placing all the articles and adverts onto our website for your information.  Please find below a personal view/article submitted by parish councillor Anil Mitra.

Our reality for now; a lesson for our future?

 

Well, this is a situation I don’t think any of us thought we would ever experience in our lifetime. Coronavirus has shocked us all- in the community, across the country and throughout the world.

 

As an eighty something year old man, I have been through many experiences – both incredibly good and shockingly bad. However, this devastating virus has raised mixed emotions. Having lived and experienced the trauma of the partition in India watching my family and country destroyed, to battling through financial and emotional setbacks to set myself and my family up for a good life, I can now enjoy retired life in my happy home with my family. But then, in the midst of this blissful existence, Coronavirus has created some major cracks in life but it is yet to shatter life as I know it.

 

The fear that has gripped our community is unprecedented. We know the reported facts and statistics from the media which warns us of the increasing daily figures; it is all out of our control. We can only control our own actions.

As a local parish councillor and a member of the Infection Control unit of the Hillingdon Hospital NHS Health Trust and Buckinghamshire NHS Health Trust, working for the community is something I enjoy. However, as I write this, I am now on my 22nd day in isolation. My wife and I are vulnerable, we are susceptible to illnesses due to our age but we are as strong as we can be. We have pressed pause on our daily ‘going out for coffee’, a little stroll, a drive and our love of shopping. Washing my car in my drive and walking round my garden; this is my safe zone. I can no longer read my daily paper as I can’t get to the shop, our daughter does all our shopping and delivers it via our back gate so she doesn’t step into our home. The smell of antibacterial spray on every item is not the most pleasant but it is the safest smell to have at the moment. The hardest part is being apart from our grandchildren – the daily visits have stopped. We feel empty but this is life as we know it- just for the moment.

 

However, with all this said, the positives are clear to see.

My wife and I are very lucky; we can see our grandchildren from our upstairs window, they hold up signs from their back garden or when they take a walk/bike ride or dog walk. We hear them calling us and shouting messages – this is all we need to brighten our day; we have mastered video calling, a true achievement for our technology fearing nature.

 

We live in a community where, on the whole, the rules are respected and followed. The stream of dog walkers, children, families, office workers taking their lunchtime walks have decreased to such a level that we barely see anyone walking by. A lonely existence but a comforting one all the same. When we do see people walking, we see passers-by crossing the road to let others walk by within their 2m or more safe space. Whilst we are lucky to have our family close by for support, the community spirit supporting our vulnerable has been breath-taking – let us hope this is a sign of the future and this will be a permanent feature in the future, rather than a response to the pandemic. The Thursday evening 8pm applause brings the spirit of gratitude together – to hear the village and the country uniting in thanks for all those people risking their lives to keep this country together is a sign of hope.

 

Our village is also enjoying fewer speeding cars and less HGVs. Despite the fear of the virus, our air is less polluted with fumes and noise. This is definitely temporary as lifting the lockdown will increase both cars, pedestrians and HGVs but we hope during this quiet time we can find a way of controlling the way things are and make it part of our long-term.

 

The future of our village is positive- there is a newly found enthusiasm and hope for the future (however controversial!) as we embark upon the Pavilion Re-development and new homes along Marsworth Road. Our village will continue to thrive with many new plans and the support of our spirited community. To everyone reading this, stay safe, stay healthy, stay indoors – it’s the only way we will be able to say ‘so long, farewell’ to this pandemic and welcome a new and improved normality.

 

Anil Mitra

 

Events planned to celebrate the 800th anniversary of St Mary’s Church, Ivinghoe

 

The decision has been made to postpone our celebrations until next year.

 

We have lots planned for our celebration in 2021 including:

 

Rogation walk and BBQ,

‘Messy Church’ 800th birthday celebration

Fete and Historical Pageant

‘Music on Ivinghoe Lawn’ with WI teas

Teddy Bears Picnic and tea party

Art Exhibition

Service of celebration for both church and community led by the Bishop of             Oxford

Christmas Market

Concert on the history of the church by the Beacon Community Choir

Mediaeval Banquet

Further details will follow later in the year

Buckinghamshire Councillors – Ivinghoe Ward – May update

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCILLORS – IVINGHOE WARD

MAY NEWSLETTER

 

Following the postponement of the May 2020 elections due to Covid-19, all the Shadow Councillors (previous Bucks County and the four District Councillors) became councillors of the new Buckinghamshire unitary Council on 1 April 2020. This situation will continue until May 2021.

 

The new unitary Council has responsibility for a large range of services including the following:

Adult Social Care Services • Building Control • Car Parks • Children’s Social Care Services • Crematoriums • Community Safety • Council Tax Benefit and Collection • Country Parks • Culture, Sports and Leisure • Economic Development • Education Services • Electoral Registration and Elections • Emergency Planning • Environment: including strategic planning, flooding and waste • Environmental Health • Grounds Maintenance • Health and Safety • Housing – strategy, advice & provision • Housing Benefit • Land Charges and Property Searches • Libraries • Licensing – taxis, alcohol and public entertainment & gambling • National Non-Domestic Rates • Planning, including development control • Public Conveniences • Public Health • Registrars and Coroners • Refuse Collection • Street Cleansing • Street Naming • Transport, including infrastructure and public transport

 

As individual councillors we will have been assigned to the various committees overseeing these services and you can see details of all committees and the relevant committee members on the Buckinghamshire website.

 

For the foreseeable future the committee meetings will be virtual, but you will be able to see them on the website.

 

For more information, please visit Buckinghamshire Council Services

 

You will have received regular updates on what is happening in Buckinghamshire including information on Covid-19 and again further information can be found on the website.

 

In addition to sitting on committees the following Councillors are members of the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board: Ashley Bond, Netta Glover, Peter Cooper, Sandra Jenkins, Chris Poll, Derek Town, and Anne Wight.  For your information, the community boards effectively replace the BCC Local Forums.

 

The new Ivinghoe Ward embraces Cheddington, Marsworth, Pitstone, Ivinghoe, Ivinghoe Aston, Edlesborough, Northall, Slapton. Horton, Mentmore and Crafton.

Details of the Community Boards are on the Buckinghamshire.gov.uk website.

 

The most significant change to local services recently has been the re-opening of the ‘tip’ at Aston Clinton on College Road and the resumption of the Garden Waste collections (brown bins).

Stay Safe and Healthy.

 

With regards – Cllrs Anne Wight, Chris Poll, Derek Town, Sandra Jenkins and Peter Cooper – Ivinghoe Ward

BeaconLit and new crime novel updates

Uncertainly for Our Book Festival – But a Fabulous Programme Awaits

 

Local book lovers may be wondering, with the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, what is happening about BeaconLit, our local book festival.

 

At the time of writing, the festival committee, volunteers who organise the event in support of Ivinghoe Library, had planned to have Early Bird tickets for BeaconLit 2020 (the eighth festival) on sale from March. Instead, they found themselves in a no man’s land of uncertainty. A fantastic line up of bestsellers, award winners, rising stars and more is on board, but the safety of attendees, participants and volunteers is paramount. It is obviously way too soon to offer tickets for sale with any certainty; but on balance it is just a little premature to pull the plug on the festival altogether yet.

 

After much debate, we decided to keep BeaconLit 2020 on the calendar for 11 July for now but continue to monitor the situation and government advice. Whatever happens, and whatever the situation by the time you read this, we hope you will want to join us – whether at BeaconLit 2020 on 11 July or at a later date, or for BeaconLit 2021. Heaven knows, a great book festival will be just the job for so many people when we finally emerge from this most difficult of situations.

 

We are hoping that, subject to commitments at the time, we will be able to present most of our current line up, which has something for everyone:

  • The ever-popular New Voices panel showcasing the some of the most exciting debut authors around and featuring Eve Smith, Ruby Speechley and Sophie Ward.
  • Sunday Times Bestsellers Ruth Hogan in conversation with the BBC’s Adina Campbell.
  • Characters: Debate and Create – a workshop with author and creative writing tutor Morgen Bailey.
  • Historical fiction panel with some of the top names in the genre: Antonia Hodgson, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, William Ryan and Antonia Senior
  • Sunday Times Bestseller Cara Hunter in conversation with fellow crime writer Dave Sivers
  • And more! Including free parking on Ivinghoe Lawn, refreshments, bookstall and signings, goodie bags and book bag draw.

 

Meanwhile, we have been thinking of additional ways to maintain interest and offer some little treats to book lovers. We will continue keeping in touch with our loyal supporters and the public via our emailing list, our website, social media and local press. Our website is at www.beaconlit.co.uk, where you can sign up for e-newsletters with all the latest news. If you would like to email, through our Contact Page, an expression of interest in the festival, or a message of support, that would be much appreciated.

 

Do take care of yourselves.

 

Very best wishes

Avril, Dave, Jacquie, Mark, Morgen and Rachel

BeaconLit Festival Committee

SERIAL KILLER STALKS TRING IN PITSTONE AUTHOR’S NEW CRIME NOVEL

 

Pitstone crime fiction author Dave Sivers’ latest novel is a serial killer chiller set in Tring and Hemel Hempstead. It is the first of a new series featuring Detective Inspector Nathan Quarrel.

 

In Ink opens with a body being found outside a church in Tring. Alastair Murdoch suffered before he died. But what really disturbs DI Nathan Quarrel is the Tarot card motif adorning the body: The Fool. Just 24 hours later, another body turns up – a different card, but from the same pack. Unless Quarrel can decipher the meaning behind the cards and the connection between the victims, more will follow in a twisted agenda of abduction, pain and death.

 

In Ink is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook.

 

Dave grew up in West London and has been writing all his life. His previous eight books include five to date in his popular series featuring Aylesbury based detectives Lizzie Archer and Dan Baines. He is currently working on Archer and Baines book 6. He is also co-founder of Ivinghoe’s annual BeaconLit book festival.

 

He said of his new series, “Archer and Baines have plenty more stories to tell, but I wanted to rediscover the fun of creating a new cast of characters and I hope readers will enjoy meeting Quarrel and his team as much as I did.”

 

In Ink was released on 15 May and has already featured in some of the Amazon Kindle bestseller charts, including a top 20 spot in the ‘Vigilante Justice’ category.

 

You can buy Dave’s new book at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087NHP5HX.

 

Keep up with Dave’s writing news by subscribing to his newsletter at http://davesivers.co.uk/subscribersclub or follow him on Facebook at davesiversauthor1 or in Twitter @davesivers.

Update from St Mary’s Church and Ashridge

As we were unable to print and distribute the April edition of PPP, please find below the update from St Mary’s Church and Ashridge:

Update from St Mary’s Church: 

We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world. New life is abundant, in the hedgerows, in our gardens and in the fields that surround our villages. We are experiencing lengthening days and warmer temperatures.

But this year is different as necessary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus are in place. The church is locked, and funerals can only take place in a limited way, services in the church have ceased but are happening very successfully through Facebook and on the phone. Do contact me if you would like to know more.

As those over 70 are in imposed self-isolation, children and their parents are learning to home educate their children and many people are working from home, we are having to live life differently.

But in all this there is hope. As I write this article, I am seeing members of our village communities offering time to help those who need it. Donations to our food bank have increased significantly and I have had many emails and phone calls from those wanting to help. If you know anyone who is experiencing hardship at this time get in touch with Babs Byrom 07860 780127 or myself 01296 668648 and we will arrange for a box of food to be left on your doorstep. All requests are dealt with confidentially. We are also working together with the Pitstone Covid 19 group and a group from Cheddington in this venture.

My prayer is that in these challenging times, God’s love would be known in these villages and that we would each be able to reflect something of that love in our own lives.

We are without a vicar at the moment but do get in touch with Babs Byrom, David Green or myself on the numbers above if you need advice or support from the church in any way. We are here for you if you need us!

Sandra Green – Licensed Lay Minister. St. Mary’s Church, Ivinghoe.

ASHRIDGE RAMBLINGS

STONE THE CROWS!

Europe’s largest conservation charity, The National Trust, is 125 years old.

This article was to have outlined Ashridge’s plans to celebrate this milestone, but the virus has put paid to all events for now. Once the Visitor Centre reopens, there will be an exhibition called “Ashridge through the ages”, which will be very well worth a look and will continue until the end of the year.

In the meantime, the constraints put on all of us bring into sharp focus for me and, I’m sure, many others, the importance of the great outdoors. At the time of writing, we’re still allowed into it once a day, and that is keeping me sane. The joy of buds bursting open, the first butterflies of the year and the green and blue carpets, are able, during those magical outdoor moments, to banish the virus blues. The Trust recognises this and has vowed to keep its countryside open as far as legally and practicably possible.

My spellchecker hasn’t heard of COVID and autocorrects it to CORVID – i.e. a member of the crow family. As it happens, crows are involved in the spread of another virus that infects humans. In the early 2000s, I was part of the Department of Health’s West Nile Virus (WNV) Surveillance Group. The reason for this was that my former (I have retired) team at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden monitors insects using a nationwide network of traps. Although primarily watching for agricultural pests, mosquitoes are caught, and these form an important part of the WNV transmission cycle. As with COVID-19, WNV can cause mild to fatal flu-like symptoms in humans. It also infects crows, in which it is usually fatal. Mosquitoes that bite infected crows can pick up the virus and pass it to humans, horses and a few other animals. Unlike with COVID, there has not been a major global pandemic of “CORVID-WNV”, largely because it cannot be passed from person to person by infection or contagion. It has to go via the crows.

Fingers crossed that we will continue to have access to our wonderful countryside and that we’ll get to see the exhibition soon.

Rikki Harrington

Road/drain works in Pitstone 15-17 June 2020 – Westfield Road and Vicarage Road

Marsworth Road, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

15 June — 17 June

 

Delays likely – Traffic control (multi-way signals)

 

Works location: BETWEEN CATCH PITS ON BOTH SIDES OF WESTFIELD ROAD JUNCTION

 

Works description: MINOR WORKS – SURFACE WATER CARRIER PIPE SPOT REPAIRS: EAST SIDE OF JUNCTION: EXCAVATE AREA AS MARKED ON KERB LINE APPROX 17.8m FROM CATCH PIT ON EAST SIDE OF JUNCTION. EXPOSE DAMAGED PIPE CAUSED BY SUSPECTED FAILED GULLY CONNECTION (SEE CCTV IMAGE). UNDERTAKE SPOT REPAIR AS NECESSARY AND RECONNECT GULLY PIPE TO MAIN 150mm DIAMETER CARRIER PIPE.

 

Responsibility for works: Buckinghamshire

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: D40025139990

 

 


 

Church Road, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire

16 June — 18 June

 

Delays possible – Some carriageway incursion

 

Works location: junction of station road

 

Works description: repair defect

 

Responsibility for works: Anglian Water

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: AD03257538883

 

 


 

Vicarage Road, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

15 June — 17 June

 

Delays possible – Traffic control (Stop/Go boards)

 

Works location: BETWEEN THE PIGHTLE JUNCTION AND NO.14 VICARAGE ROAD

 

Works description: DRAINAGE CLEARANCE / INVESTIGATION: EMPTY ALL GULLIES AND KERB WEIRS ALONG LENGTH OF VICARAGE ROAD BETWEEN NO.14 AND THE PIGHTLE JUNCTION. JET ALL CONNECTING PIPES TO MAIN CARRIER PIPE. EMPTY ALL CATCH PITS AND JET MAIN CARRIER PIPE BETWEEN CATCH PITS IF REQUIRED.

 

Responsibility for works: Buckinghamshire

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: BH0025124228

TVP update June 2020

The Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe Neighbourhood Police Team would like to provide you with this newsletter to update you on the crime trends and figures for the last few months. Ordinarily I would update these at a community forum, which obviously cannot be held at this time. These should hopefully reassure you that in these strange times, we have still managed to keep crime low and maintain a normal service to your neighbourhoods.

 

The overriding picture for your neighbourhoods is that the overall crime has dropped when compared to the same period last year. The following figures shown are drawn from 1st March to 9th June and are compared to the same period last year:-

 

  • Overall victim based crime has dropped by 31%.
  • Residential burglaries have dropped by 75%, with only two being reported.
  • Burglaries of sheds and garages have dropped by 60%.
  • Commercial/burglaries to business premises have dropped by 22%.
  • Theft of motor vehicles have reduced by 67%.
  • Theft from motor vehicles have dropped by 36%.
  • Interfering with motor vehicles has dropped by 71%.

 

Our Neighbourhood Priorities remain as before. These are:-

  • Prevent and reduce rural crime
  • Prevent and reduce Theft from Motor Vehicles
  • Prevent and reduce Burglaries (to include sheds and garages).

 

The above figures show that we are succeeding in these priorities. The Eastern corridor of our Neighbourhood remains on our hotspot patrols and we will remain to upkeep these patrols to deter cross border criminals from using this area. We have remained in contact with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police to swap intelligence and assist one another in this location too.

The main issue we have seen an increase in during the last few months is in reports of ASB. This is unsurprising with breaches of the COVID19 social distancing reports coming in, which we have tried to manage via a forecwide response called OP RESTORE. We have made it our purpose to Engage and Explain to those who breached the guide lines, and issued fixed penalty notices to those who failed to adhere to them on several occasions.

We continue to have reports of improper use of the Pitstone Quarry, with persons trespassing onto this site to swim and sunbathe. We are working with Hertfordshire Police, the Transport Authorities and the Health and Safety Executive to try and resolve this issue.

The lockdown has naturally caused some tensions on existing Neighbourhood Disputes. We have taken robust actions where offences have been identified and worked with housing providers where appropriate to deal with tenancy breaches. In one circumstance civil injunctions have been placed on addresses to prevent re-occurrences of ASB. This will not be tolerated and we will do our best to act on such incidents, using our partner agencies when required.

With the likelihood of lockdown measures being loosened in coming months and more people leaving their homes to go to work, I would urge everyone to maintain good crime prevention practices at home:-

  • Keep keys (particularly contactless keys) away from doors, and store in a metal tin to block any signal.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked and secure.
  • Consider use of a traditional steering lock on your vehicles.
  • Any caravan or motorhome owners should use adequate wheel and towing locks. Consider use of tracking devices in them.
  • Trades person must continue to remove tools from their vehicles when unattended and ensure they are marked and serial numbers kept.

We wish you well and thank you for your patience in adhering to social distancing guidelines.

 

Kind Regards

 

PC 5688 Matt Craker

Neighbourhood Supervisor for Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe district.

Buckinghamshire Recovery Investment Fund

New grants of between £3,000 and £120,000 are now available to support businesses in Buckinghamshire looking to invest in resilience, repurposing or recovery initiatives as they prepare to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

 

The Buckinghamshire Recovery Investment Fund, provided by Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is part of a coordinated support programme for businesses, with Buckinghamshire LEP working closely alongside Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire Council.

 

Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“These grants are being made available to support any eligible business based in Buckinghamshire who have started to make plans for how they can recover from the current Covid-19 crisis and are looking at activity to ensure their recovery, future resilience and growth. In addition, these grants are intended to complement those national measures already in place, to support Buckinghamshire businesses during this challenging time.”

 

Michael Garvey, Chair of Buckinghamshire Business First, added: “Over the past few months we have heard from many Buckinghamshire businesses impacted by COVID-19. We are working hard to do everything we can to support them through these challenging times and help them not only survive but position themselves for recovery. This new fund has been set up to provide support for local businesses whose future viability has been adversely impacted, to support them to grow and flourish post-COVID.”

 

Match-funded grants of between £3,000 and £120,000 are available to support businesses with innovative projects that contribute towards any of the following: new income streams / product development; improvements in productivity / profitability; jobs growth; accelerated COVID-19 recovery; and future resilience.

 

Businesses must match-fund 25% of the total project value. For example, the minimum project value which can be supported is £4,000 (the business invests £1,000 and the grant can fund £3,000). The maximum grant value is £120,000 (meaning the match-funding required will be £40,000 for a project value of £160,000 or more to achieve the maximum grant).

Grants are available to organisations that: meet the definition of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME); have two or more PAYE employees; are registered in the Buckinghamshire LEP area; have not received over €200,000 of de minimis aid in the last three years; and were in good financial health prior to 29th February 2020.

 

For further details on these grants and an application form, please go to: www.bbf.uk.com/BRIF.

Hertfordshire Police Issue Strict Warning Not To Visit Pitstone Quarry

Hertfordshire Police has sent out a stern warning to people who have been visiting Pitstone Quarry, near Tring.

The quarry is not only on private land but is also very dangerous and poses plenty of risks for people who think it is safe to swim in.

If caught entering the land without permission from the owner, people could be prosecuted and the police could take action if it continues.

In addition to this, swimming in quarry water is dangerous.

Water temperature can be 80 degrees at ankle-deep and then 40 degrees at just below the surface – this can shock a swimmer’s system and they can quickly find themselves in danger.

The sides can be steep and are a mixture of clay, soft silt and gravel which can shift underfoot and can go at any time.

The water is also prone to dead animals and excrement which can cause disease, pollution and rubbish which can cause a number of problems for a swimmer and poisonous and toxic algae.

The location of the quarry makes it difficult for emergency services to access if someone needs assistance so police want to share this advice to those who have been visiting it or may be planning to in the future.

A parking suspension has also been put into place by Transport for Bucks.

Herts Police and Thames Valley Police will continue monitoring the area.

A spokesperson added: “Please, we ask kindly, do not visit Pitstone Quarry to enjoy the sunny weather – there are plenty of other lovely areas in Hertfordshire where you can enjoy this fine weather and socially distance, keeping yourselves and others safe. Thank you for your understanding.

“Entering this land without permission from the owner constitutes the offence of civil trespass, which the landowner could have you prosecuted for in a civil court of law.”

https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/police-issue-strict-warning-not-4179332

Can you help Windmill PreSchool with their fundraising?

Update: Week one complete! A huge thank you for your donations, this week we have walked 79 miles! That’s the equivalent of walking from Pitstone to Westminster and back! Good job everyone!

The children at Windmill and their families are walking, running, cycling and scooting to raise money for their much loved pre-school. We were all sad to see Windmill close its doors back in March and while it is still unclear when it will be safe to fully reopen again, we are a registered charity and we still need to fundraise.

The children have adjusted well to learning from home but they are all eager to return to pre-school and see their friends so we’re getting them involved in our very first social distancing fundraiser! Our annual sponsored walk to Pitstone Windmill as a group cannot unfortunately go ahead so we have invited every Windmill family to go for adventures of their choosing. Out on their bikes, with their favourite teddy in their backpacks, in fancy dress or wearing their pre-school t-shirt, however they do it, they’ll be doing it with a smile on their face and Windmill pre-school in their thoughts.

Please donate if you can, we’d love some funds available for when we reopen to get some new resources for the exciting new projects we have planned.

Link here: https://justgiving.com/campaign/walkforwindmill

We’ll be keeping track of how many miles the children walk each week between now and when the pre-school reopens and sharing some pictures of our travels, so do check back with us to see how we are getting on!

Marsworth Road drainage works 18-20/5/2020

 

Marsworth Road, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

18 May — 20 May

 

Delays likely – Traffic control (Stop/Go boards)

 

Works location: BETWEEN PITSTONE VILLAGE ENTRY AND ROUNDABOUT AT CHEDDINGTON ROAD

 

Works description: DRAINAGE CLEARANCE / INVESTIGATION: EMPTY ALL GULLIES, KERB WEIRS AND FLIP TOP GULLIES ALONG LENGTH OF ROAD ON BOTH SIDES OF CARRIAGEWAY BETWEEN PITSTONE VILLAGE ENTRY AND ROUNDABOUT. JET ALL CONNECTING PIPES TO DITCH / MAIN CARRIER PIPE.

 

Responsibility for works: Buckinghamshire

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: BH0025124225

Land for sale in Pitstone for (1) children’s nursery and (2) pub / restaurant

Please find below, links relating to the sale of two parcels of land within Pitstone:

With outline permission for a Children’s Day Nursery:

http://propertylinkassets.estatesgazette.com/images/20200422/1-77671871.pdf

With outline permission for an A3/A4 Pub / Restaurant:

 

The land is owned by Nicholas King Homes, and being marketed through Aitchison Raffety.   Contact details for enquiries:

Ian Archer MRICS – 01442 220800 Mobile: 07730 766932
Ian.archer@argroup.co.uk
www.argroup.co.uk

 

Update on National Trust access & car parks 13-5-2020

Update from National Trust:

As always, our decisions have been based on sticking to government guidance and ensuring the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Please also bear in mind that we will have to retain some flexibility around these plans; if guidance changes again, or if we cannot manage to maintain social distancing and safety, then we may have to adjust.

This is a brief summary:

Ashridge – small, outlying car parks (including Pitstone Hill):  all open as of Mon 11 May, with the exception of Little Gaddesden where we are keeping it closed to minimise dog fouling in the adjacent meadow while the cattle are grazing and Northchurch Flats, where we are trying to promote some grass restoration following a lot of abuse during the wet weather.

Ivinghoe Beacon and Dick’s Camp: these will open by Saturday 16 May. There will probably be third-party operated ice cream vans in both of these car parks on fine days and at weekends.

Ashridge, Monument Drive: this will remain closed until Monday 1 June.  This is because it is a very difficult site for us to try to manage numbers and any kind of social distancing. We will operate it at 50% of the usual capacity and will turn people away once it is full. We will open the toilets; if people do not observe social distancing whilst using them, we will close them again. The shop and visitor centre will remain closed. There may be a reduced, take away offer available from the café. The Juice Dub is likely to be on site at weekends from 1 June.

Dunstable Downs: we will open the main car park and the beach car park at 50% of their usual capacity from 10am – 4pm daily from Monday 18 May. The car park machines will be operating using the ‘Pay by Phone’ facility and the charge will be £3.50 per visit.  The toilets will be open and we will monitor use to ensure social distancing is being observed. There will be a third party operated ice cream van in the beach car park on fine days. Cars that cannot be accommodated will be turned away.

Sharpenhoe, Totternhoe, Whipsnade Heath: all open from Wednesday 13 May.

Sundon Hills and Morven Park: still open – never closed.  There is no parking at Morven.

Whipsnade Tree Cathedral: this will remain closed for now.

Shaw’s Corner: this will remain closed for a long time yet. There is little prospect of us re-opening until social distancing is no longer required. We may look to operate some kind of pre-booked visits later in the season.

Travel Safe Bucks – May 2020

Update from Transport for Bucks:

Take Extra Care!

 We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. During these times, the current government advice is that we should only be travelling for essential journeys. This includes trips to  buy essentials, such as food and medical supplies or trips to the hospital or doctors.

If you are making an essential journey, please remember to always drive at a legal and appropriate speed, wear a seatbelt, don’t use your phone whilst driving and don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had an alcohlic drink.

We all have a responsibility to avoid putting more strain on the emergency services, so please always use the roads safely and take extra care when making essential journeys.

Taking extra care on the roads isn’t just about you and your driving, though.

With the government currently allocating one trip outdoors for exercise each day, there are more people out on the roads, especially on rural roads. As a driver please take extra care and watch out for cyclists, who may be inexperienced or new to cycling and pedestrians out on their daily walk, taking advantage of the roads that you usually find very quiet.

Both cyclists and pedestrians should look out for each other as they can’t always be heard approaching.  Anyone using the road, be it a pedestrian, cyclist or driver, needs to be aware of their surroundings and take extra care at all times.

The Highway Code gives guidance for pedestrians:

‘As a pedestrian always use the pavement (including any path along the side of the road) where there is one.  If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light, keep close to the side of the road. It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you. Cross back after the bend.

Help other road users to see you. Wear or carry something light-coloured, bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. When it is dark, use reflective materials (eg armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, footwear), which can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials.’

For more information visit: www.gov.uk/highway-code

Busy season for agricultural vehicles

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, there are going to be more and more agricultural vehicles out on the roads. Drivers of such vehicles may not be expecting the increase in pedestrians and cyclists on roads that are usually quiet in the rural areas they operate in. If you are a driver of an agricultural vehicle, please be aware that there may be a family out for a walk around the corner, or a cyclist not expecting to meet a tractor and trailer.

Similarly, pedestrians and cyclists need to remember that they are not going to be the only ones using the roads, and there will be more large agricultural vehicles on the roads in the days and weeks to come. Take extra care, especially when going around a corner, and always stay focused on the road ahead and behind you.

Watch your speed

Because we shouldn’t be using the roads for anything other than essential journeys, you may find that the roads are a lot quieter at the moment.

Just because there are less vehicles, doesn’t mean you can take less care. Remember that the roads are not a race track, so please always abide by the speed limit. The traffic on the roads might be different but the speed limits remain the same! It’s also worth keeping in mind that a speed limit is the maximum speed you should be travelling at and isn’t a target. An appropriate speed for the road you are travelling on is not always as fast as the speed limit. Other factors should always be considered, such as weather conditions and the level of traffic on the road.

And remember – the roads might be quieter but the police are still making patrols.

If you crash into someone who is on foot or on a bicycle, your speed helps determine if they live or die. Do you know that the survival chances of a pedestrian hit at 20, 30 and 40 mph?

Challenge bad driving habits and ask yourself, “Would I pass my test is I drove like this?”

If the answer is no, then don’t do it.

With speed in mind, have you had the chance to take our online speed e-learning module yet? It takes about 15 minutes to complete and is free to do. You can find it here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/road-safety/managing-speed/speed-awareness-e-learning-module/

On your bike!

Around about now we would be promoting Be A Better Biker courses. Due to the current pandemic, these have had to be put on hold. However, throughout the month of May we will be focusing on motorbike safety across our social media platforms.

The warmer weather might tempt many motorcyclists to take their bike for a spin, but we must remind you not to make any non-essential journeys. If you have to travel, think very carefully about whether you should use a motorbike over a car; the consequences of an incident on two wheels generally mean more severe injuries than an equivalent incident in a car and this can place an extra burden on the emergency services at a time when they’re already stretched.

However, for many, a motorbike (or similar two wheeled vehicle) will be their only means of transport. In these cases, it is so important to ensure that your riding is as safe as possible. Although less traffic on the roads should potentially mean fewer moving hazards, a lot of the traffic is moving more quickly and some people may be less focused on what’s going on around them.

Adopting a systematic approach to your riding can give you more time to anticipate and react to situations, potentially avoiding incidents. The acronym IPSGA is a good way to approach hazards in a systematic way. Think about this as you come to a bend, junction or any other hazard:

I – INFORMATION – Consider all the information around you. What can you see, what can’t you see and what might be reasonably expected to happen?

P- POSITION – Given you have the information, where should you be positioned on the road? Select your position according to these three criteria:

  • Safety – maintain a “safety bubble” around you
  • Stability – if it’s safe, select the road position that gives you the most stability
  • View – if it’s safe, and stable, select the road position that gives you the best view

S – SPEED – Change your speed to be the right speed for you to negotiate the hazard

G – GEAR – When you’ve got your speed right, make sure you’re in the right, responsive gear

A – ACCELERATE – As you leave the hazards, accelerate to an appropriate speed and keep scanning for more information to keep the IPSGA process going.

If you’d like to find out more about being smoother, and safer, in your riding contact IAM RoadSmart on 0330 303 1134 or at www.iamroadsmart.com and they’ll put you in touch with your local group

Other interesting road safety news…

Five Bucks Household recycling centres set to reopen for “essential” waste

Five Bucks household recycling centres set to reopen

Buckinghamshire Council has confirmed the reopening of five of its nine household recycling centres to give residents the chance to dispose of waste that cannot be safely stored at home.

From Wednesday 6 May, the Amersham, Aston Clinton, Buckingham, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe sites will open seven days a week, 9am-6pm – the usual summer opening hours. The other four sites will remain closed for the foreseeable future. To stay within the government’s coronavirus guidelines on essential travel, however, it is important that journeys to these sites during lockdown are only made if waste cannot be stored for longer at home without causing risk to health or safety.

The health of residents and staff is always the highest priority, so everyone visiting the reopened sites will be expected to observe the new social distancing measures that have been put in place. This includes traffic management to control the number of visitors at any one time. The Council warns that this could lead to extensive traffic queues building up at site entrances, so it’s well worth delaying a visit until things are a bit quieter.

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “The decision to reopen the recycling centres has been taken after listening to residents’ concerns on extra waste accumulation during the lockdown period. We want to ensure that people who have been struggling to manage their waste are able to dispose of it properly.

“However, I must warn visitors who do feel that a trip is essential that their visit will be different from normal due to the measures we are putting in place to protect both visitors and our staff. I would also stress that we are only open for residents of Buckinghamshire and will be asking visitors for identification to prove their address.

“As part of the need to ensure social distancing, we have had to limit the number of visitors on site at any one time, so long queues to access the site are likely. I’d ask people to bear in mind that the five sites that are reopening will be open from 9 am to 6 pm seven days a week, so it isn’t necessary to rush there at the first opportunity.

“Staff will be on hand to ensure that the social distancing guidelines are adhered to, therefore we urge all visitors to be patient and leave plenty of time for their visit.

“Fly tipping is a crime. Buckinghamshire Council takes a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping and will prosecute wherever possible. However, there has been some concern amongst residents that the closure of the recycling centres has led some people to either fly tip or hire unlicensed individuals to take away their rubbish. With the reopening of five sites, it means that anyone with accumulated waste that cannot safely be stored can now dispose of it properly.”

These are the things to remember when visiting the reopened household recycling centres:

  • You should only visit the site if you cannot safely store your waste at home.
  • All residents visiting the site will need to observe the social distancing measures now in place. This also means no assistance for unloading can be provided.
  • There will be limits on the number of vehicles allowed on site to allow for social distancing. There may be delays accessing the site and possibly queues of waiting vehicles.
  • Only one person per vehicle where possible.
  • Residents will be asked for their proof of address. Only Buckinghamshire residents will be allowed to use the sites.
  • The existing permit system is still in place, but trailers are temporarily banned from sites.
  • In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.
  • We will continue to charge for non-household waste brought to sites.
  • Because of the higher staffing levels required to ensure social distancing, we cannot open Aylesbury (Rabans Lane), Chesham, Burnham and Langley sites for the time being. These sites remain closed so please do not visit.

£400 fixed penalty notice fine for fly tipping

Buckinghamshire Council takes on new powers to fight the fly tippers

At its very first meeting on 21 April, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet marked a renewed commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to fly tipping by introducing on-the-spot fines as an additional power in the fight against the minority that commit these antisocial offences.

The Cabinet voted unanimously to introduce £400 fixed penalty notice fines for fly tipping – the highest amount allowed under central government powers that were brought in so that local authorities could bring waste crime offenders to justice quickly.

Before becoming a unitary council, it was impractical to introduce fixed penalty notices for waste crime in Buckinghamshire due to the legal complexity of working through five different authorities.

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, explained: “The former county and district councils had an excellent record of working together to fight fly tipping, giving the county very high rates of detection and prosecution of waste crime.

“But unitary status allows Buckinghamshire Council to streamline our enforcement operations, and focus on achieving even better outcomes. One of the immediate advantages is that we are now in a position to bring in fixed penalty notices. These allow us to bring fly tippers to book quickly – though I want to make it clear that, where appropriate, the Council will continue to prosecute through the Courts as part of our zero tolerance approach to fly tipping.”

Garden waste collections to restart from 11 May 2020

Please find below the link to the Buckinghamshire Council update on garden waste collections, which will resume from 11 May 2020:

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/news/green-waste-collections-restart-and-waste-sites-stand-ready-open/

and the planned re-opening of the household waste centre at Aston Clinton.

The link also contains details from Buckinghamshire Council on safety measures that will be in place at the centres and requests for residents regarding the garden refuse collections.

Please note that travel to and from a household waste centre is currently not considered ‘essential travel’ and therefore the sites can’t re-open before government guidelines change otherwise residents could be stopped and fined by Thames Valley Police.

 

Do you have any spare football kit to send to Kit Aid?

Pitstone & Ivinghoe United Football Club are putting together a parcel of spare/used football kit to donate to Kit Aid, a charity that sends of football kits and equipment to underdeveloped countries across the world.

Do you have any old football shirts (professional or local clubs), shorts, training wear, football boots etc?

All age group kit is needed and will put a smile on someone’s face who otherwise would have no access to such clothing.

If so, please contact Mart Roberts on : markroberts381@gmail.com

and Mark will arrange a safe pick up next week.

Link to Kit Aid in case you would like more information: kitaid.net

Vicarage Road stop/go boards 24-28 April 2020

Vicarage Road, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

24 April — 28 April

 

Delays possible – Traffic control (Stop/Go boards)

 

Works location: BETWEEN THE PIGHTLE JUNCTION AND NO.14 VICARAGE ROAD

 

Works description: DRAINAGE CLEARANCE / INVESTIGATION: EMPTY ALL GULLIES AND KERB WEIRS ALONG LENGTH OF VICARAGE ROAD BETWEEN NO.14 AND THE PIGHTLE JUNCTION. JET ALL CONNECTING PIPES TO MAIN CARRIER PIPE. EMPTY ALL CATCH PITS AND JET MAIN CARRIER PIPE BETWEEN CATCH PITS IF REQUIRED.

 

Responsibility for works: Buckinghamshire

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: BH0025124228

Please do not go to Pitstone Quarry

Thames Valley Police are urging people not to trespass at Pitstone Quarry:

“We are all of course able to partake in exercise and can drive a reasonable distance to do this.

This doesn’t include going to sunbathe and have BBQs at Pitstone quarry.

We have put a few reminders up and will be patrolling this location during the coming week’s warm weather.”

The quarry is in private ownership.  There is no public access or right of way.  The owners continually have to replace fencing that has been destroyed by trespassers, who also leave behind large amounts of litter.  The flooded quarry lake is very deep and very cold which can cause the body to go into shock if you enter the water, there is also submerged machinery etc under the surface of the lake.   If you are not the landowner, nor their employee, you should not enter this land.

 

Please do not drive to Pitstone Hill car park, which remains closed

Update from the National Trust:

We are receiving a few emails and social media posts about the closure of Pitstone Hill Car Park.  Some people feel that this is against the recent guidance that people may drive to the countryside to take exercise.

Just to be clear, that guidance was given to the police, in order to help them to determine what is and what isn’t an acceptable reason to travel.

The guidance to land owners from the government remains unchanged: all car parks capable of holding 25 cars or more should be closed wherever possible to deter visits.

We are very grateful to everyone who is heeding the advice to walk from their homes wherever possible and we look forward to being able to welcome people back to our places when it is safe to do so.

Buckinghamshire Council Ivinghoe Ward Councillors’ Report

  1. Coronavirus Information

 

These are very challenging and distressing times. It has been very encouraging that our local communities have come together and our thanks to the volunteers for the work they are doing. We ask all residents to follow guidelines to ensure that you can all keep safe.

 

Buckinghamshire Council is now doing daily video updates, Monday to Friday, for residents about what is going on locally to protect, inform and support our communities. There will be a guest each day to talk about specific areas like working with the health services, public health and businesses. You can find these at –

 

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/changes-to-our-services-due-coronavirus/video-updates/

 

We also encourage residents to go to the Community Support Hub pages on the Buckinghamshire Council website, a place which gives information for local people to sign up and help those who need it in our communities. More information is available on the website at  https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/coronavirus/

 

There is also a website for Service Updates on the Buckinghamshire Council website, so do keep checking here regularly for the latest:

 

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/changes-to-our-services-due-coronavirus/.

 

Things are changing quite quickly, but this information will keep you updated on specific services that are impacted.

 

  1. New Buckinghamshire Unitary Council outlines political arrangements following postponement of elections due to Coronavirus

 

Shadow Leader, Martin Tett said that although there were still many details to sort out, the new council’s leadership will follow guidance from the Government with the following arrangements in place:

  1. All Shadow Authority councillors become councillors of the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April until  May 2021.
  2. The existing Shadow Executive members will form Buckinghamshire Council’s new Cabinet until the elections  in May 2021
  3. The Council’s new constitution (its operating rules and procedures) will come into force on 1st April and new committees will be established.  The Government is due to introduce emergency rules which will allow committees to hold virtual meetings for a temporary period.

 

Martin Tett said; “These are clearly challenging and unprecedented times on a truly global scale.  However, we will still launch the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April as planned and will continue to provide services to residents with the minimum of disruption. A vast amount of planning and preparation is going on across all our services and we will be keeping people informed as decisions are made. It’s clear that the next few weeks and months will be difficult for all, but we will get through it.

“Buckinghamshire Council will remain in regular dialogue with Government and expect to confirm all legislative and other changes required as soon as possible.”

 

With AVDC and BCC ceasing as local authorities on April 1st and the local elections now postponed until May 2021 the existing councillors from either AVDC or BCC will be temporary members of the new authority until May 2021. These are:

 

Anne Wight, Chris Poll, Derek Town, Sandra Jenkins and Peter Cooper.

 

We are at present still working out exactly how this will operate but wanted to let you know that we are here for all residents within the new Ivinghoe ward which covers:

 

Cheddington, Mentmore, Marsworth, Pitstone, Slapton, Ivinghoe, Edlesborough, Dagnall and Northall.

 

All our contact details are on the Buckinghamshire Council website and please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

 

The new Buckinghamshire Council encompasses four district councils plus Buckinghamshire County Council. As you can imagine this new Council covers a very large area and Councillors will be allocated seats on the new committees as soon as possible which will probably be ‘virtual’ in their operation for the near future.

 

  1. AVDC Cancels final Council meeting

 

In the light of the recent Government announcements relating to limiting large gatherings and encouraging social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Angela Macpherson, in discussion with the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Judy Brandis, and the Buckinghamshire Director of Public Health, Dr Jane O’Grady, have concluded that the final meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council, scheduled for Wednesday 25 March, should be cancelled.

 

Cllr Judy Brandis said: “It is incredibly disappointing to come to this decision, but these are unprecedented times and we are working hard to protect ourselves and others.

 

“We had invited a number of past Chairmen and Honorary Aldermen to attend the meeting but many are elderly and some have underlying health conditions – putting them in the high risk category if they contract coronavirus.”

 

Among those attending would have been the first ever AVDC Chairman, former Councillor Anthony Mogford, now 92.

 

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) formally came into being on 1 April 1974. AVDC was created as a result of local government restructuring that saw the merger of the boroughs of Aylesbury and Buckingham, Aylesbury Rural District, Buckingham Rural District, Wing Rural District and part of Winslow Rural District.

 

As with the current restructuring, that will see AVDC, the three other district councils in the county and Buckinghamshire County Council replaced by the new Buckinghamshire Council, there was a period prior to the establishment of the new Council when members met to plan their new future – and the first meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council took place on 19 June 1973, following elections that had taken place on 7 June 1973.

 

Cllr Angela Macpherson said: “AVDC has a lot to be proud of and will leave a strong legacy for the new Buckinghamshire Council to inherit. I would like to pay tribute to councillors past and present and to the staff of the council who have worked so hard and diligently to deliver services to local residents”.

 

Cllr Judy Brandis had a special word of thanks for Bill Ashton, Democratic Services Manager, who will be retiring at the end of the month after 50 years in local government service and 46 years at AVDC. “Bill was here from the very start of the new district council and in recent years has provided members with highly professional insights – keeping us all on track and fully aware of what we can and can’t do as councillors,” said Cllr Brandis, “and he has provided me with excellent support and advice during my year as Chairman.”

 

 

  1. Buckinghamshire County Council held its last ever full Council meeting on Thursday (March 12) after 131 years of service.

    County Councillors, Aldermen and distinguished guests including Lord Lieutenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Bt, KCVO and High Sheriff, Mrs Julia Upton MBE packed into the Oculus in Aylesbury to mark the historical occasion. The County Council and Buckinghamshire’s four district councils are being replaced by the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council on April 1.

    Alongside regular meeting business, councillors took the opportunity to look back over Council services spanning three centuries. Over this time, average life expectancy in the County has risen from just 46 in 1889 to over 81 currently, and population has nearly trebled to 540,000.

    The last ever Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council, Brian Roberts, said he was proud to be given the privilege of ending such a historic chapter. He said after the meeting, “This Council has been serving Buckinghamshire residents since 1889. During that time we’ve seen four Monarchs, 26 prime ministers and 32 County Chairman. The decisions made by both our current and predecessor councillors have shaped how Buckinghamshire has developed as a County and how services have contributed to making life better for residents, businesses and communities.

    Brian added, “The County and the four districts councils now pass the baton on to Buckinghamshire Council and I wish the new authority every success going forward.

 

In closing may we wish all our residents the very best and keep safe at this difficult time. We hope to be able to attend Parish Council meetings in the not too distant future. In the meantime we will endeavour to continue to forward as much information as possible.

Are you a local business in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector? Have you applied for support from Buckinghamshire Council yet?

The new Buckinghamshire Council is providing support for businesses in the area.  As at close of business on Tuesday 14 April, 2,900 successful applications had been processed, but it is believed that many more businesses may be entitled to receive a grant.

Cllr Tett encourages any businesses that hadn’t applied yet to do so by visiting www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/businessgrant. The grants are available to all eligible businesses and, as they are grants and not loans, do not need to be repaid.

Most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief will receive a grant as follows:

  • Eligible properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a £10,000 grant
  • Eligible properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and up to £51,000 will receive a £25,000 grant

To be eligible for a grant, companies and traders must have been liable for business rates on 11 March 2020. If not, there is no entitlement to relief.

Buckinghamshire Council has paid out £38.3 million in coronavirus business grants to 2,900 small local businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors*

* This was the number processed and paid by the end of the day on Tuesday 14 April.

For general information about business grants and full details of eligibility criteria visit our ‘Local support for businesses’ page at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/local-support-businesses/

Buckinghamshire Council announce more online adult learning courses

More online adult learning courses launching to support skills development

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Service (BAL) is transforming the way it delivers its courses to help people to continue to learn and look after their mental wellbeing whilst government guidance on staying at home remains in place.

Classroom based courses are being transformed into engaging and innovative online learning programmes. From the end of April onwards, there will be over 150 courses available covering a wide range of topics and skills. All courses are designed and delivered by qualified and experienced specialist tutors who are passionate about their subjects.

Examples of courses that are on offer include:

  • Over 30 fitness courses including tai chi, Pilates, yoga, and meditation.
  • A range of language courses including French, Spanish and Italian at a range of different levels.
  • Over 50 creative classes including floristry, drawing, painting, garden design, cooking and creative writing.
  • Courses to support future employability and digital skills development, for which you can receive a qualification.

Over a thousand learners have already enrolled for these courses and some courses are filling up fast.

Anita Cranmer, Executive Portfolio Holder for Education said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we can continue to offer our fantastic courses to residents despite government guidance on staying at home. We know that this challenging period can lead to increased stress and anxiety so it’s really important that people continue to do things that they find stimulating and enjoyable. By offering a wide range of courses online we hope that people will enjoy trying out something new or finding out more about a topic that they’re interested in.”

For more information about individual courses and to enrol go to https://www.adultlearningbcc.ac.uk/

 

If you have any further queries please ring 01296 387944.

Vicarage Road closure 16-4-2020 by Erleigh Manor

Vicarage Road, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

16 April — 16 April

 

Delays likely – Road closure

 

Works location: Vicarage Road o/s Eriegh Manor Pitstone LU7 9EZ

 

Works description: Access required to Overhead BT structure to provide service – No structural changes. Work being carried out on existing BT Network. **WORKS REF ECAP1050**

 

Responsibility for works: Openreach

 

Current status: Planned work about to start

 

Works reference: BC005CC1W0019JUNSMWMY567

Anglian Water’s Priority Services Register

Did you know you can register for free, additional practical support from Anglian Water’s Priority Services? Some of the ways being on the Priority Services Register could help you include;

 

  • Bills being sent in different formats (including braille) or being sent to a friend or relative; If you want Anglian Water to contact a relative, friend or carer about your water supply and/or bills, with your permission they will be their first point contact and will be able to contact Anglian Water on your behalf
  • Advance warning of possible water supply interruptions
  • Help with reading your water meter
  • Knock and wait; Anglian Water will wait longer for you to answer the door when visiting
  • A scheme to protect people from bogus callers and scams

 

Registration is quick and easy! To find out more about Priority Services and to sign up,

Call Anglian Water on: 0800 919 155

Go online at: anglianwater.co.uk/priority or scan this QR code

Fill in one of their freepost registration forms.

Download the MyAccount app

 

Priority Service Register

 

Alongside Anglian Water, other Water and Energy providers offer a Priority Service. If you think you may need extra help during an interruption to supply or a power cut due to being medically dependent on electricity, elderly or disabled or if you have specific communication needs, contact your provider to find out how they can assist you.

Council Tax message from Buckinghamshire Council

During this difficult time, we want to support our residents who may be struggling to pay their council tax bills.  For example, for our working–age residents, who already have Council Tax Reduction, we are reducing their council tax bill by up to £150.  However, we know others maybe struggling too. We ask that if you know anyone who is finding it difficult to make these payments at the moment, that they contact us so we can work through a solution together.  Please share this link with them for details – https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/council-tax/help-council-tax-payments/ 

Important Information from Buckinghamshire Council re Community Support

Each day I take huge pride in the immense community effort that we are seeing across the whole county. It is a time of crisis, but we are seeing in all of our towns and villages just how well people are pulling together, supporting each other and volunteering to help especially in looking after the people who need it the most. My colleagues and I are truly humbled and inspired by the amazing work people are doing.

I’m delighted to be able to say that the council is now in the process – via a team of staff and wonderful volunteers – of getting food parcels out to the most vulnerable. Please read on for more on what Buckinghamshire Council is doing and how we are helping to provide and coordinate community support.

Can I thank each and every one of you too for doing your bit by staying home, except where absolutely essential, to help stop the spread of the virus and to save lives. We have all made huge adjustments and I am thankful to everyone for the lengths you are all going to.

Food parcels

This week we received the food parcels from the Government for our most vulnerable residents and our teams are starting to send these out.

Again, I am just so proud of how quickly our staff and volunteers have got this process up and running.

This is an interim measure, as the aim is that the government will start sending these directly to vulnerable people using supermarket delivery services. But for now, we are helping to co-ordinate getting these out to the most vulnerable people who need them.

Local Support Hubs

I’m really pleased to be able to give you further detail about Buckinghamshire Council’s eight local support hubs that are now set up for residents with severe medical conditions who might not have friends or family nearby.

The hubs will act as co-ordination and distribution points for the council’s volunteer support network to help with the food parcels, fuel top-up cards and help with getting medicines and medical appointments.

They won’t be open to the public but are there to co-ordinate the support for these most vulnerable residents.

Residents at high risk will get letters from the NHS or their GPs explaining how to register for support and we are making contact with vulnerable residents too. The Council’s social care team has also identified 750 older and more vulnerable residents and is keeping in daily contact with them to make sure they are safe and that they have the support they need.

All residents can also see what wider help and support is available – and can offer to volunteer too – via Buckinghamshire Council’s online Community Hub at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Community focus

As I’ve already said, I’m just so inspired by the immense community effort we’re seeing across the county. Just one example has been in High Wycombe, where local councillor Arif Hussain and his children raised money through the charity Five Pillars to buy food and care packages for elderly residents. Through a team of wonderful local volunteers, they then delivered the parcels to 68 flats of elderly local residents.

I know that this is just one of many such stories from across Bucks and I want to hear more. Please let us know what you are doing in your community and we’ll share this on our website so people in your local area can find you.

We’ve had an amazing response to our call for volunteers, almost 800 so far!

If you would like to volunteer to help in your local community please visit our online community hub at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/

You can also use the hub to find local support for yourself or if you have an elderly friend or relative in Buckinghamshire that you are worried about.

Our daily video update – #AskBucksCouncil

We’re all enjoying staying in touch online more, and at Buckinghamshire Council we are no exception!

We are producing a daily video update – our Vlog – and it’s a brilliant way of getting the latest updates from the Council – plus I enjoy that it can be a more personal, face to face, form of communicating as well as emailing you all.

Please do check it out via the Buckinghamshire Council website and most importantly – we want you to take part.

We don’t want this to be a one-way conversation so please give us your stories, comments, questions via social media (Twitter – @BucksCouncil, Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BucksCouncil/) using the #AskBucksCouncil hashtag and we will do all we can to include your comments and respond to any questions.

Council tax

We know how difficult life is at the moment and also how peoples’ circumstances vary tremendously. I know that many people are under financial strain and will find their council tax an added burden at a difficult time. The council’s advice is that you continue to pay if you possibly can – council tax funds essential local services like rubbish collection, local fire and police services and helps pay for the care vulnerable adults and children need from us.

However, I want you to know that Buckinghamshire Council does recognise the financial impact of coronavirus and will be supporting working-age residents who already have Council Tax Reduction by initially reducing their council tax bill by up to £150.

We also know that other customers will have difficulty making payments, and we urge you to let us know so we can work through a solution together. For example, it might be easier for some households who pay in ten instalments to pay in twelve smaller instalments.

If you are facing financial hardship and need to talk to us about how to pay your council tax bill please go to https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/council-tax/help-council-tax-payments/

Free school meal vouchers

Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme so they can still get meals while they stay at home during the school closure period. Schools can now provide, where needed, every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed.

Some schools will continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this isn’t possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

The voucher scheme means that families who usually benefit from free school meals still have access to healthy and nutritious meals while they are not attending school.

Where schools are issuing vouchers rather than continuing to provide meals, parents will receive the voucher directly from their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code or sent to their home as a gift card and used at supermarkets. Parents and carers should check with their school in the first instance to find out more about how this is being arranged.

Staying healthy while you stay home

I also want to take a moment to remind everyone that taking care of your mind is really important while staying at home. You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You might also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.

It’s important to remember that it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.
Staying at home may be difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

Check out the tips and advice that Every Mind Matters suggests.

There are things you can do to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.

The new Buckinghamshire Council

And finally – an important reminder that from tomorrow the new Buckinghamshire Council comes into being. It replaces the county council and the four district councils of Buckinghamshire, which will no longer exist after today.

There has been a monumental effort from staff and councillors in all five councils to get us to where we are today. Thanks to the huge amount of work that has been done over the last 16 months, all five authorities are now working as one and this has meant we have been able to respond as one team to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a great testament to all of our teams and I am so proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all of our staff and councillors.

Because all elections have been postponed until next year, all 202 current Shadow Authority councillors will become Buckinghamshire Council councillors from tomorrow until May 2021.

The existing Shadow Executive members will form Buckinghamshire Council’s new cabinet until the elections in May 2021.

I’m so proud that we are in such a strong position to move forward as one new single council under such challenging circumstances.

Stay well,

Martin Tett
Leader of the Shadow Executive.

Think you are extremely vulnerable? Not received a letter from the government?

In the case of potentially vulnerable residents, if they have not already received a letter from the government highlighting them as vulnerable, the link for people to register with the government as vulnerable and needing help is www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable and there is also a helpline on 0800 0288327.
If you hear of any local people who are likely to qualify but haven’t received the letter, please do ask them to register above and raise this with their GPs or hospital clinicians (as per the government guidance above).
If residents have received the letter from the government advising they are one of the vulnerable members of society an should isolate for 12 weeks they will be getting a food parcel delivered in the next few days.

Buckinghamshire Council – Ivinghoe Division Councillors’ Report

  1. Coronavirus Information

 

These are very challenging and distressing times. It has been very encouraging that our local communities have come together and our thanks to the volunteers for the work they are doing. We ask all residents to follow guidelines to ensure that you can all keep safe.

 

Buckinghamshire Council is now doing daily video updates, Monday to Friday, for residents about what is going on locally to protect, inform and support our communities. There will be a guest each day to talk about specific areas like working with the health services, public health and businesses. You can find these at –

 

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/changes-to-our-services-due-coronavirus/video-updates/

 

We also encourage residents to go to the Community Support Hub pages on the Buckinghamshire Council website, a place which gives information for local people to sign up and help those who need it in our communities. More information is available on the website at  https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/coronavirus/

 

There is also a website for Service Updates on the Buckinghamshire Council website, so do keep checking here regularly for the latest:

 

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/changes-to-our-services-due-coronavirus/.

 

Things are changing quite quickly, but this information will keep you updated on specific services that are impacted.

 

  1. New Buckinghamshire Unitary Council outlines political arrangements following postponement of elections due to Coronavirus

 

Shadow Leader, Martin Tett said that although there were still many details to sort out, the new council’s leadership will follow guidance from the Government with the following arrangements in place:

  1. All Shadow Authority councillors become councillors of the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April until  May 2021.
  2. The existing Shadow Executive members will form Buckinghamshire Council’s new Cabinet until the elections  in May 2021
  3. The Council’s new constitution (its operating rules and procedures) will come into force on 1st April and new committees will be established.  The Government is due to introduce emergency rules which will allow committees to hold virtual meetings for a temporary period.

 

Martin Tett said; “These are clearly challenging and unprecedented times on a truly global scale.  However, we will still launch the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April as planned and will continue to provide services to residents with the minimum of disruption. A vast amount of planning and preparation is going on across all our services and we will be keeping people informed as decisions are made. It’s clear that the next few weeks and months will be difficult for all, but we will get through it.

“Buckinghamshire Council will remain in regular dialogue with Government and expect to confirm all legislative and other changes required as soon as possible.”

 

With AVDC and BCC ceasing as local authorities on April 1st and the local elections now postponed until May 2021 the existing councillors from either AVDC or BCC will be temporary members of the new authority until May 2021. These are:

 

Anne Wight, Chris Poll, Derek Town, Sandra Jenkins and Peter Cooper.

 

We are at present still working out exactly how this will operate but wanted to let you know that we are here for all residents within the new Ivinghoe division which covers:

 

Cheddington, Marsworth, Pitstone, Slapton, Ivinghoe, Edlesborough, Dagnall and Northall.

 

All our contact details are on the Buckinghamshire Council website and please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

 

The new Buckinghamshire Council encompasses four district councils plus Buckinghamshire County Council. As you can imagine this new Council covers a very large area and Councillors will be allocated seats on the new committees as soon as possible which will probably be ‘virtual’ in their operation for the near future.

 

  1. AVDC Cancels final Council meeting

 

In the light of the recent Government announcements relating to limiting large gatherings and encouraging social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Angela Macpherson, in discussion with the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Judy Brandis, and the Buckinghamshire Director of Public Health, Dr Jane O’Grady, have concluded that the final meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council, scheduled for Wednesday 25 March, should be cancelled.

 

Cllr Judy Brandis said: “It is incredibly disappointing to come to this decision, but these are unprecedented times and we are working hard to protect ourselves and others.

 

“We had invited a number of past Chairmen and Honorary Aldermen to attend the meeting but many are elderly and some have underlying health conditions – putting them in the high risk category if they contract coronavirus.”

 

Among those attending would have been the first ever AVDC Chairman, former Councillor Anthony Mogford, now 92.

 

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) formally came into being on 1 April 1974. AVDC was created as a result of local government restructuring that saw the merger of the boroughs of Aylesbury and Buckingham, Aylesbury Rural District, Buckingham Rural District, Wing Rural District and part of Winslow Rural District.

 

As with the current restructuring, that will see AVDC, the three other district councils in the county and Buckinghamshire County Council replaced by the new Buckinghamshire Council, there was a period prior to the establishment of the new Council when members met to plan their new future – and the first meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council took place on 19 June 1973, following elections that had taken place on 7 June 1973.

 

Cllr Angela Macpherson said: “AVDC has a lot to be proud of and will leave a strong legacy for the new Buckinghamshire Council to inherit. I would like to pay tribute to councillors past and present and to the staff of the council who have worked so hard and diligently to deliver services to local residents”.

 

Cllr Judy Brandis had a special word of thanks for Bill Ashton, Democratic Services Manager, who will be retiring at the end of the month after 50 years in local government service and 46 years at AVDC. “Bill was here from the very start of the new district council and in recent years has provided members with highly professional insights – keeping us all on track and fully aware of what we can and can’t do as councillors,” said Cllr Brandis, “and he has provided me with excellent support and advice during my year as Chairman.”

 

In closing may we wish all our residents the very best and keep safe at this difficult time. We hope to be able to attend Parish Council meetings in the not too distant future. In the meantime we will endeavour to continue to forward as much information as possible.

 

 

  1. Buckinghamshire County Council held its last ever full Council meeting on Thursday (March 12) after 131 years of service.

    County Councillors, Aldermen and distinguished guests including Lord Lieutenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Bt, KCVO and High Sheriff, Mrs Julia Upton MBE packed into the Oculus in Aylesbury to mark the historical occasion. The County Council and Buckinghamshire’s four district councils are being replaced by the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council on April 1.

    Alongside regular meeting business, councillors took the opportunity to look back over Council services spanning three centuries. Over this time, average life expectancy in the County has risen from just 46 in 1889 to over 81 currently, and population has nearly trebled to 540,000.

    The last ever Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council, Brian Roberts, said he was proud to be given the privilege of ending such a historic chapter. He said after the meeting, “This Council has been serving Buckinghamshire residents since 1889. During that time we’ve seen four Monarchs, 26 prime ministers and 32 County Chairman. The decisions made by both our current and predecessor councillors have shaped how Buckinghamshire has developed as a County and how services have contributed to making life better for residents, businesses and communities.

    Brian added, “The County and the four districts councils now pass the baton on to Buckinghamshire Council and I wish the new authority every success going forward.

lost red prescription glasses? possibly a childs

A pair of red prescription glasses, possibly child size, have been left on the Windsor Road footpath and not collected over the weekend.   If you are missing a pair of glasses, they are propped on the lamp post in Windsor Road, by the path to the play space/cycle path (opposite the path through to Castle Close).

HELP THE CALL FOR HELPERS BY LEAFLETING

We, the Pitstone Covid-19 Mutual Support Group, are desperately looking for more people to volunteer to help support those in need during this time. We want to leaflet our local streets to make sure everyone has the chance to sign up as a helper in the village. We especially need to reach those that aren’t online or maybe not frequent users of Facebook in case they need help.

Obviously everyone’s health and safety are of the utmost importance, so you would need to practice social distancing, wear gloves or sanitize hands regularly during the drop and sanitize and wash well after . You would also need to respect peoples wishes if access to letterbox is blocked or there is a note on the door requesting no contact.

This is not a call to encourage people to go out more than once per day. Perhaps bored secondary school children would like to help their village or why not make the best of your exercise time?

We urge you not to put personal contact details on this page. Please message via the contact details below to add your name to the list and we will get back to you when help is needed. We will need your name, contact number and street name and also your age if you are under 16 years.

Thank you.

Please contact: Nikki Thomas via email address Nikezade@aol.com or text your details to 07984557039.

Buckinghamshire councils lift all parking charges and restrictions to support communities during Coronavirus outbreak

Buckinghamshire councils lift all parking charges and restrictions to support communities during Coronavirus outbreak

 

All council car park charges and on-street parking restrictions have been lifted today across Buckinghamshire.

The five existing councils have taken the unprecedented step to help support communities, key workers and volunteers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The changes will mean all council car parks across the county will be completely free to use and all parking restrictions lifted. This includes parking on yellow lines, limited waiting areas and in pay and display bays. Residents permits will also be extended by a month. Restrictions on disabled parking will however remain in force.

Parking officers will continue patrolling the main routes, car parks, and residential areas to help deal with any obstructions to support emergency services, key workers, essential food deliveries and residents.

If any vehicle does cause an obstruction, officers will attempt to locate the owner via the permits database so that the vehicle can be moved to a safer place. If owners can’t be located, vehicles will be towed to the nearest safe position. This will only be used as a last resort and will be to relocate vehicles, not remove them completely.

Leader of Buckinghamshire’s Shadow Executive, Martin Tett said the new measures were sensible and appropriate given the circumstances. “With most people working from home, parking is at a premium, so this gives everyone more flexibility and should help keep routes clear. If you live near to a council car park, please feel free to use it if it’s suitable.

“It should also make it easier for those key workers and volunteers who need to get around to help those most vulnerable in our communities.”

Martin added: “My only plea to motorists is to park sensibly and safely for the benefit of everyone and maintain social distancing. If we all pull together and use our common-sense, we can make a huge difference for those needing to get around in these testing and difficult times.”

These changes will be regularly reviewed and may be amended in line with further government guidance.

Some car parks are closed overnight, so please check the following links for further details. Specific questions or queries can be sent to the relevant area e-mail addresses.

Aylesbury Area
https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/section/car-parks
Email: parking.ay@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

For information regarding on street parking, please contact parkingqueries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

For assistance and the latest advice on coronavirus, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For further information please contact: Aidan Shutter on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825430978 

Thames Valley Police ask for everyone to stay at home

Please follow government advice and do not leave your home/garden. If you are taking your one piece of daily exercise, please maintain social distancing. Thames Valley Police are reporting lots of people out and about, on Pitstone Hill and on the Recreation Ground. They ask everyone to please go home and stay home.

Buckinghamshire Council update

Buckinghamshire Council has outlined a series of political arrangements from 1st April in the light of the Government’s decision to delay this year’s elections to May 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Shadow Leader, Martin Tett said that although there were still many details to sort out, the new Council will commence as planned on 1st April. The council’s leadership will follow guidance from the Government with the following arrangements in place:
All 202 current Shadow Authority councillors will become councillors of the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April until May 2021.
The existing Shadow Executive members will form Buckinghamshire Council’s new Cabinet until the elections in May 2021
The Council’s new constitution (its operating rules and procedures) will come into force on 1st April and new committees will be established.
The Government is due to introduce emergency rules which will allow committees to hold virtual meetings for a temporary period.
Martin said; “These are clearly challenging and unprecedented times on a truly global scale. However, we will still be launching the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April as planned and continuing to provide services to residents with the minimum of disruption. A vast amount of planning and preparation is going on across all our services and we will be keeping people informed as decisions are made. It’s clear that the next few weeks and months will be difficult for all, but we will get through it.
“While we are taking sensible steps to ensure political continuity for the new Council, I know some councillors had made personal decisions not to stand for election this year. It will of course be open to them to stand down as they planned or alternatively consider staying on for an additional year. Once we know what those councillors want to do, we can finalise our proposals.”
Martin added; “I have spoken with both the Lib Dem and Labour Leaders. We are all agreed that this is not the time for party politics. We all share the commitment to best serve the residents, businesses and communities of Buckinghamshire at this time of crisis. We remain in regular dialogue with Government and expect to confirm all legislative and other changes required as soon as possible.”

Update from Buckinghamshire Council re Coronavirus

The following is an update on the Coronavirus situation in Bucks from Martin Tett as Leader of the Shadow Executive and you are free to publish it on your websites.  It will also be published in the local press.
I think I made sure all links below are live, but if clerks could check that and rectify any which aren’t when adding the information to your websites, I would be especially grateful, so thanks!
————————————————————————————————
Update on the Coronavirus outbreak from Buckinghamshire Councils – a letter from Shadow Executive Leader Martin Tett
I would like to update you on what we are doing across the councils in Buckinghamshire in response to Coronavirus, what you can do to protect yourself and others, and how you can become involved in supporting your community.
Firstly, my thoughts are with all people in Buckinghamshire who have been negatively impacted in any way by this crisis. These are difficult and very challenging times. This makes it even more important that we come together to support each other. We’re already seeing so much fantastic work going on across the county.
The current situation will no doubt test and stretch our ability, but the council is committed to providing community leadership and support wherever possible.
What are we doing?
The Coronavirus outbreak is of deep concern to everyone in Buckinghamshire. We are working together, across all the councils in Buckinghamshire, with Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care to tackle the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak to support our residents, communities, businesses and schools during this difficult time.
We are closely following government guidance to provide accurate and up to date information. We are well-prepared for these situations and have robust plans in place to focus on keeping essential services running to look after our elderly, the most vulnerable, children, and safeguard local communities.
As the impact of Coronavirus increases, we may need to make some temporary changes to some services. This is so we can protect people from infection and use our staff and resources where they are most needed. It is important that we communicate any changes to residents and ongoing engagement with communities will be a priority. Information about any service changes will be released to the press and published on our website  www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk
We know that some of you will still want to get in touch face to face so, for now, we are keeping our main libraries and council offices open to answer your questions and provide advice. You can see which libraries are open at  www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries
We are also keeping our country parks open with no parking charges so you can get out for some fresh air and stay healthy.
How can you help?
It’s crucial at times like this that everyone pulls together. In Bucks we are proud of our local communities and the voluntary and community work they do. I am truly humbled by the number of people and organisations coming forward and volunteering to help others in their towns and villages.
We know people, particularly if they are in isolation, are going to need support with practical things like getting medicines, doing grocery shopping, or caring for beloved pets, as well as dealing with the mental effects. The voluntary and community sectors will have a key role to play in supporting people.
If you are healthy and looking at ways you can help, take a look at our central community hub. This can be found on our new website atwww.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
We are also looking for people with skills. Visit our website and complete the ‘I want to be involved’ form at  www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you are a vulnerable or older person who is self-isolating, or know of someone who needs help get in touch with us; visit  www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
What you can do to protect yourself and others
It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves, our families and others around us.
1. Try to stay calm – be prepared and plan for the self-isolation of yourself or others but avoid panic buying so that others are not faced with empty shelves. Supermarkets inform us that there are no shortages. I have written today to all the major supermarket companies in Bucks asking them to offer priority personal and online shopping to the elderly and key vulnerable groups.
2. Stay healthy – there are lots of ways to stay healthy. Get outside and go for a walk in one on our country parks or visit National Trust parks for freebut do maintain a safe distance from other people.
3. Be alert to the symptoms and follow the government guidance – maintain good hygiene, reduce non-essential contact and stay at home if you have either:
• A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
• A new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
It is particularly important for people who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant to follow this advice as much as possible.
Support our NHS
If you are worried about your symptoms it is important that you do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. This could spread the infection and put our doctors and health services at risk.
Go to   https://111.nhs.uk/ or if you cannot go online call 111. This is so we can keep phone lines free for those who need it most.
The government have also advised that testing for Coronavirus is not needed if you are staying at home. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home, but if you are concerned about your symptoms and need urgent medical help call 999.
Keep up to date
Advice is changing all the time. There is a lot of information being shared about Coronavirus. There is a lot of misleading or even ‘fake news’, particularly online.
Make sure the information you are following is from a trusted source – the government, NHS or Public Health England. For local information follow our social mediavia the twitter handle @BucksCouncil and keep an eye on our webpage  www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus .
We are also writing to our vulnerable and older people who use our services to make sure they have the information they need to stay safe and well.
Supporting Bucks businesses
I am aware that Buckinghamshire is a county of many businesses from the very large to the very small. These are very difficult times for companies and the many people who work for them.
We are channelling support through the local Buckinghamshire business ‘hub’,Bucks Business First (BBF), as details are confirmed.
If you are a company who wants advice on current local or government support, such as that announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, find out more via BBF at  www.bbf.uk.com/covid-19 .
The new Buckinghamshire Council
The government’s postponement of local elections until May 2021 will not stop the launch of the new Buckinghamshire Council. All five existing councils will be replaced by the one, new Buckinghamshire Council on 1 April. Plans for this are well advanced and we are already working together as one team to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Lastly, I am also immensely proud of the dedication of all the staff in our local councils, NHS, social care, police and other key services who are continuing to work tirelessly to keep people safe and secure. I would like to pass on my thanks for everyone’s work in these unprecedented times.
Martin Tett Leader of the Shadow Executive

Garden waste collection – an urgent message from AVDC

In this unprecedented situation with coronavirus we are having to look at prioritising some of our services. We do not make these decisions lightly. Collections of refuse, clinical waste and food will remain a priority throughout and therefore until further notice we regret we will be stopping the garden and bulky waste collection services.

 

Please be reassured that these materials are not hazardous if left for longer than two weeks and if you wish you will still be able to take this waste to your nearest Household Recycling Centre. Whilst we appreciate that not all residents can travel to an HRC, any that do will help reduce the backlog and allow us to resume normal service more quickly afterwards.

 

Any residents who are self-isolating, have COVID-19 symptoms or are in an ‘at risk’ category should not visit Household Recycling Centres.

 

We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause and once we know when the service can be resumed, for customers receiving the garden waste service, we will be in touch regarding how we plan to compensate you for any loss of service.

Poultons Meadow and Icknield Gardens

Please find below a link to the Public Health Act 1925 Section 18 Naming of Streets notification issued by AVDC.  The notice includes a map of the site with the two new roads highlighted.

Combined 20-16-NEWDEV Section 18 notice

  • The main road, from the Lower Icknield Way to Vicarage Road, will be named “Poultons Meadow” to commemorate the previous name by which the meadow was known, which this site now occupies.
  • The smaller road facing the Recreation Ground, will be known as “Icknield Gardens” to commemorate the fact that it sits upon the site of the old Allotment Gardens and is adjacent to the Lower Icknield Way.

If anyone is aggrieved by the intended order, you may appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of 12 March 2020.  Contact details are provided in the link.

This information will also be displayed on a notice at the site.

 

 

 

Update on Cheddington Road bridge flooding (9-3-2020)

Work is starting on Tuesday (10-3-2020) to clear the trees and vegetation to the side of Cooks Wharf canal bridge. Once this work is complete (hopefully by Wednesday 11-3-2020) BCC TfB will be able to see what sort of excavator can squeeze in there to get the ditch cleared.

The ditch clearance will not follow immediately after but should take place within the next 2 weeks. Once the ditch is cleared the back-up of water should flow out the system and the flood should recede.

More road closed signage has been erected to help prevent vehicles turning round in the drive of properties before the bridge.

Works had been delayed as high priority works were required on the A413 Buckingham Road, Weedon where severe flooding was causing vehicles to aquaplane off the carriageway, which we are sure residents will understand needed to be remedied as the priority.

Senior School Allocations and Home to School Transport policy

We understand that parents of children moving up to secondary school in September will now have received their offer letters.

If you have any questions regarding your school offer, how the waiting list system works, whether you need to remain on the waiting list to receive free transport, whether you are entitled to free transport, or whether you need to register for paid-transport until free transport can be confirmed, please call the Bucks County Council Schools Team on  01296 395000.

Bucks County Council have also answered some of the questions from local parents surrounding the change to policy in their updated Frequently Asked Questions document which is available via this link: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/education/school-transport/check-if-youre-eligible-for-free-school-transport/

We understand that some of the wording within the BCC home to school transport policy for the Pitstone area may have been amended recently, to clarify the actions that need to be taken (or not taken) to qualify for free transport.  Therefore it is very important that you keep up to date.

If parents have any ongoing concerns that the helpline can’t assist you with, please copy the Parish Council (parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk) and the County Councillor (awight@buckscc.gov.uk) on any correspondence to the school transport team so that we are aware of any local issues.

 

Thames Valley Police Community Forum 12-3-2020 in Wing.

The next Community Forum will be held at 7:30pm on Thursday 12th March in the Small Hall in Wing Village Hall. You are all welcome to attend to receive Crime Updates and discuss issues throughout the area.

As Thames Valley Police no longer hold quarterly Neighbourhood Action Group meetings in Pitstone and will not be attending the annual assembly this year, the Community Forums are now the only way for residents to speak direct to TVP.  Therefore please do attend if you have any policing concerns or queries.

Your Council is Changing

Your council is changing

On 1 April your council will change. The new Buckinghamshire Council will replace all five of the district and county councils in Buckinghamshire, and over the coming weeks and months you’ll start to see some changes as you come across the new look council.

What does the new council mean for me?

  • The same services, better together. For most people there will be no change to the day-to-day services you use. This includes bin collections, looking after our elderly and young people, libraries and parking. The focus for the future will be on improving these services as a new council together.
  • One council. Getting in touch with the council will be simpler because you’ll only need to contact one council for all the services currently provided by the county and district councils.
  • Face-to-face advice, support and information from your council through a network of 17 local Council Access Points based at the heart of your local community – in current council offices and libraries across the county. The five council offices in Aylesbury (Walton Street and The Gateway), High Wycombe, Amersham and Denham will be ‘access plus’ points, geared up to handle more complex enquiries.
  • Stronger links with local communities. Buckinghamshire Council councillors will work closely with local people and community organisations to understand and respond to the key issues affecting their local area through 16 Community Boards.

Who will be my local councillor on the new council?

There will be 147 councillors elected to Buckinghamshire Council. Elections for the new council will take place on 7 May 2020. Until these newly elected councillors take up their posts, your current elected members from the five existing councils will continue to serve your communities.

How can I find out more?

For regular news and updates, follow @BucksCouncil on Twitter and Facebook or find out more at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Coronavirus advice from Bucks County Council

  1. Handwashing – The most important thing that everyone can do as an individual is follow NHS advice on handwashing. This means washing your hands more frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This video shows the best way to wash your hands.

 

  1. New poster – please see the poster below

Coronavirus A4 Poster

  1. NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Use this service if:

  • you think you might have coronavirus;
  • in the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus;
  • you’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.

      Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Contact 111 if you need to speak to someone

 

  1. Travel risk – The latest information about Coronovirus symptoms and areas of travel risk can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

5    General advice  – Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with an infected  person via cough, sneeze or hand contact. You can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if you do not wash your hands afterwards.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

 

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

County Council Update from County Councillor Anne Wight, March 2020

 

Freight Strategy Update

 

The Freight Strategy Public Engagement is now running from 19 February until 14 March, 2020.

 

Attached is a link to the latest news regarding the repair plans for the Brownlow Bridge in Ivinghoe, along with a link to the Freight Strategy survey itself.

 

Please encourage all residents and stakeholders to participate in this informal consultation as we are hoping for a robust response.

There is a display in Ivinghoe Hub and we have a few hard copies and proposal plans available at the Beacons Community Library for residents who may not have access to the internet.

 

Link to news article:

 

https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/news/lorry-restriction-proposals-for-ivinghoe-freight-zone/

 

Freight Strategy public consultation link: 

 

https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/transport-plans-and-policies/freight-strategy/ivinghoe-area-freight-engagement/   

 

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Just to remind residents concerned about Coronavirus, the current advice for anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

 

The government is carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from these areas. Passengers will be told how to report any symptoms they develop during the flight, at the time of arrival, or after leaving the airport.

 

These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.

 

If you have returned from these specific areas since 19 February, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

 

Iran

 

specific lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy

‘special care zones’ in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea

 

Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

 

If you have returned from these areas since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

 

northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)

Vietnam

Cambodia

Laos

Myanmar

 

However, as the advice may change as the situation develops, please consult the link below for the latest advice, which is updated frequently.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

 

Transport for Bucks —-Extreme Rainfall and Flooding

 

As several residents have contacted me with issues regarding local gullies and surface water flooding, I appreciate their patience since we are experiencing the worst flooding in 100 years nationally.  While our teams are trying to resolve the most urgent issues first—-particularly with fallen trees across roads as well as local flooding from recent storms—-unfortunately they are currently unable to prioritise some of the maintenance and repair works as a result.

 

Looking longer term, however, I am can say that strategic improvements are already under way and so I thought it might be a good time to update residents on those.

 

As some of you may know, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) Network Improvement Team had a busy year in 2019, particularly in one of its key areas of work – drainage improvement schemes.  In all, 29 schemes were included in the countywide programme for 2019 – 20 with the team on target to complete this programme in this financial year.

 

The TfB team work very closely with the Buckinghamshire County Council Strategic Flooding Team on all schemes, aiming to increase capacity and efficiency of drainage.

Ironically the drainage programme was hampered by extreme periods of heavy rainfall that can be attributed to climate change. Scientists say that as the world has warmed by 0.7C, with the atmosphere able to hold 4% more moisture, which means more potential rain. The persistent wet weather started in mid-August and continued throughout the latter part of 2019, with a series of downpours in late November bringing one of the wettest weeks in the last 50 years, causing major disruption.

 

Over the past few years and with the threat of increasing heavy rainfall, the TfB team developed a matrix to prioritise proposed drainage schemes.  The flood management team also advised on flood risk areas in order to include schemes to tackle flooding before they become an issue to residents.

 

The matrix is completed to score each proposed scheme against a set of criteria which includes road safety, property damage, local reports and time weighting. From this matrix a rolling programme of works is developed with approximately 30 schemes prioritised for delivery each year.

 

What else has TfB been doing to tackle the wet weather and flooding?

 

As well as the 29 drainage schemes the highway maintenance teams carry out a range of activities including routine gully clearing to keep the drainage flowing.

 

Over the last few months of extreme rainfall, it has been a challenge to keep on top of the significant additional reactive work of clearing sites where flooding or standing surface water has been identified. Often, problems lie within underground drainage pipes, or more recently the issue of a lot of water trying to enter the drainage at once, overwhelming the system.

 

Even if sufficient capacity exists,  gullies and pipes can also become blocked with debris, especially during autumn leaf fall.  An additional machine was brought in by TfB for a twelve week period in order to supplement the efforts of the three full time teams in the depots in the North and South of the County. Additionally, new gully machines have been purchased to upgrade existing ones, operating from the depots at Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Amersham. This will double the number of gully emptiers active on the network between April and June, combatting the effects of the winter period and preparing the network for the autumn and winter weather of 2020/21.

 

A new asset management software system (GullySMART) is now in use to manage over 79,000 gullies in Buckinghamshire.  The system combines mobile technology with mapping data, available on a hand held device and building a forward looking profile of required maintenance based upon historical knowledge of attendance and condition. This innovative technology will enable TfB to build a picture of the condition of the gully data, which will ultimately lead to a more focussed ‘needs based’ approach to the gully-clearing programme, concentrating on those gullies that need more frequent cleansing.

 

Mark Shaw Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transportation keeps a keen eye on all work in progress to manage flooding and said: “I am satisfied that this two pronged approach to gully clearing plus major schemes to address the more problem areas of highway flooding will have a significant impact however, we can’t get complacent. I am pleased that we will also be adding an additional £1 million to the routine gully clearing programme from April 2020.  We will have an extra 3 gully machines on the network between April and June giving us 6 machines to get ahead of ourselves this year, should we experience another wet autumn.”

 

Hopefully that will help to resolve some of the issues we are experiencing in Ivinghoe Division with flooding and surface water going forward.

 

Many Thanks!

 

As this is my last report in my capacity as your county councillor for Buckinghamshire County Council, I wanted to say what a privilege it has been for me to serve our local community.  While it is a somewhat poignant and moving time for those of us in Buckinghamshire County Council and undoubtedly also for my colleagues in Aylesbury Vale District Council and the other district councils across Buckinghamshire, I hope that the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council will be welcomed by residents and parish councils alike, and will go from strength to strength.

I would like to remind residents that the new Buckinghamshire Council comes into effect on 1st April, 2020 and that councillor elections will take place on 7th May, 2020.  I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all candidates good luck in those elections.

Update on Royal Mail post box repair (junction of Glebe Close)

Residents have been asking the parish council when the post box on the junction of Marsworth Road and Glebe Close will be re-instated, as it was sealed up following a traffic accident.

Royal Mail advise that the repair has been requested and the box should be reinstated shortly.

The box was damaged in such a way that there is a danger of the door falling off and as the door weighs around 200 pounds Royal Mail have had to seal the box for the safety of operatives and public.

In the meantime, you can hand your letters to the post master at the Post Office in Ivinghoe or you can utilise the boxes by The Crescent, Vicarage Road or Windsor Road.