Fencing round fields off Westfield Road, Pitstone

You may have noticed that Taylor Wimpey has erected wooden fencing around the boundary of their land off Westfield Road, by the village ‘gate’ and around the boundary with the industrial units.

The parish council has received a number of enquiries with regard to this fencing and would like to clarify that there was not a public right of way or permissive access across this land, nor is it registered common land.  Therefore, anyone who has been walking across these fields/hills or visiting the pond, has been doing so without the permission of the landowner.

Taylor Wimpey advise that they are deterring trespassers and in particular, protecting their land from quad-bike and motorbike use.

Bucks Owl Raptor Group

Those that attended the recent annual assembly were treated to a wonderful talk by the Bucks Owl Raptor Group and had the opportunity to meet a wonderful barn owl.

If you would like to find out more about all the local owls and raptors, and the work of BORG, or would like to volunteer or offer funding, please visit their web site:  http://www.bucksorg.org.uk/index.html

We look forward to welcoming Dave Short again next year, to tell us all about bats.

Laurie Eagling, Clerk to Pitstone Parish Council


Get your power tools property marked for free on 1/6/13

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from the team will be holding a Property Marking Event at:

Pitstone Memorial Hall, Vicarage Road, Pitstone
On: Saturday 1 June 2013 from 3pm to 6pm

Come along and have up to three power tools marked.  PCSOs will also be able to chat to local residents and discuss any issues you may have in your area.

If you can’t make the event but would like to talk to your local neighbourhood team they can be contacted via the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre number 101.

Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day 29-6-13

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day will take place in Weston Turville.  Please find below some more information on the day itself and our Veteran of the Year Awards.

Armed Forces Day is a chance for us to show our support for the Armed Forces Community. This year we will be hosting a family fun day on Saturday 29 June 2013 at Aylesbury Rugby Club from 1pm-9pm. There will be entertainment for the whole family to enjoy including live music, a zip wire and climbing wall, stalls, beer tent, fun fair and an air display.

As a thank you, Cadets, Veterans, Serving Personnel, War Widows, Reservists and Forces Families all get free tickets to the event and will need to email bucksccevents@buckscc.gov.uk to find out how to obtain their tickets.

Non-Military tickets are available at the following venues:
Aylesbury – Tourist Information Centre and the Waterside Theatre
High Wycombe – Tourist Information Centre based in the library
Milton Keynes – Milton Keynes Theatre
(There may be a small administration fee attached to the ticket price by the ticket outlet.)  Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets from www.buckscc.gov.uk/armedforcesday

Veteran of the Year Awards

The Veteran of the Year Award is an opportunity to say thank you for an outstanding commitment to voluntary work within the community. If you know of a Veteran who has served as part of the Air Force, Army, Marines or Navy and lives within Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, fill in our online form: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/sites/bcc/leisure/ea_Veteran.page or email us at bucksccevents@buckscc.gov.uk  to nominate them.

Voting is open from 10 April – 1 June 2013 and the presentation will take place on 29 June at Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day.

For more information on any of the above please call 01296 382679 or email bucksccevents@buckscc.gov.uk

Be a better driver – for all of life’s journeys

Be a better driver assessments support motorists throughout their driving career. The aim of the assessment is to help you drive safely, smoothly and economically adjusting to the road and traffic conditions around you and the actions of others.
There are 5 assessment categories:
Young driver, refresher, older/mature driver, driving for work and school run/carshare.
The assessment lasts approximately one hour and will be in your own vehicle.
You and your assessor will complete a short questionnaire prior to the drive to ensure the assessment is tailored to meet your driving needs.
You will be given feedback after the assessment and receive a written report and a certificate of completion by post.
All the assessors are Driving Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructors.
The assessment costs £35 and includes a written report, car safety pack and a copy of the Highway code.
For more information please contact Bucks County Council on 0845 230 2882 or email tfb@buckscc.gov.uk or visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/beabetterdriver

Catalytic Converter Thefts in Aylesbury Vale

This is a Neighbourhood Alert from Amanda Oak, Crime Reduction & Prevention Advisor for Aylesbury Vale.

Following a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts from motor vehicles Police are encouraging vehicle owners to take action to protect their vehicles.

The following advice is given;

  • Where possible, park in your garage 
  • Alternatively try to park in a location that restricts access underneath your vehicle 
  • Consider security lighting if not already fitted
  • If your catalytic converter is ‘bolt on,’ you can have the bolts welded shut 
  • Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicle
  • Identify/etch your converter with a unique serial number and advertise that the vehicle has been protected with window stickers
  • Consider the installation of a physical security device to the catalytic converter

Details of approved marking and security companies and products can be found at www.securedbydesign.com under vehicle security.

Anyone with any information on this type of crime should contact the Police via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.  If you don’t want to speak directly to the police, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Roald Dahl Festival 6/7/2103

Roald Dahl Festival – Magnificent Animal Menagerie
Saturday 6 July 2013
Parade starts at 11am in Aylesbury Town Centre

Celebrate the annual Roald Dahl Festival in Aylesbury Town Centre. This year’s theme is based on the amazing animals that live in Roald Dahl books. This scrumdiddlyumptious day will be brimmed full of exciting hands-on art and craft activities, storytelling, live music and dance that celebrates this internationally renowned author. A fabulous Roald Dahl Parade with giant puppets and artwork made by 22 schools in Aylesbury Vale, alongside samba bands and street entertainers will take place in and around the Market Square and Kingsbury from 11am. A range of free family entertainment will follow in Kingsbury, Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury Library, St. Mary’s Church and Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.

For more details go to www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/dahl

Charity Bike Ride on 9 June 2013 for WheelPower

WheelPower is based at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. WheelPower helps disabled children and adults improve their lives through sport.

Now into its 10th year, the Mix 96 Tour de Vale Bike Ride starts and finishes at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Sunday 9 June 2013.  Our three routes will take you through beautiful countryside and villages that offer something for everyone: 

– 15 miles is perfect for families
– 35 miles is ideal for the leisure cyclist but beware of the hills!
– 55 miles is the ‘challenge route  

The three routes are fully signed and there are safety marshals and mechanics in case of emergency. There are friendly water stops on each route plus refreshments and changing facilities at the start and finish. 

Entry Fee: Adults £10   Under 16 FREE (must be accompanied by an adult)
Entry Fee on the day £20

 Start times:
55 mile – 9am
35 mile – 10am
15 mile – 10.30am

 To download an entry form or enter online go to www.tourdevale.com  or call WheelPower on 01296 395995

Free Disability Benefit Information Events

The biggest ever change to disability benefits has begun and many disabled people will lose all or some of their current benefits – will you be one of them? Find out at these free events organised by a leading independent Buckinghamshire charity

Sat 18th May 6 pm Marlow Library, Institute Rd
Sun 19th May 11 am Amersham Library, Chiltern Ave
Mon 20th May 11 am Beaconsfield Library, Reynolds Rd
Tue 11th June 11 am High Wycombe Library, 5 Eden Place
Wed 19th June 11 am Hazlemere Library, 312 Amersham Rd
Sat 22nd June 4 pm Winslow Library, Park Road
Sun 23rd June 11 am Aylesbury Library, Walton Street
Mon 24th June 11 am Burnham Library, Windsor Lane
Tue 25th June 11 am Micklefield Library, Micklefield Road
Wed 26th June 2 pm Bourne End Library, Wakeman Rd
Sun 30th June 11 am Chesham Library, Elgiva Lane
Mon 1st July 11 am Buckingham Library , Verney Close
Wed 3rd July 2 pm Princes Risborough Library, Bell St

Booking essential as spaces are limited
www.buds.org.uk Or call 01494 568 864 mon-thurs 10-2
Bucks Disability Service (BuDS), The Clare Charity Centre, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Bucks HP14 4BF.

Child Bereavement UK Open Day 3-7-13

Local charity opens its doors to visitors.

Child Bereavement UK is inviting visitors to attend its Open Day on Wednesday 3 July between 2pm and 7pm at the Clare Charity Centre, Saunderton. The charity has been working in Bucks, and at various locations across the country, for nearly 20 years, supporting families and educating professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. It made headlines recently when its Royal patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited with the Duchess and met bereaved families participating in the charity’s support groups for children, parents and young people.

During the Open Day, you will be able to learn more about the bereavement services provided for families, and the broad range of training courses the charity offers professionals whose work brings them into contact with bereaved families. You will also be able to find out more about volunteering and fundraising, and chat to staff and volunteers, who will be on hand to provide information and advice – as well as offering refreshments.

Child Bereavement UK’s Support and Information line receives 1500 calls per year from families and professionals, and c. 200 bereaved families are supported via its groups and one-to-one sessions with its trained bereavement support workers.

If you are interested in volunteering, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved, where projects will be matched to your skills which will be highly valued.

Teresa Griffin, who has volunteered with the charity since 2011 on the Support and Information line, said: “I have completed a course of training to become a bereavement services volunteer for Child Bereavement UK. I remain very conscious of the vulnerability of those families who have the courage to ring the charity and I feel proud and privileged to be associated with such a worthwhile and much-needed organisation.”

Chief Executive of Child Bereavement UK, Ann Chalmers said: “We are very grateful for the on-going support that the people of Bucks have given us over the years. Our Open Day is an informal opportunity for you to come along and find out more. As a charity, we depend on the generosity and support of so many people to ensure that we can continue to help families receive the support they need to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. Whether you are interested in our services, our courses, volunteering or fundraising – we look forward to welcoming you.”

For more information about the Open Day please contact Sue Randall on 01494 568919 or email sue.randall@childbereavementuk.org

Child Bereavement UK, Clare Charity Centre, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, HP14 4BF

Crime Prevention advice from PCSO Dodson

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Jackie Dodson from the Great Brickhill, Wing and Ivinghoe neighbourhood Policing Team is encouraging local residents to help prevent burglary and theft by following some simple crime prevention tips:-

  • Move bins away from the side of your house / back gate so they can’t be used as a stepping stone and lock garden gates.
  • Make sure you lock your doors with the key once inside the house and when going to bed, making sure your keys are out of sight but available in an emergency.   DO NOT leave keys in doors or anywhere that they could be reached through the letter box or windows etc.  Close curtains when it’s getting dark, and before putting on lights, so your valuables cannot be seen.
  • Lock windows and don’t leave windows open in any part of your house that is unattended – such as front windows whilst you are working in your back garden.  It only takes a minute for opportunist criminals to gain entry and steal easily accessible items.
  • Use timer switches on lights to give the impression that the property is occupied and consider leaving the radio on a chat program when out of the house.
  • Keep valuables locked away out of site and don’t keep cash ‘hidden’ in your house – put it in the bank or building society.
  • Trim or cut any overgrowing bushes or trees from the front of the property – this will make it harder for anyone to break in at the front without being seen.
  •  Consider buying Alarm padlocks (which you can buy for as little as £10) to use on sheds and outbuildings etc.
  • Buy a free standing camera which can detect movement and send a message to your phone or laptop, again these can be purchased for as little as £39, also Fake TV, where a light flickers looking like a TV is on, (good for using upstairs)
  • Let neighbours know you are going away and see if they can park a vehicle on your driveway.   Ask them to push any mail right through your letter box and see if they can put your bin out and bring it back in on collection day.
  • DO NOT talk about the fact you are going away in your local shop or outside school, you don’t know who is listening.
  • Outside security lighting – make sure it is put high up to stop them being tampered with and is in good working order.
  • Lock away all garden tools and ladders to prevent them being used to break into yours or someone else’s premise.  Property mark them with your postcode and house number
  • Be aware of your surroundings – when leaving home check for anything that doesn’t seem right and if you’re unsure ring the 24 hour non- emergency number 101, or if a crime is in progress dial on 999.

Kind Regards
PCSO Jackie Dodson

Message from Avril Davies

Following her win in this week’s County Council elections, Avril would like to pass on the following message:

“Very pleased to get back to representing Ivinghoe Division on Bucks County Council once more. Thank you all so much. Looking forward to the Ivinghoe Festival Ball, BeaconLit literary festival and all the summer events I can now put in the diary.”

Check out the latest bands to sign up for Party in the Park 2013

This year’s Party in the Park is to be held on Pitstone Recreation Ground on Saturday 13th July 2013 from 2pm-11pm. The afternoon sees Bands perform from an outside stage on the Recreation Ground with the evening sessions moving to inside the Memorial hall which is adjacent to the Recreation Ground with a more intimate 200 person capacity. The Recreation Ground will also host an array of Family attractions including Bouncy Castles,Quaser Zone and local Charity and Organisation Stalls and events.

We are pleased that again we have a Beer Festival for our event with over 10 Real Ales and Ciders which will be served from three bars on the site.

No such event would of course be complete without an Ice Cream Van,Candy Floss and great food and we have this well covered with a number of different Food stalls and the traditional Barbecue ( watch out for the Morris Men too ! )

Last year over 2000 people sampled our first event. 2013 Promises to be even bigger and better..

Check out the bands on the dedicated web site: http://www.partyinthepark2013.com/#
‘Like’ the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Party-in-the-Park-2013/252829654861804
Or follow the event on Twitter:  @pitstoneparty

Help available to help you understand the changes to the benefits system

The recent Welfare Reform Act 2012 made significant changes to welfare benefits. Starting this April and over the next four years, this will involve changes to how the following benefits are delivered:

  • job seekers allowance
  • disability living allowance
  • council tax benefit
  • housing benefit

The introduction of the Benefit Cap will have a significant impact upon the level of benefits some families will receive and will encourage more people back to work.

Nationally the amount of Housing Benefit paid to working age tenants who live in housing association properties, will be reduced where they have more bedrooms that the government consider the family needs. This is called under occupancy.

To help you understand all the changes, Bucks County Council has produced a booklet called “Benefits are Changing” this is available for you to download from:


Top tips to help reduce car crime

Vehicle security– Don’t make it easy for thieves to make a quick getaway. Follow these tips to reduce car crime.

  • Keep car keys out of view of windows and doors. In some cases, vehicles have been stolen by accessing car keys with hooks through the letterbox.
  • Remove your satellite navigation system, as well as the cradle. Also, wipe away  any suction mark left by the device on the windscreen.
  • Lock your car and close all windows
  • Park in a safe well lit place
  • Don’t leave valuables on show
  • If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside it

Top tip: Joint Thames Valley Alert!

 If you live in Buckinghamshire and other surrounding areas, you are invited to sign up the Thames Valley Alert. This enables subscribers to be sent messages of information, crime alerts and witness appeals local to the area in which you live by Thames Valley Police and the District Council. You can opt to have the information sent by phone, email or text.

To join, visit www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk to sign up and be in the know!

Beacon Villages Community Library launches their Supporters Card

Today Beacon Villages Community Library launches the BVCL Supporters Card – a new way to support your library.

For a small annual fee, supporters can help to fund the costs of the library (vital to us as we continue our journey as a self-funded charitable organisation) and receive cardholder benefits.   Cardholders will have the opportunity of:

  •  Priority access to new book stock
  • Early-bird booking for BVCL events
  • Free refreshments at BVCL events

The annual cost of £8 for individuals or £15 for families/households and is available at the library now. If you are a UK income tax payer you can also complete a Gift Aid form, which will allow BVCL to reclaim an extra £2 for individual cards and an extra £3.75 for family cards from the inland revenue at no extra cost to you.

You can purchase the card at the library during our normal opening hours: 2pm-5pm Tues and Thurs, 2pm-7pm Friday and 10am-1pm Saturday.

Next time you pop in you may also like to sample some of our popular new line of fudge (and occasionally coconut ice and peppermint ice), for a suggested donation of just £1 a bag. Get in quick because it sells like hot cakes (or, in fact, cold sweets!)

We hope to see you in the library soon.

Change to garden refuse collection dates in May

As you may know AVDC are unable to collect brown bins on bank holidays. If your brown bin (garden waste) is due for collection on Monday 6 May it will be collected on the following Saturday 11 May.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Scheduled day Revised day
Monday 6 May Saturday 11 May
Monday 27 May Saturday 1 June

You may be interested to know that we collect around 500 tonnes of garden waste every month. By using the brown bin scheme you are contributing to the effort of keeping compostable waste out of landfill and so reduce the amount of methane gas produced. The garden waste we collected is processed locally in to compost, and used by local farmers.

If you would like further information on any aspect of our recycling and waste service please visit our website  www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk or phone our waste help line on 01296 585510

Thank you and happy gardening

AVDC Recycling and Waste team

The Beacon Villages Community Library is now open

It’s been an amzing achievement to secure the future of this vital asset, in the existing premises in Ivinghoe, serving the community across Pitstone, Ivinghoe, Cheddington, Marsworth, Slapton, Ivinghoe Aston, and the surrounding area. And especially so, with so many libraries having to close around the country.

The dedicated committee, who have worked so hard to make it happen, should be very proud of themselves.

The library is a charity run by a voluntary committee, and will open at the same times as before – Tuesday 2-5; Thursday 2-5; Friday 2-7 and Saturday 10am – 1pm.

“We are very fond of books,” says the website, “but we are about much more than paper. Our mission is to provide entertainment, education, and local information, but also to offer a friendly pace to meet and talk and support the community.

“So whether you need a book for your homework, want to visit the Which? website for free, or would like to check what night to put your bins out – please pop in a say hello. Our library manager Michelle and our volunteers will be happy to help.”

You’ll find all you need to know about the library and its services on http://www.bvcl.org.uk.

The library is on Twitter at @BeaconVillages. You can also follow it on Facebook – go to the Home page and give it a “Like”.

And best of all, pop in and use our wonderful new resource.