Keeping you informed as we create the new Buckinghamshire Council 
22 November 2019
Issue Number 5

Welcome to the latest update for town and parish councils about the work taking place to deliver the new Buckinghamshire Council.

In this edition of the newsletter, we'll take a look at:
  • Devolution Offer
  • Budget and priorities consultation
  • Town and Parish Council Charter
  • Planning arrangements
  • Keeping up to date with meetings

Devolution Offer agreed

On 12 November, the Shadow Executive agreed a Devolution Offer to enable town and parish councils, and other organisations, to take greater local control over services and community assets.

This Devolution Offer reflects feedback received from town and parish councils over the last few months, particularly from the workshops held in June 2019, and we’d like to thank you for the conversations we have had to date.

It has been agreed to set up a three year devolution programme with the aim to:

  • improve outcomes for local communities - by making opportunities available for services to be more tailored to meet the diverse needs of communities.
  • enable local community organisations, in particular town and parish councils, to take control over services and assets and decide how they can best meet local needs.

The decision confirms a commitment to continue the current highways and Wycombe green space devolution offer, and is part of the new council’s ambition to ‘keep it local’ by strengthening links with local communities and responding to local need.

Building on these existing arrangements, in phase 1, Buckinghamshire Council will:
  • Invite local organisations to consider submitting expressions of interest for community assets such as community centres, toilets and memorials. Further information, including a list of potential community assets will be published in March 2020 with expressions of interest starting from April 2020 onwards.
  • Invite local organisations to submit expressions of interest in becoming place-based pilots for taking on the running of local services and assets.

    For the pilots, we are looking for a small number of organisations who are ambitious for their communities, have proven experience in running services, who are interested in taking on a range of assets and services, and who are willing to work with us in developing a business plan for the transfer of a package during 2020. Written expressions of interest are invited by a deadline of 31 January 2020, with a decision on potential pilots anticipated in March 2020. For more information please contact Sara Turnbull, Localism Workstream Lead on sturnbull@buckscc.gov.uk

The Shadow Executive also agreed to work towards a wider service devolution offer countywide once the new council is established.

In response to requests for support, a small co-ordinating devolution team will be set up. A key part of their role will be liaising with town and parish councils, and providing technical guidance on business plans.

This, and future information about the devolution offer, including the decision papers will be available here.

Have your say on the budget and priorities for the new council - last few days!

We're now in the last few days of our budget consultation, which closes on Monday 25 November. Thank you to everyone who has helped promote this consultation and/or has completed the survey already. So far we've had over 2,000 responses, but we'd like to have more.
 
Please use your networks to help us promote this vital consultation out to as many residents as possible. A copy of the poster promoting the consultation can be downloaded here.

Town and Parish Council Charter

Working closely and developing strong relationships with town and parish councils is a key element of plans for the new Buckinghamshire Council. We are currently working with a number of town and parish councils to develop a charter that will set out how the new council and local towns and parishes will work together to improve outcomes for local communities. The charter will ensure Buckinghamshire Council has a strong partnership with town and parish councils from day 1 of the new council.

We are using feedback from the workshops held with town and parish councils in the summer to help inform the document as well as looking at how this works well in other areas across the country.

What happens now?

This is a live, working document which will be reviewed with you all as we work together in the coming months and in the future. We have also been working with MKBALC and will continue to do this to develop the charter over the coming weeks. 
 
The Town and Parish Charter paper will be presented to Shadow Executive on 28 January 2020. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk

Planning update

You are invited to join us for an update on the emerging proposals for the Planning service in the new Buckinghamshire Council.
 
Date: Thursday 5 December
Time: 6.30pm – 8pm
Venue: Chiltern District Council Offices, Amersham

The purpose of this session is to share the emerging design of the planning service for the new authority with Buckinghamshire's town and parish councils and to hear your thoughts. We will also explore how the new council will continue to work with town and parish councils in the future and gather feedback about the elements of the existing planning service you would like us to consider in plans for the future.

Please note: spaces on this session are limited, so we are only allowing one representative per town/parish council, on a first come first served basis. If you would like to attend, please speak to your clerk and fellow councillors before booking your space.
 
If you are unable to attend, we will send information about how you can provide your feedback after the event.
 

Key dates for your diary

Community Boards paper presented to Shadow Executive
3 December 2019, Buckinghamshire County Council, 10am
 
Town & Parish Charter paper presented to Shadow Executive
28 January 2020, Aylesbury Vale District Council, 10am
 
Details of all papers being presented to Shadow Executive can be found on the Forward Plan.

Watch our webcam meetings

Don't forget, Shadow Executive meetings are public so all are welcome to attend or you can watch live webcasts of the meetings, which are then available as recordings.
 
You can also sign up to receive notifications of our meetings.
 

How can I keep up to date?

You can keep up to date with the latest news by:

Comments or questions

If you have any comments about the content of this newsletter, or questions about the programme to deliver the new Buckinghamshire Council, please email:
unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk

You are receiving this email as you are the clerk for a town or parish council or your email address for is listed publicly on your town or parish council website.

If you would like your town or parish councillors to receive these emails directly please let us know by emailing unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk
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