Keeping you informed as we create the new Buckinghamshire Council
28 February 2020
Issue Number 8

Welcome to the latest update for town and parish councils about the work taking place to deliver the new Buckinghamshire Council.
 
In today's update you will find information on the following: 
  • Buckinghamshire Council Planning Service session
  • Introducing Ian Hunt
  • Elections update
  • Charter development
  • Parish Conference
  • Place-based pilots
  • Social media for the new council
  • Help us share the message
  • Out & about
  • Dates for the diary

Another opportunity to get involved

Buckinghamshire Council Planning Service
 
Following the successful town and parish council planning session in December, we have another session available.

Town and parish representatives are invited to attend and talk to the Shadow Cabinet Portfolio holder for Planning, the Planning and Environment Director and other members of the team about the planning service from April 2020.
 
This session will also give attendees the chance to feed into the development of a free training programme on planning for town and parish councils.

There are more space available at this session so we can open this up to two representatives from each council.

Date: Tuesday 17 March 2020
Time: 6.30 - 8pm
Location: AVDC, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF

Please note: We are aware this is the same date as the National Association of Local Councils’ Spring Conference and apologise for the clash, however we do hope this will not prevent interested representatives from attending our event.

Introducing Ian Hunt

We are pleased to announce that Ian Hunt has been appointed to the role of Interim Head of Democratic and Electoral Services for Buckinghamshire Council. Ian will lead the transitional arrangements for democratic services and elections for the new council. He will also work closely with the Returning Officer and existing election offices to coordinate the elections in May 2020.

Ian has been working at the heart of the decision-making and electoral processes in local government for over 30 years. He joined Wycombe District Council in January 2013 as Democratic Services Manager, having previously worked as Head of Democratic Services at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

He commented, "I am very much looking forward to working with everyone to deliver the challenges and tasks that lie ahead for the new council."
 
Ian’s team have already drafted the elections briefing for town and parish councils and will be updating these once more information is available. Ian will also be attending the next Wycombe District Association of Local Councils (WDALC) quarterly meeting on Thursday 19 March at 7.30pm to provide an update on town and parish elections.

Elections update

Elections for the new Buckinghamshire Council, Town & Parish Councils and the Police & Crime Commissioner will all take place on 7 May 2020. These elections will be administered by the current district offices.

Nomination forms and information will be sent to all Town and Parish Councils in the lead up to the Notice of Election being published on 31 March. The deadline for nominations will be 4pm, 8 April 2020.

Briefings for all candidates and agents will be held across Buckinghamshire during March. These will provide information on the process for nominations and all confirmed arrangements for the counts. Dates will be confirmed shortly and details will be sent direct to Town and Parish clerks.

Charter development

We are continuing to work on the development of the Town & Parish Charter and would like you to get involved.

The charter is a critical document which sits alongside the new council’s corporate plan. We want it to work well for everyone, help us develop strong partnerships and show our ambition.
With your help, the charter will reflect Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to localism and partnership working.

We are asking a working group of parish councils to work with us to co-design a charter that builds on the current document, illustrating what partnership working should look like and the benefits that can be achieved.

If you are interested in joining a working group that will help to develop the charter, please email unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk.

Parish Conference

We are currently in the early stages of making plans for a Parish Conference and welcome your thoughts on how we can make the event a success for everyone involved. We would also like to set up a working group to help shape the format for the conference.

The parish conference will provide all town and parish councils with the opportunity to find out more about the new council and to develop closer working relationships with others. We also plan to officially launch the Town and Parish Charter at this event.

If you have any suggestions about the format of the conference or would like to join a working group, please email unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk.

Place-based pilots

Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in taking part in the place-based devolution pilot scheme. We are now working through the information provided and developing implementation toolkits. We are happy to share that we have a lot of information to work through and will be in contact with everyone who expressed an interest as soon as possible.

A decision on pilots will be made by the leader in March.

Social media for the new council

In preparation for the launch of the new council, we have been developing social media accounts to ensure we can share news quickly and easily with our followers. Buckinghamshire Council will have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Nextdoor accounts.
 
Facebook
  • A new Buckinghamshire Council page has been launched.
  • In the build up to 1 April, we will be encouraging residents and organisations to like and follow the new page.
  • Until 1 April, relevant information will continue to be posted on the local district council and BCC Facebook pages.

Twitter

  • To maintain a county-wide following, the county council Twitter account has recently been rebranded as @BucksCouncil.
  • Until April, the normal business as usual BCC tweets will continue to be sent out from this account as well as the promotional campaign and information about the plans to create the new council.
  • District information will continue to be posted on the district council Twitter accounts until 1 April.
  • From 1 April, all council information will be posted on the @BucksCouncil account.
  • In the build up to 1 April, we will encourage all our followers across all our other twitter accounts to follow @BucksCouncil.  

Help us share the message

We want everyone across Buckinghamshire to know about the new council and would appreciate your help with sharing the message.
 
We are currently producing packs about the new council including information and posters about what is happening and how it will affect local people.

If you would like to receive one of these packs and to display our posters in your local area, please contact unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk and we will get this delivered to you in the coming weeks. 

Out & about

Claire Hawkes was delighted to be guest speaker at The Clare Foundation’s Charity Leader Forum on 19 February.
 
This event was well attended and Claire provided updates on the progress made including the budget and senior leadership team for the new council. She also gave an overview of localities and strategic partnerships service.

Slides from the latest BMKALC meeting, which took place on 29 January, can be found here.
 
The date for the next meeting will be confirmed as soon as possible. 

We’ve also been out and about meeting with Penn, Princes Risborough and Denham Parish Councils. These meetings with our parish councils are helping us to understand how we can work together to build stronger relationships.

Further meetings are planned with Aston Clinton and Haddenham Parish Councils, as well as Wycombe Clerks, Wycombe Rural Forum and Denham Parish Council’s annual meeting.

If you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk.

National Association of Local Councils Spring Conference

We are delighted to be attending the National Association of Local Councils’ spring conference on 17 March with BMKALC.
 
The new council brings unique opportunities to reset relationships, develop valued partnerships and explore ways of working together on shared goals.

There are a number of agenda items to hear about, including:
  • How are different tiers of local government collaborating?
  • Health challenges for communities,
  • Tackling hidden disabilities
  • How the public and private sectors can work together?

If any town or parish council is planning to attend, please let us know so we can arrange to meet up on the day. We also have a limited number of funded places available for officers and members; if you are interested please email unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk.

Dates for the diary

Tuesday 10 March - Shadow Executive meeting

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.

Tuesday 17 March
- National Association of Local Councils Spring Conference

Tuesday 17 March
- Buckinghamshire Council Planning Services session

Thursday 7 May
- Elections for the new Buckinghamshire Council, Town & Parish Councils and the Police & Crime Commissioner

Wednesday 20 May - Buckinghamshire Council Annual General Meeting

How can I keep up to date?

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

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, your email address is listed publicly on your town or parish council website or you have requested to be added to our mailing list.

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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