Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Leslie Ashton 


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No. Item


Apologies for absence / Changes in membership

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Apologies were received from Councillors P Bass, I Hussain and M Stannard.


Declarations of Interest

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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 591 KB

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2021 to be confirmed as a correct record.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 13 July were agreed as an accurate record.


Public Questions

Public questions is an opportunity for people who live, work or study in Buckinghamshire to put a question to a Select Committee.


The Committee will hear from members of the public who have submitted questions in advance relating to items on the agenda. The Cabinet Member, relevant key partners and responsible officers will be invited to respond.


Further information on how to register can be found here:


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No public questions had been received. The Chairman advised that she had received a number of questions after the public questions deadline had passed which related to community boards, these questions had been given to the relevant Cabinet Member to respond to in due course.


Chairman's update

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The Chairman reported that the draft Statement of Licensing Policy under the Gambling Act 2005 was approved to go out to a public consultation exercise by the Licensing Committee at its meeting on 20 October. The Scrutiny Officer would circulate the link to view and respond to the consultation once it was live on the council’s website. Members were advised that under the terms of the transitional legislation, Buckinghamshire Council had been given two years to prepare and publish a new single policy under the Gambling Act and align service provision which led to this draft policy being produced for consultation. In producing the work programme it was felt that other items were more beneficial for this committee to look at in detail as this Act was relatively prescriptive and allowed for limited local influence. Should members have any questions they were encouraged to contact the scrutiny officer who would co-ordinate responses from the licensing team.


The Chairman advised that two public consultation survey links had been circulated to Committee members in recent weeks. These were the 2021 Domestic Abuse Strategy Survey and the Community Safety Survey 2021, these surveys had now closed but it was hoped members had managed to respond.


The Chairman reported that with Community Boards having been highlighted by the Committee as a priority area to include in its work programme, she had attended a number of Community Board meetings since the last meeting of this Committee and planned to attend further meetings with a view to gaining a greater understanding of how the different boards operated across local areas. The Chairman would be meeting with the Cabinet Member for Communities to feed back her views of these meetings to date.


Further, the committee was given an update on the support being given to those arriving from Afghanistan. Buckinghamshire Council had been committed to keeping people safe from vulnerable situations, close partnership working had been taking place to welcome people arriving from Afghanistan who were in urgent need of protection. After months of planning and discussions with the Home Office, matching a family to an accommodation offer, Buckinghamshire was looking forward to welcoming its first family. The family was being helped to integrate into society and build a new life. A further twenty-nine families were expected to arrive within the next few years as part of Buckinghamshire’s pledge to take in up to 30 families. The local community was highly praised; landlords across the county had responded to the call for much-needed homes, huge offers of support had come in from communities and considerable amounts of money had been donated to the Afghan Crisis Fund, hosted by Heart of Bucks, which currently stood at £65,000. For people wanting, there were a number of volunteer organisations and groups that the council works with who can be contacted about volunteering, befriending opportunities or donating clothes and toys for the Afghan nationals. The council website holds more information - . For individuals wishing to donate money to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Youth Engagement with Community Boards pdf icon PDF 967 KB

The Committee will receive a brief update on community boards and  will hear about plans to promote youth participation. Members are invited to provide input and suggestions to assist in achieving increased youth involvement with the community boards.



Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Communities

Claire Hawkes, Service Director for Localities and Strategic Partnerships

Wendy Morgan-Brown, Head of Community Boards & Head of Registration, Coroners & Trading Standards

Emily Davis, Programme Director, Action4Youth



Presentation slides

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The Committee received an update on Community Board activity from Cllr S Bowles, Cabinet Member for Communities and then heard from Emily Davis, Programme Director at Action4Youth who presented information on projects for young people which had received funding from Community Boards. 


Slides supporting Cllr Bowles update were included in the agenda pack. The following points were highlighted:


  • Efforts had been made to increase the awareness of Community Boards, and further work was ongoing to engage residents more with their local board and increase public attendance at meetings. The first Community Board newsletter had been issued; the Cabinet Member had held individual meetings with Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen to hear about board activities and challenges; and briefing sessions had been held internally with directorate management teams to promote the work and offerings of the boards. A marketing budget had been established for centralised branding and marketing to ensure boards presented professionally and consistently with grab kits now available for Community Board Co-ordinators to use and take with them to events. To increase awareness, Co-ordinators had been holding engagement events including attending fayres and a number of local events as well as meeting with delivery partners such as Leap, Buckinghamshire Business First, local schools and community groups.
  • The second round of board meetings for this year was underway and feedback to date had been encouraging with good progress reported. There were active action groups for each board.
  • Work was also underway with the Community Resilience team to understand how boards could support local communities and councils during a major incident. An emergency planning exercise had recently been held and local communities were encouraged to take up resilience plans, with the boards helping to apply for emergency funding for items such as sandbags.
  • The funding panel was now established, closely monitoring budget usage and met fortnightly. The spend and project breakdown for each Board was kept under review. With the funding process having opened in July 2021, £1.15m worth of projects had been passed to the boards and £590k of contributory funding had been secured. Projects funded and projects being progressed could be viewed on pages 15-16 of the reports pack.
  • Priorities for the next three months would continue to focus on ensuring projects were prepared and submitted in a timely manner with a focus on environment and economic recovery projects. A menu of initiatives was underway to share with the boards detailing potential projects and delivery partners.
  • The Proud of Bucks awards would include categories for Community Boards, and each board would decide how to deliver these awards with the suggestion of a physical event which could also aid with increasing board awareness.
  • There was also a focus on looking at how engaging with young residents could be improved to establish their needs.


During the presentation from Ms Davis, Action4Youth the following points were highlighted (presentations slides are appended to these minutes):



Leisure Facilities Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To comment on the current leisure provision in Buckinghamshire and the emerging Leisure Facilities Strategy and to receive an update on work and plans around Girls and BAME engagement in sport.




Clive Harriss, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure

Richard Barker, Corporate Director for Communities

Mark Ormerod, Director, LEAP

Sue Drummond, Head of Leisure



Presentation slides

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The Committee received an update on the current leisure provision in Buckinghamshire and the emerging Leisure Facilities Strategy. The Committee also heard about work and plans to increase involvement in leisure from groups who historically had low involvement. The Committee had the opportunity to hear from Cllr C Harriss, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Richard Barker, Corporate Director for Communities, Sue Drummond, Head of Leisure and Mark Ormerod, Director, Leap. Presentation slides were appended to the agenda pack


During the presentation, the following points were highlighted:


  • Prior to introducing the leisure facilities update, the Cabinet Member reported that the swimming pool at Chalfont Leisure Centre was again open for use, a film office was being explored as Buckinghamshire was regularly being used for film and television, the Rye Boathouse was open and six parks had been awarded the Green Flag award. The opening of the Chilterns Lifestyle Centre had been slightly delayed due to supply of handrail which would be a health and safety risk, however there remained excitement around the centres opening in the near future and it was noted that despite covid restrictions throughout construction, work had progressed on the centre as planned.
  • Key principles had been set to progress the overall leisure strategy and consideration given to where investment was best placed to encourage participation from those groups less likely to take part in leisure activities. It was emphasised that the strategy not only focused on indoor facilities but would also cover the important areas of playing pitches and open space strategies.
  • In addition to the Council leisure provision, Buckinghamshire saw strong leisure provision in the private, voluntary, education and MOD sectors.
  • Leap continued to make efforts to bring external funding in to the county, with a focus on investing in supporting behavioural change among residents, where a systemic approach was required, particularly for those groups that found it most difficult to be active. It was noted that whilst the charts on page 24 of the report pack showed Buckinghamshire compared well nationally, these were not significantly large percentage differentials. Since agenda publication further figures had been made available and within the last 12 months there had been a 2.7% increase in adult activity in the county and a 2.4% decrease in inactive people.
  • With such a significant number of residents shielding, when people had started to engage in activities again there had been a spike in incidents such as falls where core stability had decreased and this had resulted in injuries such as wrist and hip fractures.
  • It had been found that the pandemic had a profound on young people with 16% fewer children reporting having taken part in sport than in the previous year, although girls had fared slightly better than boys who had usually been involved in more traditional team sport games.
  • Approximately 400 organisations were involved in helping to deliver activity programmes in Buckinghamshire to support the four broad principles on page 27 of the report pack. The Council and Leap worked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 669 KB

The Committee will discuss the work programme and agree the items for the next meeting.



All Committee Members



Work Programme attached

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The Committee received a draft work programme to cover this municipal year. Members were advised that items had been scheduled for the most appropriate meetings where member input would be most valuable. During discussion the Committee were in agreement that it would like a working group set up to focus on community boards and related issues as soon as practicable so that issues could be looked at during the year, rather than waiting until the end of the council year to hold an inquiry.


The Committee also discussed a desire to bring the devolution item forward on the work programme as it was identified as a priority topic for Town and Parish Councils and residents. Further, members asked for domestic abuse to be given higher priority on the work programme with the Council currently in the process of approving the 2021 domestic abuse strategy. Approaches to these items would be discussed ahead of the next meeting and reported back to members.



That the 2021/22 work programme be noted.


Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 16 December 2021 at 10 a.m.

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The date of the next meeting is Thursday 16 December 2021 at 9.30 a.m.