Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Teams Meeting

Contact: Alice Williams 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Mr M Titterington, Buckinghamshire Council and Ms A Hewitt, Great Missenden Parish Council.


Declarations of Interest


There were none. 


Welcome and Introductions


The Chairman welcomed all attendees to the first meeting of the Missendens Community Board.  It was highlighted that Community Boards were an exciting new project for the new council and would operate differently to Local Area Forums (LAFs).


Mr J Gladwin had been appointed as the board’s vice-chairman.  The Chairman introduced Mr G Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health who attended the meeting as the portfolio holder to present a vision for the boards going forward.   Introductions were made by the board.


Overview and Vision for the Board


Mr Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health led a verbal discussion and highlighted the following:


  • Buckinghamshire Council had already released £250,000 of Public Health funding to set up an emergency councillor fund in response to the coronavirus pandemic.   It was highlighted that the Missendens area had collaborated efficiently in terms of funding allocation.
  • The purpose of the Community Board was to promote a local voice and would make decision making for Buckinghamshire Council as local as possible. 
  • Community Boards were a new service set up within the Localities Team to devolve budget allocation to people in the best position to know the requirements in each area.
  • The previous Local Area Forum (LAF) budget had been £450,000 compared with the Community Board budget of £3.9 million.   The increase in funding meant there was more to invest in local communities through each area’s own board.
  • Community Board Coordinators were a considerable resource that Buckinghamshire Council had invested in to act as problem solvers and to aid the achievements of the board.  Clarification was given that the Coordinators would not prescribe the board’s priorities. 
  • In other local authorities, Community Boards were the drivers of council action.  A key aim was to involve and empower local community groups. 
  • The Localities team was at the front and centre of Covid-19 with Community Hubs and Area Coordinators. 
  • Members were encouraged to use time outside of the meeting to assess the key priorities for the community.  Various partners would be involved with separate meetings and sub groups arranged.  
  • Thanks were given to Public Health for producing their report and attendance at the meeting. 


The following points were highlighted during questions and from the board:


  • The Localities Managers would collaborate with various partners to decide on the partner relationships (such as the police) moving forwards.  A suggestion was made that there be police attendance every other meeting and the chief constable would attend annually.
  • Discussions were still underway to discuss how Primary Care Networks (PCN) would be integrated into the board.  It was highlighted the boundaries and borders were not always co-terminus.  The board could decide if PCN would be part of a sub group or if representatives could be invited to the main meetings with a focus on health.
  • Community Impact Bucks (CIB) had been integrated into the Health and Wellbeing Board as a representative for Voluntary Community Services (VCS).  CIB would not be regular attendees of the board meetings but would carry out a significant amount of work behind the scenes.


The Chairman thanked Mr Williams for his attendance.


Reflections on Covid-19


The Chairman led a verbal discussion and highlighted the following:


  • The Covid-19 pandemic came at a difficult time during the start-up of Buckinghamshire Council as a new authority. 
  • There had been a significant number of local volunteers, groups and businesses providing vital services to the community throughout. 
  • The purpose of the Community Board at the time was to identify needs for the allocation of the Public Health emergency councillor funding.  A number of worthwhile causes were identified including the Chiltern Food Bank, For Love of Scrubs, Wycombe Women’s Aid, Rhode Farm and Missenden Walled Garden.  The funding for the Missendens area was nearly fully allocated. 
  • The funding from the Rothschilds Foundation was yet to be allocated.  The Chairman highlighted that he was reluctant to allocate the funding unless appropriate causes were identified.  Members of the board were welcome to suggest local groups or charities. 


The following points were highlighted during questions and comments from the board:


  • An emphasis was placed on the importance of building relationships with medical and social services as well as volunteer groups.  The existing relationships could be built on in order to erect systems to provide for the future regardless of the Covid-19 situation.  The community spirit during the spike of the pandemic needed to be captured going forwards.
  • Volunteer numbers had decreased due to the gradual return to normality.  It was highlighted that volunteers would potentially need to be kept on standby in the event of a second wave.  It was suggested that volunteers could be utilised in different ways in light of the decrease in demand for shopping and running errands. 
  • The local Member of Parliament (MP) could be contacted to receive a list of grants to help people not previously captured by government grants. The network was a fantastic opportunity and would not be discarded in case of subsequent spikes.  It was highlighted that this could be a focus for subgroups to explore what opportunities were there to help certain groups within the community as lockdown eases. 
  • A suggestion was made of using a social prescriber network as it would be useful for integration.  Further discussion would be needed around this.
  • The Street Associations would be a great way to take forward volunteering spirit within communities.  It would not be too difficult to nominate a resident in each zone as a “zone lead.” 

It was highlighted that it was critical to ensure representatives of each area were present at meetings.  


Public Health Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Mr R Patel, Public Health gave an overview of the presentation (appended to the minutes) and highlighted the following:


  • Health was influenced by wide range of factors, including the communities we live in. 
  • Covid-19 has differential factors with different communities of greater risk of infection or consequence of infection.  It was important to take these factors into consideration when deciding the priorities for the board in light of recovery.  Communities had greater intelligence of local needs and assets. 
  • Missendens performed well nationally and in relation to Buckinghamshire.


The following health priorities were suggested:


  • Reducing smoking
  • Obesity and physical inactivity.
  • Provision to support pregnant women to reduce risk babies being born with low birth weight. 
  • Local dementia friendly initiatives
  • Incorporation of mental health wellbeing initiatives as part of local Covid-19 recovery plan. 


The following points were highlighted during questions and comments from the board:


  • How is vulnerability area data compiled and is it public?  Vulnerability are data was publicly available.  Mr Patel would check exactly what data sources were used following the meeting.  

ACTION: Mr Patel


  • There could be a variety of factors that had an impact on infants being born at a low birth weight including a relatively small population. 

Public Health were interlinking with Buckinghamshire Council’s social care functions.  Many factors contributed to the wellbeing of communities as a whole, not just in relation to recovery.  There would be further collaborations with colleagues across the council to gather data from a wide variety of sources.  Public Health were represented within various working groups in order to share intelligence to aid recovery.


Business Intelligence Information pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Ms L Charleston, Community Board Coordinator presented the update and highlighted the following:


  • The Missendens Community Board area had a higher population of Over 65 than the Buckinghamshire average. 
  • Disability rates were below the Buckinghamshire average, but had a higher than average rate of unpaid carers. 

The area had a low job density.  A majority of the population lived in the area but worked outside the area with a high percentage of commuters. 


HS2 Update


Mr M Johnsone, Great Missenden Parish Council provided an overview of the presentation (appended to the minutes) and highlighted the following:


  • Pylon work and re-cabling around North Portal had been finished. 
  • Public Right Of Way GMI 12 remained closed.  Bucks Disability Service had expressed interested in using the facilities in the area but these were being used for equipment. 
  • The board wanted transparency in what had been spent of £500,000 Landscaping Insurance.   A portion of it was used for boarding to shield road, but it was argued that this should have been part of the costs of the compound.  Ms Charleston would write to HS2 limited and present these questions to the board.


ACTION: Ms Charleston


Forthcoming Work: 

  • Buryfields carpark would be extended to provide 22 additional parking spaces.  The work would take place in parallel with Fusion to minimise disruption to the local school and maintain access.
  • Great Missendens Combined School- Approval was received to formalise parking in school grounds for staff and visitors; however there would be no coach drop off which would be problematic.  Buckinghamshire Council was exploring ways to accommodate this.
  • Thrift Hill- some work was incomplete, but due to finish in a few weeks.
  • Landscaping Traffic and Safety on Buryfields Link Road- Fusion issued advance work notice to residents and created a virtual display to make the information clearer.  Fusion would create posts on social media to increase awareness within the community.
  • Work on Buryfields would begin on 20 July 2020.  Work would not have a major impact on local school or Lighthouse. 


The Chairman highlighted that there may be some protest against the work if this resulted in a delay that would not be in the best interests of the Community. The work on the Link Road was of significant benefit and would go some way to mitigate the severe impact of HS2 construction traffic on residents as the Parliamentary Select Committee stated.

Regrettably local Parish councils would have the extra burden of keeping residents informed about the works because HS2 Ltd had decided to step back from their role in community engagement.  


Priority Setting


The Chairman led a verbal discussion in which the following suggestions for priorities were made:


·         Economic regeneration and recovery

·         Communication and engagement

·         HS2

·         Environment

·         Transport and Highways

·         Community Safety

·         Health and Wellbeing

·         Supporting young people

·         Supporting elderly and vulnerable

·         Covid Recovery


It was highlighted by the board that some of the priorities could overlap and interlink together.


Ms K Wager, Localism Manager highlighted that plans were underway for a workshop with Community Board Chairmen, the Police Inspector and Youth Coordinators in early August 2020 to establish links and integrations with the board and innovative ways of working.


A priority needed to be placed on communications to ensure the effectiveness of the board by the communities being made aware of key activities.


Members were all in agreement that due to the overlap in priorities it would be beneficial to review the presentations and set up smaller sub groups to establish interim priorities to be reviewed in September 2020.