Agenda and minutes
Contact: Katrina Kelly (Community Board Co-ordinator) Harry Thomas (Democratic Services, meeting support)
Cllr Anne Wight (Chairman) and Cllr Peter Cooper (Vice Chairman)
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave Members an overview of the virtual meeting procedure rules.
Members to hear any apologies.
Members heard formal apologies from Councillor Derek Town, Alan Williams, Trish Owen and Cheddington Parish Council.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19th November, 2020.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 19th November, 2020 be approved as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members to declare any interests.
There were none.
Sue Severn and Noreen Shardlow
Sue Severn and Noreen Shardlow were invited to give a presentation to Members outlining the Watermead Walkway project and the wider work they had undertaken during the pandemic.
Sue explained to Members that leisure facility closures due to Covid-19 had caused a higher number of visitors to Watermead, which had generated a litter problem. Watermead Parish Council had spent £8000 on Litter removal, £1500 cleaning up after visitor’s dogs.
Higher visitor numbers had also caused Public pathways to become damaged and eroded away. Sue explained that repairing and restoring the footpaths to their original state could cost £100,000. It was hoped that the Community Board could help in the future with this project, either with funding towards the cost of repairs, signposting to appropriate local services or partners who could help, or spreading the word to those who may like to volunteer their help.
The Roman Park Community Trust had been established with Community Board Crisis Funding last March and cross Parish work had been done with Oving and Berryfields Parish Councils to pool resources and provide wide-ranging support to local residents. Anyone who could help the Roman Park Community Trust was encouraged to contact email@example.com or 01296 925750. Sue informed Members that they were in the process of becoming a registered charity. In addition, the Berryfield Buddies also launched to support people who were socially isolated during the pandemic or wanting to learn more about the local area if they were new. Talking benches were being installed to enable conversations outside when restrictions allowed, and a Wooden Pergola run by the Buddies in Watermead would be made available as a Covid-safe space for outdoor book clubs, concerts, gardening clubs, and talks.
Watermead Neighbourhood plan had begun in January, 2021. Sue informed Members that related questionnaires and the first-draft plan was ready and would be reviewed at end of March for submission to Buckinghamshire Council for comment in April. The plan would be a platform to address local business needs through the sourcing of land for future commercial development in partnership with the Prince’s Trust.
Peter Cooper informed Sue that a Buckinghamshire Council Select Committee had been held since Christmas to examine the Council’s Covid response and explore areas in which this could be improved in the future, including working with local charities and volunteer groups. The Select Committee’s report had been approved by Cabinet and Katrina would circulate this and any further details to Members following the meeting. Peter expressed his sincere hope that the aforementioned groups in Sue’s presentation would continue their work beyond the pandemic, as local volunteer groups and charities were identified as valuable partners in the development and delivery of Buckinghamshire Council services in an effective way for local communities. It was hoped that a future funding application concerning the litter and footpath issues would be submitted for consideration by Members at a future meeting of the Community Board.
Anne Wight expressed her appreciation of the talking benches project as a way to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Cllr Anne Wight
Katrina Kelly (Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board Coordinator) gave Members an overview of the funding applications being determined at the evening’s meeting. These were as follows:
· Community and Wildlife Improvements - £250 (Submitted by the Whitchurch Wildlife Community Group)
· Arial Runway - £5,914.26 (Submitted by Aston Abbotts Parish Council)
The full funding recommendations for the above projects had been published with the Agenda and Supplementary Agenda report packs and made available to view on the Council’s website.
Owing to their familiarity with the proposals, Members agreed to vote en bloc and
That the above applications be approved.
Supporting Local Businesses and Resident Confidence as we Reopen
Jacqueline Ford (Economic Development Officer) gave a presentation to Members outlining efforts to ensure that as social restrictions associated with the pandemic eased in the future, local businesses would be able to open as smoothly and safely as possible. Members were shown the work that had been done in Summer 2020 to help businesses re-open following the March 2020 lockdown, including collaborating with the Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership and the High Wycombe Business Improvement District to create clear signage and information in town centres to keep the public informed and safe while shopping.
Jacqueline explained to Members that £481,000 from the ERDF had been granted to put towards further measures to support social distancing and businesses coming out of the lastest lockdown, and had spoken with several Community Boards directly to invite feedback and suggestions of ways in which this could be used at the level of place, to put in place infrastructure, signage, planters, hand sanitising stations or other measures to make High Streets and shopping centres safe and inviting for the public. It was stressed that the conditions attached to the funding meant that it could not be used to support an individual business, but instead could be invested to support or improve an area.
The Council’s Central Communications would also ensure that new business support provisions announced in the Spring Budget would be communicated to Parishes as they were made clear.
Chris Poll suggested that designs for signage that would be used in smaller, more rural areas could be shared through Parish Councils and be printed and laminated at home by local residents who would then be able to put them on public display. This would ensure that signage was appropriate in content and placement for the local area, as well as prevent overspending on a central printing and distribution system.
Peter Cooper suggested that a questionnaire could be created as a collaborative effort with the Community Boards to gain a better understanding of what facilities are available in each local Parish before decisions were made about the use of the ERDF money.
To feedback to Jaqueline and her team, or for further information regarding this project, Members were encouraged to contact:
· Jaqueline at: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Katrina at: email@example.com
Katrina gave an overview of the current pandemic situation in Buckinghamshire. The information was correct as of 16th February, 2021, and the most up-to-date information would be sent to Parishes as it was received from Public Health.
Katrina confirmed that the vaccination roll-out scheme was well-organised and progressing well across the 17 approved vaccination sites across the county. 3 further vaccination sites were due to launch the following week. 141,000 vaccines had been delivered so far in Buckinghamshire, aided where necessary by the Chilterns Dial-a-Ride assisted transport scheme, which had been funded by 8 Community Boards to enable free transport to and from medical appointments for local residents. Mason’s Coaches were providing similar services to residents in the Pitstone, Cheddington, Ivinghoe and Edlesborough areas.
Over 90% of over 75 year olds had been vaccinated, and 100% of care homes had been visited. All frontline Health and Social Care workers had also been offered the vaccine. Katrina encouraged anyone who had not already done so to register with their GPs to ensure that vaccines could be booked as early as possible when they became available to each priority group. Vaccinations were currently being offered to Group 6, which included all those in an at-risk group and adult carers between the ages of 16 and 65
Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) had been introduced in Buckinghamshire at sites in Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham and Buckingham to detect covid-19 carriers who were asymptomatic. This was especially useful for frontline workers and volunteers, who could be tested every three days. Chris Poll highlighted the benefit of the LFT from his experience as a volunteer and encouraged everyone to remain vigilant and avoid complacency to ensure that restrictions could continue to be eased.
Cllr Peter Cooper
Peter Cooper was invited to give a summary to Members on the spending of the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board since its inception. Members were reminded that the total budget for the Community Board initially stood at £152,978, of which, £66,354 had been allocated from the three funding streams since July. It had been agreed by Buckinghamshire Council that Community Board underspend (standing at £86,633 for the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board) would be carried over to the next financial year and added to the new allocated budget.
It was stressed however, that the Community Board had already reached the maximum 50% spending threshold for transport-related applications from the current financial year’s Community Area Priorities funding stream. As such, none of the remaining £43,281.50 being carried over from that stream could be used for transport projects.
Peter Cooper reminded Members that the Buckinghamshire Council budget for 2021/22, from which the Community Board budgets would be allocated, had been agreed at the meeting of Full Council on 24th February, 2021, and that it was yet to be made known what the budget for the Community Boards would be for 2021/22.
Members were reminded of the projects that had received funding from the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board since July. These were as follows:
· Mentmore Cycle Feasibility Study
· Aston Abbotts and Cublington Joint Scheme
· Ivinghoe Traffic Calming Scheme
· Mentmore Play Area
· Joint Community Board Project – AVMKSAASS
· Crisis Funds COVID-19
The Chairman explained to Members that funding could not be given to projects on an ongoing basis.
It was confirmed that Katrina had met with the relevant Officers for cycleways and speed limits to discuss the potential imposition of a 20mph speed limit in Wingrave. It was hoped that a meeting could take place to discuss this further with Officers over the next month. Those with an interest in attending were encouraged to contact Katrina for an invite when a date was agreed upon. This issue would also be discussed at the next meeting of the Transport Working Group. Members were reminded of the ongoing work of all of the Working Groups and informed that each had a private Facebook Group to discuss ideas between meetings. Those with an interest in joining any of the Working Groups were encouraged to contact Katrina.
Future Ideas and Engagement Opportunities
As the first year of Community Board meetings came to a close, Katrina invited feedback from Members in attendance on the performance of the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board and its engagement with local residents and partners. The answers given would be considered to improve future engagement with the Community Board, and further build upon the successes of the past year.
Members expressed great satisfaction with the handling of virtual engagement during the pandemic, particularly with online meetings and the establishment of Facebook pages for the Community Board as a whole, as well as its Working Groups. Members reported that this had enabled a greater degree of networking between Parishes and individuals where physical meetings had not been possible. In addition, Members felt that the applications that had been allocated Community Board Funding had been appropriate and beneficial to improving local communities. Lastly, Members praised the general communication from the board.
Members suggested that an internal directory of phone numbers could be considered to enable direct engagement between partners, Members and residents between main meetings of the Community Board and outside Working Group meetings. This would reduce dependency on Katrina to provide contact details, and speed up communication further within the Community Board Area.
Members were overwhelmingly in favour of holding regular meetings with Clerks, and would welcome pop-up events in their localities advertising the work of the Community Board and engaging with residents directly when social restrictions eased.
Members recognised the distinct advantages of virtual meetings and expressed an interest in future meetings retaining at least some degree of online element. In particular, members highlighted the ease with which meetings could be attended when commuting did not have to be considered, and that those with busy schedules or small children were able to attend and contribute where otherwise this would not have been possible. Future engagement with residents on a wider scale would benefit from embracing virtual meetings from a logistical perspective, with meeting space being far larger than would be possible for a physical setting. Members also raised the advantage of holding virtual meetings in the Winter, as a safer option for residents when roads and pavements were slippy, and it got darker earlier.
Finally, Members expressed an interest in a quarterly Community Board newsletter (as a potential feature in Parish newsletters) to update Members and residents of the ongoing work of the Community Board. It was also suggested that this could take the form of an e-newsletter or an infographic to increase reach and encourage wider engagement with the Board.
Date of Next Meeting
2nd June, 2021 (Provisional)