Agenda and minutes

Venue: Via video conference call

Contact: Makyla Devlin 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Neil Dring, Chairman of Medmenham Parish Council (PC).


Welcome and Introductions


Councillor Dominic Barnes, Chairman, welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced himself.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest; however, the Chairman advised that declarations could be made at any time during the meeting.


Community Board Vision - Setting the Scene pdf icon PDF 422 KB

Appendix 1 – Community Board Terms of Reference.

Additional documents:


The Chairman stated that the Community Board (CB) would be the ‘eyes, ears and voice’ of the community.  The CB covered a large area of Buckinghamshire from Fawley in the West to the Wooburns in the East and had a population of approximately 38,000.  There was £129K available for funding local projects (this was based on the population) and £43K for infrastructure works.  The CB was keen to work with the PCs, stakeholders and community groups and would set up a number of sub-groups to review the applications.  The sub-groups would also look at other potential funding sources.


Makyla Devlin, Community Board Co-ordinator, provided a presentation, appended to the minutes, and highlighted the following points:


  • The aim of the CBs was to bring the community together; the CBs had a combined budget of £3.9m which was significant resource to make a difference.
  • The CB would find out what was important to residents and embrace collaborative working to enable use of the best expertise.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted the community spirit which had helped resolve issues; the CBs would build on the spirit.
  • There would be a mixture of formal and informal CB meetings which would take place in various locations across the area.
  • Positive public engagement was key; Facebook, online forums, video conferencing and other digital platforms would ensure a wide range of engagement.
  • Everyone was welcome to attend; town and parish councils (PCs), the Fire Service, Police, voluntary and community organisations and members of the public; a wide membership would provide valuable intelligence and would vary depending on the topics raised.
  • Informal sub-groups would improve the outcomes for residents.
  • Valuable connections had been made during the pandemic and work was being carried out with voluntary sector partners to evolve the CB.
  • Residents would be consulted to allocate the budget.
  • £250K of the CB budget was allocated for urgent Covid-19 need in April 2020.
  • Highways maintenance and planning issues would be discussed in dedicated sub-groups; Transport for Bucks Local Area Technicians and Area Managers would be included without having to attend the evening CB meetings.   However, a highways officer could be invited to a CB meeting if there was a relevant agenda item.


The following points were raised and discussed:


  • It was agreed that input must come from the residents and that it was not for councillors to dictate how the budget would be allocated.
  • The Chairman explained that the CB would decide on the funding proposals; the unitary councillors would each have a vote and PCs would have an indicative vote.
  • Pothole issues should be reported via the online reporting tool – Fix My Street.
  • A member was concerned that the CB could by-pass the PCs.  Some local issues required a speedy decision; PCs were an important part of the jigsaw and acted as a link to Buckinghamshire Council (BC).  Councillor D Barnes declared an interest at this point as he was a member of a PC and BC; he agreed that PCs had a strong role  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Reflections on Covid19, Grant and Recovery Strategy


The Chairman advised that £2K had been provided to the following  organisations during the pandemic:



Name of organisation

Cllr Richard Scott

Brand Events Limited

Cllr Alex Collingwood

Marlow Age Concern

Cllr Alex Collingwood

One Can Trust

Cllr Suzanne Brown

Seed 1

Cllr Alex Collingwood

Seed 1


M Devlin explained that a number of community hubs/cells had been set up; some of which had now merged as we were now in the recovery phase and would continue for another 12 months.  The CB would work with the community hubs/cells if a second wave occurred. 


The following points were noted regarding shared learning from the Covid-19 pandemic:


  • Communications – one type did not fit all.   Many methods had been used e.g. door to door leaflets, Facebook groups, WhatsApp, email etc.  M Devlin would use a variety of means to reach residents including local noticeboards.
  • Information on Covid-19 testing should be distributed to the town and parish councils for promotion; any information to be disseminated should be sent to the Chairman and Community Board Co-ordinator.
  • Social media had worked in Marlow as there were approximately 3,500 members; 150-200 food boxes had been distributed a week across the SW Chilterns area. 
  • There were some areas of extreme deprivation which needed to be identified.
  • Many residents needed help and someone to talk to.
  • Following a discussion, M Devlin agreed to provide a short briefing on the CB which would be circulated to all the members for inclusion in parish magazines.

ACTION:  M Devlin


Public Health - Key Indicators for Community Board pdf icon PDF 509 KB


Louise Hurst, Public Health Consultant, provided a presentation, appended to the minutes.  The presentation was a top level overview and included recommendations for the South West Chilterns Community Board based on the public health profile.  However, the numbers were never the full story; local insight/intelligence/assets were key as the profile looked at the population overall and did not identify variations between different areas.  The profile highlighted where things were going well, but also importantly where improvements could be made to help inform priority setting for current local health and wellbeing needs.  Many of the indicators were presented in comparison to the other community boards or Buckinghamshire overall. Therefore, some community boards would, by definition, perform “better” or “worse” than others. L Hurst recommended referring to the national (England) reference values where available for wider context.  A number of factors influenced health and the following points were raised during a discussion on how Covid-19 had affected the health of residents:


       Depression and mental health difficulties had been noted in both young and old people.

       Weight gain through lack of exercise.

       Loneliness – L Hurst added the Council was offering mental health support to people who were shielding and raised the possibility of the support being offered to the communities.

       The impact of home-schooling on children and parents.

       Following a query on how the Befriending Service worked L Hurst explained that it would be carried out over the telephone for the time being to those who qualified.  L Hurst added that there would be many people over the age of 70 who would not be offered the service and suggested it would be worth considering.

       There was a lack of confidence in the public to use local restaurants and facilities.

       Reference was made to the map showing the vulnerability index on slide 6 of the Public Health presentation and how it was measured.  An area of high vulnerability in the north-west of the South West Chilterns CB area was pointed out and L Hurst offered to find out the location.

ACTION:  L Hurst

  • The impact on people waiting for tests and routine procedures whilst the NHS caught up with the backlog.
  • The SW Chilterns area had a higher proportion of older residents and the importance of the flu vaccine was highlighted.


There were five recommendations based on the Public Health profile:


  1. Reducing smoking, childhood obesity and physical inactivity were key areas as they were major causes of preventable ill health and death.
  2. Risk of cancer was linked to a number of behavioural factors. Screening and early detection did not prevent cancer but were linked to better outcomes.
  3. Exploration of local dementia friendly initiatives.
  4. Promotion of NHS Health Checks.
  5. Programmes to build community cohesion or encourage befriending.


L Hurst encouraged everyone to complete the Buckinghamshire Coronavirus Health and Wellbeing Survey and asked that the survey be promoted to residents. 

L Hurst agreed to provide information to Councillor Suzanne Brown which could be printed and delivered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Interim Priority Setting pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Appendix 2 – South West Chiltern Board Profile.


The Chairman provided a presentation on the Community Board Profile.  The presentation showed a considerable amount of statistical information with comparators to Buckinghamshire as a whole and the south east of England.  A query was raised on how “loneliness” was measured; The Chairman/M Devlin offered to find out.

ACTION:  The Chairman/M Devlin


The following short term priorities/projects and leads were agreed:


  1. *Covid-19 (to include mental health issues, health and wellbeing, community wellbeing, confidence, youth and loneliness) – Councillor Suzanne Brown
  2. Broadband provision
  3. *Transport and Infrastructure (to include regeneration and economic development) – Councillor Alex Collingwood
  4. Environment and Climate Change
  5. Affordable Housing – Councillor Chris Whitehead

*indicates a high priority.


The Chairman advised that suggestions could be forwarded to himself and M Devlin at any time.  All applications would need to be assessed and go through a bidding process in order to work out the best result collectively. 


Membership and Sub Committees


All CB members were welcome to be part of whichever sub-group they wished and should express their interest to M Devlin as soon as possible.


Any Other Business

To be requested through the Chair prior to the Meeting.


Carole Burslem advised that there had been parking issues in Ferry Lane, Medmenham.  Mark Davis, Parking Manager, Buckinghamshire Council, had forwarded a proposal, the cost had not been finalised; but the maximum quoted was £20K which was out of budget.  It was proposed that match funding be provided and that Carole liaise with Makyla Devlin.


Date of Next Meeting

3 September 2020.


14 September 2020.