The following hot topics were reported:
Cabinet Member for Transport
Cabinet were informed of two issues:
· The Bus Service Improvement Plan had been submitted to Government and published on the council website. https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/news/buckinghamshire-council-publishes-their-bus-service-improvement-plan/
· Buckinghamshire Council had refused to approve lorry route applications for HS2 due to concerns about the impact of increased constructions vehicles on six routes, in particular the A413/A355 corridor. There were four outstanding potential challenges. The Planning Inspectorate had not agreed with the Council on these challenges and advice was being taken from Counsel who believed there were strong grounds to appeal.
Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment
Cabinet were informed of four issues:-
· Waste collection was still unable to return to normal in Amersham and Wycombe areas as whilst the number of HGV drivers had increased there were not sufficient drivers to do the whole of the area.
· A report was being prepared for the next Cabinet meeting on the proposal to award the contract for the Household Recycling Centre Service which included operation and management. This also included numerous waste materials and services which would be consolidated into one single contract. The new contracting arrangement needed to be in place for 1 April 2022.
· A demobilisation of the existing Biffa waste collection contract in the south of the County was being undertaken with the service being provided by Veolia, providing a single service across the south. The transition of the services was working well.
· Buckinghamshire Council were hosting a regional climate change event as part of the international COP 26 conference ‘Green wheels in motion’ which would take place on 10 November at Silverstone Enterprise Zone showcasing a range of innovative technologies and initiatives being developed and/or deployed in Buckinghamshire to decarbonize transport.
Cabinet Member for Communities
· An urgent decision had been taken last week in relation to the Household Support Grant Fund. Buckinghamshire had been awarded £2.4 million and these funds were required to be utilised by 31 March 2022 to provide support to a broad cross section of vulnerable households including those not in receipt of benefits. Council have discretion on how to identify and support those most in need with food, energy and water bills during the winter months. Cabinet Members thanked the Helping Hands Team for the work they had carried out in this area in publicising and distributing the vouchers to vulnerable people.
· Preparations were underway for the next Proud of Bucks awards to celebrate Buckinghamshire’s communities that have demonstrated caring, creative and commitment towards their local areas
Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Children Services were currently preparing for the Ofsted Inspection and information had been collated. Regular discussions were held by senior officers and members to ensure that children and young people were receiving the best care.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure
The opening of Chiltern Lifestyle Centre had unfortunately been delayed to deal with some issues from their final stages of testing. He also informed Members that the Aqua Vale Swimming and Fitness Centre in Aylesbury had just been resurfaced.