Angela Macpherson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, informed the meeting that she had attended the Pride of Bucks Award, the initiative celebrated all those who had gone above and beyond during the coronavirus outbreak.She congratulated Buckinghamshire Council staff who had been commended for maintaining business as usual and responding to the pandemic.
The Leader echoed these comments and congratulated individuals, groups and organisations that had been recognised for such a fantastic achievement during difficult circumstances.
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, highlighted the Helping Hands Scheme that had been launched. The Scheme provided our most vulnerable families support to buy food over the Christmas holiday. The scheme was being run through schools and would provide £30 food vouchers targeted at families with children and young people eligible for free school meals. He confirmed that further information was available on Buckinghamshire Council’s website and encouraged those who were eligible to review the support available.
The Leader endorsed the scheme and thanked the government for providing the funding to provide this initiative. He also highlighted that anyone worried about food or warmth over the Christmas holidays, and not sure what help was available, to contact the council’s Helping Hand support line.
Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, informed the meeting that he had been delighted by the response to the Christmas Present Appeal for vulnerable children, he commented that £30,000 had been donated and 10,000 presents received. He thanked all those who had donated to this cause. These donations would ensure that children and young people receive presents who otherwise might not receive that much at Christmas.
Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, updated the meeting on the temporary accommodation scheme in Desborough Road that she and John Chilver, Cabinet Member for Property and Assets, had recently visited. The scheme will provide 58 temporary accommodation units for those in housing need. The impressive modular design of this accommodation was commended. The Cabinet Member concluded by expressing her thanks to all those involved in bringing the scheme to fruition, including the predecessor Council, Wycombe District Council.
The Leader echoed these comments and congratulated the Cabinet Member and all those involved on the work that had been undertaken in assisting rough sleepers during the pandemic, which he highlighted had been possible through Governments funding.
Nick Naylor, Cabinet Member for transport, informed the meeting that two Member briefing sessions had been held on the direction and objectives for our Highways and Technical Services Department over the next few years. He commented that any Member that was unable to attend these sessions would still be able to view the session as these had been recorded.
Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, made mention of the Aylesbury Vale Local Plan, in particular mentioning that the Planning Inspector had requested various modifications to the Plan. He encouraged everyone to actively participate in the public consultation that would be undertaken from the 15 December until 9 February 2021.
Bill Chapple, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, commented that there had been an increase in deliveries and packaging recently and provided a reminder that cardboard could be collected by the Council if this was neatly folded, dismantled and left beside refuse bins for collection. He also passed on his thanks and Christmas wishes to all.
The Leader reemphasised the importance of ensuring that items for collection were of a reasonable size and foldable, if this was not possible he pointed out that Household Waste Sites were open for use. A suggestion was made that items could be scored to assist with the disposal of more sizeable items.