Angela Macpherson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, informed the meeting that on 11 February, 2021, the Government had published a Policy Paper, “Integration and Innovation: Working together to improve Health and Social Care for all”. The paper set out legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill, although a White Paper would also need to be issued in the future. The paper included a proposal for NHS and local authorities to collaborate with each other. It would also bring forward measures for statutory integrated care systems (ICSs). These would be comprised of an ICS Health and Care Partnership, bringing together the NHS, local government and partners, and an ICS NHS Body. It was confirmed that Officers would bring a report to Cabinet in due course on the policy paper.
Katrina Wood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Resources, updated Members on continued efforts being undertaken to tackle Blue Badge misuse. A pilot scheme had been launched in 2018 to tackle misuse. Recent Department for Transport statistics stated that Buckinghamshire had had the highest number of prosecutions in the South East of England with 61 successful cases from 61 that had gone to court. The scale of misuse was on a par with misuse in London boroughs. The Council would continue to be vigilant to ensure the Blue Badges system worked for those that most needed them.
Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, thanked Transport for Bucks staff and others who had worked hard over the recent period of particularly bad weather to ensure the winter maintenance of roads was continued.
Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, highlighted that Ofsted was currently inspecting how the Council had been managing with Covid related matters.
Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, informed Members that she had recently been invited by Hightown Housing to open a new affordable housing development of 41 homes at ‘Riverside View’ at Grafton Street, High Wycombe. The former Wycombe District Council had contributed money to the development so that all rental properties could be turned into social rents. As part of the development, 27 households had recently moved into brand new accommodation.
David Martin, Cabinet Member for Logistics informed Members that a new County Wide Traffic Regulation Order would come into affect from Friday 19 February. The Order would combine over 4,500 individual parking orders inherited from the legacy Councils onto one database on the Council’s website covering four areas, on and off street parking, parking in country parks and moving traffic offences.
The Leader informed the meeting that in the last week he had visited the mass Covid vaccination centres at the Bucks New University site (Walton Street, Aylesbury) and at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium. He was massively impressed with how both centres had operated and, on behalf of all of the Cabinet, expressed his pride and support to everyone who was involved with the centres, including front line NHS staff, volunteers and Council staff.
The Leader updated the meeting on the very sad news received at the weekend of the passing away of Councillor Bill Bendyshe-Brown, who as well as being a current Buckinghamshire Councillor, had previously been elected to the Buckinghamshire County Council and to the Wycombe District Council. Formal recognition of Councillor Bendyshe-Brown, who had been an intrepid supporter of his local area, would take place at the February full Council meeting.