Your Views Please – New Buckinghamshire Council

The people of Buckinghamshire are being asked for their views on how the new Buckinghamshire Council, and its councillors, will work with local communities to  improve the lives of residents 

In a consultation launched today, 12 August 2019, the Shadow Executive – who are working to create the new council – asks for residents, town and parish councils, community groups and other partner organisations across Buckinghamshire to give their feedback on proposals for community boards that would help the new council understand, respond to and support local communities more effectively.

The proposed community boards would give communities a stronger voice on how services are designed and delivered in their local area. Bringing together Buckinghamshire Council councillors with residents, health professionals, police, town and parish councils, partners and community groups to work together to tackle local issues.

The consultation focuses on how the community boards would work, who would be involved, how many there should be and the areas they should cover across the county.

Localism member co-lead, Councillor Mark Shaw (Shadow Executive member, Chiltern District Councillor and Buckinghamshire County Councillor) said: “We want Buckinghamshire Council to have strong links with its communities. Community boards are a vital way for the new council to understand local priorities and work together to find solutions. We know Buckinghamshire is a diverse county, and we need to be actively working with communities to make sure we improve outcomes for all of our residents.”

Fellow localism member co-lead, Councillor Katrina Wood (Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Leader of Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire County Councillor) added: “This is your chance to have a say about how decisions affecting your local community are made in the future. The new Buckinghamshire Council gives us a great opportunity to work together to build stronger relationships with our local communities. And we want you to help us get this right for the people of Buckinghamshire.”

People are invited to complete a short online survey, available on the Shadow Authority website:  shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/communityboards.

For further information about the survey, public drop-in sessions are being held across the county:

• 29 August 2019 – Bucks County Show
• 3 September 2019, 11am – 1pm – Friars Square, Aylesbury
• 5 September 2019 , 10am – 12pm – Chiltern District Council, Amersham
• 10 September 2019, 10am – 12pm – Buckingham Library
• 17 September 2019, 12pm – 2pm – Wycombe District Council

To find out more about the consultation, including the answers to some frequently asked questions and to complete the short survey, visit shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/communityboards

Have your say on the proposed council tax scheme for the new Buckinghamshire Council

In a consultation launched today, 14 August 2019, residents are being asked for their views on how the new Buckinghamshire council will support people on low incomes with their council tax bills through a new Council Tax Reduction (Support) Scheme.  The changes are being discussed as the five councils prepare to become one, new council from 1 April 2020.

Currently the four district councils, Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe, offer different levels of council tax support across Buckinghamshire, through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

However, from 1 April 2020, there will be one council for Buckinghamshire, so the proposal is to have one scheme for the whole of the county meaning people in the same situation are treated consistently and fairly wherever they live.

The proposal brings the four current schemes together in the most effective way, with the least amount of change for those currently receiving a reduction in their council tax bill while making sure the new scheme is affordable for the new council.

Council tax support is offered to people of working age on low incomes who are eligible for a reduction in their council tax based on their financial situation. This includes vulnerable people such as people who receive qualifying disability benefit and single parents with a child/children under 5. The proposed scheme does not affect pensioners who will continue to receive the same level of council tax reduction as directed by Government.

Many people will see little or no changes, but combining four schemes into one does mean there will be some differences.

Martin Tett, Leader of the Shadow Executive, said: “When we are one council it’s important that there isn’t a postcode lottery on the help our residents can get. We want a fair approach that offers residents the same level of support with their council tax bills no matter where they live in the county.” To find out more and have your say, visit https://shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/consultations/counciltaxreduction