• Transport for Buckinghamshire

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  • Grass cutting - how it's done in Stewkley The County Council is holding discussions with parish and town councils across Buckinghamshire about the possibility of them taking on a number of village maintenance tasks, as a devolved service from the Council.

    A number of individual towns and parishes have already taken on self-delivery of such services in their own community. Stewkley is a good example of the benefits that devolution of services can bring.

    In 2013, Stewkley was used as a pilot for a new way of delivering some local services. The Stewkley Enterprise Agency was set up; a not-for-profit social enterprise, which enabled the parish to provide both local employment and an enhanced quality of service for the villagers. The service they provide includes, grass cutting and strimming, minor hedge cutting, weed spraying and road sign cleaning.

    People, young and old from the community directly benefit from the experience they have gained, and are also paid employees through the scheme.

    Each employee works approximately 80 to 100 hours a year, and their work ranges from carrying out the actual maintenance work through to administration, health and safety assessments, and dealing with customer feedback. The team enjoy their work and take in pride keeping their village in tip top condition.

    Five parishes have just signed up to become a cluster with Stewkley, meaning that each village will now have services provided in the same way by the social enterprise. This means that each of these villages will now receive the same benefits. Swanbourne, Mursley, Drayton Parslow, Stewkley and Stoke Hammond will all now benefit from the new arrangement.

    In the south of the county, a similar agreement has been made with Amersham Town Council for parishes in the area to arrange for services to be carried out on their behalf. Gerrards Cross, Chenies, Little Missenden and Stoke Mandeville Parish Councils benefit from grass cutting, vegetation clearance, tree maintenance and graffiti removal as part of this arrangement.

    Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said: “Devolving services to the local community is a great opportunity for parishes and clusters of local communities.

    "The way that Stewkley has set up their arrangement, and the Amersham agreement as well, are such good examples to other parishes who are considering joining in with the scheme."

    The County Council has delivered a series of conferences in order for all parishes to have the opportunity to ask questions about the proposals.

    The next stage of the devolution project will see more clusters of Parishes join together for greater flexibility and the benefits of collaboratively working together that this will bring.
  • Family days out are a summer bus ride away Hop on a bus with the family, have a great day out, and be one less car on the roads.

    Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, is encouraging families to 'get out there' during the school holidays and explore Buckinghamshire's beautiful countryside and town attractions by bus.

    It's all part of Ruth's team's continuing campaign to promote greener travel and reduce congestion on the roads. Many bus operators offer good value group or family day tickets, and during the school holiday several attractions will be offering discounts to bus passengers producing a valid ticket when they visit or book.

    Ruth said: 'We've lots of routes in Buckinghamshire and many of them serve great places to visit: like Burnham Beeches, Hughenden Manor, Waddesdon Manor, not to mention walks in the Chilterns. The bus is a wonderful way to explore the county.'

    Attractions offering summer holiday discounts to bus passengers from July 23 to September 3 include:
    Swan Pool, Buckingham: Fitness membership sign up, with no contract or joining fee.
    Aqua Vale, Aylesbury: Free upgrade from a small to a large slush iced drink in the cafe. Fitness membership sign up, with no contract or joining fee.
    Aylesbury Waterside Theatre: £5 off tickets for What the Ladybird Heard.
    Hughenden Manor: £1 off entry fee.
    Roald Dahl Children's Gallery, Aylesbury: 2 for 1 on entry, one free child with every full paying adult.
    Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden: 2 for 1 on entry.

    For full offer details and inspiration about summer visits by bus please see the 'Great days out by bus' page www.buckscc.gov.uk/travelinfo
    which contains information about bus routes. Or visit www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk to plan a journey.

    Buckinghamshire County Council continues to work in partnership with bus companies to help increase passenger numbers, promoting a greener form of travel and reducing congestion.
  • 'Give us your feedback' call on new parking guidance New guidance has been drawn up for developers on how much parking space new factories, offices and housing estates should have.
    And today (Monday July 14), Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet agreed to carry out a wide consultation on the proposals, which cover cars, bikes, motorcycles and blue badge holders. Cabinet Members will review the proposals again in the light of consultation feedback.
    Buckinghamshire currently doesn't have county-wide parking standards, and relies on those developed by the four districts. These vary and were written under old, more restrictive national planning policies, and in some cases led to insufficient provision of parking space.
    The new 2012 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) gives councils more flexibility in developing parking standards. County Council officers have been working closely with district councils to make sure the new guidance:
    • Accounts for variations across the county between urban and rural communities,
    • Is realistic about demands for parking and ensures the right number of parking spaces are provided,
    • Recognises that every development is unique and 'one size doesn't fit all',
    • Encourages 'sustainable' travel by including provision for bikes and motorcycles.
    Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said in the past decade or so the way people travel had changed, car ownership in Buckinghamshire had risen by 7% between 2001 and 2011.
    'We need to reflect what's happening in the real world,' said Ruth. 'There are now more than 300,000 private cars and vans in the county and we've the highest percentage of three-plus car households in the South-East. We need to help our residents and visitors to park well.'
    Ruth said the new standards would help councils to make better decisions about parking provision: a valuable contribution to help Buckinghamshire's economy to continue to grow, while keeping the county special.
    She invited people to take part in the consultation to gather views from residents, community groups, parishes, businesses, blue badge users and those with an interest in cycling and motorcycling. The consultation will run through the late summer and into the autumn.
    https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/documents/s50399/Parking%20guidance%20final.pdf

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