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County Council budget plans go under the microscope

Have you got a question about how the Council proposes to spend millions on critical services for people right across Buckinghamshire over the next financial year?

If so, the budget scrutiny select committee, which convenes next week to examine the Council’s budget in detail, would love to hear from you.

The cross-party select committee of councillors will question all Cabinet members on their spending plans during three days of hearings from Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 January. And while they’re doing this, Chairman David Watson wants residents to add their questions too.

“I’ve always been a great champion of transparency and openness, particularly when it comes to spending public money. As a committee you can rest assured we will leave no stone unturned, but what I’d really like to encourage is questions from the public,” said David.

“And I can guarantee that they’ll all get an answer from the relevant Cabinet Member. Of course, people can also attend if they wish – the meetings are all open to the public.”

People can pose their questions quickly and easily ahead of the three day scrutiny either by email to or via Twitter using the hashtag #BucksBudget.

“Our job as a committee is to ensure the budget is robust and serves the needs of the county and the people,” said David. “We’ll be diligent and ask the relevant questions to each Cabinet member to make sure we are spending public money prudently.”

The full programme for the three days, together with background papers, can be found using the following links:

Jan 8 –

Jan 9 –

Jan 10 –

Hearings over the three days will also be webcast online. Following the scrutiny process the committee will produce a report listing recommendations which will be presented to Cabinet on February 11. Final budget decisions will be made by the full Council at its meeting on February 21.

For further information please contact: Aidan Shutter, on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825430978 

Watch Select Committees live on webcasts

Follow Buckinghamshire Democracy on Twitter – @Bucksdemocracy

A Text Can Cost A Life

Some people may have noticed that there is a lot of traffic in the valley at the moment. This is due to all of the roadworks currently going on.

On their Hi-Vis walk from the village hall, Hughenden Primary School noticed that there were around 70 cars in a tailback of traffic and out of that 70, about 22 were on their phones, 5 of those being school parents!

Every year, Hughenden Primary has a Hi-Vis day, were we wear vibrant clothes and participate in activities to do with road safety. Hi-Vis day at Hughenden school is all about showing the importance of being bright and seen when traveling on the road or pavement.

Unfortunately, even if bright clothes are worn, drivers will not be able to see the children if they are looking at the latest videos of cute kittens or texting a friend.

Although many people use the excuse of using phones for ‘work’ in the car, they are potentially endangering children’s lives. If you are focusing on a screen, you are not taking in your surroundings. 1 in 4 car accidents are caused by people taking calls or looking at their phones according to the latest research by NSC.

We were very surprised about the number of people on devices and would like to remind people that if you are seen by the police, on their phones, six points will be deducted from your license and you will be fined £200. It is illegal and HGV and bus drivers could be fined up to £2500. If you are seen twice by police, you will lose your license and if taken to court you will be fined £1000.

By Alissa

Hughenden Primary School.


NEWS from Buckinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS)

PR 10301
10 December 2018
APPROVED for Immediate Release

Help Us Help You – Getting Through Winter Well

Ever wonder how health and care services in Buckinghamshire make sure help is available for people at the right time, in the right place?

Well, in a new approach for winter 2018/19, a GP Winter Champion and a Winter System Director join forces to reduce the winter pressures that Bucks’ health and social care services face every year.

Their aim? To ensure all health and care professionals in the county – including social services, GPs, hospitals, ambulance services, mental health services and charities – work together to deliver better, responsive and more joined-up services, especially during the flu season.

The Bucks GP Winter Champion, who will be offering healthcare advice for the county over the coming months, is Dr Dal Sahota. With more than 14 years of experience as a GP and, alongside her day to day work at her surgery in Bucks, Dal is also Clinical Director for acute unplanned care for the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

When it comes to her advice on healthcare over the festive season and beyond Dal told us:

‘As a GP I know that illness occurs when you least expect or need it. If you haven’t sought advice early on then you may end up becoming more unwell or even needing a spell in hospital.’

‘When you start to feel poorly I would encourage people to seek help via their local pharmacist. If you need more advice on where to go for treatment, the NHS 111 helpline can help. Remember, GP appointments are now available at weekends and evenings, which you can book by using 111, which means access is better for all.’

‘Making sure you have had a flu jab also helps keep bugs at bay and let’s also not forget that at this time of year lots of people can feel very low. Our social care and mental health services are of vital importance too’

Working alongside Dal this winter is the new Bucks System Winter Director, Frances Woodroffe who again has a wealth of experience, more recently in NHS Improvement as part of the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team, working with hospitals across London to deliver improvements in patient outcomes, safety and experience.

‘With two young children of my own I understand how being sick can really affect your day to day life.’

‘Our priority is to ensure patients get the best care, in the right location, as quickly as possible. Working in partnership to improve the services patients receive and deliver partnership working by bringing together clinical and community teams should make a difference.’

‘Everyone can play their part by making sure they follow health advice: by looking out for your neighbours who may be lonely or vulnerable, getting that flu jab and using your local pharmacist as the first port of call when you  feel unwell, you can make sure that urgent care is provided to the right people swiftly and effectively’

Help Us Help You is calling on all Bucks residents to:

  1. Use your local pharmacy– do this when you start to feel unwell, don’t wait.
  2. Call 111 – get professional advice and direction of where to go for help if you need it
  3. GP surgeries now open longer and at weekends – if your surgery is closed for the day you can book via 111.

Noel Brown – Cabinet member for Community Engagement and Public Health echoes Dal and Frances adding:

‘Everyone knows that the winter months are always the busiest for all our health and community frontline teams.’

‘You can play your part by doing simple things: checking that your more vulnerable neighbours have got medicines and essential items like milk and bread. Saying ‘hello’ to someone who feels isolated can make a huge difference if they are alone and feeling low. Looking out for signs like a neighbours curtains remaining drawn – you can always go round to check everything is ok. It’s these kinds of things that can make a massive difference to lives too’

Working together to serve the county’s healthcare needs are

  • Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group,
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust,
  • Buckinghamshire County Council and
  • South Central Ambulance Service.

News from Buckinghamshire County Council

PR 10320
04 December 2018
APPROVED for Immediate Release

Street lighting faults across the county

We are currently experiencing a high number of street lighting faults across the county, in particular in the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) areas of High Wycombe and Marlow. These are being caused by a failure of the underground electrical supply cables, the reason for which is still under investigation.

There have been over 20 new underground faults in November alone. The cable networks are owned and maintained by the electricity utility companies for the area, who are required to carry out repairs within 28 working days.

A further complication is that many of these faults are not isolated to single streetlights, but affect multiple lights or a whole area of lighting.

Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) is continuing to work closely with the three electricity companies who have equipment within the county to resolve these issues as and when they are reported, but the repairs can take some time and be complex in nature.

TfB is also trialling solar powered temporary lighting solutions where practicable and most needed.

Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw said:

“I understand how frustrating these street lighting issues can be but want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to resolve them. I apologise for the inconvenience these outages are causing but I am confident that the utilities companies in question are working as hard as they can to resolve the issue and continue delivering normal service across Buckinghamshire.”

N.B. Bucks CC issue lots of information, only a subset will be shown here, but all material can be found at these pages

Electricity supply

– following recent (November 2018) interruptions in the Valley, residents are reminded to phone 105 (irrespective of your supplier) whenever it happens so that the suppliers are rapidly informed of the extent & impact of any fault. (December 2017)