We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Your new local democracy

November 10, 2020 2:50 PM

Community BoardsDid you know that we have new level of local government?

We now have The Beeches Community Board which covers the parishes of Burnham, Farnham Royal, Stoke Poges, Dorney and Taplow. Community Board boards were created across the county by the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council, based in Aylesbury, to give some limited decision-powers to local communities after closing the elected District Councils.

Buckinghamshire Council coordinates the delivery of local services across the county. That's a vast area and it's clear that our issues here in the south of the county are not understood in Aylesbury. The Council's officers thought that our vulnerable adults could catch a bus to Chesham for respite care!

The stated aim of the unelected Community Board is to improve outcomes for all us who live around here by ensuring strong connections between the Council and the local community. They tell us that they will do this by making recommendations on local issues and influencing the Council's services for these villages.

Twelve of the 19 members of the Beeches Community Board are Bucks Councillors and all but one is a Conservative. There's no way that reflects the political make-up of this area. And even the one is an ex-Tory who lives in Oxfordshire!

The other seven are Parish Councillors (mainly Conservative Party members) who do not have voting rights. No surprise that the Chair of the Board is also a Conservative appointed by the leader of the Council.

Our Parish Councils go through this Board for matched funding. That's the system where half comes from the Parish and half from the Community Board budgets. So that helps the Aylesbury-based Council keep control.

The Beeches Community Board has half the average budget for other areas - because we have no large-scale developments and can make do with 1950's roads. Farnham Lane and Park Lane were identified as needing an upgrade in the 1930s!

Our Community Board has a wry sense of humour. It's email address is democracy@buckinghamshire.gov.uk .

You can now contact the Beeches Community Board directly. The support officer is Tom Fowler and he's on 01494 732009. If you can't get hold of one of your Councillors, just give Tom a call.