Cross-councils debate a valuable addition to new council thinking

The serious talking about services that the new Buckinghamshire Council should be providing for residents continued in earnest at last Thursday’s (July 25) cross-councils debate, held at Aylesbury Vale District Council’s Gateway offices.

In front of a packed audience of members from across the five current councils and with many getting involved on social media, the 90-minute event took an in-depth look at the key issues and challenges facing the new council from 1 April next year.

Items under the spotlight included protecting vulnerable people, the growing issue of homelessness and improving wellbeing, as well as the local environment and encouraging healthier communities. Also discussed were the county’s changing demographic trends and working better with the thousands of local voluntary and community groups which exist right across Buckinghamshire.

The debate also heard the views of the younger generation through a specially-made video by Action4Youth, a Bucks-based charity which offers positive, transformational experiences and activities to inspire children and young people.

Local people and groups also submitted over 40 questions and comments by e-mail and social media which were displayed on three giant screens in the auditorium.

Leader of the Shadow Executive, Martin Tett said it was a great example of how everyone can get involved. “Shaping what the new council should stand for, its key priorities and what it needs to deliver for local residents must be a team effort. I was really impressed by the range of views and questions both from members present and those that came in from local people and communities. In my view, this was proper democracy in action.

“I’d like to thank all those who took the time and trouble to get involved and I’m sorry we didn’t have enough time to answer all of the questions submitted on the day. I’ve since responded to many on my Twitter account, and of course everything was noted for future consideration.

Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Katrina Wood said: “This debate was a valuable addition to our collective understanding and learning, but the journey certainly doesn’t stop here.

“There’s still plenty of time to get your comments and suggestions in. We want the new council to be in the best possible place to serve every resident, visitor, business or community group in Buckinghamshire and your input will help us deliver on that commitment.”

Further comments, questions and suggestions can be made by emailing: unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk

To view the full webcasted debate, please visit: https://shadow-buckinghamshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/434596