Wendover, Halton and Stoke Mandeville division: Update from Councillor Steve Bowles

It was a privilege and an honour to be elected to represent the Wendover, Halton and Stoke Mandeville division and I look forward to representing the whole community , no matter how they voted.

Since my election on 4th May it has been a steep learning curve. Although I am a District councillor for Wendover & Halton, the County works in a different way and there are new departments and contacts to learn and take on board. I have attended my first full County Council meeting and events on the new members’ induction programme which introduces members to the way the County works, main points of contact and how the scrutiny committees work.

I have been made vice chairman of the Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee whose role is to hold decision-makers to account for improving outcomes and services for Buckinghamshire. It has the power to scrutinise all issues in relation to the remit of the Transport, Economy, and Environment business unit. In addition it will also have within its remit all areas relating to communities issues/services (currently structurally under the Communities, Health and Adult Social Care Business Unit).

I will also be Chairman of the Wendover Local Area Forum given that the current chairman, Cllr Bill Chapple (member for the Aston Clinton and Bierton division) has been made a cabinet member.

As a district councillor I attended these meetings. The role of Local Area Forums is to strengthen local democratic accountability by empowering locally elected councillors to take decisions, shape and influence service delivery and council priorities in the local community area.

Membership includes county, district and parish Councillors and representatives from the police, health authority and other organisations. Local people are encouraged to participate, and there will be time set aside at each meeting for public questions.

Since my election I have be able to arrange the temporary repair to the road surface at the clock tower roundabout in Wendover. I have met and discussed the Wendover Campus expansion plans and the traffic issues that arise from this with a local resident and passed his views on to the relevant officer at County. I have also had discussions with local stakeholders with regards to the closure of RAF Halton.

I look forward to maintaining this avenue of dialogue with residents