Community Boards taking shape
Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
Following the move to a unitary Buckinghamshire Council, 16 Community Boards (CBs) have been created. Their remit is to bring the Council, residents, groups and organisations to look at local issues and find ways of improving them together. They replace the previous Local Area Forums (LAF), though with greater access to financial resources.
Participation in the meetings of your local CB will inform you about a range of issues within your community, including policing and crime. The CBs will meet five times a year, and they will have sub-Groups relating to local priorities.
How CBs and Chiltern’s Neighbourhood Policing fit together
Chiltern Community Forum exists largely to provide a platform for contact between residents and the Chiltern Local Police Area (LPA) Neighbourhood Policing team, and to set priorities for the team. Chiltern LPA’s area covers three of the new Boards – Amersham, Chesham & Villages and Missendens – and part of a fourth, Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfonts.
The Terms of Reference of the Community Boards direct that Thames Valley Police will be issued standing invitations to attend meetings, along with all town and parish councils in the area, and the local Primary Care Network.
Each community board chairman has the discretion to invite any additional attendees. For example this could include a Youth Council representative, key not-for-profit organisations, local businesses and other statutory bodies such as the Fire Service, Ambulance Service etc.
It is not yet clear how Thames Valley Police’s interactions will work. Presumably it is intended that CB’s will receive reports from Thames Valley Police, and will expect to have a say in expressing local concerns and needs, and seeing that these are addressed.
From a Neighbourhood Policing resourcing point of view, it would almost certainly be impractical for each CB to set their own, separate set of priorities. Experience of surveys over the past two and a half years is that the concerns of residents are quite similar across Chiltern, though with some particular hot issues more locally – see the results of May 2020’s survey for example (below). At present, it is unclear how Chiltern Community Forum’s work will fit with CB’s, but we hope we can work usefully alongside TVP and CB’s, and on behalf of residents.
Upcoming Community Board Meetings
Each of the Community Boards will meet this month (September 2020), as follows:
- Thursday, 10 September 2020: Amersham Community Board
- Tuesday, 15 September 2020: Missendens Community Board
- Tuesday, 15 September 2020: Denham, Gerrards Cross & Chalfonts Community Board
- Wednesday, 30 September 2020: Chesham & Villages Community Board
Links to the relevant meeting pages on Buckinghamshire Council’s website can be found on our Diary Dates page.
Partly due to the COVID-19 emergency, the CBs have taken longer than intended to take shape. Each CB has set its initial local priorities.
Amersham: coronavirus recovery and ongoing support; village and town centre revival; environmental issues; health and wellbeing of young people; communication strategy.
Buckinghamshire Council information on Amersham Community Board
Chesham & Villages: health and wellbeing; transport and the environment; community safety and resilience; economic development and regeneration.
Buckinghamshire Council information on Chesham and Villages Community Board
Missendens: Covid-19 and economic recovery; transport and the environment; community safety; health and wellbeing; youth support; communications and engagement plan.
Buckinghamshire Council information on Missendens Community Board
Denham, Gerrards Cross & Chalfonts: environmental issues; Covid-19 recovery; community safety; roads and infrastructure; equalities; physical and mental wellbeing; youth provision.
Buckinghamshire Council information on Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfonts Community Board
How Residents can get involved
Residents can get involved with Community Boards by:
- participating in meetings;
- taking part in a working group – if you have a particular interest or concern, you can be especially effective as the working groups will be looked to for ‘action ideas’;
- taking part in local surveys, polls and sharing your views on the local area;
- if you have ideas that will support local priorities in your area, you can apply for funding – details on Buckinghamshire Council website.
To get involved, e-mail Buckinghamshire Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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