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News from the Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire

27 November 2020

Countess (Elizabeth) Howe is the new Lord

 

Countess Howe has today succeeded Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Bt KCVO as Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. Lady Howe was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen in June.

Elizabeth spent her childhood in the county, studied for a BEd degree in Cambridge, and worked subsequently as a teacher in London.  She returned to Buckinghamshire with her husband in 1986 to look after his family’s estate in Penn where they brought up their four children. She has involved herself in school governorships and in many local charitable causes, being appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1995, and High Sheriff in 2010.

 

Lady Howe said: It is a great honour to be appointed as Her Majestys Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in succession to Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.  I look forward to fulfilling the role and aim to serve the community with commitment and purpose for the benefit of all who live in this wonderful county. To be the first woman to hold the Office in Buckinghamshire is a special privilege.

 

“Sir Henry has been an inspirational Lord Lieutenant, upholding the dignity of the Crown, as

Her Majesty’s representative.  He has immersed himself indefatigably in every facet of community life, giving selflessly of his time, and providing support and encouragement to all he met. We owe him a great debt.

 

“He has been staunchly supported throughout his tenure by his wife, Bobbie, whose warmth and kindness has endeared her to so many. Sir Henry and Lady Aubrey-Fletcher have given generously of themselves for the good of the county, and I extend my gratitude and best wishes to them both.”

Lord- Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Her Majesty The Queen’s official representative in Buckinghamshire steps down after 14 years in the role, preceded by nine years as Vice Lord-Lieutenant.

All members of the Lieutenancy are required to retire when they turn 75 and Sir Henry reached that milestone today (27 November). In his farewell message, he said:

“I am leaving a role that it has been my honour and privilege to hold. My time in office has allowed me to meet the most wonderful people across Buckinghamshire, who have nothing but the best interests of our community in mind. It has been a great joy to be invited into the lives of so wide a variety of people, and it is a chapter of my life that I shall never forget. I have received nothing but kindness and support throughout, and I feel most fortunate to have had this opportunity to serve Her Majesty the Queen in this County.

“I wish my successor Lady Howe success and happiness. She has been an active member of the Lieutenancy since her appointment as a DL in 1995 and is a wonderful advocate for this very special county.  It is also an historic day for Buckinghamshire as we will be welcoming our first ever female Lord-Lieutenant.”

“I thank fellow members of the Buckinghamshire Lieutenancy for all their support, and my wife Bobbie and family for their encouragement. Above all, I thank the people of Buckinghamshire, for all that they do for our extraordinary county.”

Ends…/

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Buckinghamshire launches local COVID-19 contact tracing service
A new local contact tracing service is being launched on 30 November by Buckinghamshire Council to help people who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the continued effort to stop the spread.

In partnership with the NHS Test and Trace service, Buckinghamshire’s local contact tracing team will be contacting people that the national service is unable to reach.  It is designed to complement the national service and will further help to keep the residents of Buckinghamshire safe from the coronavirus.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 may receive a phone call from our dedicated number – 01296 585 167. Trained call handlers will remind them that they must self-isolate for ten days and talk through how to access local support when isolating. They will ask for details of their close contacts so these can be followed up by the NHS Test and Trace team.

Where Buckinghamshire call handlers are still unable to make contact, trained staff will visit people at home and deliver letters explaining why the council is trying to get in touch. They will ask people to call the local contact tracing team on 01296 585 167.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “Our local contact tracing service provides another layer of support to help control COVID-19 in Buckinghamshire. If we contact you, a locally based person will be on the other end of the phone. They will talk to you about what you need to do to protect your friends and family whilst isolating, and about what support is available nearby.

“The overall aim is simple – to limit the transmission of COVID-19. By isolating when you have symptoms, getting a test, picking up the phone when we call and providing details of your close contacts, we will give ourselves an even better chance to stop the spread.”

The service will initially run seven days a week with calls coming from the dedicated number 01296 585 167 so that you know it is the Council that is calling. Text messages will also be sent to people with a mobile phone, so they know to expect a call.

Residents are reminded that we will never ask:

  • for bank account details, passwords or PIN numbers
  • for payment or to buy a product
  • to download any software
  • to call a premium rate number

Remember if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 – stay at home, answer the phone and stop the spread.

Mobile Coronavirus Testing

Update on mobile coronavirus testing sites for Buckinghamshire over coming week

 

Mobile coronavirus testing sites will be setting up at a range of locations across Buckinghamshire over the coming week.

The mobile testing sites will be at:

  • Marlow, on Saturday, 28 November, and then on Wednesday, 2 December for up to two days
  • Buckingham, on Tuesday, 1 December
  • Gerrards Cross, on Saturday, 5 December

Walk-through testing sites are also open seven days a week at the Gateway Centre car park in Aylesbury and the Buckinghamshire New University campus in High Wycombe, and these will be in place for the foreseeable future.

These sites are open for use by anyone with coronavirus symptoms, and all tests must be booked first – they are not available on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

Anyone with even mild symptoms is being encouraged to arrange a test to help stop the spread of the virus. Symptoms include a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. It is also possible to order a home testing kit via the website.

If the mobile testing sites are fully booked, you will be offered testing at the next-closest location.

A testing centre operating in Slough is also currently open to Buckinghamshire residents, for booked-in visits only.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Engagement at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “If you have coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, please book a test as soon as you can and isolate unless you get a ‘negative’ result. Please also isolate if anyone in your household develops symptoms.  It’s really important that everyone in Buckinghamshire remains vigilant and follows the latest guidance. With stricter lockdown measures now in effect, the mobile testing sites and the walk-through testing sites will be hugely important as we work together to stop the spread of the virus.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, GP and Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Testing is essential to help keep NHS services running smoothly and to help vulnerable people stay as safe as possible from coronavirus infection. These mobile sites offer a great boost to our testing capabilities in Buckinghamshire, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”

For more information about walk-through testing sites, you can watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcRw92bO8xg&t=50s.

You can read the full guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and on the latest lockdown measures, on the government website – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

If you need extra support during the coming lockdown period, please keep checking www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/ which will continue to be updated with information about the various ways you can get help.

HIGH ALERT – TIER 2

Statement: Buckinghamshire Council responds to High Alert Tier 2 announcement

 

The Council has been advised today that Buckinghamshire will enter local restrictions in Tier 2 on 2 December.

The main restrictions of Tier 2 include:

  • No household mixing indoors
  • Following the rule of six if meeting outdoors
  • Libraries and Leisure Centres will re-open
  • Minimising travel and working from home where possible; if you live in a Tier 2 area and travel to a Tier 1 location for work – you must still adhere to Tier 2 guidance

Full details of the restrictions and requirements are available on the Government website,

Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett said that while it was disappointing not to have remained in Tier 1, he fully recognised the need to cooperate in order to retain the advances made during the current lockdown and help save lives.

“The council will be working with its Members of Parliament, the Buckinghamshire NHS and local business organisations to understand the implications for our residents, our businesses and people’s health. We will advise more in due course.”

Martin added: “Can I thank everyone in Buckinghamshire for their continued support and for following the rules, not only over the last month in lockdown but since the pandemic started.”

The Council will be issuing more details on its website in the coming days.

Council warns of green homes grant scammers

Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

23 November 2020

Council warns of green homes grant scammers

The government’s Green Homes Grant offers eligible home owners in Buckinghamshire up to £10,000 of energy saving improvements, but doorstep fraudsters are already trying to cash in according to trading standards officers.

The chancellor’s scheme helps homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their property while also giving the economy a much needed boost.

However, only approved and checked traders who officially register with the government can carry out the work.

Trading Standards Officers from Buckinghamshire are concerned the door may be left open for unscrupulous traders to exploit the trust of consumers who may not be aware and just want to access a voucher to get home improvements made cost-effectively.

Fred Wilson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, says to be extra vigilant. “To get the grant you need to apply through the government’s website. You may get people knocking on your door or offers through the post that they can get the deal on your behalf, but they can’t.

“I am urging everyone, not just to be aware and ask questions, but to report it to our team so we can rid our county of these fraudsters.”

You can apply for the scheme and see if you are eligible here. Also all tradespersons who deliver the work must be registered on the TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

Trading Standards advises residents not to engage with cold callers either on the doorstep or on the phone. They say:

  • Never engage with someone or allow them access to your home unless you are able to verify their authenticity and who they are.
  • As with all scams: Be sceptical, stay calm, and don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door

To deter visits from cold callers, residents can display a no cold calling sticker by their front doors. To obtain a Stop Cold Calling Sticker Pack or to report an incident please contact Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Keep informed on the latest scams affecting your area by following Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading standards via social media.

https://www.facebook.com/BucksSurreyTS

https://twitter.com/Bucks_Surreyts/

To receive trading standards information directly into your in-box subscribe to our TS Alert newsletter, published every two weeks it includes, scam alerts, product/food recalls, and more.

Applications welcome for Bucks Business Grants

 

Eligible local businesses can apply now for one of the two Bucks Business Grants the council is setting up to help support businesses who have been impacted by the current national lockdown.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), which is now open for applications, is available to businesses that are required to close because of the national restrictions and is linked to the level of rateable value. A business may qualify for financial support for the duration of the current lockdown with further support if restrictions are extended.

For other affected businesses who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the LRSG, the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) which opens later this week may provide some support. The ARG is open to businesses which have been adversely impacted by the latest lockdown restrictions but are not eligible for other government support schemes. For qualifying businesses, the ARG offers a one-time grant allocation based on the number of employees.

Cllr Martin Tett, Leader of the Council, said: “We realise just how vital financial support is for many businesses impacted by these new restrictions in various sectors of the economy. With the Bucks Business Grants we will be able to help more of our local businesses affected during what is a difficult time.

“These grants will help eligible local businesses meet expenses and keep them going through this lockdown. As well as providing support for individual businesses this also means a helping hand for Buckinghamshire’s economy.

“Please do take a look at our website to see if you are eligible and to apply. As they are grants and not loans, they do not need to be repaid.”

Local Restrictions Support Grant

This grant is available to eligible businesses that are required by government to close during the current national restrictions, from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December, or until restrictions are lifted. Eligible businesses include those in non-essential retail, leisure, entertainment, personal care and hospitality. Payments are based on the rateable value of the business property:

  • For properties with a rateable value less than £15,000 the grants are £1,334 for the 28-day restriction period
  • For properties with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 the grants are £2,000, and
  • For properties with a rateable value higher than £51,000 the grants are £3,000.

Two payments will be made, each covering a two-week period. Applications will be accepted while national restrictions remain in place.

To check eligibility and to apply, go to https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/coronavirus-business-grants/local-restrictions-support-grant/

Additional Restrictions Grant

If your business does not qualify for the LRSG but has been severely impacted by the lockdown, you may qualify for the Additional Restrictions Grant. This is a discretionary scheme which the council will run. This grant is aimed at providing support to businesses that have not been able to access other government support initiatives.

Businesses will be eligible if they can evidence a 30% reduction in their income over the lockdown period, provided they aren’t already eligible for the LRSG. Self-employed people can apply if they meet these criteria and are not already claiming from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The amount awarded will vary based on the number of employees in a business:

  • Self-employed people (not already claiming SEISS) will be eligible for grants of £1,000
  • Businesses of fewer than five employees will be eligible for grants of £1,500
  • Businesses of five or more employees will be eligible for grants of £3,000.

Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

17 November 2020

Buckinghamshire Council Supports White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day will be marked on Wednesday 25 November 2020, to raise people’s awareness of domestic abuse and help reassure victims that help is available. By wearing a white ribbon you will be making a pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. Buckinghamshire Council will be raising awareness of domestic abuse over a week of campaigning aimed at all victims of domestic abuse across the county.

The council’s Community Safety team works in close collaboration with the council’s commissioned support services and Thames Valley Police in an effort to prevent domestic abuse which will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime. It’s estimated that 1.9m people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse and it can happen to anyone; regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age or financial background.

Domestic abuse is defined as any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse.

Throughout the pandemic our local outreach services have been working tirelessly to support those suffering from domestic abuse.  The challenges Covid19 has presented are: victims being trapped living with the perpetrator, the fear and depression of feeling isolated and how the abuser is using the situation to segregate them further.

Councillor Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health, said:

“Buckinghamshire Council is proud to support White Ribbon Day. Abuse, no matter what form it takes, is unacceptable and it’s vital that we raise awareness of all the help and support that’s available for all victims.

“With new national restrictions in place it’s now really important for everyone to know they can still get help, and leave their homes to access the support which continues to be available despite these challenging times.

“Domestic violence and abuse is something that can affect anyone in Buckinghamshire, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age or financial background and tackling it is one of our top priorities and part of our Safer Buckinghamshire Plan 2020-2023. We are committed to working as part of a wider partnership effort to ensure we provide the right advice and support and hopefully encourage more people to come forward and report it.”

A spokesperson for Aylesbury Women’s Aid and Wycombe Women’s Aid said:

“Aylesbury and Wycombe Women’s Aid provide free information, emotional support, and access to safe temporary accommodation to enable women and children to determine their own futures free from abuse and violence.

“We are delighted by the continuing support of Buckinghamshire Council in addressing an issue which can affect one in four women in their lifetime.”

How and where to get help and support:

•            Anyone in immediate danger should phone 999. Or if in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999 from your mobile and then press 55. This will transfer the call to police, who will assist without the caller having to speak.

•            Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

•            Anybody worried about causing harm to the ones they love can get help by contacting Respect Phoneline – 0808 802 4040 or visit respectphoneline.org.uk

Young people affected by domestic abuse can get support through:

•            Childline – 0800 1111 – www.childline.org.uk  or

•            SAFE – 0800 133 7938 – www.safeproject.org.uk

 Local domestic abuse organisations:

o            Wycombe Women’s Aid – 01494 461367 – www.wycombewomensaid.org.uk

o            Aylesbury Women’s Aid – 01296 437777 – www.aylesburywomensaid.org.uk

o            Reducing the Risk – www.reducingtherisk.org.uk

o            Give us a Shout – www.giveusashout.org

o            Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support – 01296 719772 – www.avmksaass.org.uk

o            Victims First – 0300 1234 148 – www.victims-first.org.uk

o            Wycombe Women’s Aid – 01494 461367 – www.wycombewomensaid.org.uk

o            Aylesbury Women’s Aid: 01296 437777 – www.aylesburywomensaid.org.uk

o            AVMKSAASS (for male victims): 01296 719772     www.avmksaass.org.uk/

For more information about Domestic Abuse and the support available please visit www.reducingtherisk.org.uk

 

 

ROAD CLOSURE – Horn Street

NAME AND NUMBER OF HIGHWAY AFFECTED Horn Street

TOWN/PARISH Winslow If only a section of the road is to be affected, give relevant junctions/distances in metres. Approx 341m.

TYPE OF TEMPORARY TRAFFIC RESTRICTION REQUIRED, Road Closure

PERIOD FOR WHICH ORDER IS SOUGHT from 08:00 to 23:59 from 16-20 November 2020 – 5 days

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE FOR AFFECTED USERS – High Street, Vicarage Road, Burleys Road and vice versa.

REASON FOR ORDER (Full Description) Carriageway repairs, Road will be closed for the duration of the works.

Will the Emergency Services have access through the closure Yes

Will Buses have access through the closure No

WHO WILL SUPPLY SIGNING SCHEDULE AND ARRANGE SIGNING OR ROUTE ETC – Transport for Buckinghamshire

Covid-19 Update

Dear Resident

As you are no doubt aware, the Prime Minister has announced a second national lockdown which will start from tomorrow, Thursday, subject to the MPs vote today.

This means that from tomorrow, we will all have to stay at home other than for a few very specific reasons. I recognise how difficult this is in so many different ways; the impact on our businesses that have worked so hard already to introduce COVID safe measures, the impact of being separated from friends and loved ones and the impact particularly on the vulnerable and the isolated. 

We are currently talking with Government to confirm exactly what this means in terms of what activities are still allowed, which shops or building may remain open and what support will be available to our most vulnerable residents. We will do our best in the coming days and weeks to outline the kinds of support that will be available for anyone who is struggling, whatever their circumstances. I know our local businesses in particular will find this uncertainty worrying and we are seeking to confirm the level of support that will be available as soon as we are able to.

The situation in Buckinghamshire

This is a very quick update and as soon as more information is available, I will write again with a fuller update. We do know that all leisure centres in Buckinghamshire will close during this period but our Household Recycling Centres will remain open. We will also be able to update soon on libraries – they will all close from tomorrow but we are hopeful some will then reopen next week on a ‘click and collect’ basis i.e. to pick up pre ordered books or drop off returns and to provide computer access.

For now, please be aware that locally, cases have continued to rise at a very worrying pace, especially in the former South Bucks District area.

Overall in Buckinghamshire there are now 115 cases per 100,000 people. In the former South Bucks District area the case rate now stands at 200 cases per 100,000 people, up from 161 in a matter of a few days since I last wrote to you. And very alarmingly, we are seeing a very significant increase in cases in the over 60 years now, again, especially in the South Bucks area with a case rate of 181 cases per 100,000 people in that age group. Sadly, as we all know, this will almost inevitably lead to more hospital admissions and more people becoming seriously ill from this virus.

Please act now

In light of these figures I urge everyone to limit their movements ahead of the lockdown and to take great care if you do decide to head out. Now is not the time for a final ‘hurrah’ before things close. Please make sure you strictly adhere to the hands/face/space guidance, staying at least two metres/six feet from anyone you don’t live with unless you’re in a support or childcare bubble with them.

Testing

It’s essential that if you or anyone you live with develops symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild, that the whole household isolates immediately and that anyone with symptoms gets a test. We have significantly increased testing capacity in Bucks now with new walk-through centres available so you should be able to book a test if you need to.

I will write again soon with more detail as it comes through, in the meantime please keep checking our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and our website for any updates.

Stay safe and look after yourselves and each other,

Martin Tett, 

Leader, Buckinghamshire Council

EAST WEST RAIL PHASE II – Update and Newsletter

The East West Rail Alliance are currently delivering East West Rail Phase 2 project, which, once completed, will connect communities between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Bedford with fast, affordable, environmentally sustainable transport, creating new opportunities for jobs and supporting the economic future of people across the region.

To keep you updated on project progress and upcoming work taking place in your constituency please find a link to the latest newsletter. The newsletter includes general project progress and also localised information for communities along the route. The localised sections are also attached as individual PDF’s.

To access the newsletter please click here: EWR2 Project Newsletter – Autumn 2020.

If you have any queries feedback or suggestions for the newsletter, please use the email publicinformation@ewralliance.co.uk.

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