Consultation: 12 August – 30 September 2019
Get involved in improving your local area with the new Buckinghamshire Council
The new Buckinghamshire Council wants to work with local people to help understand the specific issues affecting each area and work together to find solutions.
We are therefore proposing to strengthen local connections with communities by setting up community boards. By working in partnership with local people, town and parish councils, community groups, police, healthcare organisations and residents, these community boards would help the new council understand and respond to local needs more effectively.
Community boards would give a voice to local people, giving you a chance to work with the council and other local people to make a difference for your community.
What are community boards and how would they work in Buckinghamshire?
Community boards would bring together Buckinghamshire Council councillors with local communities to help solve local issues. They would provide a vital link between the council, elected councillors and communities.
These local issues could include improving facilities for young people, tackling social isolation of older people or helping to set up a community bus.
We want you to have a say in how these community boards might work.
The proposal for community boards in Buckinghamshire
There are a number of options being considered, which are outlined in the ‘Community Boards Options Appraisal Document’. This document looks at the benefits and issues of the different options such as the objectives of the new community boards, who might be involved in discussions, who should be involved in decision-making, how many community boards there should be and the areas they should cover.
The aim of the new community boards will be to:
– Enable Buckinghamshire Council councillors to take decisions on local issues, alongside key partners including other community representatives.
– Empower Buckinghamshire Council councillors and communities to influence service design and delivery on local issues.
– Bring communities together with Buckinghamshire Council councillors and partners to find local solutions to local issues.
Who would be able to get involved in community boards?
We want community boards to involve everyone in the local area who wants to make a difference and work with the new council to do this.
We’re proposing that Buckinghamshire Council councillors from the local area would sit on their local board. To be effective community boards would also need to include people and organisations from the local community.
This could include other public services such as fire services, police and health, residents, parish and town councils and young people.
How would decisions be made?
The aim of community boards is to have a partnership of Buckinghamshire Council councillors with local communities to help solve local issues. They would provide a vital link between the council, elected councillors and communities.
Decisions will normally be reached by consensus. There will sometimes be a need for a vote for example on community grant applications. One of the consultation questions asks for your views on who should be able to vote.
How would community boards benefit me?
Community boards are about bringing local people, groups and organisations together to make real changes that will make a difference locally to you.
Click one of the links below to find out how community boards could make a difference to you:
– Buckinghamshire resident
– Town or parish councils
– Public sector partner
– Voluntary or charity organisation
How many community boards would there be across Buckinghamshire?
A number of options for how many boards and the areas they could cover have been considered. An interactive map showing the proposed boundaries for the different options can be found here.
Following discussions with town and parish councils across Buckinghamshire, a preferred option of 14 community boards across the county has been identified. However, we want your views on all options.
To have your say on these proposals, please complete this online survey.
Developing the proposals
Community boards are not a new idea. Many councils across the country operate a form of community boards in both unitary and non-unitary areas using a variety of names such as Area Action Partnership, Area Committees, Area Boards, Community Network Partnerships etc.
We have researched how these work elsewhere and used this to develop the proposal for Buckinghamshire.
We have also tested out and developed the detail of how community boards might work with town and parish councils, health, police and voluntary and community sector partners.
We welcome feedback from Buckinghamshire’s residents, charities and voluntary organisations.
This consultation will close at 11:45pm on Monday 30 September.