By the Chairman of the Council.
By the Leader/Cabinet Members.
(a) Chairman of the Council
Charity Sky Dive
Members were reminded that the Chairman’s nominated charity was NEST, a small local charity that provided support to families with young children. The Chairman invited the Vice-Chairman to make a short statement about a recent charity sky dive which he and his PA, Rebecca Henson had undertaken to raise funds for the Chairman’s charity. The event had raised almost £1,500. All those who had made donations were thanked for their support.
At the invitation of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman reported that on 29 June, 2019, he had attended the inaugural graduation of medical students at Buckingham University. 57 students had graduated at the University which was the first not for profit, independent and accredited medical school in the United Kingdom.
The Chairman reported that some 27,000 people had attended this event which took place on 22 June, 2019. The event had been a great success, and in addition to promoting creative art, had contributed to ensuring a thriving local economy. The Chairman extended the Council’s thanks to all those involved in the organisation of the event.
Chilterns Conservation Board
The Board’s Annual Review for 2018/2019 had been circulated this evening to all Members of the Council. The Board had been established to ensure the conservation and protection of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Beauty. The Council contributed financially towards the activities of the Board. The Council's representative on the Board, Councillor Newcombe was invited by the Chairman to comment on the Annual Review and remind Members of the significance of its work in this part of the Vale.
(b) Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members
Climate Change (Leader of the Council)
Members’ attention was drawn to the UN Inter-governmental report on Climate Change, and in particular the scientific evidence that suggested that only 12 years remained during which to limit the worst effects of global warming. The leader of the Council reported that she had asked officers to facilitate a debate at the next full meeting of the Council on the actions that AVDC was taking, and might be able to take in the future, to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Plastics in the Environment (Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure)
Members were advised that an Aylesbury Grammar School pupil, Ed Campbell, had recently addressed Cabinet informally on the work he was involved with, designed to promote and encourage a reduction in the use of non-biodegradable plastics which had scientifically been proven to cause serious harm to the natural environment. In view of the linkages between Ed’s work and the subject referred to above, it was intended to invite him to the September Council meeting.
“Kids Clean Britain” (Cabinet Member for Economic Development)
It was reported that Members representing the Wendover and Halton Ward had recently met with a nine year old pupil of Wendover Junior School (Lola Wardrup) to learn about her initiative to promote a reduction in the amount of litter deposited in the local community. This would involve a litter picking day on 21 September. Lola had been afforded an opportunity to talk about her initiative on local radio as a means of promoting the event.
Green Flag Awards (Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure)
Aylesbury’s Bedgrove and Vale Parks, along with Buckingham’s Heartlands had again been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best kept open spaces in the UK. The Cabinet Member asked that the Council’s thanks be extended to Chris Ashton (Parks and Open Spaces Officer) and the Council’s Green Spaces Team for this achievement.
Development Management (Cabinet Member for Planning and Enforcement)
Members were advised of the on-going work in the area of development management to improve and enhance the customer offer. Progress had been made with a number of initiatives including the introduction of short form reports, work to increase the delegation opportunities for individual officers and improvements in customer information provision channels. The Planning Advisory Service had reviewed the service and had endorsed the actions implemented. The Planning Advisory Service had confirmed that the difficulties facing the Council in attracting planning officers was not uniqueand that because the Vale was a growth area, the exceptionally high numbers of planning applications made the improvement of the service particularly challenging. Nevertheless the Council would continue to explore every opportunity to enhance the service to customers.