Improving local communities at the heart of Winslow and Villages Community Board work

Grant funding for critical local schemes in the area, high street reopening after the current Covid lockdown and HS2 and East West Rail construction issues were just three of the important topics under discussion at last Thursday's (18 February) Winslow and Villages Community Board.

Following approval, a new grant of £1000 from the Board now means Oving Parish Council can push ahead with a vital scheme to improve access to their sports field, village hall and playground. Plans for a new, level surface and repairs to the 90 year old memorial gates will allow improved access from Bowling Alley, particularly for parents with pushchairs and those with mobility needs.

Following a previous decision to provide grant funding to the Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service, the Board also heard from CEO Carol Older about how the funding was providing direct help and support in the area.

Decisions on grant funding for two further schemes, Whaddon Parish Council's Allotment Gardens accessibility scheme and Great Horwood Parish Council's playground safety surfacing, will be made by the Board in the coming weeks

The Council's economic development team also took the Board through the latest plans and ideas for reopening local high streets as the country emerges from lockdown. The Board discussed ideas for new high street signage, sanitising stations, maintaining social distancing and suitable publicity.

In addition, Councillor John Chilver updated colleagues on the local issues and difficulties being endured by local residents with the construction of both HS2 and East West Rail on their doorsteps. This included road and footpath closures, mud on the roads and construction vehicles sticking to designated routes. Questions will be put direct to HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson at a meeting scheduled for 1st March.

Chair, Councillor Sue Renshell said the Board was already well into its stride even though this was only their third formal meeting.

"We've already done a great deal to support all members of our local communities," she said. "Our meeting just highlighted the length and breadth of what we are already delivering, not only through our grant funding, but also how we are working with other organisations to help all our local communities with the key issues that affect them."

Sue added: "We're really pleased that the Boards, established as part of the creation of the new unitary council for Buckinghamshire, have given us the means to take decisions on things locally where they belong."

The Winslow and Villages Community Board has also established four action groups to cover local issues relating to roads and highways, public and community transport, health and HS2 and East West Rail. The Board is also hoping to establish a fifth group for young people and youth provision.

If you would like further information about the work of the Board or would like to get involved in an action group, please visit the Winslow and Villages Community Board webpage or email [email protected].