Moving forward together: valuing partnerships
Achieving the best outcomes for our communities requires joined-up thinking. Working collaboratively with partners to make the most of collective resources, skills, ideas, and talents will be critical to achieve the key priorities which we set out later in this plan.
Most of our public sector partners work across the same geography and serve the same population. This provides great opportunities to join up and improve services.
Buckinghamshire Council is now a leader in building relationships at a regional, national, and international level, championing the county’s voice and representing our residents, businesses and partners on a big stage. We will work creatively and collaboratively to strengthen the local economy, support businesses, and attract investment and funding into the county.
We are committed to partnership working, focusing on shared priorities, and encouraging collaboration, sharing intelligence, and driving change and tackling key issues in a more coordinated way.
Buckinghamshire Place-Based Growth Board
The Buckinghamshire Place-based Growth Board (previously known as the Buckinghamshire Growth Board) is a board which ensures all partners are aligned to a shared place-based vision and plans to provide the broadest platform from which to address our growth and cohesion priorities. It is the overarching partnership board that provides a single forum which works across the public and private sector in Buckinghamshire to meet the need for joined-up thinking on the economy and growth. It approves the overall vision and strategy for Buckinghamshire to ensure ambitions are agreed, work is undertaken to realise them, and that future economic growth and development aligns with local priorities.
Partners include the Local Enterprise Partnership, NHS Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), and other local public sector partners, all of whom have a shared ambition and work programme to deliver innovative, sustainable, and appropriate growth at pace.
To achieve Buckinghamshire’s ambitions, the Place-Based Growth Board oversees the work of four sub-boards, including the Business and Investment Board (previously the LEP Board), the Skills Board, the Place, Housing & Regeneration Board and the Opportunity Bucks Board. Members of the Board also ensure the alignment of our other strategies and plans to ensure single a narrative to support the growth ambitions of the county.
We want Buckinghamshire to remain a forward thinking and dynamic economy without sacrificing the assets which already make it a great place to live. This new model of governance also aligns Buckinghamshire to the path of national government policy. The model aims to further strengthen the work currently undertaken by partners including supporting and developing our key sectors, providing a strong and independent business voice, taking forward skills delivery and combining this with a wider focus on health and equality, education, place and regeneration.
The Board champions Buckinghamshire and continues to pursue opportunities to secure a devolution deal from government to secure investment and the devolution of powers. We have the advantage of strong local alignment and the most coterminous county structure in England as all our key partner organisations share our county geography. Utilising our economic assets and governance strengths with a combination of direct project investment, broader investment funds, and specific freedoms and flexibilities that would enable us to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.
We will work with our partners to:
- invest in our places
- mobilise our high-tech sector assets
- create an accelerated skills delivery system
- enhance physical and digital connectivity
- deliver public service efficiency improvements, including a first-class integrated health and social care campus
- increase our overall contribution to HM Treasury
Local Enterprise Partnership and businesses
Our business community includes major international companies and large numbers of small and medium enterprises. By working closely with partners, in part through the new growth board and also with Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and through the Buckinghamshire Business Group, we support new businesses to grow and existing businesses to thrive - creating more local jobs and wider economic benefits to our communities.
Working through the new Enterprise and Investment Board, the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a business-led ‘partnership between local government and the private sector, building the conditions for sustainable economic growth in Buckinghamshire.
Integrated Care System
This brings together the expertise of health and care professionals in Buckinghamshire to look after people’s physical, social, and mental health needs. By working closely with partners across the Integrated Care System, including the Integrated care board (ICB), Integrated Care Partnership (with the Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing as vice chair), Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, FedBucks, Medicas, and South-Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, we will achieve our vision of everyone living happier and healthier lives.
Town and parish councils, and local MPs
There are 171 town councils, parish councils and parish meetings in Buckinghamshire, collectively known as local councils. There are 5 MPs for the area. The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils (BMKALC) is an independent member organisation which provides support to these councils on procedures and statutory regulations.
Buckinghamshire Council has adopted the Town and Parish Council Charter, which articulates our commitment to working effectively and collaboratively with town and parish councils and outlines some key areas to help strengthen our relationships.
Opportunity Bucks is a programme to improve outcomes for residents who are experiencing significant hardship, a local initiative, in line with the Government’s national levelling up agenda. We want to ensure that all residents in the county have the opportunity to succeed, that nobody gets left behind and we reduce inequality within our communities – we recognise that this is not where we are today and that things will get worse if we don’t take action.
The programme is focused on 10 wards throughout Buckinghamshire, where residents are facing most challenges (these areas have been defined based on data including high unemployment, education attainment, higher crime and worst health outcomes). We are working with councillors, partners and residents in these areas to identify challenges and deliver initiatives that will break the cycle of disadvantage, improve health outcomes and grow our economy.
Asylum, migration and resettlement
Buckinghamshire has welcomed a number of individuals and families from both Afghanistan and Ukraine; many of whom are at very genuine risk to their lives fleeing violence and war.
Working with partners, residents and with valuable support from local community groups we are continuing to ensure these individuals and families are supported to resettle and integrated into Buckinghamshire, including ensuring they are supported to access education, health services and employment.
Voluntary and community sector
Buckinghamshire has an active not for profit sector with invaluable insight into the needs of our communities. The sector is at the heart of the community, delivering key services with experience in building relationships and social connections. They are vital in strengthening and supporting our communities, which will continue as we deliver our ‘Opportunity Bucks’ programme. The sector has been a valuable asset during the cost of living pressures, delivering support and advice to residents, asylum seekers and refugees, whilst also being impacted themselves.
We continue to work with and support our partners in the voluntary and community sector to assist them in continuing to provide much needed services, building resilience and ensuring that voluntary capacity is used effectively and safely.
Buckinghamshire Cultural Partnership
Buckinghamshire Cultural Partnership brings together senior leaders from key cultural organisations, Buckinghamshire Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership, and higher 6 education organisations. It plays a strategic leadership and development role for culture, positioning culture at the heart of strategic agendas throughout the county.
Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge to show our support to those who serve, or have served, in the armed forces, as well as their families. It recognises the sacrifice they have made and ensures they are treated fairly.
We are committed to ensuring that the Armed Forces community does not face disadvantage in the provision of services compared to other residents. As an employer, we recognise the range of unique skills and experiences that reservists and veterans can bring to our organisation.
Buckinghamshire Swan Envoys Scheme
The Buckinghamshire Swan Envoy Scheme brings together leaders and champions from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, charity sectors, media and business industries who are keen to help inspire Buckinghamshire’s communities and businesses to succeed and for younger generations to realise their potential.
Our Swan Envoys care passionately about the future success of Buckinghamshire as a place and support us to promote the county to local, regional, national and international audiences as a great place to live, visit, do business and nurture talent.
Schools, colleges, universities and lifelong learning
The Buckinghamshire Skills Hub promotes and optimises links between the business community and education/training providers to enable young people and adults to develop the skills and qualifications they need to progress in the workplace, at whatever stage of their career they are in. Skills development is central to creating the conditions for sustained innovation, excellence, and growth for our Buckinghamshire businesses, particularly in priority sectors as described in our Local Industrial Strategy.
Police, fire and rescue
The Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel examine and review how the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) carries out their responsibilities of ensuring that Thames Valley Police runs effectively. The panel also supports the PCC in their work and provides reports and recommendations on the Police and Crime Plan, Annual Report and some proposals made by the PCC.
Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority is a publicly accountable body managing Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on behalf of the communities it serves. The Authority meets four times a year to discuss budgets, financial arrangements, insurance and financial plans, and to make recommendations to the Fire Authority for decision.
There are approximately 70 Registered Providers with a total combined housing stock of over 29,500 properties across Buckinghamshire. This includes 4 main registered providers (Paradigm, L&Q, Fairhive and Red Kite) who took on the local housing stock across Buckinghamshire that was previously owned by the former District Councils.
The council works closely with registered providers on developing new-build affordable housing, either in partnership with private developers or by developing their own sites. These providers allocate social housing tenancies in accordance with our Bucks Home Choice Allocations Scheme (advertising available tenancies on a central website).
We will also work with registered providers to address and respond to any issues that arise within their social housing stock (for example, poor housing conditions).
Natural Environment Partnership
The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (NEP) includes businesses, and organisations across the private, health, education, conservation and public sectors, including the Local Enterprise Partnership, with an interest in driving positive change in the local natural environment.
The NEP works collectively to embed natural environment priorities and considerations in growth, economic and health strategies, and to develop and coordinate conservation interventions and programmes for delivery.