Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Part of our wherewithal commonwealth

Just been down this morning to the Shop Mobility service to conduct the official opening of the service. Here is the speech I gave on this occasion:
Welcome to all fellow councillors, past Mayors, esteemed guests and town council officers.
Many moons ago, in my twenties, I had a job creating a computerised register of people with learning impairments. I am proud that I helped to make sure that the data held on the individuals emphasised their abilities and potential rather than reporting on their disabilities & limitations. 
I also learned a very big lesson during this period of my career: no one has a disability. All of us have impairments to a greater or lesser degree. These impairments or limitations only become disabling as a result of the physical environment and/or the social milieu in which we live. 
If we are surrounded by a physical environment that restricts us or hobbles our dreams and ambitions or even just gets in the way of our ordinary day to day lives - then we can become disabled. If we are unable to escape attitudes that condemn, judge or cosily patronise us then we are disabled by our social environment. 
Everyone one of us has the joy and responsibility to work to create a world in which all of us can live amazing and ordinary lives, where there are no hurdles that disable any of us or barriers that hold us back from achieving that all that we hope to achieve. 
And our Buckingham Shopmobility is one vital ingredient of that world here in our town. Shopmobility, run by the amazing Sue Rossforth, provides a service that enables people to shop who would otherwise find it something of a struggle. To its absolute core, this ShopMobility service is about adding another jigsaw piece to a world here in Buckingham that will, I hope, be one day a place where no one is held back by barriers that can be simply engineered or planned away. 
Some while ago, Buckingham Town Council was proud to take over the Shopmobility service from AVDC. In turn, AVDC, through the New Homes Bonus committee, made sure that our bid to build this whole complex of new toilets and shopmobility service was accepted. And we and the people of the town are grateful to them for this money, which is provided to the District Council by central government to compensate areas affected by new home developments. 
I am proud and glad to be part of a Council that is 100% committed to working for an accessible world. I want a world in which everyone has dreams and ambitions and the wherewithal to achieve these. Buckingham Shopmobility is part of that wherewithal commonwealth, provided by the Town Council on behalf of the whole community.
So I will finish with thanking all the people who have made this possible, not least Sue and our Town Clerk, Chris Wayman and his team. Thanks again to AVDC. And thank you to the County Council library people who so ably and delightfully hosted the Shopmobility service while we were in transition.
And thanks to my fellow town councillors. As we all know, it has been something of a journey to get here, a journey that required a fair degree of both vision and tenacity. But here we are at last, nonetheless. 
And the Town Council will continue with its ordinary business of looking for all opportunities to make sure that we have equal opportunities here in Buckingham - so that we are a place where there are no hurdles, no cuts and no ramps getting in the way of people living amazing and ordinary lives. 
We will never give up on that quest.
And so I declare the Buckingham Town Council Shopmobility service officially open for business. 
Do all your Christmas shopping here!!
Thanks to Anthony Ralph for the pics below.










The Mayor's Bear visits Bourton Meadow Nursery

I had simply the most charming time visiting the Bourton Meadow Academy Nursery last week. The Buckingham Mayor has a bear* and so it was appropriate to take him with me when I visited the nursery. The children were delightful and it seemed, a little in awe of their Mayor reading them a story. Here are some pics of my visit (thank you to Rebecca Jackson, one of the staff for these pics).

I had such a wonderful time, if there are any other nurseries that would like a visit from the Mayor to read them a story, please get in touch!

The book I read was The Chimpanzees Of Happytown by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. It's a fabulous story which features a rather grumpy Mayor... (Thanks to Town Council officer, Nina Stockhill for loan of the book and for fixing up the visit in the first place.)




* But.. the Mayor's Bear... what is that all about? Here is a short history as compiled by Katharine McElligott, the Town Council's planning officer:
We organised a teddy bears’ picnic in 2007, intended to be on the Church grass, with a marionette show we booked occasionally for children’s events and the Community Fair to keep children occupied in the small hall while their parents took the weight off their feet and had tea and mince-pies. There was other children’s entertainment and games as well, organised by the (documented, safe) staff from Tumbletots on Bridge Street (now PK Kidszone?) with their equipment (hoops, skittles,  and so on). We had a similar event in 2008 and 2009, the last with a Best-dressed Teddy competition, photos on file under Events. 
Due to inclement weather we moved the whole event to Tumbletots (where we discovered the entrance lobby was the exact width of the marionette theatre, handily) and everyone  had a super time. (Marionette Man could make his puppets do magic tricks, he was rather good). 
However, the Mayor and Town Crier were to open proceedings in the usual manner, and Cllr Howard Mordue, the Mayor at the time, said that he couldn’t go to a Teddy Bear’s Picnic without a teddy bear. Cllr Ruth Newell produced a bear she’d won in a raffle, but her children were well into their teens by then, and it was sitting around doing not a lot. I bought a damask skirt which was going to be junked at the Willen Shop as the zip was broken and a square of red felt from Nimble Thimble, and added some oddments from my ribbon and lace bag and cobbled him up a costume. Russell Cross (the Town Crier) subsequently found the little Mayor pin for his hat, which he donated. Helen Hill from the Old Gaol also confirmed that the oddment of lace  I used for the jabot was, in fact Buckingham lace (which I hadn’t known).
Howard went to the teddy bears picnic with the bear, which was joined by his Mouvaux partner (Mouv-ours).  (Ours is French for bear, pronounced oors.) Brackley brought theirs to the next Mayormaking.

Former Mayor, Cllr Mordue at tumbletots with the bear


Mouveaux's Mouv-ours (with beret and striped shirt, of course...)


The Brackley Town Council Mayor's Bear



Monday, 27 November 2017

Christmas has begun in Buckingham!

Last night saw the annual and traditional switching on of the Christmas lights in Buckingham town centre. At a guess, there were probably upwards of 500 people, big and small, in attendance. And this year the Christmas Tree was topped by a star! (A kind donation from the local WI which past president Sian Whyte described during the event). The event also began with the awarding of the Buckingham Society's Traders of the Year awards, the second year of it running. So congratulations to:
  • Leeders Hardware (winner of the overall Buckingham Trader of the Year)
  • Pasha (the runner up)
  • Meadow Row Tea Rooms (winner of Buckingham's Favourite Eating Place of the Year)
  • Bees Kitchen (the runner up)
  • Isla Jane Bakery (winner of Market Trader of the Year)

(And thanks to Roger Edwards and his colleagues, of the Buckingham Society, for organising this)

It was a great pleasure as always to hear the singing by the Buckingham Glee Club who entertained us with some wonderful harmonies. And of course the two Captain Coleman's from the Salvation Army delighted us all with their chocolate themed rendition of the Christmas Story. The Winslow Concert Band were brilliant as always: thank you so much to them. And of course thanks to Amanda, Events Coordinator, and all the TC staff, the lighting and sound people (Sparkz Electrical), the Buckingham Traders Association and everyone else who helped make this all happen.

Wrapped around the event were some food stalls in the cattle pens and down by the entrance from the car park, outside the community centre. Also there had been a craft fair in the Cote next to the Woolpack pub for most of the day. Many of the shops stayed open on the Sunday as well. Attendance and pick up on these all was, shall we say, sporadic. Although I think as people returned to their cars the food stalls did some good trade.

As with all events, you can't please all of the people all of the time and there has been some discussion around the timing of the event and the success of the wrap around trading stalls... (etc) There has been lots of praise too, of course, and I met some very happy and excited children last night. But if you have any ideas about how the event could be even better next year, or you just want to say thanks!, please send all those thoughts to Amanda Brubaker at the Town Council and your thoughts will be reviewed by the Council. Her email address is: events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk 

And thanks to Cllr Robin Stuchbury for the pics below.






Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Charity Challenge

The world is changing for many charities. Resources and donations are being squeezed and as the state is being made to roll back, demands on services provided by charities are escalating. Therefore charities have to be that much more fleet of foot and business like in how they use their scarce resources effectively, efficiently and strategically.

Ten days ago, I attended a conference organised by Action 4 Youth to help leading members of charities work their way through some of these challenges in the company of their peers. Sadly I had to leave at lunchtime but the whole day promised to be a highly developmental occasion for those who attended.

The Conference Theme was Community Cohesion: In rapidly changing and uncertain times, how can we contribute ? What is the way forward for our sector? 

Here is a pic showing Jenifer Cameron, the CEO opening the event. It was good to be there to hear the presentations and network with local charities.


A quick panorama of those present. It was well attended!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Orange the World!

Saturday 25 November is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Yesterday, I attended a half day conference organised by the County Council and Aylesbury Women's Aid to prepare for Saturday and reflect on what more can be done to ensure that women do not experience violence in their lives. It was a highly informative event and I am not sure this blog will do justice to all the ideas that were talked about.


But let me first say why this movement is particularly important to me.

Four years ago a dear friend of mine, Kate Dixon, was murdered by her ex partner. Kate was a brilliant colleague and we had worked together on many projects including (ironically) one on reducing gun and knife crime in the UK. She was working in Islington when she was murdered. It is difficult to explain the combination of deep sadness and raw fury that I felt when I heard about what had happened to her. Whilst tackling domestic abuse has always been important to me, this event in my life has made it even more important.

Some facts from yesterday's conference: the National Domestic Violence helpline (0808 2000 247) takes 500 calls a day. There has been a 31% increase in domestic abuse related crimes in England and Wales since 2014. About 2 women a week are murdered by their partner/ex-partner. In many of these cases, the children of the relationship are also murdered or watch their mother being killed. There were 8000 calls to the police concerning domestic violence in 2016 in Buckinghamshire alone.

This is a massive problem and one that is not going away.

The conference was chaired by Phil Dart of the County Council and then we had two impressive presentations from Annie Reeve and Dr Jane Monckton-Smith. There was sadly insufficient time to get into the detail of what all of us can do to prevent violence against women and girls, but here are some thoughts that I was left with at the end of the conference based on what I had heard:

  • "Controlling people present the most threat" said Dr Monckton-Smith, "there is nothing as dangerous as coercive control". If are a woman in a relationship where you feel controlled, stalked or spied on, please get advice. 
  • If you know of a woman who you think is in such a relationship, please talk with her about it. Look for opportunities to validate (not dismiss or invalidate) her, perhaps vague, concerns or worries.   
  • A history of stalking past partners is a red warning light. Take great care.
  • Do not assume that domestic violence is something experienced only by women of a certain age: it can happen at all ages. 
  • If you are a parent, ask your school about their Personal, Social and Health Education lessons. How well are they doing? How do they measure success?
  • And use whatever influence you have, wherever you have it, to educate boys and girls that #lovedoesnthurt 
One special idea: Ask Me Ambassadors

I am sure there is much more than can be done. One initiative I heard about that might interest people and perhaps a small local network could be established was "ask me ambassadors". You can find out more here. Essentially these are volunteers who, after a free two-day training course share the learning with their friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and challenging myths, stereotypes and victim-blaming attitudes in their community. The learn how to respond to a disclosure and about the expert services they can signpost people to for help. Some ask me ambassadors may go onto to create an ask me site, creating a space in the community such as a community centre, high street shop or café where survivors can access advice and information from.

Could this be you..? 

***

I will end this blog with a poem I wrote for Kate and which I read out at her funeral. She is buried in a woodland site not far from here.


I wondered what kind of tree Kate would have been, had she been one…
 
The tree would have been tall, strong, powerful but able to bend in the wind, even strong winds
When the sun shone, her leaves would have left dappled pools of warm light and cool shade
And when it rained, she would have provided shelter
 
Her roots would have been deep, gripping the Earth in a gentle embrace
Her bows and branches would have been wide enough and long enough to touch the sky
Her leaves and twigs would have gently rustled as they listened to the breeze whispering through them
 
In the spring, she would have radiated new life, with that special and fragile green than only new leaves have
And in the autumn, her golden leaves would have fallen but become the mulch for nurturing new life
 
Farewell Kate

Fundraising for Carers Bucks

I bumped into Deputy Town Mayor, Cllr Mark Willis from Aylesbury Town Council at the Bucks Vision event at the Speaker's House. I promised I would help him with sponsorship for his marathon run.

So here are the details:


You can click here for a link to his fundraising page. And here is a link to Carers Bucks so you can see what your money will be supporting.

A visionary day

Regular readers will remember my visit to Bucks Vision a few weeks ago (link here). I was delighted to receive an invitation to their reception at the Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster last Wednesday. It was an informative an inspiring occasion where I got to meet some fascinating people connected with the charity.

We were also given an informative presentation about Charles Bonnet Syndrome by Judith Potts, Founder of Esme's Umbrella which is the Campaign Group for everyone working towards a greater awareness of the syndrome. She was joined by Dr Dominic ffytche who was able to give more of the medical background. It seems as if there are many people who suffer with the hallucinations (that come with the syndrowe) in silence, fearing that if they speak about them with a doctor that they might end up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The message of Esme's Umbrella is not to do this. But have a read and find out more. This could be very relevant to you if you or someone close has failing eyesight.

Here are Ms Potts and Dr ffytche in front of the portrait of our MP, John Bercow.


I also met these wonderful women (Phillippa Atkinson and Sue Thornhill) who run the local Bucks Vision group out at Gawcott Village Hall on the afternoon of the first Tuesday of each month (from 2pm I understand). This is a support group for anyone experiencing sight loss. I plan on being at the next one to show my support. (5th of December)


And here is a rather blurry picture of John Bercow who dashed over to just make the end of the meeting, having been held up in the House of Commons. There are some much better pictures here of the occasion, taken by Derek Pelling.


And is here is what the Houses of Parliament look like at the moment. They remain, for me, one of the most thrilling places to visit. (I watched Nikki Morgan and Vince Cable walk by...)


I have just been sent another pic of the 'chain gang' present at the event:
  • Cllr. Emily Culverhouse – Mayor of Chesham
  • Cllr. David Hopkins – Mayor of Milton Keynes
  • Cllr. Mark Willis – Deputy Mayor of Aylesbury
  • Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP
  • Me, obviously
  • Steve Naylor CEO of BucksVision
  • Cllr. Ranjula Takodra MBE – Aylesbury Town Council
  • Cllr. Clive Morgan – Mayor of Amersham
Great to see them all. (Thanks to Derek Pelling Photography for this pic)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Conserving our town

The Buckingham Society exists to campaign to enhance and improve our town. Last week Society held their AGM followed by an excellent presentation from Ian Harvey from Civic Voice, a Scouser with a passion for preserving the beauty, quality and elegance of towns throughout the UK. Here he is in mid flow!


Members of The Buckingham Society share the following aims:

  • Promote the distinctive character of our town
  • Set high standards of design and sustainability
  • Celebrate and safeguard Buckingham's heritage
  • Find solutions to environmental problems
  • Improve the quality of life in our community
  • Inspire sensitive changes within the places we cherish
  • Create and consolidate effective partnerships between community, business and local government.
One of the subjects under discussion last Wednesday evening was the Buckingham Conservation Area. Do you know what the area covers and how being in an area affects planning decisions...? If you are curious (and I would hope that you are), you can find out lots more here

Meanwhile, the Buckingham Society is keen to grown and extend its influence. If you would like to join, please click here.

A baton is passed...

As we all know, the work of the Willen Hospice is second to none in providing effective and compassionate end-of-life care to hundreds of local people. Julie and I were invited to attend a short reception at Chicheley Hall last Thursday evening to welcome the new Chief Executive of the Hospice: Peta Wilkinson. You can read more about her here.

This was an inspiring event and as always, great to meet many people involved in supporting and working with the Hospice. Peta was introduced by Paul Davis, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. You can see them both below.


If you would like to support the work of the Willen Hospice, you can volunteer, or buy things from the local shop or donate money or (as I do) take part in their regular lottery! There are lots of ways to be involved.

As an aside, I had a fascinating conversation with the Peter Bhupatsingh Kara, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire where he challenged me (in an utterly charming way) to arrange something in the town to do with Mental Health... Thus challenged... watch this space!


Disabled? Go go go!

A few months ago, the Town Council hired a social enterprise called DisabledGo to survey shops and restaurants in the town for their accessibility. The idea being that it is good for the town's commerce if people from out of town with access needs can browse the website for where to go and by understanding what facilities are available and where. It is also good for people living in the town too! It is a key part of the Town Council's commitment to making the town as accessible and open as possible

You can find out more from the BTC pages here. The ambition of course is that people from far and wide will come here and spend their money! And that they will enjoy the town like those of us who live here already do. I am proud to be part of a strategy that reflects the fact that the Paralympics started down the road. Of all places, our district should be amongst the most accessible in the country, if not the world!

And so last week, a number of town councillors and members of Buckingham Access for All were trained by DisabledGo to become assessors ourselves. This multiplies our capacity to get all the shops and cafes etc on the database and keep it up to date. And I had a great time visiting a few nearby shops and restaurants to find out what they had by way of access. We kept stressing that this was emphatically not a pass/fail/guilt tripping kind of exercise, merely an information gathering one so that people could decide when and how to visit. (So if your cafe/shop/restaurant is not yet on the database and you would like to be, please contact the town council and all can be arranged.)

Here is part of the team who were trained: Cllr Christine Strain-Clark, her husband Peter, myself and our trainer Emily Edgar (Partnerships Manager)


I was particularly delighted to visit Clinkards who proudly informed us that all staff have done Autism Awareness training and are more than happy to adapt to the special needs of anyone (young or old) who is on the autism spectrum. Just pop in and discuss what is possible, and buy some lovely shoes.

So thanks again to all the places that were part of our training last week. Watch out for more visits! (And thanks to the team from DisabledGo - Emily above and Philip Holt for an excellent day of training)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Books, beautiful books

A good book is a joy. And some of my fondest and favourite memories of my children when they were small are when I was reading good books to them. Having a small child enjoy listening to you as you read a story to them is one of life's great treats, in my opinion. And so it was an enormous pleasure to open the new school library at the Lace Hill Academy yesterday. And it was even more fun to see the children scampering around the library in search of the book they had been challenged to find.

Here are some of the year two children lined up with the headteacher, Mr Griffiths and volunteers who will be staffing the library. (Thank you to Karen Herring from the Academy Trust for this and the other pics of the children below)


And here is the official opening... with ribbon being cut!


I donated a book to the library:



And this was my favourite moment when I read this book to the children:


And here they all are...


And one small bit that charmed me: there is a plaque!! 😀😀😀



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Coffee with the Vicar

Just spent a most enjoyable hour with the Rev'd Will Pearson-Gee, on a wide ranging conversation from the earthly to the spiritual and back again. He very kindly bought me coffee in Esquires.

The main aim of our meeting was to discuss the possibility of organising a Civic Service for the Town and local churches, temples and faith groups. No date is fixed yet but it will probably be sometime in the first part of next year.

But what is a 'Civic Service'? Here is one example from Aylesbury recently: link here. And here are some guidelines prepared by the Diocese of Southwark. So over the next few weeks and months, Will and I will be working together to create a Service to celebrate the Town.

... watch this space!

Meanwhile I followed Will up to the Church and just had the most sumptuous lunch of lentil soup and hearty bread. It is free every Tuesday. I recommend you pop along! Great company too!


Monday, 13 November 2017

Why Remembrance is so important

There is a very famous quote by George Santayana:
 Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
And this is why Remembrance, for me, is so important. It is the time when I feel great sadness and grief for all the people, combatants and non-combatants, who have died, suffered and are still suffering as a consequence of war and armed conflict. It is a time when my resolve is renewed to work for a peaceful world, full of love and respect for all, where conflict and disputes are settled in ways that lead to no harm.

Let us all never forget the horrors of war, wherever, whenever and for whomever they occur.

And so, it was both my solemn duty and honour to be part of the Remembrance Parade on Sunday, organised and led by the Royal British Legion. And I was humbled to lay the wreath on behalf of the Town Council at the memorial. This is what I wrote on the wreath:
This wreath has been laid by the Town Mayor, Jon Harvey, on 12 November 2017 as an act of Remembrance for all Buckingham townsfolk who have died, been injured or damaged as a consequence of war. As we must never forget their sacrifices and pain, so we must continue to work for a world based on peace and love for all. 
I took no photographs, but here is one taken by Cllr Robin Stuchbury of myself, Julie, the Town Clerk, Chris Wayman and the Town Council Mace Bearer, Barbara Farmer as we stood next to the Memorial by the Church.


UPDATE: I was up at the church today, so I photographed the Memorial with all the wreaths.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

A healthy and well Buckingham

Today was the last event of the week long Well Buckingham | Well World Festival: The Health & Well Being fair in the community centre in town. And what a fabulous fair it was. There were many providers and purveyors of services and artefacts all designed to help people stay well and get even healthier. I spent many happy hours talking with people and finding out what they did for others.

I had my cholesterol checked (a low 4.5 fortunately) and my irises scrutinised (a tendency to try and cram in too many things and not enough time relaxing with mindfulness, she told me!). I learnt about diabetes, back pain, housing into later years, dementia, magnetism, balance, dieting etc etc etc... It was a truly fascinating and enlightening day. I am grateful to all the stall holders who came along. And indeed thanks to the 230+ townsfolk who visited the fair.

Lots of very useful conversations were had and I am sure lots of people left with new ideas, new network connections and thoughts about how to improve their health.


One thought to leave you with is this: how would you answer this question? (This was a 'bean poll' run my wife, Julie)


Now read below (link here). Did your answer change?

Please just remember: if you don't take the full course of antibiotics you are prescribed, you are helping those bacteria become more resistant to antibiotics in the future. And then everyone is at greater risk then - you, your family and the community...

Friday, 10 November 2017

Well Buckingham | Well World - 250 years of rural health

Three and half years ago, I was inspired by an article in the Advertiser by Ed Grimsdale about a rather significant conference held in Buckingham in 1892. 125 years ago this year rural community nursing started here in our town. Today the Town Council convened a conference to celebrate that fact and look forward to the next 125 years.

The principal aim of the day was to address this question:
What now needs to be done to commission, harness and shape all the resources and assets in local rural communities so that all can enjoy good health and well-being throughout the full length of their lives?
Forty people attended to first hear three excellent presentations from Professor Viv Bennett CBE (Chief Nurse, Public Health England), Dr Jane O’Grady (Director of Public Health, Buckinghamshire) and Lou Patten (Chief Officer of Aylesbury Vale & Chiltern CCG’s, Buckinghamshire).

And then the conference used a process called 'Open Space Technology' to set the agenda for the remainder of the day. Here is the list of fifteen workshops that were created.


And then people got talking! (There will be report of the conference. If you would like a copy please email me: jonsharvey@ymail.com)

A good time was had and the participants found great value from the chance to debate these topics (set by them) as well as network with local people all working for a healthier north Bucks.

Here are a few pics from the day.




Thursday, 9 November 2017

Brewing memories

Ten retired nurses enjoyed a cream tea in Villiers this afternoon, reminiscing about their past practice in the realms of physical and mental health care. I joined in a bit but really it was their time to remember and reflect upon how healthcare and nursing has and has not changed over the years. A good time was had by all!



Pop up history & health checks

Today the Library hosted a pop-up museum of medical history with two 're-enactors' in the roles of a 1940's nurse and doctor. IN the morning, troops of school children & people from the opportunities centre stopped by and grilled them with lots of questions about what health care was like in the 1940s (before the NHS came into being) and then the whole exhibition was open to the public in the afternoon.

Julie and I went along to see what was happening. Elsewhere in the library, today's nurses were giving our free health checks (blood pressure, cholesterol etc) and they were fully booked all day.

Here is everyone in a group pic followed by one a little more close up of some of the artefacts on display. Thanks so much to everyone involved including of course our wonderful library staff who help pull all this together.




Keeping watch on our health

Yesterday healthwatch Bucks held a board meeting in public in the Community Centre. It was a happy coincidence that this November meeting was in Buckingham and became part of the Well Buckingham | Well World Festival of Health happening all week in the town. 

  
It was a fascinating meeting with much deliberation about the trends in praise and criticism of local health and social care services. healthwatch Bucks (HWB) describes itself as "an independent organisation that gives you a voice".
We exist to ensure that people's needs are at the heart of health and social care. We listen to your views and share them with those with the power to make local services better.
HWB are therefore one of the main bodies locally that offers all users & patients of the NHS and social care organisations an opportunity to be heard and for these views to be used to improve those services. If you wish to praise or criticise what has happened to you or someone close to you, please contact them.


Here is the agenda from the meeting for your information

They have just started an initiative called "Real Stories" where they are looking for people just to tell their story - good or bad - about their experience of local health and social care services. Please contact them if you would like to share your story with them.

During the public questions part of the agenda we talked about the impending changes to GP practices in the town and how HWB might be able to help find workable solutions for all concerned. I also raised the matter of why Buckinghamshire County Council were being so tight lipped about what happened with Bucks Care nearly a year ago. They said they would look into both.

Following the meeting one of their officers emailed me with this plea:
We try to ensure that the Panel is both demographically and geographically representative of the County. Unfortunately we’ve haven’t been able to get a representative in the North of the County so any help you could afford in this regard is most welcome!
They are looking for someone to join their Panel of volunteers. The role description is linked here and more information about how volunteers fit into their work is here.

Could this be you?

The Mayor of Milton Keynes' Carol Service (Trefoil #2)

It was a joy to be part of the Christmas Carol Service hosted by the Mayor of MK Cllr Martin Petchey and his consort Ms Debbie Thomson. We s...