Main issues from Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee - November 2016

  |  Published: Nov 16th 2016

Buckinghamshire County Council's Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee holds the county's decision-makers to account for the quality of the services they provide. The committee Chairman is David Carroll.

Here's a summary of the main issues before the committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday 15 November 2016).

Safer Bucks Plan

An update on the progress of developing the Safer Bucks Plan for 2017/18 from Margaret Aston, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, and Cath Marriott, Community Safety Manager.

The Safer Bucks Plan, is compiled under the auspices of the Safer and Stronger Bucks Partnership Board, which includes Buckinghamshire County Council as the lead body responsible for community safety, and representatives from the police, fire and rescue, health, probation service, voluntary sector and community safety partnerships.

The three-year Plan, scheduled to be published in April 2017, is based on crime and disorder information, along with trends, emerging areas and the changing nature of crime.

The Select Committee was told that crime and disorder remain among residents’ highest priorities, and under the Crime and Disorder Act, Buckinghamshire County Council must work in partnership to reduce crime, tackle disorder, reduce re-offending and tackle substance misuse.

Modern slavery, gangs, exploitation and cyber crime, which are some of the key areas of risk to communities, don't always respect geographic boundaries and represent a challenge for the Partnership, which has to consider efforts that reach or join across borders, the Committee heard.

The Safer Bucks Plan is at the early stage of identifying priority areas of focus, following which public and stakeholder consultation will take place. A report will go to Cabinet in the New Year, before feedback to the Safer and Stronger Bucks Partnership Board by the end of March.

Select Committee Chairman David Carroll, said Members would review progress in the New Year. 'The real challenge is to make the best use of finite resources to help control such a wide range of crime in our communities. This is a very important plan and we must do all we can to get it right for the next three years.'

Safer Bucks Plan report:

Web cast programme:

Transport for Buckinghamshire Update

A six monthly update on the performance of Transport for Buckinghamshire contract from Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw.

The Select Committee heard the Transport for Buckinghamshire service showed continued signs of improvements in many areas.

Mark said that the service worked against tough budgetary constraints, having the same amount to spend as 10 years ago, yet being expected to do more. So there had been a need for constant change and innovation to get the best value for money.

He told the Select Committee more roads were being resurfaced, more potholes being filled thanks to a high-speed Velocity Patcher, and that communication with residents, explaining how and what the service was doing, had improved.

Select Committee Chairman David Carroll, said: 'Roads and transport affect the lives of all our residents, and this Committee needs to be a critical friend to ensure we strive to continue making progress. However, we do appreciate the enormous effort staff put into managing our roads network and transport systems.'

Transport for Buckinghamshire report:

Web cast programme:

?Approach to Digital and Customer Journey

Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transport, and Peter Parfitt, Head of Improvement and Delivery, updated the Select Committee on progress with Digital projects within the County Council's Transport, Environment and Economy Business Unit, that aimed to save money and enhance service to customers.

Members were told of savings through encouraging people to do Council business such as getting digital waste permits and reporting highways problems online.

To support this, the Committee heard, internal alterations that took the customer journey into account, were being made to iron out inefficiencies, enable people to self-serve, and to improve customer service.

In addition, the business unit was working with other local authorities and organisations to see how best to seek external funding for digital projects. And it was working with Bucks UTC to explore the possibility of giving students opportunity to work with the unit on some of its digital projects.

David Carroll, Chairman of the Select Committee, said: 'Digital is the way forward to give residents and businesses better access to services, better ways to report, and better means of doing business with their County Council. However we must make sure we take everyone with us on this journey and not forget those in our communities who don't have access to the internet or choose not to use a computer.'

Powerpoint presentation - see Collateral attachment

Web cast programme:

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