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Taplow Parish Council is your first tier of local government. Our website provides information on Parish Council responsibilities and activities, together with many other matters affecting Taplow – local news and information on other responsible bodies that affect life in Taplow.
We aim to update this website on a weekly basis. If you have any information, for example about a forthcoming event or an important issue in the village which you think we should add, please contact us
Parish Council Meeting
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 10th November at 7.30pm online via zoom. The public are welcome to join the meeting. The agenda and joining instructions will be put up on 5th November.
One of our main items of debate at our recent council meeting was about the use of the Old Priory Gardens (OPG) by the Forest School. Permission has been given for the Forest School to run during certain Playgroup sessions. However, a request has now been made for sessions to be run several times a week for families outside of school hours. Whilst the benefits are recognised for those taking part in such sessions, nevertheless a host of other issues are raised. If you have a view on Forest School being run in the OPG then it would be really good to hear from you before it is debated more extensively at our next meeting.
Another issue was getting the highways authority to cutback hedges promptly. We have agreed to assist Bucks Council in starting the process of enforcement of hedge cut backs by writing letters to offending hedge owners. If you are concerned about an overgrowing hedge and can supply details of the land address or owner involved then please email the Clerk in confidence and we can send that letter. We already have Hitcham Lane on our list!
Taplow Parish Council prides itself on its open and inclusive meetings, conducted in a relaxed environment where members of the public are encouraged to raise issues of importance or concern. Over the years, many positive actions of the Council have been taken in direct response to matters raised by our Parishioners. Our meetings provide a useful opportunity for issues to be presented and discussed in public, and it is common for decisions to be deferred to give Councillors time to consider their position or to clarify points of ambiguity.
However, it is a matter of good governance that the Parish Council does not take decisions without proper consideration of the facts. This is especially important when it comes to matters of politics, as well as social and environmental issues, where views are increasingly polarised and not always within the remit of a Parish Council. It is standard practice that, for substantial issues to be considered by Councillors, background papers are provided by the person seeking to have a motion on the agenda.
If you would like to request any matter be debated at a council meeting in the future please contact the Parish Clerk on 01628 667311 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Council Office
The office is usually open Monday and Wednesday afternoons 2-5pm and Thursdays 4- 5.15pm.
When the office is closed you may contact the Clerk via email on email@example.com. Emails are usually monitored daily remotely. Or leave a message on 01628 667311 for when the Clerk is next in the office. In an emergency please contact Cllr. Sandy on 01628 604229 or 07851 148822
News from the Environment Agency
Please find attached below a briefing on urgent maintenance works on a section of the Jubilee River. These came to light on a routine inspection by divers below the waterline. As a result the Environment Agency cannot operate the Jubilee River until the maintenance is completed. Works commence later in October and the duration will be around 10 weeks. There will be a significant number of lorry movements in the locality. It also means properties will not have the flood protection from the Jubilee River for the duration of the works. Contingency plans will be put in place to help residents, including a separate support team to be available should flooding look a possibility.
Green Homes Grant can help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills
|Launched on 30 September 2020, the Green Homes Grant scheme sees the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements for homeowners in England up to £5,000.
Homeowners with low incomes – including those on certain benefits – are eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of works up to £10,000.
The scheme will improve the energy efficiency of over 600,000 homes across the country and help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
Grants through the scheme can be used for energy-efficiency upgrades such as:
The latest national guidance on Covid
Test and Trace support payments available to eligible self-isolators
|Workers on low income who have been told by the NHS to self-isolate may qualify for a £500 support payment.
The money is available through the national Test and Trace Support Payment scheme and administered in the county by Buckinghamshire Council. It applies to eligible people who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate from Monday 28 September and will run until 31 January 2021.
To qualify for the payment a person needs to:
In addition, a discretionary £500 lump sum payment may be available in exceptional circumstances to an individual who meets the main qualifying criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment (they are a low-income worker who is unable to work because they are self-isolating) but who is not in receipt of qualifying benefits and could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.
To see whether you qualify and to apply, go to https://www.
If you are unable, for whatever reason, to apply online please contact the Test and Trace Support Payment teams on:
Further details about the scheme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/
Here are some of the main elements of the Covid rules
- From 24 September all pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. This doesn’t mean last orders, it means everyone out of the premises by 10pm
- All pubs, bars and restaurants must offer table service only
- In line with the ‘rule of six’, bookings will only be allowed for up to six people per table and tables cannot mingle
- Where possible, people should now work from home in agreement with their employer, where they are able to do so
- People who work in shops and in cafes, bars and restaurants, should all wear face coverings unless they are exempt
- Customers in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants should also wear a face covering except when seated at a table to eat and drink, or if they are exempt
- Face coverings should also be worn by all taxi drivers and passengers unless they are exempt
- Businesses, schools, colleges and universities will stay open
- The ‘rule of six’ remains in place and will be enforced where needed. People must not meet in groups of more than six people apart from some specific circumstances like weddings and funerals
- There are now bigger fines and tougher penalties for both businesses and individuals who don’t comply. For example, people gathering in groups of more than six could be fined up to £200
You can read in full detail the national coronavirus guidance on the Government’s website. Please bear in mind that some parts of these pages are still being updated to reflect the latest changes, so do keep checking back to make sure you’re fully up to date.
Support if you’re isolating
It is vital that if you or someone you live with develops symptoms of coronavirus that your household isolates immediately. You should also try to book a test for anyone who has symptoms – more on testing below. From Monday (28 September) if you don’t isolate when you should be, then you will be breaking the law and could face a fine.
There will be payments of £500 available to support certain people on low incomes who cannot work from home and who will face a loss of earnings if they cannot work because they’re isolating. There is more detail about this scheme on the government’s website and we will also provide more information about how this will work when the details are finalised.
NHS COVID-19 app – advice to residents
The new NHS COVID-19 app launches today. This is the ‘official’ NHS Test and Trace app designed to track the virus and to bolster the Test and Trace system. People with smartphones will be able to download and use the app on a voluntary basis, if their phone’s operating system supports it. It will mean you can get an alert if you’ve been near another user who’s tested positive for coronavirus. You will also be able to log symptoms, book a test if you need one and will get advice on whether you need to isolate if you’ve got symptoms or have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive.
Users will also be able to use the app to ‘check in’ at any venue they visit, such as a pub, restaurant or a church.
The app works on an anonymous basis – it tracks the virus, not the user, using Bluetooth technology. You can find out more at www.covid19.nhs.uk.
At the moment, the government has not changed any advice for residents who were previously shielding, so those residents do not need to start shielding again at the moment. I understand that this is a very worrying time for everyone, and especially those more vulnerable to the virus. Please take time to read the advice for the clinically vulnerable on the government’s website. Buckinghamshire Council also have their information on our website on how to find help and support if you need it.
Anyone who is worried about whether they or a vulnerable friend, relative or neighbour can look after themselves can call Buckinghamshire Council’s Adult Social Care Team on 01296 383 204 or contact us at the Parish Council on 01628 667311 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to tackling climate change and improving air quality, the Council will be creating a Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy for Buckinghamshire. The Council has produced a survey for residents which seeks to understand the views and experiences of local people and organisations in relation to climate change and air quality. The information provided will help to develop the draft strategy, which you will be able to comment on in a consultation later this year.
Residents can complete the survey via this link:
Smart Motorway M4 Closures
The project news bulletin for September 2020 with information on the next few weekend closures is attached. There’ll be regular full weekend closures of the M4 up until the end of this year and in 2021. You can find out more at the Highways England website: http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/m4j3to12.
If you have any questions or comments and would like a response please email at M4J3to12SmartMotorways@highwaysengland.co.uk or call 0300 123 5000.
Village Hall News
During the period when Coronavirus is still prevalent we have made it an additional condition of Hire that all Hirers comply with the rules set out below:-
In addition the Government guidelines must be complied with. So we are not able to allow large gatherings or choirs.
Naturally, the Parish Council takes environmental issues and our environmental responsibilities seriously, and we have undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint in the Parish, such as introducing LED streetlights, maintaining and increasing the provision of public amenity green spaces, Councillor-led litter picking, maintaining rural public footpaths, and robustly defending local Green Belt. We are currently investigating opportunities to plant a substantial numbers of trees within the Parish and create a wildlife diversity recreation space.
Most recently we have changed our utility energy providers to a company that provides 100% renewable energy.
One of the key things to come out of a recent meeting was the adoption of a new policy on climate, nature and the environment.
Please see a copy of this policy below:-
Vacancy on the Parish Council
The next parish council elections are due in May 2021.
There is still a vacancy on the Parish Council which can be filled by co-option – that is by vote of existing councillors at a properly convened public meeting. Any successful candidate would hold office until the Elections on 6th May 2021. Please consider whether you would like to serve your community by becoming a parish councillor. Please contact the Clerk for more information.
Parish Council audit
The Parish Council has now completed its accounts and internal and external audit. Members of the public are entitled to inspect and /or ask for copies of the audited Annual Return. Please see below notice of conclusion of audit together with the sections of the Return which we are obliged to publish.
A new way to tackle the issues that matter most to our community
There is a new way to tackle the issues that matter most to our community – through Buckinghamshire Council’s new Community Boards. The boards will connect local people, organisations and groups with the council to improve our local areas. Beeches Community Board covers the Burnham, Dorney, Farnham, Stoke Poges and Taplow areas and held an introductory meeting in July to start this conversation. Over the next few weeks organisers will be getting people, groups and organisations in the community involved and helping to identify our key priorities ahead of the official launch in September. Everyone is welcome – read on to find out more about what the board will do, how it will work and how you can get involved.
What is a Community Board?
Beeches Community Board will identify the themes and issues that most need to be addressed for this area and create an action plan to do this, with working groups to look at specific projects and issues. The board will:
- represent the voices of local people;
- capture thoughts, ideas and suggestions in new ways;
- enable local conversations about priorities;
- identify needs within local communities and work to produce creative solutions;
- explore areas of interest;
- influence how decisions are made and public services are delivered.
How does it work?
Partnerships created in response to Covid-19 are enabling the new Community Boards to quickly get up and running. All boards have a leader, as well as a coordinator who makes sure local people, groups and organisations feel connected with the boards and the council, ensuring information is shared and views are heard.
There will be a mixture of core meetings and working groups who will focus on a specific issue or local project. Core meetings will agree priorities, allocate funding and feed back on the plan of action. Anyone who wants to get involved won’t need to attend every session. You’ll be able to read the agendas and minutes online and can participate in the issues that you feel passionate about. You can join meetings, or take part in a specific priority or project working group. You can complete surveys, take part in polls or share your views.
Who’s in the Beeches Community Board?
The chairman for Beeches is Councillor David Anthony, who like all of the boards’ chairs is a member of Buckinghamshire Council. The vice chairman is Councillor Barbara Gibbs and its dedicated coordinator is Jack Pearce.
Anti-social behaviour in the Old Priory Gardens and school field
There has been some vandalism in these areas. The police have asked residents that if they see any groups or anything suspicious then to make contact with them via 101.
We would like to emphasise that people should be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity given we have now had two targeted attacks of wilful damage.
Field alongside footpath 10.1
Many residents especially dog walkers use the triangular field adjoining the Rectory field. We have been asked to notify residents that this field is not for the public’s use and that they should keep to the footpath itself only, otherwise the owner is considering fencing the footpath off.
Many thanks for your co-operation on this.
Your Parish Council and Coronavirus
We express our very deep sadness and sympathy to those of our residents who are suffering or experiencing the loss of a loved one.
We believe our role is to help to connect people and make people aware of help that is available.
There is a group of parishioners who have put themselves on a list and a whatsapp group so that they can provide local support to people in need. In addition the local police have said they will respond as far as they are able to anyone in need too.
If you need support in any way then please contact the Clerk by email on
and we can pass on your contact details to someone on the whatsapp group list or the local police (as you wish) who will be in touch as soon as possible. You can also ring us on 01628 667311 but the office phone is only checked twice a week. The email is monitored regularly daily. Our office is now closed to the public.
If you would like to volunteer to help others please let us know and we can pass your name on to the whatsapp group organiser.
We set out below all the news we have received on what higher authorities are doing to help:-
24/7 Mental Health Helpline now live for Bucks:
A new telephone helpline for mental health advice has been launched in Buckinghamshire. It will operate during the coronavirus pandemic 24 hours a day, seven days a week and temporarily replaces 111 for people who need mental health care and their situation is not life threatening.
Residents of all ages can call when they need advice about how to manage their symptoms, to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals.
Adults: 01865 904997.
Children and young people: 01865 904998
During office hours, people who already use mental health services should contact services directly using the numbers in their care plan.
When someone is seriously ill or injured, or in an acute confused state, call 999.
People can also contact:
Their own GP
Adults Mental Health Services:
- Healthy Minds in Buckinghamshire
- Safe Haven – Wycombe and Aylesbury Safe Haven is an out-of-hours, non-clinical space offering crisis support, signposting, safety planning and listening support over the weekend. The referral line is open from 6pm on the day of the service. Last entry is 11pm. You must call ahead first to reserve a space.
Aylesbury Safe Haven 01296 453017 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from 6.30pm until midnight)
Wycombe Safe Haven 01494 218098 (Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 6.30pm until midnight)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services:
- Buckinghamshire 01865 901 951
Other helplines, information and advice include:
- Samaritans – Freephone 116 123 – open 24 hours
- Saneline – 0300 304 7000 – 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm daily
- Rethink – 0845 456 0455 – 10 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday
- FRANK – 0800 77 6600 – open 24 hours
- No Panic – 0844 967 4848 – 10 am to 10 pm
- Young Minds
- Stay Alive Suicide Prevention Mobile Phone App
- Mind UK’s national mental health charity
- Elefriends safe online space to listen, share and be heard
Local lifelines are being set up by Buckinghamshire Council for those residents identified by the NHS as having severe medical conditions who may not have family or friends nearby to support them.
The Council will run eight Local Support Hubs, during the coronavirus emergency, in the Amersham, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Buckingham, Chesham, High Wycombe, Princes Risborough, and Marlow areas.
Hubs will oversee co-ordination and distribution for the Council’s volunteer support network, helping with essential food parcels, fuel top-up cards and assistance with getting medicines and medical appointments.
Residents at high risk – often referred to as the shielded population – would receive letters from the NHS or their GPs explaining how to register for support, at https://www.gov.uk/
Vulnerable residents, or their carers, without a letter, but who felt they should qualify for this support, could still register if they quoted their NHS number. They could also find local groups offering support on the Council website.
In addition to this group, the Council’s social care team has identified 750 older and more vulnerable residents, and is keeping in daily contact with them to ensure they are safe and have the support they need.
Nearly 100 other people, who called the council on its helpline 01296 383204 for support and advice, have been linked up with support from volunteers and community groups.
Anyone concerned about a vulnerable person who may need support can contact Buckinghamshire Council by emailing communities@buckinghamshire.
Coronavirus support and information, updated regularly, can be found at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/
We are doing our best to support residents who will struggle to pay their council tax. Our current advice to residents is that if they cannot afford their council tax instalments, these are the options available:
- You can apply for Council Tax Reduction for help with your council tax bill. You can do this online to the website address shown below,
South Bucks area:www.southbucks.gov.uk
- If you are of working age and now on a low income you should make a claim for Universal Credit if you require help with your rent payments at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
- If you currently pay your Council Tax/Business Rates in 10 instalments you can change this to 12 which will make each instalment less. If you would like to do this please let us know,
South Bucks area: SBDCCtax.email@example.com
Phone 01895 837500
If any of you are experiencing difficulties, please ask them to get in touch with their local area office. More information on this will be also be published on the website later today. We also hope to soon have details of the Government’s hardship Fund.
STOP LOAN SHARKS
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The Team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.
The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of a loan shark.
Please help us raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks and signpost people to support services by sharing the items attached.
We would draw your attention to our Grants/donations policy. Upon request the Parish Council may from time to time make grants to organisations or voluntary groups for specific things within its remit and within a budget of £1,000 pa set aside for that purpose known as the Community Fund.
To be eligible, an organisation or voluntary group must have a constitution, membership rules, a bank account and keep accounts.
All grants will only be made where there is a clear benefit to the local community within the parish – for example to improve local facilities, free events to enhance community spirit or a charitable donation for services received that were of benefit to the local community in the Parish.
All applications are considered on their merits according to this policy.
The Parish Council will never make grants to:- any individual, for ongoing running costs, to political parties, to any profit making organisation, organisations raising funds to be passed upwards to a central HQ for redistribution or to any non-profit organisations to increase their funds.
The full Policy is below:-
Car Parking infringements
A useful number to have is for the NCP parking wardens if you see any persistent breaches of highway regulations such as parking on double yellow lines. We do not know how quickly they respond but the number is 0843 208 5544
Cllr. Spencer Norton writes:-
Heathrow has launched the second round of its mandatory consultation on airspace modernisation in the South East. This includes provisions for a potential third runway but is not limited to this.
The consultation basically covers the following:
1. Runway Alternation – This is which runway is used for take-off and landing. Depends on the prevailing winds which are inherently in a westerly direction approximately 70% of the year. A westerly wind means aircraft departures over Taplow. Runway Alternation is especially important for communities which have aircraft landing over them, as this gives predicted respite.
2. Noise – Covers how Heathrow can manage noise better for an expanded airport. The use of quieter aircraft should help here, although flight paths may change. The use of PBN (Precision Based Navigation) will mean aircraft tracks in the sky will be more accurate and consistent, so we should encourage the use of dispersion rather than concentration in Taplow, especially as we have two departure routes overhead currently.
3. Night flights – what times do we think is acceptable for aircraft to depart and arrival.
4. Directional Preference – the use of the easterly or westerly presence. As discussed before, aircraft have to take-off and land into wind and so we are really in the hands of the weather here.
There are no lines drawn on any maps yet, as to where new aircraft paths might be. With Maidenhead and Slough being on either side of us and Government policy to mitigate noise over built up areas, there is probably going to be little change for us.
How can residents make objections to planning applications anonymously?
SBDC planning department have advised:-
All comments on current planning applications are now being displayed on our website, which brings South Bucks’ processes into line with most other Councils, almost all of whom display representations.
Comments on Planning applications are public documents. This is not new and is required by planning legislation. It is stated on our letters to neighbours, in the acknowledgement letter that we send to each contributor and in several places on our website, such as www.southbucks.gov.uk/commenti
We use our best endeavours to ensure that signatures, personal telephone numbers, personal email addresses and other personal data are not published but it is considered that names and addresses are necessary in order that all parties can properly understand the issues, concerns and context of specific comments in relation to any particular planning application. If an objector does not wish for their name and address to be displayed they may choose to approach yourselves (the Parish Council) or their Ward Councillors ( George Sandy) to put forward their objection. An individual’s rights and the action they can take is set out on the Council’s Privacy Notice http://www.southbucks.gov.uk/p
It is our practice only to display representations whilst the application is under consideration (ie if it is undecided, if it is under appeal or if it is the subject of judicial review). Once the application is decided, the representations will ‘switch off’ so that they are not on public display any longer than is necessary. As we define representations as ‘background papers’ they are disposed of after 6 years, as set out in our Retention policy.
I understand that further guidance – particularly on how GDPR legislation and the Transparency agenda fit together – is due to be issued by the Planning Advisory Service ( https://www.local.gov.uk/pas ) before the end of the year and is likely to be recommending an industry standard on this matter. Once the guidance is issued we will see if/how its recommendations differ from our current practices and consider whether any changes are needed to our processes.
How do I report a pothole?
You can report potholes, as well as any other road issue, using the Report It forms on the county council website. In an emergency, for instance a severe road defect, a flooded road, or a tree in the road, you can always call Transport for Buckinghamshire on 01296 382416 or 486630 (out of hours). The online reporting tool is at www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/report-a-problem/report-a-pothole/
How do I report a problem on a Right of Way footpath?
Click on: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/environment/public-rights-of-way/report-a-rights-of-way-issue/ or visit www.buckscc.gov.uk and search ‘rights of way’. To report an issue, you will need to log in and then select the ‘Report an issue’ menu item. If it is your first time, you will need to register.
We have analysed the initial responses to the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire and made a report at: Questionnaire responses
Land Securities Legacy Fund
About £33,000 of the original £100,000 monies donated by Land Securities remains available for distribution on application to the Parish Council. The policy statement below sets out the criteria against which any application will be judged:-
In judging and determining the value of any proposals that will be funded from the generous grant towards community and environmental projects provided by Land Securities, the following main criteria must be fulfilled:
- Be of permanent or long-standing value with “legacy” being pre-eminent
- Be of value to the Parish as an entire community
- Be affordable within the constraint of the remaining Fund monies
- Should not involve any long-term maintenance burden over and above established parish budget items unless any costs so arising can be met from new income.
Clearly any spending must also be within the Council’s powers/remit.
Old Priory Gardens
Please see our policy below on how this lovely local amenity can be used:-