Knowledge Bites, Local Nature Recovery Strategies & Buckinghamshire Highways

Dear Colleagues,

A very Happy St Patricks Day to you all.  I’m not Irish, nor do I enjoy Guinness but I may find a small Jameson’s later in recognition, especially given its Gold Cup Day, Red Nose Day and St Patricks Day all in one!

This week has been quieter on the training front and hectic in the in box!  We’ve had a budget and a light bulb Knowledge Bites moment all indicative of the time of year as we are all trying to move towards a calm and controlled year end.  I must confess to being more excited about our new lunch time Knowledge Bite sessions which we are starting in June than I am about the latest budget!  I also ‘met’ with County Association Training Officers from around the country and Helen joined the MK Parishes Forum. 

We learned about Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are a new, England-wide system of spatial strategies that will establish priorities and map proposals to drive nature’s recovery and provide wider environmental benefits. The Environment Act 2021 requires LNRS’ to be prepared and Defra has provisionally appointed Buckinghamshire Council to prepare an LNRS that covers the entirety of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. The LNRS will help to address the biodiversity, climate, and wellbeing emergencies, by providing a blueprint for nature recovery. This will help to focus efforts and funding to create a ‘nature recovery network’. The LNRS is being managed by the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (NEP) for the area.  We are going to learn more about it at our next BC Parish Liaison Meeting and considering this is NEP, I shall be letting Kay know for the purpose of putting something forward for our MK family too.

Don’t forget The Carbon Literacy Project is hosting a webinar on Monday 20th March at 10:30 am to mark the launch of their new Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit Course.

From 1st April 2023 TfB  will be re branded as Buckinghamshire Highways.  You will recall, that the contract with Ringway Jacobs will cease and the new contract with Balfour Beatty comes into play.  We’ve attached artwork for you to use if you mention TFB anywhere on your website and want to update.

Next week we have Chairing Skills and CCTV Compliance to look forward too.  We have postponed the planned Agenda and Minutes training due to too few people signing up, it’s a busy time of the year and so not surprising.  Its worth reviewing your last agenda and minutes with a critical eye, are your agenda items clear, will everyone know what you are talking about and what will be decided on?  Are the minutes a record of the decisions taken, or have they turned into a tome?  Remember also that no parliamentary privilege attaches to anything said by a Councillor during a Council meeting and all Councillors should be mindful of potential civil recourse.  That extends also to minutes, avoid descriptive words relating to behaviour or delivery and never name members of the public.  Remember that when your Principal Authority Councillor attends your meeting they are not a member of your Council,  and finally never forget… Council Meetings are held in Public, they are not Public Meetings!

On that happy note, have a wonderful weekend and we look forward to speaking with you next week.

Kind regards

Mel, Helen and Lorraine

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