30th June 2021
Buckinghamshire Council is delighted to officially launch its latest public realm recovery initiative, The Big Bucks Tidy Up which focuses on working together for a cleaner, greener and safer Buckinghamshire. As part of Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to public realm recovery following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new initiative has been launched to make visible improvements to the look and feel of Buckinghamshire’s roads, streets, parks and open spaces by delivering a focused programme of services and by encouraging and enabling Buckinghamshire’s communities to contribute. From Buckingham to Burnham, and all across the county, the council has injected over £300,000 of extra funding and invested more resources to deliver a comprehensive program of enhanced council service activity. The program highlights the work carried out across Buckinghamshire to make public spaces cleaner, greener and safer for everyone to use and champions the contributions from local communities and volunteer groups. The Big Bucks Tidy Up encompasses everything from enhanced delivery of our ‘business as usual’ activities e.g. litter picking, sign and bin replacement, gulley cleaning, a range of street cleansing operations, renovating community play areas and skate parks, vegetation clearances, and country park maintenance, to supporting nationwide initiatives – most recently Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean. It also includes implementing new services, campaigns and activities to better serve our local communities. The pilot phase of The Big Bucks Tidy Up followed on from the incredible community litter picking contribution as part of this year’s Great British Spring Clean. Between 28 May and 13 June, over 50 local volunteer groups from across the county registered an event with Buckinghamshire Council and took to the county’s streets, parks and open spaces to carry out their own litter picking efforts. Buckinghamshire Council’s own contribution as part of The Big Bucks Tidy Up looked to go above and beyond its expected call of duty to compliment the efforts of residents and community groups in the Great British Spring Clean. In the first two weeks of June, across the entire county, the council’s teams carried out:
Extra litter picking and fly-tip rapid response activities
Gateway road litter picking
Litter bin replacements
Traffic island cleansing
And over the last few weeks, Buckinghamshire’s communities saw these activities continued in more areas across the whole county as well as further manual and mechanical road sweeping, street washing and litter bin cleaning. As well as our enhanced service activities, there’s plenty more projects and campaigns demonstrating Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to working closely with partners for a cleaner, greener and safer Buckinghamshire. These include:
Adopt a Patch initiative with Buckinghamshire Council’s Country Parks.
Involvement and promotion of the Queen’s Green Canopy project which invites people to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.
Green Future Bucks enabling charities, community groups and schools across Buckinghamshire to apply for funding for projects that encourage environmental improvement.
Aylesbury Garden Town’s community partnerships helping to shape public spaces in Aylesbury for the community, with the community.
Councillor Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment commented: “Fundamentally, The Big Bucks Tidy Up is about pulling a whole host of resources together to make visible improvements to Buckinghamshire. By coordinating an enhanced and comprehensive programme of work to be delivered in the space of one month, we hope the results will be more readily recognisable for the communities who use these public spaces and instil a sense of pride within communities to help people keep them looking their best. “We recognise the importance of a collaborative approach and are grateful we have so many like-minded and willing volunteers in Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire Council, working with partners, is keen to match the efforts of our amazing residents by investing more money into services to help keep the county clean, green and safe for everyone to use.” Looking ahead Buckinghamshire Council is keen to deliver the next phase of The Big Bucks Tidy Up in autumn 2021 and is calling on local residents to help shape the initiative - giving it a more locally driven approach. Involvement from residents, community groups and environmental groups will ensure local priorities are addressed and ongoing, collaborative participation from the council, local groups and residents will allow public spaces, that communities can be proud of, to be both created and maintained. Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Boards will be essential in helping drive the next phase of the initiative. The Community Boards are a new way of bringing the council, groups, organisations and local people together to look at local issues and find ways of improving them together. In line with the Council’s corporate priorities, all Community Boards will have both Environment and Economic Recovery as areas of focus this year. This makes them an excellent avenue for communities to feed into the autumn program of works. More information on the Community Boards including how to get involved in your local Community Board can be found online: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/improving-your-local-community Peter added: “We are consistently overwhelmed by the invaluable support and volunteering efforts from local community groups and residents. It’s amazing that so many of Buckinghamshire’s residents are happy to play their part in ensuring the county is in tip-top shape for everyone to enjoy, whether this be from actively taking part in community clean ups or simply making sure anything not quite right is reported to the council through the appropriate channels. “You can report any issues regarding highways, litter or street cleaning online by searching ‘report a problem’ on the Buckinghamshire Council website: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.” Residents are invited to keep an eye out on Buckinghamshire Council’s social media channels to see a collection of ‘before and after’ photos from June’s The Big Bucks Tidy Up and to see the transformations to a cleaner, greener and safer Buckinghamshire in their local area. Follow @BucksCouncil on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and Instagram.