Welcome to MyBucks

Welcome to your June MyBucks!

The weather is finally getting warmer and we're starting to gear up to summer!

We've got plenty of info on lots of family friendly things to do - kicking off with this weekend's WhizzFizzFest and we also have Armed Forces Day just around the corner - both absolutely wonderful events packed with fun, features and fantastic family activities. 

We've also got an update on how we're progressing towards setting up the new Buckinghamshire Council - plus some general advice on healthy living especially over the summer.

Happy reading!

Latest news

Find out more about the brand new Council for Buckinghamshire

You may have already heard that on 22 May, the final piece of legislation sealing the deal for a new unitary authority was passed by government.

This means that from 1 April 2020, the people and businesses of Buckinghamshire will have one, brand new council delivering all local government services.

What does this mean for me?

For now, nothing will change. All services throughout Buckinghamshire will continue to be delivered by the five current councils - Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Chiltern District Council, South Bucks District Council and Wycombe District Council. However, these councils will close on 31 March 2020 with services transferred to the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1 April 2020.

What are the Shadow Authority and Shadow Executive?

Between now and 1 April 2020 a temporary Shadow Authority will bring together the 202 district and county councillors to create the new Buckinghamshire Council and will run alongside the five existing councils. The Shadow Authority will be responsible for setting the 2020/21 council tax and first budget for the new Buckinghamshire Council. Councillor Richard Scott from Wycombe District Council has been elected as Chairman of the Shadow Authority with Councillor Peter Strachan from Aylesbury Vale District Council appointed as Vice-Chairman.

At the first meeting of the Shadow Authority, the Shadow Executive was established. Led by Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of the County Council and supported by Councillor Katrina Wood (Leader of Wycombe District Council) as Deputy Leader, the Shadow Executive will oversee the implementation plan for the new council and will meet regularly over the coming year.  Full details of the Shadow Authority and Shadow Executive, including dates, agendas, webcasts and records of public meetings can be found at

Who are the councillors on the Shadow Executive?

The Shadow Executive consists of 17 members: eight from the four district councils, eight from the County Council and a leader. The Shadow Executive will be aided in their roles by deputies. Details of the Shadow Executive and deputies can be found on the Shadow Authority website (use link above). Each member of the Shadow Executive and their deputy was nominated by their council before being officially appointed at the first meeting of the Shadow Authority.

How can I find out more?

You can keep up to date with the latest news about the biggest change in the county’s local government history at or on twitter @DeliveringBucks.


Final Cabinet announced for Buckinghamshire County Council

Before the new Council starts next year it's still business as usual for the County Council and the four District Councils. 

As part of that, Buckinghamshire County Council Leader Martin Tett recently announced his final Cabinet - the senior councillors who will lead the County Council in these final few months

Anita Cranmer (Beaconsfield) (pictured right) succeeds Mike Appleyard overseeing the Education and Skills portfolio, while Gareth Williams (Amersham and Chesham Bois) (pictured below) succeeds Noel Brown looking after the Community Engagement and Public Health portfolio.

Mike Appleyard (The Wooburns, Bourne End and Hedsor) will be joining the County Council's Health and Social Care Select Committee, and Noel (Chess Valley) will be supporting Gareth Williams as Deputy Cabinet Member.

Other new Deputy Cabinet appointments include Ralph Bagge (Stoke Poges and Wexham) in the Resources portfolio, Arif Hussain (Terriers and Amersham Hill) in the Education and Skills portfolio and, fresh from her Chairmanship, Netta Glover (Wing) becomes Deputy Cabinet Member for Children's Services.

Leader Martin Tett said: "It's fantastic to announce a strengthened Cabinet for the year ahead, to help lead the County Council into its 131st and final year, and put us in a strong position for the new Buckinghamshire Council in 2020. I pay tribute to both Mike Appleyard and Noel Brown for their excellent contributions over the years."

Anita Cranmer said she counted it a privilege and delight to join the Cabinet's Education and Skills portfolio. "I will work to achieve the vision for our county of excellent outcomes for everyone in our education system," she said.

Gareth Williams said: "I'm really delighted and honoured to take the challenge of improving public health and engaging with our communities in the lead-up to a new unitary council."

Brian Roberts has taken the helm as the final new Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council. 

Find out more about the Cabinet and the work it does here

Find out more about the new Chairman here

Children's Services "making steady progress"

Buckinghamshire County Council is making ‘steady progress’ to improve children’s services, with most children “receiving helpful support when they are first referred to children’s social care”, according to Ofsted in its monitoring letter published today.

The letter outlines the results of a visit made to the council’s children’s services in May 2019. This was the third ‘monitoring visit’, following the outcome of the November 2017 inadequate judgement made by Ofsted.

Inspectors considered a range of evidence, including case records, discussions with social workers and managers, and reviewing other supporting documentation.

The report noted the senior leadership team is “steadfastly determined to improve the quality of services for children” and that “substantial improvements” have been made to areas of the service which had previously fallen short. It added that the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) systems are “efficient, leading to timely and decisive action for most children”.

The report stated that management oversight of services had been strengthened and social work caseloads have reduced, leaving social workers better able to support children and families.

Areas needing further improvement were also highlighted – these included some inconsistencies in certain practices within the MASH and assessment teams. While responses to clients were deemed to be mostly effective, there can be unnecessary delays in some processes and some areas of work – while generally improving - can sometimes be of variable quality.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “This is another encouraging report and confirms that our work to improve children’s services in Buckinghamshire is proceeding well.

“There is no doubt we have more to do, however, to deliver the services that children in Buckinghamshire deserve. We are determined to continue our efforts to make the improvements highlighted in this report.

“We are grateful to all our staff for their hard work and dedication as we work to further strengthen our services.”

You can read the full report here

Last chance to get your free tickets for the biggest party in town!

With just over a week to go until our Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day event on Saturday 29 June, time is running out to get your free tickets.

The event at Wycombe Air Park promises to be a spectacular day out for the whole family with a two-hour air display, live music and entertainment, stalls and attractions and much much more!

Although the event is open to the general public, its main purpose is to show thanks and appreciation to all our armed forces for the work that they do.

This year for the first time the event is completely free but you must still register for tickets online.

Get your free tickets here:

We also still need volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Can you spare a couple of hours to help out? No prior experience is needed, full training will be given. Volunteers also get a free limited edition t-shirt and refreshments on the day.

To find out more visit our website:

Summer's here - time to be 'tick aware'

Ticks are small creatures a bit like a spider - they're not in fact insects.

It's worth being aware of ticks in case you or a pet is bitten as it's important to remove the tick as quickly as possible - as in rare cases they can cause a nasty infection called Lyme Disease. 

Most tick bites are harmless but some ticks do carry the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease - here's some top ticks facts to help you be aware this summer!

  • Ticks live in woods and areas with long grass and are found all over the UK
  • Ticks don't jump or fly - they attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them
  • Once a tick  bites into the skin it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off
  • A tick-bite can only cause Lyme Disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal - but it's still important to know how to safely remove them if you, a child or a pet is bitten
  • Tick bites aren't always painful and you may only notice a tick if you see it on your skin
  • You can prevent tick bites by walking on clearly defined paths, using insect repellent and performing regular tick checks
  • Regularly check your skin and your children's and pet's skins after being outdoors

To find out how to remove a tick safely read the NHS advice here

If you begin to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or develop a spreading circular red rash then contact your GP or dial NHS 111. Remember to tell them you were bitten by a tick or have recently spent time outdoors.

To find out more about Lyme Disease go to the NHS website here


    What's on

    WhizzFizzFest is back this weekend!

    WhizzFizzFest, Aylesbury’s fantastic family-friendly literary and arts festival, is coming to town this Saturday - 22 June - with a fabulous line up, promising fun for all.

    The event kicks off at 10:30am, opening with its spectacular festival parade which will be starting at the top of Kingsbury this year.

    Over 20 local schools take part alongside musicians, bands and dance groups and the streets will come to life with huge hand-made puppets, costumes, music, dancing and laughter – celebrating the wonder and excitement of children’s literature and their imaginations.

    With local authors and story-tellers in The Exchange, performances on the Runway Stage, Teddy Bear’s Picnics in the Bucks County Museum, a funfair in Kingsbury and award-winning authors in the main marquee, no matter which corner of town you stumble across, you are guaranteed to find something that will make you smile!

    This year, the WhizzFizzFest main marquee, sponsored by Hale Leys, will be welcoming multi-million-copy selling Cressida Cowell, creator of the incredible How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, and Nick Butterworth, award-winning author and illustrator of the adored Percy the Park Keeper.

    The marquee will also host Queen Park Arts Centre’s 500 Words Challenge – The Final Chapter, which celebrates Aylesbury Vale’s young aspiring authors, supported by performances from Adele Peters Performing Arts School.

    Following the sad passing of Judith Kerr, who was due to be attending this year’s event, AVDC are putting on a free-to-attend ticketed event with readings, stories and face painters in the marquee, to celebrate the life and work of one of the nations most loved author and illustrators.

    Dame Darcey Bussell will be returning with her DDMix Dance Fitness schools’ dance competition, this time putting on quite a show at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre with performances from Aylesbury Vale schools, Britain’s Got Talent’s magician Maddox and Aylesbury Rock Choir.

    For more information, the full programme for the day and to buy tickets, visit or search @WhizzFizzFest on social media.

    Coming up this month at Bucks County Museum

    Teddy Bear’s Picnic (part of WhizzFizzFest)

    Saturday 22 June, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3.30pm

    Bring along your favourite teddy bear and join us for one of three sittings at our Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the beautiful Museum garden. Relax with music and entertainment whilst children enjoy a scrumptious traditional picnic and adults indulge in a fusion of exciting street food.

    Adults £9.99, Child £5.99. Advanced booking advised at


    Community Exhibition

    CommUnity Voices

    On now until 6 July

    Last chance to discover the hidden stories of some of our local communities told through their objects and words in a multi-sensory exhibition.


    Japanese Armour

    Samurai: Warriors of Ancient Japan

    On now until 13 July

    Stunning exhibition of historical Samurai armour and weapons, from complete suits to beautiful swords and ornate helmets.


    Art to enjoy and buy

    Pots & Prints by Deborah Hopson-Wolpe

    13 July – 14 September

    A selling exhibition featuring work by the Olney ceramicist and printmaker, Deborah Hopson-Wolpe.


    Hands-on Archaeology

    Festival of Archaeology

    Saturday 20 July, 11am – 3pm
    A day celebrating archaeology! There will be lots of information on archaeology in Buckinghamshire and activities for all ages. Fun activities will include an excavation digging pit, colouring table, Roman soldier selfies and artefacts to handle.



     ROBOT: A Collection of Robots, Cyborgs and Androids

    27 July – 31 August

    A spectacular exhibition to capture your imagination featuring robots, cyborgs and androids in all their various designs and guises, including a variety from favourite movies. Admission charge.

    Entry to exhibitions and events by donation unless specified.

    Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP. Tel 01296 331441

    Five reasons to make the most of the summer holidays!

    It's only a few weeks now until the school summer holidays. 

    It can be challenging juggling work and holiday commitments when children are off school but before you panic, remember, by using the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) directory you can find childcare, holiday activities and things to do to bridge any gaps and turn this free time into quality time.

    BFIS is the ideal place to find holiday activities with lots of local attractions and organisations adding their activities to the website. Search by location, age, free or low cost, and those inclusive for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). If it’s childcare you’re looking for you will find a variety of Ofsted registered camps and holiday clubs for peace of mind.

    Here are 5 reasons to think ahead to the summer holidays now and make the most of them.

    1 A chance for children to try something new

    It’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines no matter how old you are. For children, between school, homework and any regular extracurricular activities that might not leave much time or motivation left to try something new. Especially if you’ve waited a whole week to play out with your friends. The summer holidays are a great time to shake things up a bit.

    From arts, crafts and cooking, to performing arts and outdoor activities. This is the time when children begin to pick up hobbies and interests that could become a big part of their life in the future. All Ability Days at Green Park, for example, sees kids trying climbing, archery, adaptive bikes, giant swing, trebuchet and more for only £10 per participant.

    Find Summer Holiday Activities by Interest

    2 Help shape their education

    For many children, especially the older ones knowing what you want to spend your time studying in the coming years can be daunting. Like developing hobbies, the summer holidays give them the time and opportunity to explore what makes them tick. Do they like the sound of contemporary art? Well, get them making comic books and sketchbooks with a range of Summer Arts classes at the Buckingham Arts School. The Young Engineers Summer Camp, on the other hand, will introduce 6 to 12-year-olds to all things science and engineering.

    Search Suggestions

    Museum Events

    Arts and Crafts

    Camps and Courses

    Children’s Centre Timetables

    3 A time for family time

    At this time of year, the days are long, the temperature is comfortable (mostly) and Buckinghamshire really does look its best. This makes it the perfect time to get out there and explore together. Even if you’re working, those longer evenings can be put to good use by taking to one of the many Local Walks and Trails or activities at local parks and open spaces. Things like Pokemon Go and Geocaching can spice things up too and provide that extra stimulation and encouragement for the little ones. If walking is not your thing, try a Family Friendly Cycle Route instead. Either way, it’s a chance to get some fresh air and spend some quality time together outdoors.

    4 Taste of independence for older children

    For older children, the summer holidays might be the time when they experience a little more independence. This might include making their way to and from activities, spending time with relatives or friends, or even doing some work experience or volunteering which will strengthen UCAS, apprenticeship or job applications.

    Although there is no legal age a child is deemed old enough to be left alone, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time and that children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight.

    Search Suggestions

    Holiday Activities for 12 to 15-year-olds

    Holiday activities for 16 to 19-year-olds

    National Citizen Service for 15 to 17-year-olds (Aylesbury)

    5 It’s a time memories are made

    The summer holidays don't last forever and the glorious six weeks or more of freedom can be the good times that will stick with them.

    Take a look at what’s on locally, try something new and have fun! More and more activities are being added to BFIS every week. Lining up a few activities here are there will keep your children active, stimulated and give them things to share when they start back in September.

    Like BFIS on Facebook to stay up to date. The offers section is a great place to find the latest early booking and discounted activities.


    Love your Library

    Loan your own tablet at Aylesbury Library

    We're thrilled to be able to introduce our new 'Hublets' at Aylesbury Library; you can now hire a Samsung Galaxy tablet at Aylesbury Library for up to two hours completely free of charge - for use within the library itself. 

    All you need is your Buckinghamshire library card and PIN to release a hublet for up to 2 hours use, completely free.

    The Hublets are ready to browse the internet using the library’s WiFi and are preloaded with some commonly used apps. For example, you can access our eBooks and eMagazines with the Libby and RBdigital apps. Prefer to listen to eAudiobooks with BorrowBox?  You can connect your headphones to listen to your stories, or watch videos, without disturbing other library users.

    Simply returning the device to the docking station will log you out of any websites you have visited and clear any information you have downloaded to the device, ensuring that the Hublet is charged and ready for the next customer.

    The Hublets will also be used for children’s coding sessions in Aylesbury Library from time to time.  Just ask staff for more details next time you visit.

    We hope to offer this new service in more of our libraries if they prove popular with our customers.


    Big Library Read

    The next Big Library Read isup and running until to 1st July. The Big Library Read is a worldwide digital version of a book club that connects readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. Simply log into your Libby or OverDrive app to take part.

    This month’s book is A Dangerous Act of Kindness by LP Fergusson:

    When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep. Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered, and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm. 

    On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond. But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War Two forces them apart, leaving only the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.

    As Millie’s dangerous act of kindness sets them on paths they never could have expected, those closest to them become their greatest threats, and the consequences of compassion prove deadly…

    A Dangerous Act of Kindness is a beautiful, harrowing love story, perfect for fans of Rachel Hore and Santa Montefiore


    June's Recommended Read

    This month’s recommended read is Sail Away, the deliciously witty, irresistible novel from the top ten Sunday Times bestselling author Celia Imrie, which follows the exploits of two women on an Atlantic cruise ship.

    The phone hasn't rung for months. Suzy Marshall is discovering that work can be sluggish for an actress over sixty - even for the former star of a 1980s TV series. So when her agent offers her the plum role of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich, it seems like a godsend. Until, that is, the play is abruptly cancelled in suspicious circumstances, and Suzy is forced to take a job on a cruise ship to get home.

    Meanwhile Amanda Herbert finds herself homeless in rainy Clapham. Her flat purchase has fallen through, and her children are absorbed in their own dramas. Then she spots an advertisement for an Atlantic cruise, and realises three weeks on-board would tide her over - and save her money - until the crisis is solved. As the two women set sail on a new adventure, neither can possibly predict the strange characters and dodgy dealings they will encounter - nor the unexpected rewards they will reap.

    Vividly evoking the old-world glamour of a cruise ship - and the complex politics of its staff quarters - Sail Away is at once a hilarious romp and a thrilling tale of intrigue, from the acclaimed pen of Celia Imrie.


    'Anything written by Celia Imrie is guaranteed to put a smile on our faces and her latest book is no exception.' - Good Housekeeping

    'Celia Imrie reveals a whole new talent in this irresistible murder mystery caper, packed with wonderful characters that will grip you to the last glorious page.' - Maeve Haran, author of An Italian Holiday

    'Lively plot and eccentric characters. Light-hearted, fun.' - The Daily Express

    Link to hardcopy

    Link to eBook 

    Link to eAudiobook -

    Calling kids across Bucks - the Summer Reading Challenge is coming!

    The Summer Reading Challenge is returning to Bucks libraries on Saturday 13 July. Children's reading can 'dip' during the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure and this can be a problem for schools to put right in the new term.

    The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, really helps by getting over 700,000 children regularly into libraries over the summer. There is no other free reading activity that involves so many children, introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education.

    The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six library books during the summer holiday. Children can borrow and read whatever they like, with special rewards given when they finish reading. There's a certificate and medal for everyone who completes the Challenge.

    This year’s Summer Reading Challenge takes place in space, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.

    The Rockets are a futuristic family living in space, and they are hot on the trail of a mischievous band of aliens! The aliens have been jumping from galaxy to galaxy, helping themselves to whatever they like. Now books have mysteriously started to vanish from the Moon Library and the Rockets are on the case.

    With lots of help from children taking part in the Challenge, the Rockets will go on a mission to try and find the missing books and introduce the aliens to the wonders of the library, where they can share stories together. There’s plenty of peril along the way, from black holes and shooting stars to the murky depths of the alien ship. Let the Space Chase begin!

    Leading better lives

    Get your free NHS healthcheck

    Everybody wants to enjoy an active and healthy life for as long as possible, but as we get older the risk of developing serious disease and illness increases. With early intervention and treatment however, this risk can be reduced.

    This is what the NHS Health Checks are designed to identify.

    We want ensure that all eligible* residents in Buckinghamshire take up the offer of a Free NHS Health Check.

    The Health Check is a very straightforward 20 minute assessment where blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and lifestyle are assessed by your GP or healthcare professional. Afterwards you’ll get an info/ results pack which includes advice and suggestions on what to do next should you need it.  

    How do I book one?

    You may get a letter in the post from your GP in the next few weeks asking you to attend a Health Check at your surgery.

    You can find out more here


    *To be eligible for a Health Check, you must:

    • Be aged between 40 and 74
    • Be a Buckinghamshire resident
    • Not been diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or had a stroke
    • Not had an NHS Health Check in the last 5 years

    Summer days and drinking safely

    Summer is a wonderful time for outdoor activities with family and friends. For many people, a day at the park, beach or a barbecue will include drinking alcoholic drinks.

    Do bear in mind that drinking too much alcohol can impair both physical and mental abilities and it also decreases inhibitions— all great material for highly embarrassing social media posts, captured for eternity. However, it can also lead to tragic consequences on the water, on the road and in the great outdoors.

    A great way to lessen the impact of alcohol on your body is to follow the SLOW technique:

    Switch – Try to alternate your alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on a night out. Or have one or two alcoholic drinks, then switch to the soft stuff. 

    Low – where possible, go low. That’s lower ABV - a 3.5% beer is better than 5%, 11% wines preferable to 14%. You can drink more volume if the alcoholic strength is lower. 

    O is for off days – Try and have several days a week where you don’t drink. One or two none drinking days per week helps your liver and other organs recover, especially if you've been overdoing it. 

    W is for Water. Water is your friend - try drinking water before and definitely after alcohol. This will keep you hydrated and help you sleep better.

    Alcohol also contains lots of calories so if you are trying to stay healthy over the summer, make sure you know how many calories are in your favourite drinks and try to stay within the low risk guidelines to prevent alcohol affecting your health.

    Check out how many units are considered as the safer low risk amount and how many calories are in popular drinks


    Ways to contact our Family Information Service

    About The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS)

    Find Childcare, Childminders, Children's Centres, and Family Activities in Buckinghamshire and access free, impartial information covering a range of topics relating to family life including the Local Offer for SEND.



    Email: or if you would like to add your activity/event

    Facebook: BucksFamilyInfo

    Twitter: @BucksFamilyInfo

    Instagram: @bucksfamilyinfo

    LinkedIn: Buckinghamshire Family Information Service

    YouTube: BucksFamilyInfo

    Phone: 01296 383 065 or text: 07786 202 920

    Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm


    Busting some myths about adoption

    People sometimes make assumptions about whether they would be eligible to become an adoptive parent – and these are often wrong. June is LGBT Pride Month and that's a good time to dispel some of the myths surrounding adoption and sexual orientation, relationships, and gender identity.

    Being gay, lesbian or bisexual, whether you are single or in a relationship, is not a reason to prevent you from applying to become an adoptive parent.

    Neither is gender identity, including being a transgender or gender non-binary person.

    The Buckinghamshire Adoption Service aims to be fully inclusive, recognising that your sexual preference and gender identity are part of who you are as a person, and therefore as a parent. What we are looking for is the willingness and dedication to provide a loving and supportive family unit for a child or siblings who for different reasons are no longer able to be with their birth family.

    To find out more about becoming an adoptive parent, why not come along to one of our free information sessions.

    To book a place, and for further information on the adoption process, visit our web pages:

    Fancy learning a new skill?

    Fancy trying your hand at jewellery making, painting, perhaps Tai Chi.

    Or what about expanding your language skills and trying Russian, Chinese or Swedish?

    These are the free workshops we've got on offer if you're interested in finding out more about adult learning. 

    You can come along to our free Adult Learning event at Chesham Adult Learning Centre on Saturday 29 June from 10:00am - 2:00pm to take part. 

    To sign up call 01494 778 203 Monday - Friday between 9:00am - 2:00pm 

    If those courses don't tickle your fancy we've got another Free Workshop Day on Saturday 13 July in Iver - at Evreham Adult Learning Centre.

    Here you can try pottery, yoga, massage, stained glass and digital photography courses. 

    Why not come along and have a go!

    To sign up call 01494 475 502 Monday - Friday between 9:00am - 2:00pm

    Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life