Future of Thrift Farm

1. FAQs


On this page your we will try to answer your questions about the Future of Thrift Farm.

If you cannot find the answer you want please email us at thrift@buckscc.gov.uk

 

1. Where can I find the reports going to Cabinet?

Reports are published here on the agenda for the Cabinet Meeting you are interested in.

 

You can find the report going to Cabinet on 4 February on our website here under 'Cabinet Meetings' it should be available by 5pm on 25 January.

2. Can I say anything about reports going to Cabinet?

Yes. If you have views you would like the Cabinet Member to consider, or you wish to object to the proposed decision please get in touch.

Democratic Services Team
Telephone: 01296 382 343
Email: democracy@buckscc.gov.uk

3. Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

You can email us at thrift@buckscc.gov.uk or call us on 01296 383 122. Please leave a message and we will get back to you.

4. Can I go to the Cabinet meetings?

Yes.

All Cabinet Meetings are open to members of the public and press. You can also watch a webcast live online, these are recorded and uploaded to after the meeting.

Members of the public can observe but cannot take part in the discussion or ask questions.

5a) Who are Buckinghamshire's Cabinet Members?

Councillor Lin Hazell is the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing.

Find details of all Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Members here

5b) Who are Milton Keynes' Cabinet Members?

Councillor Hannah O'Neill is the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing/Deputy Leader.

Find details of all Milton Keynes Cabinet Members here 

6. Can I appeal the Cabinet's decision?

A member of the public cannot appeal a Cabinet decision. However, the council's select committees have the power to "Call in" a decision. Members of the public should contact their local Member to discuss this route

Details on the "Call in" process are in the council's constitution, Section F17

Find out who your local member is.

7. How do I submit a business plan 

Do you have a viable proposal for services to continue at Thrift Farm?

Invitations to submit a business plan will be issued on 13 February 2019. Please do this through the Buckinghamshire Business Portal. If you have not used the portal before you will have to register first. Just follow the online instructions. 

We will consider any business plans that offer a long-term future for adult social care services at the Farm.

This link to the Buckinghamshire Business Portal will be live from the end of 13 February 2019.

Changes to the deadline for submitting a business plan:

  • the deadline for submissions has been extended to midday Tuesday 23 April
  • questions must be submitted through the portal by midday Friday 12 April

8. How will you make sure service users are heard?

We have arranged for Talkback to hold sessions at Thrift Farm with service users. Talkback is an independent charity. They help people, who have often not been listened to, to raise issues and concerns about their lives and the services they use

9. Will the final decision be made by the Cabinet or the Lead Member for Health & Wellbeing? 

Cabinet will make the final decision.

(The Cabinet paper considered on 4 February 2019 asked for the decision to be made by the Lead Member for Health & Wellbeing. This was not agreed. Instead it was agreed for the decision to be taken by Cabinet).

10. Where will the animals be kept if the farm was to be de-commissioned?

Decisions like this will be taken once the future of Thrift Farm is known. However, farm animals which could be sold would be e.g. a flock of sheep. All remaining animals would be appropriately rehomed after taking expert advice

11. Why is there no sign on the door information people about the proposed closure?

There is no reason. We can arrange for a notice to go up about the current consultation.

UPDATED: Posters were supplied to the farm on 22 February 2019

12. What will happen to the memorial tree that is planted at the farm?

The are no plans to alter the use of the land from its current function as a farm, whether the farm is run by a provider who continues to provide care and support services or whether it becomes a tenanted farm again.  The tree would remain as a memorial.

13. Has there been any interest in someone taking over the Farm?

Yes. There have been several questions asked via the Buckinghamshire Business Portal. There have been no formal submissions so far.

14. Can you tell us who has shown interest?

No. This is commercially sensitive.

15. We have heard that Milton Keynes has offered to ‘bail you out’ what was the offer? Will you be taking it up?

We are exploring all viable options and will consider these at the end of the consultation period. Anyone interested in taking over the service and farm needs to submit a business plan via the Buckinghamshire Business Portal. We are unable to confirm whether or not Milton Keynes has submitted a business plan, but you or other members of the public would be at liberty to ask them. 

 

See also County Council Responds to Milton Keynes Labour Group press release

16. Have you considered contacting High Speed 2 Ltd with reference to HS2 Community and Business funds?

We are currently investigating this.

 17. What are your plans for service users if Thrift Farm closes?

It is important to remember that no decision on the future of Thrift has yet been made. This will be taken when Cabinet have considered all of the consultation feedback (including any viable options for someone else to run the farm).  

However, if Thrift Farm were to close, we would find similar alternatives for people currently using the service.

 18. What would the council’s intentions be for the land at Thrift Farm if it is to close?

Buckinghamshire County Council would undertake a detailed options appraisal. The Council’s policy is to maximise income wherever possible rather than selling assets. There are no intentions to sell Thrift Farm. If the Farm is to close the Council will be looking at the best income stream possible instead of selling the farm.

 

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Last updated: 10 May 2019

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