Devolution - Approach

1. Devolution - Approach

We are keen to continue enabling local communities to take on a devolved set of services across the county.

Currently there are devolved arrangements with 44 local councils. The feedback of the current devolved agreements has shown that the current arrangements provide a high quality of service for residents.

We are now seeking to interest each of the remaining town and parish councils to take on the same set of devolved urban transport services as was scoped in Tranche 1. We are being transparent about the current costs Transport for Buckinghamshire charge for providing these services, and will continue to be for any local councils looking to provide the same services.

The budgets for tranche 1 of the devolution project will stay as agreed, and the draft budgets (best and worst case scenario awaiting a decision of the MTP saving required to be made by BCC) for tranche 2 is available via this website and once ratified will not change over the 3 year period of the agreement.

We are looking to work with local councils to identify the best local delivery solutions.

2. Funding

The County Councils’ total annual budget for the services in scope is approximately £700,000 for the years 2016/19, the final figure is dependent on the MTP saving required of BCC.

Every devolved town and parish council would receive their assigned budget for each of the 3 years to support them in service delivery. Draft figures have been provided to each town and parish council for download at the bottom of this page (April 2016 Tranche 2 Draft budget). With the success of Tranche 1 BCC is now offering the remaining local councils the option of signing up for Tranche 2.

Please note:

• The budget per parish is based on the amount of work per activity in scope (for example grass cutting is calculated per area within parish). This provides a cost per service in each parish which added together with other service costs within the parish gives a financial envelope. We are providing each town and parish with details of the areas of work.

• The budgets provided will be the same as those that would be spent on these services if they are not devolved.


3. Delivery models

The Cluster Model

Whilst not a requirement to signing up to Tranche 2 of devolved services we would prefer parishes and towns to work together in groups, or 'clusters', for a variety of reasons:

  • It is the best way for us to effectively manage devolution arrangements.
  • Clusters enable parishes to share resources.
  • Clusters can enable larger parishes to deliver services to smaller parishes, especially those who do not have the resources to manage service delivery.
  • Clusters empower parishes to identify the most suitable form of service delivery for their local area.

Towns and parishes are entirely free to work out which if any parishes to cluster with. Clusters are likely to be geographic, although some parishes have already indicated that they may prefer to work with more distant councils that they have more in common with.

Devolution in practice

Taking on devolved services with a cluster could involve very little work for an individual parish. Options that clusters could choose from include:

  • A larger town council delivering services within the town and in neighbouring parishes, using their own employees.
  • A parish council delivering services through a community interest company, which can then train and employ local people.
  • A parish council commissioning commercial subcontractors.

Our offer includes support to co-create the most appropriate model for each model, alongside the provision of resources to work out costs and methods of service provision.

Services in scope

Services are only being devolved where they are of minimum risk to parishes if delivered by the parishes themselves. The essential services included in every arrangement are:

  • Urban grass cuts (number of cuts to be set by the cluster).
  • Weed spraying of noxious and injurious (but not invasive) types (itemised in the First Schedule).
  • Siding of overgrown footways to reinstate full width (as shown in Annual Clearance maps provided for each local council).
  • Responsibility for ensuring hedge cutting is carried out by landowners.

Benefits of clustering for Parishes

  • Allows P&TCs to add value to their role and deliver outcomes that would not be possible working in isolation.
  • By sharing resources, experience and skills P&TCs can:
    • Increase their influence over decisions that affect their communities;
    • Attract more responsibilities, such as delegated services;
    • Lever in funding and resources through external programmes;
    • Achieve economies of scale (which assist the viability of individual councils; and
  • Act as a strong voice for local communities
  • Enhances P&TCs capacity, including:
    • Collaboration in service delivery and resource sharing;
    • Banding together to lobby the principal authority or other agency; and
    • Networking.
  • Sharing of:
    • Experience;
    • Knowledge;
    • Resources;
    • Equipment;
    • Training; and
    • Processes.
  • Gain greater engagement with a broad range of local people by informing, consulting and involving them
  • Ability to react in response to local circumstances
  • Increases the capacity of each P&TC
  • Economies of scale derived from sharing key functions
  • A louder, collective voice on common issues
  • Addressing area-wide issues in a coordinated way
  • Better representation and influence
  • Gaining service delegations which P&TCs would not have gained alone
  • Funding leverage, enabling more effective engagement with funded initiatives and projects
  • Networking and exchanging ideas:
    • Leading to mutual learning and support through exchange of information and an understanding that the solution rests in working together
  • Training:
    • Clustering can be a vehicle for P&TCs to identify and organise their own training requirements
  • Less time spent than individually managing devolved services
  • The (small) size of a parish will not limit their capacity
  • Strengthens the P&TC network infrastructure
  • Enhanced lobbying and influencing position:
  • Based on lessons and experience emerging from clustering
  • Lead Parish has main administrative responsibility
  • Group insurance rather than individual
  • Streamlined organisation of work

4. Operational aspects


Following the success of the first Tranche of devolution, we are continuing to hand responsibility for these services to individual or clusters of local councils. Although we will look to establish alternative local delivery solutions wherever possible should the local council not wish to take on these services.

  • Local council and clusters
  • will adhere to a minimum standard of service delivery;
  • beyond this it is up to them how they determine service delivery
  • will have a formal role in quality and quantity of service provision
  • are under no obligation to take on the devolution of services


Local councils or clusters will need to arrange public liability insurance if delivering devolved services.

Each parish or town council should inform its insurers of its involvements in the scheme, and is required to put in place a £10,000,000 public liability indemnity and the appropriate employer's liability insurance.

Where a service contract is used, the operative should also have this level of indemnity.

Please see Insurance guidance for local councils and HSE Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 – A brief guide for employers for more information.

Health and safety

Parishes will follow their own health and safety arrangements, and will be supported to establish these as part of the programme set up. Parish and town councils will be responsible for ensuring that their operatives works in a safe an appropriate manner.


Local councils can use their budget to lease or hire equipment in order to deliver devolved services. The budget per unit, per LC, includes the expected cost of PPE, training and equipment which parishes will be expected to provide.



Local Area Technicians will not be managing the performance of service delivery (whether contracted out, delivered in house or other).They will merely be a point of contact for local councils.

Any local complaints about the quality of service delivered within a cluster will be routed directly to the lead local council.

The County Council will monitor services on a sample basis. There will be no systematic monitoring of the network. Local councils will be trusted to maintain standards. Customer feedback will act as the barometer

Technical Information

Please download the following document for further information which includes the Red Book under the ‘Mobile Works’ section.

Technical Clarification V1.1


6. Next steps

1. We would like to meet with each parish once you have been able to consider this proposal and expressed an interest; we are happy to work with clusters or individual local councils. Buckinghamshire County Council does not have a view about how clusters should be formed or which, if any, cluster each local council should belong to. Please note that we will not be developing separate agreements with each parish.

2. We hope to have sufficient understanding of the approach local councils are taking by Mid January when we will arrange individual meetings.

3. If you opt to form or join an existing cluster, we would like to arrange to meet with representatives from the cluster to discuss the options available, support you may need, and possible time scales during January.

4. We aim to have the process for this second tranche in place by the beginning of Feb 2016 and have arrangements in place ready to begin by April 2016.

7. Case studies

Case studies provide excellent examples of how devolution works on the ground. 

You'll find two case studies of successfully devolved services available for download below.

8. Contacts

If you are a Tranche 1 Parish please email us.

Find the relevant contact for your local areas and parish below. The officer will look in to your enquiry and get back to you.

Local area Parishes  BCC Officer contact details
Amersham Amersham, Chenies, Chesham Bois, Coleshill, Penn Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk
Beaconsfield Beaconsfield

Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk

Beeches Burnham, Dorney, Farnham Royal, Stoke Poges and Taplow

Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk

Buckingham Addington, Adstock, Akeley, Barton Hartshorn, Beachampton, Biddlesden, Buckingham, Calvert, Charndon, Chetwode, East Claydon, Foscott, Gawcott with Lenborough, Hillesden, Hogshaw, Leckhampstead, Lillingstone Dayrell with Luffield Abbey, Lillingstone Lovell, Maids Moreton, Middle Claydon, Nash, Padbury, Poundon, Preston Bissett, Radclive-cum-Chackmore, Shalstone, Steeple Claydon, Stowe, Thornborough, Thornton, Tingewick, Turweston, Twyford, Water Stratford, Westbury and Whaddon Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk
Chepping Wye Valley Chepping Wycombe, Hazlemere, Hedsor, Little Marlow and Wooburn & Bourne End Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk
The Chalfonts  Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter, Little Chalfont and Seer Green

Rebecca Carley
Tel: 01296 383287
Email: rcarley@buckscc.gov.uk

Chesham and Chiltern Villages Ashley Green, Chartridge, Chesham, Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards, Latimer, The Lee

Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk

Gerrards Cross Denham, Fulmer, Gerrards Cross and Hedgerley

Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk

Great Brickhill, Wing & Ivinghoe Aston Abbotts, Cheddington, Cublington, Drayton Parslow, Edlesborough, Great Brickhill, Ivinghoe, Marsworth, Mentmore, Pitstone, Slapton, Stewkley, Stoke Hammond, Soulbury, Wing, Wingrave with Rowsham Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk
Greater Aylesbury Aylesbury, Bierton with Broughton, Coldharbour, Hulcott, Quarrendon, Stoke Mandeville, Watermead, Weedon Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk
High Wycombe
High Wycombe and the parish of Downley

Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk

Haddenham & Long Crendon Aston Sandford, Boarstall, Brill, Chearsley, Chilton, Cuddington, Dinton-with-Ford and Upton, Haddenham, Ickford, Kingsey, Long Crendon, Oakley, Shabbington, Stone with Bishopstone and Hartwell, Worminghall Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk
The Missendens  Great Missenden and Little Missenden

Angie Sarchet
Tel: 01296 382756
Email: asarchet@buckscc.gov.uk

North West Chilterns & Princes Risborough Bledlow-cum Saunderton, Bradenham, Ellesborough, Great and Little Hampden, Great and Little Kimble, Hughenden, Lacey Green, Longwick-cum-Ilmer and Princes Risborough Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk
South West Chilterns & Marlow Fawley, Great Marlow, Hambleden, Ibstone, Lane End, Marlow, Marlow Bottom, Medmenham, Piddington and Wheeler End, Radnage, Stokenchurch, Turville, West Wycombe Madeleine Howe
Tel: 01494 475378
Email: mphowe@buckscc.gov.uk
Waddesdon Ashendon, Dorton, Edgcott, Fleet Marston, Grendon Underwood, Kingswood, Lower Winchendon, Ludgershall, Marsh Gibbon, Quainton, Upper Winchendon, Waddesdon, Westcott, Woodham, Wootton Underwood Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk
Wendover Aston Clinton, Buckland, Drayton Beauchamp, Halton, Wendover and Weston Turville Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk
Wexham and Ivers Iver and Wexham Tel: 01296 383839
Winslow & District Creslow, Dunton, Granborough, Great Horwood, Hardwick, Hoggeston, Little Horwood, Mursley, Newton Longville, North Marston, Oving, Pitchcott, Swanbourne, Whitchurch, Winslow Paul Hodson
Tel: 01296 383479
Email: phodson@buckscc.gov.uk