Meeting documents

Venue: Council Chamber, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham

Contact: Leslie Ashton  01895 837227; email:

No. Item


Presentation from Voices and Choices

To receive a presentation from The Chairman of Voices and Choices, Barbara Poole.



Barbara Poole, Chairman of Voices and Choices was welcomed to the meeting and gave a presentation to Council on the work the Charity undertook in supporting residents across the District. Voices and Choices was one of two of the Charities supported by the Chairman.


Council was informed of the background of the Charity and the work Voices and Choices carried out. Voices and Choices is based at the White Hill Centre and ran its first accredited training course for volunteers in the Summer of 2016. The Charity currently had 9 accredited volunteers and had dealt with over 100 cases.


Voices and Choices provided information, advice and community advocacy to a wide range of people which included those with disabilities, dealing with dementia, older people and family carers to enable them to live safely at home. Trained volunteers helped people find practical services and advocacy support to ensure their rights were respected and their interests defended when communicating with professionals, family members or others making decisions about their lives.


The Charity had a large information resource and stayed up to date with national strategies and policies to ensure the most appropriate advice was always given. Support was provided to clients over the telephone and in their homes. Amongst a range of other issues this support included signposting to practical services, such as finding a local tradesman or gardener; avoiding scams/rogue traders; signposting to IT training/support; supporting people going to benefits tribunals or those who required advocacy support with housing issues; helping people tackle loneliness; downsizing homes and bereavement support.


Members raised questions on volunteer suitability, the creation of a directory of organisations and groups as well as how the Charity worked with the CAB and other partners.


In response to volunteer suitability, Council was advised that due to the nature of the role the majority of volunteers were retirees. Volunteering was flexible and volunteers worked on a case by case basis whereby they could accept or refuse to take on any particular case. Ideally, volunteers would have some life experience and understand that they were there to enable and support people. Volunteers were required to be DBS checked and have satisfactory references. The accredited training course qualification would also support volunteers when seeking other employment.


There was not a directory at present of organisations and groups the Charity worked with or was aware of. It was suggested that were a directory to be created the District Council could publicise this through its website and social media. A Member added that Community Impact Bucks held a vast amount of information and support for lonely people and recommended the use of their resources.


Council was informed that Voices and Choices worked closely alongside the CAB as well as groups such as Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society and Carers Bucks and aimed to avoid overlapping each other’s work. Volunteers can, for example support the attendance at DWP appeals amongst other appointments which the CAB could not and the CAB can often identify other issues and contact the Charity to provide support.


The Chairman, on behalf of all Members thanked Barbara Poole for the presentation and recognised the Charity for its excellent work and the positive impact made to the lives of the District’s residents.


Note: Councillor C Rouse and Councillor R Jones entered the meeting at 6.35 p.m.  


Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To approve the minutes of Full Council held on 13 November 2018 and the minutes of the Special Council meeting held on 27 November 2018.


Additional documents:


The minutes of Full Council held on 13 November 2018 and the minutes of the Extraordinary Council held on 27 November 2018 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record. 


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.




To receive any announcements from:


a) Chairman

b) Cabinet Leader

c) Head of Paid Service


(a)      Chairman’s Engagements


A list of Engagements carried out by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council between 6 November 2018 and 31 December 2018 had been circulated.


(b)      Chairman’s Announcements


The Chairman announced that the Annual Chairman’s Reception would be taking place on 1 March 2019. All Members were welcome and the focus would be on giving thanks and recognising those residents who had gone above and beyond in supporting their communities. Members were asked to let the Chairman know of any person who they believed deserved rewarding. 


(c) Announcements from the Leader of the Cabinet


The Leader announced that there would be an Extraordinary Cabinet meeting held at the Council Offices on 9 January 2019 to make decisions in relation to the implementation of a new Unitary District Council. All Members were encouraged to attend and contribute to the meeting.


(d) Announcements from the Head of Paid Service


The Chief Executive reported that work was currently being undertaken on the entry and access system at the Council Offices. This would result in a new access card being issued to staff and Councillors. Members were informed that current passes would continue to work at the current time and further information would be provided before the switchover to the new access cards commenced. Should any Member experience any issues they can contact the Democratic Services team.


Committee Recommendations


There had been no recommendations of Committees of the Council since the Council meeting held on 13 November 2018.


Cabinet Recommendations

There have been no recommendations of the Cabinet since the last Council meeting held on 13 November 2018.


There had been no recommendations of the Cabinet since the Council meeting held on 13 November 2018.



Verbal Reports from the Leader, Cabinet Members or Chairman of a Committee

To receive and consider verbal update reports (if any) from the Members listed above, and to answer questions on any of those reports from any Member of the Council in accordance with Rule 11.1 of the Procedural Rules.


a) Councillor P Martin - Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development


Councillor P Martin reported that the next Joint Planning Policy Member Reference Group would be taking place at the Chiltern District Council Offices on 15 January 2019 where updates would be provided on the Local Plan. All Members were welcome to attend.


The consultation on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule had ended on 14 December 2018. A good level of responses had been made to the consultation, these were currently being considered and a final draft charging schedule would be prepared in due course.



b) Councillor M Smith - Portfolio Holder for Environment


Councillor M Smith reported that waste collections over the festive period had gone well, with the only exception being two roads in Chesham where there were too many parked cars for collection vehicles to gain safe access. This was addressed on the first working day back and the collections were then made. SERCO were thanked for their efforts.


It was reported that a road cleaning operative had been involved in an accident. No personal injuries had been sustained, the third party admitted fault and an alternative vehicle was being sourced.


Councillor Smith reported that the new extension to the Amersham Multi-Storey Car Park’s usage had continued to increase ahead of schedule and it appeared that the Sycamore Road Car Park users had started to transfer to the multi-storey which had freed up spaces for other users who required parking for the town centre.



c) Councillor L Walsh - Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities


Councillor L Walsh reported that nominations were now open for the 2019 Youth Awards 2019 which celebrate achievements and recognise contributions that the young people of Chiltern District make to their communities. Nominations can be made through the website. The deadline for nominations was 1 February 2019.


The Community Safety Team had been encouraging the use of UV marker pens following the festive period when many residents would have received new valuables. By security marking valuables, burglars would be deterred and returning items to their rightful owners would be made easier. The marker pens were available for free from the Community Safety team (one per household and subject to availability).



d) Councillor F Wilson - Portfolio Holder for Customer Services


Councillor F Wilson reported that the Customer Services Policy Advisory Group would be meeting on 14 January 2019 to discuss a number of issues and the next steps for the Customer Experience Programme. All Members were invited to attend and contribute to the meeting.  


Questions with Notice (if any)

The Chairman of the Council; Cabinet Leader or a Cabinet Member; or Chairman of any Committee to receive a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District. Questions must be given in writing to the proper officer 3 clear days before the meeting, or if it relates to urgent business by 4pm on the day of the meeting, in accordance with Rule 11.2 of the Council Procedure Rules.


There were no questions.



Petitions (if any)

To receive petitions and/or deputations (if any) from members of the public including provisions allowing members to ask questions of clarification at the discretion of the Chairman.


No petitions were presented.


Joint Arrangements and Outside Organisations (if any)

To receive reports about and receive questions and answers relating to any joint arrangements or external organisations.


There were no reports.



Motions (if any)

Written notice of every motion, signed by at least 2 Members, must be delivered to the proper officer at least 7 clear days before the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 12.


No Motions had been received.