Agenda and minutes
Venue: MS Teams (remote)
Contact: Harry Thomas
Welcome from Councillor Mark Winn, Chairman of the Aylesbury Community Board.
The Chairman Welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To disclose any Personal or Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.
Community Board Coordinator Amy Jenner declared a personal interest as a Trustee of the Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault & Abuse Support Service who had a funding application for ratification at item 10 of the Agenda. The funding application, and report, had been reviewed and approved by an additional officer, Sophia Comer (Buckingham & Villages Coordinator) and approved as impartial by Marco Dias (Localism Manager).
Councillor Bill Chapple OBE declared a personal interest as a Trustee of the Buckinghamshire County Museum, which manages Buckinghamshire Culture who presented at item 7 of the Agenda.
To be presented by Amy Jenner, Aylesbury Community Board Co-ordinator.
Everyone was briefed on the virtual meeting procedures by Amy Jenner.
To review and sign off the action notes from the meeting on 29 September 2020.
The Chairman reviewed the actions from the last meeting.
Member of the committee AGREED the action notes from the last meeting were a correct record.
Community Board Subgroup updates
To be presented by Amy Jenner, Councillor Susan Morgan and Councillor Mark Winn.
Councillors Winn and Morgan, and Amy Jenner updated the board on the work of the Subgroups which had been formed around the priority areas set by attendees of the September meeting.
COVID-19 (Economic Recovery)
· Positive conversations had been had about encouraging people to shop locally.
· Opportunities were being explored to support young people through job fairs and enterprise opportunities as part of the recovery period post-pandemic. This overlapped with the work of the Young People’s Action Group.
· The group would next meet in January and hoped to develop connections with local organisations focused on debt/unemployment.
Enhancing the Lives of our Youth
· The Action Group felt that it was important that young people were represented across the Aylesbury Community Board and would strive to increase youth engagement in all Action Groups.
· A survey would be developed and circulated in early 2021 focusing on collecting the views and priorities of young people in the Community Board area.
· Had discussed issues regarding Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour and Domestic Violence.
· The group were keen to build relationships with local initiatives including Safe Spaces and hoped to explore the impact of drug-related litter in the community.
· Another future aim was learning about the Aylesbury Town centre night-time economy and the impact of the pandemic on the Town Centre.
Health & Wellbeing (including COVID-19 Social Recovery)
· The Action Group hoped to find external partners to provide detailed public health-related updates including, dementia, support for carers, and physical activity/exercise at future Community Board meetings.
Improving the Environment
· Was working with local partners to develop a range of pilot projects to improve green spaces such as parks, schools, and streets. The projects would educate and encourage residents to develop their own green spaces, as well as communal areas.
Road Safety, Transport & Infrastructure
· This Action Group received an update on the Housing Infrastructure Fund which included the links roads around Aylesbury.
· The Group encouraged the use of ‘FixMyStreet’ as a vehicle for future community reporting and tracking of issues.
Aylesbury Community Food Group
· Had been exploring food poverty in the community since the Spring lockdown and was continuing to work closely with the Community Board since the September meeting.
· The group met to evaluate what provision was available to support residents and to look at opportunities to link people together throughout the second lockdown period.
Councillor Winn confirmed that at future meetings of the Community Board, the Action Groups themselves would have the opportunity to share their ongoing work, and that anyone interested in the existing ideas shared by the Action Groups, or wishing to present their own idea should contact Amy Jenner at email@example.com
To address questions from the public. Questions to be submitted in advance of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Winn confirmed that three questions had been received in advance of the meeting, and written responses had been subsequently provided to those who had asked the questions. The written responses would be circulated via an email following the meeting, and would also be appended to the Action Notes of the meeting.
ACTION: Ms Jenner would circulate the written responses to the questions received via email to attendees and collate the necessary information to append to the Action Notes.
Katie Galvin from Buckinghamshire Council’s Support Hub gave a brief presentation updating Members on the work of the Support Hub during the second lockdown. The following key points were raised in her presentation:
· Those who had been shielding during the previous lockdown were being categorised at Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and advised not go to work, the shops or to collect prescriptions. Those within this category were advised only to leave the house for exercise, mental health reasons, or to meet someone from their support bubble.
· The list of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable residents increased by 1000 since the previous lockdown, and the Hub was working to contact and support those new additions to the list as well as those requiring support at the end of the previous lockdown (June/July/August).
· Between 10-15 additional people per day needing help with basic care needs were also being contacted.
· The Hub could primarily provide support with food, prescription collection and financial needs. Government food parcels had ceased owing to supermarkets being better prepared with priority shopping delivery slots.
· Those still requiring the most help were much more dependent than last lockdown, with many having not worked since March due to being considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or the type of work they do no longer being possible in the circumstances.
· Anyone seeking help from the Support Hub should visit the ‘Coronavirus Support and Information’ page on the Buckinghamshire Council website or call 01296 395000.
Katie also made the following response to a question from an attendee:
· Is the Hub able to contact and provide help for those speaking other languages primarily? – Staff have been identified who are able to speak other languages including Punjabi and Urdu. The Hub also has access to ‘LanguageLine’.
Members thanked Katie for her presentation.
ACTION: Ms Jenner to collect any further questions or comments to send to Katie after the meeting.
To be presented by Lallie Davis, Partnerships and Strategy Manager, Buckinghamshire Culture.
Lallie Davis, Partnerships and Strategy Manager, Buckinghamshire Culture gave a presentation to the Community Board on the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy and Cultural Partnership. The following key points were raised in her presentation:
· The Cultural Strategy aimed to promote a wide range of creative activities from major, staple cultural hallmarks such as theatre, to smaller hobbies and interests such as sewing and baking.
· The Cultural Strategy provided the framework for the Cultural Partnership, working with and for the sector to highlight the value of high quality creative and cultural experiences to people’s lives, and as a benefit to the local economy by increasing footfall on High Streets and in Town Centres.
· Would build on existing successful efforts to promote cultural strengths in Buckinghamshire, whilst also searching for new and unusual creative partners to develop projects. These would fall into one of the following five strengths identified: Literary, Sports, Historical and Cultural Interest, Outstanding Natural Beauty and Cultural and Creative Economy.
· Four priority outcomes were being sought from these efforts: Improvement to the economy and quality of jobs, Equality of access to cultural activities and opportunities, Improved health and wellbeing, and a Revitalised heritage.
· Buckinghamshire Culture would operate flexibly to achieve these outcomes, taking the lead role in developing some projects, whilst facilitating and enabling others to secure joint investment.
· There were a number of ongoing projects including support for the cultural sector to recover from COVID-19 and highlighting the value of culture as part of the recovery from the pandemic.
· It was hoped that a fruitful future partnership could be established with the Community Board to develop projects and network with local artists, groups and organisations in the participatory and creative space.
· Could be contacted online at www.buckinghamshireculture.org, on Twitter @BucksCulture or on Instagram @bucks_culture
Following questions from Members, Lallie made the following key points:
· Were there any creative co-working workspace available for artists? – Spaces were difficult to find/fund but it was hoped that this could be remedied in future.
· Was there scope to work with drama/creative groups in schools? – As these cultural/creative opportunities diminished in school curriculums, it was important that this was a key area of focus. It was hoped that the Cultural Education Partnership could be utilised as a vehicle to connect with local schools to this end.
Members thanked Lallie for her presentation.
ACTION: Ms Jenner to pass on any necessary details for those wanting to contact Buckinghamshire Culture through her.
To be presented by Sonia Crawford, Operations Manager (Housing and Regulatory Services) Buckinghamshire Council, Julie Oliver, Principle Housing Officer Buckinghamshire Council and Joanne Couper, Oasis Partnership.
Sonia Crawford (Housing Team Manager), Julie Oliver (Principle Housing Officer) and Joanne Couper (Oasis Partnership) presented to the Board their work to tackle homelessness during the pandemic.
· A great collaborative effort between the Housing Team, Public Health, Ministry of Justice and a wide range of internal/local partnerships and charities had been undertaken to approach work during the pandemic.
· COVID-19 safe temporary premises had been provided through COVID-19 discretionary powers to ensure that rough sleepers and vulnerable people were able to self-isolate even if they were not listed as priority need. 40 people had been helped in this way.
· Existing suspension of evictions legislation had been extended until January 2021.
· Efforts were being made to source suitable settled accommodation for those in temporary accommodation.
· Expected increase in the number of residents needing debt advice.
· Above average demand for housing advice and from single clients.
· 170 clients had been accommodated across the Buckinghamshire Council area through the ‘Everyone In’ programme.
· £485.5k revenue funding had also been secured as part of the ‘Next Steps’ programme. £650k capital award for 15 dispersed move on units across Bucks had been granted, and a further in principal agreement for £650k for the purchase of Ardenham House in Aylesbury. This would be match-funded with Section 106 Affordable Housing money.
· Working closely with those residents without recourse to public funds (EEA Nationals etc) to provide legal advise and support.
· Oasis had been able to refer rough sleepers who had been given temporary accommodation to services offering support with drug and alcohol addiction, medical care and supported living.
Following questions from attendees, several clarifications were made including:
· Following the recent announcement of effective vaccinations, every effort would be made to assess how these could be made available to people, as it became clearer how the roll out would begin in the coming months.
· Access to safe accommodation with unfettered access was key to tackling the problem of homelessness in the area.
· A Managerial forum was being planned with local Housing Associations to determine the number of people likely to need help when evictions re-commence next year and make appropriate plans to approach it.
· The ‘Spare Change or Real Change’ campaign would be re-invigorated to ensure that adequate funding reaches those services providing help and assistance to rough sleepers.
ACTION: Any further questions to be passed on through Ms Jenner
To be presented by Inspector Simon Lincoln, Thames Valley Police.
Inspector Simon Lincoln from Thames Valley Police gave a presentation highlighting the work of the Police in the local area.
· Key focus on drug dealing/supply and targeting affected people through Drugs Warrants and Civil Orders.
· The Neighbourhood Teams were working hard with the Town Centre partnership to maintain good community cohesion through reducing knife crime and burglaries, and utilising Civil Injunctions against inappropriate or anti-social behaviour.
· Responding to COVID-19 social breaches throughout the second lockdown and working with council to issue and enforce £1000 fines where persistent breaches occur. Reported breaches had risen from 20-82 across the second lockdown.
Following questions from Members, Inspector Simon Lincoln made the following comments:
· Contacting a member of the public to explain how information that had been given to the Police was used could put Members of the public at risk and was responsible for a general lack of confidence in the 101 service. This would be combatted by more general communication to residents nearby where Police action had taken place.
· Information concerning COVID-19 social breaches should be reported on 101, or if a crime was occurring immediately, this could be communicated through 999.
· Would examine reports of ‘Boy Racing’ in the local area to see if action could be taken.
Members thanked Inspector Lincoln for his time and presentation.
To be presented by Councillor Mark Winn.
It was confirmed that following review by the Buckinghamshire Council’s Unitary Members of the Aylesbury Community Board, the following funding applications had been approved:
· The Healthy Living Centre- LGBT+ Friends & Family Hub service (£4,375- H&WB)
· The Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity- A time to reflect video to support the community to reflect on a difficult year (£1,800- H&WB)
· Community Youth Ventures- set up of a youth outreach unit and supporting activity programme to engage with our young people £15,026.81- CAP)
· Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service- Crisis Counsellor service set up in response to additional service need through Covid-19 (£10,696- CAP)
The full funding recommendations for all above projects had been published with the Supplementary Agenda reports pack and made available to view on the Council’s website.
Anyone with ideas for future projects was encouraged to contact Amy Jenner and attend a relevant Action Group to discuss their ideas with local partners.
To be presented by Amy Jenner, Aylesbury Community Board Co-ordinator.
Amy Jenner drew Members’ attention to several useful services, events and project updates including:
· Bucks Online Directory (BOD): https://directory.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/
· Bucks Family Information Service: https://www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/kb5/buckinghamshire/fsd/parent.page?parentchannel=24
· Fix My Street: https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/
· A number of Town Centre updates in relations to Covid-19 trading, Christmas Events: www.visitaylesbury.co.uk
· A418 Oxford Road Project: www.buckscc.gov.uk/A418OxfordRoad
A full list with further information would be circulated to attendees via email following the meeting and appended to the action notes of the meeting.
ACTION: Ms Jenner to circulate the Community News document via email and ensure that it is appended to the Action Notes of the meeting.
Chairman's Close & date of next meeting
To be confirmed.
Tuesday 9th March 2021 at 18.30 (currently scheduled to be held via MS Teams).