Agenda and minutes

Venue: Via MS Teams

Contact: Clare Gray 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 445 KB

of the meeting held on 22 July 2020


The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record.


Leader's video


A YouTube video from Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, was shown regarding the launch of the Community Boards (CB).


Oasis Partnership - Colin McGregor- Paterson

The Bagnall Centre For Health And Wellbeing



The Oasis Partnership is a charity that provides high quality social and psychological support services to improve health and well being. They work in partnership with many different organisations, aiming to help individuals to address their substance misuse problems and get their lives back on track. The Oasis Partnership also work on other areas such as the Building Futures programme which was focussed on changing the lives of adults and young people across Buckinghamshire. The programme brings together eight partners within Buckinghamshire to support at least 400 people over the next two and a half years to move them closer to learning or work.


A video was shown of the new premises in High Wycombe town centre which was a collaborative project with a number of key stakeholders. These premises can be used as a community resource for meetings, hot desking and community activities e.g. men in sheds and other projects to help social isolation including outreach work. Funding for this fantastic community resource had come from a number of organisations including the Clare Foundation, Heart of Bucks and other local charities.


Members expressed their thanks to the work being carried out.


Wycombe Homeless Connection - James Boultbee

The Future of Homelessness


James Boultbee and Rosemary Chilton gave a presentation on their work at the Wycombe Homeless Connection who help people who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless by:-


  • Preventing homelessness before it starts
  • Reducing harm for people who are homeless
  • Helping house people who are homeless
  • Defending the rights of people who are homeless or facing homelessness
  • Helping those people who live on the street or in temporary accommodation through a range of support services
  • Homeless health
  • Resettlement: finding people a more permanent home
  • Advocacy services


James informed Members that the main aim was to prevent homelessness in the first place because of the damage that was caused to people once they were on the street such as mental health and addiction issues. In terms of the work shown above there were a number of projects being managed to address these issues. For example, with regard to advocacy services advice was being provided on housing issues, legal clinics were being provided and anyone was eligible to join. They were receiving queries on areas such as evictions, becoming unemployed and benefits not covering the rent. According to information they had received High Wycombe was the fourth worst hit area in terms of universal credit claims going up during the covid-19 pandemic.


One of the Board Members who was also Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness reported that this was a high priority for the Council and partnership working with voluntary organisations to prevent homelessness. She praised the work of Wycombe Homeless Connection.


A question was asked about providing winter shelter for the homeless but James explained that this was not necessary this year as there was now a protocol, because of the covid-19 pandemic, to bring the homeless inside and Buckinghamshire Council had been extremely active in this regard providing bed and breakfast accommodation which was being funded by the Council. Where possible longer term solutions were being found.


Rosemary gave an update on the legal clinics being provided as part of a one-year project. These were being provided virtually but also face to face where required. Advice was being provided by a housing solicitor (from a law centre) and also experienced practitioners in housing benefit and advocacy work so that the best advice could be given to clients including any information on follow up services e.g. legal aid and independent free legal advice. There had been an increase in illegal evictions and landlord harassment. Many clients were not aware of their rights and therefore lost their homes as a result so this project was crucial in preventing homelessness.


Members expressed their thanks to the work being carried out.



Heart of Bucks - Henry Allmand

General Introduction and funding


Henry Allmand attended the meeting to provide an update on the Heart of Bucks which was a community foundation for Buckinghamshire; a funding organisation awarding grants and loans to local charities and community groups. Community foundations were dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographical area. They brought together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective non-profits in their communities. One of the strengths of Heart of Bucks was their unique understanding of the needs of Buckinghamshire. Through research and outreach work they ensure that funding reaches those who need it most and can use it effectively.


As one of the largest non-statutory funders in the county, together with donors, they have supported more than 3,500 community organisations since their first grant payment in 2000. To date, they have distributed over £8.7m in grants and loans across Buckinghamshire. They are part of a network of 46 community foundations across the UK, all striving to help people and organisations invest in their communities. Heart of Bucks continues to generate funds through the Bucks Coronavirus Stabilisation Fund and have received funding of approximately £500,000 this year. They have been working very closely with Buckinghamshire Council, National Lottery and the Rothschild Foundation in the distribution of funding. Since April there has been £1million in emergency grants.


Henry referred to the six core areas that Heart of Bucks addressed:-


  • Disadvantage
  • Health and wellbeing – Isolation
  • Education
  • Community cohesion
  • Environment
  • Art and culture


Heart of Bucks, the Rothschild Foundation and The Clare Foundation have launched their Buckinghamshire Wellbeing Capacity Fund. Successful applicants would receive a one-off grant to deliver a holistic project working to create new capacity to support wellbeing across the county and make Buckinghamshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic sustainable, with reach into all communities. One of the main aims was to support potential new ways of working for the sector that would have both immediate and longer term impact. The closing date for applications is 30th September 2020.


In addition to demonstrating a holistic approach to wellbeing, projects should incorporate active engagement with at least one of the following priority groups or issues in their proposal:


BAME groups
‘Green’ recovery and environmental sustainability
Digital inclusion & accessibility
The LGBTQ+ community
Young people aged under 25
Physical activity & health


Members expressed their thanks to the work being carried out.


The Clare Foundation - Helen Mee

General Introduction



The Clare Foundation is a charity that brings together key stakeholders, partners, businesses and charitable organisations to facilitate and create positive change across society in Buckinghamshire. Their mission was to bring the forces of kindness together to tackle the root causes of unhappiness in Buckinghamshire. They do this by:


  1. Facilitating multi-stakeholder projects and programmes aimed at solving the key issues within Buckinghamshire that bring together charities, businesses and key infrastructure organisations such as Buckinghamshire Council.
  2. Offering free advice and support to charities and not-for-profit organisations in order to help them become more effective and efficient.
  3. Providing Social Investment Loans (interest free) to charities and not-for-profits to assist with their core business and strategic development.
  4. Developing impactful Corporate Social Responsibility projects and programmes by encouraging businesses and charities to co-collaborate for mutual benefit.
  5. Organising seminars and workshops for charity personnel to improve skills and provide tools to improve knowledge and education.
  6. Facilitating Charity Leader Forums that provide intelligence, knowledge and connectivity on a peer to peer basis.


The Clare Foundation are working in partnership with Buckinghamshire CouncilCommunity Impact BucksHeart of BucksLeapRothschild FoundationBucks Business First and Action for Youth to ensure that individuals, charities, community organisations, voluntary groups and businesses within Buckinghamshire have up-to-date information on services and grants available to them. They have been working in partnership on the voluntary and community cell with the volunteer matching service and the emergency food response also facilitating meetings between partners on areas such as impact of covid-19 on the BAME community and the Wellbeing Capacity Fund (see above). The aim of these sessions was to think creatively and problem solve.


Helen particularly referred to their social isolation project where they were working together with Your SimPal and other local charities to help prevent loneliness and isolation among the older community. The Clare Foundation would be working together with Age UK Bucks and Bucks Older Persons Action Group (BOPAG) to deliver the pilot project; which will provide a brand new smartphone and 6-month prepaid SIM card to 50 isolated, older adults across Buckinghamshire.


Members expressed their thanks to the work being carried out.


Update from Sub-Groups


Business Forum

Steve Weston gave an update on this Sub Group which was the only business group set up by Community Boards. On the Group they had representation from Bucks Business First (Philippa Batting Managing Director), Buckinghamshire Council Economic Development Team and Ward Members. Steve had a background in setting up a platform to help find an easy way for local shops and businesses to sell online.


He informed the Board that there were 34,000 businesses in Buckinghamshire of which about one third were registered with Bucks Business First some of which were struggling, surviving and reviving during the covid-19 pandemic. The Group were aiming to provide workshops to businesses which provided an opportunity to create best practice and helping regenerate the high street. There was also funding available from Bucks Business First to help small businesses and it was important to provide information on these opportunities. Information could be provided on the Community Board website and social media relevant to businesses in the local area. There were also other opportunities if office space became available to use this space for other activities.


A Member provided information on restart grants where the government has announced two new packages of support to help existing and established businesses across England get back on track. Part of this package will be the allocation of 120 grants of between £1000-£3000 to businesses with a minimum turnover of £50,000 prior to COVID-19. The grants would provide 100% funding for a project between £1,000 and £3,000 (excl. VAT). Businesses must show that the activity funded by these grants was in direct response to the impact of COVID-19.


Climate Change


This Sub-Group was being led by Cllr Tim Butcher who had been in contact with his Group. One of their ideas was because this linked so closely with the younger age group to organise an art competition for primary schools of which some of these pictures could be used on bins in the area to raise awareness of the environment. They would liaise with the Waste Team at Buckinghamshire Council. Members were asked to pass on the details of any local schools that would be interested in taking part.


Covid-19 Reset and Recovery


Cllr Guy Hollis gave an update on this Sub-Group. He was arranging a meeting of the Sub Group and had been discussing its terms of reference. They would like to have face to face meetings at town and parish councils venues and would like to include primary care networks. As part of this Sub-Group they would like to look at devolution of assets and using local venues to help community groups such as social groups for young mothers and babies, men in sheds, food banks etc and to link in with the voluntary and community sector to help vulnerable children and adults. This Sub-Group also had an interest in keeping the high street vibrant and would work closely with the Business Forum. They would add information to the Community Board website on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Update on future communications


The Community Board Co-ordinator gave an update on future communications of the Board. She referred to setting up a Facebook page with support from the design team at Buckinghamshire Council. She asked Members to provide as much local information as possible to add to the site including any contact details for any community groups, local organisations, local businesses etc. A webpage would also be developed to support this which would link in with the Board papers. There had also been discussions about distributing a local newsletter.


The Chairman reported that he had met recently with other Community Board Chairman where they had commented on the need to promote the work of Community Boards and the need to access resources and develop local networks. Members supported this approach.


Updated funding guidelines


The Community Board Co-ordinator would send out the guidelines to Members. Once suitable applications had been received which met the criteria funding would then be released.



Community Matters (questions)


In response to a question raised at the last meeting about previous funding given out by Local Area Forums Members noted that this funding was still committed and work would be carried out on Mill Lane Bridge.


With regard to the question on S106 funding, a response was still awaited and would be given shortly.


Date of Next Meeting

10 November 2020 – 6pm


10 November 2020 at 6pm.