Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: MS Teams (remote)
Contact: Katrina Kelly (Community Board Co-ordinator) Harry Thomas (Democratic Services, meeting support)
Councillor Anne Wight – Chairman
Councillor Peter Cooper – Vice Chairman
Councillor Wight welcomed everyone to the meeting and outlined the virtual meeting procedures.
Councillor Cooper reminded Members of the recent launch of the Bucks Business Grants for eligible local businesses to apply for financial support if they were suffering hardship as a result of the second lockdown. Funding could be sought from one of two grants - the Local Restrictions Support Grant offering financial support for the duration of the current lockdown period, or the Additional Restrictions Grant, a one-time payment. Further information about the grants was available on the council website.
Members to hear any apologies.
Members heard apologies from Bob Sainty, Trish Owen, Alan Williams, John Wilkinson, Penny Pataky, Noreen Shardlow and Sue Severn.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd September, 2020.
that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September be approved as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members to declare any interests.
Peter Brazier, Margaret Crutchfield and Kate Curry each declared a personal interest as each of their Parish Councils had submitted a funding application for ratification at item 7.
Members received a presentation from Emma Denley (Localism Manager) updating them on the work of the Council’s Covid Support Hubs and the response to the second lockdown across Buckinghamshire.
Emma reminded Members that the Support Hubs were set up to provide help to self-isolating residents, the 20,000 people across Buckinghamshire now classified as ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ and lastly, economically isolated/vulnerable residents who were struggling to make ends meet.
Those who had been asked to ‘Shield’ in the first lockdown had now been reclassified as ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ (CEV) and advised to work from home and remain indoors unless for exercise, to attend medical appointments or to meet with members of their support bubble. Those in this category unable to work from home could be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance using the letter they received from the Government (dated 4th November). Children classified as CEV were exempt from attending school during the lockdown.
People could contact the Support Hub through the Council’s website, the Customer Service Centre (01296 395000) or the Bucks Online Directory (directory.buckinghamshire.gov.uk). The Hub had made 1,400 calls to CEV people and 1,100 calls to Vulnerable Adult Social Care clients. These calls enquired as to the client’s general wellbeing, and ensured that they had access to food, prescriptions/medical treatment or financial help where necessary.
Local supermarkets were better prepared for the lockdown than had previously been the case, and priority supermarket deliveries had replaced weekly Government food parcels. Partnerships with volunteer groups and food banks were also being utilised to supplement deliveries where residents had limited or no internet access. Some grant funding (up to £1000) was available, however most financial aid provision centred around signposting to other sources.
Emma clarified that the Support Hubs would not cease to operate over the Christmas period and would look to utilise the Government’s Winter Grant Scheme in addition to the continued work of local community groups and partners to provide support to those in need during the Christmas break.
Reports of vulnerable people being removed from supermarket priority lists when not stating their vulnerability during a booking would be investigated by the Support Hub, though this should not be the case for CEV people who were identified to supermarkets by Central Government and would not need to disclose their vulnerability when booking a delivery. Emma advised that people try to book deliveries through multiple supermarkets to mitigate the risk of being unable to secure a delivery through their usual supermarket alone. The Support Hub could assist with the delivery cost.
Emma encouraged those wanting to donate food to take them to food banks as opposed to Council Food Hub collection points, as there had been a move away from purchasing and distributing food directly through the second lockdown.
Members thanked Emma for her time and presentation. Those with further questions were encouraged to contact Katrina, who would pass them on to Emma following the meeting. A copy of Emma’s presentation containing the latest figures for those ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Presentation by Jacqueline Austin-Lavery.
Jaqueline Austin-Lavery gave a brief presentation highlighting the ongoing Bucks Online Directory service (directory.buckinghamshire.gov.uk), which had accumulated over 2700 assets identified across Buckinghamshire. This would soon increase by 800 following the addition of the Active Bucks entries.
It was stressed that while the service was a useful tool for those seeking help from local groups or services during the current health crisis, it also served a wider purpose for those new to the area wanting to discover nearby activities, or who have a hobby and wished to seek other enthusiasts. Those seeking COVID-19 related support were advised to tick the ‘Support with Health and Wellbeing’ box in addition to the ‘Coronavirus’ box for a more holistic range of available services.
Jaqueline clarified that those wanting to find information concerning services exclusively in the Community Board area (as opposed to the local area in general) should direct enquiries via email to: email@example.com with the word ‘BOD’ in the subject header. This would enable an in-depth search against their data to be conducted, the results of which could be compiled into a spreadsheet and returned to the user.
Anybody with contact information for a local group, organisation or service not currently listed on the directory was encouraged to pass on the information to Jaqueline, who could get in contact to explore their future inclusion on the directory.
Jaqueline confirmed that out-of-area services could be included on the directory for those residents living along county borders, but that these services could not be assigned to a specific Community Board area inside Buckinghamshire if they did not fall within the county and would be listed as ‘out of area’. Nevertheless, the directory was happy to hear about any services that could benefit residents.
Members were grateful to Jaqueline for her work and presentation and again stressed that Katrina would be happy to forward any further questions to her following the meeting.
Councillor Anne Wight.
Katrina and Councillor Cooper briefly outlined four funding applications that had been submitted for ratification by the Buckinghamshire Council Unitary Members of the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board. These were as follows:
· Traffic Calming Scheme - £39,989.13 (submitted by Ivinghoe Parish Council)
· Traffic Calming Scheme - £7699.58 (jointly submitted by Cublington Parish Council and Aston Abbotts Parish Council)
· Play Area Equipment - £3959.15 (submitted by Mentmore Parish Council)
· Crisis Counsellor - £2,139 (submitted by the Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault & Abuse Support Service)
The full funding recommendations for all above projects had been published with the Agenda and Supplementary Agenda report packs and made available to view on the Council’s website.
Owing to their familiarity with the proposals, Members agreed to vote en bloc and
That the above applications be approved.
Verbal presentation to be given to Members by a representative of Sustainable Cheddington.
Jennifer Seddon gave a verbal presentation to the Board highlighting the work of the Sustainable Cheddington group, a community-led initiative seeking to make Cheddington a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live. Members were informed that the group had a monthly segment in the village newsletter, and a Facebook page to keep residents updated and in touch.
Work began in August with an outdoor public consultation meeting to engage with residents and begin priority setting. This had subsequently led to the development of numerous projects and initiatives including a wild flower planting project in collaboration with the Parish Council and College Lake, a community orchard on the allotment to promote the traditional identity of the village, and a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ project as part of the Charles Church housing development. Funding was also being sought to install bicycle racks at key points throughout the village including the Village Hall and tennis courts. These projects were still under development, but it was hoped that they could be approved and implemented in the future.
Jennifer also informed the meeting that a member of the Sustainable Cheddington group had joined the Wing and Ivinghoe Environmental Action Group and was working collaboratively with them on their efforts to promote the use of electric cars and installing more electric car charging points in the locality.
Anyone interested in working on the above projects or wanting to contribute new ideas to the group was encouraged to contact Sustainable Cheddington on their Facebook page, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Members thanked Jennifer for her presentation and highlighted that many of the initiatives shared at the meeting could be taken up by other groups across the County.
Update from Councillor Peter Cooper.
Councillor Cooper gave an update on the work of the Action Groups.
Environment (led by Trish Owen)
Had been discussing improvements to electric car charging infrastructure locally. This discussion had been made pertinent by the recent Government announcement that conventionally powered vehicle production would be phased out by 2030.
The group was also exploring the development of new wild meadows and promoting natural biodiversity.
Finally, the group was seeking ways to tackle littering problems across the Community Board area, especially at the Ivinghoe and Watermead lakes. The Cottesloe School had expressed an interest in this area through the Youth Council.
Transport (led by Peter Brazier)
Edlesborough Parish Council had expressed an interest in a project involving the installation of MVAS devices. Councillor Cooper highlighted the success enjoyed by the neighbourhood Speedwatch programme across the Community Board area.
Local parking issues had developed where restrictions had been introduced and was now causing problems in some rural areas, as opposed to being predominantly seen in the larger towns. Councillor Cooper drew attention to the Traffic Calming Schemes that had been approved for funding at item 7 of the agenda as part of the efforts to resolve this developing issue.
The group noted that cycleways were in place along all major routes from rural areas into Aylesbury Town except along the A418. Wingrave residents had proposed a new cycleway to remedy this which would join onto those coming from the Kingsbrook estate. A continuous cycleway could then be seen from Wing to Bierton and on towards Leighton Buzzard. The Council had recently secured £1.2 million in Government funding to conduct major repairs to the A418 during the second quarter of 2021 and it was hoped that a new cycleway could be considered as part of that work.
Health and Wellbeing (led by David Kellner)
David Kellner had been attempting to contact The Cottesloe School and Overstone Primary School but had not yet received a response.
The group had been exploring ways to encourage a ‘dementia-friendly society’, to promote awareness of dementia locally, encourage people to learn about spotting the early signs of dementia and how to care for and support those suffering from it. Councillor Poll suggested that lessons could be learned from the ‘Safe Places’ scheme in operation within the towns across Buckinghamshire. Katrina also highlighted ‘Dementia Champions’ who could deliver dementia friends training.
Councillor Wight outlined her suggestion for a ‘Fun, Food and Fitness Fete’ to be held when social restriction eased. The event could serve a multifaceted purpose by connecting those wanting to improve their health and lifestyle post-lockdown with local businesses (martial arts/fitness instructors, healthy food catering from local restaurants etc) who had been hit hard by the pandemic to help rejuvenate the local economy.
Councillor Cooper drew Members’ attention to the Action Note Template included on page 23 of the agenda documents pack. Action Groups considering proposals were encouraged to utilise the template during meeting discussions in order to organise their thoughts and encourage further action ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Katrina drew attention to the Community Board Facebook page. Members were encouraged to submit photos of the local area to Katrina for use on the page. The page would be monitored daily and post updates from the Council about events happening in the Community Board area and updates from the Action Groups.
At the time of the meeting, the Facebook page did not allow public posts, however those wishing to put something on the page were encouraged to contact Katrina with the text and relevant image if necessary.
To ensure that the page remained up-to-date, Katrina would be joining Parish Council Facebook pages to keep abreast of news across the Community Board area. Once lockdown was lifted, Katrina would begin visiting groups and organisations wherever possible to gauge public priorities for future Action Group meetings and to steer the Community Board towards addressing the priorities of residents.
Councillor Wight thanked Katrina for the update and encouraged Parish Councils to share the link to the Community Board Facebook page to promote engagement with the page. It was also stressed that whilst Facebook would be a convenient way to communicate with Katrina, email should still be used in addition to this, especially for funding application-related matters.
Clare Farrow Announcement
The Chairman invited Clare Farrow to make a brief impromptu announcement to Members, encouraging them to get involved in the Independent Action Group (IAG) run by Thames Valley Police every six months. The meetings were designed to promote community engagement with the Police through the Super Intendent and the local Inspectors and hold them to account. It had been noted that the previous meeting held in August had been largely attended by Aylesbury residents and it was hoped that more rural engagement could be found at subsequent meetings.
Anyone interested in attending was advised to contact Katrina to be added to the mailing list.