Agenda and draft minutes
Contact: Harry Thomas / Craig Saunders
Members noted the appointment of Councillor Renshell as the Chairman of the Winslow and Villages Community Board. The appointment had been made by the Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health in accordance with the Community Board Terms of Reference.
Members also noted the appointment of Councillor Chilver as Vice-Chairman of the Winslow and Villages Community Board. The Vice-Chairman had been nominated by the Chairman and approved by the Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health in accordance with the Community Board Terms of Reference.
Declarations of Interest
Members to declare any interests.
There were none.
To be presented by the Chairman and Community Board Coordinator
Members received a presentation from Councillor Renshell outlining the vision and aims of the Community Boards. The presentation stressed the collaborative approach sought by the Community Board to tackle areas of local interest, particularly through the formation of Focus groups and Sub-Committees to explore priority areas and community concerns in greater depth.
The presentation also highlighted the key role which would be played by local external partners such as Citizens Advice, Public Health, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service and the Fire Service through the sharing of data, expertise, insight and resources constructively with the Community Board to develop a more holistic approach to create positive change in the local area.
Local information including feedback from Town and Parish Councils and local groups
Leone Dale gave a brief presentation, outlining the way in which the Community Board had initially engaged and would continue to engage the Parishes and local partners within the Winslow area and the twenty-four surrounding villages in the Board’s jurisdiction within the decision-making process moving forward. This had resulted in the development of four broad categories into which potential priority areas could be discussed and organised during the meeting. These were as follows:
1. Covid-19 Recovery
2. Improving the Environment
3. Public Health and Wellbeing
4. Transport and Road Safety
Information on Community Board funding to be presented by the Community Board Coordinator
Leone Dale gave an overview of the funding and applications process, and explained the three strands within the Winslow and Villages Community Board budget totalling £277,671 which were as follows:
1. Community Area Priorities Fund totalling £81,254 (up to 50% could be spent on transport)
2. Health & Wellbeing Fund (one year only) £20,833
• 50% of this strand (£10,416) had been used by the Council to assist in the COVID-19 response, with the remainder being added back into the Health and Wellbeing strand.
3. Local Infrastructure Fund £185,539
Remaining COVID-19 Funding
• Budget: £10,416
• Rothschilds Fund: £2,083
• Amount used: £4,950
• Balance remaining: £7,549
Members were reminded that suggested Community Board priorities could be different to those that had been possible under previous structures (LAFs) and attendees were encouraged to think creatively about their suggestions to take full advantage of the large amount of discretion afforded on the use of the funds.
Leone agreed to respond to Roy Van de Poll’s queries regarding the Infrastructure Fund outside the meeting.
Dr Shakiba Habibula, Consultant in Public Health, to present information and take any questions
Dr Shakiba Habibula gave a presentation in support of the Public Health Profile report. The presentation underlined key statistics on the general health and wellbeing of the local community and areas in which improvements could be made from a public health perspective.
Dr Habibula stressed the detrimental impact which the COVID-19 pandemic may have had on the physical activity levels and mental health of some residents, and that this should also be borne in mind when examining the report’s statistics, which were compiled before the pandemic.
The presentation concluded with five recommendations outlined in the report:
1. Winslow and Villages had a higher proportion of overweight and obese children and a higher proportion of physically inactive and overweight adults therefore, reducing obesity and physical inactivity were key areas for this community as they were major causes of preventable ill health and death. The Council’s Live Well Stay Well service could support the community to stop smoking, lose weight and get active. Anyone could self-refer themselves to this service.
2. Winslow and Villages had a much higher proportion of older people and ranked amongst the highest for proportion of adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, therefore promoting healthy ageing through healthy lifestyles should be a priority for the community. For example, promote and encourage physical activity amongst middle-aged people; the evidence showed physical activity reduced the risk of depression, high blood pressure and dementia later in life.
3. Emergency admissions for cancer was higher compared with the other Community Boards. Initiatives that promote cancer awareness should be considered.
4. Winslow and Villages had a higher uptake of NHS Health Checks compared to Buckinghamshire but still less than 50% of those eligible. This programme addressed the risk factors of heart disease and kidney disease. Promoting the NHS Health check is strongly encouraged.
5. To reduce impact of COVID-19 in Winslow and Villages, as part of the local recovery plan, initiatives to improve mental health and wellbeing are important to consider. Initiatives that support resilience, employment and community cohesion were worth considering as part of the recovery.
Following her presentation, the meeting engaged in a brief discussion with Dr Habibula, highlighting to her the excellent Primary Care Network in the local area and general coordination across GP practices. Dr Habibula encouraged the board to capitalise on this network and to work proactively to improve the links further as a potential avenue to improve public health check rates.
Dr Habibula clarified for attendees the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 infections later in the year, and that people could take action to mitigate the impact of a second wave by continuing to adhere to Government guidelines on hand hygiene and social distancing until a vaccine, heard immunity or other treatment for COVID-19 could be found/achieved.
The Board thanked Dr Habibula for her presentation and noted the report’s contents and recommendations.
Local groups to provide a verbal update on COVID-19 response activity and to discuss any future recovery plans
Councillor Renshell invited representatives of local partners to update the Board on their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board heard the following representations:
Zoe Macintosh – Citizens Advice Bureau AV
Zoe informed attendees that since 23 March, Citizens Advice Aylesbury Vale had been running a telephone advice service with the help of Councillor Funding, and utilising paid staff and volunteers in order to reach people in need of help whilst physical meetings had not been possible. During this period, there had been a marked increase in the number of clients seeking benefits, housing and employment related advice, particularly due to redundancy. Zoe explained that Citizens Advice was expecting to see a large increase in the number of clients with debt problems as a result and was already preparing for an increased capacity to process this expected upsurge in debt cases.
Joanna Anderson – St. Lawrence Church Food Bank
Joanna gave an overview of the work of the St Lawrence Church Food Bank to support 56 households at the peak of the lockdown, many of whom were self-referrals or referred for help through agencies. Owing to Council funding, the food bank was able to buy fresh products themselves in addition to public donations. The food bank continued to support 19 households but expected that this number would increase when the Government’s furlough subsidy scheme ended. In anticipation of this future increase, the food bank had been allocated a room at the Town Council offices from August to continue operations.
Joanna also explained to the meeting that the food bank was working with the outreach team at the health centre to get as clear an understanding of the potential future risks as possible, owing to interrelated issues such as benefits, housing and unemployment issues increasing the reliance on food banks for some in the community.
Victor Wright also briefly discussed the work of the Soulbury Helpers to repurpose a local restaurant in Woburn Sands into a community shop with the aid of Council Funding. This had been able to provide ready meals to vulnerable people in the local community in the absence of a dedicated village shop. This project had since evolved into a bi-weekly coffee morning, which raised money for charity and preserves community cohesion.
Margot Jackson - YC2
Margot informed the Board that she and her colleagues had been supporting 54 families in the local area, each with a young carer aged between 7 and 15 years old. She drew attendee’s attention to the great physical, financial and mental challenge it had been for many young carers during the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown, some of whom were also dealing with their own complex needs or caring for family with complex needs.
YC2 had introduced a contact programme pairing volunteers with young carers to keep in touch with each week, and offering some respite from their extraordinary responsibilities with monthly games and activities packages whilst lockdown restrictions were in place. Margot also praised the work of local partnerships which ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Agree priorities for the Winslow Community Board
The Winslow and Villages Community Board will need to agree local area priorities
Councillor Renshell invited attendees to begin discussing priority areas for the Community Board within the four broad categories featured in Leone’s overview presentation and a detailed discussion was had covering a wide variety of suggestions.
A common priority was the desire to see improvement to public transport links from villages into Aylesbury, Winslow and Milton Keynes, with particular attention paid to bus routes. This was coupled with a wider discussion concerning proposed infrastructure development projects which could impact on the locality, such as East-West Rail, the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, solar farm installations and increased road traffic caused by the expansion of Milton Keynes. Some Members expressed disappointment with the way that Parish and Town Councils would be engaged in the Planning processes for the Buckinghamshire Council.
Attendees also shared the view that the Winslow and Villages Community Board should be proactive in improving public health, as described by Dr Habibula’s earlier presentation. It was suggested that in working constructively and proactively with the Primary Care Network in the local area, efforts could be made to evaluate and improve public health in a holistic way. Attendees specified public health infrastructure such as a new surgery in Winslow, and mental health projects as key priorities for the Board.
Attendees suggested that improving activities for young people locally would have a particularly large number of benefits, and that this could be coupled with efforts to prioritise mental health, especially as easing lockdown restrictions offered increased opportunities to do so.
Proposals for Sub-Groups
Reflecting on the priority setting discussion, attendees
To take forward the following initial subgroups to explore the Community Board’s priorities further:
• Public and Community Transport
• Public Health
• Roads and Highways
Topics for Future Meetings and Date of Next Meeting
7.00pm, 22 September 2020, venue details to follow
7.00pm, 26 November 2020, venue details to follow
Members noted the dates of the next two meetings of the Winslow and Villages Community Board, which were scheduled for 22 September and 26 November.
It was also agreed that the topics raised in the priority setting discussion of the meeting would be discussed again in future meetings of the Winslow and Villages Community Board.