Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: MS Teams
Contact: Leone Dale (Community Board Co-ordinator) Harry Thomas (Democratic Services, meeting support)
Guidance for running virtual meetings.
The Chairman gave a brief overview of the Virtual Meeting Procedural Rules for the evening’s meeting.
To note any apologies for absence.
Members heard apologies from Scott Raven, Teresa Connolly, Andy Lane and Caroline Cornell.
To review the minutes of the meeting held on 26th November 2020.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th November, 2020 be agreed as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest.
Ben Everitt declared a non-prejudicial personal interest as the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes North in relation to agenda item 7.
A verbal update from Sue Renshell, Chairman of the Winslow and Villages Community Board.
The Chairman formally welcomed everyone to the meeting, and reminded Members of the Community Board’s aims, objectives and priorities.
The Chairman also gave Members a brief update on recent events that had transpired since the last meeting of the Community Board in November. This included:
· A new PCSO would be starting work in the community.
· Winslow and Villages Community Board’s new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Members were advised that future email correspondence to the board should be directed to this new email address.
· Winslow and Villages Crisis Fund was still open. Anyone with ideas regarding good use of the funds was encouraged to contact Leone for further information.
· John Gilbey (Great Horwood Parish Council) had made initial contact with the relevant landowner regarding a future cycleway from Great Horwood to Winslow as had been discussed at the previous meeting.
· Members were reminded to check the ‘Your Voice Bucks’ Citizen Space for current consultations at the following link: https://yourvoicebucks.citizenspace.com/. The Chairman drew attention to a proposed Transport for Bucks Virtual Stakeholder Event taking place on 10 March for Aylesbury and the surrounding areas. Residents, parishes, external organisations and anyone else local was encouraged to attend. A TfB survey on future priorities would be issued and made available from 22nd February.
The Chairman welcomed Christine Dodds to the meeting as a new member of the public in attendance.
The Chairman reminded attendees of the upcoming Census which would take place on March 21, 2021. Further details would be distributed by Leone following the meeting.
Police Sergeant David Kuttner was then invited to give a brief update on the work of Thames Valley Police since the last meeting of the Community Board. Members were informed of Police action to tackle a spate of rural crime, resulting in five arrests and a subsequent reduction in similar crimes being reported.
There had also been an increase in telephone fraud with the aim of extorting money from vulnerable residents. A virtual fraud awareness and prevention event was being organised in partnership with Natwest Bank and Newton Longville Parish Council to tackle this. Aldo Simone (Trading Standards Officer) informed Members that anyone who would like a call blocker to prevent cold-calling of this nature to get in contact with Trading Standards at: email@example.com The information gathered from the call blocker could then be used by Trading Standards to try to prosecute the cold-callers.
Members were introduced to the new PCSO, Kate Michalska, who was staring work in the local area. Sgt Kuttner highlighted this appointment as a great asset in improving Thames Valley Police’s local policing efforts, as their neighbourhood team had been short of a PCSO for the previous year.
Finally it was reaffirmed to Members that policing priorities in the area moving forward continued to be reducing anti-social behaviour, burglary and online fraud rates.
Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and were informed that Police had attended the scene of a dumped cannabis farm on Pilch Lane in Great Horwood, but were ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
A presentation and verbal overview on Community Board funding from Leone Dale, Community Board Coordinator.
The Community Board Coordinator Leone Dale gave a brief funding update to Members, highlighting the projects and applications that had already received funding and the remaining budget available to put towards future applications. A full breakdown of the funding would be included in the slides appended to the minutes of the meeting.
The Community Board’s overall spend to date totalled £51,252, leaving £268,464 in the budget for future applications. Leone drew particular attention to the local infrastructure budget, which reflected the majority of the remaining funds, having allocated £8,994 to one application, leaving £208,635 for future infrastructure applications. It was confirmed for Members that the remaining funding would be carried over into the following financial year’s budget.
Leone then gave an overview of the following application to be ratified by Members at the meeting:
The full funding recommendations and report for the application had been published with the Agenda Reports Pack for the meeting and made available to view on the Council’s website.
No objections were raised to the approval of the project. It was therefore
That the application be approved.
Members were also updated on two applications that were pending funding approval at a future meeting of the Community Board. These were the Whaddon Allotment Gardens Accessibility Project, and a Horwode Pece Playground Safety Surface funding application. Leone would continue to work with the respective applicants through the funding process.
Due to the upcoming Local Elections in May, the Community Board was not scheduled to meet again until June 2021. During this intermission in regular meetings, funding applications would be considered and approved virtually. Details of applications would be made available, allowing five working days for comments before the outcome of the application was decided. Funding decisions could not be made during the purdah period (22nd March-6th May). To ensure that applications could be agreed before the beginning of purdah, Members were encouraged to submit applications before 5th March. Anyone with a funding application was encouraged to contact Leone for further details.
All transport applications had been given to TfB for consideration, and the Community Board was awaiting Project Initiation Documents to be drawn up for these.
Finally, the first £1m of the Buckinghamshire HS2 Road Safety Fund would open for applications on 22nd February 2021. The deadline for applications was 15th May 2021. Further information could be found at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/news/hs2-road-safety-fund/ and Members were encouraged to send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation from Carol Older, CEO of AVMKSAASS.
The Chairman reminded Members that the Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Service had been the recipient of Community Board funding following approval of their funding application at the November meeting. Carol Older (CEO of AVMKSAASS) was invited to give a presentation to Members with some information about their work and plans for the funding received.
Members were informed of the AVMKSAAS’ work to provide wide-ranging information and support to women across Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes and men in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes who had experienced sexual assault, abuse or rape. This had included fortnightly welfare telephone calls and online support as the pandemic had restricted and ultimately prevented the possibility of meeting safely face-to-face. Members were thanked for the funding awarded to AVMKSAAS, which would make improving and expanding their counselling service possible.
There had been a 14.7% drop in reported sexual offences across 2020 in Aylesbury Vale, though this was likely due to the impact of the pandemic preventing individuals from finding a safe space away from the perpetrator to report the incident.
Carol informed the Community Board of the impact of the service on the lives of individuals who had sought help. 94% reported reduced feelings of isolation and better health and wellbeing. 96% felt that they had increased control over their lives. 97% felt more informed and empowered to act. 90% reported feeling less anxious.
Carol confirmed that those service users who were living in an unsafe environment at the point of contact were referred to Women’s Aid where possible if relocation was necessary. However, most individuals getting in touch had already taken the step of distancing themselves from the perpetrator and were seeking further advice.
48 of the counsellors within AVMKSAAS were volunteer counsellors who had been trained and supported internally. Many of those who initially volunteered their services to AVMKSAAS chose to stay because of the support they received in helping those seeking their services. Most of those seeking help were between the ages of 30-60, though there were also those falling either side of that age bracket.
Members thanked Carol and her team at AVMKSAAS for their work, and for her time and presentation.
Anyone wanting to contact AVMKSAAS or refer someone could do so via the following methods:
Updates from the Winslow and Villages Community Board Action Groups:
· Public and Community Transport (Trish Cawte, Winslow Community Bus)
· Health (Vron Corben, Winslow Big Society)
· Roads and Highways (Billy Stanier, Buckinghamshire Council)
· HS2 and EWR (John Chilver, Buckinghamshire Council)
The Chairman reminded Members that the current Working Groups for the Community Board were as follows:
· Roads and Highways
· Public and Community Transport
· HS2 and EWR
The Chairman then invited the leaders of each Working Group to provide a brief update on their ongoing work since the last meeting of the Community Board.
Billy Stanier – Roads and Highways
The Working Group had last met at the end of January to discuss highlighting and utilising MVAS data to ease speeding-related issues in the community. Billy had since discussed this with Councillor Nick Naylor (Cabinet Member for Transport) who suggested that a member of the highways and road safety team at Buckinghamshire Council could attend a future meeting of the Working Group or the Community Board to hear their ideas. Their next meeting was scheduled for 1st April at 2pm.
Trish Cawte – Public and Community Transport
Trish and Leone had contacted Andrew Clarke (Head of Public Transport) at Buckinghamshire Council to discuss bus services in the local area. They were informed that flexing an existing subsidised bus service to increase future local coverage would be possible. John Gilbey had responded to suggest re-routing the no.60 subsidised bus service, or purchasing a smaller community bus with s106 funds.
Trish detailed that the response rate to the recent Great Horwood questionnaire regarding Public and Community Transport was 12% with many respondents having no idea what services were available. Trish would look to investigate this with an aim to improve public awareness of existing services.
VronCorben highlighted feedback from residents of the surrounding villages that a community car scheme would be beneficial to the public. The existing scheme in Winslow was economical and a similar scheme could be explored as an alternative to the changes in the bus route. Vron was happy to share the necessary information to help get the project up and running if required. Llew Monger suggested that allowing communities to bid for funding to provide community busses or car coverage could also be explored as an alternative to subsidising existing bus routes, as s106 money was to be used specifically for leisure purposes. John Gilbey highlighted £20,000 of s106 money for community transport in Great Horwood PC which could be used on a future project. Keith Higgins drew attention to a sum of £80,000 of s106 money in Stewkley PC for future community transport investment.
The next meeting of the Working Group was yet to be scheduled.
VronCorben – Health
The Working Group would examine the reports of both the CQC and Health Watch regarding Norden House Winslow Surgery. Some leaflets would also be acquired from LEAP to promote home exercise and dietary awareness to increase healthy living during lockdown. Anyone with ideas who would benefit from a leaflet was encouraged to let Vron know. Vron informed Members that there had been good feedback on the local vaccine rollout from the Winslow, Wing, Waddesdon and Whitchurch surgeries. The next meeting was scheduled to take place ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Presentation from Donna Wilkinson, Principal Economic Development Officer, Buckinghamshire Council.
Donna Wilkinson (Principle Economic Development Officer) from Buckinghamshire Council was invited to give a presentation to Members regarding plans to reopen the local highstreets as the social restrictions associated with the pandemic eased in the future. Donna stressed that this was a key opportunity for local businesses, shops, restaurants, bars/pubs and cafes to be considered in the planning process and was the latest stage in an ongoing effort to support local business since July 2020.
Donna drew Member’s attention to the Business Survey conducted in Marlow in August 2020, to gauge the impact of COVID on local business practices and the steps that had been taken to mitigate the negative effects of traditional shop closures. It was suggested that a similar survey be conducted in the local area to generate ideas on how to promote footfall back into shopping centres and on highstreets as social restrictions eased. Feedback was sought on some further suggestions to create a welcoming and safe environment for shoppers including:
· Refreshed Signage
· Planters (for social distancing)
· Hand Sanitising Stations
· Bespoke Social Media-Ready Graphics
Some European funding had been made available, on the condition that it was not put towards helping an individual business over others, and that it promoted safe, socially distanced activities in the shopping centres to mitigate the risks of infection.
Llew Monger suggested the creation of a Community Loyalty Card Scheme to incentivise shoppers to return to the highstreets and shopping centres, and support local businesses that signed up to the scheme. This could be achieved with Council or Community Board Funding to subsidise discounts in stores. Donna informed Members that a similar suggestion had been made as part of the recent business survey and had also been implemented on a small scale in other community board areas. Llew stressed that a coordinated scheme across the county was key to encouraging wider public and business buy-in, which would also appeal to those already involved in the existing loyalty schemes in operation. Donna agreed to consider the idea further with the Economic Development team, including the possibility of a mobile app to be used in place of a physical card.
Donna also encouraged Members to get in touch if they knew of anywhere that parking bays could be temporarily utilised to widen the pavement to enable pedestrians to practice social distancing with little disruption to motorists. Efforts had been made to simplify pavement licensing to allow customers of cafes to sit outside, though this was difficult in areas with narrow pavements which limited the ability for passers-by to social distance from those sat outside. Vron Corben highlighted that the size of many cafes and eateries in Winslow was too small for social distancing inside, but that the pavement on the Winslow high street was also narrow. As an alternative it was proposed that increased signage and publicity for the cafes might be more suitable.
It was suggested that the churchyard or market square might be able to provide an alternative location for a dining ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Presentation and update on COVID support.
Members were reminded that at the previous meeting their views on the impact of COVID-19 in the community had been sought to explore future ideas to support local people through the Community Board. Owing to time constraints, Leone proposed that she focus on the work of the Council’s Helping Hands Service. Anyone wanting to find out more about the wider COVID response across the Community Board area was encouraged to contact Leone.
The Support Hubs were supporting 17,629 residents since 20th December with food access/prescription collection/social wellbeing calls/financial support. Anyone who had received an NHS shielding letter who was not currently in contact with the hubs was encouraged to call 01296 395000 for help.
The Helping Hands Service was primarily supporting non-shielding residents through a number of available grants, contacts with local community volunteers and existing schemes. A full breakdown of all of the available grants would be included in the presentation slides and appended to the Minutes of the meeting.
Leone highlighted that in total, the Helping Hands Service had provided support to 447 people requiring help from the grants or with other needs as of 12th February 2021. This had included sourcing furniture and winter/children’s clothing for residents as well as issuing 126 food bank referrals. Members were informed that the applications for help would be done through Helping Hands on behalf of the residents, and that BORG was helping with the delivery of items to residents as part of the scheme. The funding for these services was made available through Heart of Bucks.
As of 22nd January, the Winslow and Villages Community Board Area had the lowest Winter Grant recipient rate in the county, with only 0.01% of residents receiving support. Leone encouraged Members to be mindful that this could be due to a lack of awareness of the available services, and that continuing to spread awareness was key to ensuring that anyone still in need of help had the opportunity to seek it.
Digital food vouchers worth £15 were being issued by local schools for use by families with children who qualify for free school meals during the holidays. These vouchers could be used in the 7 main supermarkets.
Helping Hands had noticed an increase in the number of families that had previously been comfortable that were now beginning to seek help because of the pandemic, particularly with financial needs. Cases were also becoming more complex, requiring cross organisational support. Leone drew particular attention to the pressure on food banks, which was reaching the point of requiring a significant review to ensure that future operations could continue.
Members were reminded of the key contacts for help or sources of useful information for residents:
· Support Hub Service: 01296 395000
· Helping Hand Service: 01296 531151
· Bucks Online Directory: directory.buckinghamshire.gov.uk
· Council Website ‘Contact Us’ form: buckinghamshire.gov.uk
· Email for Officers:email@example.com
Community Board Feedback Session – Have Your Say
An opportunity to have your say following the first year of Community Boards.
Owing to time constraints, Leone proposed that feedback on the work of the Winslow and Villages Community Board could be sought from Members outside the meeting. This was acceptable to attendees. Leone would seek feedback virtually after the meeting.
To discuss any community matters arising.
The Chairman reminded Members that information regarding funding to mitigate the impact of HS2 would be made available shortly.
Anyone with queries concerning the upcoming May Local Elections or seeking information about applications to stand for election could contact the Elections Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on: 01494 421180 / 01895 837236 / 01296 585701. Llew Monger stated that meetings were also being held on the week beginning 22nd February between Parish Clerks and Election Agents to discuss changes to the usual procedures to enable the elections to go ahead. Further information could be expected following the conclusion of those discussions.
Time and Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 24th June at 7pm
Billy Stanier put on record special thanks to Councillor Sue Renshell, who was retiring from her role as a Local Councillor for Winslow at the next Local Elections. Councillor Renshell had been the Chairman of the Winslow and Villages Community Board since its first meeting in July 2020.