Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: MS Teams
Contact: Lizzie Wright (Community Board Manager)
Cllr Mark Dormer welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded everyone of the meeting etiquette
Mark Flys (Buckinghamshire Council)
Tim Butcher (Buckinghamshire Council)
Caroline Jones (Buckinghamshire Council)
Carl Jackson (Buckinghamshire Council)
Mark Roberts (Amersham Town Council)
Ron Newall (Amersham Action Group)
Jane Barnes (Amersham Action Group)
David Watson (Rotary Club)
Christian Scott (Chiltern U3A)
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed
· Questions from members of the public can be submitted in advance of the meeting to Amersham@Buckinghamshire.gov.uk
· Updates from Town & Parish Councils
· Buckinghamshire Council updates
Roger Goodes updated the attendees on the latest support and upcoming activities from Buckinghamshire Council. This included:
See the corporate update appended to the minutes for further information.
The board manager provided Community Matters which included:
· The Homes for Ukraine Scheme were looking for rematch sponsors to provide space in their homes for Ukrainian nationals to live, who had settled in the local area but who’s current arrangements were coming to an end. The team would be joining the Community Board at events to share further information.
The Chairman invited Town & Parish Council representatives to provide local updates.
Vinny Patel highlighted the launch of Café 23 in Amersham following the success of Cafe22 in Little Chalfont. The new dementia café was due to celebrate its official launch soon.
· Marieke Bosman - Wild Amersham
· Helen Edwards – the Energy Doctor scheme
· Fiona Broadbent – Simply Walks
· Susan Masters – Re-Engage
Marieke Bosman gave a presentation on Wild Amersham and their progress since the group was set up in 2021. The group monitored local habitats and biodiversity and aimed to work with and strengthen the community. They had held a variety of events and training throughout the year. They were setup under the umbrella of Sustainable Amersham. There had been lots of local support and enthusiasm so far. Residents interested in getting involved could email (email@example.com), sign up to newsletter (https://forms.gle/tQoq6JT2KWpbPuuz7), visit the Sustainable Amersham website to volunteer (https://sustainableamersham.org/volunteering-roles/) and book to attend events, such as the wild bird migration talk which was happening the following Wednesday (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/migrating-birds-near-you-tickets-739267247237).
Energy Doctor Scheme:
Helen Edwards gave a presentation about the scheme funded from the governments levelling up fund until March 2025. There were currently four team members but this was expected to grow. They delivered home visits to those who met certain criteria (which could be found online: Request a visit from an Energy Doctor | Buckinghamshire Council) and could advise on ways to reduce energy consumption and costs and put in place suitable low-cost easy retrofit resource efficiency measures, which included draught proofing, insulation, LED lighting, secondary glazing film for windows, electricity consumption monitors (which weren’t linked to energy providers systems) and more.
Fiona Broadbent gave a presentation about the Simply Walk scheme, which linked with the board’s health and wellbeing priority, and enabled older adults to take part in physical activity. The short easy walks were in close reach to where many of the residents who took part lived and focused on “maintaining” rather than “increasing” physical activity in older adults to ensure they remained included in social activity. There were 360 volunteers across the county and the scheme had celebrated its 21st year in July. The team were keen to recruit new volunteers in Amersham so that they could introduce more walks. Fiona described a successful social prescribing pilot project which could be delivered in other locations.
Re-Engage Tea parties:
Susan masters gave an update on a Community Board funded project which provided monthly tea parties for socially isolated older people (hosts). Each host would hold a tea party twice per year with support from volunteers and they would be free to attend. The offer included refreshments, transport (which was otherwise a huge barrier), some games, and most importantly, conversation. The team were organising a Christmas tea party for all hosts and volunteers, they had recruited enough volunteers to run a 12-month rota and had ambitions to get back to having four tea party groups in the area, which had been the case before Covid.
Community Board Updates
· Task & Finish Groups
· Funding & Project Pipeline
The board provided updates on the Task & Finish groups:
The Chairman highlighted some of the engagement activities, including first Outdoor Cinema event in Amersham which was a huge success and had been supported by local volunteer groups.
Upcoming events were highlighted, and attendees were asked to help promote these:
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting and asked the board network to help with promoting the wide variety of activities and initiatives taking place locally, and to encourage others to get involved.
Date of Next Meeting
15 February 2024, 6pm – In Person Workshop
Thursday 15th February 2024