Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access

Contact: Mark Beeley  01628 796345 / Email: mark.beeley@rbwm.gov.uk

Video Stream: Click here to watch this meeting on YouTube

Items
No. Item

257/15

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Jane Hogg.

258/15

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

259/15

Minutes pdf icon PDF 310 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20th April 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 20th April 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record.

260/15

Housing Update

To receive an update on housing in RBWM.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: The Chairman requested that the order of agenda items be changed, so that the Housing Update and Homeless Forum items were considered together.

 

Tracy Hendren, Head of Housing, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, explained that the alternative giving scheme had been launched at the start of lockdown. The scheme was a method of encouraging people to give money to end homelessness in a way which would have the biggest possible impact. There were four major areas where the scheme would have an impact:

 

·         Directly on individuals who were experiencing homelessness

·         Building stronger partnerships

·         Addressing street activity (begging) in town centres

·         Changing public perceptions about those who were homeless

 

It was not a choice to be on the street and the alternative giving scheme allowed people to support people off the street. The scheme was called ‘Tap 4 Lasting Change’ and donations raised by the scheme helped to fund individually tailored support programmes for rough sleepers in the Borough and to help them make real life changes as part of the Borough’s rough sleeper pathway. The scheme had continued to be available throughout lockdown with over £2,000 in donations being received.

 

There were six ‘Tap 4 Lasting Change’ donation points in the Royal Borough:

 

·         Ascot:

o   Chewton Rose

·         Eton:

o   Popeye Grooming

·         Maidenhead:

o   Maidenhead Library

o   Hardedge

·         Windsor:

o   Windsor Library

o   Dr Chocs

 

Comparing the number of rough sleepers, in 2019 there were 40 in RBWM but in 2020 this dropped to 8 which was a dramatic difference. There was currently no one rough sleeping on the streets of the borough. Different forms of support were provided to those who had recently come in off the street. Analysis of the support needs of those currently on the rough sleeping pathway highlighted three key areas of support which were unmet. A lack of activities to ensure meaningful use of time, coupled with difficulties managing money and personal administration could lead to anti-social activities such as begging which in areas with high levels of tourism, such as Windsor, could be particularly lucrative. These areas were all being focused on as part of the rough sleeper pathway.

 

Looking forward, proposals for use of the funding received through the Alternative Giving Scheme would be presented to members of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Forum in September 2021. Due to Covid 19, the marketing of the ‘Tap 4 Change’ scheme was very low key. With the restrictions lifting, a new campaign was being developed to ensure funds were maximised going forward.

 

The Chairman said that it was fantastic to hear that there were currently no rough sleepers in the borough and that this showed the excellent work which was taking place in this area. The Chairman asked if there could be any issues in future with demand for the scheme and if any lessons had been learnt from the pandemic on how to evolve the service.

 

Tracy Hendren said that one of the challenges had been the change from a programme that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 260/15

261/15

Homeless Forum

To provide an update on the Homeless and Rough Sleeping Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Tracy Hendren confirmed that the housing strategy had been adopted and the Homelessness Forum would look to work through the actions which arose from the strategy. The team were at the beginning of this piece of work and the Health and Wellbeing Board would be updated as things progressed. The strategy was borough wide and looked to work with partners both internally and externally which meant that it was a wider strategy than just housing. A significant number of organisations had joined the partnership with the goal to reduce the number of people who were homeless. The Homelessness Forum last met on 30th June 2021 and looked at what had been achieved on the rough sleeper action plan, with some actions being signed off.

 

The Chairman commented that a huge amount of progress had been made. The service was a high priority and he was keen to have an update as a regular item at meetings of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

262/15

Dash Charity Update

To hear from Alison Bourne, CEO of the Dash Charity.

Minutes:

The Chairman said that the issue of domestic abuse was a significant one and that it was an important priority for the Board.

 

Alison Bourne, CEO of the Dash Charity, explained that the pandemic had increased the workload for the charity. Adult referrals had doubled and child referrals had tripled. However, the level of fundraising had remained the same which meant that the Dash Charity was struggling. With everything being online, it was easier to have meetings but Alison Bourne was worried about staff retention and the amount of pressure staff were under. The charity did not currently have an office space as it was sold to hire additional staff and they were currently looking for somewhere to physically base themselves in the borough. The Freedom programme had continued to be run which consisted of a group therapy programme and allowed the charity to help a number of people at the same time. Face to face meetings were also happening weekly at the Windsor Baptist Church. The programme was unfunded and Alison Bourne explained that she spent a lot of time trying to locate more funding so that the Dash Charity could continue to help victims of domestic abuse.

 

The Chairman thanked Alison Bourne and all those part of the Dash Charity for all their work during a difficult time. Commenting on the office space which the charity was looking for, the Chairman said that he would take it away and see if the council could assist with locating some office space.

 

Hilary Hall, Executive Director of Adults, Health and Housing, said that fundraising was the main issue for a lot of charities like Dash. The council was looking to see how they could work to fund projects. Hilary Hall said that she would also work with the Chairman to see if anything could be done about the office accommodation.

 

Councillor Bhangra joined the meeting.

 

Kevin McDaniel, Executive Director of Children’s Services, said that the level of domestic abuse put pressure on a number of services within the council. It was recognised how important the work of the Dash Charity was. Recently there had been a pilot scheme of coaches who worked with domestically abused children. This was shown to have a positive impact and the council were seeking funding for this to return later in the year. There was pressure on frontline staff and it was also important to get the wellbeing for staff right.

 

The Chairman said that domestic abuse was something he had discussed with the government, it was important to pick it up collectively.

 

Councillor Tisi asked if there was a pattern of domestic abuse increasing with the closure of schools due to lockdown. She also asked if the family hubs could be used to help the Dash Charity.

 

The Chairman said that it was something that had been considered by officers. One of the challenges was the amount of space and also providing adequate confidentiality.

 

Kevin McDaniel said that they could discuss with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 262/15

263/15

Update on school initiatives with climate change

To receive an update on the project.

Minutes:

Councillor Stimson said that health and wellbeing and climate change were interlinked. Children had climate anxiety and there was a realisation that making sacrifices now could create a better future. Climate action week was coming up and there was a big push for local authorities to be represented. It was important to consider what could be done in schools to engage on climate change topics. Preparation was also taking place for an environmental summit with schools across Maidenhead, in coordination with head teachers. Solar panels were also planned to be installed at the Altwood School, Councillor Stimson said that exciting things were happening.

 

Kevin McDaniel said that he agreed on climate change being an important issue for young people. The borough had fallen behind on core building blocks and there was a desire to bring in expertise to ensure that climate change was back on schools’ agenda.

 

Councillor Bhangra said that Councillor Stimson had been involved in some fantastic work so far on the project. He asked what more could be done to capture the voices and opinions of young people.

 

Councillor Stimson said that the RBWM Youth Council was the most obvious way, this was in the process of being created and would start to meet in the autumn. Altwood School had their own school council and were going to look at some of the things that had been suggested as part of the climate project.

 

Lucas, a young person who was shadowing Councillor Stimson, said that it was good to get more young people engaged and that climate change was a real concern for young people.

 

The Chairman suggested that it would be good to bring this item back to the Board in future for further updates.

 

Councillor Hunt left the meeting.

264/15

Equality and Domestic Abuse Update

To receive an update on the equality and domestic abuse work currently being undertaken.

Minutes:

Louisa Dean, Communications and Marketing Manager, explained that equalities and domestic abuse were linked. The Women’s Equality Party had done a survey and discovered that women were apprehensive about going out, particularly after the recent Sarah Everard case. The white ribbon was a campaign opposed to male violence against women. To achieve white ribbon accreditation, an organisation would need to develop and commit to a three year action plan that would meet four areas - strategic leadership, engaging with men and boys, raising awareness and changing culture. The commitment was made by the senior managers in an organisation ensuring a whole organisation approach. The action plan was developed, led, and monitored by a steering group drawn from across the organisation. White Ribbon ambassadors were men who engaged with other men to call out abusive and sexist behaviour while women were White Ribbon champions who encouraged men to get involved.

 

Helen Preedy, who was the council’s Equality and Community Engagement Officer, had spoken to a variety of groups to find out what their thoughts were on the accreditation process. There was positive support for both men and women to be involved. Some thought that there should be a focus on organisations across the borough getting involved, as well as bringing in sports clubs or famous faces to front a campaign but build on existing campaigns previously run on White Ribbon UK day. Following the initial consultation sessions, a group met a couple of weeks ago to discuss what could be done as a collective - this included representatives from the council, as well as the Dash Charity, Women’s Equality Party and representatives from the Domestic Abuse Executive. The main discussion was around a safer streets application which had been submitted to Government but also how work could be done to change behaviour. The group would meet again soon and Louisa Dean asked if anyone else wanted to join. Plans were being put together working up to the White Ribbon Day. The accreditation process would be explored to see if it was something that RBWM wanted to progress.

 

The Chairman said that he was honoured to be the Chair of the steering group. Helen Preedy had done a significant amount of work on the project. At the last meeting, Andy Aldridge, Community Warden Lead, had attended and given the group some excellent ideas.

 

Kevin McDaniel said that the Chief Executive of the Windsor Learning Trust was doing some work around culture change, particularly with how the Windsor school system worked. He suggested that it would be good to link with the work being undertaken on the White Ribbon by RBWM.

 

ACTION – Kevin McDaniel to connect Louisa Dean and the Chief Executive of the Windsor Learning Trust to collaborate on the project together.

 

Councillor Tisi said that Danny Gomm in Achieving for Children was going to do some work in the autumn around family safety and it would be good to link in with him too.

 

Louisa Dean said that she would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 264/15

265/15

Covid 19 and Vaccine Programme Update

To hear an update on Covid-19 and the vaccine programme in RBWM.

Minutes:

Anna Richards, Consultant in Public Health, said that there were 196 cases per 100,000 in RBWM but cases were continuing to increase. There was a general acceptance that cases would continue to rise, particularly with the full relaxation of lockdown restrictions on 19th July. Looking at the heatmap of cases, it was clear that there were a particularly high number of cases amongst young adults and that there were a number of hospital admissions in this age group. For vaccinations, over 612,000 people living in Berkshire had now received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and 419,000 people had received both doses.

 

Lynne Lidster joined the meeting.

 

The Chairman asked if there was any reduction in uptake of the vaccine amongst young people.

 

Caroline Farrar, Executive Place Managing Director CCG, said that she could take it away and see. There had generally been a low uptake in the first dose for under 50s, with lower uptake the younger the age group.

 

Anna Richards said that RBWM had been doing work on settings and where young people could see information on the vaccine. A workshop had been undertaken with young people in the council to understand what the barriers to vaccine uptake were and how to potentially overcome them.

 

The Chairman said that it was important that everybody got two doses of the vaccine so that they received maximum protection. He asked if Lucas had any thoughts on how to engage with young people.

 

Lucas said that the vaccine should be publicised on social media and promoted through role models and influencers. The message should be the freedom that it could offer younger age groups.

 

Huw Thomas agreed and said that peer to peer comments were important to encourage people to take the vaccine. There were walk in centres across RBWM and people from all age groups were coming forward, it was never too late to receive the vaccine.

 

The Chairman said that it was also important that people received trusted and correct information.

 

Councillor Tisi had noted that RBWM did not have a presence on Instagram and asked if the council was targeting the right platforms.

 

Louisa Dean said it was something that the Communications Team had considered but the main issue was whether young people would follow the council on Instagram. The main audience for the RBWM Facebook page was 30-45 year olds.

266/15

Outbreak Engagement Board Update

To hear an update on the work of the Outbreak Engagement Board.

Minutes:

Hilary Hall said that the Outbreak Engagement Board had continued to meet every two weeks. Oversight of communications and engagement activity was particularly important and it had constantly evolved throughout the pandemic. Currently, the council had 150 community champions who promoted messages and an e-newsletter which was being received by around 50,000 residents. The next public meeting of the Board would take place on Monday 19th July 2021 and there was an agenda item looking at Step 4 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. It was important that people realised this was not the end and that the country was still in a pandemic. Hilary Hall said that the meeting on Monday would be available to watch both live and on demand through the RBWM YouTube channel.

 

Councillor Tisi left the meeting.

267/15

Better Care Fund Update

To hear an update on the Better Care Fund.

Minutes:

Lynne Lidster, Head of Commissioning – People, explained that a Better Care Fund Manager had been appointed. Prince Obike introduced himself to the Board as the new manager of the Better Care Fund. Lynne Lidster said that the primary objectives of the Better Care Fund remained the same:

 

·         Protection of adult social care

·         Prevention of hospital admissions

·         Supporting people to live longer at home independently

·         Reducing delayed discharges

 

Key reporting indicators and metrics for these objectives could change in future. The year end return for 2021 was completed on time, signed off and submitted. The total fund for 2021/22 was £13.1 million, of which £12.9 million had been allocated. The approximately £200,000 which had yet to be allocated would be used on schemes that needed funding in adult social care across the rest of the year. The target for spending on prevention of adult social care was £5 million and RBWM was on target with this. There had been no update on national planning guidance but this was expected in September 2021. The Integrated Care Board received monthly updates, with each meeting of the Board focusing on a different area.

 

The Chairman asked what was planned for the Better Care Fund in future.

 

Lynne Lidster said that the fund was allocated on an annual basis and therefore it was difficult to predict the future when each year could be very different. There was a continued push for reform to adult social care funding. The Integrated Care Board would be looking at the ageing well agenda.

 

Hilary Hall said that the prevention agenda was key. It was important to be able to use funds in a flexible way to meet the priorities of the borough.

268/15

Future Meeting Dates

Exact dates to be confirmed:

·         October 2021

·         January 2022

·         April 2022

·         July 2022

Minutes:

The next meeting would be in October 2021, with the exact date to be scheduled in due course.