Agenda and minutes

Venue: Desborough Room, Taplow Court, Taplow SL6 0ER

Contact: Andy Carswell  Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked those present to introduce themselves. The Chairman introduced Robert Harrap, director of SGI UK, who explained about the history of the group. He also stated that SGI was part of ICAN, which would shortly be receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Sally Lynch, Katie Gear, Deborah Maynard, Zena Pike, Saghir Ahmed, Richard Wright, Honor Ryan and Sara Thomassen.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record. There were no matters arising from the minutes.


Tackling Domestic Abuse in the Royal Borough pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive a presentation from Sophie Wing-King, Domestic Abuse Co-Ordinator for Bracknell Forest and the Royal Borough.


Sophie Wing-King introduced the item and explained about her role on the Domestic Abuse team. She explained about the change in definition of domestic abuse to include young people over the age of 16, with characteristics of coercive and/or controlling/threatening behaviour. It was no longer referred to as domestic violence as abuse encompassed psychological and emotional abuse, although physical violence was also a characteristic of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse extended to family members and people in close relationships, regardless of gender. Members were informed that if a young person under the age of 16 made a complaint of domestic abuse, they would still get a response from the Domestic Abuse Unit.


Sophie Wing-King explained that stalking and coercive control had both now been criminalised as offences. Stalking victims would often be targeted after leaving an abusive partner who would have less control over them. Members were informed that the first prosecution for coercive control in the Thames Valley Police area related to a case in Maidenhead.


Members were told there were 127 high risk cases of domestic abuse in the Royal Borough that were discussed at the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference last year. The Conference worked in partnership with other agencies who might receive a disclosure on domestic violence when the victim did not necessarily go to the police; examples of this might be a healthcare professional or housing officer. Sophie Wing-King said MARAC worked in partnership with the DASH charity, which provided outreach support for 115 clients last year.


Sophie Wing-King informed members that around 2,500 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in the Royal Borough last year, of which around 20 per cent were repeat victims. This represented an increase of reported incidents of 22 per cent over three years, which was attributed partly to more people being encouraged to report it.


The Domestic Abuse Strategy was relaunched earlier this year, which focused on prevention, raising awareness, partnership working, supervision of services and identifying gaps, and pursuing perpetrators. Sophie Wing-King informed members that the Police and Crime Commissioner had provided funding for 20 places on a perpetrator programme. A team had also recently spoken to pupils at a school following a complaint of abuse where the perpetrator was a student at the school.


Harjit Hunjan asked if there was a prevalence of domestic abuse in particular social groups. Sophie Wing-King said she did not have a breakdown of statistics by ethnicity or gender, but an increase in forced marriage and/or honour-based abuse had been noticed. Sophie Wing-King said more awareness training needed to be given as there were deeper-rooted reasons for this, such as language barriers, cultural beliefs and what was expected of people by family members and the wider community.


Louise Warbrick said that she would review all reported incidents of domestic abuse each morning and look into the safeguarding aspects of each report. Where there was a particular safeguarding issue, the information would be circulated amongst partner agencies so they could become involved if the issue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Youth Parliament and Young Inspectors

To receive a presentation from Giovanni Ferri on activities including Slough Youth Parliament and Young Inspectors, and how they can be applied to the Royal Borough.


Giovanni Ferri introduced himself and explained his role within Slough Borough Council, and stated that he was looking to see if similar projects to those he was working on could be implemented within the Royal Borough.


Giovanni Ferri started by explaining that Slough Borough Council had set up a Youth Parliament in 2014, following a suggestion at the Children and Young People’s Partnership Board. The idea of this was to give youngsters a voice and involve them with the Council’s decision-making process. More than 100 youngsters from 12 schools nominated themselves at the 2015 election, with more than 6,000 votes being cast. The successful candidates were invited to serve a two-year term. The second election took place in January 2017, with 9,000 students from 17 schools voting. Giovanni Ferri explained that youngsters came up with their own manifestos, with ideas from the most recent election including improving the school curriculum with regards to mental health issues and healthy relationships. The Youth Parliament had been campaigning for all schools in the Borough to teach PSHE; this had been agreed and implemented by the schools, with a networking group which meets four times a year being set up as a result. Giovanni Ferri said that as a result of the success of this scheme, headteachers from other Boroughs had approached Slough’s schools for more details on how it could work.


Giovanni Ferri informed members that the Slough Youth Awards – which it was hoped would become an annual event - and a regular Question Time-style event had been spawned by youngsters’ interest in the Youth Parliament and youngsters’ involvement on various Boards at Slough Borough Council.


Giovanni Ferri said Slough’s youngsters, as did those in the Royal Borough, had taken part in the national Make Your Mark consultation each year since 2014. He explained that each year ten trends would be selected and youngsters from each area would rank the five that were the most important to them. Giovanni Ferri explained that Make Your Mark was led by the nationwide UK Youth Parliament. The main event led by the UK Youth Parliament each year is held at the House of Commons. Giovanni Ferri said that representatives from Slough had spoken at each of the last three events; at the most recent one the Slough representative was recorded speaking for a piece on Channel 4.


Giovanni Ferri went on to talk about another scheme that had been implemented by Slough Borough Council, relating to Young Inspectors. The Young Inspectors visit various venues and test them to see how user friendly they are to young people, and to report back with their findings. The new library and cultural centre in Slough was the most recent venue to be inspected. Giovanni Ferri explained that the venues would ask for the Young Inspectors to look at certain aspects that the venue thought it would be useful to receive feedback on, and that they would be aware of any visits.


Elaine Keating stated that a Youth Parliament  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Innovations in the Royal Borough

To receive a presentation from Jacqui Hurd on delivering resident and business services in the Royal Borough.


Jacqui Hurd introduced herself and explained her remit and role at the Council. She explained that over the last 18 months the Council had been reviewing its services and how residents could access them, in order to improve user satisfaction. Following the review, it had been agreed to open Council services seven days a week. It had also been agreed to produce a more holistic approach at libraries, so residents could receive help and advice on Council Tax, housing, benefits, waste and recycling, bus passes and parking matters. Private meeting rooms had been set up in the libraries to give users privacy if they needed to speak to someone.


Jacqui Hurd informed members that the Council was looking at trying to bring a post office service to Datchet library, to operate two days a week. Members were also informed that the Council had two mobile libraries that were available for volunteers and community groups to use. One of these was a container library; a large structure that could stay in one place for a day at a time. Samreen Aslam asked if GP surgeries were aware of the mobile libraries, as it could be a useful resource for clients. Jacqui Hurd said she would look into making surgeries aware of this service. She also stated that reviews had indicated that communication with volunteers who helped with library and residents’ services needed to be improved.


Public Health Winter Update

To receive an update from Sian Smith.


Sian Smith said there had been a good uptake of the flu vaccination, which had also been offered to all frontline staff at the Royal Borough. The flu vaccine campaign was implemented in order to reduce pressures on the NHS and delayed transfers out of hospital. It was noted that the winter had hitherto been relatively mild, and even a temperature drop of a couple of degrees could affect vulnerable people. Sian Smith introduced Jesal Dhokia, the Royal Borough’s new Healthy Aging Lead, to members. Jesal Dhokia briefly outlined what her role with Public Health would entail.


Sian Smith said there was a lot of support and advice for keeping well in winter available online, and this would be included on a soon to be launched Public Health microsite, which would be included on the main Royal Borough website. Barbara Grossman asked if Public Health’s messages would get across, as many older patients who might use their services may not have internet access. Sian Smith said the online services complemented paper copies of information leaflets and community communications that were also used. However ideas on improving how messages relating to residents’ health could be circulated were still being formulated and any input was welcomed. Jacqui Hurd said there were volunteers at libraries who could help set users up with an email address, which would help them receive communications.


Jacqui Hurd referred back to the earlier comment on cold weather and stated her remit included services for homeless people. She said libraries would be able to inform homeless people about what facilities and services were available to them.


Russian-Speaking Community Update

To receive an update from Svetlana Zaychenko.


Svetlana Zaychenko told members that she had organised a party for the Russian speaking community at Maidenhead Methodist Church on December 16th. She had been contacted by residents from Slough, Wokingham and Bracknell as well as the Royal Borough, and it was now expected that 150 people would attend. Another event was planned to take place in the Desborough Suite at the Town Hall on January 6th, which is the day Christmas is traditionally celebrated in Russia. Svetlana Zaychenko said she had also been in contact with the Polish community to invite them to events.


WAMCF 2018 Dialogues

To receive a presentation from Paul Samuels.


Paul Samuels told members that the 2018 programme of Dialogues would start in January. Each event was being held in a faith-based venue aside from the final one, which was being hosted by Windsor Humanists. The aim of the Dialogues was to promote respect and trust between people. Each event would run from 7-8.30pm.


Signal4Carers and Healthwatch WAM

To receive an update from Mark Sanders.


Chris Taylor explained that Signal4Carers was set up around 18 months ago in order to provide support for unpaid carers, who were generally people who looked after family members. The charity’s main remit was to signpost useful services to carers. Chris Taylor said Signal4Carers had a bus that could be used to help carers. Although the charity was based in Bracknell, it was looking to do more to help carers in the Royal Borough. Chris Taylor explained that Signal4Carers hoped to form links with other providers who could benefit from their services, and vice versa. It was hoped that their services could be advertised in GP surgeries, as around 40 per cent of carers who came to the group did not have internet access.


Regarding Healthwatch WAM, Chris Taylor explained that it was a statutory service provided by the Council. Its primary functions were to collect people’s views on health and social care services and feed it back to commissioners and providers; and to signpost people to services available to them.


Norden Farm Lantern Parade pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive a presentation from Robyn Bunyan.


Nobody from Norden Farm was present at the meeting to give the presentation.


Armed Forces Covenant Update

To receive an update on issues relating to the Armed Forces Covenant.


Pete Ireland thanked the Royal Borough for its continued support of the Armed Services, citing the Mayor’s recent attendance at the Non-Commissioned Officers’ Pass Off event as an example of the support received. A business breakfast at the Officers’ Mess, which had been organised with the help of Cllr Rayner, had recently been held and attended by more than 40 businesses. Pete Ireland also informed members that a Normandy veteran had recently celebrated his 100th birthday locally, when he was presented with the Legion D’Honneur.


Louise Warbrick confirmed that the cookery courses that had been referred to at previous meetings, which were being funded through Thames Valley Police’s application for provisions from the Armed Forces Covenant, would start on January 10th.


Member Updates

To receive updates and news from all members.


Samreen Aslam informed members that a new training initiative, Making Every Contact Count, had recently been launched. Information leaflets on this would be circulated to members electronically.


Eileen Denny said the next WAM VCS networking forum would take place in the Town Hall Council Chamber from 1-3pm on December 13th. A training session on data protection would be taking place in the Ascot/Bray room at the Town Hall on January 16th. Members were reminded they could use the WAM Get Involved online diary to post details of community events.


Nighat Ellahi said a new course aimed at improving health and wellbeing for carers would be starting on January 5th. It would run for six months and sessions would take place from 10am-12pm each Friday in Desborough 2 and 3 at the Town Hall. Nighat Ellahi said the previous course, to improve language skills for those who spoke English as a second language, had been very successful.


Safia Mohamud said she had brochures about community learning skills courses that were running throughout the Royal Borough, and said members were welcome to take one with them at the end of the meeting.


Tim Walker said the Men’s Matters group was now operating three drop-in sessions, in Windsor, Maidenhead and Langley. They had also entered into a dialogue with the NHS, so GP surgeries would be aware of the group and could refer isolated older men to them.


Louise Warbrick said a recruitment event for Thames Valley Police on either January 9th or 11th. The venue was likely to be Windsor College.