Agenda and minutes
Venue: Victoria Barracks, Windsor, SL4 1HF
Contact: Nabihah Hassan-Farooq 01628796345
Welcome & Introductions
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked those present to introduce themselves. The Chairman introduced Major Richard Wright who was the Community Engagement Officer for the 1st Battallion Coldstream Guards at the Victoria Barracks were the meeting was being held. He outlined the good work being carried out by the guards and welcomed the group to the barracks.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Sarah Thomassen, Sian Smith, Zena Pike, Jayne Donnelly, Caroline Hunter, Shabana Farooq, Sally Lynch and Josephine Crabb.
To agree the minutes of the meeting held on the 6th December 2017.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record. There were no matters arising from the minutes.
To receive an update on PREVENT.
Harjit Hunjan, Community Partnerships Manager introduced the item. It was highlighted that David Scott, Head of Communities, Enforcement & Partnerships (RBWM) was the new Lead Officer for PREVENT. A number of meetings had been planned which included the PREVENT and Channel Panel.
ACTION- That David Scott attend a future One Borough Group meeting.
Inspector Louise Warbrick addressed the group and outlined that two pieces of work were being carried out at present which included monitoring and reporting community tensions. The first piece of work was from a recent statement from an organisations “Tell Mamas” that there had been some circulation nationally promoting ‘Punish a Muslim Day’. Inspector Warbrick had been investigating any tensions within the Muslim Community and that hate crime/incidents should be raised along with any concerns. The second piece of work was being carried out with the Russian Community, to monitor any form of threats/incidents in relation to the recent tragic events in Salisbury. The Group were also made aware that there was a new Superintendent, Colin Hudson was in post.
ACTION- Inspector L Warbrick to invite Superintendent, Colin Hudson to the next One Borough Group.
Universal Credit Update and Support for Residents
To receive an update from Louise Freeth, Head of Revenues and Benefits.
Louise Freeth, Head of Revenues and Benefits (RBWM) gave a presentation on the Universal Credit Update and support for residents in the borough. Universal Credit had been live in the borough since 2015. There had been significant changes to be adopted in May, which included a roll out of universal credit to all working age customers. Universal Credit had replaced six local authority, DWP and HRMC benefits. The current system was in place as a live service for single individuals since 2015 and had served 380 customers, 100 of those had sought financial assistance with council tax. There were currently 23 restrictions in place for single people claiming assistance. The forum were reminded that from the 23rd May, universal credit would be available in Maidenhead and it would affect working age customers who would make a new claim or had a relevant change in circumstances. From July 2019- March 2022, there was a planned migration of remaining existing claimants and that the legislation surrounding this was yet to be confirmed.
The forum were informed of the differences between the universal credit live full service and that this would be available to all working age sutomers in relevant postcodes except those with more than two children, claiming one form of tax credit and wishing to claim another or living in specified accommodation ( housing benefit claimants only). Customers had been encourages to manage their online account and report any changes to circumstances via an internet enable device. It was noted that customers would no longer receive any paper notification letters in relation to universal credit. Members of the forum were informed of the process surrounding the universal credit full service and how claimants could apply for a new claim or maintain an existing claim through the online portal. Significant changes included the change of claim processing which would no longer be handled by job centres but by universal credit service centres. Claimants could now upload any relevant document onto their online journal through the online portal.
Customers who had already claimed a legacy benefit, for e.g. housing benefit would move to universal credit following a relevant change in circumstances. There were 382 customers currently in receipt of universal credit in RBWM who would need to transfer to the full service. Members were told that the transfer process would be managed by DWP and that this would start approximately three months after the full service had launched ( currently under review). DWP customers would be advised of the process and when to complete their details, booked an appointment or verify their ID. Universal credit claims would be suspended or terminated if failure to transfer was successful. The roll out of universal credit had been delayed for the Maidenhead job centre from February 2018 to May 2018. As part of the roll out, direct payments to landlords had been introduced in December 2017, a new free universal centre helpline had been launched, from January 2018 there was a pause in new claims ... view the full minutes text for item 61.
Armed Forces Covenant Update
Ø To receive verbal updates from Harjit Hunjan, Community Partnerships Manager (RBWM) on the Employee Recognition Scheme.
Ø To receive a presentation from Jeffery Pick, Thames Valley Police on the Food Academy Project.
Harjit Hunjan, Community Partnerships Manager, highlighted that RBWM had been successfully nominated for a bronze employee recognition scheme and that this had demonstrated a clear commitment to be supportive of Armed Forced Service and Cadets. It also noted that RBWM had recently been nominated for the silver standard nomination (which would be assessed by the MOD Panel in April 2018) and that the Leader of the Council had committed to achieving the gold standard for RBWM. A key element of this had been the Reservists Policy which allowed employees to carry out their duties.
Signal4Carers and Healthwatch WAM Update
To receive an update from Mark Sanders.
Tamsin Phipps, Healthwatch WAM introduced the item and updated forum members on the recent activities carried out by Healthwatch WAM. The forum were given a brief overview of the Healthwatch service which had 142 organisations nationally and that Healthwatch WAM was an independent service running locally. There had been changes to the NHS and social services delivery and that these were to change dramatically in the future. The forum were informed that there had been collaborative working between the Frimley STP, WAM and the existing CCGs, however further feedback was needed to improve and enhance the services. Work had been carried out at Broadmoor hospital, within the Frimley STP and more primary care provision had been implemented. As part of the ongoing work, signage had been changed to help reflect the needs of patients and resident’s accessing Frimley hospital. As part of the ongoing ambition to improve services and experience, social media platforms were now monitored and great improvements had been made as a response to residents’ concerns and issues raised on these platforms.
Sharon Bowden, Signal4Carers provided the forum with an update on the service. The forum were informed that Signal4Carers had taken over from Berkshire Carers in 2016. There had been 670 unpaid carers throughout the borough as part of their findings and extensive research across RBWM. There had been an upward trend in the uptake of carers who had signed up to the newsletters, information packs, better utilisation of useful contacts and higher referrals to signposted services. The forum were urged to ask any individuals that they were aware of, who they felt were unpaid carers to get in contact with Signal4Carers for advice and assistance. One Borough Group Members were also reminded of the bus that was in use to provide residents with information and would be parked up at various locations over the upcoming months.
Citizens Advice- Windsor and Maidenhead Update
To receive an update on Citizens Advice: Windsor & Maidenhead.
Chris O’Hare-CEO of Windsor and Maidenhead CAB updated the forum on the recent activities and work carried out by Windsor and Maidenhead CAB. The update included the following highlights:
· The forum were shown a short video on a case study of Alice (a client who had suffered with medical health issues and had fallen into a financial crisis).
· Details of how to access and make referrals to the service were outlined.
· The forum were told that RBWM had received a grant and this would be used to help alleviate some of the pressure that the oversubscribed service faced.
· A new telephone service which had pooled the local CAB services was in operation from 9-5pm, along with a dedicated email service and partner referral form.
· New outreach services had been launched to meet demand using recently received funding.
· The Windsor drop in service was no longer in effect.
· Appointments were now available after the initial assessment.
· CAB now worked with clients with a range of complex needs and also represented clients at tribunal. There was a current success rate of 75-80% of cases at tribunal.
· CAB also dealt with a range of client issues which included, housing related issues, such as retaliatory eviction, employment and financial issues.
· Income gained was £394,871 and debts that had been written off were approximately £260,000 and debts that had been resolved were £289,314.
Members of the forum were informed that the impact of advice and intervention had improved client wellbeing, reduced client interactions with RBWM as a local authority, reduction in falls, reduced hospital admissions and averted homelessness. There had also been associated costs of training for staff and expansion of the current service. The Bailiffs trust had been the biggest private funder of RBWM CAB and a vote of thanks was given to them. The CAB had to date helped with 400,000 housing related issues, 1,520,000 debt problems and 5.5million debit problems had been resolved.
Community & Membership Update
To receive updates and news from all members to include;
Ø Russian Winter Festival Update; by Lana Shnayder.
Ø SWAMI Community Street Showcases in Windsor, Slough & Maidenhead; by Anthony Lewis.
Anthony Lewis, SWAMI informed members that SWAMI (Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Initiative) would be holding a Community street showcase in Windsor, Slough and Maidenhead during July. SWAMI wanted to build upon the success of last year’s Community Street Showcases and get an equivalent mix of local community groups involved publicising their activities once a year on the high streets of the three local towns. Members were reminded that more details could be found at www.swami.com
Jane Corry, Norden Farm informed the group that the Annual Norden Farm Family Arts festival would be taking place on the 30th March 2018 and that there would be 47 different workshops suitable for all ages, including circus skills, 3D printing and each workshop would cost £3 per person.
Tim Walker, Mens Matters update the group that there had been three weekly drop in sessions in Langley, Windsor and Maidenhead which had targeted social isolation and loneliness. A mindfulness workshop was to be held on the 22nd March 2018, which would be a two hour session which was to be held at Maidenhead Community Centre.
PC Boon, TVP made members aware of the launch of the Herbert Protocol, which aimed to help vulnerable dementia sufferers and their families, carers and residents. A new communications platform had launched where crime incidents could be reported online and would be in full effect by June 2018. The forum were also told that due to the Royal Wedding that any individuals attended the Royal wedding would have support mechanisms in place, such as the victim witness centre ( to be held at Baptist Church, Windsor). Pre-paid parking and general would be affected throughout the Royal Wedding celebrations. Hostile vehicle mitigation measures had been implemented along with a crowd management plan which would be finalised over the upcoming weeks.
Svetlana Zaychenko, Open World updated Members with the success of the recent Russian Winter Festival which would be held annually. Planning was underway for the summer festival and the theme that had been selected was ‘fairytale’ for the upcoming festival.
ACTION- Svetlana to provide video for the next meeting of the Russian Winter Festival.
Lyn Mangisi, Radian Housing updated the forum that there had been a great turn out at the recent “swap shop” which had allowed vulnerable residents to pick up items with no costs. The event as very successful and there had been 400 items, and 195 had gone to the Thames Hospice with five Councillors in attendance.
Saghir Ahmed, Islamic Trust of Maidenhead, informed the forum that the annual “Visit my Mosque” day was held in both of the two mosques in Maidenhead. One Borough group Members were told that Prime Minister, RT hon Theresa May and all local councillors had attended. There had been a great turn out on the day and Members who attended also stated that it had been a great event.
Eileen Denny, WAM Get Involved, told the group that the RBWM volunteering sector awards would be held on the 26th ... view the full minutes text for item 65.