Agenda and minutes

Older People's Partnership - Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10.00 am

Venue: Boardroom, BFVA, Amber House, Market Street, Bracknell

Contact: Amanda Roden  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes and Action Points from 17 October 2012 pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2012 were agreed as a correct record.


Matters Arising


  • Town & Country would not give a regular slot yet but had said that an article could be advertised in the magazine now and again.
  • The newsletter for the Over 50 Forum was circulated last week.
  • Partnerships in Bracknell had been reviewed and a report had been considered by the BFP Board. There would be four strategic boards: Community Safety Partnership, Economic Skills and Development Partnership, Health and Wellbeing Board, and Children and Young People’s Partnership. The other Partnerships would report to these strategic partnerships, the Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board and the Local Safeguarding Children Board would be added, the Communications Working Group would sit around these Partnerships, and the Older People’s Partnership would report to the Health and Wellbeing Board. The main BFP Board would deal with items of an urgent nature.
  • CI Simon Bowden, Thames Valley Police LPA Commander would be taking up a new role in Windsor & Maidenhead. Dave Gilbert would replace him as the new LPA Commander covering Bracknell.
  • The Care Day at the Coppid Beech Hotel was very successful.
  • DAAT, Bracknell’s Drug and Alcohol Service, had moved location to Market Street.
  • The ‘Shaping the Future’ consultation was out until January 2013.


Benefits Changes in relation to Housing


Shanaz Alam, Benefit Services Manager, gave a presentation on the Benefit Changes from 1 April 2013.


The Welfare Reform Bill received Royal consent 8 March 2012 and there was a new Local Government Finance Act 1 November 2012 which affected: Council Tax Support; Disability Living Allowance (DLA); Housing Benefit; Community Care and Crisis Loans; and Universal Credit. The changes would affect people of working age under the age of 61 years and were the same for men and women.


Localisation of Council Tax Support would replace Council Tax Benefit, and there would be 10% less funding than previously so the new scheme would need to take this into account. There would be the freedom to set up a new scheme but it needed to be in place by 31 January 2013 for 1 April 2013 start or a default scheme from the Government would be used. Pensioners would be protected, and the timetable would be considered by full Council in January 2013.


DLA would be replaced with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and DLA was administered by the Department for Work and Pensions for people aged 16 – 64 years. A new objective assessment would decide eligibility based on an activity test; there would be no automatic transition and all working age households would be re-assessed.


From April 2013 working age affordable housing tenants under occupying by one bedroom would have a 14% reduction in benefit and there would be a 25% reduction for two bedroom under occupation. Local Housing Allowance would be increased by CPI rather than local market rates; Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans would be devolved to Local Authorities to administer; and there would be an increase in the Discretionary Housing Payments budget.


Nationally 67,000 households would be affected by the Benefit cap which would be set at around £350 for single people and £500 a week for couples or loan parents with children. There would be a big impact on families with more than three children and protection for nine months after losing employment. Letters had been sent to households by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


Universal Credit would replace current means tested benefits and Tax Credits; a single payment would be paid monthly in arrears at end of the month based on real time information; it was expected that all benefit would usually be paid direct to the claimant and not a landlord, even with temporary accommodation for homeless households; Universal Credit would be digital by default. Managed changes would be undertaken until 2017 for all existing customers for Housing Benefit.


Trends over the last three years had been analysed, and large companies in Bracknell had made redundancies. Pensioners would still receive an increase in benefits each year. Some households who had not paid council tax before would now need to pay it. The benefits changes would cause hardship for some people and Bracknell Forest Council would likely need to support more people. The gap between housing benefit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Older People's Consultation


Andy Kimber, Joint Commissioning Officer, was present at the meeting to discuss and receive comments on the draft Strategy for Older People in Bracknell Forest 2013-2016.


Partnership members commented on the style and clarity of the document. It was thought that single person households and the constraints on people who were not mobile should be covered more in the document but people were and would continue to be supported to live in their own homes. The intention was to be supportive to all people regardless of whether they were living alone.


It was queried how there would be quality assurance with the proposed changes (on page 7 of the document). This information was national guidance and work undertaken would be based on this. Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) should be included in the diagram on page 10.


Information included in the document showed examples of good practice and did not list all of the services of the organisations mentioned because it was not practical to do this. The Executive Summary at the beginning of the document encapsulated everything in the document. There were strategic priorities for different areas. Preventative and acute needs were supported and this was mentioned in the document; housing would be appropriate to need with a range of choices depending on the needs and wishes of people.


There would be an action plan to deliver the Strategy and the strategic approach would be to give people options. There was a need to be careful with the wording of the Strategy so as not to include services which the Council were not able to deliver. It was suggested that the partnership logo be included on the front of the document.


It was queried whether methodology and the origin of raw data would be included in the document. The age diagram was the only part of the document based on 2001 census information. There were issues relating to people owning their own homes and many people privately rented properties now. Data on home ownership was current from questions asked of people this year.


It was suggested that methodology be added to show the context of the information in the Strategy, for example, 136 questionnaires were returned out of 1,000 distributed, giving approximately a 13.6% response rate. 10-15% response rate was considered to be a meaningful sample. It was suggested that the wide variation in the needs of older people be included in the document, as older people could range in age from 50-100 years.


It was suggested that some detail about the strategic priorities in the document be added to the Executive Summary, and that the last paragraph of the Executive Summary should be towards the beginning of it. Examples of good practice should be phrased as ‘local support’.


It was queried what the timeline was for the Strategy and it was thought that it would be considered by the Council’s Executive before April 2013. It was suggested that the Strategy be considered by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Panel  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Healthwatch Update


Kieth Naylor, Joint Commissioning Officer, was present at the meeting to give an update on Healthwatch.


There were three core elements to Healthwatch including the provision of information and support. Bracknell Forest Council was responsible for the commissioning of the local Healthwatch and information should be on the South East portal soon. A communication would be sent out when this had happened.

(Action: Kieth Naylor)


There was interest in Bracknell to deliver the service locally. There would be presentations on 1 February 2013 and contracts would be awarded at the end of February 2013. People would need to be registered if they were interested in being considered in the tendering process. A question and answer document would be published regarding the tender. The successful bidder’s contract would start on 1 April 2013.


Time would be allowed to develop the service and the most complete information would be sought before bidding rather than afterwards. The allocation of funding was unknown until January 2013. Between £90,000 and £100,000 was expected from the Department of Health but contingency funding may be needed.


Independent NHS complaints advocacy would be dealt with separately. There would be a new delivery mechanism, a social enterprise method, and Healthwatch would have trading powers. Most expressions of interest were from local providers, and there was a challenge due to the strict guidelines of procurement. Healthwatch would only be able to deliver based on what funding was received for it. There was flexibility regarding how and what service would be provided.


Members Updates


Bob Pennell reported that Age Concern were going ahead with the internet project. The aim was to contact people regularly to keep the database up to date.


Madeline Diver circulated a leaflet regarding Bracknell CAB moving location to The Columbia Centre, Market Street and the offices would be closed between 20 December 2012 and 14 January 2013. This would be advertised in the Wokingham and Reading newspapers.


Julie Rose reported that Bracknell Forest Homes (BFH) was undertaking work on welfare benefits and trying to identify families who were under-occupying properties. It was suggested that BFH link with CAB and Age Concern on this work.


Chris Cowap mentioned that the Over 50 Forum received funding from a community trust. There was a questionnaire online, and a social activities document which was popular with social workers was also available online. A copy of the social activities document would be forwarded to Councillor Thompson.

(Action: Chris Cowap)


Martin Gilman reported that the Waitrose event had been postponed. This event would possibly be held in April now, and there was a need to avoid other events.


Future Meetings

Future meetings of the Older People’s Partnership will be held at 10am in the Boardroom at Amber House:


Wednesday 20 March 2013

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Wednesday 19 March 2014


Future meetings of the Older People’s Partnership will be held at 10am in the Boardroom at Amber House:


Thursday 7 February 2013 (Easthampstead House)

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Wednesday 19 March 2014