Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 28th October, 2021 7.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough

Contact: Administrator, Adele Taylor  Tel. (01252) 398831, Email.  adele.taylor@rushmoor.gov.uk

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24th August, 2021 (copy attached).



The Minutes of the Meeting held on 24th August, 2021 were AGREED as a correct record.


Community Service Organisations

To receive presentations from Alex Hughes, the Chief Executive of Citizens’ Advice Rushmoor, and Donna Bone, the Chief Executive of Rushmoor Voluntary Services, which will provide an update for the Committee on the services provided by each of the organisations, funding and governance arrangements, services during the pandemic and future work and challenges.


The Committee welcomed Alex Hughes, Chief Executive of Citizens’ Advice Rushmoor, and Donna Bone, Chief Executive of Rushmoor Voluntary Services, who were in attendance to give presentations on the services provided by each organisation, funding and governance arrangements, service during the pandemic and future work and challenges. The Cabinet Member for Democracy, Strategy and Partnerships, Cllr Adrian Newell, was also in attendance.


Ms Hughes, gave some background to Citizens’ Advice (CA). It was noted that CA had been present in Aldershot since 1940 and was there for everyone, but especially for those that needed the service the most, to help people move forward with their lives. The organisation was a local volunteer led service, routed locally within the Rushmoor community. The national infrastructure of CA benefited the local offer with access to training, information and resource. CA Rushmoor had a Board of Trustees which compromised of a Chair and nine Board Members, two of which were elected Councillors. The staff structure showed different teams offering a variety of help which were funded from different sources. Currently CA Rushmoor had over 100 volunteers that delivered services in a number of different roles from initial contact with clients, discrete advice, detailed advice, casework and administration support.


CA Rushmoor received a diverse range of funding. Pensionwise were the primary funder, providing 37% of the total annual funds, Rushmoor Borough Council provided 29%, Frimley CCG 8% and smaller contributions were received from 13 other organisations, including AFCF Domestic Abuse, the Brain Tumour Charity and the Broadhurst Trust. It was noted that eight of the 13 smaller contributors, had provided sources of funding that would cease at the end of the financial year.


The response to the pandemic had shown a shift from in person engagement with clients to a remote/online offer. Cloud technology had allowed volunteers to work from home and all had adapted to the change quickly. However, it was noted that in person engagement was slowly being re-introduced.


Ms Hughes advised on activities around reaching the most vulnerable in local communities, in particular the Nepali community. At the beginning of the lockdown, 200 leaflet packs had been produced in Nepalese, on health advise, isolation and keeping safe; these had been distributed around the community in appropriate locations to get the message out. A Nepali advice line had been established to cover issues previously dealt with via the Nepali Drop In Service. It was noted that over 1,000 issues had been dealt with through this service.


Monitoring took place across service areas to ensure all in need were being reached, and partners were aware of the services on offer. An Overcoming Barriers Group had been established to address barriers accessing the service provision. As a result, a referral tool was now available on the website to allow partners/agencies to directly refer local individuals in need of help and advice. Direct access to help would be considered further moving forward, to look closely at how in person engagement would continue.


Ms Hughes reported on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To consider the Work Plan for the 2021/22 Municipal Year (copy attached).


The Committee NOTED the current Work Plan.


It was noted that the next meeting would include a presentation on the Supporting Communities Strategy and Action Plan and the Grub Hub.


Members also suggested items on the following for future meetings:


·         Local Primary Care Networks and doctor services

·         Disability - ensuring Council buildings were compliant, engagement with disability advisory groups around the town centre regeneration programmes

·         Progress report on climate change work

·         Farnborough Airport - activities affecting lives of residents in particular number of flights, noise levels