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Welcome and Introductions
The Chair welcomed all to the group. He said that this was a private meeting and that he was looking to operate under Chatham House rules i.e. anyone who comes to the meeting is free to use the information from the discussion but is not allowed to reveal who made any comment. He spoke about the Community Services Review Working Group having a wide ranging brief as a task and finish group and the need to embrace other age groups through the development of “community hubs”.
Clive Emmett and David Toombs introduced themselves to the Group.
What is this Group's Purpose - Overall Aims and Objectives?
Fiona Gardiner (Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager).
Members discussed various issues and their different priorities:
· How existing day centres could possibly be opened quickly.
· How to make day centres more relevant, particularly with regard to the high number of elderly people in Uttlesford.
· The need to look at the needs of the elderly and the support required
· The need to err on the side of caution following the pandemic and the duty of care to the elderly.
· The need to balance risks of loneliness and poor mental health against the risk of infection from COVID and not to be risk averse, particularly given that the vast majority of elderly were likely to have had two vaccines jabs.
· The possible different models that day centres could operate under.
Agree and Sign Off Terms of Reference
Officers outlined the Terms of Reference and highlighted that this was a review of how best to serve communities moving forward. This would be an asset based approach that would involve consulting with people 55+, parish/town Councils and agencies. It was said that there was a need to make day centres more relevant.
The following points were noted:
· The four day centres in Uttlesford (Dunmow, Saffron Walden, Stansted and Thaxted) were each currently provided on a different basis and each needed to be considered separately, particularly in terms of future viabilities. Different management models were in place and all possible delivery models for community services needed to be considered moving forward.
· The possibility of some day centres re-opening as a matter of urgency was discussed. It was confirmed that the approved budget for day centres is ring-fenced to enable funding of new service delivery options provided in the best way.
· The Rowena Davey Centre in Dunmow was stated to be in the best position to re-open. However, the possible future use of the car park for rapid flow testing by the Department of Health and Social Care could affect the situation. Cllr Lavelle would liaise with Board of Trustees and UDC officers in respect of outstanding obstacles to possible re-opening.
· There was some discussion about the possible re-opening of the Stansted Day Centre and the future involvement of Touchpoint. Cllr Khan undertook to investigate the latest position and report back through the Chair.
· The latest situations in respect of Thaxted and Saffron Walden Day Centres were outlined.
· The council no longer employed cooks or a day centre coordinator to support management committees.
· Some discussion revolved around the Terms of Reference. The merits of co-opting individuals onto the Group for as long as considered necessary were discussed. The option to put forward further details in respect of purpose and outcomes was put forward. Concerns were also expressed about the use of jargon e.g. “asset based approach”. The Chair and officers agreed to re-visit the Terms of Reference and to bring them back to the next meeting.
The Chair said that he would raise the issue of the possible re-opening of day centres as a matter of urgency with the Leader and that the Terms of Reference would be revisited. He said that he would close the meeting at this point as the outstanding urgent issues needed early resolution.
The meeting ended at 8.40 pm.