Sopf open meeting note and agm 2013 minutes


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Sopf open meeting note and agm 2013 minutes

  1. 1. SWINDON OLDER PEOPLES FORUM (SOPF) Note of Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Tuesday 22 October 2013 At Broad Green Centre 1. The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting particularly those who were new. He explained that the Swindon Older Peoples Forum (SOPF) constitution demanded that we hold an AGM and that the existing membership had received due notice that for 2013 this would be held as part of the 22 October Open meeting. 2. Chair’s Report: The Chairman referred to his tabled report which summarised what SOPF, aided by the Management Committee, had been doing since the last AGM held in October 2012. The second year had been busier than the first with a continued emphasis on raising awareness of SOPF’s existence across the Borough, within the South West region and nationally. SOPF remained committed to widening participation and membership and to seeking the views, comments,issues and concerns that affect older people in the Borough. The two key issues currently are local transport provision and reducing isolation and loneliness . 3. Management Committee: Current membership is Dave Brown (Chair); Carol Brownlee (Secretary); Paul Burgess; Stephanie Burrows; May Evans; Jeanette Koza; Akila Sroya; Helen Thompson; Norma Thompson and Ebbe Ushe. The Chair and Secretary gave notice that they will be stepping down at the 2014 AGM so it is important that candidate successors are identified before then. The Committee has met 5 times since the last AGM to take forward outcomes from the Open meetings held in Oct 2012 and April 2013. They have also responded to many requests for Forum views and comments, for representation at meetings and for involvement in local regional groups (eg. Swindon Charity Infrastructure Partnership; Sustrans; South West Seniors Network). SOPF’s approach is to restrict our involvement or contributions to Borough wide issues and to where and when we can add value. NB. Minutes of the meetings of the Management Committee are available on request from the Secretary. The membership endorsed the Chair’s report and in response for any comments from those present, the issue of patient transport was raised and a new consultation initiative being coordinated by Healthwatch was highlighted. 4. Statement of Accounts: A statement of accounts was presented for scrutiny by the membership. There were no comments but it was noted that at the current level of activity, the secured funding will only ensure SOPF’s existence until the end of the 2014 calendar year. However bids for extra funding have been made
  2. 2. to the Tesco Charity Trust community awards scheme and Waitrose “Community Matters” scheme. Decisions will not be made until later in 2013 or early 2014. 5. Communications: Altogether SOPF had produced 9 editions of the newsletter, 4 since the Last AGM. The newsletter continues to be the main mechanism for providing regular updates on SOPF activities, news/ information, and useful reference sources and contacts, but useage of the Website ( is increasing. 6. October 2013 forward: It is clear that SOPF’s existence is raising expectations locally and there are growing demands for us to get involved in initiatives, provide representation, give input and advice and act as a conduit for consultation. With a suitable primary filter to where and when we can add value, this is currently manageable, but does place an extra burden on members of the Management Committee particularly. SOPF’s ability to meet all the future expectations is therefore very much dependent on more people getting actively involved either through Management Committee membership or in other ways. With next year seeing the start of the run up to the 2015 General Election, SOPF has arranged a meeting with both Swindon MP’s in the New Year. This meeting, which we hope will be the first of 2 or 3 in 2014/15, will aim to seek their views on the issues and concerns of Swindon’s older citizens. Meetings with prospective parliamentary candidates and local councillors are also being set up. SOPF’s emphasis on raising awareness and widening participation locally, and in the South West, remains and will be augmented if bids for extra funding are successful. SOPF will continue to scrutinise developments in local transport and highlight instances where changes could exacerbate isolation and loneliness. The membership joined the Chair in expressing thanks to the other members of the Management Committee for all they had achieved in increasing awareness of SOPF’s presence within the local community. Following due notice, SOPF had not received any requests to change the agreed constitution or membership conditions. 7. Election of Officers During the course of the meeting 2 nominations to join the Management Committee had been received. The meeting agreed that these
  3. 3. candidates should present a short summary of their interests, and what they could bring to the work of SOPF, to the next Management Committee. A decision on their suitability will then be made by the Management Committee (*). The membership endorsed the Chair’s recommendation that, in accordance with terms set out in SOPF’s constitution, two existing members who had missed more than 3 meetings, should have their membership terminated. (*) Ghada Rule and Roy Tylee subsequently accepted an invitation to join the Management Committee. 8. As there was no other business or matters arising, the Chairman formally closed the 2013 AGM. SWINDON OLDER PEOPLES FORUM (SOPF) Note of Open Meeting held on Tuesday 22 October 2013 at Broad Green Centre 1. The Chairman welcomed everyone and explained the structure and format of the meeting, outlined in the tabled agenda, which would start with the formality of the Annual General Meeting (see separate note). He drew attention to the various organisations/initiatives who had kindly agreed to have a presence at the meeting to offer advice, information and guidance. These were: • • • • • • • NHS Stop Smoking campaign Outset Swindon Methodist Housing Association Royal British Legion SEQOL Freeview TV changes (Wilts Community Action) Swindon Buy with Confidence 2. Following closure of the AGM, the Chair explained the background to the round table discussion on “Issues and Concerns of Swindon’s Older Community: What has changed since 2004?”. Back in 2004 the predecessor to SOPF, the Older Peoples Coalition, compiled a list of issues and concerns that they had at that time. The SOPF Management Committee thought it would be good to revisit these, now nearly 10 years on, to see whether these issues/concerns are “Better/Worse/Same”. The outcome of such discussion would inform the meetings arranged with both local MP’s, SBC Councillors etc on how they are going to respond to the
  4. 4. issues, comments and concerns of older people on matters that affect their daily lives. Each table’s discussions were guided by a member of the Management Committee and split into 7 headings: • Transport/Bus Services • Feeling Safe • Information/Communication • Black, Minority and Ethnic communities • Housing • Public Services/Facilities • Additional Services In addition attendees were asked: • What are the best things about living in Swindon? • Where is Swindon behind other areas of the UK in the provision of facilities/services for older people? 3. Outcome of Discussions: The outcome of the round table discussions are summarised on the attached sheet. 4. Closing remarks: The Chairman thanked everyone for their contributions to what had been a very lively meeting. He explained that a note of the Open meeting, alongside a note of the AGM and a summary of the outcomes of the round table discussions, will be circulated to all members with the next issue of the Newsletter. He also urged members to remain in touch and continue to provide input and contributions to SOPF’s activities.
  5. 5. SWINDON OLDER PEOPLES FORUM (SOPF) Summary of Round Table Discussion on 22 Octiber 2013 on “Issues and Concerns of Swindon’s Older Community: What has changed since 2004?”. Each table’s discussions were guided by a member of the Management Committee and split into 7 headings. Within each of the headings were a number of questions that reflected the outcome of discussions that took place in 2004: • Transport/Bus Services • Feeling Safe • Information/Communication • Black, Minority and Ethnic communities • Housing • Public Services/Facilities
  6. 6. • Additional Services In addition attendees were asked: • What are the best things about living in Swindon? • Where is Swindon behind other areas of the UK in the provision of facilities/services for older people? For each of the 7 headings, attendees were asked to provide a view on whether the issues raised in 2004 had got better, were worse or were the same (in some instances no comment was made and these were regarded as “unknown”). A summary of the responses are presented below Transport Better 18.06% Worse 44.44% Same 9.72% Unknown 27.78% Better 15.56% Worse 42.22% Same 32.22% Unknown 10.00% Better 0% Worse 69.44% Same 0% Unknown 30.56% Black and Minority Ethnic communities (BME) Better Worse 15.87% 1.59% Same 0% Unknown 82.54% Feeling Safe Information & Communication Housing Better 13.85% Worse 29.23% Same 7.69% Unknown 49.23% Better 12.96% Worse 83.33% Same 1.85% Unknown 1.85% Better 24.44% Worse 25.56% Same 30.00% Unknown 20.00% Better 16.20% Worse 35.70% Same 12.56% Unknown 35.54% Public Services/Facilities Additional Services Overall Summary As an aid to interpretation, attendees were invited to express any additional comments within each of the headings. These are presented below: Transport Loss of 18 service to hospital
  7. 7. Distances to bus stops are longer More infrequent services Pushchairs block isles Bus drivers do not wait for people to sit down “Disgraceful, expensive and appalling” is the verdict on hospital parking Not enough disabled parking Alternative transport including Dial A |Ride and taxis are too expensive Steep steps Lack of transport leads to isolation Lack of buses means people cannot go far Feeling Safe Intimidated at night and by large groups Lack of police visibility in many areas The feeling of safety depends on where you live More publicity for 101 emergency number Information and Communication Too much reliance on digital media People should check their junk mail as information is often delivered this way Free telephone numbers needed for information sources etc., To pick up information people should take the local newspaper or go into town Poor signage Size of print important People do not know where to go for information There should be more use and awareness of the “talking newspaper” Meetings during the day, not evenings Black and Minority Ethnic communities (BME) Expense of translation Language problems have not improved due to more diversified population It is felt that women are less likely than men to learn English More events needed to bridge divide Media not always helpful around diversity Vast improvement in available food outlets Housing More provision in rural areas, it should also be a mixture Public Services/Facilities Pavements uneven and dangerous Not enough public toilets Additional Services There are not enough Carers Poor information on finding night care, health and wellbeing More information needed for diabetics Citizens Advice not easily available Best things about living in Swindon
  8. 8. Close to countryside Lots of community self help support groups Parks, gardens and roundabout displays Diversity of population Theatres, museums and art gallery Community centre activities Lunch clubs Parks, Coate Water etc., when you can get to them Very individual Churches Friends! Where Swindon is behind other areas of UK Retirement villages with extra care Post Offices Rubbish collection needed weekly Transport, including accessable transport Provision for sight impaired and blind people Looking after heritage Little available for Black & Minority Ethnic Communities More consultation is needed to ensure needs are met Not enough seating in public areas A Councillor needed to assume responsibility for older people Is it time for council to co-ordinate and advise the increasing ageing population about facilities available to improve health and avoid loneliness Outcomes and Overall Summary Although the sample size was small, with the exception of Housing and BME’s where there was a large “unknown” element, attendees expressed a rather negative picture of little or no progress in the other 5 headings. Of particular concern are the areas of Transport, Information/Communication and Public Service/Facilities where the “worse” judgements percentages are very high. Caution is needed in making any more detailed interpretation of the data, but it does provide a useful, if coarse, older peoples perspective on developments over the past 10 years.