Venue: Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, GU12 5RQ
Contact: Sarah Goodman
Welcome and Apologies
Apologies were received from Col Andy Barr (Phil Small representing), Col Patrick Crowley (Stephanie Russell representing), Sandra Fruish (David Plattern representing) and Karen Whelan.
The Chairman welcomed two Armed Forces Champions whose boroughs are linked to 4 Armd Med Regt – Cllr Patrick Cannon and Cllr Roger Newstead. In addition two members of the Community Partnerships Team were observing the meeting.
Presentation on Role of 4 Armoured Medical Regiment and 22 Field Hospital
Major Stuart Young from 4 Armoured Medical Regiment and Major Matt Nowak from 22 Field Hospital gave an excellent presentation on the role of both Regiments which operate out of Keogh Barracks.
Following the presentation and an opportunity for questions, the Chairman thanked both Majors very much for their presentation and for hosting the meeting.
· Priorities for the SCMPB Exec (attached)
Item 3 – the successes paper was widely circulated and is on the website https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/advice-guidance-and-support/armed-forces/surrey-civillian-military-partnership-board
The Priorities discussed at the last meeting have been updated to include a section on veterans as attached in the agenda papers.
Regarding successful Covenant Grants, it was noted that the Vulnerable Veterans project had received a further six months funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to continue the good work, and the ‘Time to Remember’ event held in Farnham to remember the first ever two minutes silence 100 years ago on 1 May 2016 was a huge success.
Other items have either been completed or were covered within an agenda item.
11 Brigade Update
· 11 Brigade overview and update on Civilian Integration and Task Force Commander Symposium Update
· 11 Brigade Conference – 1 November for County and Unitary Armed Forces Champions (Members and Officers)
· Future Accommodation Model
· Armed Forces Employability Pathway Programme
· BAME including update on Commonwealth Soldier Battlefield Tour
Phil Small gave an update to the Board on 11 Brigade activities. The training year is almost complete and 2017 will be a deployable year if required.
Civil Engagement planning for the next year is in progress and will build on the Ink Spot work of this year. Task Force Commanders (TFCs) received a briefing at a Symposium held on 6 September on key priorities for the Civil Engagement work for the next 12 months and their outputs are being ranked to encourage more participation. It was announced that Canon Peter Bruinvels had been appointed as Armed Forces Champion for 11 Brigade by Brigadier Kimber.
The Future Accommodation Model is in its early stages – the aim is to improve the accommodation offer for the Army whilst reducing costs. The aspiration is to encourage more private rental and purchasing now some Army units are more stable in a location. Serving personnel and Families Federations are being surveyed, however it was noted that it is unlikely there will be a huge impact in Surrey.
The Armed Forces Employability Pathway programme which looks to support young people into employment has been successful in its pilots and the Brigade is planning to extend for 2017. It was agreed that the Community Partnerships Team would speak to Lt-Col Graeme MacPherson to see if it would be possible to run a course in Surrey:
Action: SG/PB to talk to GMcP
The Brigade organised a Commonwealth Soldier Battlefield tour with Service personnel and community leaders with attendees from Muslim, Hindu and Seek faiths. The event was hugely successful and resulted in a deeper understanding of issues and a deepened relationship.
The Brigade has organised a conference for county and unitary authorities in the South East on 1 November. Board members were disappointed that this event was not open to district and borough councils to attend, and KW agreed to feed this back to Col Barr. The next countywide meeting for Armed Forces Champions and Task Force Commanders was due to be held on 1 December, and outcomes from the Brigade event would be highlighted there.
· Recognise and Remember Task Group Update
· Community Integration Task Group Update
· SCC Gold Employer Recognition Award (attached)
· Shared Intelligence Report (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-community-covenant/armed-forces-community-covenant#improving-the-delivery-of-local-covenant-pledges) (attached) and proposed Surrey MoD Case Studies
Recognise and Remember Task Group Update
The last meeting was held at DMRC Headley Court and it was confirmed that the relocation in 2018 was final. The group is discussing whether it would be appropriate for Headley to receive a Royal title. There will be an event on 29 September 2017 to celebrate all that Headley Court has achieved before the move north starting with a church service at St Martin’s followed by a Freedom March through Dorking High Street.
The group has been working closely with all Armed Forces Champions on the documenting of War Memorials in Surrey. This work is going very well.
Steve Owen-Hughes noted that the Fire Brigade has done up the sports pavilion and erected a small memorial. They have researched 100 people whose names are on the memorial who also served in Surrey Fire and Rescue Service – 50 of these served in WW1 and the other 50 in WW2. It was suggested that Steve link in with Barrie Higham, Surrey History Centre. Action: SO-H to contact Barrie Higham
One issue the group is keen to help address is ensuring there is a strong connection between Armed Forces Champions and Task Force Commanders with the constant churn from both sides.
A lot of activity was reported during Armed Forces week including Choral Mattins, Flag Raising, event at Lingfield, Military vehicles at Loseley Park and an event hosted by SERFCA on the Battle of the Somme at Surrey Sports Park.
The group will consider key priorities for 2017 at their next meeting.
Community Integration Task Group Update
A summary of the key issues and future priorities for Housing; Health, Wellbeing and Welfare; Education; and Employment was circulated and the Task Group Chairman led through group through the key priorities.
Two additional papers were circulated prior to the meeting and the Task Group asked for the Boards endorsement of both of these.
The first paper set out an options paper for the Surrey CCGs to deliver the health needs for the Armed Forces Community. The Board agreed option 2 - to employ a 0.2FTE to work across the Surrey CCGs, should be taken forward. Action: PB to inform Debbie Hustings
The second paper ‘Together for Carers’ set out a draft Memorandum of Understanding between Health and Social Care partners to support an integrated approach to the identifying, assessment and meeting of Carers’ health and wellbeing needs, including those needs of military families. The Board agreed their support for this proposal but queried how success would be quantified/measured. The Community Integration Task Group was asked to consider what success would look like and report back. Action: Community Integration Task Group
SCC Gold Employer Recognition Award
The Chairman was delighted to announce that Surrey County Council had been awarded the prestigious Gold Employer Recognition Award. The award was due to be presented to Surrey by HRH Duke of Cambridge at a ceremony the following week. The Board congratulated Surrey and asked for wide publicity, including ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Armed Forces Covenant Fund
· Regional Local Authority bid to Armed Forces Covenant Fund (Priority 3 – Strengthening local government delivery of the covenant)
· Update on first round of bidding (up to £20k – Priority 4 – Community integration/local service delivery)
· Priority 4 – up to £20k – round 2: Opened on 23 September – closing on 2 November 2016 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covenant-fund-guidance-on-how-to-apply .
Strengthening local government delivery of the Covenant
The Board noted that Surrey has been working with neighbouring County Councils including Kent, Hampshire and East and West Sussex with the support of ssafa and RBL on a cross border bid to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund with the aim to:
Promote understanding and awareness of issues affecting the Armed Forces Community within public authorities and other sectors to ensure the Covenant is embedded in mainstream service delivery through sharing and building on best practice.
If successful, funding will be used to develop training packages for staff and councillors, increase online information, and referral pathways. The outcome will be known in March 2017.
Community Integration/Local Service Delivery
Bids for grants up to £20k were available and Board Members were encouraged to consider possible projects. It was noted that the South East had performed well in previous rounds.
(Post meeting note – Surrey was successful in receiving funding of £20,000 for Military Carers Support and £5021 for improving the family welfare house at Pirbright.)
Discussion and actions:
1. Action: Steve Owen-Hughes and Community Partnerships Team to discuss how the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) could support/identify veterans in need.
2. The Police and Crime Commissioner has funding which can be applied for via the Funding Hub - http://funding.surrey-pcc.gov.uk/
3. Could any applications for funding be made to support military families around the Domestic Abuse agenda, or how could support be mainstreamed into current service delivery. It was noted that Shelly Bandford from the Army Families Federation had received funding for a pilot course for victims of Domestic Abuse from the Nepalese community. It was noted that it would be good to try and assess the size of the problem of DA within the Gurkha community. Also need to ensure linkages made with Family Line and Surrey Womens Aid. Jodie Kennedy-Smith is the lead for 11 Brigade. Action: To be considered by the Community Integration Task Group.
4. It was noted that a play developed with support from Sussex Armed Forces Network aimed at exploring the issues faced by soldiers with PTSD has been put on in Eastbourne, and it was queried whether funds could be obtained to enable it to be shown in Surrey. www.shellshock.org.uk
· Armed Forces Covenant Conference – 15 November, Deepcut
· Headley Court
· Armed Forces Champions
· Armed Forces Covenant for Business
Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference
This would take place on 15 November at RLC Deepcut and have a focus on service families and health.
DMRC Headley Court
They are due to move in 2018, and a celebration march is being planned for 29 September 2017. Headley Court has been invited to head up the march at the Cenotaph in 2017. Consideration is being given to whether Headley should be granted Royal status. Work is ongoing to look after the needs of the staff who are not moving with Headley Court.
Armed Forces Champions across the county are working well together with their Task Force Commanders. The next networking event for the county will be held on 1 December, kindly hosted by 27 Regt RLC in Aldershot. Many of the boroughs have now produced signposting leaflets for local armed forces families.
Armed Forces Covenant for Business
It was reported that at the recent Woking Means Business event, Skanska gave an excellent presentation on what it has achieved as a Silver holder of the Employer Recognition Award and the benefits of employing ex-service personnel. SCMPB/Woking BC had a stand at the event and 7 companies signed an expression of interest for funding out more about the Armed Forces Covenant.
Surrey is looking at how to best recognise the support and work of Reservists who work for the council. It was noted that QinetiQ (who are Gold Award holders) will host a conference for Chief Executives on tangible benefits of the Covenant. Action: Stephanie Russell to send further information.
Brief update on the role of Cadets and activity in Surrey (attached)
Stephanie Russell gave an update on Cadets in Surrey. It was noted that the expansion programme was focussed on areas of deprivation. The leaflet circulated with the agenda on Cadets has been sent to all Surrey schools.
It was noted that the data showed just those units within the SERFCA area (which is outside the M25), not those within the Surrey area.Queries were raised about the disparity between the ratio of adult volunteers to cadets within the units. Action: Stephanie Russell to check data.
It was noted that Ash Manor School is going through the process for a CCF. Board members asked whether it would be possible to see whether a Unit would be possible at Collingwood School. Action: Stephanie to feed back to Cadet Expansion Officer.
The PCC noted that they are in the process of setting up Police Cadets and there will be synergies across the different types of Cadet Units.
Bob Crawley raised the issue of support available to families living in Service Family Accommodation who split up from the person serving and have 90 days to find alternative accommodation.
It was noted that support is available and families should be encouraged to contact their local authority as soon as possible to look at options before they become homeless. The family would be issued with a certificate of impending homelessness. Support for the family would also be available from the Unit Welfare Officer. Action: Housing Lead from Community Integration Task Group to contact Bob Crawley to talk through the process and support available.
Date of next meeting
Proposed date: Thursday 23 March 2017, ATC Pirbright
The next meeting would be held at ATC Pirbright at 10am on Thursday 23 March 2017.