Agenda and draft minutes

Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board - Thursday, 15 October 2020 10.00 am

Venue: MS Teams

Contact: Sarah Goodman 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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    The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting including Col John Baynham who has taken over the role of Deputy Commander of 11 Brigade from Col Simon Browne. 

    The chairman thanked Col Browne for all his hard work and for being a tower of strength - he will be missed as will Major Andy Butcher who had moved role and has been replaced by Maj Richard Watkins.



Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 170 KB

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    Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and completed actions noted.



Education Attainment of Service Children pdf icon PDF 265 KB

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    Additional documents:


    Chairman introduced Louise Yarnell from Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAfE). Louise outlined the approach to supporting service children in Surrey this year which is focussed on language and literacy as set out in the report circulated with the agenda.  It was noted that no statutory data is available for this year as exams did not take place due to Covid.


    Key points included:

    ·         SAfE are following a tiered model based on high quality teaching which was launched at two webinar events for schools in September.

    ·         Schools were asked to complete an audit to highlight trends, showcase successful interventions and enable case studies to be developed. A follow up will be held with schools after 12 months to look at value added.

    ·         2 Lancs will be arriving in Pirbright shortly and the team will work with schools to see if progress for these children can be tracked.

    ·         A risk assessment/self evaluation tool has been issued to schools looking at different groups of learners, including service children and progress will be monitored to see if additional tailored support is required.

    ·         Looking to ensure best practice is shared for example around using service pupil premium, or tailored literacy programmes and signposting to other organisations - especially for those schools who may not have a large cohort of service children.  This will be shared via the new SAfE website, which will also include regular Blogs.  Comments on the draft webpage are welcome (

    ·         Have held a webinar around wellbeing and mental health including friendships, relationships and transition.


    Chairman thanked Louise and re-stated how important this work is and how determined the board are to keep the focus on this. Action – Admissions and Transport to be invited to next meeting.



11 Brigade Update

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    ·         New Brigade Commander and Deputy Commander 11 Infantry Brigade

    ·         Armed Forces Covenant Legislation SE Focus Group

    ·         Army moves

    ·         Task Force Commanders update


    New Brigade Commander and Deputy Commander 11 Infantry Brigade


    Col John Baynham was welcomed to the Board for his first meeting. 

    Richard Moore, on behalf of Col John, took over as he was having issues with his microphone. Col John joined 11 Brigade in May 2020 and is very much looking forward to working with the Board.


    Brigadier Ben Cattermole is the new Commander of 11 Brigade HQ SE and keen to meet key people as soon as circumstances permit. Since the last update to the Board, 11 Brigade have delivered multiple outputs across various locations and have had to adapt and prioritise activities due to response to Covid-19.


    Army update


    -          1st Battalion Coldstream Guards are actively supporting operations in Iraq. 

    -          Welsh Guards have returned to London District.

    -          1St Battalion Irish Guards now back from Iraq and South Sudan and are supporting Covid-19 operations extensively across the south east.

    -          1st Battalion Royal Irish, based in Shropshire have supported NHS and other agencies across West Midlands

    -          2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles remain in Brunei – will be returning to Shorncliffe Barracks, Folkstone next summer. 

    -          2nd Battalion Royal Irish (Reserve Unit), based in N Ireland have provided a range of support to the community through Covid and have just deployed on Operation TOSCA the United Nations mission in Cyprus supported by members of 3PWRR.

    -          Support for Covid response - 3PWRR mobilised over 100 army reservists, working alongside 4PWRR and 7 Rifles in providing Covid-19 support across south east. This included 105,000 tests conducted which has now been handed over to civilian contractors. In addition military planners have been integrated into Local Resilience Forums across the south east.


    Issues in Surrey

    -          2 Lancashire Regiment have a total of 18 families moving in to accommodation at Pirbright at the end of October. The Unit Welfare Officer is leading on liaison with SCC and the local authorities.

    -          Deepcut Camp now nearly closed. Some ongoing issues around the future of the community centre and Service Family Accommodation (including civilian rentals) which is being looked at by Regional Command.  Cllr Tom Gracey is happy to speak directly to SFA tenants alongside 11 Brigade.

    -          St Barbara’s Church due to be handed over to Diocese of Guildford, but not proving straightforward at present.

    -          Ash Ranges –remains open for public access when not in use.


    Update from Lt Col Sandford, ATC Pirbright.

    ·         ATC Pirbright is the largest basic training base for the army in the UK which sits under a different command structure from 11 Brigade for operational / training side, but for community matters is very much within the 11 Brigade area.  ATC Pirbright briefly paused training following lockdown, but returned mid-May.  Initially 50%, but now full intake and on track to meet target numbers of recruits trained. 

    ·         Some issues arose around key worker status of army personnel, but good co-operation with headteachers allowed relevant service children to go to school when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


COVID- 19 Joint working with the Military

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    Steve Owen Hughes in his role as Chair of Local Resilience Forum in Surrey provided an update on activities during Covid 19. 


    The LRF started planning early in the New Year for the pandemic and declared a major incident on 19 March. Surrey has always had a good relationship with military and great liaison officers and this was built on during the pandemic to ensure Surrey had the capability to deal with excess deaths,  shielding and PPE.  Over 10 million pieces of PPE have been delivered directly from the LRF and no frontline worker in Surrey went without PPE after second week after LRF took on sourcing. The support from all the military personnel involved was absolutely crucial. An enormous thank you was given to Col Simon for helping focus minds and creating a unity of purpose.  It is tragedy that so many lives were lost ,but estimates show that thousands of lives have likely been saved.


    Surrey is now as prepared as we can be and are in the early stages of planning for a difficult winter.  Operation Tarragon is the winter plan to deal with possible winter pressures and EU Exit over the next six months  A lot of planning, thinking etc is needed and a lot of it is due to our colleagues in military.  In awe of the quiet way the military have done work behind the scenes, often without it being  known. 


    Col Simon Browne responded that Steve’s contribution was outstanding, which was recognised centrally in London. 


    It was noted that it would be great to make the work done behind the scenes more widely known.  Louise Punter keen to share with Surrey business community. Action: Steve Owen Hughes to produce a mid-term report and share.


    Tony Shipley and Steve shared that Health has been given the lead regarding the pandemic for the next six months – recognising that there will be other pressures in Surrey.  The LRF will wrap around them and provide support.


    The Chairman thanked Steve for his update and all his hard work and that of all the Partners working so hard to keep Surrey safe.



Veteran's Support

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    ·         Veteran’s Hub Project and University of Surrey Evaluation

    ·         Age Concern Surrey Befriending Project

    ·         Possible joint work with Surrey Community Foundation


    Sarah Goodman provided a verbal update regarding the £148,000 MOD funded  Veterans’ Hub project, which has now completed but some of the projects are yet to start due to Covid-19 restrictions.


    Across the southeast a needs and gap analysis was undertaken, a best practice guide Grow Your Hub was developed and 21 Hubs were supported including 17 new hubs.  These were hosted in a range of different facilities including a prison, football club, community centre, fire station etc.

    Within Surrey the hubs are: 

    -          Camberley - Veterans Hub and Listening Project, which has really stood up during Covid and provided a lot of support online as well as providing food packages.

    -          East Molesey - Veterans’ Support Association, is focused around sport.

    -          Epsom Hub - run jointly by RBL, SCC and Epsom & Ewell Council

    -          Guildford Fire Station and plans for Woking and Fordbridge fire stations. 

    -          Ashtead - new hub will be located in a pub. 

    -          Caterham will have a hub in the Westway Community Centre.

    -          Possible hub within Farnham or Ash Library.


    An independent evaluation of the project has been carried out by University of Surrey which in summary highlighted the value of hubs and the support offered.  The project was deemed good value for money and highlighted lots of best practice that can be shared. There has been particular interest in the hubs within fire stations by other brigades.


    Age Concern Surrey has recently received a Covenant Grant for befriending veterans and SCC are now working with them to help them reach veterans. 


    The Chairman thanked Sarah and Peter for the positive update.



Action Plan Updates pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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    ·         Electoral Registration

    ·         Annual Conference

    ·         2019/2020 Annual Report (attached)

    ·         Forces Connect South East and Forces Connect App

    ·         Training Update

    ·         Armed Forces Covenant Funding

    ·         MoD Regional Employers Engagement Group and Employers Recognition Scheme Awards


    Electoral register – The pilot at Pirbright with Guildford BC will be up and running in April following delays due to Covid.


    SCMPB Conference – was the last major conference to do with Covenant before Covid restrictions.  Was a success and very well received. Thanks to all who were involved. 

    It was agreed that the 2021 hold conference in June rather than March, with the hope it may be in person. 


    Annual Report – has been well received and is highlighted as an exemplar by the MoD Covenant Team for communicating what we do with the community.  Have already started doing this years’ report, so please share information for inclusion.


    Forces Connect – in the end about 7k people were trained, 9.5k people have downloaded app.  The project was a runner up in the Soldiering on Awards. 

    Peter Martin very proud what was achieved with Forces Connect, not only in southeast, but also nationally.  Project was an exemplar and achieved every objective we were set. Forces Connect App continues to grow with Nepali translation added.


    Virtual training is being put together for the library service and others to ensure the legacy continues.


    Funding update

    The following link is to the open grant programmes.  All were encouraged to circulate and consider applications.


    Employer Recognition Scheme - Congratulations to Woking on their ERS Gold Award and Spelthorne for their Silver.  Spelthorne are mentoring Runnymede.  Surrey’s Gold is up for review in 2021.


Recognise and Remember Update

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    ·         VE and VJ Day

    ·         Armed Forces Week

    ·         Remembrance Sunday


    Paul Evans – recently held a virtual Task Group meeting. 

    ·         The VE and VJ commemorations were limited because of lockdown restrictions, but were both effectively marked at a local level. 

    ·         Would like to commemorate the war in Korea as this year was 70th anniversary.

    ·         Next year 30 anniversary of 1st Gulf War.  Plans are being developed to commemorate this as restrictions allow.  Should be commemorated at a local level as many veterans in Surrey communities who served in that campaign.

    ·         Armed Forces Week – flag raised at Guildford Cathedral. 

    ·         Looking ahead to Remembrance Week – members of group shared ideas and all had a determination to do something and mark it effectively.

    ·         Jim France, RBL – poppy appeal will be different this year.  Limited face to face collections but the option to buy a poppy at supermarket checkout.




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    Tony Shipley – Surrey Heartlands CCG has now merged and has advocacy from Clare Fuller in raising profile of the Covenant internally.   Canon Peter extended thanks to Tony and his team for how much they are doing to support the military from an NHS perspective. 


    Sarah Goodman – NHS have a survey out at the moment for supporting armed forces families in England.  Please do help to circulate.

    Peter Ellis – has provided a written SERFCA update which will be circulated with minutes.

    The Lord Lieutenant Awards will be taking place virtually this year and all members were encouraged to join online.



Date of next meeting - March TBC

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