Agenda and draft minutes

Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board - Tuesday, 20 April 2021 10.30 am

Venue: MS Teams

Contact: Sarah Goodman 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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    The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting and apologies were noted.  Introductions were made and special welcome extended to Maj Richard Watkins, Lt Col Shamus Kelly and to Helyn Clack who were new to the board.



Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 448 KB

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    ·         Admissions and Transport


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


    Matters arising – Admissions and Transport

    This item was deferred to next Board meeting as the officers from Surrey County Council Schools Admissions Team were extremely busy due to the recent announcement of primary school places for 21/22.



Supporting Armed Forces Families

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    Discussion around more coordinated support for service families


    Canon Peter Bruinvels provided an update on the Living in Our Shoes report following the conference. It was noted that the Government had accepted 99 of the 106 recommendations made in the report about supporting armed forces families which should result in real improvements.  In terms of one of the points made in the report, it was noted that Surrey schools welcome parents collecting their children wearing military uniform, which was found not to be universal across the country.


    Following discussions outside the meeting with Tom Gracey, it was proposed that an electronic network of colleagues from across the county be created to aid the support of armed forces families.  The collective experience and contacts on this group could help ensure the correct advice is given or resolution reached for enquiries in as timely a way as possible.

    It was agreed to explore the concept further with Tom Gracey and an update will be brought to the next meeting.


    A discussion was held around Service Pupil Premium and how it is spent in Surrey. A meeting was proposed between Helyn Clack, the SCC Cabinet Member for Education, Sarah Goodman and Canon Peter Bruinvels to explore:

    • Generating a report on how it is currently being spent in Surrey schools.
    • Creating guidance for school Governors around good use of the Service Pupil Premium.

    An update on this topic will be provided at the next meeting.



11 Brigade Update

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    ·         Support to COVID response

    ·         2 Duke of Lancs

    ·         2PWRR

    ·         Task Force Commanders

    o   Lt Col Shamus Kelly

    o   Major Richard Watkins


    Apologies were received from Col John Baynham who had been called away at the last moment.  Richard Moore gave the following update.

    Key points:

    • Prince Philip’s funeral – noted the role of the armed forces and what a fitting tribute to a loyal servant of the Crown this was. 
    • Integrated review of the Armed Forces is ongoing.  Not yet clear what impact this will have on 11 Brigade and HQ SE.  The new Ranger Regiment formation will be a refinement to the specialised infantry concept and will include 2PWRR and 2 Lancs – it is not expected they will re-locate as part of this new role.
    • Current operation to support the NHS on the Covid response will end at the end of April, although they will remain on stand-by.
    • 1 Welsh Guards will deploy to Iraq this Summer.


    Armed Forces Covenant Legislation

    ·         A virtual update on the legislation currently going through Parliament will be given to Army Unit Armed Forces Champions on 5 May.

    ·         11 Brigade has been asked to run additional focus groups with local authorities on the legislation which will look at guidance and the Bill as it continues its journey through Parliament.  It is anticipated that the first meeting will be held in June with a follow up in August/September.

    ·         Hoped mature draft of legislation will be ready by the Autumn.


    Armed Forces Covenant Fund


    ·         Force for Change programme – grants of up to 10K for projects which reduce social isolation is now open.  Round two closes 2 Aug 2021. Pirbright Cricket Club has submitted a bid to the first round.

    Surrey County Council Adult Social Care was recently successful in being awarded a grant of 20k to enable a one year pilot programme supporting veterans in residential and nursing homes.

    ·         Sustaining Support for Armed Forces Communities programme – grants of up to 100k for existing charitable projects to sustain activities that people from Armed Forces communities use and value. Round 1 closes 4 June 2021.

    ·         NAFFI fund

    Will open May 2021 and will make grants to Armed Forces bases.  Round one closes 14 July 2021.

    ·         Strengthening Delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant grant  - details will be circulated when made available.


    The Board was urged to continue sharing details of the funds available with partners and colleagues and reminded that Sarah Goodman is always happy to provide advice and guidance around any bids.


    Task Force Commanders


    Lt Col Shamus Kelly – ATC Pirbright


    Lt Col Shamus was welcomed to the Board and shared details of his background and what he hopes to achieve / be able to offer from ATC Pirbright. This covered the importance of networks to ensure output both within the base and in terms of offer to wider community, the re-establishment of community relationships coming out of Covid-19 and aiming to develop a programme of events to capture the enthusiasm of people to re-immerse in society when able to do so.


    Strategic vision going forward over the next 3-5 years:

    ·         Over next 3-12  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Recognise and Remember Update

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    ·         VE Day, Armed Forces Week and VJ Day

    ·         Veteran Hubs


    Task group

    Group met 5 March 2021.  Meeting was very well attended and valued by members.



    • VE Day 8 May – will be impacted by restrictions which will still be in force.
    • Armed Forces Week – also at challenging time, though restrictions should be lifted at the start of this week.  Service at Guildford Cathedral is scheduled for 11.30am on 20 June outside and will be restricted in numbers.  No guidance has yet been received from MoD re Armed Forces Week.
    • 15 May is the 100 year anniversary of The Royal British Legion and there will be small ceremony at Guildford Cathedral.


    Veterans Hubs

    Two online Veterans’ Hubs were hosted by Surrey County Council in December 2020 and March 2021 as physical meetings were not possible. These will be developed more into supporting existing and new hubs as and when they are able to open to enable them to be able to share ideas and connect with experts such as Tech to Connect and bereavement services.


    Thanks were extended to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for their support reaching out to veterans and making their buildings available.  Thanks also to the Armed Forces Champions for their commitment. The new Fordbridge Hub ready to go and looking forward to planning a physical launch.


    The Chairman extended personal thanks to Brig Paul Evans for all his hard work and commitment.



Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 352 KB

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    ·         Armed Forces Conference

    o   Feedback (attached)

    o   Building on new links

    ·         Armed Forces Annual Report – sign off (attached)

    ·         Armed Forces Covenant Legislation (attached)

    ·         Armed Forces Covenant Funding

    ·         Employer Recognition Scheme – Surrey update

    Additional documents:


    Armed Forces Conference

    • Feedback – a summary of the feedback received was circulated with the agenda which was universally positive.  Range of speakers and topics well received. 80% of feedback received enjoyed the fact it was online as they were able to fit it more easily round existing commitments. People were able to join from across the country.  Networking was missed, however and the potential of a hybrid model for next year was mentioned.
    • New connections – very positive new connections forged, including with Ashford and St Peters’ Hospital and KBR. 


    Annual Report

    • The Board approved the annual report 2020/21 for publication.



    • Canon Peter Bruinvels has been appointed the Armed Forces Champion and Covenant Lead for the All Party Covenant Legislation Parliamentary Group and has recently give oral and written evidence to the Armed Forces Bill Select Committee.
    • Strategic Guidance has been received in draft and will go back to the House of Commons in April. 


    Employer Recognition Scheme

    • Surrey County Council’s Gold status is up for review in 2021.  Paperwork has been submitted to support this and the national review will take place on 21 June 2021.
    • In Surrey there are currently 56 Bronze level organisations, 16 Silver and 9 Gold.  Lots of applications have been received despite the challenges of Covid.
    • Surrey County Council continues, with others, to mentor Surrey local authorities in their applications. 




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    Col Patrick Crowley

    • SERFCA will be running five Armed Forces briefings across the south east in June.  Surrey and Berks will be via Zoom on 1 June 2021 at 8pm focusing on Engagement.  Canon Peter Bruinvels will be speaking.  Invitations to follow.
    • Cadets – activity of the cadets is starting to wind up gradually.  From Mon 26 April groups of 15 will be able to meet indoors with details being worked through.  Annual camps are being planned.
    • Defence Papers - as discussed a number of big papers have been published recently, Government Integrated Review, Defence Command Paper and Defence and Security Industrial Strategy.  Still to come is Reserves Forces 2030 – may be published May. 

    Many of the details from these papers are yet to be worked out so unclear quite how Surrey will be affected.  Surrey’s local regiment PWRR were not badly affected by the Defence Command paper.  2PWRR will become part of the new Ranger Regiment and 4PWRR goes from strength to strength.

    • Welcome extended to Helyn Clack with an offer to provide and overview and update from SERFCA in due course.


    Lord Lieutenant led thanks and applause from all members of the Board to Peter Martin for all he has done as Chairman of the Surrey Civilian Military Partnership Board as it was noted that he was stepping down from being a county councillor at the elections on 6 May 2021. 



Date of next meeting

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    10am on 6 October 2021


    10am on 6 October 2021