Venue: Surrey Fire and Rescue HQ, Conference Room, St David's, Wray Park, Reigate, RH2 0EJ
Contact: Sarah Goodman
Welcome, Introductions and Apologies
Mr Peter Martin welcomed everyone to the meeting, and apologies were noted. The Chairman asked officers to send the Boards’ thoughts and best wishes to James Painter who is on sick leave.
· ATC Pass Out Parades
· Veterans Mental Health Update
The minutes of the meeting 12 March 2018 were agreed.
Army Training Centre (Pirbright) Passing Out Parade
Members of the Board had attended the Pass Out Parade on 8 June 2018. Thanks were extended to ATC for their hospitality and it was agreed it would be great to attend a parade once or twice a year.
Veterans Mental Health Update
Karen Simmonds provided some background to the issue explaining that mental health provision for veterans was provided in Surrey through Combat Stress and then SERVES under Virgin Care. In 2017 NHS consolidated the services and commissioned on a bigger scale. The provision in Surrey is now provided by through the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service through the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust who provide the service across London, East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent and Medway.
TILS well established in Kent and Sussex, but concerns had been raised about communication and provision being offered in Surrey.
Karen updated that the situation had improved and we have received a service specification and they are reaching out to Surrey GPs.
Members of the Board reported that veterans that they had referred to the service received great care. The main issue was visibility and ensuring that people are aware of the service and how to contact them. It was confirmed that TILS are signposted from Veterans’ Gateway.
Actions – Karen to ask TILS for a communications plan.
Ensure details are included on the Surrey Pathways.
Add this item to March agenda.
· Attainment of Service Children
· School Admissions (attached)
· Children’s Centre Update
Peter Martin updated the Board on a very positive meeting held in October 2018 with primary and secondary schools with large numbers of service children to look at educational attainment issues.
Additional data on attainment was considered at this meeting, which raised further questions around issues such as the particular cohort, trend data etc.
Key points included:
· Data from 96 service children at KS2 last year showed an improvement on previous results.
· Secondary schools heads saying they didn’t feel there was an issue with service children arriving at their schools, which was backed up by data. Not currently an issue with attainment at KS4.
· The three local primary schools around Pirbright have a really good relationship with ATC.
· The movement of the Welsh Guards away from Pirbright in Summer 2019 will impact on the schools and it was reported that some school classes have had to merge due to smaller numbers. 123 families will leave in July and concerns were raised about funding and teaching and teacher quotas when Welsh Guards leave and others arrive.
· Funding for schools with Service children is calculated by those on roll as of 1 April each year.
Col Browne explained that the timing of movement of units around the country was dependant on the logistics of other units completing their moves, so timings may be subject to change.
It was agreed that the education attainment would remain on the SCMPB agenda.
Following a case that was raised regarding admission of a service child to a Surrey school, a school admissions fact sheet had been prepared and circulated to help inform about the process. This was noted.
Children’s Centre Update
Following the last partnership board a meeting was held with Major Miller and Sue Brown, Head Teacher and centre leader of the St Pauls C of E Infant School and Children’ Centre, Tongham, to discuss the support that would be available for military families as part of the proposed changes to children’s centres. The meeting was positive. Major Miller explained that the community centre would still be available free of charge for delivering services on the camp and was reassured that services would continue to be delivered there so that families would not need to travel to Tongham to access the support they need. The formal consultation on Children’s Centres had been delayed until the Autumn.
11 Brigade Update
Update received from Col Simon Browne
Action – David Munro suggests Col Browne contact head of local policing ACC Nev Kemp who is doing work to access hard to reach groups.
· SCMPB Annual Report and Action Plan (attached)
· Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference – 6 February 2019
· Recognise and Remember Task Group
· Community Integration
o Unit Welfare Officers Meeting
· Surrey County Council
o New HR Armed Forces Policy
o Updated MPs and Councillors Information (attached)
o Reserves Day 2018
· Employer Recognition Scheme Update for Surrey (attached)
The SCMPB annual report 2017-18 has been well received.
The SCMPB Action Plan had been updated to include the actions identified within the recent audit carried out by Paul Evans. It is important to measure the effect / impact of the work being done and the annual report was considered key to this.
A discussion was held about the target regarding business breakfasts and the military. It was noted that Surrey Heath BC is holding Business Expo on 13 November with a speaker from RMA Sandhurst. 11 Brigade host Army Engagement Events, which is the start of the journey. Businesses that attend these, could be invited to future business breakfasts. SERFCA also have good links to employers.
Action – It was agreed that it would be useful for Surrey Heath, Surrey Chambers and SERFCA to get together and discuss a way forward, linking into the wider group of economic development officers across Surrey. It was suggested that Karen Whelan may be interested in leading on this area.
Early thoughts on the 2019 Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Conference shared with board, which included:
· Covenant could be re-signed by SCC
· Focus on Service Children
· Build on link with business – would need to work out how to target companies and get them engaged – what would be in it for them?
· If a breakfast briefing was held for business – the venue, speaker, content and breakfast are all key elements to success
· Surrey Police would like to be involved
Action: Officers to send ‘Save the date’ and progress the agenda and arrangements.
Recognise and Remember Task Group:
Paul Evans updated the Board on the very good meeting held in September. Armed Forces Champions attended, including four new members. The Task Group is keen to continue past WW100, meeting three times a year with the following key aims:
Concerns raised by the Task Group include the change in the Covenant Grant process and the County no longer being directly involved in the process, and the future attendance of the military at civic events.
Praise was given to Guildford Borough Council and their new War Memorial.
Community Integration Task Group
Michael Cannon updated the Board on the work of the Community Integration Task Group, which covers housing, education, employment and health and wellbeing. The group meets twice a year with Unit Welfare Officers to better understand the issues being faced by the military community, and how we can further support them.
· Education – key issue is attainment reported on earlier in the agenda.
· Housing – Local Connection regarding military is well understood. Some issues with spouses following marriage breakdown which is considered on a case by case basis.
· Employment – linking to Major Kennedy-Smith regarding transition. Led a workshop at 2018 conference on finance. It was agreed to look at whether the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
· Forces Connect South East (attached)
o Link to Surrey’s referral pathways http://www.sussexarmedforcesnetwork.nhs.uk/service-champions/surrey/surrey-pathways/
· Veteran’s Hubs/Drop-in centres
· Local Grants and Armistice and Armed Forces Communities Programme
SCMPB are not involved in the grant process as they have been historically, but will continue to support projects applying. The Board was asked to encourage those submitting a bid to liaise with Sarah Goodman, who has a wealth of knowledge and will be happy to help. Surrey has been successful and received in excess of 1.1million since 2012.
‘There But Not There’ silhouettes funded through the Covenant Fund was a success for Surrey with 17 projects funded in first round. Second round outcomes not announced at time of meeting.
Veterans’ Hubs and Drop In Centres
Peter Bruinvels updated the Board on this project and explained that SMPL Solutions had been appointed on behalf of Forces Connect South East to look at current provision of Veterans Hubs and Drop-In Centres and needs of veterans across the south east. He will also be producing a best practice guide. Key links in Surrey will be provided through Recognise and Remember Task Group.
Forces Connect SE
The FCSE training package has been running successfully across the South East, providing training to councillors, managers, Contact Centre and frontline staff in public authorities about the needs of the armed forces community, as well as sources of support. In addition to the face to face training, there are also e-learning packages and referral pathways. The MoD grant of £321k included £40k to roll out best practice nationally. A recent meeting was held with Lt-Gen Richard Nugee CVO CBE, Head of Defence People about the project, which was very well received. The Board was asked for support to promote the training within their organisations. Further information is available via www.surreycc.gov.uk/forcesconnectse
Fire Service and the Military
Steve Owen-Hughes was unable to attend meeting. Thanks for his continued work and hospitality for this meeting were offered by the Chairman.
On 11 November 2018 the Armed Forces Covenant will be signed by the Diocese of Guildford with 11 Brigade at Guildford Cathedral– all welcome.
Pat Cannon explored the idea of a veterans tie – he would investigate and report back.
Maj Carol Miller thanked those who attended the Pass Out Parade and noted that the playground at Peter Pan Pre-School, which was funded through a Covenant Grant, was being opened 18 October 2018 and Board members were welcome to attend.
David Munro explained that the Police are currently focussing on modern slavery – Surrey Police are pushing for people to be aware of how much there is around and to be vigilant and report, and asked all organisation to take a very good look at themselves – check supply chains and those you offer contracts to. Action: David to put Sarah in contact with the POC within Surrey Police regarding publicity.
Karen Simmonds - New figures released by MoD and Office of National Statistics show data on working age veterans. Action: Karen to send link
Public Health are encouraging all those working with older veterans and young children to please promote flu vaccinations.
Jim France - RBL campaign to get office of national statistics to ask a question on census on military status was a success and will be included in 2021 census.
Louise Punter shared details of WW100 project in Lightwater, where the community have worked together to crochet poppies to make an amazing display for Remembrance Sunday.
Date of next meeting
Wednesday 13 March 2019 – Venue TBC
Wednesday 13 March 2019 - venue TBC