Agenda and minutes

Older Persons Task & Finish Group - Thursday, 15th October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: This will be a remote meeting held via Microsoft Teams in accordance with The Local Authorities and Crime Panels (Coronavirus)(Flexibility of Meetings)(England and Wales) Regulations 2020

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 or: Email:


No. Item



Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.


No apologies were received.




(i)       Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

(ii)       Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).


No declarations of interest were received.



To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3(f) and 3(g).


There were no questions from members of the public.




(a)      To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Older Persons Task and Finish Group meeting held on 1 October 2020 (attached) in accordance with Standing Order 12.

(b)      To receive information updates on matters arising from the previous meeting (if appropriate).



(a)   The Committee received the minutes of the Older Persons Task and Finish Group meeting held on 1 October 2020.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Older Persons Task and Finish Group meeting held on 1 October 2020 be approved as a correct record and would be signed at a later date, when safe to do so.


(b)   Further updates would be covered by the agenda items to follow.




OLDER PEOPLE pdf icon PDF 241 KB

(a)      To receive guest attendees:

-         Community Action Bedfordshire - confirmed

-         Community Wellbeing Champion (Social Prescriber) – tbc

-         Carers in Bedfordshire - tbc


(b)      To receive and consider an update on:


(i)       Helping organisations connect with older people.

(ii)       Digital inclusion and how equipment would be funded or provided for beneficiaries.

(iii)      Possible provision of webpage on the Town Council Website and how this would be funded and maintained.

(iv)      What other options came out of the research – e.g. lack of activities for men

(v)      Keep ‘grant’ option as a consideration



(a)          Three guest speakers were welcomed to the meeting and invited to speak regarding their group involvement in community projects.


Gina Croxford, CAB, informed the Group that her organisation provided community projects such as Jazz up your Life, work clubs, Café Connect to try and combat loneliness for older people.  Many people did not have digital access and during the present climate this caused isolation for them. The ability to connect digitally as well as 1-to-1 would greatly enhance their lives.


Sharon Rogers, Carers in Bedfordshire, informed the Group that her organisation provided support for unpaid carers living in Central Bedfordshire.  This was achieved by 1-to-1 support, telephone befrienders, walking groups, carers cafes, peer support and they also provide grants of up to £300 which carers can use to enhance their daily life.


Many were not digitally included as they did not have access to equipment or knowledge of how to use it.  Digital inclusion was an important issue to alleviate loneliness, but it was important to ensure users were advised how to do this safely.


It was felt, however, that telephone contact with a regular person was a great way to keep all included if using digital equipment was too involved for the user. 


Penny Carmen, Community Wellbeing Champion, joined the meeting but was unable to retain access so could not speak. 


(b)           The Task and Finish Group received an update report setting out how the project had progressed and what the next steps would be.


Key areas which were highlighted at the previous meeting included lack of digital inclusion, a gap in the groups being accessed by men causing loneliness, the need of a central hub to access information, connectivity between older people and the influence of Covid-19 on delivery options and plans. 


Members agreed in the short-term technology support/workshops could be run via telephone and a page added to the Town Council website listing activities and services.   In the medium-term technology workshops could be run face to face via befrienders, in community centres or libraries. Also an on-line directory of organisations could be set up and these organisations could have their own password to update the information on a regular basis. 


In the longer term a tablet loan scheme in partnership with libraries, local companies and community organisations could be set up to allow more digital inclusion for older people.  A question was raised regarding how people who were shielding would access the equipment and it was agreed that the Yellow Book for Older People would still be needed.  An updated version should be looked into and then distributed to as many older people as possible. This should include local villages if possible. Councillor Owen asked if there was a need for more telephone befrienders and should this idea be included in the plan. It was agreed there was a huge need for telephone befrienders especially in the current climate.


It was suggested that local IT companies could offer technological support and a helpline when tablets  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.



Future Task and Finish Group meeting dates:

-         29 October 10am-11am


Cultural & Economic Committee Meeting – 7 December 2020.


Older Persons T & F Group 29 October 2020 at 10.000 am


Cultural & Economic Services Meeting – 7 December 2020 at 7.30 pm