Agenda and draft minutes

Older Persons Sub-Committee - Thursday, 2nd March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: The Chamber, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1HD

Contact: Committee Officer, 01525 631920 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 had been received.




(i)            The Localism Act 2011 and the Code of Conduct requires Councillors to declare any pecuniary interests, other registrable interests or sensitive interests in items on the meeting agenda, which are not already included in the Register of Interests. Members may choose to declare interests already listed in the Register for clarity and transparency.


(ii)          For disclosable pecuniary interests, Members must leave the room and not participate in discussion or voting, unless a dispensation has been granted.



(iii)         For other registrable or non-registrable interests which directly relate to the financial interest of a Member, a relative or close associate, councillors may speak on the matter only if members of the public may also speak at the meeting. Thereafter, Members should leave the room and not participate in discussion or voting, unless a dispensation has been granted.


(iv)         The Council/Committee/Sub-Committee is asked to consider approving any requests for dispensations to speak/vote on any agenda item in accordance with the Dispensations Procedure.




No declarations were made and no dispensations had been requested.




QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)

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(e)(f)(g) and 3(h).


There were no questions from the public.




(a)       To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Older Persons Sub-Committee meeting held on 17 November 2022 (attached) in accordance with Standing Order 12.

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


(a)   The Sub-Committee received the draft minutes of the Older Persons Sub Committee held on 17 November 2022.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Older Persons Sub Committee held on 17 November 2022 be approved and signed as a correct record.  


(b)   Updates from previous meeting: 


Minute Reference 65/OP (Minutes of the previous Meeting): it was confirmed that further letters had been sent to the supermarkets and our local MP regarding the loyalty discounts now only being accessed on-line so excluding some potential users.  Support and advice had also been sought from UK Network of Age Friendly Communities on how to address this issue.




By invitation, representatives of Care is Central and Central Bedfordshire Council will attend the meeting to give an update on the Marigold House project.



Two representatives from Care is Central and Central Bedfordshire Council provided an update on the Marigold House residential care home project.


The sub-committee was informed the project was running behind schedule and should be completed by the end of the calendar year, when Care is Central would take over the running of Marigold House.  The delay time would be used to understand the best ways to integrate and make resources available and build relationships within the community.   It was planned to make Marigold House part of the community in Leighton Buzzard with local recruitment and Central Bedfordshire Council providing communications and networking on how these facilities could be used.  It was envisaged Marigold House would provide a care home, day centre and individual living schemes.  The day centre would aim to provide an enhanced quality of life for older people, offering activities and day trips and the facility could be hired out to community groups in the evenings when not being used.  


All Members agreed it was important to evolve what was already on offer at the Duncombe Drive day centre and discuss what could be provided for its users.  The Day Care Centre Offer document produced by Central Bedfordshire Council was now a few years old but the principles from this were still followed.  It was suggested the sub-committee could look at this document to review it and bring back their thoughts to Central Bedfordshire Council before the next meeting.  An invite would be sent out to the members of the sub-committee and a site visit to Marigold House set up for the end of June 2023.


It was hoped that a way could be found to identify people who were lonely and isolated at home since the pandemic and who had no way to meet or socialise with people.  Work with social services, the local authority and the Community Agent could help with reaching these people and other methods of interacting with them and their families would be discussed and considered.


Thanks were given to the two representatives for attending the meeting and the sub committee looked forward to further discussions and the upcoming site visit.







By invitation, a representative of Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity will attend the meeting to give an update on the Community Agent initiative (attached).



The sub-committee received an update from the Community Agent on her work since launch of the initiative in September 2022. The Agent was employed through Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity with the town council having sponsored the role for its first two years, with the aim of offering assistance and signposting residents to sources to further help and support on a range of issues.


Visits were being made to the weekly Chatty Café in the TACTIC building where support could be given for blue badge applications, advising on relevant clubs/groups, appropriate taxi services, bus routes/times and signposting to the correct organisation for general enquiries such as benefit applications, completing forms and any loneliness/medical issues.   Weekly phone calls had been set up for individual people who were lonely or housebound to encourage engagement.  The number of enquiries was increasing through promotion and word of mouth, but at present was manageable for the one part-time Community Agent.  If the level of need changed or increased, this would be looked at and re-considered.


Members were informed of a new initiative funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and run by the Tibbs Dementia Foundation where a weekly group meeting would be held to socialise and provide cognitive stimulation.  A Dementia Information event was due to be held on 14 March about the Tibbs organisation in Leighton Buzzard.


Thanks were given to the Community Agent for her work with the initiative and members agreed the scheme was proving beneficial to older people and could possibly expand if required in the future.


RESOLVED to note the information.




To receive a verbal update regarding the Citizens Online digital support project and tablet lending scheme (report attached).



The sub-committee received an update on the Citizens Online digital support project and tablet lending scheme.  Seventeen new learners had been supported this quarter with outreach sessions taking place at care homes and churches.


It was suggested a Steering Group could be set up with all groups using this service so information could be shared and promoted.  Citizens On-Line would be recruiting a new manager for the Leighton Buzzard area in due course following relocation by the present contact.


RESOLVED to note the information.




To receive and note report (attached) providing updates on application to the UK Network of Age Friendly Communities and to consider recommendations contained therein regarding next steps following application approval.



Additional documents:


Following the resolution made by the Council on 30 January 2023, the Sub-Committee received an update on the application for UK Network of Age Friendly Communities and WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.



The application had been submitted and feedback should be received within the next week.  This would be an invaluable resource to drive the 55UP process forward.  It was felt a better picture of what was needed in the town was required and a draft survey produced to do this.  Members discussed whether this draft survey should be a general blanket one or a shorter more specific questionnaire.  It was felt the length of the draft survey provided might discourage people from completing it and a more specific version aimed at the 55Up age group would be more appropriate.  Officers would review how to take this forward.




(a)      To note the report.

(b)      To endorse the proposal to carry out a Leighton-Linslade Age Friendly Community Survey to hear views from residents aged 55 and up.