Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Holding Room, The Guildhall, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE.

Contact: Alice Morgan  0300 330 7000 e-mail:

No. Item


Welcomes, introductions and apologies pdf icon PDF 185 KB


Present: Councillor Larratt (NBC Co Chair PL), Martin De Rosario (Co Chair, MD), Robin Hinton (Shopmobility RH), Barbara Barber (Individual BB), Larry Barber (Individual LB), Matthew Torreson (VIN, MT), Alice Morgan (NBC, AM), Vicki Rockall (NBC, VR), Nisha Mejer (NBC, NM)*, Richard Fitzhenry (Northampton Partnership Homes, RF), Cllr Rufia Ashraf (RA), Dean Eales (Disabled Go, DE), Andy Aitken (NBC, AA), Cllr Anna King (AK), Cllr Julie Davenport (JD),


*took minutes.


Apologies: Rashmi Shah, Jacqueline Forrest Smith, Simon Burgess, Beverly Mannell,  Graeme Wilson, Elnora Latchman, Harvey Morgan, Deborah Clarke, Carl Weininger







Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 199 KB


Minutes agreed as true record for 13 May.


Matters arising from special meeting:


RH: An urgent meeting was held about funding to Shopmobility. The organisation is looking at other funding including NCF small grant and Community foundation funding.


From beginning of October Shopmobility will be working on reduced hours – Tuesday – Saturday 10am -3pm.


VR: We had an additional meeting and the need for the service was pledged. We are working with Shopmobility to bridge the gap in funding and look for something more sustainable. The forum can help promote the service and therefore this would increase users which will help it become more sustainable.


RH: There is a stigma attached to using a scooter. The running cost is £36k per year and £8k was received.


RA: This is another cut that organisations do not need. People are living longer and more support is needed. People need scooters as there is a danger of social isolation if they are not used. People want independence.


VR: This particular funding was not cut. The funding was from the Partnership Grant which gives organisation £550k per year. This is a twelve month grant only. No one is guaranteed funding. A panel of 9 make the decisions and 29 organisations received funding. Organisations are encouraged to obtain funding from elsewhere and to work in partnership with others. It is a tough decision as every service is important.


JD: How is NBC adhering to Disability Act.  


AK: Works very hard with disability groups. An equality assessment is done in CEFAP.


VR: in terms of the grant, VR was responsible for the equality assessment. All applications from ethnic minorities were funded. CEFAP also funded LGBTQ groups. NIFF and NREC were funded on a project relating to Hate Crime. Disabled Go was funded through small grant funds and councillors give funding.


MT: The Disability Discrimination Act was replaced by the Human Rights Act 2010. Therefore there is equality to all groups.





Richard Fitzhenry - Planned Investment Manager


RF gave an overall presentation of services.


RF was appointed as Planned Investment Manager in Jan and manages 3 people – Project coordinator, project assistant and interim Occupational Therapist (OT). The role of the coordinator and OT is to identify what is possible for council properties. Referrals are received from 3rd party organisations such as Olympus Care.


Last year the budget was £1.3 million. However, the group has inherited a backlog and is hoping to reduce this. Is also reviewing the process to accelerate the current procedure. The department  has currently spent £213k on adaptations.


JD: Impressed with this team. Is work prioritised?


RF: This will be reviewed. No formal process in place yet. The procedure has to be transparent and fair to all.


RF invited the forum members to meet the team in future.





Andy Aitken - Adaptations Manager, Private Sector Housing - Promotion of the Disabled Facilities Grant


AA promoted the Disabled Peoples Facilities Grant services and would like support from this Forum to promote it further.  


ACTION: AM to add this to the action plan and help promote to contacts. 


LB advised AA to go on the radio.


AK: Disability Awareness week will also be useful to promote. Venue and date TBC.


MD suggested having some activity in the Weston Favell Shopping Centre.


Disabled Go


DE gave a presentation online about the Disabled Go website.


The website will be amended and is in the process of asking the forum for feedback.


The website is assessed by Shaw Trust and is given the highest accreditation. The site usage has grown eg – access guides have been viewed 1.7 million times.


All venues on the website are assessed in person and detailed information is given.


DE thanked Forum members James O’Neill and Janice Tillet who helped with surveys.


Disabled Go can help promote services and is also in discussion with other Councils.


RH: Has used this site on previous occasions and find it very helpful.






Action Plan pdf icon PDF 251 KB


International Day for People with Disability – TBC and VTBC.


Hate Crime – The survey has been developed and is online.


ACTION: To be re circulated. This will then be reconsolidated in September.


Survey to be found


Items to be added to  Action Plan:


Promotion of Shopmobilty.


Raise awareness of Disability Facilities Grant.





Community Information Exchange


RA: There will be litter picking in St James 10.30am on Saturday.

AK: Love Parks Week next week – will be activities in Bradlaugh Fields and Abington Park.




Items for Next and Future Meetings


NM: Emily Gibbins - Olympus Care Services. Assistive Technology Service will be attending in September.


Karen Wheeler will be attending to talk about the impact of PIP on GPs.


MD: would also to have someone to attend to talk about Diabetes.


Date of the Next Meeting


September 16th 2016