Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Partnerships and Communities Team  0300 330 7000 e-mail:

No. Item


Welcomes, introductions and apologies pdf icon PDF 185 KB


Present: Cllr Larratt (Co Chair), Martin De Rosario (Co Chair), Cllr Davenport (CD), Barbara Barber (BB Individual), Larry Barber (LB), Mark  Wright Northampton Adult Social Services (NASS MW) Jennifer Shaw (NASS, OCS JS), Cllr Ashraf (CA), Emily Butt (EB), Ballie Kaur Working Links (BK), Nikki Parrot Northampton & District MIND (NP ) Graeme Wilson (GW), Aimee Luck (NBC AM), Nisha Mejer (NBC NM), Clive Culling NBC (CC)


Apologies: Liz Fitzgerald, Jacqueline F Smith, Michael Jackson, Beverly Mennell, Carl Weininger and Sue Armstrong



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 56 KB


Minutes approved.

Matter arising – AL gave update



Disabled Facility Grant Policy - Clive Culling


CC gave a presentation on the Disability Facility Grant Policy.  

Grants are mandatory.

Means test – based on incomes, the need etc. Exceptions – beneficiary may be a child which is 100% of the grant.

Sometimes £30k is not enough. Can look at charities to support or give extra – this is discretionary


CC is beginning at consultation. Would like the forum feedback.




CD: One the best facilities NBC makes available. The only problem is that not enough sheltered housing for people with disability. Walk in showers and ramps are very good. Many people don’t realise that this service is available. People want independent living and it is important that we encourage people to apply.

CC: Want to make sure people who need it most get benefit.

CD: Need to make sure priorities are given.

CC: People with terminal illness, bed blocking are prioritised. Sometimes have to wait for the Occupational Therapist (OT) to let us know.

CL: With more pressures, more housing is required. How do you work with planning to make sure social housing contributes to the needs/requirements? Is this being constantly reviewed?

We do not appear to have a “housing needs analysis”


CC: NBC have a good housing policy and a percentage have to be social housing homes. Housing Needs analysis is a good idea.

CL: If the money is not all spent – what happens to it?

CC: The money may not come in on time, but the budget is still being spent. Has to be evidenced that it is used correctly.

JS: Assistive Technology – are you aware of this?

CC: Yes I am aware and this area is growing.  If recommended by the OT will be considered.

CL: Welcome Technology assistance.

CD: Do you deal with scooter storage? Have had them installed and are very good.

CC: Will look into this. This is not being funded by NBC at present.

CL: Issues with people living in sheltered bungalows and people can’t store scooters. The grant should provide grants for this. Can this be done?

CC: This may be a possibility. OT has to consider this and for the wellbeing for the person. Do not do this as a matter of routine. Looked on a case by case basis.

ACTION: NM to send presentations to forum.

ACTION: CC handed out forms for further feedback to forum


Working Links - Baljit Kaur


Working Links support people out of work to get back into work. The organisation is an extension of the Job Centre and gives dedicated one to one support. Work especially with people with barriers, eg vulnerable adults, single parents etc. The programme is running for 3 years.


People can enrol on a 52 week programme where intensive support is given, eg – interview practice, application forms. Varied amount of work. There is also another programme which helps people who want to do self-employed work.


Based in Moulton Park. There is a small pot of funding to help travel costs.

Provide in work support when placements have been made.


Working Links works towards promoting independence and empowering people to access support. Employers have to accommodate.


Referral process is simple. Can sign post people to the organisation.  Work in partnership with companies like Evolve and work across the areas of the county.


Q & A:

CL: How many people who are being helped?

BK: Approx 40 people so far.

Based in Moulton Park. Happy to come and meet people. Attend the One Stop Shop.


Q: Are all partners working with you?

A: Yes. New consultant recruited to engage with people.

JS: What age group are you supporting?

BK: Working age 18 years plus

CD: There is a lack of confidence in people. How can you help? Do you find it difficult with employers – there can be discrimination?

BK: We work one to one with people to help with confidence. Encourage them to volunteer and expose them to supportive organisations.

With regards to employers, yes there is discrimination. BK meets employers and builds relationships with them. If not confident with employer, will not people forward to them. Aim is long term and therefore will not engage with employers who discriminate.


CD: Will PIP or ESA be effected or other benefit effected? Is this a barrier?

BK: This will not stop. Help people to reassure. Aim to get people into work and get off benefit. Work closely with people and support them step by step and individual to the person. We keep in touch with work coaches. Wanting to support and not to sanction. Also element of in work support. Stay in touch with people in work in the probation period.

NP: I support people get back to work in my organisation too. With regards with confidence building, I give out courses and support people to get back into employment.



Northamptonshire Adult Social Services - Jennifer Shaw


Part of Olympus Care Service work for the employment and disability side of things.


Within the job centre, there are disability employment advisors. Role changed slightly – they are now a mentor. The work coach have improved – the job seeker goes to the same coach. Helps builds relationship. MW makes regular contact with the job centre.

Approx 50 work coaches, have a drop in session every Monday at 1pm. Work programme focusses on people who have mental problems, alcohol, drug issues.

Give one to one support.

Provide access to work service – government funded body, have helped receive specialist chairs, help a disabled person receive aid /adaptation. Helped people who are hearing impaired.

There is pressure to get people into work. Provide work experience, have encountered barriers. Have regular contact with employers to help overcome this. Reassured the employer that people want to work and treated equally. Good for image of employer to recruit people with disability.

Do co work with agencies eg mental health teams.

CD: Don’t see many adaptation with mental illnesses. How would you help them?

MW: It is getting better with raising awareness of mental illness. However there can be a stigma attached. MW provided support in the background. Helped people become more confident and supported. Eventually explained to employer and felt supported.


ACTION: NM to invite to community centre forum.



Action Plan pdf icon PDF 81 KB


AL went through the Action Plan:


Hate Crime Awareness Week – plans are underway for this. Meeting with organisations next week.


Carers Week – went well and was well received.


International Day for People with Disability- NM ask the forum what venue would be preferred. First choice was the Grosvenor Centre and second choice would be Weston Favell Shopping Centre.




Community Information Exchange



JS: Fully accessible caravan in Skegness handed out. Reference on website


Feedback from Sue Armstrong – Action Support


We can report that the service is going well and operates from L3 of the Mayorhold Car Park in the same place as the previous service

We hire  to casual users for £5 for up to 3 hours use or people can become annual members Ina rolling basis for £10 a month ( annual contract signed) or upfront £100 ( saving £20) for unlimited monthly usage up to 4 hours at a time. If someone wants to go over the 3 or 4 hour limit they can pay an extra £5 provided all scooters etc are returned 15 minutes before we close

People can access anywhere in town plus NGH , Morrisons and also Nene Valley Retail Park

We also hire boot scooters and wheelchairs for overnight , weekend and week use for a reasonable fee but require notice for this

We sell clean used mobility equipment from our base at cheap affordable prices plus new items supplied by our sponsor Shire Mobility and orders can also be made and collected from us

We are grateful for funding and facilities from NBC plus our sponsors APS Promotions and Tangerine Red who do all signage and publicity for free and Shire Mobility who provide and service 7 scooters plus members of the public who have donated scooters to us to increase our fleet

We have a boot scooter, 3 and 4 wheeled mobility scooters for all size of customer, wheelchairs both push and self propelled and tri wheeled and four wheeled walkers

People can collect from our base and return to same or if coming by bus and unable to get to us we will deliver and collect from the Bus Station and the Drapery

Nigel Pateman and Sue Alibone run the service on behalf of Action Support and we have a couple of volunteers but could do with a few more able bodied volunteers who can deliver and collect from the Bus Station and the Drapery

We open
Tues Thur Fri and Sat 10 till 4 and throughout July are trialling opening Wednesday 10 till 2

We are closed Monday and Sunday and we will evaluate whether opening Wednesday is financially viable at the end of July

Action Support based at Moulton Park supports young people and disabled adults of any age plus those made redundant later in life into employment ( which can include voluntary)
We provide a full Garden Care and Property Maintenance Service plus have a Furniture and Antique Shop at Moulton Park

We receive some funding but raise most of our money through the above services to the public and commercial customers. Scooter2Go to go is not set up to make a profit it is seen as a vital service to the public but we do require a greater uptake of the service to reach financial viability

Our Facebook presence is
Action Support UK Ltd
Action Support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Items for Next and Future Meetings


ACTION: Invite Northampton Leisure Trust. GW: to work with forum about future planning of play area.


Working Progress will be attending next meeting.


CW: Asked for the Nene Clinical Commissioning Groupand the supply of orthotics to patients in Northamptonshire for a future meeting.


Date of the Next Meeting

15th September 2017


15th September, The Guildhall 10:30am – 12:30pm