Older Persons' Partnership Minutes

Older Persons' Partnership Minutes

Wednesday 4 December 2013
1:00 p.m.
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Rostron (Chair) Hubbard, Purvis, Rostron, Sharrocks, Walker
N Aston, D Donaldson, K Jackson, E Scollay
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillors Harvey and Saunders
Declarations of interest:

There were no declarations of interest at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

Minute amendment: Page 3, following paragraph 6, insert:


AGREED that, on behalf of the Partnership, the Chair would write to the Chief Executive, confirming the Partnership's support for the Welfare Rights Unit.   


There were no items for consideration.


A report had been submitted by the Access Officer. A leaflet to accompany this was circulated. The report gave an update on the campaign to introduce purpose-built Changing Places toilets for disabled people in Middlesbrough.

Several years of campaigning had resulted in the first facility being installed and opened in Middlesbrough bus station in 2010. The campaign had started because many disabled people in Middlesbrough could not enjoy getting out and about due to the lack of suitable facilities or they had to struggle with existing disabled toilets.

There were now additional Changing Places toilets within Middlesbrough, these were at The Orchard Resource Centre, Neptune Leisure Centre, James Cook University Hospital, MyPlace (Customs House), Cumberland Resource Centre, Rainbow Leisure Centre and Stewart Park.

A Changing Places toilet was larger than a standard accessible toilet and was equipped to assist people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, to allow them to use toilets comfortably.

Standard wheelchair accessible toilets did not provide changing benches or hoists and were too small to accommodate a wheelchair user and more than one carer.

There were now more than 500 Changing Places toilets in the UK.

A membership scheme was operated by Shopmobility to access the Changing Places toilet in the bus station. Shopmobility were based in the Hill Street Centre Middlesbrough. Members received a fob to access the facility. This was a free membership. Access to the other facilities were either by RADAR key or reception staff at each venue.

A Member commented that Newcastle currently had only one of these facilities installed within the Metrocentre.

Members commented that the facilities were being looked after and kept clean and that people of Middlesbrough were taking pride in them.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted


The Engagement Officer gave an update on the Oder Person’s Strategy. The original strategy had spanned over 10 years and was out of date. This had now been updated. The Partnership Members were asked if they had any comments on the Strategy. The Partnership Members requested more time to review the document before making comments and agreeing an action plan. The final document was expected to be published in February 2014.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted


The Engagement Officer asked Members to let her have any items they wished to be considered for inclusion in the Forward Work Programme.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted


Two representatives from the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum delivered their regular update. The next event for senior citizens would be held at Ladgate Lane with the Police and Crime Commissioner and a further event would take place in February 2014.


Negotiations were still on-going with Ayresome Industries regarding the provision of a handyman service. The representatives were receiving a lot of calls and mail from residents with concerns over the increased costs of the current handyman scheme being delivered by RVS. The Senior Citizens Forum hoped to come up with a scheme that matched the current scheme in quality but at a more reasonable price.

The Christmas concert that would usually be held in November would now be held in April. It would now become an Easter concert. This would be the fourteenth year it had been held.

Reference was made to a report produced by the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel in relation to Child Poverty, Deprivation and Attainment that had recently been presented to Middlesbrough Council’s Executive. Concern was expressed at the content of the report which stated that Middlesbrough was the third most deprived Local Authority area in the UK with an average child poverty rate of 37%. The Senior Citizens Forum representative urged Middlesbrough Councillors to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

The Chair of the Scrutiny Panel stated that Middlesbrough Council was aware that there had been an increase in child poverty in Middlesbrough since 2010 and was actively working to address the issues. The Scrutiny Panel had identified that children in Middlesbrough were not reaching their full potential and falling behind their peers nationally. Early intervention measures to help parents with their parenting skills and ensure their children received the best start in life were in place.

In East Middlesbrough, where child poverty was particularly acute, there was also high unemployment. However, it was highlighted that not all families who were in poverty were unemployed. Due to the current economic climate some families had very little disposable income, despite being in work.

An update was provided on the last two meetings of the Years Ahead Board that had taken place in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool. It was reported that there was a vacancy for the Chair of the Board.

The annual Years Ahead North East Forum on Ageing had also taken place recently and there had been several main speakers. Mick Ward, Lead Officer on the Age Friendly City had spoken about progress made by the City of Leeds to support people with dementia and care issues. Cynthia Bartley, a Director of Age Inclusive Limited, had spoken about disillusionment on Teesside and stated that there were job vacancies that no-one wanted to fill. The representative of the Senior Citizens Forum was trying to arrange an interview on Radio Tees to invite Cynthia Bartley to explain her views fully. Alice Thwaite, Director of Equal Arts, from Gateshead had spoken about promoting art projects in community centres and local hubs. The representative of the Forum commented that she did not feel some of the messages given at the conference in relation to Teesside were a wholly accurate picture of the area.

RECOMMENDED That the information be received and noted


There was no scrutiny update for this meeting.


Lottery Funding

A representative from MIND informed the partnership of a possible lottery bid. The lottery would fund projects to help people over fifty who were alone and isolated. Middlesbrough had been identified in a shortlist of thirty two. There would be awards made to thirteen of those thirty two. The representative from the organisation informed the partnership that they would like to speak to people who were over fifty and felt lonely and isolated. Applications for the lottery funding would need to be made by April 2014. The figure awarded was expected to be in the region of £6 million for 3 to 6 years funding. There were fifty organisations involved and ten had been selected to form a steering group. The steering group would formulate a plan to decide how to use the money if an award was gained.

A Representative from the Senior Citizens Forum commented that Newcastle produced a monthly magazine for older people and it was hoped that some of the lottery award may be used for Middlesbrough to produce such a magazine.

A Place of Safety

It was mentioned that a place of Safety for vulnerable people was being established within the town centre. This would be of use for old and young people and disabled people. Local businesses would be asked to become involved and sign up to a charter. Staff would be trained to deal with vulnerable people.

Community Councils

Due to the cessation of many Community Councils, the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum would be writing to each one to invite them to send a representative to join the Forum.

RECOMMENDED That the information be received and noted

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