Agenda and minutes
Venue: Community House, Fore Street, Edmonton N9 0PZ
Contact: Stacey Gilmour 020 8379 4187 Email: Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
The Chair welcomed all attendees and speakers to the meeting. The BSL Interpreters, Hands on Signer and Note Taker were introduced.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
UPDATE ON THE MEETINGs BETWEEN ENFIELD COUNCIL AND THE DEAF PROJECT
Julie Pocock, Online Services Manager, Customer Gateway,will provide an update on the discussions that took place and the outcome of this meetings.
RECEIVED an update from Julie Pocock, On-Line Services Manager, Customer Gateway.
· A meeting had taken place on 3 April 2017 between Enfield Council Senior Directors, Council Officers and the Chief Executive of the Deaf Project and Mary White also from the Deaf Project.
· The purpose of the meeting was to work together to look at the best ways forward to improve services for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
· Some really positive discussions had taken place at the meeting, as a result of which the Chief Executive of the Deaf Project and Mary White would now meet with their Board to further discuss ways forward. They will then feedback their proposals to Julie after which further discussions and decisions will be made. Julie will continue to keep the Deaf Community Forum updated on all developments in this area.
Action: Julie Pocock
· The Chair said he was pleased to see that progress was being made in this area and that dialogue with the deaf community continued to take place through the Deaf Project. He reiterated that it was the desire of Enfield Council to find the best way possible of working in partnership with the Deaf Project. Although there wasn’t a lot of money available, what we do have we want to spend in the best way possible. This would require the good will of all those concerned and the willingness to work in partnership for the betterment of the deaf community of Enfield
The following questions and comments were raised:
· People spoke once again of their frustrations at the cuts to the Deaf Project Funding. The Chair again explained that the cuts to funding had come from Central Government. He explained that every service the council provides has been affected by the cuts. Enfield Council had tried for as long as possible to keep the funding to the Deaf Project as it was. However, due to further cuts by Central Government reductions to the Deaf Project funding had to unfortunately be made. The council do however still provide funding to the Deaf Project. He urged the Forum to please stop saying that the funding had been taken away by Enfield Council as to do so, would not be telling the truth.
· Many members of the audience said that they felt frustrated and felt that they were not being listened to. They were unhappy with the service that the council was providing as it did not work for the deaf community. They believe that the Deaf Project is able to provide the service they want and need. They want the Deaf Project to continue; where they did not experience these issues and their problems were resolved quickly with the project able to take account of their individual needs.
· Residents were encouraged to liaise with Mary White and let her know their suggestions for a better way to spend the available money which would then hopefully result in better access to services for the Deaf Community.
· The Chair concluded by ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
UPDATE ON BSL INTERPRETING SERVICE-PILOT SCHEME
To receive an update from Julie Pocock, Online Services Manager, Customer Gateway, on the BSL Video Interpreting Service- Pilot Scheme.
RECEIVED an update on the Pilot Scheme from Julie Pocock, On-Line Services Manager, Customer Gateway.
· Since the December meeting all the improvements that the Deaf Community had asked for have now been implemented;
· A new high spec web cam and large screen monitor has now been installed and the quality has improved. Seven customers have used the video link service since the December meeting;
· A new signer has been appointed called Francis Everingham. Only positive feedback has been received about Francis and every month she emails Julie about the customers she has seen to ensure effective communication and to check whether the customer requires any further help or advice;
· Twelve customers have seen Francis since the December meeting;
· Newham are a remote service and therefore it is difficult to always find someone with local information as their signers cover many areas all over the UK and only provide a translating service, therefore they do not need to know about an area. However, Newham have said that if the group feel there is any value in providing them with specific documents/leaflets regarding the services the council offer then they are happy to look at this and pass to the interpreters as reference documents;
· An additional signer has been recruited to help with the BSL video link. There are now two dedicated signers for the video link for Enfield and they have a pool of staff on an overflow system;
· The new video link service is currently advertised on the Enfield Council website (under sight and hearing loss). Posters have also been put up at the Civic Centre and have also been sent over to Mary White at the Deaf Project to be displayed. Posters have also been sent to the four main hub libraries as well as John Wilkes House;
· All staff that work in the Civic Centre reception area have been briefed regarding the video link service and all new staff receive deaf awareness training. In addition to this we will continue to work with representatives of this forum and our own trainers to ensure our awareness training is fit for purpose
The following questions and comments were received:
· Many people spoke of their ongoing frustrations with the service provided especially with regards to the interpreter where it was felt that a Friday only service was not sufficient. The service is required Monday to Friday.
· Better advertising of the Video Link service was needed and the suggestion was made to advertise in Doctors’ surgeries.
· Concerns were again raised regarding the quality of the Video Link Service. Julie reiterated that improvements to the service had been made and positive feedback received from those who had used the service.
· Further lengthy debate took place regarding the recent cuts to the Deaf Project Funding and the same issues were raised as had been at previous meetings. It was felt that since Mary White had stepped back from her co-ordinating role due to the cuts, many things had gone wrong. The Chair, ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2016.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 December 2016 were AGREED.
It was also agreed that future minutes would be emailed to Hugh McCormack from the Deaf Image Group prior to each meeting of the Deaf Community Forum. He would then arrange for these to be translated into BSL and distributed to those in attendance at the meetings.
Action: Stacey Gilmour
FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS
To receive feedback and suggestions for discussion at future meetings.
Further discussions took place regarding the local community and the changes that were being witnessed around the borough. Residents were concerned to see so many pubs and shops closing down and felt that this had a detrimental effect on the borough and the community spirit.
It was agreed to invite an Officer to the next meeting of the Forum to talk in more detail about future plans for Enfield Town.
In response to members of the Forum asking about the Council’s finances it was also agreed to invite a Finance Officer to the next meeting to talk about this matter in more detail.
Therefore the suggested items for the next meeting were:
· Finance Update
· Future Plans for Enfield Town (following the recent consultation)
ACTION: Chair/Stacey Gilmour
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
Dates of future meetings will be agreed following the meeting of Annual Council on 10 May 2017.
NOTED that the dates of future meetings would be agreed at the next meeting of Annual Council on 10 May 2017.
The Chair thanked his colleagues, officers, Mary White and all the interpreters for attending the meeting and wished everybody a very Happy Easter.