Agenda and minutes

Deaf Community Forum
Tuesday, 6th March, 2018 7.15 pm

Venue: Community House, 311 Fore Street, Edmonton, N9 0PZ. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 

No. Item




The Chair, Councillor Jiagge,  welcomed all attendees and speakers to the meeting.  The BSL Interpreters, Hands on Signer and Electronic Note Taker were introduced.   


Councillor Jiagge advised everyone that this was the last meeting for the municipal year. She reminded attendees that although the councillors attending the meeting represent different political parties, the Deaf Forum is not a political meeting and she asked that everyone respect each other and respect her role as Chair of the meeting.


To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to ask a question or make a comment she asked that they be brief and concise when speaking and that they should raise their hand when they wished to speak.  


Apologies had been received from Councillor Abdullahi.




No declarations of interest were received.



To receive an update from David Taylor, Head of Traffic and Transportation Environment.


At the last meeting it was suggested that there was a discussion about Cycle Enfield/ Highways and Crossings.  David Taylor, Head of Traffic and Transportationintroduced himself.  He explained that his team were responsible for the implementation of new traffic schemes, pedestrian crossings and controlled parking issues.  He referred to work currently being undertaken for the new parking controls to be implemented as a result of the new Tottenham stadium.  He also spoke of the Cycle Enfield project with schemes being implemented such as for those in Green Lanes.  Consultation is important and he is interested to discover any issues that the deaf community may have and which we can learn from. 


The following questions and comments were raised:

Q. In Lincoln Road by the new roundabout it looks like there is a crossing at this point but it is not in black and white like a zebra crossing, should people cross there?

A: The idea of the scheme is to make people think carefully about how to manoeuvre, so whilst it is not an actual zebra crossing, it is a place where people are expected to negotiate the road carefully.

Q: Are you saying it is therefore me who is taking the risk here? It is confusing for pedestrians in Enfield.

A: As pedestrians we all have to take responsibility for our actions, we are monitoring the new scheme closely and are interested to hear your feedback.


Q: At Lincoln Road junction with Hertford Road, when it rains the crossings lines are blurred and unclear, also people alighting from the bus would walk straight into the cycle lane. People are not safe here

A: A new piece of infrastructure has been introduced here which means that cyclists need to take care to see if people are getting off a bus


Q: If there is an accident and I get hurt because of this situation, who would I sue?

A: In all situations we have responsibilities, if a cyclist was irresponsible and  had not looked carefully then he/ she would be responsible. Each case would depend on the individual circumstances.   This raises a recent issue as to whether cyclists should be insured.


Q: I cannot see easily and find that often people and cyclists come too close to me, this is very stressful, in the past there was more time and it was less busy. 

A: This is a difficult problem to solve as London becomes more and more busy – unfortunately I do not have a solution to this problem.


Q: I have a video on my phone showing the dangerous situation for bus passengers along cycle lanes.  In Palmers Green near Iceland there are no traffic lights and it is necessary to go a long way round.  A cyclist near here did not stop at the red light.  Do cyclists have to have insurance?

A: At the moment cyclists do not need to have insurance. 


Q: I am a cyclist and I am concerned because there is only  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.



To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2017


At the beginning of this item, members of the deaf community communicated with each other by signing. Hearing attendees were unable to understand what was being said.  It was pointed out that this feeling of exclusion was how members of the deaf community felt when they attended the Civic Centre or other venues when there were no signers available. 

Attendees expressed their concern that the withdrawal of funding from the Enfield Disability Association (EDA)- Deaf Project would greatly disadvantage them.


The level of service currently provided by the Deaf Project was praised. In future, however the Deaf Project would only provide an advocacy service.  Advice and Information would be provided by a new contractor – Community Barnet.


It was explained that at the last meeting of the Deaf Community Forum on the 5 December 2017, Doug Wilson, Head of Strategy and Service Development, had provided a briefing on the Voluntary Community Sector commissioning process. The Cabinet met on the 20 December 2018 when they further considered the award of contracts and awarded the contract to Community Barnet. 


Issues and comments were raised by attendees including the following:


  • A letter was sent from the Enfield Deaf Image Group (ENDIG) to councillors but only one reply had been received.


  • We have spoken to you for two years about the good work done by the Deaf Project you have not listened to our views. Do you care about what is being done to our community? Why is the service going out of the borough to Community Barnet and not the Deaf Project? Why was this decision taken? Can you justify this?


  • I would be lost without the Deaf Project – they helped me when I lost family members, I have panic attacks and no family, it is members of the Deaf project who I turn to for support. In the past they have called a doctor for me without me asking them to.  Without them I would not be here.  We need them.


  • The future service to be provided by Community Barnet will be detrimental to us. They provide other services such as services for people with mental health issues but they do not provide a full service for people with deaf issues.


  •  A general advocacy service will not work - Community Barnet do not have specialist staff with deaf awareness/ British Sign language skills.   General advice given in a leaflet would often not make sense to the community. BSL interpreters and hands on signers are needed who match the needs of the deaf community especially in sensitive situations.


  •  I have received a letter regarding Council tax – I did not understand the jargon, the Deaf Project assisted me.  Similarly Barnet hospital asks to you ring them if you have a problem – if you do not reply in time you may miss an appointment.  The Council would be paying a great deal more money for interpreters under new arrangements than they do now.




To receive feedback and suggestions for discussion at future meetings.


At the last meeting it had been suggested that an item be included on communication issues.



The dates of future meetings will be agreed at the meeting of Annual Council on 23 May 2018.


The dates of future meetings will be agreed at the meeting of Annual Council on 23 May 2018.