Agenda and minutes

Community Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 11th March, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN

Contact: Susan Coulter  Senior Democratic Services Officer

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Parry Batth and Shahid Younis.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 22 January 2015.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Question Time

To answer any public questions.


A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.


The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.


Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to


There were no public questions.


Member Question Time

To answer any member questions.


There were no Member questions.


Update on the Progress of the Community Cafe in Shuters, Shute End, Wokingham

To receive a presentation from the Head of Strategic Commissioning on the progress of the Community Café.


The Committee received a presentation from the Head of Strategic Commissioning on the progress of the Community Café in Shuters, Shute End, Wokingham.


Brain Grady explained that the Community Café was set up following a suggestion for one of the Learning Support Assistants working with a group of young people at Addington Special School who were studying a catering/business course and were keen to do something practical to give them experience.  They were asked to develop a business plan for running a Community Café one day per week using the now unused existing facilities in the Shuters restaurant in the Civic Offices.


The young people were given support in the development of their business plan which included a budget, pricing for buying ingredients and costings for selling the cakes.  The financing infrastructure was backed by a loan from Addington School, which the group is repaying out of the profit they make.

They make cakes and prepare filled rolls at School and then sell them at the Café along with tea and coffee.  The group run the Café themselves , with supervision from Addington School staff.  Since the Café opened in December, they have made enough profit to pay off nearly all the initial loan.


This is a great example of the Council working with the community, and is a wonderful opportunity for this group of young people with special needs to gain knowledge and practical work experience which will help their aspirations to find paid employment.  


The following points were made by in Members and in response to their questions:

·           When the loan is paid , any profit will go to the group, and  they will be given professional support to help them decide what to do; possibly to expand their enterprise;

·           The new Children and Families Act means that the Council has a duty of care for young people with special needs until they are 25years.  So these young people will continue to be supported, with a destination plan to assist in their transition to adult hood and possibly to receiving adult social care;

·           The Council works with the Learning Disability Partnership to give support to vulnerable adults in finding opportunities for employment and work experiences. Young ‘commissioners’ from the Partnership act as mentors;


It was suggested that it would be useful to have hear from the group themselves to give an update about the project and their future plans.  A short written report could be presented by some of the young people from the group.


RESOLVED: That the information contained in the presentation about the Community café project be noted, and that the Committee receive an update report on how the project has developed from the group of young people in 12 months.


Review of Outside Bodies

To receive a verbal update.


The Committee received information, verbally, regarding the grants/funding received by outside bodies and given by the Council. 


The Chairman explained that following the last meeting only limited information had been obtained about the detail of funding given to outside bodies.  Information was given in the Outside Bodies Directory to indicate which Bodies received grants/funding, and a list had previously been circulated.


Brian Grady, indicated that his brief as Head of Strategic Commissioning for Children and Adult Services, included taking a lead on the involvement of the Community and Voluntary Sector organisations with the Council.  He will be reporting to the Executive and Deputy Executive Members for Regeneration and Communities on a review of the activities of the voluntary and community sector organisations, some of which are included in the list of Outside Bodies.  Many voluntary/community organisations give a lot of time in providing services for Borough residents, and as such some receive funding from the Council.  Part of the review will be to understand the governance of these organisations and will include the relevance/effectiveness of any Council appointed representatives.


The annual reports on Outside Bodies that the Member representatives make to Council, include a section on their roles within the organisation.  It was noted that this year all representatives had submitted their annual reports and these will be reported to the Council meeting on 19 March 2015.  The Community Safety Partnership has a clear statutory framework to receive reports from the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.


Brian said that he would present a copy of the report on his review on the accountability/reporting structure of the voluntary/community organisations that are working in partnership with the Council to the next meeting of the Committee.


RESOLVED: That Brain Grady’s report on his review of the accountability/reporting structure of the voluntary/community organisations that are working in partnership with the Council, which will include some of the organisations on the Outside Bodies list, be presented to the next meeting of the Committee on 15 June 2015.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive the Committee’s Work Programme for the remainder of the 2014/15 Municipal Year and to consider items for the 2015/16 Municipal Year.


The Committee received its work programme, as set out on Agenda pages 9 to 11.


The Committee was advised that Members could suggest items to scrutinise and Members were encouraged to advise the Chairman or the Senior Democratic Services Officer accordingly.





1)     the Committee’s work programme for 2015/16 be noted, with the addition of Brian Grady’s report on his review of community/voluntary organisations working in partnership with the Council be added to the 15 June meeting, and


2)     Members advise the Chairman or the Senior Democratic Services Officer of any items they wish to scrutinise.



The Members noted that Susan Coulter, who had be clerking the Committee for the past two years would be leaving the Council before the next meeting, and asked for their thanks to her to be recorded.