Agenda and minutes

Wokingham Borough Wellbeing Board - Thursday, 8th October, 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: Virtually

Contact: Madeleine Shopland  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were submitted from Sam Burrows, Tessa Lindfield and Debbie Milligan.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 September 2020.



The Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 10 September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and will signed by the Chairman at the next available date.


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 Board.


Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Board 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


In accordance with the agreed procedure, the Chairman invited Members to submit questions to the appropriate Board Members.


Rachel Bishop-Firth asked the Chairman of the Wokingham Borough Wellbeing Board the following question:




What steps is the Council taking to protect our older and our BAME residents who are both statistically at much higher risk from Covid-19 during this current second spike of the pandemic,  BAME people currently make up 16.4% of WBC residents,  and in particular, will we be helping to publicise the importance of Vitamin D for older and BAME people?  


Many medical professionals are concerned that there may be a link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of Covid mortality as a deficiency affects your ability to fight infection.  While research is still underway, the problems with vitamin D deficiency are so well known that before the pandemic, NHS guidance suggested that BAME Brits should 'consider' taking vitamin D supplements year round (and white Brits to consider a supplement Oct to March).  Care home residents have a particularly high risk of vitamin D deficiency.    


Publicising this simple step which local residents can take to safeguard their health could be very quick and cost effective.    



The protection of our residents vulnerable to Covid infection, including older residents and BAME residents is a priority for WBC. 


In addition to the extensive work we have undertaken with the care homes via the Care Homes Task Force we continue to work really closely with the voluntary sector within Wokingham and have extended funding to continue our one front door service until March 20121, as I am sure you have seen.  This is run by CAB Wokingham, they are taking calls and emails from residents and putting them in contact with any people and organisations that they need.  This includes prescription collections or shopping service but also helps with a range of other Covid related effects such as debt advice, job loss, benefit advice as well as important support for mental health and wellbeing.  The Wokingham Borough Community Response is an additional support service to the NHS and social services.


We are working with CAB Wokingham, First Days, the LINK Visiting Scheme, Involve Community Services and the Wokingham Volunteer Centre, as well as our Town and Parish Councils, Age UK, Churches Together and other churches and voluntary organisations across the Borough.


In August, the Council launched ‘Tackling Racism Matters’ which is an online survey providing an anonymous platform for both the wider community and staff to share opportunities to tackle racial inequalities (which affect risk of Covid infections and deaths) in Wokingham. In addition, the Council has launched the Covid impact survey to understand how Covid has affected BAME groups during lockdown.  The findings from this survey will continue to inform our response going forward and will obviously effect how we behave.


Working with the Public health team, WBC are cascading tailored health promotion (as developed by Public Health England) to inform specific ethnic groups about minimising their risk to Covid transmission and mortality.  The promotion materials have been adapted into different languages.


The NHS test and trace system has been designed to ensure that anyone who develops the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.1


Strategy into Action pdf icon PDF 276 KB

To receive a report regarding Strategy into Action.

Additional documents:


Ingrid Slade presented the Strategy into Action.


During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:


·         Three Actions Groups were being established, each of which aligned with one of the three key priorities of the Wokingham Wellbeing Strategy; creating physically active communities, reducing social isolation and loneliness, and narrowing health inequalities.  The aim of each group was to develop a stronger understanding of the performance and successes of work being carried out both inside and outside the Council, to help with future planning.

·         The Physically Active Communities Group would be co-chaired by Sports and Leisure.  The first meeting of the group would take place in the first week of November.

·         The Reducing Isolation Group would be co-chaired by Phil Cook of Involve.  Discussions would take place regarding available evidence to assess the level of need in the Borough.  The Group would hopefully meet before the end of the year.

·         The Health Inequalities Group would work closely with Children’s Services.  It would hopefully meet for the first time in early December.

·         Draft terms of reference had been drawn up and would be agreed by the individual Groups.

·         The Groups would have a standard reporting mechanism into the Wellbeing Board.

·         Councillor Margetts suggested that Jake Morrison from the voluntary sector be invited to be involved with the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Group.  Covid would have a huge impact on the work of this. Ingrid Slade re-emphasised that the voluntary sector would be heavily involved in this group.  Phil Cook commented that he was co chairing as part of the Friendship Alliance (Age UK Berkshire, LINK visiting scheme and Wokingham Volunteer Centre) which had been very involved in the Covid response.  There was a Voluntary Sector Action Group meeting every Monday.

·         Martin Sloan added that part of the reason for establishing the Friendship Alliance was to tackle social isolation.  Funding had been put in place to tackle social isolation.  Martin Sloan suggested that a presentation on the progress being made in tackling social isolation be provided to a future meeting.

·         Katie Summers commented that many of the long-term success markers for the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Group, related to children.  She questioned how the education support services would be involved in this.  Ingrid Slade and Carol Cammiss agreed to take this forwards.  They were also to have involvement of care leavers or representatives of care leavers.

·         With regards to the Narrowing Health Inequalities Group, Katie Summers indicated that the NHS had been set an action plan on reducing health inequalities and had eight impact changes that had to be delivered by December next year, including; to protect the most vulnerable from Covid, restoring NHS services inclusively, digital inclusion, proactive engagement and prevention, mental health, leadership, completing timely data sets, and collaborative local plan and delivery.  Increasing the accuracy and availability of data was vital.  Katie Summers offered to work with Ingrid Slade to help tie these eight priorities into the work of the Reducing Health Inequalities Group.

·         The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Designing our Neighbourhoods Update pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To receive the Designing our Neighbourhoods Update.


Martin Sloan provided an update in Designing our Neighbourhoods.


During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:


·         Martin Sloan advised the Board that the workshop would put back until later, due to other priorities around Covid.  However, work was still ongoing at neighbourhood level.

·         Katie Summers referred to the successful focus on mental health.  With the support of the Citizens Advice Bureau, the ‘One front door’ service was being rolled out.  Some motivational interview training had also been carried out and 30% of attendees had been from the Council.


RESOLVED:  That the update be noted.


Covid Situation Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the Covid Situation Report.


Ingrid Slade provided an update on the Covid situation.


During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:


·         The national and local picture was of a rise in Covid cases.  Wokingham had had 820 cases since the beginning of the outbreak, a rate of 479 per 100,000.  This was well below the England average of 827 per 100,000.

·         The increase in cases represented an increase in community transition.  There had been a rise in cases across the Borough.

·         Wokingham Borough continued to have no excess mortality due to Covid at present.


RESOLVED: That the Covid situation update be noted.


Forward Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To consider the Board’s work programme for the remainder of the municipal year.


The Board considered the forward programme.


Councillor Margetts advised the Board of prioritisation sessions regarding the Joint Berkshire West Health and Wellbeing Strategy on 5 November 2-3.30pm and 10 November 2-3.30pm.


RESOLVED:  That the forward programme be noted.