Venue: Lancastrian, Town Hall, Chorley
Contact: Cathryn Filbin Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair will welcome everyone to the meeting.
The Chair welcomes everyone to the meeting and introduced the top table.
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Equality Forum held on 20 October 2014 be confirmed as a correct record and approved by the Chair.
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Equality Forum held on 15 January 2015 be confirmed as a correct record and approved by the Chair.
A representative from the Citizens Advice Bureaux will give a presentation on changes to pensions.
The Chair welcomed Guy Simpson and Paul Hoyle from Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureaux who gave a presentation on Pension Wise.
Members of the Equality Forum were advised that from 6 April 2015 a free and impartial government service had been introduced the purpose of which was to help people understand their new pension options.
The service is aimed at:
· people close to the age of 55 (ie within 6 months) or older
· people that had not had a guidance session before
· people that had a defined contribution pension scheme
· people looking for access/take benefits
- some or all of their pension pot(s)
- in the next 6 months; and
- want to understand what their options are
West Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureaux has been chosen as one of 50 delivery centres. Officer of the Bureaux co-ordinates face to face Pension Wise appointment at the Bureaux as well as a number of other sites across Lancashire.
Pension Wise offers guidance, not advice, and as the user is only eligible to have one 45 minute appointment it was important that the user prepares for their meeting in advance.
Key messages for users were:
· Take time when making decisions
· Always shop around – find the best deal for them
· Ask about charges – think about tax implications
· Beware of scams
· Make sure pension lasts as long as user did
The Chair thanked Guy Simpson and Paul Hoyle for their presentation, who then took questions from the Forum.
Chorley Older People's Forum
There will be a presentation from the Older People’s Forum about the role and projects of the Forum. There will also be an interactive session on how the work of the Forum could be expanded to support older people.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Jean Cronshaw who gave a presentation on Chorley Older People’s Forum.
Members of the Equality Forum were told how the Forum was founded in 2006 with membership growing to between 200 to 300 members.
The Forum was an independent group run by volunteers. Membership was open to all residents in the Chorley area over the age of 50 and was completely free to join.
The aim on the Forum is to:
· make it easier for older people to make their views known to service providers and organisations,
· be the public voice and means of debate for residents over the age of 50, offering a means of debate,
· dissemination of information
Councillor Cronshaw advised that tea dances were held four times per year in the Lancastrian Room at the Town Hall, Chorley, with tickets cost £3 each to help raise money for the Forum.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, a conference was being planning for 2016.
The Forum had many aspirations such as days out and more events but was limited to what they could do due to the lack funding and volunteers.
Anyone wishing to become a volunteer can attend a monthly planning meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at the Lifestyle Centre. Volunteers would also be able to claim Time Credits.
As well as funding and volunteers the Forum was also look for a new name, and suggestions should be forwarded to Councillor Cronshaw.
The Chair thanked Councillor Cronshaw for her presentation and asked members of the Equality Forum to put forward suggestions on how the Older People’s Forum could increase its volunteers and funding opportunities during the networking break.
There was a short networking break.
Representatives from Chorley Youth Council will be giving a presentation on who they are, their role and what they are currently working on.
The Chair introduced members from the Chorley Youth Council. Before their presentation began members of the Forum were invited to take part in a short activity which asked them to consider that was important to them when they were young and what they felt was important to young people now.
Following a short feedback session, members of the Chorley Youth Council started their presentation the purpose of which was to challenge the stigma that surrounds young people, explain the aims of the Council and provided details on its current campaign on mental health.
Key points of the presentation included:
· Chorley and Lancashire Youth Council gave young people a voice and a say on what happens in their local communities and are often consulted on leaflets aimed at young people,
· in November, UK Youth Parliament voted on raising the minimum wage and increasing awareness of mental health,
· Chorley Youth Council elected mental health as their district campaign in 2014,
- questionnaires were circulated to schools to ascertain what young people were being taught,
- 2 out of 6 high schools were not being taught about mental health;
- that the quality of mental health being taught in the other 4 high schools was poor and very little time was spent.
· Make Your Mark was the UK’s largest youth consultation,
- last year collected over 800,000 ballots, showing what young people wanted the UK Youth Parliament to campaign on.
- 5799 of those ballots came from Chorley, the highest amount of ballots collected by a single district in Lancashire and the North West
Members of the Forum congratulated members of Chorley Youth Council for the work they did to engage young people in issues that are important to them and help make their voices count.
Dates of Future Meetings
The next meeting of the Equality Forum will be held on 28 July 2015, the venue to be confirmed.
Future meetings of the Equality Forum will be held on the following dates:
· 13 October 2015, venue – Lancastrian Room, Town Hall, Chorley.
· 12 January 2016, venue – to be confirmed.
· 4 April 2016, venue – Lancastrian Room, Town Hall, Chorley.
All meetings will commence at 6.30pm unless advised otherwise as stated on the agenda.
The next date of the Equality Forum will take place on 28 July at 6.30pm. The venue would be confirmed nearer the time.