Notes of the Strategy Meeting held on Wednesday 5th September 2013 at St Peter’s, Holywell

Chair: Rev Aidan Coleman       Timekeeper: Ann e Hooper    Reflection: Linda Roberts

Apologies: Farookh Jishi, James Harris, Rosina Fletcher, Eulina Harper, Idris Wigglesworth, June Edwards, Beryl Matthews, Mary Shaw, Nia Higginbotham, Menna Davies, Alan Butterworth.

1. Croeso / Rounds

Aidan Coleman welcomed everyone to the first ever strategy meeting at St. Peter’s in Holywell.

 2. Myfyrdod / Reflection

3. Unrhyw faterion i’w trofod / Register extra matters for consideration

Dolores Phelan from Trans it ion Holywell and District told the group about the possible closure of Holywell Post Office. She circulated postcards from the campaign – contact her or Kay Polley for more information.

Aidan presented the membership dues f or St. Peter’s, and accepted the church’s TCC e membership certificate.

4. Pynciau Dad! Newydd/ New issues –

Wrexham buses

Yvonne Pryce from St John’s Rhosymedre outlined a new issue which arose at the issues and actions day. This came about because many people said they had problems with buses not stopping for them, not letting them on if they didn’t have the correct change etc. A group of TCC members decided to investigate this, and went on several bus journeys around Wrexham. On these journeys they found that the information centre at the bus station was closed  (within its usual opening hours), none of the electronic timetable displays were working, and plastic timetable displays were broken, making the timetables inside illegible. They were particularly surprised that several ‘ bus stops’ around Wrexham didn’t even have a bus stop sign you simply had to know where they were . The group would like to address this fundament al lack of information, which made it very difficult for them to get around on the bus, and would make it especially difficult if you were not local to the area. Strategy agreed this as an issue which TCC would like to work on.

Hospital complaints

Ann Owen from St Giles’ Wrexham talked about her personal experience of her husband suffering very poor treatment at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2010. Ann complained about this, but it was 3 months before she got a response, which was very dismissive of her concerns. This went to an independent review, which recommended that the health board should meet with Ann , but they refused . It has taken three years for the staff involved to meet with the independent review panel, which issued a very strong report into the failings of the hospital, and said that the health board should writ e a “fulsome apology”. This still has not arrived. During this time Ann has been supported greatly by the North Wales Community Health Council (CHC) . Kay and Ann met with t hem recently, and they have new chief executive who is very interested in raising the issue of hospital complaints. The CHC felt that with recent staff changes now is a good time to take action, and is particularly keen to work with TCC. Strategy approved this as an issue for TCC to work on.

 Holywell Traffic

Melanie Sinclair from Transition Hol ywell and District explained that in Holywell as you drive into the town the speed limit changes from 30mph to 40mph. There is a housing estate there, and it is very difficult to cross the road. One of the members of the transition group has set up a petition which currently has about 70 signatures. The group has approached highways at the Council but they were very negative about the possibility of lowering the speed limit. Strategy approved this as an issue for TCC to work on.

5. Diweddariadau I Updates

Respite care

Kay explained that since Brenda Jones had spoken at the July strategy, a group had been meeting to research the issue. Brenda has been caring for her husband John for 22 years , as has raised the issue of a lack of respite care for those under 65. Unfortunately since then Benda’s husband John has passed away. However, Brenda has said that she does still want to continue working on the issue. Homes and individual beds have to be specifically registered to be able to accept people under 65. At the moment, the beds are spread out across several homes. This means that younger people can be receiving respite in homes where all the residents are very elderly, and cannot provide much interaction or communication. We have spoken to people who have experienced this, who said it was a very lonely and depressing experience, and often meant that their health deteriorated. The aim would be to have a place where several beds for people under 65 can be put together, so that people can have their respite with others of a more similar age. The group has held several meetings, one with a Community Psychiatric Nurse who is very supportive, and has been advocating for the same thing for many years. Strategy gave approval for the group to continue working on the issue .

The Living Wage

In June Kay and Rev Tracey Day from Penycae Church of the Nazarene met with the leader of Wrexham Council, Neil Rogers. In this meeting he agreed to calculate what the actual cost would be of bringing in the Living Wage at Wrexham Council. He also made this agreement with Ian Lucas MP. However, in an email this week to Kay, Cllr Rogers has stated “I thought I made it quite clear in our discussions that the Council is not considering the introduction of the Living Wage”. Several members expressed anger and disappointment that Cllr Rogers appears to be backing out of his agreement , and is now dismissing the possibility of even looking into the Living Wage. Kay asked that each group ask for people to share their experiences of earning less than the Living Wage (£7.45 an hour). Some concern was expressed about the fact that paying the Living Wage could lead to job losses. Kay explained that paying the Living Wage is a voluntary contribution, and TCC would never want employers to bring in the Living Wage at the cost of jobs. To ensure this doesn’t happen the trade un ions will be crucial. Kay has been in contact with them and they are keen to work with TCC. Kay discussed the idea of having a Living Wage conference, to promote the Living Wage in North Wales. If the trade un ions are involved we could possibly have some high profile speakers, and invite Councils who are already paying the Living Wage to speak , and to celebrate employers locally paying the Living Wage. Members agreed this would be a good idea, especially as there is very little promotion currently of the Living Wage in Wales.

Feedback from Issues & Actions workshop

In July TCC held an issues and actions workshop at which we went over some of the principles of community organising, spent time talking about the issues in our communities, and planned some exciting actions which could draw some attention to the issues and TCC’s work. Those who attended said they had really enjoyed the day, and were surprised by how many issues affected so many different people. The notes of the day have been sent out previously – contact Kay if you need another copy.

Poverty in the UK workshops

Kay showed the group a quiz which has been designed by Church Act ion on Poverty to challenge perceptions about Poverty in the UK. There is also a workshop to go with the quiz which can be used, and workshops and plans for church services. Kay suggested that people might like to deliver the sessions in their groups, and that it could be adapted to include information about TCC’s work. Please contact Kay if you are interested.

Dyddiadau I Dates

22 nd September, 11am -4pm, ‘Potato Day’ , CAFOD North Wales’ Annual Youth Event at Noddfa, Penmaenmawr. Contact / 01978 355084 for more information.

Wednesday 2nd October – 7.3 0pm: Strategy meeting, Saint Richard Gwyn Catholic High School , Flint.