23rd July 2012 — DIAL and Updates

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Minutes of General Meeting

Held on 23rd July 2012 at 2:30pm

At Wherry Way Communal Room, Caister Road, Great Yarmouth

Apologies were received from Maureen Ransome, Pat Clark, Darren Hendry, Simon O?Leary (Voluntary Norfolk), Penny Parker (NCoDP) and
Charlie Johnson.

Those present introduced themselves and David welcomed everyone to the meeting.

The minutes of the May meeting were approved.

Matters Arising

The contact details for Andy Wells, Crew Manager, Great Yarmouth Fire Service are as follows:

Telephone : 01493 339901

eMail: Andy.Wells@fire.norfolk.gov.uk

David had large print copies of the Fire Safety Booklet which Members could take away at the end of the meeting, and there was five
Braille copies available.

DIAL — Guest Speaker

David welcomed Jo Howes, from DIAL.

Jo said that DIAL?s presence in Great Yarmouth had begun in 1985 in a small office at Northgate Hospital, and had moved to the Broad
Row premises in 2008. There was also a DIAL charity shop in Broad Row. DIAL (the Disability Information and Advice Line) is a free
service offering information and advice to disabled people and others who face social barriers, about benefits, accessibility
issues, help with filling in forms, information about support groups and leisure information to people living in the Borough of
Great Yarmouth and occasionally to visitors to the town. The service is free, confidential and impartial. The charity shop is run
entirely by volunteers, and the office has three paid members of staff, all of whom have undertaken specialised training, which is
continually being updated to keep abreast of changes in benefit entitlements and allowances etc. They also were currently very
busy advising about money and debt issues, and there was a qualified adviser available for 4 days every week. The adviser could
help individuals draw up debt management plans, personal budgets and advice about negotiating with creditors. Other services
included the Message in a Bottle Scheme, Radar Keys for access to toilets for the disabled, No Cold Calling stickers and advice
about adaptations to homes, including handyman leaflets and trusted traders.

As well as the office at Broad Row, DIAL also provided outreach services. John Watts would be at the NNAB Office from 10am to 1pm
on Tuesdays, and a DIAL representative would be at the Red Cross Centre for Independent Living at Beacon Park on Fridays, and the
MESH Office next to the new Shrublands medical centre on Magdalen Way from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays.

Jo shared information about Scam Alerts. Recently, Norfolk Trading Standards had issued warnings about a scam email claiming to be
from DVLA asking people to verify their details via an on-line link, or risk losing their licence and have to take a new driving
test. She emphasised that no Government Department would ever ask an individual to provide or update personal details via email.

Another scam was rogue traders offering to tarmac driveways on behalf of Norfolk County Council. The advice was that Norfolk County
Council never cold calls, and that any suspected or suspicious rogue traders should be reported to the Police using their
non-emergency number 101 or Trading Standards on 0344 800 8020.

Norfolk Trusted Trader offers a list of accredited tradesmen, which can be found on the Norfolk County Council website

Registration with the Telephone Preference Service to reduce the number of unwanted calls from within the UK should be renewed every
12 months ? call 0844 372 2325 or go to www.silentgard.com/register.aspx.

Loan Sharks continue to operate illegally, and if anyone is a victim or knows of someone who is, they can seek confidential advice
by calling 0300 555 2222 or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.

There are unofficial websites which charge for issuing European Health Insurance Cards. There is no charge for these through the
official channel via the NHS or the website www.ehic.org.uk

Jo had large print copies of a leaflet with details of these and other scams which members could take away at the end of the

In reply to Members questions, Jo said that help was available from DIAL with understanding and paying household utilities bills,
dealing with banks. It was hoped that at some time in the future DIAL would be able to set up an outreach centre in Martham, but if
Members were unable to get to the DIAL office or any of the outreach centres, advice could be given by phone ? 01493 856 900 ? or in
exceptional circumstances a home visit could be arranged.

David thanked Jo for her interesting and very informative talk.


David reported that he and Wendy had represented the Group at the Royal Garden Party on 12th June and that it had been a very
enjoyable day with good weather and some lovely food. There had been a photograph and article in the Great Yarmouth Mercury and the
VIP Newsletter.

It had been suggested that the Christmas Lunch this year should be held at Wherry Way Community Room on the date of the November
meeting (26th November). The majority of those present were in favour of this, as the facilities were good and most people would
have already booked that date in their diaries. It was agreed to go ahead with arrangements.

Members reported that there was evidence of yellow and black scaffolding tape being used in the town and elsewhere, eg Gorleston
High Street. Any contraventions of the new ruling should be reported to David, preferably with evidence such as the name of the
culprit or a photograph. A proliferation of A-boards in the area of Market Gates bus station was proving hazardous.

There was discussion about the hazard of tables and chairs being placed on pavements and in the Arcade. Dennis said that as soon as
he had reported the problems for blind and partially sighted people to the arcade manager, it had been dealt with.

Ian reported that in Regent Road, there was a line in the pedestrianised area beyond which traders were not supposed to put their
goods and furniture, but it was difficult to enforce this at all times. He also said that from a legal point of view, because the
Arcade was a privately owned space, the co-operation of shopkeepers was largely a matter of goodwill, but it was pleasing to know
that the Manager had been supportive.

Liz, on behalf of NNAB, reported that there was a walk on 24th July at Belton, and no ten pin bowling in August. Every Friday there
would be Craft Club at Hall Quay and Lawn Bowls at Gorleston Cliffs Tops. NNAB Flag Days in Yarmouth had been booked for Saturday
4th August, Saturday 23rd August at Tesco and Wednesday 15th August. New volunteer collectors would always be welcomed ? new
collectors would first have to register with NNAB and collect their authorisation card.

David reported that the new publicity leaflet had been printed and was ready for distribution to various places in and around the
Borough. Volunteers were required to take leaflets to doctors? and dentists? surgeries, libraries and any other suitable public
places. David made a list of those who had taken leaflets for distribution in various places.

In reply to Tim?s questions, Jo said that she had some No Cold Calling stickers with her, and David said that wallets for Blue
Badges could be obtained for £1.99 from Martin?s on Regent Road.

David asked Members to note the Police non-emergency telephone number ? 101 ? and the new NHS non-emergency helpline number ? 111.
The Out of Hours NHS facility was based in Ipswich, but there was a medical officer in charge of every 6 phone lines, and a local
ambulance would quickly attend any genuine emergencies.

Some Members had completed questionnaires asking for suggestions for speakers or topics for discussion at future VIP User Group
meetings. There was quite a lot of discussion about planning and access issues. Ian said that it was sometimes difficult for the
Borough Council to have as much input as they might like with private developments such as the proposed new casino, because the
developers carried out their own health and safety audits, and compliance with Building Regulations did not necessarily address the
specific accessibility issues of blind and partially sighted people, for instance colour contrast on buildings, entrances and steps.

Ian suggested that it might be a useful project for the Group to study the Building Regulations to determine to what extent they
covered the needs of blind and partially sighted people, and campaign for building codes to embody the right level of attention to
accessibility issues.

David said he would remind Tracey Jones that she had agreed to look into the problem of insufficient contrast on the entrance doors
at Greyfriars House.

Judy Morrow drew attention to the new pelican crossing on the A12 between the James Paget and Beacon Park. There was a problem for
VIPs in that there was no clearly defined pathway across the grass on the James Paget side to the guide rails at the crossing.
There was a cone, but no audible alarm (because the crossing served a stretch of two-way traffic). The crossing at the sea side of
the road was more easily accessible. David suggested that the Group should suggest to the contractors that they install a pathway
with tactile paving. The initial contact was from the Contractor to the VIP Group, asking for their input, as a result of an earlier
exchange with the late Penny Cox.

Ella reminded the Group of the need for a safe crossing at the Middleton Road end of that stretch of road, as there seemed to be a
more obvious need for a crossing there than at the Beacon Park end.

David would send Ian a copy of previous correspondence about crossings, and he would look into the issues raised by the Group.

Maggie was concerned that replacement street lights seemed to be moving from the kerb to the middle of the pavement in Gorleston
High Street, and other Members cited places elsewhere where this was causing problems. Shaun said that overgrown bushes near
Shrublands, coupled with lamp-posts between the path and the grass, were making access very difficult for those who relied on a cane
to guide them. Ian said that the work was contracted out to a company called Amey, who had a 25-year contract for replacement of
street lights. Tim gave an example of where a lamp post damaged in an accident had been replaced by a new one but the old post had
still not been removed.

Also the colour of the new lamp-posts ? shiny silver – was not an ideal colour for visually-impaired people to detect against the
grey of pavements.

It was agreed that the whole subject of lamp-posts was one in which the Group should get involved, by gathering evidence and
compiling a list of good and bad practice.

Shaun reported that he had encountered some building or repair work along the Beach Coach Station side of Nelson Road North, which
was encased in a mesh fence covering the width of the path. He queried why this could not be marked in a similar way as scaffold
poles were required to be.

This comment initiated a discussion about different building projects in which the building contractor R G Carter was engaged in the
town ? the new housing scheme at the old coach station, Greyfriars Clinic and St George?s Theatre, each of which had caused problems
for blind and visually impaired people, and had been noted in minutes of User Group meetings. R G Carter advertises its engagement
in the ?Considerate Contractors Scheme? which implies that their management of construction activities is sympathetic to the
communities within which they operate. With this in mind, it was felt that the Group should send a carefully-worded letter to
Robert Carter, of R G Carter Ltd, to raise his awareness of the many issues which the Group had encountered as a result of their
presence in the town, with the hope that this would initiate a re-think of the Company?s practices.

Ella asked whether it was appropriate to divulge a National Insurance number requested on a form from a private Housing Association.
Jo suggested that Ella contacts the Association to ask why they needed the number, and to contact DIAL if there seemed to be a

Shaun asked for ideas for speakers for future meetings. After some discussion it was agreed to invite Richard Polley from NNAB who
had a mobile technology system which he could demonstrate to the Group. Most Members were in favour of this, and Liz said that she
would try to book him for the meeting in January because he was only available between October and March. Sound for Sight had
re-launched their ?Ultra Cane? with vibrating buttons, and there was a CD with information about it if anyone was interested.

David reported that he and Tim would be attending a Caister Transport meeting with the VIP volunteer Paul on Thursday evening.

Shaun said that there was no further update yet on the Personal Independence Plan (PIP) which will replace DLA.

Members were reminded of the availability of the Door to Door transport service, which, after payment of an annual £5 membership
fee was available for a nominal fee for members to book door-to-door transport to meetings, appointments, shopping etc.

The next meeting would be on 24th September at 2pm.

The meeting closed at 4.10pm.


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