Venue: Council Chamber, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ. View directions
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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Rosey Claymore, Sheree Peaple, Jason Jones and County Councillor Thomas Jay.
Councillor Daniel Maycock chaired the meeting in Councillor Claymore’s absence and Councillor Dr Simon Peaple attended as Councillor Sheree Peaple’s substitute.
The minutes of the meeting held on 19th October 2021 were approved as a correct record.
(Moved by Councillor P Brindley and seconded by Councillor J Harper)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest.
Update from the Chair
The Chair reported that Councillor Claymore, and the two other Scrutiny Chairs, Councillors Goodall and Jay had met with the Executive Director, Communities to discuss the Recovery & Reset project and in particular the proposal for consideration of work stream areas by the three scrutiny committees.
The Chair reported that the proposal was that three workstreams; SMART working, Third Sector & Vulnerability and Customer Service Offer workstreams, were considered at the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee. Further it was reported that an overall Recovery & Reset work plan for the next 12-24 months would be populated and shared so that the scrutiny committees would have visibility of key decision points in respect of each workstream which could support activities being planned into each scrutiny committee’s work plan (as required).
Councillor J Wade joined the meeting at 6.04pm.
Leisure Services and Open Spaces overview
(To receive an update from the Assistant Director, Operations and Leisure)
The Chair welcomed the Assistant Director, Operations and Leisure, Ms S McGrandle, to the meeting to provide an overview of the work undertaken in respect of leisure services and open spaces and to receive any feedback on further areas of focus which the Committee would like to consider.
The Assistant Director updated the Committee on the recent tender opportunity to appoint consultants to undertake the following work:
1. to renew the Council’s open spaces assessment
2. to complete a new indoor and outdoor sports assessment
3. to undertake a leisure feasibility study for the new Gungate proposal
She reported that whilst there were several expressions of interest there were no returns to the tender and feedback was being sought as to the reasons for this. The tendered work would inform the Local Plan and planning decisions. It was reported that the Council was engaging with the companies who had expressed interest, but had not tendered, to understand the reasons, and following that the Council would consider whether to retender the work with different timescales, or whether to pursue other options to deliver the Council’s requirements.
The Assistant Director reported on the impact of COVID on leisure services and open spaces, which was heavily impacted by indoor leisure facilities being closed and resulted in all Tamworth open spaces being heavily used. It was reported that street scene staff were impacted by requirements to isolate during the first lockdown, as well as revised working practices. Many volunteers supported at this time and worked with the Council. Following the gradual re-opening over the summer it was reported that there was still a heavier use of outside spaces and facilities than previously and accordingly work had been undertaken and was ongoing to ensure outside spaces were fit for purpose, including installing additional outdoor gym equipment in the Castle Grounds as well as providing additional information to support its use, installing table tennis tables, and additional picnic benches and benches and further the tennis courts in the Castle Grounds would be refurbished in the new year.
The volunteers at the seven local nature reserves in Tamworth had restarted activities from September 2021 and the Council was fully supporting these together with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
The cycle path networks in Tamworth, which was part of Staffordshire County Council highways network, was reported to be one of the most extensive in Staffordshire which was largely linked up throughout the town and it was reported that the County Council had offered to complete the missing links.
The Assistant Director reported that more events had been held outdoors over the last 12 months or so, including drive through cinema screening, outdoor theatre, food festivals and food markets, with a temporary outdoor roller rink planned for a week pre-Christmas.
The Assistant Director reported that Tamworth in Bloom would be back for 2022 and that this involved significant community involvement and that this planned to link in with the Commonwealth Games being held in the midlands in 2022.
The Assembly ... view the full minutes text for item 45.
Mental wellbeing theme
Committee discussion and scoping of objectives, next steps and any working groups
The Chair reminded members that the Committee had identified mental wellbeing as a theme which it wished to consider through its work plan and accordingly many of the reports and presentations considered so far this year had related to this theme. They included including presentations / reports from:
· the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust, in respect of the delivery of local mental health services,
· the Assistant Director Partnerships covering the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership plan and other partnership activities to address health inequalities,
· the Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods on homelessness,
· the Assistant Director, Operations and Leisure on leisure and open spaces; and
· the Members Seminar in October 2021 where members received presentations from various local voluntary sector organisations including:
Ø Staffordshire Council of Youth Voluntary Services (SCYVS)
Ø Support Staffordshire
Ø Community Together CIC
Ø Heart of Tamworth
Ø Tamworth Samaritans
Ø Places of Welcome
Ø Citizens Advice Mid Mercia
Ø Tamworth’s Befriending Service
Ø And others.
The Chair reported that the Staffordshire County Council Health & Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee had an Inquiry day identified to consider further the Wider Determinants of Health across Staffordshire, and whilst details on the coverage of this Inquiry day were not yet available, it was possible that this could provide further information relevant for the Committee’s consideration of the mental wellbeing theme.
This agenda item had been included to provide members with an opportunity to scope out further and identify any additional areas where the Committee wanted to focus further, through working groups or otherwise.
Councillor R Rogers left the meeting at 7.20pm
The Committee revisited suggestions raised at earlier Committee meetings and commented on the following:
· The benefits of encouraging all councillors to complete mental health first aid training to enable councillors to support residents.
· Food security, and also more broadly debt and insecurity issues, which local charities had highlighted were areas where local advice was being sought.
· To build on the experience of the work during the pandemic to support the vulnerable by further co-ordination of the relevant voluntary groups to support mental wellbeing in a focussed way through the partnerships team, by supporting and enabling local organisations to sign post to the relevant local group in Tamworth, and by utilising local support to help local residents access support whether in Tamworth or beyond.
· The benefits of further visible sign-posting in the borough to where mental health support can be accessed. The Committee requested that the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT) be invited back to the next Committee meeting to provide an update on the communication plan for Tamworth of the services available. The Chair agreed to liaise with County Councillor T Jay for his support in engaging Staffordshire County Council in seeking to ensure the delivery of mental health services locally and to support in the communication to Tamworth residents of the MPFT services which were available.
RESOLVED that the Committee recommend to Cabinet that Cabinet’s attention be drawn to mental health service delivery in Tamworth and request that Cabinet make it a ... view the full minutes text for item 46.
Responses to Reports of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee
(Update on responses to the Reports of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee)
There were no items to report to the Committee.
Consideration of matters referred to the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet or Council
There were no matters referred to the Committee
(To receive the Digest from Staffordshire County Council’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee and an update from County Councillor T Jay)
The Chair reported that there was a written update of the 25 October 2021 County meeting.
In addition the Chair reported that he had attended the Staffordshire County Council Health & Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 29 November 2021 which had received an update on Public Health matters in Staffordshire, where broadly speaking there was improvement, in terms of sexual health.
The Chair reported that he had raised two local issues at that meeting:
· in terms of smoking cessation clinics, he had sought clarification in respect of the provision of both pharmalogical and behavioural interventions where it was confirmed that both interventions should be available.
· in terms of the re-opening of a local GP surgery and responses which had been sought from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in that regard, where the chair of the Staffordshire County Committee had agreed to provide his support in communicating with the CCG.
Please see the link to the Forward Plan:
No additional items were identified form the Forward Plan at this time.
To consider items for 2021/22 Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee Work Plan
The Committee considered its Work Plan and updated it as follows:
Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Work Plan