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Agenda item

Developing Healthier Communities

To consider and discuss, together with relevant Officers, the outcomes of the Staffordshire County Council Health & Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s report on Developing Healthier Communities and Staffordshire County Council’s executive response to that report.


 Agenda item - Developing Healthier Communities - Staffordshire County Council




The Chair reminded members that at a meeting earlier this year he reported to the Committee on the work undertaken by the Staffordshire County Health & Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee regarding Developing Healthier Communities, which that Committee had requested District and Boroughs also consider.


The Chair welcomed the Executive Director, Communities, Rob Barnes and the Assistant Director, Partnerships, Jo Sands, together with a colleague from Staffordshire County Council, Sarah Moore (Commissioning Officer) to provide an overview and some context.


The overview included:

1.    A summary of indicators (including population data) and health conditions where the data showed the figures for Tamworth Borough differed or were less favourable than Staffordshire as a whole / the national average. This included the fact that Tamworth Borough was the most densely populated district within Staffordshire, with a lower than average population within the 16-65 year (working age) age bracket, with a high prevalence of excess weight and higher that national averages for life limiting illnesses.  The ongoing work at Staffordshire County to develop locality based data was highlighted which is was reported was expected to be ready late this year (Autumn 2023).

2.    The broader governance framework within which health operated at the County level which included the Staffordshire Health & Wellbeing Board, which was led by Staffordshire County Council in partnership with health partners and which included two councillor representatives and one chief executive representative for districts and boroughs.  An overview of the four priorities set by this Board was provided, which included Health in early life, Good mental health, Healthy weight and Healthy aging.

3.    The role that social circumstances and the environment and broader health behaviour patterns, as well and the provision of health services, played in creating healthy communities and how resilience in communities could be developed.  In this regard it was reported that County commissioned services from Support Staffordshire and as well as SCYVS and worked with organisations such as Age UK.

The Committee sought and received clarifications in the following areas:

1.         given the population statistics for the Borough and the health inequalities, how and where was consideration given to the proximity between residents and the provision of health services.  The Officers reported that this could be something to be fed into the discussions at the Health & Wellbeing Board where there were representatives of various health bodies.  Further clarification was sought on how information from the representatives of that Board to this council’s representatives was provided and how the liaison worked and the Commissioning Officer agreed to feedback to the Board on that query to seek to clarify the lines of communication.

2.         the role of the Local Plan in this area and the importance of the local health profiles in feeding into this, where it was reported that Public Health at County could provide advice in this area.

3.         the differences between the health in all policies / agendas and health impact assessments, where the Commissioning Officer clarified that that the term health in all policies / agendas was used interchangeably to convey the principle of embedding a way of working and the health impact assessments were the tool which could be used.

4.         the Committee considered the 7 recommendations set out in the Staffordshire County Developing Healthier Communities report and agreed that:

·         Recommendation 1 – the Borough’s Officers were involved in the review of what was happening locally and that part of that was the commissioning of data from Community Together CIC which was expected to be received shortly. 

·         Recommendation 2 - The role of impact assessments was discussed and the important of impact assessments, in whatever form, being meaningful.  It was noted that a review of this was underway within the Council and that this was an area which would be likely to be brought back to this Committee in the next municipal year.

·         Recommendation 3 – there appeared to be value in there being a named representative for this Borough council to be a health champion and act as a communications conduit with the County and other district councils, and the Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee could be considered as the link from a member perspective

·         Recommendation 4 – that work at County had commenced on the health profile work for this Borough which related to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment work.

·         Recommendation 5 – work on impact assessments was currently underway with the relevant Officers.

·         Recommendation 6 – in terms of the review of the Local Plan which was underway, the Chair reported that he would write to the Portfolio Holder to highlight the Committee’s in being involved as this progressed.  The Committee sought assurance from the Executive Director, Communities on whether there were sufficient resources available within the council to support this work and it was reported that from an asset base in Tamworth there was a fantastic third sector and that there were sufficient resources to deliver the council’s core business (which included housing, planning and environmental health, which themselves impacted on the social determinants of health), however, there were no wider resources available to provide any wider direct intervention on health issues which were not the council’s core business.  The Commissioning Officer reported that this work aimed to raise the awareness of health in all areas within the council and to recognise the impacts on health and wellbeing of all areas of activity.

4.         when the locality health profiles and any guidance on impact assessments would be likely to be available for this Committee to consider further, where it was expected that the health profiles were expected to be available by the end of (December) 2023 and the impact assessment guidance work was expected to be progressed by this summer.  The Assistant Director, Partnerships suggested that she would liaise with the Chair and relevant Portfolio Holder as the work with County progressed to help identify a suitable timeline for further consideration by the Committee.


Following consideration of the Staffordshire County Council Health and Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee report on Healthier Communities Workshop, and in particular Recommendation 3 from the Workshop (Identify a named district lead to act as the conduit between the county and other districts and to be the health “champion” or advocate for this work), the Committee RESOLVED to recommend to Cabinet that from a councillor perspective, the Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee should be considered as this conduit between the Borough and County.


(Moved by Councillor D Maycock and seconded by Councillor R Claymore)


The Chair thanked the Officers for their work in this area, for their presentation and their attendance at the meeting, following which they left the meeting.