Agenda item

Portfolio Holder Report - Health and Wellbeing

To consider the annual report from the Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder on the progress made within the portfolio area and their plans for the future.


The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder presented his annual report on progress made and plans for the future within the portfolio area, and highlighted a number of areas within his report.


The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder highlighted a number of areas within the remit of his Portfolio.  He referred to the presentations due to be made later in the meeting by Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Morecambe Bay CCG, drawing attention to the wider determinants of health conditions, such as the environment and job creation.  He referred to the launch of the Council’s “fill up” scheme which encouraged people to re-fill plastic bottles with water rather than drinking fizzy drinks with high sugar content.  The Portfolio Holder talked about localism and was impressed by the commitment shown by parish councils.  He reminded the Committee that Cabinet Members were open to invitations to visit local communities.  The Portfolio Holder drew attention to the work being carried out by the Building Financial Resilience Group, adding that this was not a statutory duty but something which the Council chose itself to address.  He commended the LEAP scheme which had been launched to provide free energy advice to residents, aiming to help people to cut down on fuel bills.  The Portfolio Holder praised the work being carried out by foodbanks in the area and which had seen an increase in use of 18%.  The Portfolio Holder referred to the work of the Community Safety Partnership, highlighting the ATiC Project which consisted of interactive performances for schools on decision-making and critical thinking related to drugs and county lines.  The Portfolio Holder closed in commending the Health and Safety work which had been carried out with drivers at the depots to address reversing issues.


Clarification having been sought with regard to the issue of Devolution, the Chief Executive explained that a framework was expected from the Government in the near future, however, that this continued to be delayed due to other business.


Information was sought regarding the process for grants for Changing Places toilets, concern being expressed in relation to the need for an initial grant to carry out feasibility studies.  The Principal Community Spaces Officer informed Members that the feasibility studies needed to be carried out prior to the award of full grants in order to assist communities in drawing up full plans and to ensure that the projects could be completed, with the right facilities being provided in the right places.  The Chief Executive added that the £25,000 set aside for feasibility studies would ensure that the process was open to more communities and enable them to research the potential for deliverability.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder further pointed out that the Council may be able to consider requirements relating to increased costs where necessary.


Discussion took place with regard to the issue of fuel poverty and elderly, widowed homeowners on pensions who were unable to access financial support which was mainly aimed at those with disabilities.  The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder acknowledged that this issue needed to be examined.


The work being carried out with regard to the provision of Changing Places toilets was commended, however, it was pointed out that there was no public convenience at all in Burneside.  The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder indicated a willingness to return to the Parish Council to discuss this Localism issue.


Reference was made to the fantastic playground at Croftlands in Ulverston, however, attention drawn to the need for innovative ideas on how to address the lack of a public convenience at the site.  The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, pointing out that this was a complex issue, was of the opinion that the issue of public conveniences needed to be re-examined.  The Chief Executive pointed out that it was in 2008 that Cabinet and Council had considered the future of the provision of public conveniences in South Lakeland.  He suggested that consideration could be given to expanding the Community Toilets Scheme to additional areas and felt that an update on the report considered in 2008 could be brought to Members in order to ensure that the relevant areas of public health were covered.


The issue of child sex exploitation was raised and it was felt that a briefing session on this topic may assist Members in gaining a wider understanding.  The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder undertook to give this consideration.  The Chairman further suggested the potential for ATiC to carry out a project examining this area and the Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder undertook to raise this through the Community Safety Partnership.


Clarification was sought with regard to the current ATiC Project relating to drugs and county lines and the Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder explained how the performances for students during May 2019 would be interactive and followed up by discussion during lesson time.


The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder undertook to provide a written response to a query on the Council’s stance with regard to the provision of support services following discharge from prison of people with mental health problems.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

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