Agenda item

Thurrock Health and Wellbeing Strategy Refresh


The report was presented by Jo Broadbent.


The Vice-Chair mentioned that the report had also been heard at Health and Wellbeing O&S last week and Members had asked that the survey to be shortened. Jo Broadbent answered that the survey comprised of a tick box exercise on the first page and then went on to more specific questions. There had been 65 responses so far although there were less responses on the more specific questionnaires.


The Chair commented that the strategy was big and queried on how accessible this was for everyone. Jo Broadbent explained that the strategy was of a high level and technical and the service had been working with HealthWatch and CVS who were asking simpler questions to engage people. This information was shared with the service who was able to incorporate this into their survey.


Councillor Thandi asked if air quality was included in the survey and whether there was a solution to reduce this in Thurrock. He also asked why life expectancy was low in Thurrock. Jo Broadbent explained that reducing air quality was difficult and that there was currently no air quality monitoring officer in place to manage this area. There were a number of concerns on the impact on air quality from large developments such as the Lower Thames Crossing. On the low life expectancy, she explained that this was due to inter-generational and deprivation issues. Thurrock had one of the highest smoking and obesity rates in the country.


In regards to obesity, Councillor Akinbohun pointed out that there was not enough help for young people with their weight as gyms were too expensive so young people in deprived areas were unable to afford memberships. She stated that the high street was filled with fast food restaurants with no healthy options. She said that the increase of fast food delivery services only made it easier to order fast food. Jo Broadbent answered that there was a weight management service that was funded by Public Health and that extra funding had been provided this year to tackle obesity which would consider a range of approaches. She said that there were some Local Authorities that banned fast food services near schools which would be something for Thurrock to consider.


The Vice-Chair thought that the strategy was sensible and achievable but the issue was public engagement. He felt that shorter questions were needed and that the current questionnaire was a fail. Jo Broadbent said that the strategy had been due to start before the pandemic and would have taken a different approach.


Councillor Watson enquired about the timeline of the strategy. Jo Broadbent answered that the engagement process would end in December, then the first draft would go onto the Health and Wellbeing Board in January before going onto other committees. It would eventually go onto Full Council.


Councillor Watson noted that the procedure was council based and not national government. She pointed out that the strategy could be pushed back to enable a better consultation to take place. The Chair agreed and said that the questionnaires needed to be better worded and clarified. Jo Broadbent said that she would consult with the Health and Wellbeing Board and Portfolio Holder. She stated that the strategy had already been pushed back once and would be out of date by December.




That members noted the consultation exercise, consider and propose opportunities to engage the public and interested parties during the consultation period.


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