Agenda item

Item in Focus: Health and Wellbeing Strategy Summary Report and Action Plans for Goal B

To receive presentations (tabled at the meeting) on:


Feedback on engagement exercise concerning Goal B, Healthier Environments


Kim James


Action Plan B1 – Create outdoor spaces that make it easier to exercise and to be active

Grant Greatrex and Kirsty Paul


Action Plan B2 – Develop homes that keep people well and independent

Les Billingham


Action Plan B3 – Building strong, well connected communities

Les Billingham



The Health and Wellbeing Strategy contains five Strategic Goals.  The Item in Focus for this meeting was Goal B, which comprises four objectives:

·         B1 Create outdoor places that make it easier to exercise and be active.  B2 Develop Homes that keep people well and independent. 

·           B3 Build strong, well connected communities.

·           B4  Improve Air Quality in Thurrock


Cllr Halden advised Board members that action plan B4 has been deferred and the Air Quality Strategy and action plan will be presented at the November meeting.  The remaining action plans, created to support the delivery of Health and Wellbeing Strategy’s objectives and goals were presented to Board members.  In summary: 


Action Plan B1 was presented by Kirsty Paul, Principal Planning Officer.  During the presentation the following points were made: 

·           Evidence demonstrating the relationship between environment and health is acknowledged.   Some of the challenges currently experienced in Thurrock include high levels of inactivity and high levels of adult and childhood obesity (10–11 year olds)

·           It is important to address engagement feedback received as part of developing the Active Places Strategy and Local Plan consultation which shows that members of the public:

o   Have a varied opinion on the overall quality of the environment and open spaces

o   Lack of facilities for older children

o   Have raised concerns about safety surrounding open spaces, air quality and road safety.

·         There are a wide range of interrelated Strategies that support the development of places that comprise high quality streets and civic spaces with well-connected walking and cycling routes.


Engagement feedback was presented by Kim James, Chief Operating Officer Healthwatch Thurrock:

·         179 people were engaged and provided feedback on B1and key themes reinforced feedback received as part of the Active Places and Local Plan consultation exercises and included:

o   Improved access to parks by including a wider range of activities on offer, tackling anti-social behaviour and maintaining equipment.

o   Communities are keen to assume responsibility by engaging in local groups to maintain parks and green spaces.


During discussions the following points were made:

·         It is important to ensure that synergies are created between emerging strategies and plans and compliment Thurrock’s ‘Clean It, Cut It, Fill It’ agenda.

·         Consideration should be provided to the impact of new housing developments on the capacity of existing facilities, such as leisure centres.

·         The Council’s Infrastructure Requirements List (which forms the basis for all future Section 106 negotiations including new applications) remains an important instrument for ensuring that new developments give due consideration to improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

·         Consideration should be given to how other partners can support health and wellbeing outcomes.  For example, how school facilities could be used for the benefit of the wider community.


Action Plan B2 was presented by Les Billingham, Head of Adult Social Care and Community Development.  During the presentation the following points were made:

·         Funding had been successfully secured to develop HAPPI Housing which aimed to improve the quality of life of Thurrock’s ageing population through complying with a set of specific design requirements.  Thurrock also secured £787,000 for 6 specialised homes for young people with Autism or Learning Disabilities to be built in Grays in partnership with Family Mosaic.

·         The Health and Wellbeing Housing and Planning Advisory Group is a multi-agency group (including Public Health, the CCG and NHS England) which considers the health and well-being implications of major planning applications, and provides advice and guidance on the health, social care and community impacts of proposed new developments. 


Engagement feedback provided by Healthwatch included:

·         People living in twenty six sheltered housing accommodation facilities across the Borough were engaged.

·         It is important to ensure that local people have an opportunity to inform the design of housing developments to ensure that they can accommodate individuals with wide ranging health needs.


During discussions the following points were made:

·         The relationship between the place and the impact on health and wellbeing was acknowledged.  It is important to ensure that health and wellbeing continues to remain a key element of the design, planning and delivery of new housing developments.  In relation to this point, Councillor Halden raised concerns about the lack of attendance from officers leading on the regeneration agenda.

·         It remains vital that new housing developments and section 106 agreements are informed by health and social care requirements.

·         It was acknowledged that while the Well Homes programme is targeted at the private sector lessons can be learnt and adopted within public sector tenancy and property management. 


Action Plan B3was presented by Les Billingham, Head of Adult Social Care and Community Development.  During the presentation the following points were made:

·         The Voluntary and Community Sector plays a key role in designing and delivering the Stronger Communities agenda.  It is important to acknowledge that Thurrock Council is utilising expertise and knowledge across the VCS and local communities to build resilience that empowers members of the community and provides alternatives to the existing health and social care service offer.  

·         The ‘strong well-connected communities’ agenda is managed through the cross-agency Stronger Together Partnership.  The programme recognises that people live more fulfilled lives if they can connect with the communities they live in.

·         Basildon Council are interested in learning lessons from effective practice demonstrated by Thurrock’s Local Area Coordinator (LACs) programme.


Engagement feedback provided by Healthwatch included:

·         Groups primarily consulted in this instance were young mothers and members of the polish community across Thurrock.

·         7 additional volunteers were secured as part of consulting with the public on action plan B3


·         55% of consultees feel that they are active in their community

·         26% of consultees are members of a local community group

·         57% of consultees were aware of community hubs.


During discussions the following points were made:

·         It is important to ensure that services are developed across the Borough and are not focussed on specific geographical areas. 

·         GP practices have been engaged to determine their appetite for Social Prescribing.  While there is currently limited funding available to develop this programme it is hoped that Social Prescribing will be rolled out across the Borough in due course.

·         The positive impact that Community Hubs have on local communities was recognised and acknowledged. 

·         There is clear evidence that demonstrates how well connected communities facilitate an increase in personal resilience amongst members of the public and that this leads to good mental and physical health outcomes.




Action plans developed to support the achievement Thurrock’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy Goal B, Healthier Environments were agreed. 


Supporting documents: