Agenda item

Warwickshire's Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-26

The Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-26 sets out the Health and Wellbeing Board’s ambitions and approach to ensure support is effective and available where it is most needed. Council is aksed to approve the Strategy.


Councillor Les Caborn introduced the published report, explaining that the strategy provides a high level plan aimed at reducing inequalities and improving the health of citizens. The refresh has taken full account of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 Pandemic and has made use of the countywide Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Councillor Les Caborn added that whilst people’s health in Warwickshire is generally better than the national average there remain variations across the county. One in four adults will experience some form of mental health problem in their life and to help address this additional funding is to be provided. Health improvements can take a long time to be realised. For example, smoking cessation programmes have been successful but have taken 25 years to reach the stage they have. Prevention needs to be prioritised as does the need to make communities stronger. The Heath and Wellbeing Board and Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will monitor the delivery of the strategy.


Councillor Wallace Redford seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor John Holland agreed that mental health should be a high priority. It is difficult to move forward when cuts are being made to budgets. Children, he added, have suffered during the Pandemic as have people of working age. The key to successful service delivery is joint working especially with the district and borough councils.


Councillor Jerry Roodhouse commended the document noting that it had been developed jointly with partners. He did not agree with the JSNA boundaries. Poverty and mental health, he concluded, are major challenges facing communities.


Councillor Nicola Davies commented that it is important not to overlook personal safety. Women need to be able to access open space and exercise opportunities in a safe way.


Councillor Johnathan Chilvers (Leader of the Green Group) questioned the ability to deliver the strategy at a time that cuts are being made to budgets.


Councillor Jo Barker stated that it had been a pleasure helping to develop the strategy. She suggested that health and wellbeing should be factored into every policy decision the council makes.


Councillor Neil Dirveiks welcomed the report but questioned why it did not contain any SMART targets. He asked if these were to follow.


Councillor Dave Parsons agreed that the document should include a series of targets that could be used to provide an indication of success. He was concerned over the continuing situation regarding inequalities and suggested that closer work with the district and borough councils could assist in relieving this. A study by Cardiff University was cited. In it the relationship between property rentals and in-work poverty was recognised.


Councillor Helen Adkins (Leader of the Labour Group) agreed that the strategy requires targets. She also echoed previous comments regarding the impact of budget cuts on services. Austerity she said, has had a serious impact on people’s health and whilst the strategy is welcome it has been a long time in development.


Councillor Keith Kondakor agreed with comments over the length of time it takes to realise improvements in people’s health. That more people are walking and cycling was commended but there remains a need to provide the infrastructure to support this. Health and wellbeing should be at the forefront of everything the council does. This has not been the case with the Transforming Nuneaton scheme.


Councillor Maggie O’Rourke explained that there is a common misconception that health and wellbeing is only about health. The factors that impact on wellbeing include transport, education etc. The challenges faced in Warwickshire are spread across the whole of the county. The two-tier system of governance only places barriers in the way of efforts to improve health and wellbeing.


Councillor Izzi Seccombe welcomed the strategy. She noted that the document will be supported by a delivery plan which will set out targets. The impact of strategies such as the one before Council is significant. For example, the life expectancy gap between the north and south of Warwickshire used to be 12 years. This is now down to 4 years. Changes in lifestyle and life expectancy can take many years to realise. For example, the health impacts of the mining industry in north Warwickshire are still apparent. Councillor Seccombe agreed that personal safety is paramount. The strategy is not just about health and wellbeing. It is about peoples’ lives.


Councillor Wallace Redford, the seconder of the motion did not feel that the strategy was lacking in any way. Its priorities are clear.


Councillor Les Caborn thanked members for their comments. He noted that by working smarter more can be achieved for the same amount. The JSNA he added, is not a fixed document. It is constantly evolving. He agreed that personal safety is of great importance and drew council’s attention to the engagement by the Police and Crime Commissioner in the production of the strategy. Councillor Jo Barker was thanked for the assistance she had given to the production of the document. Finally, Councillor Caborn confirmed that targets will be set and published.


A vote was held.




That Council approves the Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-26.

Supporting documents: