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To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2018.
The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 23 October 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
The following interest was declared:-
To consider call-in items (if any).
There were no call-ins to consider.
To consider a report of the Director of Public Health.
This report has been prepared for the Scrutiny Committee following questions asked at the meeting on 23 October 2018 in relation to actions taken locally to reduce falls. The report sets out the work of the ‘Steady in Stockport’ programme is to improve quality of life for people by reducing the burden of falls and fractures.
The Scrutiny Committee is asked to note the report.
Officer contact: Dr Donna Sager, 0161 474 2450, firstname.lastname@example.org
A representative of the Director of Public Health submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing the Scrutiny Committee with an overview of the ‘Steady in Stockport’ Programme designed to prevent falls and to improve quality of life for people by reducing the burden of falls and fractures. The report had been submitted in response to questions asked at the last Scrutiny Committee meeting.
The Cabinet Member for Health (Councillor Tom McGee), Jennifer Connelly, Public Health Consultant, and Helen Riley from the Adult Community Therapy Team & Steady in Stockport, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.
Councillors welcomed the report and commended the quality and successes of the service, in particular the emphasis on early intervention.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:-
· Questions were asked in relation to efforts to communicate with those at risk of falls, their family and carers, GPs and other professionals with whom they had contact to make them aware of the service and of preventative activity. In response the importance of this activity was acknowledged but it was commented that due to the relatively small size of the team the opportunities for sharing this information were limited, although wherever possible the Team would seek to engage and communicate the key messages.
· Further comment was sought on the underlying reasons for Stockport having more falls. In response it was stated that the data was adjusted to reflect the relatively older population in Stockport. A variety of data sources were used to provide greater certainty in the overall picture. It was further commented that the higher levels of demand and need in Stockport was the reason a business cases was produced to develop the service because of the greater level of need. Working with partners and other service providers was vital to reducing falls, or preventing further falls and reducing future dependency. By way of example, comment was made about work with care homes to ensure walking aids were maintained and taking other measures to protect residents.
· It was commented that the estimate of £1m savings generated by the services significantly understated the value the service had to the community.
· The usefulness of the video resources demonstrating simple exercises was welcomed as a positive means to empower people to take care of their own wellbeing while also ‘de-medicalising’ this activity.
· Clarification was sought on the level of intensity of exercise that was needed to have a preventative benefit. In response it was stated that weight bearing exercises were most beneficial as they would increase bone density. It was stressed that exercise needed to be tailored to need and ability but it was also important to ‘stretch’ an individual’s level of activity.
· It was queried how representative this service was of similar services elsewhere. In response it was stated that there was a Greater Manchester set of best practice standards, and a forum for service providers, and that while there were many elements of the service provided by others in Greater Manchester, Stockport was perhaps one of the most innovative.
RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted and Jennifer Connelly and Helen Riley be thanked for their attendance and presentation.
(2) That the Director for Public Health be requested to circulate a copy of the Care Homes Toolkit.
To consider a report of the Director of Public Health.
The report sets out the response, agreed by the Cabinet on 14 November 2018, to the recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee in its Scrutiny Review Final Report ‘Response to the Whole System Approach to Healthy Weight’.
The Area Committee is invited to note the report.
Officer contact: Dr Donna Sager, 0161 474 2450 email@example.com
The Cabinet Member for Health (Councillor Tom McGee) and the Director for Public Health submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Cabinet’s agreed response to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations contained in the final report of the ‘Whole System Approach to Health Weight’ Scrutiny Review.
The Cabinet Member emphasised the challenge of addressing healthy weight given the complexity of causal factors involved, but also stressed the need to focus on providing alternatives to unhealthy behaviours to avoid being paternalistic.
The Director of Public Health thanked the Scrutiny Committee for their work on this topic and the focus given to the range of contributory issues. The importance of working with partners to improve the effectiveness of lobbying for change was highlighted as there was more limited scope for the Council to overcome the challenges presented by the practices of large multi-national companies, for example.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:-
· Developing cooking skills and self-sufficiency in food preparation was an important tool in reducing dependency on unhealthy foods. The difficulties in accommodating this within the school timetable was acknowledged, as was the potential that many parents lacked the skills or time to pass these on to children.
· It was important not to focus exclusively on food as a contributory factor for obesity, given the impact alcohol also had. It was also commented that convenience food, as well as takeaway food, could also contain unhealthy amounts of salt, sugar and fats. Ensuring choice and affordability was key to driving change as some of the most vulnerable members of the community often had fewer affordable alternatives.
· Children walking to school was emphasised as a simple way of increasing physical activity of young people (and parents) and would also reduce traffic and parking problems near schools and so improve safety.
RESOLVED – That the response be noted.
To consider a report of the Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care and for Health
The Cabinet is developing its medium term strategy, which frames the choices the Council will make about its budget both next year and in future years. This strategy focuses on five key themes, and specific proposals have been set out for changes in 2019/20.
The Scrutiny Committee is invited to discuss the proposals appended to the report.
Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, firstname.lastname@example.org
A joint report of the Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care and for Health was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Cabinet’s proposals that formed its response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.
The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care corrected paragraph 1.3 of the covering report by stating that it was intended to submit a further report on the proposals including consultation feedback in January 2019 prior to consideration by the Cabinet in February.
Proposal 3: Support Funds Coordination
The Cabinet Member stressed that these proposals were subject to public consultation and encouraged councillors and other interested parties to make representations as part of that consultation.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:
· Paragraph 6.2 stated that one of the risk to the proposal was that there would be a threat to health and safety to adults and families in an emergency, in which case, why was ceasing the Local Assistance Scheme (SLAS) being pursued? In response it was stated that this was simple statement of risk but work was underway to explore alternative sources of funding or other actions that could mitigate that risk.
· Given the impending roll-out of Universal Credit in Stockport there would need to be strong evidence of robust alternative provision. Universal Credit would create significant disruption and therefore previous demands on this service was not a good indicator of future need.
· All wards in Stockport had residents who had been supported by the SLAS.
· The report indicated that Manchester and Salford City Councils had managed to maintain or increase their spend on similar schemes and how they had been able to achieve that needed to be explore.
· This proposal was indicative of the impact of public sector ‘austerity’ and the disproportionate impact that policy had on the least well off in the community.
· The main uses for the SLAS was for resettlement costs, and the ward with the highest usage was Brinnington & Central but this was likely to be due to people moving into that area where there was the highest proportion of social/ emergency housing. Confirmation of this was sought, as was the number of repeat claimants.
Proposal 5: Stockport Local Transport
(i) Town Centre Metroshuttle Bus
· Discontinuing the free bus would be a significant loss to residents. Business in the Town Centre should be approached to seek contributions, particularly the large supermarkets, as they were benefiting from the service. In response it was stated that business had been approached.
· The Council, as a significant landlord in Stockport Town Centre, should consider continuing to fund this service as a means of protecting its investment and the vitality of the Town Centre.
· Given the other reductions to services being proposed it was not possible to justify continued expenditure on a free bus service.
· The patronage of the service vastly exceeded expectations and was far in excess of some of the services subsidised by TfGM, who may consider funding this service.
· In the event that the service became a paid-for service, would TfGM recompense for the passengers with free passes?
· Because of the nature of the service and its usage, condensing the hours of operation would likely prompt a change in the pattern of use to match, intensifying that usage.
(ii) Free School Bus Passes
· The most significant group to suffer from this proposal would be children in Brinnington. When the Secondary School was closed the free passes were introduced to protect those children.
· Officers commented that in other local authority areas free passes were restricted to families on maximum tax credit, whereas currently in Stockport anyone in receipt of tax credit was eligible. Under the proposal those on free school meals would continue to be eligible for a free pass.
· Given the relatively small cost involved it was counterproductive to reduce the eligibility and risk damaging children’s educational opportunities.
· There were a number of reasons to justify maintaining the free ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.
The report sets out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.
The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings of the Committee.
Officer contact: Jonathan Vali, 0161 474 3201, email@example.com
A representative of the Democratic Services Manager submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and any relevant Forward Plan items.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.