Agenda and draft minutes

Healthy Communities Scrutiny Commission
Monday 8 October 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room G01A - 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH. View directions

No. Item




Notification of any items of business which the Chair deems urgent


Disclosure of interests and dispensations

    Members to declare any interests and dispensations in respect of any item of business to be considered at this meeting.



    The chair, Cllr Barrie Hargrove, stated that in his previous cabinet roles he had responsibility for Free Swim and Gym, public health and communities,  however he had taken advice from officers and there were no conflicts identified.




    The minutes below cover the discussion both before the presentation by officers and after.


    Before the presentation:


    The chair invited comment on the scope circulated with the agenda.


    A member commented that he thought it would be good to focus the scope of the review. He supported the inclusion of economic inequality and was particularly keen to focus on children.


    Commission members proposed the outcome focus particularly on recommendations for the council; and this was supported by other members.


     A member supported the reviews focus on ensuring that Free Swim and Gym ( FSG) is targeted at those that need it most, and acknowledged the efforts done so far. He also suggested the review consider other issues that impact on health and mental wellbeing; for example housing,  being part of a community, and equality of opportunity.


    Access to GP services and the importance of obtaining a timely appointment was raised.


    An national initiative,  ‘Making Every Adult Matter’,  addressing people with complex needs; such as learning difficulties, mental health,  and addiction was referenced. A member said that it may be possible to obtain grant funding for this; programmes are being rolled out.


    Members asked how much is being done via the planning process to make working class districts better designed for walking and cycling; particularly areas which are not subject to extensive regeneration.



    Following the presentation:


    There was a discussion on examining barriers to participation. A member suggested focusing on the experience of young girls with multiple barriers to participation e.g. Muslim girls swimming. She also spoke about the important of about raising confidence and empowering girls and women generally,  as well as looking at different culture need for, for example some women want to swim or use a gym fully covered or with only women present.


    Members suggested starting with individual people (what are the causal factors for obesity and poor health) and go from there rather than monitoring services.


    A recent report, ’A matter of justice: Local government’s role in tackling health inequalities’ was mentioned,  as was Birmingham Council’s Be Active programme, which grew out of a similar initiative to Southwark’ s FSG.


    The Commission members recommended  looking at a range of inequalities and significant issues would be worthwhile, including: economic deprivation (particularly among populations living in poorer areas), female participation, childhood obesity, mental health  and precarious employment





    Request a report and presentation on Public Health, Social Regeneration and relevant existing polices from the Strategic Director of Public Health and invite lead cabinet members to contribute.


    Involve NHS Southwark CCG.


    Consider inviting in voice from another council or expert, e.g. Professor John Moxton, Joseph Rowntree.


    Undertake a literature search.


    Consider the following reports and initiatives:

      A matter of justice: Local government’s role in tackling health inequalities


      Making Every Adult Matter MEAN


      Be Active Birmingham




Reducing health inequalities through Council Services

    Supporting documents:


    The chair invited Fiona Dean, Director of Leisure and Tara Quinn, Group Manager - Sport and Physical Activity to present the report enclosed with the agenda. The presentation is enclosed with the minutes.


    The Commission raised the following points:


    Members asked if it would be possible to  integrate economic questions in the sign up process for Free Swim and Gym (FSG) or use existing council data (e.g. Southwark Card or data residents in council housing) to understand the extent that the service is being used be people who are most economically deprived. Could we use a Southwark Card as a sign up mechanism? Officers said that the data sets are held separately so FSG does not have access to other council data. As well as technical challenges that  would be issues about GDPR and purpose of giving data. Officers said the registration process could be modified and coded for this potential. A member raised a concern that asking about income in the sign up process and that this might put people off. This issue will be explored further and officers were asked to provide sign up and re- registration questions.


    A member suggested looking at the accessibility of FSG for people working insecurely and asked if the current offer is more designed for people in secure and predictable employment rather than unpredictable zero hour contacts.


    The importance of giving Mental Health  parity of esteem was noted; and the members asked for clarification on the criteria GPs use for the referral programmes


    More information on the use of services and the FSG offer by people with different types of disability would be useful.  Research on particular needs is a challenge.





    Officers to clarify and provide:


    ·  GP referral criteria: is it mental health, alcohol, and obesity?


    ·  Send the questions to be used on re-registration.