1. Local Authority Mental Health Challenge (Cllr Hall)
2. Healthy Weight Declaration (Cllr de Saram)
Two motions had been referred to the Committee with the agreement of the Council Chairman under Procedural Rule 10.4 prior to the Council meeting on 26 February 2020:
· The Local Authority Mental Health Challenge (Cllr Hall), and
· The Healthy Weight Declaration (Cllr de Saram)
Andrew Ennis, Service Lead Environmental Health and Car Parks, and Helen Wharam, Public Health Project Officer, presented notes to assist the Committee with its consideration of the motions. Officers were broadly supportive in principle of both initiatives, however, they advised that resourcing would require further careful consideration of financial and officer support.
As set out in the report, Officers outlined the extensive range of work already being undertaken by the Council and provided examples of specific projects, interventions and community events. It was emphasised that, as a District Council, EDDC’s focus was on the prevention of mental ill health and Officers worked closely with the Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities. Andrew Ennis advised that there was no additional Officer capacity to resource the member of staff who would be required under the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge.
The Local Authority Mental Health Challenge
Regarding the motion on mental health, proposed by Cllr Hall, Members discussed the following points:
· EDDC should lobby national Government with regard to the high number of re-admissions to mental health services
· EDDC had a Lead Councillor for Health and Wellbeing and further scoping might be required to understand how the Council could improve towards being outstanding in this area
· The work of Arc and the Headlight Youth Mental Health Support project in Axminster was noted
· The proposed brief of a Member Champion for Mental Health was wide and would require greater awareness of the issues among the wider Membership to better support the role
· The recent meeting of the Member Development Working Party supported mental health awareness training for Councillors
· Should the Council proceed with the appointment of a Member Champion, the background of the Member appointed should be considered
· The work of a Member Champion for Mental Health would involve partnership working and progress towards any appointment may need to move slowly in order to be effective
Cllr Hall proposed that the Overview Committee refers the item to Cabinet and requests scoping for a Mental Health Member Champion. This was seconded by Cllr Hartnell and was RESOLVED.
That Cabinet receive the referred motion and agree to scope a Mental Health Lead Member.
The Healthy Weight Declaration
Officers advised that they were supportive of the Healthy Weight Declaration in principle and outlined various projects including encouraging cafés to sign up to the Sugar Smart initiative and promoting the provision of free drinking water. It was noted that the Declaration comprised 14 commitments and organisations would be expected to sign up to all.
Regarding the motion on the Healthy Weight Declaration, proposed by Cllr de Saram, the following points were discussed:
· EDDC could raise awareness of those commitments under the Declaration which it is already fulfilling, or able to fulfil
· The provision of vending machines at LED facilities would need further consideration
· Being under-weight was also a problem
· Emphasis should be placed on encouraging people to eat in a different way and should link with work around mental health
Cllr de Saram proposed that the Overview Committee recommends to Cabinet to proceed with signing up to the Healthy Weight Declaration. This was seconded by Cllr Hall and was RESOLVED.
That Cabinet proceeds to sign up to the Healthy Weight Declaration.