24/09/2013 Leave a comment
A couple of weeks ago, after an SCC Cabinet meeting I travelled to Warwick University where I was invited to co-chair a session at the Public Health England Conference, as a member of the LGA Community Wellbeing Board, and perhaps some of the work I have been involved in with the transition of Public Health to local government in the Eastern Region over the past 18 months.
A couple of strange things happened at the conference, firstly I arrived on the Tuesday evening to be given my student digs room key and a map of how to get there, to be fair they were far from the rooms I remember in my youth, in fact it was a brand new block with en-suite and very nicely set out, save for one thing a TV, it’s a long time since I have been anywhere where there was not a telly and it felt, very strange!
After Dinner on the Tuesday evening I retired to my TV less room and tried to watch that nights England football match on my laptop but it was not the same.
Looking through the Agenda the even stranger thing that struck me was the complete lack of Local Government representation. Given the almost the entirely sector has now been moved across to their respective upper tier authorities it was a really shock to know there were only 3 or 4 Councillors involved in any form of presenting or speaking, yet the whole point of the move across was to leverage many of the things local government do, that have a direct impact of the public health of our country form housing to access to sports. Something to be worked on I think.
The session I co-chaired with Dr Yvonne Doyle from Public Health England and the session focussed on Community Resilience and my role was to say a few words at the start and sum up at the end. There were 7 really interesting speakers:
- Mike Grady – Institute for Health Equity, University College London who spoke about Community resilience and health: a national perspective.
- Dominic Harrison – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Community resilience and health spoke about delivery from within local government
- Ian Rufus – Public Health England spoke about shifting the community resilience goalposts with social media
- Aimee Stimpson – Wiltshire Council spoke about empowering communities to use intelligence and knowledge through local needs assessments
- Amy McConville – TB Action Group Developing TB patient advocacy in the UK: TB Action Group and beyond
- Kate O’Hara – Coventry City Council Communities feeling good and doing well in Coventry!
- Alison Giles – Our Life Building community resilience: the Wellbeing Explorers’ citizen empowerment model
You can read more on the conference, presentation abstracts form the speakers and the session at:
I left to travel home thinking I need to discuss with the LGA the lack of involvement with the conference and find out how Local Government can be more involved in the future.