Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 24 November 2008

PRESENT: Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Sidell (vice-chairman), Ali, Appleyard, Collinson, Simpson and Wells.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.


Minute Number
Nature of Interest
Councillor M Ali 109 Board Members of Scunthorpe and District MIND
Chair of Crosby Community Association

No whip was declared.

Mr D Gillon, Scrutiny Officer in attendance, declared a non-pecuniary interest, minute 111 refers, as his wife worked for the Alcohol and Drugs Service.

108 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.

109 SALTING ROUTES – Added item requested by members. Discussion with Geoff Popple, Service Director Highways and Planning and Rob Beales, Head of Better Routes – The Service Director Highways and Planning was invited to address the panel. Geoff Popple explained that a review of the Salting Routes within North Lincolnshire had been planned for Winter 2008/2009. However, due to the additional resources that had been required for work on flood prevention, the decision had been made to delay this review until next year.

Members received a visual and oral presentation from both Geoff Popple and Rob Beales, who explained the principles surrounding severe weather conditions and how this often resulted in high impact and high publicity for all involved.

Members were advised that the Highways Salting Team engaged in two principle functions, snow clearance and also precautionary gritting. It was reported that North Lincolnshire Council usually completed approximately 50 gritting runs per annum. The salting duties were undertaken by ten gritting vehicles, which covered nine pre-determined routes, within three hours of the severe weather warning being issued.

Geoff Popple reaffirmed that changes to the salting routes would be considered in the future and that public consultation would be necessary. He welcomed any assistance from the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel.

Members engaged in further discussions over budget allocation, the usage and maintenance of salting bins, alternatives to salting and the criteria for priority and secondary salting routes.

Resolved – (a) That Geoff Popple, Service Director Highways and Planning and Rob Beales, Head of Better Routes be thanked for their attendance and their informative presentation, and (b) that the position be noted.

110 ADDED ITEM – PEOPLE MOVING AND HANDLING POLICY – Allen Ransome, Every Adult Matters Manager – The Chair advised members of the panel that Allen Ransome had been invited to attend following specific concerns that had been raised at the last meeting of the Council, by a member of the public.

Allen Ransome explained that North Lincolnshire Council’s Adult Services worked closely with North Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust (NLPCT) to ensure that staff received adequate and up to date training in handling and lifting techniques. The aim was to avoid preventable accidents, prevent ill health and learn how to deal with the often unique requirements of each individual patient.

Members were advised that each patient had their own programme tailored specifically for their needs. Key trainers were assigned a team of staff, who in turn had their own responsibilities to the patients. It was stressed that all were expected to follow the individuals care plan.

The panel heard that changes had been made to lifting techniques. Changes had been necessary to bring the techniques in line with revised Health and Safety requirements and also to ensure that no further duress was suffered by the patient whilst being handled or lifted.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Allen Ransome be thanked for his attendance at the meeting.


(i) Discussions with Dianne Draper, Health Policy Manager and Regional Public Health Lead for Alcohol, Government Office – The Chair welcomed Dianne Draper to the meeting.

Dianne explained that effective screening by health professionals was necessary to tackle the ever-present problem of alcohol misuse. Members were advised that at present the Yorkshire and Humber regions had the lowest level of questioning nationally, especially through the general practitioners (GP’s). It was revealed that evidence from a national survey had suggestedthat the involvement of GP’s in questioning, screening and intervention could lead to one person in ten reducing their alcohol consumption for possibly two years. Dianne confirmed that medically this was a big positive change to the individuals’ medical well-being.

Questioning centred around underage drinking and the effect that this was having on service provision within the National Health Service and specifically the Accident and Emergency departments. Dianne confirmed that at present there were no conclusive figures available to show how many children suffered from alcohol/drug misuse. The difficulty was getting children to admit that they had a problem, and how to monitor the extent of binge drinking.

Further discussion ensued over the rise of alcohol consumption within the privacy of peoples’ homes and the difficulty of monitoring such hidden drinking. Dianne advised members of an initiative that had been rolled out in London, whereby household recycling boxes were monitored for evidence of excessive alcohol consumption, stickers and leaflets were being left by the collectors providing information on advice and support.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Dianne Draper be thanked for her attendance at the meeting and for the useful information that she had provided to the panel.

(ii) Next Stages – Further to discussions, it was agreed that the following meetings would be arranged:-

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust – Accident and Emergency.

Other meetings, as previously agreed –

  • Stuart Minto, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods and Bruno Watson, Deputy Head of Safer Neighbourhoods.
  • Service users groups.
  • Licensed Victuallers Association.
  • Midwives to discuss the effect of drinking during pregnancy.
  • Accident and Emergency, to discuss the additional impact on Friday/Saturday nights and also ages that they deal with.
  • Children’s Services – Lynne Goodall.
  • Others as deemed appropriate by the panel

Resolved – That the position be noted.

112 (15) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for November 2008 to February 2009.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis. Members discussed various items on the Forward Plan.

Resolved – That the position be noted.