Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 29 September 2008

PRESENT:  Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Sidell (Vice-Chairman), Armitage, Collinson, Eckhardt, Simpson and Wells.

Councillor Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

93  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

94  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

95  FORWARD PLAN ITEM AS REQUESTED BY MEMBERS – Concessionary Fare Scheme 2009/10.  Discussion with David Hewitt, Team Manager, Public Transport – The Chair welcomed David Hewitt to the meeting and explained that the panel would like to receive an overview of relevant information that was likely to be discussed at the cabinet member briefing in November 2008.

David explained that the Concessionary Fare Scheme was set out in a paper which detailed who would be eligible for a concession, where and when concessions applied and how operators were reimbursed for lost revenue.  Details were circulated to all members.

Information on how the requirements placed on local government had changed over the last few years was given, and also how since 1 April 2008, the scheme to introduce a pass to use all over England had been introduced.

The panel was advised that the Public Transport team had seen a 51% increase in the number of journeys undertaken by pass holders.  It was noted that currently there were an estimated 32000 people within North Lincolnshire over the age of 60 years, of these 27000 held concessionary bus passes which equated to approximately 84 per cent of those eligible

Members were advised that the bus operator received reimbursement for the loss of earnings, this was calculated using a pre-agreed payment calculator and took into consideration the number of passes issued, the price of fuel and other influencing factors.

Members engaged in further discussion, clarifying issues surrounding the reimbursement process, the take up rate compared to other local authorities, how the public transport team dealt with the influx of applications in April 2008 and whether deadlines had been met. 

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that David Hewitt be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and his valuable overview.

96  (9) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE HEALTHY AGEING STRATEGY 2008 -2013.  Discussion with Julie Forrest, Programme Co-ordinator, Older Adults, North Lincolnshire PCT (Primary Care Trust) – The Chair welcomed Julie Forrest to the meeting and asked that thanks be conveyed to all involved with the production, of what the panel deemed to be an excellent and worthwhile strategy document.

Julie was invited to explain to the panel factors that had led to the production of the Strategy and how this had been achieved. 

It was explained that further to a Healthy Ageing Conference in 2006, the decision to produce the North Lincolnshire Healthy Ageing Strategy had presented itself from ideas brought forward by the multi agencies involved.  A Steering Group had been formed in 2007, and consisted of representation from North Lincolnshire PCT, Fresh Start, Adult Social Care, Humbercare and North Lincolnshire Council’s Legal and Democratic Services, to name but a few.

Julie also explained that the aim of the group had been to ensure all older adults living within North Lincolnshire had the opportunity to engage fully in some form of activity, whilst remaining within a safe environment.  The Strategy itself took on differing themes, all of which had their own individual action plans.  The panel was advised that upon completion, the Strategy had been presented to Dr Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health and this had subsequently been submitted to the Wellbeing and Health Improvement Partnership .

Members were advised that the work of the panel would continue, so as to ensure that over the next five years the action plans were put in place.  It was stressed that this would be achieved through effective monitoring and also information sharing with the Local Strategic Partnership.

Julie asked that it be recognised by the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel, that the success of the work had been achieved through effective partnership working.

Discussions ensued over the cost implications, whether there would continue to be effective monitoring and training requirements.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Julie Forrest be thanked for her attendance at the meeting and for providing an informative presentation.

97  FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME – ALCOHOL MISUSE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Chair invited members of the panel to engage in discussions to ascertain what they would like to see included within this review.  Specifically this focused on whether the review would be conducted on a health perspective, or whether it would include a wider scope of addressing both health and social impact.

After deliberation, it was concluded that the review would be scoped on a health only perspective.  The panel agreed that this would be achievable within approximately a 6-7 month timeframe.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that a further meeting of the panel be arranged for week commencing 13 October 2008, to enable the review to be fully scoped and evidence gathering to commence.

98  (10) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for October 2008 to January 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.

99  FORWARD PLAN ITEM – WINTER SERVICE – REVIEW OF SALTING ROUTES – The Service Director Legal and Democratic advised the panel that Rob Beales, Head of Better Routes would be invited to attend a future meeting.  It was explained that he would be available to discuss the proposed changes to the salting routes and answer any questions that members of the panel may have.

Resolved – That the position be noted.